It's the close of another week in which the doomsday fuse burned shorter... ever shorter.
Washington these days sometimes feels like that old Cold War joke about the guy who frets his whole life about dying in a nuclear attack, then learns World War III has begun and the Soviet missiles are on their way. "Oh thank heavens, what a relief!" he says, glad about not having to worry anymore.
A lot of people expect Congress' "super committee" to fail next week in getting a bargain to save the Republic -- though who knows? But success or failure, in whatever form, at least will bring a new inflection point in this saga, and maybe we'll be able to lift the needle off the broken record of "hard choices," "everything on the table," "strategy-driven" and all the rest of it.
Here were some of the stories we didn't get a chance to write about this week as this was all playing out:
• HASC Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon warns the super committee members not to assume Congress will void sequestration for DoD or overall if they can't reach a bargain, writes The Hill's John Bennett.
• It's crazy that there's such a big lobby for "homeland" missile defense when, let's be honest, there aren't very many legitimate missile threats against the continental U.S., writes Time's Mark Thompson.
• Here's an echo of something you've read here -- despite all these endless calls for a "strategy" to guide DoD's potential budget build-down, America is really bad at actually coming up with "grand strategies," writes HuffPo's David Wood.
• DoD made very sure that Iran got word this week about the Air Force's new delivery of 30,000-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrators, which can drop from a B-2 and ruin your whole day, writes Yahoo News' Laura Rozen.
• Despite all the wrangling and machinations and bad noise, U.S. and Canadian officials vowed for the ten thousand time that they remain 100 percent locked in to the F-35, write Reuters' Phil Stewart and David Alexander.