Fixing It! Whether it was an incremental success or a humiliating fizzle, hasn't the Maliki government's assault on Sadr-linked Shiite militias operated, de facto, as a highly efficient purge of the Iraqi army? According to Juan Cole, those who heeded calls for defection or who otherwise refused to fight have been fired. ... P.S.: Meanwhile, some 10,000 militia members who did fight on the government's side have reportedly been inducted into the security forces. This second development seems not un-problematic, if the Iraqi security forces don't want to be seen as siding with the Iran-backed Badr Corps in intra-Shiite disputes (since Badr Corps members now are the Iraqi security forces). ... P.P.S.: Note that Cole responds by seeming to endorse more inductions--e.g. of Sunni Awakening Council militias--suggesting that it's one way of building the army a functional unified state would need. ... 6:05 P.M.
John McCain: "I never miss an episode of The Hills." He was joking, right? Or lying. We'll take lying. ... Really. Lying would be fine. ... 5:31 P.M.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
David Smith says scandal-scarred Fannie Mae and other "government sponsored enterprises" (GSEs) have successfully dodged the threat of stronger government oversigh t, thanks to the mortgage crisis--and the 2006 election. This appears to be a case where Republicans are more amenable to stricter regulation than Democrats:
You have to click on Smith's links to find out what the regulation (which he supported) would have entailed. Cheap visual devices are employed, as usual. 11:02 A.M.
Crooked Listening? Before you buy into the CW that, unlike the Democratic candidates, John McCain abjures pandering in favor of principled stands, take a look at this poll on the immigration issue (where McCain abruptly revised his position precisely to make it more pleasing to Republican primary voters). Some 35% of McCain voters wrongly think he favors an attrition strategy that would cause illegals to go home. Ten percent think he favors mass deportation! Only 34% of McCain's own voters correctly identify his support for a "path to citizenship" for illegals providing they pay a fine, learn English, etc. ... If McCain's been engaging in straight talk, it's not getting through. ... P.S.: More than 60% of Edwards voters favored either attrition or deportation, suggesting that his supporters weren't necessarily the conventional anti-poverty lefties you might have expected. In contrast, a plurality of Clinton voters and a majority of Obama voters favored the "path to citizenship." ... 1:52 A.M.