Person Communication

Lessons for Obama
September 29, 2009

I confess to reading people on the right. Sometimes with utter dismay. Oftentimes with respect. Among the people I read regularly is Peter Wehner who actually writes for Commentary's website, Contentious, with other conservative intellectuals. And very contentious they are. Wehner actually was one of George Bush's speechwriters. Since I thought some of Bush's speeches quite alright--and even better--this fact is not a disqualifier. Indeed, Wehner is one smart guy ... and a stylish writer besides. What's more, he knows his history.

The Plot Thins
September 29, 2009

Among those who know me well, few can remember when I covered any subjects other than Al Qaeda and the global jihad. I wrote about Osama Bin Laden when he was "Usama bin Ladin." And so since September 14, all anybody's been asking me are questions about a young Afghan immigrant named Najibullah Zazi and his alleged involvement in the first Al Qaeda cell uncovered in America since the 9/11 attacks. Here are my answers to the four most common questions I've been getting.  1. Is this just another of the government's over-hyped terror plots?  U.S.

Tucker Max Isn't Just A Jerk. He's Pitiable.
September 27, 2009

Few movies released in recent years--or, let's be honest, ever--look as abysmal as I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, a beer-and-boobs-saturated bro flick that came out Friday. Based on the book of the same name, the movie is a vehicle for popular blogger Tucker Max, whose claim to fame, put bluntly, is thinking that he's totally awesome because he parties and sleeps with women (allegedly). Lots of women (allegedly). And then, he writes about it. His blog, Tuckermax.com, begins with the salutation, "My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole." Charming.

Hawk Down
September 24, 2009

With the 2008 presidential campaign in full swing two summers ago, Joe Biden, then making his own bid for the White House, ridiculed Barack Obama on a momentous issue: Afghanistan. The occasion was an August 2007 speech by Obama outlining his plans to fight Al Qaeda, which included sending an influx of American troops and aid to the country. Later that day, Biden issued a snarky press release gloating about his own extensive record of pushing similar policies, and which cast Obama as a naïve newcomer.

China Aids Iran
September 23, 2009

At a moment when the U.S.

Should Israelis Be Declaring Victory After Today's Summit?
September 22, 2009

After much anticipation of this week's meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, early reports indicate that President Obama spent most of his time "sternly urging Israeli and Palestinian leaders to do more to make Mideast peace talks possible." It's an unimpressive message from a president that has been urging the sides "to do more" for quite a while now, to no avail. Israel has refused the "total settlement freeze" that U.S.

Intriguing Press Release of the Day
September 17, 2009

From the White House, yesterday afternoon: THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 16, 2009   Readout of the President’s meetings today with Senator Rockefeller and with Senators Bennett and Wyden   "The President had constructive meetings today with Senator Rockefeller and with Senators Bennett and Wyden in the Oval Office. These meetings underscore the President's continued commitment to working with senators on both sides of the aisle to pass health insurance reform this year." Rockefeller's visit has already gotten some coverage.

Fiasco
September 16, 2009

With the Iraq war spinning out of control in mid-2005, retired Marine General James L. Jones spoke with his old friend Peter Pace, the incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Jones, who is now Barack Obama's national security advisor, had been sounded out for the Joint Chiefs job but demurred. One reason: He felt that civilian leaders in Washington were warping the military planning process. "Military advice is being influenced on a political level," Jones warned Pace, according to Bob Woodward's book State of Denial. Jones's warning squared with other reports at the time that U.S.

Call of the Wolf
September 16, 2009

Long before Martin Wolf became the chief economics columnist for the Financial Times, he wrote the newspaper letters--lots and lots of letters. It was the early 1980s, the height of the Thatcher era, and Wolf was running research at a think tank in London that was sympathetic to the government's pro-trade agenda.

The Truman No-Show
September 14, 2009

In 1949, a year after the state of Israel was created, its Chief Rabbi visited President Harry Truman in Washington. Isaac Halevi Herzog told Truman that his role in helping the Jewish state achieve its independence was not just a matter of politics and diplomacy; it was a divine mission.

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