In the Arena In the Arena

On the Ground in Iraq

This piece, by Lawrence Kaplan, is the smartest thing I’ve read in a while about what’s actually happening on the ground in Iraq. It has the virtue of first-hand reporting from al-Anbar Province and some very good analysis about why the Baghdad “surge” is probably doomed. I differ from Kaplan on one point, however: he’d maintain our …

The Patriot Iraq

Slate sums it up:

As part of the new security measures, Qanbar also said the government reserves the right to listen in on phone calls, open mail, and break into homes and cars.

Insert “American-style democracy” joke here.

In the Arena In the Arena

An American Hero

Congressman Patrick Murphy’s statement about the war today, via atrios. (I can’t figure out how to edit out the plea for campaign contributions–we can’t do that around here–or the rest of the posting, but Murphy’s eloquence is worth my internet incompetence.)

One microscopic quibble: I don’t entirely agree with Murphy. I’m for …

Fingers Off the Button!

I’ve talked about this before, but one of the things that surprised me the most about Washington, once I started to get to know it beyond monuments and museums, was how Congressmen are just like us. Which is to say, kinda stupid, if not actual idiots. One can chose to be amused by their antics (“I was on my way to a vote, officer!” and …

Romney Announces

I think I’m going to suggest that the High Sheriffs here at TIME quit sending political reporters to these presidential announcements. Our theater critics could probably do a better job, considering that these events tend to be long on symbolism and showmanship, and virtually empty of substance or political import. You can always spot …

Third Party Libby Update

A colleague observing the Libby trial writes:

Is it just me, or does this excerpt make it sound as though Bob Woodward conducts his interviews while plainly drunk?

Woodward is heard asking about Wilson and how he happened to make the trip. Armitage tells him: “his wife works at the agency” and says that she specializes in weapons of

In the Arena In the Arena

Iran: Who funds the Revolutionary Guards?

Ok. i don’t care that U.S. intelligence officers didn’t want to reveal their identities when discussing the Iranian munitions that have been used against our troops. I also believe that the munitions are Iranian, that various Iranians are trying to make life harder for us in Iraq and I know that Iranian leaders ever since Cyrus have …

Re: Brrrrrrrrrack Obama

Reporters’ comments on the bitter cold in Springfield during Obama’s announcement Saturday mostly amounted to color: The temperature gave another dimension to descriptions of the event and gave journalists a way to contextualize the enthusiasm his candidacy currently draws. The media’s complaints, though I’m sure quite genuine, seemed …

Since you ask…

Commenter Terrapin has suggested:

I really do want to have a civil discussion about the way in which the GOP Smear Against the Majority Leader was handled by the press (meaning: you). This is purely for informational purposes only and not to cast any aspersions. … We want to how you heard about this, what calls you made to check up on

In the Arena In the Arena

Nicorette?

Ames, Iowa–Barack Obama turned a little spikey this morning in his first official press conference of the campaign. It started innocently enough–several questions about Iraq: How important was it that he was against the war from the start? Answer: “I think it demonstrates that even at that time it was possible to make judgments that …

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