US Politics, World News & DC Living
Beyond the Beltway Soundbites
What in the World Is Going On?
From Iran to Israel to Lebanon, a recent panel discussion painted a dark picture of what lies ahead for the Middle East.
For nearly three years, Sinam Sherkany Mohamad has worked the corridors of power in Washington to drum up American support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which she represents as the U.S. envoy for the Syrian Democratic Council.
Elections in Belarus — home to what is often referred to as Europe’s last dictatorship — are typically a mundane affair. But this coming presidential race is shaping up to be anything but boring.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist the cheesy headline, but on a more serious note, while the debate over the effectiveness of the World Health Organization is much-needed and has merit, it’s also riddled with myths and misconceptions about what the WHO can and cannot do.
Prior to coronavirus, few would’ve pegged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as effective political partners. But they have proven to be just that during the pandemic.
Your Essential Headlines
“The President’s Taxes: Long-Concealed Records Show Trump’s Chronic Losses and Years of Tax Avoidance” (The New York Times)
“The Election That Could Break America” (The Atlantic)
“We Got Our Hands on Thousands of Secret Documents. Let’s Break Them Down” (BuzzFeed)
“America’s Abandonment of Syria: Many Syrians thought that the U.S. cared about them. Now they know better.” (The New Yorker)
“Fighting for U.S. Values Abroad, Black Diplomats Struggle With Challenges at Home” (Foreign Policy)
“Revealed: conservative group fighting to restrict voting tied to powerful dark money network” (The Guardian)
“The Intercept Promised to Reveal Everything. Then Its Own Scandal Hit” (The New York Times)
“The Great Decoupling” (Foreign Policy)
“U.S. Medical Supply Chains Failed, and COVID Deaths Followed” (AP/Frontline)
“Christianity Will Have Power” (The New York Times)
“Exclusive: Putin’s Allies Offered a ‘Back Channel’ to Key Witness in New Senate Report on the Bidens” (TIME)
U.S. Election series: China
U.S. Election Series: Latin America
U.S. Election Series: Israel and the Gulf States
Venezuela: What’s Next?
Coronavirus: What Diplomats Need to Know
Post-Pandemic Long-Term Threats
Leadership During a Pandemic
Diplomacy in an Age of Coronavirus
Useless random thought of the day: Never trust a skinny chef.
DC Insider Goes Global
My articles, talks & in-depth analysis of international affairs
My exclusive cover profile of Canada’s new ambassador in the July 2020 issue of The Washington Diplomat: “Crisis Manager: Canada’s New Envoy Confronts Pandemic, Protest and Protectionism.“
My exclusive cover profile of Australia’s new ambassador in the April 2020 issue of The Washington Diplomat: “Australia’s Boiling Point: Catastrophic Wildfires Leave Lasting Scars, and Lessons, on the Continent.“
“Capricia Marshall’s New Book Makes Case for Enduring Power of Protocol” – July 2020
“As Coronavirus Spread, State Department Evacuated Over 100,000 Americans” – June 2020
“Academics Say U.S. Interventions to Force Regime Change Often Fail” – May 2020
“Sinam Mohamad Pushes U.S. Not to Abandon Her Fellow Kurds” – September 2020
DC Insider Goes Local
My coverage of culture & living in the nation’s capital
“Long Before Trump’s ‘Fake News’, Artists Stretched the Truth” – October 2020
“Ambassadors Ball Goes Virtual to Raise Funds to Fight MS” – October 2020
“Strathmore Creates Digital Monuments to Influential Local Artists” – October 2020
“Propelled by Innovation, Swedes Take Road Less Traveled in ‘Smart Mobility’” – May 2020
“Graciela Iturbide Captures a More Nuanced Portrayal of Her Homeland” – April 2020
“Federal Funding Will Reduce Costs of Howard County’s RecZone Child Care Program” – August 2020
“Ronald Reagan Building Spreads ‘Diplomatic Messages of Hope’ Amid Pandemic” – September 2020
“GALA Hispanic Theatre Faces the Pandemic on Both Personal and Professional Level” – April 2020
OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”Gustave Flaubert
*We know museums, restaurants, shops and essentially the world are closed for now because of the coronavirus pandemic, but we’re also optimistic we can overcome this crisis and return to our lives, so hopefully this guide offers some helpful inspiration for rediscovering the joys of life.
As longtime managing editor of the respected The Washington Diplomat newspaper, my mission has been to give readers a clear-eyed view of U.S. politics, foreign policy and world affairs that goes beyond the Beltway noise to help people understand what matters and why.
Along with this big-picture breakdown of the news, we uncover the wealth of local gems, from exhibitions to dining to galas, that make D.C. a truly global capital of culture. These are crazy times. It seems like Washington — and the entire world — have been turned upside down. I’ll explore both inside and out to help you make sense of it all.