• NATO is escorting some high-level Taliban leaders that they were previously trying to kill to Kabul so that they will make nice with Hamid Karzai and the Afghan government and we can all go home, hooray! "High-level" does not include Mullah Omar, who is apparently a "prisoner" of the Pakistani ISI spy agency. Oh, and the ISI -- which, we should emphasize, is the spy agency of one of our allies -- will kill any Taliban leaders who try to make peace, because, uh, it's complicated! [NYT]
  • Also, 23 percent of the ballots from last month's Afghan parliamentary election have been thrown out, because of fraud. But from another, more optimistic perspective, a full 87 77 percent [gah it is too early for math] of ballots from last month's Afghan parliamentary election weren't fraudulent, or at least nobody can prove that they were. [AP]
  • Democrat Alexi Giannoulias and Republican Mark Kirk are locked in a tight struggle for Barack Obama's old Senate seat in Illinois, mostly because nobody likes either of them; they had a debate last night, each trying to convince Illinoisians (Illinoisers? Illinoisiacs?) that the other one is worse. "Why did you lie about your military awards, all the time?" asked Giannoulias. "Why were you such a coward that you never even joined the military so you could lie about the awards you got there?" countered Kirk. [AP]
  • Who is it who even likes Democrats, anymore? Ladies? Unions? How about ... ladies in unions? [CNN]
  • Shockingly, Republican candidates who have been rambling on all campaign about how gosh darn it we need to cut spending, now, don't have any specific suggestions on cuts that make sense in terms of actual math. [NYT]
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