All the signs are pointing to a serious screw-up. Patience is one thing. But the reporting from the country, including this devastating account from a pro-war writer, suggests that the state of affairs there is spiraling out of control. Even if the voters won’t punish Bush for finding no WMDs, they sure as hell will hold him responsible if Iraq collapses into chaos or civil war. And they should.

THE BOYD ISSUE: Mickey Kaus’s New York Times mole ends his/her latest missive with these words: “Here’s the moose in The Times newsroom: Gerald Boyd.” So far, Boyd, who has distanced himself from Jayson Blair faster than Rupaul from Rick Santorum, is indeed an interesting case. Given what has happened, it’s amazing no one has taken responsibility and quit at the Times. Usually, the head-guy gets his underling to walk the plank, which, in this case, would be Boyd. But the Times can hardly be seen to fire not one but two black staffers, so Boyd stays. (I’m not saying he’s more responsible than Raines, just that he’d be the usual scapegoat guy.) The result, I think, is the worst of all worlds for the Times. The current leadership is the problem; everyone knows it; but no one will budge. There’s an obvious solution: bring in the remarkably sane Bill Keller to replace Raines; and promote the hero Jonathan Landman to replace Boyd. But pride won’t let Sulzberger do what has to be done to save the Times from itself. And that’s the real moose in the room.

A WEBSITE FOR HOWELL: A solution to his condescending diversity obsession?

A STIFF UPPER LIP: A British golfer gets hit by lightning – twice in one round. He’s not taking it personally.