Family Relation

This afternoon, not long after Pervez Musharraf announced that he'd had his fill after almost nine years of ruling Pakistan, I wandered across Islamabad, to the headquarters of the Pakistan People's Party. The headquarters, which include a residence and a secretariat, are referred to collectively as the Zardari House, named after Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto's widow. The Zardari House has been the nerve center for the push to oust Musharraf over the past year.

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Well-connected Washington insider Steve Clemons has already reported that signs point to Joe Biden as Barack Obama's running mate. Now comes this tidbit, coutesy of the Washington Post's Shailagh Murray: Tony Blinken, the Biden foreign policy adviser who accompanied Obama on his overseas trip, left Washington to go on vacation late last week. Destination? Hawaii.  The timing of Blinken's trip isn't clear. Maybe he got there after Obama left. Or maybe he really was on vacation.

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A reminder not to get too carried away with praising the National Enqurier's credibility--especially when it comes to "love child" stories: The tabloid, which is being celebrated for scooping the mainstream media on the John Edwards mistress story, has quietly settled a lawsuit filed by a Cape Cod woman who claimed the Enquirer published false and defamatory stories about her supposed "love child" with Senator Ted Kennedy. Lawyers for Caroline Bilodeau-Allen provided DNA test results from 1985 that show Kennedy is not the father of Christopher Bilodeau, who was born in 1984.... The stories

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  Name: Wang Xiaoning Age: 58 Duration of Incarceration: 10 years Crime: Wang was arrested in September 2002 for publishing a pro-democracy and anti-corruption online journal, and for writing and distributing essays and electronic journals on democracy and other political topics. Fact: Wang and his wife Yu Ling have filed a suit against Yahoo! in a U.S. federal court, claiming that the company gave information to the Chinese government about his online political activities that led to his arrest. Yahoo!

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On "Meet the Press" this morning Andrea Mitchell name-dropped Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island as a possible vice presidential contender for Barack Obama--observing, among other things, that Reed will be joining Obama on his upcoming trip to Iraq. Along with some colleagues and friends, I've been watching Reed for a while now. And, as recently as a week ago, I was on the verge of posting a long item touting him as a strong, if relatively unheralded, vice presidential possibility.

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Mr. Right?

The New Yorker is hardly the optimal vehicle for reaching the conservative intelligentsia. But, last year, Barack Obama cooperated with a profile for that magazine where he seemed to be speaking directly to the right.

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Mccain's Faith

The front page New York Times piece on the trouble McCain is having with conservative evangelicals has this interesting tidbit: Unlike Mr. Bush, Mr. McCain is decidedly reticent about religion on the stump. Mr. McCain grew up Episcopalian and shifted to a Baptist church after marrying his second wife, Cindy, but has not been baptized into the denomination. When asked about his personal faith at town hall forums, he often relates a familiar story. When Mr.

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Dap Politics

On the lighter side of my earlier post on race spokesmanship in American politics--the accompanying photo has exposed a seam in the almost-smooth transition to multi-ethnic, if not post-racial news coverage. Here, again, "the dap":   For the record, I thought it was incredibly cute, an intimate, yet tasteful (get a clue, Gore) expression of the Obamas excitement and mutual affection. Yet for those who have never watched professional sports, the "dap" apparently still requires translation. Chris Beam at Slate has a witty rundown of the various attempts at description in news outlets today.

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He may have saved his most dramatic outburst for the very end: Tightly gripping this reporter's hand and refusing to let go, Clinton heatedly denounced [Vanity Fair's Todd Purdum], who is currently married to his former White House Press Secretary, Dee Dee Myers. "[He's] sleazy," he said referring to Purdum. "He's a really dishonest reporter.... There's just five or six blatant lies in there.

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JERUSALEM--At first glance, Ehud Olmert and Bashar al-Assad have nothing in common. The first is a slick, media-savvy politico, while the second is an awkward, anti-charismatic, unloved and unlovable dictator. But Israel's prime minister and Syria's ruler have both concluded that the best way to beat the rap, respectively, on corruption and murder charges is to make peace with one another. That, at least, is the impression of many Israelis, prominent commentators among them, in light of last week's revelation of indirect talks between Syrian and Israeli negotiators in Turkey.

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