Meet the new year, same as the old year...
Captain Ed notes that Musharraf has done another U-turn under pressure and said he will allow a team of Scotland Yard detectives to "assist" in the investigation of Bhutto's death - which means he's sure his people have hosed any evidence of high-level complicity away. The British team will be in Pakistan by the end of the week.
Meanwhile the elections - which Bhutto said Mushie was preparing to rig - have been delayed until Feb. 18th. By then Bhutto's PPP may have split along ethnic lines, as the head of the family wants the dynastic succession to go to "a real Bhutto", not a pair of Baluchi interlopers. If so, Sharif and Musharraf will be quite happy about it.
I'm fairly sure neither the eldest Bhutto nor many other Pakistanis will be happy about Benazir's heir playing dress-up in a Satan costume while cuddling some Western blonde. "Serious and Muslim statesman" it isn't.
Ali Eteraz explains why all the fearmongering about an Islamist electoral victory in Pakistan, should the election not be rigged somehow, is just that.
Smintheus at DKos notes that Bush signed the Open Government Act on New Year's Eve, without comment, and the White House website plays down its most important provisions. "It was almost as if Bush wanted to avoid drawing attention to a victory for government transparency." All those surprised by this raise your hands. Nobody?
His Vorpal Sword does a j'accuse on the South - is it all about the slavery?
Dave at The Glittering Eye is collecting predictions for 2008.
Walter Russell Mead, very serious foreign policy thinker and Democratic hawk, writes that the real reason for US interventionism is a heritage of benevolent hegemony passed on from the Brits. Dave Schuler (again) gets in on the act with a piece on the limits of interventionism. Is a single cop who bullies with a big stick, plays favorites when applying the law and takes bribes really so much better than no cop at all or a bunch of crooked cops with balancing competing interests?
PoliBlogger aka Dr Steven Taylor brings back the Toast-O-Meter for 2008.
Oil just hit the once-unthinkable $100 a barrel mark. Oil may not be the actual motive for interventionism but there's no doubt some folks are making a killing from oil money.
U.S. admissions of Iraqi refugees are nose-diving despite a pledge to boost them to roughly 1,000 per month - the number admitted has actually slid from 450 in October to 362 in November and 245 in December.
Gareth Porter of IPS has a great analysis looking at signs of a split between Gates and Rice over Iran policy. Where there's a crack, the neocons will doubtless try to insert a wedge.