I feel I haven’t adequately addressed the gravity of a renewal of overt (I’m sure the covert stuff has never stopped) U.S. military activity in Iraq today. So I’ve offered a bit more talk on the subject in the remains of the day:

* Big question seems to be whether U.S. airstrikes on ISIS represent humanitarian mission and “breathing space” for Kurds, or something bigger and more sustained.

* Interesting Peter Beinart column reminds us that first senator calling for “humanitarian intervention” in Cambodia in 1978 was none other than George McGovern.

* In contrary take, TNR’s John Judis says current intervention in Iraq is mainly about oil, and the fear of economic and strategic consequences of ISIS control of Kurdish wells.

* At Ten Miles Square, Henry Farrell suggests that attacks on Rick Perlstein’s The Invisible Bridge for invisible “plagiarism” may mainly reflect anger at a leftist writer daring to challenge the official hagiography of the Gipper, so central to the conservative narrative of recent history.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer argues MOOCs more likely to supplement than replace traditional college instruction.

And in non-political news:

* Fascinating overview of the “writer’s revolt” against Amazon’s tactics in pressuring publishers on e-book fees.

That’s it for Friday. David Atkins is on vacation, so D.R. Tucker is at the controls for Weekend Blogging. Let’s close with an unintentionally ironic “Nixon’s the One” ad from 1968. You can hum all sorts of funny things as musical accompaniment.


Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.