June 08, 2009

Photo Of The Day
12:00 AM

A few days late, but still classic: US President Barack Obama watches as White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and presidential aide Reggie Love pose on camels during a tour of The Great Pyramids of Giza June 4, 2009 in Giza, Egypt. (Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images) --Michael Crowley

The White House Theory Of Asset Deployment
12:00 AM

When I first read this paragraph in Matt Bai's piece about White House legislative strategy, I thought Rahm was talking out of school: The second tenet of Emanuel’s theory is that the White House itself comes with strategic assets you can put to good use, if you allocate them properly. There’s the White House theater, where guests can watch movies and sporting events; formal state dinners; smaller gatherings in the first family’s residence, which spouses can join; tickets to the Easter-egg roll for kids; tickets to the White House tours that members like to give out to their constituents.

The Real Meaning Of Hillary Clinton's Threat To Iran
12:00 AM

As usual Mrs. Clinton tries to sound very tough. She probably thought that the message she was sending to Iran was extremely tough.The story is reported in Ha'aretz under the headline, "Clinton: If Iran strikes Israel, expect retaliation.""I don't think there is any doubt in anyone's mind that were Israel to suffer a nuclear attack by Iran, there would be retaliation." Strong talk, strong medicine.Well, I read this pronouncement by the secretary of state to George Stephanopoulos a bit differently.

June 07, 2009

Affirmative Action, Public Opinion, And Federalism
12:00 AM

I'm often sympathetic to Stuart Taylor's columns, but his latest effort is a real head-scratcher. The main thrust of Taylor's argument seems to be that the Supreme Court should ban racial preferences because it's what the majority of Americans want, even if their elected representatives decline to take a stand for fear of being labeled racist.

June 05, 2009

A Dissent
12:00 AM

Even if you didn’t like the president’s speech, there were certainly elements to applaud. He did not shy away from defending the American-led mission in Afghanistan. His moving commentary about the Holocaust was absolutely necessary in a part of the world where so many people deny its existence. Those were the good parts. Unfortunately, these noble sentiments were accompanied by a series of worrisome ones.We’ll get to the substance of the speech in a moment. But first, it is worth dwelling on its tone--the detached quality of it.

An Uncertain Future
12:00 AM

Combining the roles of bridge builder and strategist, President Barack Obama delivered a wide-ranging 55-minute speech to the world's Muslims today, designed to put flesh on the bones of his signature concept of "mutual interests and mutual respect" and to launch a "new beginning" in U.S.-Muslim relations.Aspiring to speak to the world's billion-plus Muslims has always been a controversial gambit.

The Chicago Sisterhood
12:00 AM

Hmmmm. Very interesting that one of the first administration shuffles has the First Lady replacing her chief of staff (a former Iowa campaign worker) with Chicago friend Susan Sher, until recently a deputy White House counsel. Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett's bosom buddy, Sher is one of the three hard-charging Chicago transplants--along with Jarrett and White House social secretary Desiree Rogers--renting units in the snazzy 3303 Water Street complex in Georgetown.

Obama Back To Jakarta?
12:00 AM

In a roundtable with Muslim journalists after his Cairo speech, Obama teases at some future plans (and reminisces a bit).

Taming The Insurance Wilderness
12:00 AM

Anthony Wright is executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition. He blogs daily at the Health Access WeBlog and is a regular contributor to the Treatment. If there's any consensus among consumers or health policy experts alike, it is that the individual insurance market doesn't work.

June 04, 2009

More Than Words
12:00 AM

Barack Obama has two imminent opportunities to test the effectiveness of his speech in Cairo today: Will it help the more moderate candidates win in next week's Lebanon election? The week after, will it help in transforming Iranian public opinion and make Iranians more prone to oust their radical president? Speeches, unlike literature, should not be judged as prose or poetry--but with Obama, we sometimes tend to forget that. The eloquence with which he conveys his message is almost always numbingly beautiful.