Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bits and Pieces - Ratify New Start Edition

Pat Buchanan says to do it. (I'm not sure this is helpful, but I'm not a Republican.)

Medvedev says that no agreement on mutual work on missile defense could lead to another nuclear arms race. Pre-emptive clarification: He agreed to work with NATO on missile defense. This has nothing to do with the New Start Treaty, although I'm sure that some Republican senator can come up with why this means they should vote against ratification.

USA Today comes out in favor of ratification. (h/t Frank Munger)

Michael Krepon illuminates one of the less-discussed downsides of ratification failure.

The Wall Street Journal apparently illuminates one of the Republican anti-treaty memes. The problem seems to be that in this article, "missiles not bearing nuclear warheads" should be substituted for "tactical nuclear weapons." I'm not totally clear on this; the discussion is developing on Twitter as I write. I'll update when I can. The bottom line seems to be that the Russians never moved any nuclear weapons, so the Republican meme is false. Update: Pavel Podvig writes up what he's been tweeting. Bottom line:
So, what happened in the spring of 2010? My best guess is that some missiles were redeployed from one location to another, probably as part of the process of reorganization of the military. I'm fairly confident that no nuclear warheads were moved in the process. I believe we can also be certain that whatever happened was not related to the U.S. missile defense moves in any way. And, of course, one thing we know with absolute certainty - someone desperately wants the New START treaty to fail.
And I'll add that that last someone is the WSJ.

Bonus: Republican economics. Criticized by a Republican.

Ezra Klein has a nice piece about how Mitch McConnell and the Republicans probably don't think "Let's see: how can I screw my country" when they wake up in the morning. I think he's got a lot right, but I'm wondering how they can keep up the self-deception when so many of us are writing about it.

Keith Olbermann summarizes the state of play in the video below. Just after the five minute mark, Lawrence Korb suggests that Jon Kyl is trying to become the replacement for Richard Lugar. Ugh is the mildest thing I can think of in response.

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Added later: Republican Senator George Voinovich (Ohio) is leaning toward ratification.

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