Required reading from around the web of the best, most interesting, or most though provoking things we’ve read:
Sha & Gannon: Defense Secretary James Mattis makes surprise visit to war-weary Kabul
“U.S. Defense Secretary James N. Mattis arrived on a surprise visit to Afghanistan’s war-shattered capital on Friday, the U.S. command in Afghanistan said, just days after a suicide bomber killed 21 people in the city and wounded 90 others. As helicopters patrolled the skies over Kabul, Mattis arrived accompanied by Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. He was expected to meet President Ashraf Ghani, presidential spokesman Mohammad Haroon Chakhansuri told The Associated Press. He was also expected to meet Afghan, U.S. and NATO military commanders.”
Anonymous: Who Ghostwrote the Times Op-Ed?
“They want to know: Who is ze? So do I, but, since ze is gutless, what’s the point of examining guts? I think a more effective path to unmasking zir is to consider who might have been zirs ghostwriter. […] As a former ghostwriter and press secretary, I would say almost surely the article was ghostwritten. It does not have a personal style. I also think it probably was shopped to the New York Times op-ed page by a person experienced in media relations and with a close, even confidential, relationship with the Gray Lady. This makes a prime suspect Kristol’s good friend Peter Wehner. Wehner is a veteran, Triple-A utility player in the leagues of neoconservative think tanks and journals. He is a sidekick of the Washington Post’s Church Lady, Michael Gerson, whom he assisted on the White House speechwriting staff during the presidency of George W. Bush. The article closely matches what Wehner and Gerson have been saying forever about President Trump and his administration. The whole litany is there, offering the Wehner/Gerson/Bill Kristol/Eliot Cohen version of right and wrong approaches to Russia, trade, international democracy, and the sanctity of John McCain. Most of all, the article is bathed in the self-righteous moralism for which Gerson and Wehner are famous.”
Pollak: ‘Spartacus’ Cory Booker ‘Broke Rules’ to Release Emails Already Cleared for Publication
“Booker, referring to himself as Spartacus — i.e. the slave who led a revolt in ancient Rome, and sacrifices himself in the Hollywood film version of the story — defiantly dared the Senate to oust him for breaking the rules of confidentiality. […] Later Thursday, Shannon Bream of Fox News reported that the emails had already been cleared for release by the committee at 4:00 a.m. EDT Thursday morning, after Democratic Senators on the committee belatedly asked chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to make them public. […] Fox News reported that Booker’s office had been informed that the documents had been cleared before the hearing.”