Ben Bernstein

VandeHei, VandeHei, VandeHei
December 08, 2009

Did Politico Executive Editor Jim VandeHei get named to the Pulitzer Prize Board? It was hard to tell from the four references to this captivating news story that were included on the Politico website in the last 24 hours. There it is on the homepage, again on Ben Smith’s blog, again on Mike Allen’s Playbook (did you know it’s journalism’s most prestigious prize?), and then, in case you missed it, the Click ‘Sightings’ section includes it right after a muckraking image of Sarah Palin holding a cup of coffee.

Slideshow: The Decline of the Summit
December 03, 2009

“It's not that I've got summititis here,” joked President Obama during the Fiscal Responsibility Summit last February. But doesn’t he? Since then, Obama has held at least 15 summits, including the "Beer Summit" and the "Distracted Driving Summit." Click here to read Jason Zengerle’s take on Obama's summit obsession and click through this TNR slideshow to see how summits have been devalued over the years.

Slideshow: Eating Holidays Around the World
November 26, 2009

Today is Thanksgiving, the holiday in which Americans count their blessings by binge eating, seeing family, and watching television. But we aren’t the only ones who mark time with massive feasts. Click through this TNR slideshow to see holidays from around the world in which other cultures stuff themselves.

Slideshow: Mr. Smith Goes to Sesame Street
November 11, 2009

This week, "Sesame Street" kicks off its fortieth season on air. But the TV show's transition to middle age hasn't been entirely smooth. Conservative bloggers are blasting an episode in which Oscar the Grouch, who lives in a garbage can, described the fictional "Pox News" channel as "trashy." (Presumably he would know.) And the show has flirted with politics before: Politicians guest-star, and international versions of it cover topics like HIV in South Africa and ethnic strife in Ramallah.

Slideshow: Here's My Resignation
October 29, 2009

President Obama’s choice about Afghanistan isn’t getting any easier. Last week Matthew Hoh, a senior State Department official in the country, resigned to protest U.S. policies there. Hoh said he didn't "see the value or the worth in continued U.S. casualties or expenditures of resources in support of the Afghan government in what is, truly, a 35-year old civil war." This is not the first time a policymaker stepped down over choices made in Washington. Click through this TNR slideshow to see some historical wartime resignations.

Slideshow: The Most Vulnerable People in Congress
October 15, 2009

It's fall in Washington, and the smell of fear is wafting through the halls of Congress. Economic dissatisfaction, anti-incumbent rage, and plain old fatigue are endangering legislators who know the next election is just thirteen months away. Click through this TNR slideshow to see profiles of the members of Congress who are most vulnerable in 2010.

Slideshow: The State of Gay Marriage
October 07, 2009

This week, the District of Columbia's city council introduced a bill that would authorize same-sex marriages within its boundaries. According to the Associated Press, the measure "appears unstoppable"—garnering support from most council members, the mayor, and a lack of opposition from the Democratic Congress. Depending how you count, that would make D.C. anywhere from the fifth to the eighth U.S. jurisdiction to legalize gay marriage. Click through this TNR slideshow for a rundown on the places where same-sex marriage is legal, potentially legal, and no longer legal.

Gates, McChrystal, and Some Really Cool Boomerangs
October 07, 2009

At this week’s Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington DC, Defense Secretary Robert Gates offered a startling blunt rebuke of General Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. While the commentariat buzzed about rifts in the Obama administration and a potential  Truman-MacArthur showdown, I couldn’t help but wonder: What the heck is the Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition?

Slideshow: What's the Hold Up?
September 29, 2009

Nine months into Barack Obama's administration, a few of his appointees still haven't been confirmed by the U.S. Senate. What's the hold up? Click through this TNR slideshow for a rundown on some of the remaining people who haven't been confirmed, and why.

Slideshow: Who's Who in the Debate Over Afghanistan?
September 22, 2009

It seems like everyone involved in Afghanistan policy is pulling in a different direction. To name just a few: General McChrystal wants a major troop increase, Robert Gates has flipped positions, Biden is skeptical, and Hamid Karzai is preoccupied with the fate of Hamid Karzai. Click through this TNR slideshow for a catalogue of who wants what in Afghanistan.