The Note: Learning to Use Irrationality As a Bargaining Tool

The Los Angeles Times' Bettina Boxall has details of the White House's decision Thursday to drop the Clinton rule that declared nearly a third of national forest land immune to road building, logging, and oil and gas development. LINK

Tom Kenworthy of USA Today Notes that the boon for governors of Western states to decide what to do with the forestlands. LINK


At this point, Sen. Lugar says the Bolton committee vote is on schedule for next week, but Sen. Biden ain't so sure.

The Los Angeles Times' Mary Curtius and Greg Miller lead with Sen. Biden's request for more documents as part of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's review of John Bolton's nomination, and the warning by Democrats that they might not be ready to vote next week. LINK

More from AP: LINK

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, talks to Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff about Bolton today, after former deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage came out in favor of the nomination yesterday, the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler reports. The fighting over documents continues. LINK

From John Harwood's Washington Wire: "Bolton won't testify again before Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote next week, a blow to Democrats who hoped to score points by pressing him on allegations of abusing subordinates. Other administration officials lobby wavering Republicans, brandishing Margaret Thatcher's praise for Bolton's "capacity for straight talking rather than peddling half-truths."

A strong vote of support for Bolton comes courtesy of the New York Post editorial page, which treats the charges against him concerning intelligence reports thusly: LINK

"Are Americans supposed to greet with a straight face the news that intelligence officials -- who have gotten data wrong for years, often with tragic results -- now bad mouth someone unafraid to say that maybe these guys could be wrong?"

Rush & Molloy's Daily News gossip column includes an item about Bolton's ex-wife refusing to include any troubles from their marriage in the public debate surrounding his nomination. LINK

The politics of national security:

The Washington Post's Dana Priest reports that $20 million has been tentatively earmarked to move the CIA's domestic division, which is responsible for operations and recruitment in the U.S., from the Langley, VA headquarters to Denver next year. Current and former intelligence officials told Priest the move reflects Director Porter Goss' desire to "develop new ways to operate under cover, including setting up more front corporations and working closer with established international firms." LINK

The Washington Post's John Mintz looks at the new Harvard study that finds efforts by the United States and Russia to secure nuclear materials and keep them out of the possession of terrorists have been rendered less than effective because of red tape and a less-than-urgent approach. LINK

Filibuster battles:

The New York Times' enterprising David Kirkpatrick went to Maine to check out the crowd and air wars, and see what he could find. LINK

And he found that as Sen. Bill Frist gears up to potentially trigger the filibuster rules change next week, he sent two e-mails extolling interest group pressure campaigns in states like Maine to Republican Senators. Including Senators Snowe and Collins of Maine.

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