The Breakfast Table

King of the News Hill

Dear Paula,

Have you noticed how easy it is for Kosovo to get knocked off the front page? Whether it’s Columbine, the Oklahoma tornadoes, or, today, the AT&T cable deal, our Balkan adventure gets forgotten quite easily.

A deal is in the air over Kosovo. The nub of the disagreement remains the composition of armed forces in Kosovo. The United States has gone from insisting on NATO troops only to NATO troops at the core of an international force to now asking for an “international civil and security presence.” Milosevic, for his part, has recently said he would allow a lightly armed UN force. This seems like a difference that can be bridged–with a combination of force and diplomacy. But it will be like a victory for NATO only if the refugees go home in droves–think of the pictures of them streaming back home, rebuilding their homes. (Perhaps Jimmy Carter could help them, given his expertise in this area. He’s probably miffed at being upstaged by Jesse Jackson in the irresponsible-negotiations-with-despots department anyway.)

One local story that has been raging all week is the battle of the Rudys–Giuliani vs. Crew over the New York schools. Their political squabble has obscured something extraordinary. The most over-administered school system in the country might actually be reformed (in my opinion largely because of Giuliani.) It is amazing to think that so many “intractable” problems are beginning to turn around. All I can say is God Bless America, and pass the toast please.

By the way, you’re the MBA. Is the AT&T deal good for America? More important, is it good for the Zakarias?