TOKYO—Anyone paying even passing attention to the news from East Asia knows that the rise of China has taken a bad turn in recent years, and that our closest allies in the region feel threatened by the increasingly belligerent policies of President Xi. It’s not clear, however, that even well informed Americans realize how dire the situation is. It’s time they paid better attention, because China’s lawless pursuit of resources and territory is coming to resemble nothing else so much as the behavior of the Japanese empire before World War Two—a disconcerting comparison I have heard more than once from analysts and government officials here, where I have been traveling with a group of journalists and policy experts on a trip arranged by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
CINCINNATI, Ohio—Of course it was pouring. Driving down I-75 in minimum-visibility road conditions past Shell stations and strip malls toward the Ark Encounter, the life-sized replica of the vessel used by Noah to save mankind and the animal kingdom from God’s wrath during the Deluge that opened last month in Williamstown, Kentucky, my only question was “Can she float?”
PHILADELPHIA—The first and only event I signed up to cover ahead of time during this week’s Democratic National Convention was a fundraiser headlined by Texas Democrat Wendy Davis. In the spirit of serious journalism, I hoped that I could show off the $120 pair of pink Mizunos that I flew across the country to purchase from her house in April.
CLEVELAND, Ohio—It is flattering to be in Cleveland for the GOP convention as a member of the press, because everything that happens here is really for me. Not me specifically, of course, or even primarily for writers at online newspapers—TV stations with large audiences are obviously higher up on the press heap—but the media as a whole, with its ability to broadcast events and to shape public opinion about them, is the whole reason-for-being of this vast, tense pep-rally.
Scene: A couple exhausts its life savings to move to a home in the Huntington section of Alexandria, Va. in order to be within walking distance of the Metro, the Washington, D.C. version of New York’s subway. They close on May 31 and move in June 12. On July 5, Metro shuts down the lines that bring Husband 11 miles to Washington Free Beacon HQ, which is located many floors above THE POLITICO. The Wife is 10 months pregnant.
He almost became a waiter. When Eric Ripert was finishing his first year at culinary school in Perpignan, France, his instructors were so impressed by his front-of-the-house skills that they were planning on ending his kitchen studies to have him focus fully on service. But even as a 16-year-old, Ripert knew his passion was cooking, not waiting tables.
Roger Clinton once answered the door of the guesthouse at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion wearing only a bath towel. He had decamped there for the night after playing a show in Arkansas and was mildly surprised to discover that friends of the Natural State’s then-first lady would also be using the residence for the evening.