March 04, 2009
The seventh floor of the U.S. State Department is a generally dreary place. Its employees roam hallways so long and confusing that they are color-coded for guidance. Fluorescent lights throw down a harsh hospital glare. But, to most State employees, the "real" seventh floor is a secure area, protected by armed guards and doors that require electronic keys, where the department's top staffers, including the secretary herself, spend their days.
December 24, 2008
In October, when Tzipi Livni, who had won the race to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as head of Israel's ruling Kadima Party, announced that she was unable to form a governing coalition, you could almost hear the groans coming from across the Atlantic and from European capitals. The reason? Livni's failure to assemble a government means new elections will take place in February.
Two Presidents at a Time
December 03, 2008
On November 15, President Bush will host a "Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy" at the National Building Museum in Washington, D. C. Great Britain's Gordon Brown, China's Hu Jintao, and Russia's Dmitri Medvedev are among the 20 heads of state who will attend what's being billed as "Bretton Woods II." But there's one world leader, a soon-to-be head of state, who will be sitting out the proceedings: Barack Obama plans to spend the weekend in Chicago. Ever since winning the White House on November 4, Obama has kept a wary distance from the financial crisis that began in September.
Hillary And The Ghost Of Albright
November 22, 2008
Some interesting context when envisioning Hillary at State. She is extremely close to her husband's last Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. Many reliable accounts ID her as the person who convinced her husband to name Albright to the job in 1997. In 1996 the Times had a very entertaining account of how the two bonded on a trip to Prague: Under a warm late-afternoon sun, two middle-aged American women in smart pants suits slip out of their Prague hotel and stroll across Old Town Square.
November 19, 2008
Why did Russia really invade Georgia? In late September, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov appeared before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and offered a rather stunning explanation. Lavrov--who previously spent a decade as Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, where he mastered the body of international precedents and U.N.
April 02, 2007
In October 2000, Hillary Clinton was entering the home stretch of one of the most unusual Senate campaigns in American history. Although her husband still occupied the Oval Office, she had decamped to a Dutch Colonial in Westchester County to run for the seat of retiring New York Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan. To compensate for the fact that she had never actually lived in the state she intended to represent, she immersed herself in Empire State minutiae. Off the top of her head, she would describe in detail the virtues of the Northeast dairy compact and the rate of upstate job growth.
Albright And Baker In Business
January 28, 2007
Help, Madeleine Albright is a money manager. Where the hell is the SEC? Albright Capital Management, of which former secretary of state Madeleine Albright is chair, is an investment adviser, and it has now partnered with PGGM to invest $329 million of the latter's money in "long-term, multi-asset class, investment in emerging markets." PGGM is a Dutch pension fund for workers in the healthcare and social work sector. Phew, it's not an American pension fund. So the retirement of American workers is not endangered by Mrs. Albright. But Holland is an old ally. It deserves better from us.
April 12, 2006
10 Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military Edited by Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg (The New Press, 128 pp., $14.95) Click here to purchase the book. When it comes down to it, military recruiters are salespeople, and like good car salesmen, good military recruiters conceal the downsides of their product. Of course with military recruitment the ante is upped: Being swindled into buying a lemon will set you back a chunk of change; a bad experience in the military will lead someplace worse than an auto mechanic's waiting room.
The Politics of Churlishness
April 11, 2005
If George W. Bush were to discover a cure for cancer, his critics would denounce him for having done it unilaterally, without adequate consultation, with a crude disregard for the sensibilities of others. He pursued his goal obstinately, they would say, without filtering his thoughts through the medical research establishment. And he didn't share his research with competing labs and thus caused resentment among other scientists who didn't have the resources or the bold—perhaps even somewhat reckless-—instincts to pursue the task as he did.
March 03, 2003
To hear Democratic leaders and Democratic political candidates declaim on war is to conclude that liberals are totally incoherent on the subject of power. Liberalism, on the other hand, is quite coherent. It is important to distinguish between the two. Politicians are pulled by public opinion, by calculations of political advantage, and by other nonideological considerations. Hence, the cacophony of liberal voices about war with Iraq.