Washington Stories

“I miss my country.” The taxi had come late. The dispatcher had been rude. The airport was a long drive, I couldn’t afford to miss the plane and, yes, I’m afraid I snapped at the driver. We rode along in silence for a while and then, suddenly, his eyes welled up with tears. “You have no idea how I miss my country,” he said. Continue reading “Washington Stories”

‘Critically’ Inadequate

“I’d like to see us move toward really focusing on critical infrastructure that is controlled, owned or operated by any foreign government.”
— Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.)

“It’s important that the secretary of defense, in consultation with Homeland Security, identifies what is critical infrastructure. . . . And having identified that, that that infrastructure be owned, operated and managed by Americans.”
— Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.)

Continue reading “‘Critically’ Inadequate”

Tolerating the Intolerable

It was unusual — tape recorders not being de rigueur in Britain — but this time there was a transcript of what was said. Just as unusual: It all began politely. The journalist, Oliver Finegold of the Evening Standard, asked Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, “How did tonight go?” Not so unusually, the mayor, who was emerging from a reception, responded with an insult: “What did you do before? Were you a German war criminal?” Continue reading “Tolerating the Intolerable”

Happy Anniversary, Nikita Khrushchev

It is, I admit, an odd thing to celebrate: A long-winded and not entirely honest speech, made behind closed doors, addressed to the stony-faced leaders of a country that no longer exists. Nevertheless, I’m reluctant to let the 50th anniversary of Nikita Khrushchev’s famous “secret speech” — his denunciation of Stalin and Stalinism, delivered to the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party on Feb. 25, 1956 — pass without notice. Continue reading “Happy Anniversary, Nikita Khrushchev”