Here are some columns to chew on whilst on your coffee break or to print off for lunchtime mental enrichment.
First, Judge Richard Posner on the intelligence failure reports in the WaPo. HisHonor wrote a brilliant dissent from the 9-11 Commission report that the NY Times published last August.
Next, Anne Applebaum knows all about Commie hellholes (she wrote a history of the Soviet gulag system titled "Gulag," which you can check out by clicking the Amazon link in the left margin). She discusses the oft-repeated assertion that the Pope helped fight communism.
The Weekly Standard includes a report from Oliver Guitta about current race relations in France between those who consider their nationality "French" and those who claim their nationality as "Muslim".
And finally (for now), The American Conservative's Prowler column essentially exposes the reality of the US delegation to the Pope's funeral. As you know, the President will be the first US president to attend a pontiff's funeral and the US delegation will include former presidents Clinton and George H. W. Bush. Former President Carter hoped to go too, and through his Carter Center people had contacted the White House and offered the Bush Administration to "lead the U.S. delegation should the President or other senior Bush administration officials not be able to attend." This contrasts with this AP report statement:
Former President Carter had hoped to go as well, but backed off when told the Vatican had limited the official delegation to five "and there were also others who were eager to attend," said Jon Moore, a spokesman for the Carter Center in Atlanta.
That's a complete crock. The official US delegation includes Bush, Bush, Clinton, Rice and that's it. The Monk counts four people there. Yesterday Carter went public with his disappointment at not being invited. The White House's internal reaction is "why should we care?" After all, Carter has been a heinous ex-President in the past 4+ years by openly criticizing and seeking to undermine this President. He also cajoled Clinton into the awful Agreed Framework that let the NorKors go nuclear and worked behind the scenes at the UN to undermine Pres. Bush pere during the first Gulf War. The Prowler report (and the column tends to get good inside scoop) notes one current Administration official who said the most honest assessment: "I would be surprised if a single person gave a thought to including him in the delegation."