1. The President's last statement was pretty good. But determining to press on with negotiations no matter what is not. Oh, and the "come on over for halal dogs" tactic is...how can I put it...a great, barking obscenity. Should be an interesting set of conversations. "Hey, man, nice shot. How do those Basiji do that on motorcycles, anyway?"
2. What is "realist"ic about the belief that you can negotiate binding treaties with a regime that blatantly fixes its own elections? A better description is "fantastic"--in the old meaning of the term. Or an exercise in wish-fulfillment.
Realism, properly understood, is the recognition that you sometimes have to settle for the lesser of two evils.
3. By the way, you'll never avoid charges of outside interference with people who see British conspiracies in their falafel.
4. Her name was Neda, which means "voice" in Farsi. It's a pretty name, and her life had just started, with a marriage in the offing.
She deserved better than a horrific death at the hands of tyrants.
5. We need no more submissions: Our Shameless Narcissist of 2009 Award goes to Maureen Fiedler at the National Catholic [sic] Reporter. Here's a hint, Maureen: the fact the Swiss Guard didn't spray you with bullets or take runs at you with motorcycles and clubs just might be a hint from the Clue Lumbermill that your analogy sucks like a black hole. It's not all about you. Really.
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