I know pretty much nothing about Crist’s choice, but give him this: he has a great name.
If Obama is proven to have made mistakes when we see what comes out of the World’s Worst Deliberative Body, they will have been about his strategy with respect to Congress: being to willing to cave to Blue Dog objections while receiving nothing in return, not using whatever leverage he can to instill real party discipline. On the other hand, I don’t think changing his rhetorical strategy for selling health care could have made much difference. The McCaugheys and Palins would have put out all kinds of screaming nonsense about absolutely any proposal framed in any way and gotten in taken seriously in a large number of media outlets. Liberals need to figure out how to counteract it, not try to preempt it, because the latter is impossible.
So says Defense News, reporting claims in a Polish newspaper:
Washington will scrap plans to put anti-missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic and is looking at alternatives including Israel and Turkey, a Polish newspaper reported Aug. 27, citing U.S. officials.
The U.S. plan, intended for defense against attacks from Iran, has met with fierce objections from Russia, which regarded the eastern European bases as a threat to its own security.
Leading Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza cited administration officials and lobbyists in Washington in support of its story.
Pro-missile shield lobbyist Riki Ellison said the signals from the Pentagon were “absolutely clear,” with U.S. authorities scouting for alternatives sites, the paper reported.
Good deal. Expect the usual shrieking from the wingnut gallery. No one could ever conclusively argue why these bases were a good idea; they were supposed to deter Russia, but at the same time weren’t aimed at Russia, and couldn’t possibly have stopped a Russian attack. They were supposed to defend from Iranian missiles, even though no one could ever figure out a plausible reason why Iran would fire ballistic missiles at Europe. Eastern European missile defense was, in short, insane; it was conceived by missile defense fanatics in the United States, and abetted by policymakers in Poland and the Czech Republic who wanted a clear signal of US commitment to their defense. The latter motivation was defensible; the former not so much.
Russia has placed an anti-missile defence system close to its border with North Korea, in an apparent sign of growing alarm in Moscow at Pyongyang’s nuclear programme.
Russia’s chief of army staff, General Nikolai Makarov, told reporters on a trip with President Dmitry Medvedev to Mongolia the military had deployed its S-400 anti-missile division, a state-of-the-art anti-aircraft system capable of shooting down short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.
The system, stationed in Russia’s far east, would “guarantee” fragments from an errant North Korean missile would not fall on Russian territory, he said. “We are definitely concerned by the conditions under which tests are being carried out in North Korea, including nuclear devices,” he added.
There’s apparently some question regarding the veracity of the claim, and it’s unclear what the S-400 can really do in terms of missile defense, but interesting nonetheless. If true, I guess it means that the Russians are pretty much finished with Pyongyang. I do wonder whether this is connected with North Korea’s more cooperative attitude in the past few weeks…
I suppose the appropriate reaction to Glenn Beck’s latest fugue state pretty much writes itself.
Bart: So finally, we’re all in agreement about what’s going on with
the adults. Milhouse?
Milhouse: [steps up to blackboard] Ahem. OK, here’s what we’ve got: the
Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people —
Bart: Thank you.
Milhouse: — under the supervision of the reverse vampires —
Milhouse: — are forcing our parents to go to bed early in a fiendish
plot to eliminate the meal of dinner. [sotto voce] We’re
through the looking glass, here, people…
It’s also worth pointing out that — in addition to the fact that there’s nothing wrong with “politicizing” a funeral if these means “celebrating the values that the deceased individual had long publicly stood for” — the Wellstone funeral was not in fact the “Wellstone funeral.” In addition, the latest fake controversy provides further evidence that it’s pretty safe not to take anyone who still uses the phrase “x is y on steroids” in 2009 seriously…
. . . well no they haven’t actually won anything yet of course, and indeed aren’t even in first place, but having eliminated all but two of the Dodgers’ 15-game lead over them they’re threatening to make one of the biggest comebacks, and precipitate one of the biggest collapses, in baseball history. (LA is still in good shape for the wild card but who knows what’ll happen if they get overtaken for the division lead after so many months of cruising?)
Anyway it’s too bad Denver is really a football town, as the Rockies have been a lot of fun to watch, and have pulled off a bunch of great comeback wins this summer.
Remarkably, Colorado was on track to lose 100 games two months into the season (they were 20-32 on June 3rd), and have played at a 113-victory season pace since then (52-22).
Nate Silver’s linked article is funny in a morbid way, in that he wrote it at almost exactly the moment the Mets began what turned out to be the second-most spectacular collapse, statistically speaking, in baseball history.