McFarlane, Woolsey, Inman Support McCain and Declare Opposition to Use of Torture



An interesting set of headliners — including former National Security Adviser to Ronald Reagan Robert “Bud” McFarlane, former NSA Director and Bush family pal Bobby Inman, and Committee on the Present Danger Co-Chairman R. James Woolsey — co-signed a statement strongly opposed to torture as a tool of detainee interrogations and in support of Senator John McCain‘s position, with whom I agree on this issue. I do not know what, if anything, McCain has done with the statement — and…

WHO Should Be <em>Time</em>‘s Person of the Year?



J.K. Rowling is way ahead of Al Gore and Barack Obama on Time Magazine‘s poll for “Person of the Year.” My bet is that Nobel Laureate and ‘global climate change franchise owner‘ Al Gore will be the eventual winner — but as of today, I confirmed with Time that there still is no decision and that the opportunity to influence the magazine is still open. My pick would be the “Guantanamo Detainee” because this unresolved problem goes to the very…

’08 Or Bust: Energy and Climate



So far, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Bill Richardson and Barack Obama have returned Global Solutions Candidate Questionnaires. Much of what they have to say is predictable, but there are a lot of important differences in rhetoric and even some key differences in substance. They’re worth a read through. Given all that’s going on in Bali, it’s worth taking a closer look at what each of these candidates have to say about energy and climate. It’s worth noting that all of…

Success in Bali



As of this writing, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change talks in Bali have not yet produced a final agreement. That’s ok. The tectonic shift in international climate politics has already occurred. It was clear almost from the beginning of the event that the U.S. was engaged in “hard obstruction,” attempting not only to avoid commitments for itself but actively working to block other countries from setting further targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction. That’s been the policy in…

The Weekly Gaff: Right-Wing Activists Don’t Understand What Sovereignty Means



In the last week, I’ve had over ten meetings with Senate staffers on the Law of the Sea Convention (I hope this explains and excuses my recent absence from this blog). In every meeting — without exception — staffers have agreed that U.S. interests are served by ratification of the Convention. Yet, every single staffer also added that they are being bombarded by calls from right-wing activists who say that ratification would mean a loss of sovereignty for the U.S….

When Even the Firefighters Become Spies. . .



Imagine a society where even the firemen were trained to spy on a nation’s citizens — reporting back to central “big brother headquarters” what suspicious things that they may have seen while in someone’s home ostensibly to save lives and squelch fires. That used to be places like the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Vietnam and the like — but today, we need to look at ourselves — the United States of America. Former Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA) has a…

Frustrating Cicero



Delancey Place has a nice clip from Anthony Everitt’s Cicero: The Life and Time of Rome’s Greatest Politician. Cicero’s efforts 2000 years ago to balance monarchy, oligarchy and democracy became the defining feature of the American Constitution and republic. I had recommended the Cicero book to Richard Vague who runs this “thought of the day” blog — and I highly recommend signing up to the daily notes from Delancey. But this reminds me that someone out to send Anthony Everitt’s…

Giuliani Slipping; HIllary Clinton Maintains 30 Point Lead



The Washington Post and ABC News have just released a new national poll on the relative positions of Democratic and Republican candidates: Republicans Giuliani — 25 pct Huckabee — 19 pct Romney — 17 pct Thompson — 14 pct McCain — 12 pct Paul — 3 pct Hunter — 2 pct Democrats Clinton — 53 pct Obama — 23 pct Edwards — 10 pct Richardson — 3 pct Biden — 3 pct Kucinich — 2 pct Dan Balz and Jon…

Media Alert: Australia’s ABC Radio In a Few Minutes



Sorry for the late notice, or early — depending on your spot on the globe, but I’ll be doing a segment on Australia’s ABC Radio National Late Night Live with Phillip Adams in a few minutes (at 6:15 AM EST). I doubt many will get the alert in time, but it seems the show can be downloaded later. What makes this of possible interest is that I’m going to be in a discussion on the implications of the Iran National…