All politics this time...
• Two bleak but elegant summations of where we are now. Although I don't agree with it completely, I think that the first of these is the one link from this round-up that I would most hope my Noble Readers would read:
- Chris Floyd, Post-Mortem America
- Tom Engelhardt, Empire of Stupidity
• As Petraeus delivers his oh-so objective report, a very good post by Kevin Drum called "The Chaos Hawks", about the devolution of pro-war hawks and what they are arguing for. The call for the utmost suspicion of these people is implied, but no less convincing for that. (I'm not going to link to the numerous proofs of Petraeus's political hackery or the essential mendacity of the supposed success of the surge, because they're all over the place and I assume everyone's seen them. If you haven't, leave a comment and I'll add them in an update. Or just open your !@#$% eyes.) (Update: Drum has a follow-up post here.)
• Jonathan Schwartz on the Iron Law of Institutions. He's writing in the context of those of us who are furious at the Democrats right now, but I think he's onto something bigger about how institutions work in general.
• Reporter Chris Hedges on the Next Quagmire.
• Did I ever link to Matt Taibbi's hilarious take-down of Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat? I don't remember, but I don't think so. But I know for certain that Friedman never read it because he's still writing his columns, rather than having quit and pursued a career as a sidewalk car window-washer.
• Have all of you seen the latest video at the Real Rudy site about Giuliani and 9/11? Well, most of you probably don't need to. But if anyone thinks well of Giuliani's 9/11 performance, have them watch it. (Also on youtube.)
• Famous English-language Baghdad blogger Riverbend finally posts to let us all know she's okay. But she is an exile, in Syria: one more casualty of Bush's criminal war.