My friend Alex Massie, at The Spectator, had a critical take on my aforementioned post about the American isolationist streak, and I responded to him at Democracy in America. (Incidentally, Daniel Larison writes that my initial post on the subject was "one of the laziest of the year"; I know that's untrue, because I personally have written many lazier posts than that one.)

Also at DiA, I argued that Rick Perry's decision to punk the Iowa straw poll was characteristically clever. The Week gives a nod to my assessment, but Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and one of my favourite candidates in the last cycle, thinks it's bad manners and bad form. I then responded to Mr Huckabee, arguing that it's rather greedy for Iowa to expect people to care so much about their caucus and their straw poll, and that in any case, it's not bad strategy on Perry's part.

In this week's print edition, a story about stem cells: will the controversy over embryonic stem-cell research be dusted off for this year's elections? I would also like to share here a sentence I prepared for the article, which I had to remove on the "kill your darlings" principle: "Sometimes, a bundle of stem cells turns into a teratoma, a type of benign tumor that may have hair or even a tooth inside." I saw one of those once (with a tooth) and it was the weirdest thing I ever saw.


 



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