Would former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm really "almost certainly be Treasury secretary in a McCain administration"? 12:03 A.M.
I think I buried a lede in that earlier Joe Wilson/"dying for Israel" item ... 11:35 P.M.
Even if we were able to successfully train an Iraqi military and police force, the likely result, after all that, would be another military dictatorship. Experience around the world teaches us that military dictatorships arise when the military's institutional modernization gets ahead of political consolidation.
But if Odom's right, doesn't that mean we should take as long as possible to withdraw from Iraq, giving political institutions time to put down roots while we slowly build up the Iraqi military? (I realize there are other considerations, such as the resentment-breeding effect of continued American presence. I'm just saying that this Odom argument doesn't support the early withdrawal he advocates. Even if a withdrawal starts soon, it doesn't have to end soon.) ... P.S.: Note that Odom, who's not afraid of strong language, doesn't say military dictatorship is certain. Just "likely." If it's only "likely," and we can make it less likely, maybe we should. 11:02 P.M.
Kim Jong-il Also Has Some Ideas for Making "Situation Room" Edgier! Even the North Koreans know how to respond to a critical CNN documentary with a cheap shot at the network's ratings:
"CNN is losing popularity as the days go by although it had high audience rating in the world in the past .... Much upset by this, CNN staged such poor farce to improve its image."
"Floundering tool Jonathan Klein thought tarnishing the democratic struggle of the Korean people would promote further his career and make up for failure of his overemotional pretty boy Anderson Cooper in the crucial 25-54 demographic."
OK, I made up that second graf. But not the first one. [Thanks to M.C.] 2:53 A.M.
TODAY IN SLATE
Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case
The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race
Here’s Just How Far a Southern Woman May Have to Drive to Get an Abortion
The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented
Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy
It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?
Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada
An All-Female Mission to Mars
As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.