Chestertown Friday: Thoughts on John Bolton



There are some TWN readers on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, despite the comments of one student I met recently at the colonial era college, Washington College, who first asked “What’s a blog?” after a lecture I gave there. After I responded, he said, “I don’t think we have blogs on the Eastern shore.” Nice guy actually, but he’s wrong. There are bloggers out here — and today, Mark Schmitt of The Decembrist is allegedly in Chestertown too, though not…

Matt Stoller Shares Lessons on Ned Lamont & McCain-Lieberman



My good friend, Matt Stoller of MyDD, has scolded me just a bit for some minor swipes I took at the leftish blogosphere. I probably deserved the swat. Nonetheless, Stoller has an excellent follow-on article to my post about Marshall Wittman and the effort to shape the centrist cosmetics of a McCain-Lieberman 2008 White House run. He saw this same dynamic in the Lamont-Lieberman Senate race in Connecticut, and what Matt Stoller understands that sizeable chunks of the left-progressive blogosphere…

Marshall Wittman Envy & a 2008 McCain-Lieberman Ticket



The politically ambidextrous king of one-line political zingers Marshall Wittman has made bloggers and traditional style journalists go bonkers the last couple of days. He’s going back to work in the Senate, but this time for an Independent. I wondered what was going on when Wittman moth-balled on November 17th his thoughtful blog, The Bull Moose, which frequently seemed to be tracking issues similar to what I was writing and thinking about (or I him) — with us occasionally on…

The Pelosi-Harman Fault Line



Nancy Pelosi and Jane Harman have been on a collision course for some time. They are both very tough-minded, opinionated, media savvy Democrats on the rise, and they have been knocking into each other for some time while still feigning mutual admiration. None of us — or them — come with a perfect package of policy views and perspectives. I admire Nancy Pelosi a great deal, but her views on China concern me, and her tendency to promote loyalists and…

A Grameen Gala and Ted Turner’s Birthday



(Nobel Peace Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus, former President Bill Clinton, and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton; UN Foundation Dinner, 19 Nov 2006, photo credit: Jennifer Willis) Last night, Washington’s political stars turned out to pay homage to the banker who started in 1976 lending $27 to 42 people in one village in Bangladesh. Muhammad Yunus and many of his colleagues from the Grameen Bank were feted at an extraordinary reception and dinner gathering — on a Sunday night — at the…

Jealous of James Baker? Kissinger Changes Tune



According to Bob Woodward’s recent book State of Denial, Henry Kissinger reportedly advised the Bush administration that “victory was the only way out of Iraq.” Now, according to this AP report, Kissinger seems to be changing his tune. In an interview Sunday with the BBC, Kissinger stated: If you mean by ‘military victory’ an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control…

Is Democracy Good for the Middle East?



UPDATE: EVENT MAXED OUT The Hudson Institute does not have this event noted on its website, but Richard Weitz has assembled an interesting panel discussion regarding Democracy in the Middle East on Monday, 20 November, noon-2 pm that will take place at the Hudson Institute’s offices in Washington. C-Span will cover the event. It will be taped and broadcast later. C-Span will post the broadcast times on its website. The speakers include: Steve Clemons, New America Foundation and The Washington…

New Resource at IISS: “Flashpoint” on Iraq’s Descent into Chaos



(IISS Director of Studies and former Bush administration US AID official Patrick Cronin) Patrick Cronin, Director of Studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, has sent me a new publication from the IISS Armed Conflict Database titled “Flashpoint”. I “think” I have permission to link it here, but may have to take this down if Patrick Cronin tells me that this is a ‘members and friends only’ document. (please note that the order of the pdf pages is off…