Today, while the Supreme Court was hearing day 3 of arguments on the Affordable Healthcare Act, the East-West Institute was holding a conference in Washington on “Affordable World Security.” That unfortunate echo of name doesn’t mean one should write off the conference out of hand. But this thrifty crowd included, along with former CIA chief Michael Hayden, such personalities as Chas Freeman (the Israel-bashing Saudi-flacking former U.S. diplomat who praised the “overly cautious” behavior of China’s government in crushing the 1989 Tiananmen uprising), Oscar Arias Sanchez (peacenik Nobelist ex-president of Costa Rica, which freeloads off Western defense while priding itself on having constitutionally abolished its army), and Earth Policy Institute President Lester Brown (saving the world with wind and vegetarianism, Keystone Pipeline not wanted).

Out of the discussion floated a line from Washington Post reporter Dana Priest, included in the conference press release, that deserves a prize for Neville Chamberlain Quote of the Day:

“In a very politicized system,” Priest said, “cutting defense…can so easily be called ‘soft on defense.’”

Yep. It sure can.