January 07, 2009
Anti-Putin, But Pro-What?
President Dmitry Medvedev’s inauguration in Moscow last May took place amid the kind of red-and-gold, purely Slavic opulence rarely glimpsed outside of the Russian Tea Room. Except one detail. Russia’s leaders have long had a soft spot for Mercedes--Brezhnev drove one--so it was no surprise that Medvedev arrived to his party in a stretch Benz limo flanked by two burly G500s.
In late November, the media cheered and the market swooned, for a few days at least, as President-elect Barack Obama rolled out his economic team. It certainly checked a lot of boxes: Wall Street favorite? Tim Geithner. Monetary policy eminence grise? Paul Volcker. Respected academic? Berkeley's Christina Romer. All-around genius? Larry Summers.
Surveying The Wreckage At Epa
This came out in early December, but John Shiffman and John Sullivan's long Philadelphia Inquirer profile of Stephen Johnson, Bush's last (and perhaps most controversial) EPA head, is absolutely fantastic.
Did Bush Snub The Obama Family?
ThinkProgress has a fairly amazing report about how it is that the Obama family was denied a room in Blair House. Apparently, the White House asked former Australian P.M. John Howard to stay in the house for one night as a pretext to deny the Obama family the chance to stay there for the whole two week period it requested. ThinkProgress concludes, "supplanting the incoming President with Howard seems like a final, petty kick in the teeth from Bush." Yes -- maybe too petty to be plausible.
When Senator Dianne Feinstein heard that Leon Panetta was nominated to be the next CIA director, she wasn't just caught off guard in her capacity as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee. She also found herself confronting an old political colleague--even, at times, a rival--who had suddenly re-emerged on her turf. The two northern California politicians have long overlapped in the context of both state and national politics. In 1995, Feinstein led a fight against the closure of several large military bases in the state, contending that it would have a devastating economic impact.
January 06, 2009
WASHINGTON--The message sent over the weekend may have been unintentional, but it was nonetheless powerful.While the candidates to chair the Republican National Committee prepared for a debate on Monday sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform, a Reagan-era group, the Democrats leaked word that their next national chairman would be Gov.
"Why Americans Don't Save," July 17, 1995 "The Infernal Senate," November 21, 1994 "Glory Days," May 28, 1989 "Union Suit," August 22, 1988 "Mobbed: The Teamsters and the AFL-CIO," November 16, 1987 "Warren Court Children: The Angst of an Aging Activist," May 19, 1986 "Confessions Of A 'Practicing' Catholic: A Yuppie Lawyer's Dirty Little Secret," September 30, 1985 "Chicago, Pride Of The Rustbelt: America's Greatest City," March 25, 1985 "Postgrad Culture: The Truth About Yuppies 'Newsweek' Wouldn't Tell You," January 28, 1985 "Popestock In Chicago: John Paul's Winning Battle In A Losing Wa
Paging Dr. Gupta
I was about to decry the news of Obama's reported desire to make Sanjay Gupta his Surgeon General as the triumph of style over substance, but then I read further into Howie Kurtz's piece and saw: The Michigan-born son of Indian and Pakistani parents, Gupta has always been drawn to health policy. He was a White House fellow in the late 1990s, writing speeches and crafting policy for Hillary Clinton.
I was about to decry the news of Obama's reported desire to make Sanjay Gupta his Surgeon General as the triumph of style over substance, but then I read further into Howie Kurtz's piece and saw: The Michigan-born son of Indian and Pakistani parents, Gupta has always been drawn to health policy. He was a White House fellow in the late 1990s, writing speeches and crafting policy for Hillary Clinton. His appointment would give the administration a prominent official of Southwest Asian descent and a skilled television spokesman. I'm less interested in his ethnicity (see why below).
How Panetta Can Win Over Langley
Laura Rozen, writing over on her new blog at Foreign Policy, has this withering assessment of Leon Panetta from a "former senior CIA manager": "The message is, 'I don't want to hear anything out of the CIA. Make it go away. No scandals. Keep it quiet,'" the former officer told me. "They put over there a guy who is a political loyalist, who will keep everything nice and quiet, but who won't know a good piece of intelligence from a shitty piece of intelligence, and wouldn't know a good intelligence officer" from a bad one.