Everyone should be allowed to slip. McCain recently referred to current events in ‘Czechoslovakia’ (which has not been a country since 1993) . . . and also to ‘the Iraq/Pakistan border’ (Iraq and Pakistan do not share a border; a country called Iran separates them – for an amusing map, click here).

But that doesn’t mean we can afford a commander in chief who repeatedly confuses whether Iran is predominantly Sunni or Shiia (it’s Shiia) or who needs Senator Lieberman to correct his repeated misstatements about whom Iran is arming (the insurgents, not Al-Qaeda) or who tells Katie Couric yesterday that Obama has it all wrong – ‘the surge’ began ‘the Anbar Awakening’ (Anbar awakened months before the surge was even announced, let alone initiated).

If this seems as trivial as that ‘gotcha’ question from 1999, when a reporter asked Texas Governor Bush to name the leaders of India and Pakistan (I mean: who the hell knows stuff like that? and what possible relevance could it have to choosing the next president?), I’d urge you to read this explanation of why it actually does matter.

*Tuesday I divided $9 billion by $3 trillion and told you it was ‘three-thousandths of one percent.’ As Greg Stathis kindly pointed out, it is simply ‘three-thousandths’ – or three-tenths of one percent. The point stands – even three-tenths of one percent is tiny – but mea culpa nonetheless.
 

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