John McCain’s Campaign Woes: The Cheney Factor



I attended a John McCain Mixer at “The Core Club” in New York last year (on an evening I had helped organize a George Soros book party in the same club) and was impressed with McCain’s unambiguous support for stem cell research, his smart views on immigration reform, as well as his candor that he felt America was doing few of the things a nation had to do to reinvent itself and to establish great objectives and pursue them. But…

McCain Shakes Up and Giuliani Goes Off the Deep End



Most of the political news today is focused on the McCain staff shakeup. The departures of Terry Nelson and John Weaver are noteworthy, but the biggest news is the end of Mark Salter’s official employment with McCain. Salter has reportedly walked McCain through every significant decision he’s made and the two recently co-authored their fifth book together. Honestly, though, I’m more interested in the Giuliani campaign news today. My organization doesn’t endorse presidential candidates, so I’m speaking only for myself…

UN Emergency Peace Service: An Idea Whose Time Has Come



I mentioned in a post last week that I’ve been pushing an exciting proposal to make the U.N.’s peacekeeping and disaster relief capacity far more responsive and effective than it is now. It’s time to tip my hand. For the past four weeks or so I’ve been meeting extensively with Congressional staff about a proposed UN Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS). Even without any changes, the UN is very effective at disaster relief and peacekeeping. The RAND Corporation reports that the…

Report on Hardened Underground Facility near Natanz



(Natanz nuclear enrichment facility) Just released in the Washington Post is an interesting story on the existence of a new — heretofore unreported — hardened underground facility and set of tunnels conneted to Natanz. Some analysts believe that it this facility is probably meant to disperse and protect nuclear assets in case of attack. Given the earlier reports on TWN confirmed by other major journalistic establishments that a member of Vice President Cheney’s staff was reporting that the Vice President…

Schumer Dances on Republican War Problems But Neglects His Own Support of John Bolton



I don’t really want to ridicule Senator Chuck Schumer, who has a thoughtful fundraising appeal letter out today which does a very good job spelling out the problems Senate Republicans face in 2008. I will post his letter below. However, I feel it important to remind leading Democrats not to become too overwhelmed by their own sense of infallibility about the War and what led to it; not to become too intoxicated with a “holier than thou” attitude for a…

Bush, Hagel, McCain: You Can’t Go Home Again



How times have changed — sort of. I realize that the above picture is not as clear as it might be. I snapped it on my cell phone camera when visiting Senator Hagel‘s office recently. The picture shows George W. Bush hugging Senators McCain and Hagel. This kind of encounter happens all the time in DC. Even enemies have to smile, laugh, tell jokes and keep the heat turned down to some degree so as to fight another day. Today’s…

What I Really Think. . .on Cheney, Cuba, Hillary, Jonathan Powers, Berlin, and other stuff



This is going to be a bit of a disorganized, stream-of-consciousness roster of items on which I feel I owe some comment. Short and brief. First of all, I have been pestered by quite a number of people and posters about Cheney/Bush and impeachment. Go back and read the blog. TWN has been one of the most persistent and compelling (in my view) vehicles for making the case against Cheney and his team. I wish those pursuing impeachment well. That…

Iraq Rhetoric: Senators in Glass Houses



I’ll throw in my two cents on Bush friend Pete Domenici’s statement on Iraq this week. My organization doesn’t work on Iraq, but my colleagues and I spend a great deal of time thinking about how we use language and how it affects the public debate. I’ve often argued on this blog that rhetoric matters, that roll call votes shouldn’t be the exclusive measure of an elected official. Floor speeches, press releases, and other statements do shift the policy debate…