REAGAN’S DEATH, FARENHEIT 9/11, EDWARDS, SWIFT BOATS

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CLEARLY, THIS PRESIDENTIAL RACE IS NOT SHAPING UP to be about alternative policy choices. It is a race driven by various exogenous shocks. Electoral-Vote.com does a nice job of plotting certain events against the likely electoral college performance of Bush and Kerry since May. Check out this website’s thoughtful discussion on polling as well and the other great resources scattered throughout the site. Reagan’s death, Farenheit 9/11, John Edwards’ selection as VP, the Democratic National Convention, the Swift Boat ads,…

<em>KINSEY</em>: SEX, POLITICS AND AMERICA’S RELIGIOUS STRAIGHTJACKET

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LIAM NEESON AND LAURA LINNEY STAR IN KINSEY, a new movie by Director Bill Condon, scheduled to be released November 12th. This film is powerful, political, and needs to be out in October. Fox Searchlight Productions, the independent film arm of Fox, is distributing the film — and the folks there are into thoughtful social and political commentary. I hosted a film screening for Bill Condon — Academy Award winning writer and director who wrote and directed Gods and Monsters…

BUSH-KERRY IN STATISTICAL DEAD HEAT

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The PEW RESEARCH CENTER FOR PEOPLE AND THE PRESS ISSUED A SURVEY REPORT this evening titled “Kerry Support Rebounds, Race Again Even.” It seems that the controversy over Bush’s National Guard service has taken its toll. The report starts: Voter opinion in the presidential race has seesawed dramatically in the first two weeks of September. Following a successful nominating convention, George W. Bush broke open a deadlocked contest and jumped out to a big lead over John Kerry. However, polling…

CHUCK HAGEL FOR PRESIDENT? A SANE FOREIGN POLICY VOICE

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AFTER 9-11 AND UP TO THE TIME OF THE IRAQ INVASION, Senator Chuck Hagel was one of the very few voices of sanity in senior Republican circles. Although I don’t have his earlier statements on hand to hyperlink to this post (I’ll try and dig some up), I heard Chuck Hagel speak to a small group organized by Jack Janes and the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies where Hagel outlined a set of crucial “questions” that the Bush administration…

BUSH FIVE YEARS AGO: DEMOCRACY OPTIONAL

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A FRIEND REMINDED ME OF BUSH’S POOR PERFORMANCE in November 1999 recalling names of political leaders in four of the world’s leading hot spots. The article, “Bush fails reporter’s pop quiz on international leaders,” reminds us that Bush had trouble recalling Lee Teng-hui of Taiwan and could not recall the leaders of India, Pakistan and Chechnya. My guess is that Bush would get Taiwan and Pakistan today, but still would fail India and Chechnya. But what we need to remember…

U.S. IN THE WORLD: DROPPING THE FEAR FACTOR

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THE COMMITTEE ON THE PRESENT DANGER is attempting to engage Americans in important foreign policy and security debates through fear tactics. One good resource that seeks to engage Americans and those abroad who care about international affairs is a new guide, U.S. in the World: Talking Global Issues with Americans — A Practical Guide. I served as a Task Force member on this project and am very impressed with the usefulness of this guide for folks who are not foreign…

WOOLSEY WATCH: MONGERING FOR WORLD WAR IV?

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JAMES WOOLSEY & CO. WILL OUTLINE WORLD WAR IV STRATEGIES at a forum scheduled two weeks from now on Wednesday, 29 September, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. The forum is disconcertingly titled: “World War IV: Why We Fight, Whom We Fight, How We Fight,” and is sponsored by the Committee on the Present Danger and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. They won’t let you in the door as the conference is being organized as a watering…

SLEEPY HOLLOW CEMETARY: WHERE LABOR AND INDUSTIAL AMERICA MEET

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I AM IN POCANTICO, NEW YORK, AT KYKUIT, the former estate of John D. Rockefeller for an interesting conference organized by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs. I have been extremely busy up here and only now able to find a way on line recently. I have some longer, more thoughtful posts to get up soon, but I need to edit them and see if they can withstand the scrutiny of those who…

PENTAGON: PREEMPTIVE STRIKE AGAINST SEYMOUR HERSH

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THE PENTAGON HAS JUST UNLOADED A CLIP AT SEYMOUR HERSH for what it thinks may be in his book. I have never seen a government bureaucracy issue a pre-reaction for something it was expecting but which had not occurred. Hersh must be cutting close to the bone in his soon-to-be-released book Chain of Command: The Road From 9/11 to Abu Ghraib. Here is the full text of the Department of Defense news release: No. 889-04 IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 10, 2004…

WOOLSEY WATCH: BAATHISTS, SHIITES, AND AL QAEDA?

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JAMES WOOLSEY OPENED THE TULSA TOWN HALL annual speakers program with a speech there this morning, and he spoke in Tulsa as well on Wednesday before the Downtown Rotary Club. According to KOTV Channel 6, Woolsey “says we need to defeat three radical groups in the Middle East — the Bathists, Shiites and al-Qaida — before the war can be won” (the spelling is not mine). Isn’t defeating the Shiites a bit of an over-reach, Jim? Isn’t that like taking…