Tim Weiner in The New Republic on John Brennan Not everyone thinks Obama made the right choice in nominating John Brennan for director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Most pointedly, some have questioned his involvement in targeted drone assassinations in the Middle East. Tim Weiner has his reservations, too, but after looking over the CVs of others potentially qualified to run the CIA, he concludes that Brennan is "the best of a bad lot." Weiner argues that he's uniquely prepared to modernize the agency, writing, "Having served in the CIA command structure, Brennan knows how bloated and bureaucratic the Agency can be. Langley hasn’t had anything approaching a major overhaul since the 1950s."
Jonathan Chait in New York on elusive centrist debt solutions After reading the same boilerplate argument — that Washington needs a centrist solution to the deficit crisis — Jonathan Chait argues that not only is it meaningless... it's deceptive. "The elite centrist drone is emitted by people who deem non-partisanship an essential part of their job description," Chait writes. "If they concede that one party is advocating their agenda, then you could flip the sentiment around and correctly conclude that they are advocating the agenda of a party; therefore, they would be partisan and have thus forfeited the entire basis of their claim to respectability."