Monday, October 08, 2007

From Sunday's New York Times:

"Our life, it makes you laugh, but it’s a tragedy," said Felah, a bowlegged Shiite man with a tired look, who has lost six close relatives, including a brother, to Sunni militants, and whose wife and children have been forbidden to see him by a bitterly sectarian father-in-law. "We feel that we are not telling the truth, but what can we do?"
The story's headlined "In Life of Lies, Iraqis Conceal Work for U.S.," and it's well worth a read.

Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, responding to John McCain:

In the 1790s, in the waters off Tripoli, pirates were making sport of American shipping near the Barbary Coast. Toward the end of his second term, Washington sent Joel Barlow, the diplomat-poet, to Tripoli to settle matters, and the resulting treaty, finished after Washington left office, bought a few years of peace. Article 11 of this long-ago document says that "as the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion," there should be no cause for conflict over differences of "religious opinion" between countries.

The treaty passed the Senate unanimously. Mr. McCain is not the only American who would find it useful reading.

Mike Leavitt's Arguing School, Lesson 1: When confronted with a convincing counterargument, simply pretend you didn't hear it and repeat your initial point. Over and over and over. (And don't bother to cut him off, George!)

In Leavitt's defense, I don't think there's really any way to make the "the President vetoed the SCHIP bill to help the children" argument not sound ridiculous.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

There's absolutely no chance I'll ever have the time to read Arthur Schlesinger's Journals, but Maureen Dowd's review does a heck of a job of making it sound like a good way to spend an afternoon a weekend a week a month.