From the Financial Times last week:

Iran ‘ready to help’ US with Iraq stability
By Roula Khalaf and Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Tehran
Published: October 1 2007 03:00 | Last updated: October 1 2007 03:00

Iran is ready to help the US stabilise Iraq if Washington were to present a timetable for withdrawing its troops from the country, Tehran’s top security official said yesterday.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Ali Larijani, head of the Supreme National Security Council, which answers to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, rejected US claims that Tehran was providing weapons to Iraqi militias. He insisted instead that the trouble with Iraq was that the Bush administration was pursuing a “dead-end strategy”.

In contrast, he suggested that both the US Democrats and Britain were getting it right in Iraq. The Democrats’ push for a timetable for withdrawal “seems to be logical”, he said, and the British were “more intelligent than the Americans”, having made the “necessary adjustments” and retreated to Basra airport.


The plans to bomb Iran are not final, but appear to be well past the fanciful stage, according to a long piece by Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker:

‘They’re moving everybody to the Iran desk,’ one recently retired C.I.A. official said. ‘They’re dragging in a lot of analysts and ramping up everything. It’s just like the fall of 2002′-the months before the invasion of Iraq, when the Iraqi Operations Group became the most important in the agency. He added, ‘The guys now running the Iranian program have limited direct experience with Iran. In the event of an attack, how will the Iranians react? They will react, and the Administration has not thought it all the way through.’

That theme was echoed by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national-security adviser, who said that he had heard discussions of the White House’s more limited bombing plans for Iran. Brzezinski said that Iran would likely react to an American attack ‘by intensifying the conflict in Iraq and also in Afghanistan, their neighbors, and that could draw in Pakistan. We will be stuck in a regional war for twenty years.’


So these two freshmen lesbian legislators in a state I won’t name have made lots of straight male friends (‘on account of it turns out they’re just real nice folks,’ you can imagine one of the men saying) . . . and sometimes one of the guys will call the gals on the phone from across the chamber – they have special phones on the floor to talk with one another – to point out a particularly attractive visitor in the gallery that they all can discreetly admire.

One day, Fox sent in a new reporter who, well, was a fox, and one of the guys called his two lesbian pals to point her out.

‘I could see immediately who he meant,’ one of the lesbians told me, ‘but my colleague didn’t have a clear line of sight and had to sort of half stand to get a view – at which point, the Speaker, thinking she was rising to be heard, asked, on the record, ‘for what purpose does the gentlelady from [wherever] rise?’

She froze, and with a little panicked coaching from her colleague, drew her thumb laterally across her neck in the universal sign for ‘kill that,’ mumbled something, and sat down.

But can’t you just see the movie version of this?

‘Mr. Speaker, I rise to get a better look at the correspondent from Fox News.’


Motley Fool has a helpful analysis here. If the deal goes through and you hang on to your resulting shares in Toronto-Dominion Bank, tax is due only on the gain from the 25% of the deal that’s for cash. It looks as though, all in, we’ll have made about 40% before tax.


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