BUSH AND THE BASE DEBATE: DEMS NEED A BETTER RESPONSE

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RON ASMUS HAS AN INTERESTING OP-ED IN THE WASHINGTON POST today. Early in his article, he writes: The president proposes something that generations of U.S. diplomats and soldiers fought to prevent and that our adversaries sought unsuccessfully to achieve: radical reduction of U.S. political and military influence on the European and Asian continents.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.