September 2013

Gwen’s Take: The Threat Matrix

Posted: Thu, 09/26/2013 - 3:46pm

From Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill; from the United Nations to Tehran … everybody seems to be talking tough.

Hassan Rouhani, the suddenly accessible new President of Iran, declared in more than one venue this week that he is a man of peace, but one who needs to keep building nuclear plants.

The threat? That he is not to be believed.

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Gwen’s Take: The Art of the Showdown

Posted: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 1:15pm

First rule: Don’t blink.

Someone will have to, but not just yet. From Ted Cruz and John Boehner to Barack Obama and Hassan Rouhani, lawmakers, politicians, dictators and future presidents have all perfected the art of digging their heels into shifting sand.

Nuclear weapons? We have none, says Iran. Health care? We’ll have none, say House Republicans. Government shutdown? You step off the cliff first, say the Democrats. It’s been a good week to study the art of the standoff.

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Gwen’s Take: Slippery Slopes And Other Risky Things

Posted: Thu, 09/12/2013 - 3:11pm

It’s tough enough to govern effectively when the ground underfoot is stable. But take a tricky issue and angle it uphill, and getting things done gets a lot more complicated.

Last week I wrote about the strange bedfellows who are making it difficult for President Obama to win support for his campaign to intervene in Syria.

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Not so strange bedfellows: Democrats and Republicans on Syria

Posted: Thu, 09/05/2013 - 4:54pm

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee heard testimony about the potential use of military force in Syria [Photo:CNN].

Just an eyeblink ago, the most common complaint about Washington was that bipartisanship was dead. Most Democrats and most Republicans would not even agree to share a sandwich.

Well, cross-party cooperation is back, but it’s not the type the White House was hoping for.

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