James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

Lindsay analyzes the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy and the sustainability of American power.

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Showing posts for "Congress"

The World Next Week: Obama and Romney Debate, Netanyahu Visits the United States, the UN Talks Freedom of Speech, and Georgia Votes Amid Scandal

by James M. Lindsay
Jim Lehrer, seen here moderating the first 2008 presidential debate, will moderate next week's presidential debate at the University of Denver. (Chip Somodevilla/ courtesy Reuters) Jim Lehrer, seen here moderating the first 2008 presidential debate, will moderate next week's presidential debate at the University of Denver. (Chip Somodevilla/ courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed the first presidential debate; Israeli prime minister Netanyahu’s visit to the United States; freedom of speech; and Georgia’s parliamentary elections. Read more »

Paul Ryan on Foreign Policy

by James M. Lindsay
Mitt Romney claps as vice president select Paul Ryan (R-WI) gives the thumbs up to supporters during a campaign event in Wisconsin. (Shannon Stapleton/courtesy Reuters) Mitt Romney claps as vice president select Paul Ryan (R-WI) gives the thumbs up to supporters during a campaign event in Wisconsin. (Shannon Stapleton/courtesy Reuters)

The weekend’s big news is that Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, to be his running mate.  Republicans are ecstatic over the choice. So are Democrats. One of the two is mistaken. Read more »

The World Next Week: Congress’s Recess, Syrian Violence, Hiroshima Anniversary, and NASA’s Mars Mission

by James M. Lindsay
Darkness sets in over the U.S. Capitol building. (Jonathan Ernst/courtesy Reuters) Darkness sets in over the U.S. Capitol building. (Jonathan Ernst/courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed where things stand in Washington as Congress recesses for the summer; the continued violence in Syria; the 67th anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing; and the upcoming Mars landing of NASA’s rover, Curiosity. Read more »

Hola, Enrique Peña Nieto: President-Elect of Mexico

by James M. Lindsay
Mexico's president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto, speaking after exit polls showed him in first place following Mexico's election on July 1. (Tomas Bravo/courtesy Reuters) Mexico's president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto, speaking after exit polls showed him in first place following Mexico's election on July 1. (Tomas Bravo/courtesy Reuters)

Enrique Peña Nieto had a very good weekend. While Americans were grumbling about record-breaking heat and residents of Washington, D.C., were learning to live without air conditioning because powerful storms Friday night left them without electricity, he was winning Mexico’s presidential election. With nearly 90 percent of the ballots counted, he looks to have won roughly 38 percent of the vote, handily defeating Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (Party of the Democratic Revolution or PRD), who pulled in 32 percent, and Josefina Vázquez Mota of the Partido Acción Nacional (National Action Party or PAN), who pulled in 25 percent. Read more »

The World Next Week: World Powers Talk Syria, Mexicans Vote, and Congress Recesses

by James M. Lindsay
Kofi Annan, the joint special envoy of the UN and the Arab League for Syria, speaks during a press conference in Geneva. (Denis Balibouse/courtesy Reuters) Kofi Annan, the joint special envoy of the UN and the Arab League for Syria, speaks during a press conference in Geneva. (Denis Balibouse/courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon was out this week, so Stewart Patrick kindly offered to fill in. Stewart and I discussed the world powers crisis meeting on Syria in Geneva; the Mexican presidential election; and the U.S. House and Senate rise for recess. Read more »

TWE Remembers: The War of 1812

by James M. Lindsay
A depiction of the British attack on Washington, DC, during the War of 1812. (Library of Congress) A depiction of the British attack on Washington, DC, during the War of 1812. (Library of Congress)

Some dates in American history stand out. Mention April 12, 1861, December 7, 1941, or September 11, 2001 and most people know what historical event you have in mind. Ask what happened on June 18, 1812, however, and the most likely response is a blank stare. But on this date in 1812, the United States, then a weak and fragile country on the fringes of the known world, declared war on Great Britain, then one of the world’s most powerful countries. Read more »

The World Next Week: U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, U.S. House Recess, and Thomas Lubanga

by James M. Lindsay
Indian minister of external affairs S.M. Krishna in April. (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/courtesy Reuters) Indian minister of external affairs S.M. Krishna in April. (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed the upcoming U.S.-India strategic dialogue; the U.S. House breaking for its Flag Day recess; and the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) impending sentencing of Congolese rebel leader Thomas Lubanga. Read more »

TWE Remembers: The Marshall Plan

by James M. Lindsay
The title page of Secretary of State George C. Marshall's remarks at Harvard University on June 5, 1947. (George C. Marshall Foundation) The title page of Secretary of State George C. Marshall's remarks at Harvard University on June 5, 1947. (George C. Marshall Foundation)

Most commencement addresses are forgettable. The speaker gives some advice on how to live a productive life, advice that typically means more to the wistful parents in the audience recalling the mistakes they made along the way than to the headstrong students convinced that they will conquer the world. A few commencement speeches resonate beyond the venue in which they are given because of the speaker’s unusual eloquence and urgency. Almost no commencement addresses change the world. But the commencement address that Secretary of State George C. Marshall gave on June 5, 1947 to Harvard’s graduating class did just that. Read more »

TWE Remembers: Memorial Day

by James M. Lindsay
A U.S. Army Medal of Honor from the 1940s. (Library of Congress) A U.S. Army Medal of Honor from the 1940s. (Library of Congress)

The United States has fought twelve major wars and a countless number of smaller skirmishes. Memorial Day is our way of honoring the soldiers, sailors, airmen, airwomen, and marines who did not return home. The holiday dates back to the months immediately following the Civil War when a few towns and cities began honoring their dead. In 1868, General John A. Logan designated May 30 as “Decoration Day,” the purpose of which would be “strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.” The holiday was renamed Memorial Day after World War I, and its purpose became to honor all Americans who have died fighting the nation’s wars. Read more »

TWE Celebrates Memorial Day

by James M. Lindsay
The African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, DC. (Courtesy Reuters) The African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, DC. (Courtesy Reuters)

Monday marks Memorial Day here in the United States. Cities and towns across the country will hold parades and ceremonies to honor the men and women who served and died in the U.S. armed forces. If you happen to be in Washington, DC, you can choose from dozens of monuments and memorials to visit. Some of them are well-known: the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Marine Corps War Memorial, and Arlington National Read more »