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Kerry visits Gaza, shuns House delegation

The actual headline was "Kerry visits Gaza, shuns Hamas." But nobody expected him to meet up with Ismail Haniyeh, did they? What's more puzzling is the elaborate Kabuki that saw the chair of the Senate foreign relations committee touring Gaza on...
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Welcome to Canada, Mr. President: a quiz

Next Thursday, President Obama will make his first foreign visit since taking office. It will be to Ottawa, resuming a tradition that George W. broke by visiting Mexico first. Obama's visit is billed as a bare-bones, working meeting -- a mere five hours, no overnight stay or joint address to Parliament. No chance for mass adulation.

But we're glad he's coming anyway. To mark the occasion, here's a trivia quiz about presidential visits and general U.S.-Canada relations. Try to answer without peeking at the answers; sorry if they're so jeezly long.

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Hillary's role at State at stake

Dick Morris may be, as some suggest, a dick. But in this item, he rightly points out how Hillary's role at State is being circumscribed. http://thehill.com/dick-morris/hillarys-incredible-shrinking-role-2009-0... I'd add in the fact that, after leaking repeatedly that he was going to...
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Associated Press seen by some as arrogant

The Associated Press seems to have learned nothing from the flak drawn by its blatant pre-election bias: WASHINGTON - Two weeks into his presidency, Barack Obama proved that even a clearly gifted politician cannot escape the gravitational pull of Washington...
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Gaza war fallout: Abbas is toast

There are lots of tactical, political, strategic and diplomatic lessons to be drawn from the Gaza "war."  But there is one crucial conclusion President Obama must grasp for his Mideast peace efforts to stand any chance of success: Palestinian "President" Mahmoud Abbas is...
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A one-, two- or three-state solution?

Near the start of the military offensive against Hamas, Orlando sparked a spirited but civil debate with the question, "What is Israel thinking?" I argued one strategic goal was to drive a deeper wedge between the West Bank and Gaza, by forcing Egypt to open its Rafah crossing to refugees and wounded and take on the task of supplying food, fuel and medicine. If all Gaza's lifelines ran through Egypt, Israel could make the claim it is no longer the occupying power.

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U.S. on Gaza: Don't stop the killing just yet

President George W. Bush and his top advisers conducted an urgent round of telephone diplomacy Tuesday to help end the deadly conflict between Israel and Hamas, but insisted that if any new cease-fire is to work, it must be...
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Kumbaya, Boss, Kumbaya!

OK, Obama's in Hawaii right now with a little free time on his hands. He's said in the past TPM is among his favorite websites. I don't know if he he scans the reader blogs; if not, maybe some staffer...
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Intel failures: it's time to clean house

From Congress Daily: The House Intelligence Committee's top Democrat said Tuesday he has recommended that President-elect Barack Obama keep the country's current national intelligence director and CIA chief in place for some time to ensure continuity in U.S. intelligence programs...
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Affirmative action for right-wing hacks!

Last week, I berated Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell for her flawed conclusion that her newspaper had a pro-Obama "tilt": http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/blogs/acanuck/2008/11/washington-p... She follows up today by doubling down: not only is the tilt a problem, part of the solution is...

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