April 30, 2007
Timothy Noah points out that former USAID director Randall Tobias is a hypocrite for cavorting with call girls, seeing as how he oversaw USAID's policy of refusing AIDS funding to any group that didn't sign an anti-prostitution loyalty oath. That's an amusing bit of irony, but now seems like a good time to note that the policy really isn't very funny at all. When Congress first told USAID to make all its recipients sign the pledge, in 2003, lawyers at the Justice Department argued that the policy violated the First Amendment and should be ignored.
April 29, 2007
The Kindness Of Princes
Sunday's Times reported that Saudi Prince Bandar, then the country's notorious ambassador to the US, simply gave a Jaguar to Colin Powell days after his 2005 resignation as Secretary of State. A incredulous Josh Marshall asks how often this sort of thing happens. From Bob Woodward's State of Denial, here's another instance of Bandar's generosity: When Michael Deaver, one of President Reagan's top White House aides, left the White House to become a lobbyist, First Lady Nancy Reagan, another close Bandar friend, called and asked him to help Deaver.
In Today's Web Magazine
Eve Fairbanks explains how Harry Reid (an Iraq war moderate) became a dove while Carl Levin (a fierce war opponent) discovered caution; we also post a guide to the candidates' Iraq speeches; Gregg Easterbrook wonders why the press called Cho Seung-Hui a "shooter" rather than a "killer"; Suzanne Nossel says a coalition of China, Russia, and neighboring countries may subvert U.S. attempts to build international alliances; Benjamin Wittes argues that the Supreme Court found a third way on abortion; and John B. Judis fights Comcast so you don't have to. On Saturday, David A.
April 28, 2007
NYT: If lawmakers remain in Baghdad, said one senior American official who did not want to be identified because he was discussing internal White House deliberations, "we'll have some outputs then." He added, "That's different from having outcomes," drawing a distinction between a sign of activity and a sign of success, which could take considerably longer. --Michael Crowley
April 27, 2007
Tenet, Bush, And "slam Dunk"
Today's NYTimes has some details from Tenet's forthcoming memoir and, combined with the quotes from the CIA director's upcoming "60 Minutes" appearance, it's clear that, while Tenet has all sorts of ill will toward Cheney and Rice and Hadley, he isn't all that pissed at the President. Which boggles the mind--especially when it comes to the "slam dunk" revelation. The "slam dunk" quote--which Tenet made in a December 2002 Oval Office meeting attended by Bush, Cheney, Rice, Andy Card, and Tenet's deputy, John McLaughlin--first came to light in Bob Woodward's Plan of Attack.
Race To The Bottom
Is Rudy Giuliani trying to outpander Mitt Romney? As Brad notes below, it appears so. Last night, he "came out" to the the New York Sun with news that he opposes the civil unions bill recently passed by the New Hampshire State Senate, expected to be signed into law by the Republican Governor. "In this specific case the law states same sex civil unions are the equivalent of marriage and recognizes same sex unions from outside states. This goes too far and Mayor Giuliani does not support it," his spokesman told the Sun.
April 26, 2007
The Nation has a symposium on the future of Cuba.
April 25, 2007
Richardson's Strange Choice
Maybe Bill Richardson thought he was saying something very clever and bi-partisan. After addressing the National Democratic Jewish Council (along with all the other aspirants for the nomination), he told members of the press that, if elected, he would consider appointing former secretary of state James Baker special envoy for the Middle East. Now, Richardson's whole campaign is self-delusional: he will not be nominated for president or, for that matter, vice president either. But, still...does he think Baker is a credible or popular figure?
The Courting Of Pat Robertson
Today's WaPo story on the McCain campaign's (re)launch notes that while the candidate sucked up to Jerry Falwell, he stiffed Pat Robertson. If only other GOP presidential candidates were, as the Post put it, so "half-hearted" in their efforts to court two of the most objectionable figures on the right. From the New York Observer's article on the White House Correspondents dinner: Sometime between the pan-roasted filet of salmon and Rich Little's dusty impressions, Presidential candidate Mitt Romney strode over to Pat Robertson's table. "He's going to have to do what John F.
April 24, 2007
The Dems' Deadline
The Democrats did not take the advice proffered them by their official pooh-bah on important matters by the former co-chairman of the 9/11 commission and also former co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group, Lee Hamilton, former senior Democrat on the House Foreign Relations Committee. Of course, he chose to give his counsel in yesterday's London Financial Times which nobody in Washington reads. But, still, it was wise counsel: do not try to overthrow the president as commander-in-chief. It's bad strategy in Iraq.