Gravity Takes Bite Out of “Obama Wind”



On This Week with George Stephanopoulos, conservative commentator George Will can generally be counted on to offer a stoic, offshore perspective of the internecine Democratic battles. Today, he made the point that Barack Obama has not won a single ‘major’ political contest against Hillary Clinton since Wisconsin on February 19th. He noted what many other observers have: Barack Obama’s campaign is losing steam. All hats off to those who correctly say that ‘mathematically’, it’s very hard to see how Hillary…

SHORT TAKES: Correspondents Dinner, More Debates, Collection Agencies, and the Grateful Dead



WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS’ DINNER Tonight, the mega-insider dinner party for White House-tethered media — and increasingly, bloggers, and their friends — is being held at the Washington Hilton. TWN was slated to attend but the chief correspondent got waylaid by a really awful chest cold that he would not have wished on anyone — not even those attending the dinner. This will be the LAST of President Bush’s WHCA dinners. Something to toast? CLINTON CHALLENGES OBAMA TO LINCOLN-DOUGLAS STYLE DEBATE…

The Syria Nukes Background Briefing



What follows is the transcript of the “background briefing” with Senior US officials on Syria’s alleged nuclear program. (pdf here) Office of the Director of National Intelligence Background Briefing with Senior U.S. Officials on Syria’s Covert Nuclear Reactor and North Korea’s Involvement April 24, 2008 SENIOR INTELLIGENCE OFFICIAL 1: Hello. My name is [Senior Intelligence Official 1]. And I have the start-off role. It’s been a pretty busy morning and afternoon, as you might imagine. We’ve been on the Hill…

Arabs Dislike Us For Our Actions — Not Our Values



University of Maryland Professor Shibley Telhami presented this week results from the 2008 Annual Arab Public Opinion Poll. This project was jointly undertaken by the Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland and Zogby International. Here as a pdf file is the entire 110 page powerpoint presentation. But the zinger graph is above. The views Arabs hold of Americans have little do with “values” — or in other words, George Bush’s assertion that “they hate…

The <em>TWN</em> Calendar



I have a few really cool opportunities for TWN readers. To attend the meetings in Washington, please RSVP with my colleague Ben Katcher at On Tuesday, I’m up in Boston for an event at which I’m speaking, and there is no need to RSVP for that. On Monday, 28 April, one of the most intelligent and provocative international thinkers I have had the privilege to know, Kishore Mahbubani, will be visiting Washington and speaking at the New America Foundation…

SHORT TAKES: Mutts, Politics & Small Towns, Eliot Spitzer, Pak Tribal Deals, China Surpasses US on Internet, McCain-Fiorina?



CHESTERTOWN MUTT STRUT Tomorrow at 9 am, the colonial era town that the National Trust for Historic Preservation listed in 2007 as a top 10 place to visit — Chestertown, Maryland — will host the 11th Annual “Mutt Strut” benefit for the Humane Society of Kent County. The goal of organizers is a “100 Mutt Strut.” Last year, 67 mutts participated. TWN will be covering the event. CLINTON’S SMALL TOWN EDGE As reported in the Charlotte Observer, the last time…

Daily Show on GAO Critique of Bush Anti-Terror War: “We Could Have Gotten Here By Doing Nothing.”



Daily Show host Jon Stewart and Comedy Central Senior Military Analyst Rob Riggle had a mention-worthy chat last night about an important new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the badly named ‘war on terror.’ The GAO report is titled “Combating Terrorism: The United States lacks Comprehensive Plan to Destroy the Terrorist Threat and Close the Safe Haven in Pakistan’s Federal Administered Tribal Areas”. (pdf here) The Daily Show clip is here: But here’s the cool part. . . Rob…

Concert of Democracies as a Shell Game?



The concert of democracies idea has been bandied about for quite a while in both liberal internationalist and neoconservative circles. (There is perhaps a reason for that as Professor Tony Smith has argued). But recently it’s been taken up by Sen. John McCain. Some of his supporters of his like Charles Krauthammer are excited by this idea because they believe it’s the very Trojan horse they have been seeking to undermine the United Nations system, and with it the fanciful…