1. "The politicians who spent two minutes saluting Remsburg seemed to evade responsibility for putting him there in the first place.

    Sure Remsburg could be a symbol of a nation that doesn’t quit. But he could also be a symbol of a nation that sometimes makes tragic mistakes as well.”

    — Taegan Goddard, in Should presidents use wounded soldiers as political props?

     

  2. Sarah Palin, the former 2008 vice presidential candidate and author of Going Rogue: An American Life, is reportedly authoring a new book. “Our family is writing a book on fitness and self-discipline focusing on where we get our energy and balance as we still eat our beloved homemade comfort foods!,” she recently told People magazine."We promise you what we do works." 

    What should the new book be called? We asked readers to come up with some potential titles. Here are the best

     


  3. Why aren’t Obama and Romney talking about Afghanistan?

    Forty-three Afghans were killed in a string of shootings and bombings across their country on Tuesday, in the deadliest day for civilians this year. Yet despite an increasingly heated presidential race, neither President Obama nor his GOP rival, Mitt Romney, is talking about the war effort, or the speed of withdrawal, on the campaign trail. Why the silence?

    1. Neither has a clue what to do there: There are plenty of reasons why Obama and Romney have “said so little about Afghanistan,” says Dexter Filkins at The New Yorker. “Their positions are virtually identical, the economy is more important, etc.” Moreover, the U.S. is scheduled to stop fighting there in 28 months, and every day it becomes clearer that the Afghan state is taking over “a failing, decrepit enterprise,” despite the 11 years, $400 billion, and 2,000 American lives we have lost there. Now, neither Obama nor Romney “knows what to do about the place.”
       
    2. There’s no political gain in it: Speaking up on Afghanistan “could easily cost Obama or Romney votes,” says Andrew J. Polsky at Oxford University Press. Obama’s campaign strategy calls for appealing to centrists while mobilizing a Democratic base that is “conspicuously unenthusiastic about the Afghanistan conflict.” The “political math” is pretty similar for Romney, and his base, except for some diehard conservatives, has no more “taste for the war” than anybody else.
       
    3. Afghanistan just isn’t as important as it (briefly) was: Everyone would be talking about Afghanistan if it “were truly a vital strategic interest, says Stephen M. Walt at Foreign Policy. But it’s not. “It’s a land-locked and impoverished country thousands of miles from our shores,” and the only reason we went there at all was because some “misguided crackpots” hiding out there “got very lucky in staging a dramatic attack on U.S. soil.” Now that they’ve all been “scattered and/or killed,” Afghanistan has gone back to being “the strategic backwater it has always been.” If the election’s winner is smart, he won’t think about Afghanistan any more than Carter and Reagan did about Vietnam.
     

  4. There used to be a thriving trade in the relics of Christian saints — St. Anthony’s voice box, a vial of St. Gennaro’s blood, splinters from the cross used in Jesus’ crucifixion — and by those standards, a British auction for a tube of Ronald Reagan’s dried blood makes perfect sense, especially if you revere the former president. Of course, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation doesn’t see it that way.

    If the blood sample, purportedly from Reagan’s hospital stay when he was recovering from being shot in 1981, is real, auctioning it off is “a craven act and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase,” says the foundation. Many Reagan fans disagree — the top bid is already north of $14,000. Still, Reagan’s blood isn’t even the strangest celebrity relic to hit the auction block recently.

    7 other gross celebrity items sold at auction