JUNE 30….Despite the horrifically bad news out of Iraq ? we now have major problems with the Sunnis and the Shiites, and the Kurds sure as hell aren’t going to want a piece of this ? one thing is staying constant: “The deadline remains firm.”

That’s George Bush saying that the June 30 deadline for turning over power in Iraq isn’t going to change. I honestly don’t know if that’s right or wrong, but it’s frankly hard to see how the IGC is going to be better equipped to handle this stuff than Paul Bremer. It’s also curious that ? as near as I can tell ? practically everything is negotiable in Iraq these days except for one thing: that June 30 date is sacrosanct. Why is that?