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Inside Baseball February 14, 2009

Posted by KG in Etc., State.

It’s weird being part of an organization so large that most of what I’ve learned about it, politics-wise, I’ve gleaned from third-party sources. But I guess that’s what happens when you’re the lowest rung on the ladder and thousands of miles from HQ. Not that I noticed before. Prior to the inauguration of President Obama, the subject of “whose the new DAS?” was actually kind of boring. But now? We’ve got whole swaths of new political appointees coming in: to offices on the Seventh Floor, the top floor of some Embassies, and other power positions. The whole naming-of-appointees, vetting-of-appointees, jockeying-for-good-offices thing is fascinating. So I’ve started reading some new, inside-y, esoteric blogs.

Via my friend Spencer, I learned about The Cable, which is updated far too infrequently for my tastes. If you dork out for who-sits-where type stories, it’s highly recommended. Up until recently Foreign Policy was also running the totally interesting and funny Madame Secretary blog. I hope it comes back soon. I’ve also been enjoying Undiplomatic, and the foreign policy writing of Spencer and others on The Washington Independent. Of course, the upper-floor movements described on these blogs aren’t yet trickling down to lowly old me, on the working level — but that’s okay. I kind of like just watching.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my personal favorite piece of State Department media coverage recently, Gene Weingarten’s column “What the [Blank]” from last week. Colleagues overseas, if you haven’t read it, you owe it to yourself. Remember: a little mockery from the outside keeps all of us on the inside honest.



1. jcrippen - February 14, 2009


Thanks for the great links. Ramona and I are doing fine here in Juarez City, now a little more informed.


John Crippen

2. Phil - February 22, 2009

I was, sadly, caught up in the e-mail storm. It was funny at first, then just got downright sad.

Dozens and dozens of e-mails saying

“Please Remove me from this e-mail list”

“me too”

“me too”

…greeted me every morning, for about 10 days.

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