Blair

Love Bailouts? Then You'll Love the GOP Budget
April 27, 2011

Discussion of the House Republican budget has focused mostly on the privatization of Medicare, the block-granting of Medicaid, and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. And that’s appropriate, given the magnitude of the changes and widespread impact they would have. But those proposals are obscuring some other proposed shifts that, in any other context, would be plenty troubling for their own sake. This week I'll highlight five of them. On Monday, I talked about radical changes to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP).

Tory Story
August 12, 2010

On Friday, May 7, for the first time since 1974, we woke up the morning after the British election and didn’t know who our prime minister would be. No party had won an absolute majority, and so, for a period that a BBC-TV documentary has dubbed the "Five Days that Changed Britain," Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, held the balance of power and negotiated with Gordon Brown, who was still entrenched as prime minister, and the Conservative leader, David Cameron. Finally, the Tories cut a deal with Clegg.

Oh Brother
June 16, 2010

Two days after the British general election, Alan Watkins died. He was the doyen of London political columnists, after nearly half a century of writing weekly, wisely, and wittily about Parliament, and the Tories (his book, A Conservative Coup, is the best account of the fall of Margaret Thatcher), but, above all, the Labour Party, which he knew intimately.

North Korea, Nuclear Proliferator… And China Does Nothing
May 28, 2010

A seven-member United Nations panel—yes, even a U.N. panel—without stammer and without dodging yesterday accused North Korea of providing banned nuclear and ballistic missile technology to Iran and Syria. The news was reported by the Associated Press, Ha'aretz, the Global Security Newswire of the NTI (an outfit founded by Sen. Richard Lugar and former senator Sam Nunn) and Reuters. The U.N.

Dennis Blair On Torture
January 22, 2009

Leon Panetta's appointment as CIA director led to a frenzy of coverage (to which I contribute in our new print issue). But I think even smart media people still haven't fully adjusted to the reality that the top dog in the US intelligence community is the Director of National Intelligence, a post created at the urging of the 9/11 commission to coordinate the government's 16 different disparate intel-collecting outfits. Today Blair had his Senate confirmation hearing, and caused a minor stir when he seemed to resist equating waterboarding with torture.

Could Powell Have Stopped The War?
December 19, 2006

Matt Yglesias has a post flagging a new report from Chatham House, a British think tank. The study rips Blair and his cabinet for their "inability to influence the Bush administration in any significant way despite the sacrifice--military, political and financial--that the United Kingdom has made." Surely this is true, as Matt says. Then he writes this:   It's particularly sad because, as I've said before, Blair was really near the top of the pyramid in terms of people whose combination of objective authority and apparent credibility were key to persuading people to back the war.

Undiplomatic
and
September 08, 2006

by Jacob T. LevyIsaac Chotiner, over at our sister blog The Plank, notes: As an American, it's been hard not to follow Blair's descent over the past couple of years without an abiding sense of, well, shame. [...]But, his predicament has been relentlessly worsened by the Bush administration's continued unwillingness to offer rhetorical or substantive assistance to its best (and, in a practical sense, only) ally. From Guantánamo to steel tariffs to rebuilding contracts, the Brits have been consistently stiffed. Just so.

Why The Bush Administration Hurts The Ones They Love
and
September 08, 2006

by Daniel Drezner I'd like to thank Jacob for giving me homework in the first week. This really is an academic blog. Jacob's question was:Independent of the merits of Bush's foreign policy objectives, it seems to me to have been instrumentally irrational to be such a consistently bad friend to America's friends; it's made the attainment of those objectives harder, and may have soured important relationships in the medium term.

Right Turn
December 17, 2001

These are heady times for conservatism. The last 20 years have seen a decisive shift in the West toward market economics and away from statist intervention. The welfare state as it has historically been understood is an endangered species. Culturally, the importance of family structure, religious faith, and personal responsibility is affirmed by a wider array of people than for a generation. And with September 11, the bedrock conservative insight that the world is an inherently dangerous place has been decisively proved once again.