"The protocol dispute, more than a matter of simple semantics, reflects the tensions between the U.S. and China on a range of economic and foreign policy matters and also the expectation from White House officials that they won't achieve much during Hu's time in Washington."
The New York Times' Bumiller writes up the The Smoking Gun's posting of the Cheney travel rider. Note how the Timeswoman fails to include the Washington Post as part of the requested reading material. LINK
Politics of Iraq:
In a story complete with a dot drawing of Doug Feith, Wendy Morigi -- a spokeswoman for Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) -- tells the Wall Street Journal that the role of the former Undersecretary of Defense in the lead-up to the Iraq war is an "area of concern."
The debate over whether political appointees at the Pentagon "deliberately distorted intelligence and subverted analysis" by the CIA to "gin up support" for the invasion of Iraq is going to heat up next week when Republicans controlling the congressional investigation say they will finish a "spate of reports" on how the White House used pre-war intelligence.
"Even as military planners look to withdraw significant numbers of American troops from Iraq in the coming year, the Bush administration continues to request hundreds of millions of dollars for large bases there, raising concerns over whether they are intended as permanent sites for U.S. forces," writes Peter Spiegel of the Los Angeles Times. LINK
Whaddya mean is it a civil war? "Of course it's a civil war," writes the Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer. LINK
Politics of national security:
Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center writes a majority of Americans are not interested in the United States turning its back on the rest of the world, but there is a "growing wariness." LINK
"America's current mood is less a rejection of the rest of the world than it is a deep concern about terrorism and a growing wariness about America's own assertive foreign policy."
Politics of propaganda:
In an interview with the Associated Press while in Ankara, Turkey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace said the Pentagon should review its programs and "reveal when it pays foreign journalists for favorable news," reports the AP. LINK
Mickey Kaus on Dr./Sen./Leader Frist and immigration. LINK
Bossy Scot Lehigh raises the specter of Gov. Romney's father as he wonders what action Romney will take on a healthcare bill soon to hit his desk. Lehigh frames the choice for the Governor as one between many of his stated legislative goals on the one side and Grover Norquist on the other. LINK
The Boston Globe's Michael Paulson Notes that Gov. Mitt Romney's (R-MA) visit to Rome, "reflects two realities: the ongoing importance of Catholicism in Massachusetts and the rising importance of Catholics in presidential elections." LINK
Gov. Romney said his trip isn't about politics, per the Boston Herald's Kimberly Atkins. LINK
E.J. Montini of the Arizona Republic coyly takes issue with Sen. McCain's recent assertion to the Baltimore Sun that he does not lose his temper. LINK
In his must-read but basically-unaffordable New York Times column, Paul Krugman offers some "advice" to Secretary Snow about how to increase his credibility and attempts to teach him some things about the American economy. LINK