* bolton gets slammed by jeremy paxman on the beeb. 8 mins.
"Fortunately, we have seasoned men among us who know how to put such tragedies into perspective, hunks of presidential timber such as John McCain, who made at least one dunce happy when he responded, "We have to look at what happened here, but it doesn't change my views on the Second Amendment, except to make sure that these kinds of weapons don't fall into the hands of bad people."* thoreau @ henley's:
Yes, Maverick McCain is now so far gone in the metamorphosis into pod personhood that he's now using Dubya locutions such as "bad people," which is only a short hop away from designating the harm-doers as "bad folks." It never seems to occur to our national simplifiers that many of the homicides in this country are not committed by career Bad People but by seemingly Good People who psychotically snap or lose their tempers in an altercation; and that there are plenty of Bad People in this country who, while expressing their destructive impulses in a myriad of ways, manage not to pick up a weapon and leave a multiple death toll. The notion that the answer to gun violence is to allow Good People to arm themselves and to keep guns out of the itchy paws of Bad People is a fatuous fantasy, particularly since the gun lobby and gun merchants work so strenuously to keep laws and regulations lax and loosy-goosy, regardless of the human consequences."
"It may be that we have no choice but to be friendly with Pakistan (indeed, I’m generally in favor of being friendly with other countries, because it beats the hell out of armed confrontation, as I noted in my post on Iran today), but Musharaf is probably one of the least trustworthy of our “friends.” He may not be as brutal as some of the leaders that we’ve befriended in Central Asia (I believe that Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan still holds the coveted “Most Brutal–Central Asia Region, Varsity League” title), but the double game that he plays, alternately befriending and then cracking down on religious extremists, makes him by far the most dangerous, in the bigger picture.
The best hope for Pakistan and the rest of the world is that the Pakistani middle class does something about Musharaf, and elects a liberal, secular government to replace him. The alternatives (either Musharaf remaining in power, removal by radicals, removal by equally treacherous military men, or removal by foreigners) are unacceptable. And if he won’t accept the results of an election? Well, the Pakistani middle class will have to make some hard decisions, then."
* bob harris:
"PS: I also think somebody should be comparing the amount of airtime Vonnegut’s passing is getting compared to the death of Anna Nicole Smith. I believe the ratio might provide an exact, scientific, numerical measure on our misplaced priorities."
* via froomkin:
"About 57 percent now say the United States can succeed in the terrorism fight without winning the Iraq war, an increase of 10 percentage points since January, when Americans were almost evenly divided on the question.""i'd love to see a poll question: is there a War on Terror?