Jim Leach Nomination?



Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Jim Walsh (R-NY) have begun to float a “Dear Colleague” letter asking members to sign on to an appeal to the White House to nominate outgoing Iowa Congressman Jim Leach as Ambassador to the United Nations “should the Bolton nomination expire.” On a conference call with reporters and bloggers, Blumenauer made clear that this effort was not an anti-Bolton effort but was rather a constructive exercise designed to highlight the merits of Jim Leach serviing…

Jim Leach for UN Ambassador



A few days ago, I suggested that outgoing Iowa Congressman and House International Relations Committee Member Jim Leach be made John Bolton’s successor as a “100% Sure Senate-Confirmed” US Ambassador to the United Nations. Actually, my pal Keith Porter wrote the suggestion to me — and though I was already thinking it — I need to give him credit for the nudge. Today, Congressman Earl Blumenauer gave a “morning hour” speech on the House floor commending Jim Leach, his leadership…

New Senate Leadership Roster



Senator Harry Reid’s office just released this roster of the new management team of the Senate: Robert C. Byrd, President Pro Temp Harry Reid, Majority Leader Dick Durbin, Assistant Majority Leader Barbara Boxer, Chief Deputy Whip Thomas R. Carper, Deputy Whip Bill Nelson, Deputy Whip Russell D. Feingold, Deputy Whip Charles E. Schumer, Vice Chair of the Conference Patty Murray, Secretary of the Conference Charles E. Schumer, Chairman of Campaign Committee Byron L. Dorgan, Chairman of Policy Committee Debbie Stabenow,…

Judith Miller Does About Face on Bush But Implies Blogs Are Turbo-Charged Tabloids



I’m sure that many will see Judith Miller’s comments in this report as an enormous “make-over”. Miller was speaking at Kansas State University’s “Community Readiness Communications: Accurate Messages in Times of Crisis” conference. Nonetheless I think it’s important to hear what people like Miller are saying — even if they are trying to reframe their role in the Bush administration’s massive expansion of Executive authority and the hyping of the WMD threat used in part to justify the invasion of…

Tony Blair Calls in Chits? Pushes Bush to Negotiate with Syria and Iran



I read Tony Blair’s speech, given a few hours ago. It’s getting some whopper attention, but I think it’s a far less robust declaration that America should wrestle “directly” with Syria and Iran than the press thinks it is — but that said, I agree completely with the ‘perceived’ sentiment. So Bravo, Tony — the press seems to want to move us towards direct deal-making with Syria and Iran. I’m willing to tag along (but think that Blair could have…

<em>TWN</em> Media Alert: Open Source with Christopher Lydon



For those at their internet terminals now, Daniel Levy — who has been a whirling dervish in Washington changing the currents of opinion and possibility on Israel-Palestine negotiations — and I will be on Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon (Boston National Public Radio) from 7 pm until 8 pm EST. The show is also archived. More later. — Steve Clemons

More on the John Bolton Drama: 2nd Recess Appointment Means No Pay or Legal Challenges



The President’s team ‘has a plan’ regarding the seemingly irrational obsession with keeping John Bolton working at the United Nations. We just don’t know what that plan is. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote Bolton down, decisively and definitively, if called to vote this week. Senators Bill Frist and Norm Coleman will probably then stomp around on the floor of the Senate bemoaning what Dems and a wayward Republican voice, calling for a revived centrist ethic, did to their…

Getting the Optics Right: Pelosi Supports Murtha as Dem Leader



Steny Hoyer will most likely be the next Democratic Party Leader in the House of Representatives despite Nancy Pelosi’s support of John Murtha today. But Pelosi’s move is gutsy — and diplomatic. She needs to build bridges between different factions in the House — including traditional liberals like Hoyer and realist hawks against the Iraq War like Murtha. She’s also got quite a few neo-con lite types among Dems that need to be handled. By not favoring favorites and promoting…

Europe’s Joy At the Election Outcome



Aspen Institute Berlin Director Jeffrey Gedmin has an interesting and useful piece, “Even Happier than the Democrats,” in the Weekly Standard today. Gedmin previously directed the New Atlantic Initiative at the American Enterprise Institute. Gedmin basically argues that he knows no Europeans who will publicly state that they admire or respect George Bush — and that a collective sigh of relief has been expressed throughout Europe that Americans have seemingly come back to their senses and knocked the Bush machine…