Nate Silver Wins Again — and Doha’s Shafallah Forum

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View of my balcony at the Grand Hyatt, Doha Good morning to those of you heading to bed on the news that Newt Gingrich dominated the South Carolina GOP primaries.  I don’t have much to add to the pundit commentary on Newt’s return — other than that take a look at the forecasting success yet again of 538’s Nate Silver.  I’ve been a junkie for his electoral commentary for quite a while — but every time he drops numbers before…

Romney Snubbing Hispanics?

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Are Hispanic Americans on Romney’s call list? While there have been a long slog of GOP debates, and people may be asking why any more encounters matter at this point — Hispanic Americans want their turn at bat and are working hard to pull off ‘the Hispanic issues conversation‘ next Wednesday.  Only problem is that Mitt Romney won’t return calls and say yes or no to attending. Scheduled for Wednesday, 25 January at the 140,000 student strong Miami-Dade College, the…

Man-made Tragedies, Angelina Jolie, and Women

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(Credit: Alberto Barreto; reprinted with permission, CIPE) I haven’t yet sorted out all of the intense feelings generated by watching the new Angelina Jolie written and directed film, In the Land of Blood and Honey, but I will have something up soon. The film is still haunting my thoughts — but during the after party which went longer than any policy issue-oriented, mostly heterosexual after-event I have been to in a long time (that is to say that ‘policy events’…

STREAMING Live: George Mitchell & Jeffrey Goldberg on Middle East Conflict

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This evening between about 5:50 pm (might start a few minutes late) and 7:15 pm EST, I will be chairing at Atlantic Exchange event on the subject of Middle East peace. Former Obama administration Middle East envoy and former US Senator George Mitchell will join us, share some framing remarks, and then be interviewed by Atlantic national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg. The event will stream live above. We have organized tonight’s discussion with the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East…

They are “Us”: Pissing on the Taliban

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As Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, US military officers — incumbents and retired — and others in DC’s firmament condemn the US Marines that apparently urinated on dead Taliban militants, I’m wondering how long it will take for a movement to grow inside the United States that embraces the soldiers and the “pissing act” that Panetta has called “deplorable.” Thus far, the Taliban leadership is shrugging off the incident — stating that what happened is nothing new.  In an AFP report,…

Reframing US Strategy in a Turbulent World

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Broadcasting live with Ustream As previously mentioned, I will be chairing a session today at the New America Foundation between 12:15 pm and 1:45 pm EST titled “Reframing US Strategy in a Turbulent World: American Spring?” The speakers are Georgetown Professor and Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Charles Kupchan, New America Foundation fellow and Georgetown Law professor Rosa Brooks, former Congressman Tom Perriello, Duke Professor and co-author of The End of Arrogance: America in the Global Competition of Ideas…

RIP Tony Blankley

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The last time I saw Tony Blankley was at an interesting dinner hosted by David DesRosiers of Real Clear Politics and Carl Schramm of the Kauffman Foundation in July 2011 at the Jefferson Hotel. We had a stimulating discussion in the hotel library before the dinner about what the Obama administration was getting right and wrong — and Blankley expressed some admiration for the Obama team and for how high the policy hills were they had to get over. That…

Obama’s Team Could Learn from Rumsfeld on Defense Department Shifts

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photo courtesy:  White House While budget details of President Obama’s just unveiled new defense strategy remain scant and vague and the President feels the need to continue hawking his combo of budgetary constraint and military hawkishness, stating that his forthcoming budgets would still be larger than those of the preceding Bush administration.  Obama last week stated: Over the next 10 years, the growth in the defense budget will slow, but the fact of the matter is this. It will still…

Biden Gets China

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Reuters A senior White House official has confirmed that Vice President Joe Biden will take the lead on the administration’s next phase China policy. While the Departments of State and Treasury have held important functional roles in conducting the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue meetings, raising the bilateral status of US-China relations with ongoing meetings between two senior US Executive Branch officials with two of China’s most senior leaders, Vice Premier Li Keqiang and State Councillor Dai Bingguo, there has…