No, not Dwight Eisenhower (and his secretary of state, John Foster Dulles), who thought of his Arabs as the Egyptians. Frankly, in 1956, nobody thought of Palestinians, including especially the Palestinians. And, no, not even Jimmy Carter, who, while now especially entranced with the Palestinians, including Hamas, was beginning his macabre infatuation with Hafez Assad. Then there was George Herbert Walker Bush and his sidekick James Baker, who didn't much like the Jews but wanted especially to please the Saudis. The U.S.
Matt Yglesias flagged a sober point (among many) in Martin Wolf's latest column: Higher prices of gold reflect fear, not fact. This fear is not widely shared. The US government can borrow at 4.2 per cent over 30 years and 3.4 per cent over 10 years. During the crisis, the inflation expectations implied by the gap in yields between conventional and inflation-protected securities collapsed. These have since recovered – yet another sign of policy success. But they are still below where they were before the crisis.
When the world last left Wesley Clark in early 2004, he was a streaking meteor of a presidential candidate. Still fresh from leading NATO in the Kosovo war, he arrived as a savior for the left, who saw a bulletproof patriot that the rest of America could believe in; hero of the netroots, beloved by Michael Moore and Madonna; hope of the Clintonites, delighted by such a clean ideological slate. Alas, after five blazing months, Clark for President flamed out. There are the conventional explanations: He got in too late. He didn't play in Iowa.
Now, two people will have to choose. The fate of the health care bill is largely in the hands of Barack Obama and Olympia Snowe. The Finance Committee's vote on Tuesday to send its bill to the Senate floor vindicated President Obama's strategy of giving Congress wide latitude to write the early drafts. Major health reform has advanced further than it ever has before. But Obama must now abandon his preference for intervening forcefully only after House and Senate bills go to a conference committee.
Yes, you read it right. Here is the essence: If the Saudis (and other OPEC producers) export fewer hydrocarbons, the buyers should still pay as if they were purchasing the old amount. They should pay what the Saudis could charge when the market was tight and the demand high, and the arrangements should not made in the Arab bazaar, but by treaty. It's a nice world that Riyadh lives in. Perhaps this is King Abdullah's gracious response to President Obama's servile bow. "Less global warming would be good, right?" ask Jad Mouawad and Andrew C. Revkin in a report in Tuesday's Times.
I've been pretty hard on Max Baucus for a while, especially as he spent months and months negotiating fruitlessly while Democratic political capital rotted away. But it's worth pointing out that his plan, assuming he had one, worked perfectly.
Back when my wife was teaching third grade, I used to joke about grading her students’ book reports the way you might treat an academic paper or a book review in TNR. (“This book report on George Washington, a scant three pages, does nothing to advance our understanding of the first president.”) Pointing out a logical contradiction in a Fred Barnes article is kind of like that. But the flesh is weak. In his latest piece, Barnes argues that Obama is weak. Check out these two paragraphs: Afghanistan is his test.
Okay, three posts in one day about the presidential prospects of a guy who almost certainly is never going to run for president is probably a bit excessive. But this email from a self-described "(disaffected) Republican" responding to my second Petraeus post makes some smart points: I think you’re mostly right on the reasons that Petraeus wouldn’t make a winning candidate, but mostly wrong about why Republicans are gravitating toward him.
Alex Massie gives eight reasons why Petraeus is unlikely to run for president in 2012--and why, if he does, he's even more unlikely to win. Four of those reasons can be summed up in two words: Wes Clark. 4. As a general rule, outsiders don't fare too well in the political arena. Eisenhower is an exception, not the rule. And in any case, we're a long way from 1952 and America is a very different, probaby more complicated, place. Plus, for all his achievements Petraeus himself might blush at comparisons with Ike. 5. Related to 4, politics is difficult.
NYALA, Darfur -- When Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir was indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in March, he responded by expelling 13 international aid agencies from Darfur and disbanding three other domestic relief groups. Khartoum claims the organizations were sharing information with the ICC, which both the groups and the court deny. With the void left by the ousted organizations, the United Nations has instituted emergency measures to help provide food, water, and other vital aid.