Just a few quick hits today:
CSM has a strong article on the politicization of federal educational and research funding. It's just one more arena for compromised politicians to extend their tentacles into. Remember when Newt Gingrich built a Republican majority around the idea of clean government?
On to Lebanon. It seems that a small coalition of moderate-conservative realists is coalescing around the Andrew Sullivan blog. These include the Cunning Realist, Dan Drezner, and the Belgravia Dispatch. That last, the Belgravia Dispatch, is the source of the single best piece I've seen on Lebanon so far. Key point:
...this was more by way of an ill-advised temper tantrum than a serious military operation, as Arik Sharon would himself admit, if only he were aware of the disaster underway. Sharon would have recalled previous Lebanese quagmires and would have well understood (aided by the wisdom of years and the lack of any need to prove himself) that resort to airpower, in the main, cannot succeed in this context, with the specter of hundreds and hundreds of civilian deaths earning Israel international opprobrium in every world capital (save Washington), and that there is no real, sustained post-'82 appetite in Israel for a massive land incursion regardless, not least given the ultimate futility of same. No, Sharon would likely have chastised Ehud Olmert for his impestuous over-reaction, one so helpfully fanned on by myopic strategic blunderers and amateurs in Washington, both in policy and journalistic circles.
Also, here's a link to Ron Suskind's latest Miller Center appearance. He was there in late June speaking about the One Percent Doctrine. As always he was animated, entertaining, and insightful. He at moments comes off a little bit arrogant, a little pushy, and has the feel of a televangelist. But in general there probably isn't a more captivating speaker on politics and the Bush administration. I've gone back to the video of his last Miller Center speech several times, and I'm sure I'll come back to this one too.
And finally, this is a bit odd for TBWJ, but I thought I'd post a link to this TV ad. Yes it's for Dow Chemical, yes Dow is probably still evil. But it's some of the prettiest photography I've seen in any sort of video, much less a commercial. It plays sometimes before the PBS Newshour, and I can't recall the last time I was so riveted by a TV ad.