Thoughts on Beijing



I was in Beijing just a little over a week ago. Steve isn’t kidding about the smog — on the bad days, visibility is about 10 blocks. On the very worst day, I couldn’t see clearly from one side of Tienanmen Square to the other. That was a Friday, which is important because, according to locals, that is the day of the week on which the clouds are seeded to clear out the pollution. I was told on a clear…

Some Initial China Trip Reactions



China’s been out of the game for a few hundred years, but it’s back. The Chinese themselves believe that their collective ascendancy is fragile and fraught with problems — particularly environmental degradation associated with growth. The smog in Beijing really stings the unconditioned eyeball. I’m staying at the Beijing Friendship Hotel, originally built for Soviet technocrats. All the buildings are massive — and I’m now across the street at a Starbucks enjoying free wireless — but nearly got whacked a…

Obama to Head to Europe and the Middle East: Obama Should Address “Divided Palestine”



Senator Obama put out this statement today on his just announced trips to Europe, Israel and Jordan: “This trip will be an important opportunity for me to assess the situation in countries that are critical to American national security, and to consult with some of our closest friends and allies about the common challenges we face,” said Barack Obama. “Israel is a strong and close friend of the United States, and is confronting grave threats from Gaza to Tehran. Jordan…

Streaming LIVE Today: Peter Gosselin on the Rising Tide of Economic Anxiety



We’re hosting a session at New America Foundation this afternoon with National Economics Correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, Peter Gosselin, and CSPAN’s BookTV on the shift of financial risk to individual Americans. Peter’s new book, High Wire: The Precarious Financial Lives of American Families, explains how during a quarter century of steady economic growth the consequences of illness, job loss, or separation can devastate the security of a family more than ever before. Live Video streamed by Ustream Many…

My Net Nootrality Studies



If I write “net nootrality” the way it should be spelled, my posts pop up on a zillion google alerts — which produce an avalanche of emails from stakeholders in the debate. I’m trying to get ready for a China trip so I can’t handle an email tsunami this week. But suffice it to say that I’ve spent some time with players in the Net N standoff from across the spectrum and have some more commiserating and learning to do…

Dick Cheney and Steve Clemons Share a Long Moment (of Silence)



This is awkward as the Australian American Leadership Dialogue meeting at which I posed a question to Vice President Cheney was off the record — but it’s out there now in the New York Times. It was a fascinating, little bit scary moment because the Vice President after speaking for quite a while about a lot of tough subjects just went stone silent after I posed a question on North Korea. I hear that Cheney did look back when he…