Tales from the Trail

“Through the eyes of a child”

January 13, 2011

President Barack Obama faced two tests when he spoke Wednesday night at a memorial service for the six people killed in the Arizona shooting — make an emotional connection and comfort a grieving community.
obamas1

Washington Extra – START not yet finished

December 20, 2010

So far, the U.S. Senate has spent six days debating New START — the strategic nuclear arms limitation treaty with Russia. Not so long, you say? Democrats are rushing it through? Well consider this, Congress has already spent longer on this agreement than it did on START I almost two decades ago — and the original is a much more complex treaty.

Washington Extra – Natural allies, but not always comfortable ones

November 8, 2010

The United States and India are, to borrow the phrase of a recent paper by the Center for a New American Security, “natural allies.” The world’s two biggest democracies, with proud traditions of free speech, separation of religion and state, and racial and ethnic diversity, have much in common, and Indians tend to have more favorable views of the United States than most Europeans.

Gibbs puts foot down (literally) for “the White House Eight” in India

November 8, 2010

RTXUDCZ_CompWhite House press secretary Robert Gibbs has had his share of confrontations with reporters. But on Monday, it was Gibbs who came to their defense when Indian officials tried to limit access to a meeting between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

No politics or punditry for George W. Bush

November 5, 2010

When George W. Bush says he’s done with politics — believe it.

bush1Not even the queen of daytime TV could draw the former Republican president into commenting on the current political scene when Bush sat down with her to discuss his new book.

Washington Extra – Dinner party ideas

November 4, 2010

ron_paulCongress might not get much done in the next two years, but boring it won’t be. Certainly not with Ron Paul as likely head of the monetary policy (aka Fed oversight) subcommittee in the House.

Washington Extra – The relative merits of Obama, Stewart, Palin and baseball

October 28, 2010

jonIt is unclear to me if appearing on “The Daily Show” will have done much for President Barack Obama’s ratings. But it doesn’t seem to have helped Jon Stewart’s much. Nielsen data just in shows last night’s episode attracted 2.8 million viewers (minus TiVo data), compared to the show’s average of roughly 3.6 million an episode. Not sure if it says much about the president, except that people probably watch the Daily Show for Jon Stewart, not for his guests. Or maybe they were just watching the World Series.

Washington Extra – Analyze This

October 27, 2010

A confusing labyrinth. That is how the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) described the American development effort in Afghanistan, in a damning report on how $17.7 billion in aid and reconstruction money was doled out to 7,000 contractors between 2007 and 2009 with little or no coordination.kabul

Washington Extra – Swallows and Democrats

October 25, 2010

In the words of Aristotle: “one swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.”

Blagojevich’s retrial postponed until April 2011

October 22, 2010

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich won a delay until April 20 of his scheduled retrial on corruption charges, which means the trial won’t be going on while Chicagoans vote for their next mayor.