The Spectacle Blog
Funny how former Sen. George Mitchell is now heading Major League Baseball's belated steroids investigation. He must not have been encouraged by the results of this trolling for work with other athletic endeavors.
We hear Mitchell was one of the first in line to beg outgoing National Football League commissioner Paul Tagliabue for an opportunity to fill his very large shoes. After all Mitchell thinks he brokered peace in Northern Ireland, he figures he can broker anything. But Mitchell's star is somewhat tarnished by his role as a board member at the Walt Disney Company, which was detailed in joyously brutal detail by Jim Stewart in his "Disney Wars" book.
Given Mitchell's desire for the spotlight, it's doubtful Tagliabue would be looking to him as a reasonable replacement, and the 32 egos in NFL ownership wouldn't like him much, either.
So the NYT thinks Josh Bolton is going to shake things up on the economic and Congressional fronts. Now there's a news flash!
Bolton is probably going to do more than that. This is a man who famously keeps longer hours than Andy Card does, and drives his staff perhaps harder than any other senior White House official.
In terms of bringing in legislative help, we're hoping the name won't be former Sen. Dan Coats, who may make a great Supreme Court nominee sherpa, but has gained the reputation since leaving office of being lazy. As U.S. ambassador to Germany, he was famous for spending more time on the golf courses in Europe than in-country, and was a major reason for the breakdown in the U.S.-Germany relationship. Relations between Congress and the White House are bad enough, we don't need Coats to help things along a bit more.
Our pick would be a someone from outgoing Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's staff. With a year to go before he retires, he could probably "lend" the White House a strong legislative mover and shaker with the relationships on both sides of Congress to ease relations.
There’s no need to wait thirty days for the Iranian response to the UN’s demands. They’ve already rejected complying with UN requirements to stop enriching uranium. And now,
The revolutionary guards corps navy and air force in collaboration with (Iran's regular) army, navy, (the volunteer militia) Basij, and the Iranian police will start a manoeuvre from 31 March until 6 April in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman…The exercise will cover an area stretching from the northern tip of the Persian Gulf all the way to the port city of Chah-Bahar in the Sea of Oman extending 40km into the sea.
Dave: One curious note in that "plan." The Dems say they will "eliminate" Osama bin Laden. Not that I wouldn't personally pull the trigger (more than once) given the opportunity, but does this mean that the Dems would annul EO 12333? As I recall, that's the one that prohibits assassinations. I wonder what "eliminate" means in the Dems lexicon. Would they go so far as to exclude him from the amnesty being granted illegal immigrants? I doubt Hapless Harry would ever be that harsh, judgmental or exclusionist.
Bob: I think we should be grateful to the Senate Dems who blocked the nomination of John Bolton to the UN ambassadorship. The fact that the president used a recess appointment to get him into the job increased his influence rather than decreased it by showing the Turtle Bay crime family that Bolton has the president's confidence.
That confidence was not misplaced, as Bolton proved yesterday with his tough words on the Iran nuclear program. Not only did he say that we expect full compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but he pushed aside the Chinese attempt to put the UN's position in the hands of the feckless IAEA and proliferation apologist el-Baradei. Bolton said we were prepared to be back to the Security Council on the 31st day if Iran wasn't completely forthcoming. The clock is ticking, and -- fortunately for us -- the official timekeeper's name is Bolton.
Belatedly, here is my full take on the "shake-up" at the White House: It's a good thing that there is a mild, evolutionary change there, and it would have been bad if there had either been no change or a huge, revolutionary change. (The Post, by the way, used the evolutionary/revolutionary contrast in its headline, but I had already used it in my interview with the Post's Peter Baker and other interviews yesterday.) Andy Card was not the problem, but having him step aside, after good and faithful service, might be the beginning of solving the problem. Aside from Card's rumored responsibility (in large part) for the Miers nomination fiasco, I know of no other reason to believe that he was anything other than an honest broker who was well organized (although EVERYBODY'S competence was called into question by Katrina) and well liked.