Sunday Chestertown Tea Party, Cheney and “End Runs”

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For those of you in the neighborhood, I will be hanging around Chestertown, Maryland and enjoying the annual “Chestertown Tea Party” festivities. The boat race (see pic above) across the Chester River at 2:30 pm today is worth hanging out for. For the rest, I’ll be talking about Vice President Cheney, Iran, and “end run” strategies at 2 pm EST on “Ian Masters’ Background Briefing” and then at 5 pm EST on the new “Sam Seder Show.” More later. —…

Pat Lang & Lawrence Wilkerson Share Nightmare Encounters with Feith, Wolfowitz, and Tenet

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(Lawrence Wilkerson and his regular Thursday students. These are not the ones in the audience referred to below.) Jeff Stein of Congressional Quarterly has a great recap of what former Pentagon spy-master Pat Lang and former State Department Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson had to say at a University of District of Columbia forum on May 7th. Here’s some Feith fun from Pat Lang: Patrick Lang told a hilarious story the other night, for example, about a job interview he…

More on Bush-Cheney White House Intrigue on US-Iran Policy

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(Joe Klein; photo credit: Online News Hour with Jim Lehrer) Joe Klein adds some important contextual material to the question of what Cheney may be cooking up on Iran on Time‘s Swampland blog. Klein links to my post and writes in “Cheney’s Iran Fantasy“: I can confirm, through military and intelligence sources, part of Steve Clemons’ account of Cheney’s crazed bellicosity regarding Iran. In fact, having just received a second-source confirmation of the following story, I was intending to post…

Cheney Attempting to Constrain Bush’s Choices on Iran Conflict: Staff Engaged in Insubordination Against President Bush

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There is a race currently underway between different flanks of the administration to determine the future course of US-Iran policy. On one flank are the diplomats, and on the other is Vice President Cheney’s team and acolytes — who populate quite a wide swath throughout the American national security bureaucracy. The Pentagon and the intelligence establishment are providing support to add muscle and nuance to the diplomatic effort led by Condi Rice, her deputy John Negroponte, Under Secretary of State…

Paulson Plays the Rude Card Against Chinese: No Windfall Expected

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(Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson and China Vice Premier Wu Yi perform the US-China hit, Strained Smiles.) Wow. Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson just about did everything wrong but spit on Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi today at the premature wrap-up of the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) meeting in Washington. Chris Nelson’s Nelson Report — which I’ve attached in full below — has a scathing critique of the Treasury Secretary’s performance today. Now maybe Paulson had a reasonable…

A Neocon War-Planning Vacation to the Bahamas!

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Jim Lobe, one of the best international affairs correspondents who has resisted the trend towards homogenization in his sector’s coverage, has launched a blog, and he has a cool expose on a neocon retreat being planned for the Bahamas on May 30. The conference is titled “Confronting The Iranian Threat: The Way Forward.” Perhaps they’ll all get burned CDs of McCain singing “Bomb Bomb Bomb — Bomb Bomb Iran” as conference favors. Take a look at the reported list of…

Bush to Ditch START Framework

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Steve hosted a really interesting reception last night on the USS Sequoia for people interested in U.S.-Cuba policy. I managed to get past my characteristic awkwardness in DC-style networking situations and it paid off, as I met some very smart and passionate individuals. There was a palpable sense of optimism at the event: many believe that the current U.S. policy toward Cuba, a cold war relic whose life has been extended by small-minded politics, is on its last legs. The…

Michael Baroody Withdraws

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For days, I have been intending to write a longer note about the objections to Michael Baroody that some have had about his appointment by President Bush to serve as head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. I am only now getting beyond my intention to write this short piece as I have been tied up with a number of serious work-related efforts that had hard deadlines and have just been buried in work. That said though, just as I…

Richardson is Hitting the Mark on Energy

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To no one’s surprise, Bill Richardson is officially a candidate for President. Richardson is showing well right now in Iowa, though some people doubt he can break through to the supposed “top tier” of candidates. I think he certainly has the potential; whether or not his candidacy really takes off remains to be seen. But enough punditry. Richardson is hitting exactly the right mark on some important policy issues, which should (albeit rarely) serve as the meat and potatoes of…