Riyadh: The View from My Window

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Just arrived in Riyadh. This is the view from my window at my hotel — an overcast day. Things start up at 12:30 pm, two hours from now on Sunday here. Traveling with me are New America Foundation colleagues and friends Tim Golden who has been a senior correspondent for the New York Times on leave now to do a book, Nicholas Schmidle who just joined my American Strategy Program group along with Tim Golden at the New America Foundation,…

Room 871 and Generic DC Hubris

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I am sitting at JFK Airport preparing to depart for Saudi Arabia in a couple of hours — and thought I’d post this picture I took of myself last week, standing next to Room 871 of the Mayflower Hotel — the grand establishment where Aldrich Ames took his first $50,000 from the Soviets launching his notorious spying career. Room 871 was the rendezvous point for New York Governor Eliot Spitzer when he last met a hired playmate. For some reason,…

mp3 of George Soros Conference Call

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Today I organized a media/blogger conference call with George Soros to discuss his concerns about the current financial crisis, which he thinks is the worst America has experienced since the 1930s. It was a fascinating discussion of his new book, distributed electronically, titled The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means — and his outlook for 2008. Matt Stoller captured much of the discussion today. Devin Stewart blogged about the Soros reference to…

Note to Media/Bloggers: Conference Call with George Soros

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Friday morning (tomorrow) I will be hosting a media/blogger conference call with financier and philanthropist George Soros at 10 am EST. In a new book released today, The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means, as well as a Financial Times oped that also appeared today, Soros shares his thinking on the current financial crisis — which he argues is “the most severe since the 1930s.” In order to speed up distribution, Soros…

<em>Live from Bucharest</em>: Morning Coffee with Karzai

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For the early birds on the east coast (or the late night blog readers on the west coast), President Hamid Karzai will address the Young Atlanticist delegation in Bucharest along with students at the University of Kabul via a video teleconference link – which you can tune into live by going to the Young Atlanticist homepage (for those who miss it, I will eventually post links to where the recordings are saved). Karzai might also face a tough crowd, particularly…

<em>Live from Bucharest</em>: Estonian President Cautions “Don’t Be a Marx-ist”

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Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves‘s refreshingly wry sense of humor and sharp wit provided welcome relief from an intenisve Young Atlanticist Summit day of speeches, lectures, and meetings (especially for those of us who were still sleepless from jetlag, fretting over lost baggage, and breaking in an assemblage of borrowed attire that was one bolo tie away from saying “Dont Mess with Texas”). Bow-tie clad Ilves spliced in his acerbic humor to complement a tough but well-articulated set of posiions…

Leo Hindery Today: Discussing the “Real Economy” Instead of a “Delusional Economy”

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I’ve asked Leo Hindery to spend some time with us at the New America Foundation today. It’s a brown bag deal — but I’ll provide the sodas and cookies (though I’m on a diet). Hindery was the most quoted voice after a major forum we recently held that drew together economic advisers from the Clinton, Obama, McCain, and Edwards campaigns. He is intriguing because he’s a telecom executive and used to serve as CEO of AT&T Broadband and headed the…

Conservatives Angry at More Wars in Koran-Zone & Obama’s Disappointing Incrementalism on Cuba

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Yesterday, I had coffee with a former three-star general who has outed himself as a political conservative in his post-military life. Joining us was a former conservative member of Congress, a conservative CEO, a top tier conservative organizer, and a conservative pundit. I discussed the Iraq War, Israel/Palestine, Afghanistan/Pakistan, nukes, and Cuba with them. The anger among the serious strategic-thinking conservatives about the state of the country, its foreign policy position, the value of the dollar, and the beleaguered military…