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Something Doesn't Fit

After rolling over the Iraqi National Army in much of the Sunni heartland of Iraq, ISIS has now made significant territorial gains in Iraqi Kurdistan. This isn't just bad news for the US inasmuch as the Iraqi Kurds have been close to the United States. It also suggests some major misreadings (perhaps more than one or two) of key elements of what is happening in what we might now call the former Iraq.

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Wipeout

By dropping out of the Montana Senate race, Sen. John Walsh brings a remarkable end to Democrats' carefully laid plans for holding what was Max Baucus' seat. In retrospect of course the plans for pushing Walsh were doomed from the outset by his yet-to-be-discovered plagiarism in his masters thesis. And today's withdrawal just makes official what was already knew, that his candidacy was toast. But the machinations to try to preserve this as a Democratic seat were extensive, which makes Wash's collapse so much more dramatic.

Remember that Baucus announced early last year that he would not seek re-election. By later making Baucus ambassador to China, President Obama enabled Montana's Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock to appoint Walsh, his lieutenant governor, as Baucus' successor months in advance of the election, giving him a big leg up. There was also a very public dustup over Harry Reid trying to clear other prospective Democratic candidates out of Walsh's way.

All they say about best laid plans, etc. This one stings for national Democrats.

Are You A *Real* Conservative?

You can see impeachment emerging as a wedge issue among Republicans. Or maybe more precisely as a litmus test, a basic measure of conservative bona fides. Right alongside opposing abortion or repealing Obamacare. No room for debate. You either are or you aren't. Here's Alaska's Joe Miller challenging one of his opponents for the GOP Senate nomination on whether he supports impeachment.

Was Lincoln a Racist?

Was Abraham Lincoln, the 'Great Emancipator', a racist? This question is raised again by the news that a copy of a book about 'racial science' has been identified as having Lincoln's handwriting in its pages.

It's a perennial question, a deeply anachronistic question, but also a critically important one given Lincoln's role as perhaps the most revered and significant political figure in all of American history. It's also a question I have some level of expertise on. So without trying to answer the question in a definitive way, I thought I would provide a few factual guideposts about how to approach the issue and what we know.

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