This AP story begins:
The Obama administration’s decision to suspend $800 million in aid to the Pakistan’s military signals a tougher U.S. line with a critical but sometimes unreliable partner in the fight against terrorism.
I’ve highlighted the word “but” because using it in this instance might very well be the reason that the children scream “uh-oh!” in those Spaghetti-Os commercials. “…a critical but sometimes unreliable partner…” Huh? Hear me out: I like buts and I cannot lie, yet the word “critical” and the phrase “sometimes unreliable” are not contradictory in any way. If anything, I would have opted for the word and in this case (“…a critical and sometimes unreliable…”).
If the AP wrote something like “…a critical but sometimes cooperative partner…” then they’d be making sense.
Shit just ain’t write.