The West Bank Isn’t Occupied?



The Center for American Progress’ Matt Duss has a sharp, detail-rich mind when it comes to discussing beneath the surface Middle East issues. But so too does Israel Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who I have enjoyed appearing with on Al Jazeera from time to time (before his current post) and who I suspect is going to one day reinvent himself out of Avigdor Lieberman’s party into a more substantial role in either a reconstituted Kadima or progressive wing of…

Personal Reflection on the Life of Chess Butler



I didn’t have the opportunity to know “Chess”, or William Chessley Butler, who died this past week at the age of 23 from cystic fibrosis. Chess was the son of one of my closest high school friends, Nikki LeMaster Butler, and I just received word of his passing. I am posting this beautiful video tribute to him and doing so with permission of his family — but at this time of year, I not only think through what challenges lie…

Same Sex Marriage, Environment & Jobs: Lincoln Chafee Should Be Rhode Island’s Next Governor



On January 4th, former US Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) will formally announce his candidacy for the governorship of Rhode Island — as an Independent. In September 2007, Chafee resigned from the Republican Party. He authored his farewell memoir to the party, Against the Tide: How a Compliant Congress Empowered a Reckless President. Chafee distanced himself from the pugnacious nationalist wing of Republicans by allying with Center for American Progress CEO and Obama confidante in co-chairing the Commission on Climate and…

The Yemen Brief: Expanding Scope of US Military Engagement Exactly What Bin Laden Wants



Abubakr Al-Qirbi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Yemen, addresses the general debate of the sixty-third session of the General Assembly. (official United Nations photo) Below the break follows the official statement from Yemen’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs about would-be bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Yemen is in a very complicated place when it comes to its efforts against al Qaeda, other rebel tribes, and managing the lines of its sovereignty against explicit foreign intrusion. Despite the Obama administration’s…

Boxing Day Pups



I have been pretty busy today and unable to post much — but after many emails after the holiday pup pics, I thought I’d share one other. Oakley, Annie and Buddy send their greetings. Very glad that there wasn’t a disaster in Detroit. I hope to address the issue of terror threats tomorrow. — Steve Clemons

When Intolerance Kills Christmas II: Why Should Gay US Soldiers Still Fear Saluting Barack Obama?



Two years ago on Christmas Eve, I wrote a piece for Huffington Post and the Washington Note titled “When the Intolerant Kill Christmas.” According to my friends at Huffington Post, more than half a million people read that piece. It was a deeply personal snippet not of my life – but that of a close friend – who had “come out” to his family as a gay man and who was not having an easy time of it. My friend,…