This is a fair assessment of a short essay I wrote about Clinton, Obama, and cluster bombs. From the assessment:

If it’s symbolic, you make your vote symbolize what’s right, not what makes you look patriotic to the warmongers. The right thing is to make it clear that you want us to win our battles against opponents without raining a bunch of tiny bombs that look like toys on neighborhoods full of children.

Oh, and another thing: Right around the time this happened, Clinton took PAC money from Textron, a company that makes cluster bombs. Obama doesn’t take PAC money from anybody. Coincidence, maybe.

(My emphasis.)

Here is my short essay.

REFLECTIONS WEEK: “Music for reflection”

Ladies and gentlemen. . . THE SUPREMES!

Origin of Anton Chighur’s hairstyle??? Just kidding, these ladies were twenty times more bad-ass than some one-dimensional psycho character. . . SOL. . . (“Serious Out Loud”)


I’m supposed to be writing a book proposal. I can’t do any more REFLECTIONS. . . I’m going to post everything I have left. See you on Monday.

PS: I guess I should say something about the five-year anniversary of the Iraq war — add my own “reflections” to the mix, as it were.

Honestly? I think it was kind of a mistake.


I knew Jacob Weisberg would drop one of the very best REFLECTIONS of all time. This is the guy who said people who voted against Bush in 2004 because of the Iraq war weren’t taking the threat of terrorism seriously enough.

This isn’t just a matter of fessing up to error. It’s incumbent upon those of us who blew the biggest foreign-policy decision of the past decade to try to understand our mistake — and to try to learn something from it.

Reminds me of that old hippie song:

To every season / turn, turn, turn / there is a reason / learn, learn, learn / learn from your mistakes and keep typing, typing, typing / you’ll always have a job / turn, turn, turn.

One theme that has emerged in this discussion is the hazard that those who wrongly supported one intervention will flinch too reflexively from another that deserves our support. I share this concern.

(My emphasis, because: LOVE.)

What? A wall? That you somehow get driven up? I don’t understand — you drive YOURSELF up the wall? Or does the essay somehow do it? Is the essay, like, a car? Huh? Wait, wait, why are you crying? Aren’t you excited to take a free trip up the wall???


Photo credit: Fotosearch. AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.


Every so often, you get to watch someone realize they’re just plain sick of the bullshit. I think, for this guy, it happens at :55.

He’s thinking, “This is my life. This is my life.”

And then—


(I love how my man says, “He’s half-white!” Cedric Daniels award, guys? I think he earned it.)

By the way, those anchors are really smart, huh? Man. I wish I could hear more from them, I would probably learn a lot.


One of my favorite people-I-always-read-even-though-he’s-culpable-for-my-internet-addiction weighs in on “What Obama can do.”

What Obama appears able to do is respond to traditional, sound bite, gutter politics by adding nuance, providing context and elevating the conversation — at least in certain circumstances.

Liberals have spent decades trying to figure out how to deal with a political landscape and a vapid media that abhors nuance and context, and searched for candidates who can speak without such complexity.

To have a leader that doesn’t always have to oversimplify the message in order to be heard is quite an asset.

Ahh, but is it an asset, Mr. Scher? Or is it a horrible liability that must be destroyed?

Speaking of curses (I originally wrote “curse” instead of “liability”), is it true that Aztecs made and used coins the size of manhole covers? I have this image in my head of Aztec dudes hanging out, leaning on their enormous coins. Or is that an old-wives’ tale?

REFLECTIONS WEEK: “Music for reflection”

The title of this song is “Reflections of Passion.”

One of my internet pet peeves is when someone embeds a youtube video on their site without giving any sense of what it is — you’re staring at some blurry-ass image wondering whether it’s worth your time to click on it. So let me be clear: This is worth your time.

From the comments to this video:

I…absolutely…..love this video. [REDACTED] has defined the meaning of passion……does no one here realise the emotion of this video? This is truly love here……compassion…….oh how I wish the world was a dream……as beautiful as this…..

LOL, sounds like Jeffrey Goldberg writing about the Iraq war. . . LOL. . .


Yes, it’s true. . . our week of REFLECTIONS is drawing to a close. . . the velvet curtains are about to cover the mirror once again. . . we must act quickly to catch a final, fleeting glimpse of ourselves. . .

Here’s a morning “flex” from Josef Joffe:

Still, “Where did we get it wrong?” remains a valid and compelling question. Though as a realist, I felt queasy about the “democratic peace theory” behind the war (“only despots make war, while democracies are inherently pacific”), I hesitantly thought, Why not? Maybe the fall of this horrifying regime would serve as an example to all the other despotisms in the neighborhood.

(My emphasis, because: Why not?)

Where did we get it wrong? . . Why did we all get it so wrong? . . Were we all so blind? . . Did we take a wrong turn when we were all on our field trip together? . . That was a fun field trip we all took. . . Remember when you gave me part of your sandwich, and I let you have a little of my juice box? . . WHY WERE WE ALL SO WRONG? . . (SOB)


We’ll be getting our first exit polls from Duke / Belmont in a bit. . .

UPDATE: Very interesting race coming out of Washington.

50% of the game reporting:


DUKE: 42

The race is tighter than many predicted. And Dick Vitale isn’t calling the game, so Duke is out one automatic delegate. Belmont is the clear favorite among independents in the crowd. Could Duke’s history of questionable campaign tactics be backfiring? Could we be seeing an “anti-flop” backlash?


Unbelievable . . . 99% of the game reporting. . .


DUKE: 69

People, this could be huge. . .

UPDATE III: Networks call it for Duke.*

100% of the game reporting:


DUKE: 71

A heartbreaker! Belmont almost pulls off an electoral coup. Duke came into this race with deeper institutional support and much, much more financing than Belmont. Belmont showed surprising organizational skills on the ground, and enjoyed overwhelming support from the netroots, but in the end it wasn’t enough. It’s hard to beat the machine.

If Belmont had won this race, everyone would’ve had egg on their face. Joshua Micah Marshall would have gone into early retirement; politico.com would have shut down completely.

John Zogby had Belmont by 35; how can people take him seriously at this point?

*Umm. . . nice apostrophe, ESPN. (Check out the “Men’s Basketball” banner.)