Excellent advice from Bill Clinton to Sarah Palin on her video: "I very much sympathize with her anger. I think she genuinely was metaphorically wounded by these charges. Having said that, if you want to be a presidential candidate, you probably should let other people answer media critics, and you should deal with things that at a sort of presidential level. And it wasn't necessary, I think, for her to defend herself explicitly in an eight-minute video. She had plenty of people out there defending her against these unjust charges."
Excellent analysis from Khairi Abaza: "Some in the West have long argued that because of the lack of a viable liberal alternative, supporting authoritarian regimes in Arab countries is the only political choice against the Islamists. Now, in Tunisia, as people flood into the streets demanding democracy, we see that this is not the case. It was not the case in Iran in 1979 either, but the West was so invested in the Shah that it failed to strongly back the liberal opposition. We don't have to repeat that error today."
Excellent debunking from Bob Kagan on proposed cuts in defense funding. "The looming battle over the defense budget could produce a useful national discussion about American foreign and defense policy. But we would need to begin by dispensing with the most commonly repeated fallacy: that cutting defense is essential to restoring the nation's fiscal health. People can be forgiven for believing this myth, given how often they hear it." Read the whole thing.
Excellent discussion from CNN's State of the Union on mental health. After a week, we seem to have finally gotten to the right issue.
Excellent point (and quite a zinger) from Chris Christie on why he's not running for president. "I don't think you run just because political opportunity is there. That's how we wind up with politicians who aren't ready for their jobs." Ouch.
Excellent news from Michael Totten on Tunisia. "It briefly appeared that the government in Tunisia might survive with a different man at the top, but today it looks like they're actually getting regime-change."
Excellent warning from Charles Blow. "Concocting connections to advance an argument actually weakens it. The argument for tonal moderation has been done a tremendous disservice by those who sought to score political points in the absence of proof." We can only hope his colleagues heed it.
| January 17, 2011; 7:45 AM ET
Categories: Morning Bits
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