TRENDS IN THINK TANKS — LOU DOBBS REPORTS

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CNN’S LOU DOBBS IS REPORTING ON THINK TANKS each night this week. He is looking at which tanks are most influential and why — as well as looking at the question of whether non-transparent funding is inappropriately using think tanks to push various agendas. His show is called “Thought Leaders.” I know that Gary Schmitt of the Project for the New American Century will appear tonight as he had signed in at CNN for his interview shortly before I got…

DEMOCRATS: DON’T BECOME BASE-HUGGERS

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WESLEY CLARK AND RICHARD HOLBROOKE ARE MAKING A MISTAKE in their criticism of President Bush’s military realignment plan. Clark went the farthest in a DNC arranged conference call, by saying that the proposal “will significantly undermine U.S. national security.” All of a sudden, leading national security democrats are becoming base-huggers, and this is bad for the Democratic Party and country. There are more than 750 U.S. military installations outside of the United States — and many of these are anachronistic…

JOHN KERRY’S HINDSIGHT PROBLEM

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JOSH MARSHALL AND KEVIN DRUM HAVE BOTH ADDRESSED KERRY’S IRAQ WAR resolution problem — and I don’t really want to pile on. Josh basically agrees with Kerry’s position that he voted for a process that gave the president the power to go to war as part of a suite of efforts to keep pressure on Saddam Hussein to support weapons inspections. Drum also thinks that Kerry’s comments on the war and war resolution are consistent with many other of his…

WHO ARE THE REAL NEOCONS?

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AFTER 9/11, THERE WAS SO MUCH ANGER AND DEMAND FOR REVENGE that raising questions about how and why a group of highly educated, middle class mostly Saudis would be willing to sacrifice their lives and inflict such horrific damage on America was considered to be unpatriotic. The lemming-like, group think of Washington public policy intellectuals following bin Laden’s attack was a time of shame for the approximately 1,500 think tanks in Washington. These policy institutions receive tax exempt status for…

NEOCON CIVIL WAR? DEBATING “THE NATIONAL INTEREST”

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“THE NEOCONSERVATIVE MOMENT” BY FRANCIS FUKUYAMA is an important new essay in the latest edition of The National Interest. The link only provides an excerpt — but a subscription to this magazine is a cheap price to pay to read what may be the beginnings of a civil war among neoconservatives. I attended a dinner last week hosted by The National Interest and the Nixon Center featuring Francis Fukuyama discussing this article. The rules for the meeting were not presented,…

PNAC: McGOVERN & NIXON INFLUENCE KERRY FOREIGN POLICY

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JIM PINKERTON GETS CREDIT for pointing out a fascinating and, one would think, conflicting set of references in the latest Memorandum to Opinion Leaders by the Project for the New American Century‘s Gary Schmitt. Gary Schmitt spends his page poking holes in John Kerry’s statement “I know I can run a more effective, smarter, more productive war on terror… I will do it by bringing to our side the allies that we used to have which should have been with…

JOSH MARSHALL ON JOURNALISTIC ETHICS & VALERIE PLAME

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JOSH MARSHALL DOES NOT NEED REFERRALS from my site. I owe him a great deal for giving the world some notice of what I’ve been doing. That said, I really like his post today exploring the ethics of journalistic discretion about sources. With regard to the Valerie Plame affair, he expressed admiration for Matt Cooper who went to jail and posted bond for refusing to testify about whether they knew if White House sources had exposed CIA agent Valerie Plame’s…

THE RNC, CHURCH DIRECTORIES & IRS PUNISHMENT

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THE IRS SHOULD DISENFRANCHISE CHURCHES that comply with the Republican National Committee’s requests to turn over parish rosters and contact information. The blurring of the lines between the religious and the secular didn’t start with the Bush administration, but they have certainly taken this to new heights of sophistication and systemization. To be fair in my criticism, Bill Clinton has always been comfortable at the pulpit and used churches not only in his own political campaigns but actually endorsed the…

THE CIVIL-MILITARY GAP DEBATE NEEDS REVIVAL

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TO GET TO MY SMALL VACATION CABIN at Deep Creek Lake, Maryland — right at the very tip of the Maryland pan handle and bordering West Virginia and Pennsylvania, I drive through the Allegheny mountain town of Cumberland, Maryland. Cumberland is a great, simple, working class town with a distinctive mini skyline of very thin and dramatic church steeples which I enjoy seeing as I drive in from the east on the 68 Freeway. It’s the town where William H….

WOOLSEY’S WEB: STRUCTURAL CORRUPTION & IRAQ

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WALTER F. ROCHE JR. HAS AN ILLUMINATING PIECE TODAY in the Los Angeles Times on the clan Woolsey — exposing some of the Iraq contract connections of Suzanne Woolsey, the former CIA Director’s wife. In January 2004, she became a director of Fluor Corporation, which has $1.6 billion in Iraq related contracts. She also serves as a director of the Institute for Defense Analyses which also has war interests, and received modest compensation for that role according to the article….