I suppose it is on a slightly different vector, but I'd like to authorize a special shout-out for Bush II Shock-and-Awe and the campaign to spread democracy in the Middle East. Evidently nobody explained the ground rules to Dick Cheney who is pushing back against President Obama on Egypt, calling ensconced, 32-year dictator Hosni Mubarak a "good friend and ally." I feel his pain: it's been obvious from day one that the spectacle of "democracy in the Middle East" ought to scare the daylights of anyone who feels that the role of the Middle East is to serve as an appanage maintained to further American energy policy.
I still don't know quite what to do about this business about allowing states to go bankrupt: some voices in Congress seemed eager to speak out for it, but they are clearly meeting resistance from the bond market, not to mention a lot of state governors, including their own (note also an especially insightful piece by E.J. McMahon, pointing out that the state budget problem is really not those dreaded union compensation costs, but current mandates like