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Saturday Nov 03, 2012
  When I saw the announcement that Barbra Streisand was appearing in the latest National Jewish Democratic Council video to try to win the Jewish vote ahead of the November 6 contest, it brought back memories of the end of the 2008 election.   One of the fun parts of the home stretch of presidential campaign is all the zany celebrities it pulls out of the woodwork to appeal to their followers. In 2008, I was down in southern Florida...
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Friday Oct 26, 2012
  I don’t know whether Ben Affleck meant to wade into current US foreign policymaking with his timely release of the movie Argo, devoted to the takeover of the US embassy in Iran during the 1979 revolution. But I suspect his film will likely impact the conversation around how the US should handle Iran.   I’m not predicting a large impact, rather a tonal one at the margins – but the important margins of how average...
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Wednesday Oct 24, 2012
  In the foreign policy showdown on Monday night, the two countries that got the most mentions during the final presidential debate were Iran and Israel, with 47 and 34 respectively. Of course, Iran is currently a major – if not the major – global threat to US interests, and the effort to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon will be a significant preoccupation of the next administration.   But Israel? Sure, it finds...
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Monday Oct 22, 2012
  Post-debate analysis of the Libya moment Tuesday night – when Mitt Romney accused President Obama of taking two weeks to call the killing of four Americans at the Benghazi consulate a terror attack and Obama responded that he had done so from day one – have tended to analyze the wrong things.   There has been a tremendous amount of discussion of whether the violence at the embassy was a terror attack or a spontaneous act...
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Monday Oct 15, 2012
  There were three people on the stage in Danville, Kentucky for the vice presidential debate on Thursday night, but there was a fourth who got a lot of attention – and it wasn’t Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.   The president and his Republican challenger did get their fair share of shout-outs and slams during the spirited 90-minute tussle, but there was one politician in the race who was name-dropped no fewer than eight...
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