Jed, Thanks for the clarification. It appears the confusion afflicts more folks than just the Times. The U.K. Spectator's link to the story reads, "UK & USA Plan To Leave Iraq From March, Iraq Foreign Minister Warns Of Chaos." Indeed, the actual information in the article is a drawdown. The foreign minister's quote applies to a withdrawal.
The Spectacle Blog
Guys: The Times report confuses -- like most of the rest of the media -- a drawdown with a pullout. The military has always said that it would reduce the size of our force there after the election this week. The senior commanders I spoke with in Iraq said that we may indeed draw down to a force of about 90,000 by the end of next year. If the events allow it, that's what we'll do. Our strategy is event-driven, not media-driven. There is no plan -- none, zero, zip -- to withdraw. The terms are important, and the rhetoric misleading.
Regarding James G. Poulos's silly anti-Paxil rant: Paxil is not a "serotonin-bomb." It contains no serotonin; rather, like all Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, it affects the way the body processes the serotonin that it creates. And no one on Paxil would be "staggering around hiccuping" with "discolored skin, enlarged breasts, and [a] demented gait," because as anyone with an iota of experience with psychotropic medication knows, adverse side-effects lead patients and their doctors to discontinue a drug. There are several SSRIs that work in somewhat different ways, and it often takes a few tries to find the one that works best for a given person.
These drugs change lives dramatically for the better (it is not "normal" to live in paralyzing fear of social gatherings, and it's much more pleasant not to). In many cases they save lives that would otherwise be lost to suicide. Discouraging people who suffer from debilitating emotional problems from taking medication makes as much sense as telling diabetics to be leery of insulin.
We know how dependent liberal opinion has been on the courts to come through for its causes and politics whenever voters will not. A sign of its current desperation are reactions to news that the Supreme Court will hear arguments challenging the DeLay-led remapping of Texas's congressional districts in 2003. The justice to watch, according to the New York Times, is Anthony Kennedy, who in an earlier case left open the possibility he'd be open to more precise arguments about constitutional violations in such highly charged partisan disputes.
One likely argument is that redistricting weakened minority voting power. One set of plaintiffs is pointing to the 2003 redrawing being based on the 2000 census, which they see as a violation of one-man, one-vote. Here's where the Washington Post report has a Freudian slip moment:
You know, Dave, I'm a little disappointed. Nowhere in your post do you mention whether "ides" ought to make one wary. What a throw-away.
Though we didn't know it at the time, there was more consternation over Wikipedia's veracity yesterday. John Seigenthaler, a former administrative assistant to Bobby Kennedy, was implicated in his Wikipedia bio as a part of JFK's assassination. The libeler recanted the post and admitted he made up all the claims, but only after Seigenthaler found out. The Register takes Wikipedia to task, fairly dramatically, but well enough, and here are a few of their stronger points:
The Washington Times' Jerry Seper reports this morning on the
guilty plea entered by former top
State Department official Donald Keyser for "unlawfully removing
classified Last year, former Clinton
National Security Advisor Sandy Berger was allowed to plead
guilty to a misdemenor for what several news agencies reported as the
following: stealing from the National Archives -- by stuffing in his pants and
socks -- several copies of some of the most highly guarded national security
Last year, former Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger was allowed to plead guilty to a misdemenor for what several news agencies reported as the following: stealing from the National Archives -- by stuffing in his pants and socks -- several copies of some of the most highly guarded national security
This odd piece is linked on the L.A. Times' main page, just below the main news story about Stanley "Tookie" Williams' execution. Apparently penned by a news staff writer, Steve Lopez, it's marked neither as news nor op-ed. So does it speak for the Times? Perhaps:
His anti-violence books and speeches were too little, too late, and the methodologizing of him was as unconvincing as the Nobel nominations.
But his execution was a macabre spectacle in a nation that preaches godly virtue to the world while resisting a global march away from the Medieval practice of capital punishment.
I would have had no problem leaving Williams locked up with his regrets and haunted by his deeds for the rest of his natural life.
I watched a man die today, killed by the state of California with institutional resolve, and wondered what we gained.