Daniel Strauss

Daniel Strauss is a summer 2008 Prospect editorial intern.

Recent Articles

Congress' New Watchmen

TAP talks with David Skaggs and Porter Goss, the Democratic and Republican co-chairs of the newly formed Office of Congressional Ethics.

Former Reps. David Skaggs and Porter Goss were recently named co-chairs of the new Office of Congressional Ethics by House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader John Boehner. The office is meant to act as a way for private citizens to express complaints about the House to congressional members. The OCE is not planned to have subpoena power and will only serve to review complaints and forward them to the House Ethics Committee if it deems it necessary. TAP interviewed the co-chairs about their new jobs in the OCE. Before his recent appointment to the OCE, David Skaggs headed Colorado's Department of Higher Education. Porter Goss started a national security consulting company and was director of the CIA before President Bush replaced him with Gen. Michael V. Hayden amid allegations of corruption by subordinates and mismanagement. Other members of the newly created office include former Reps. Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and Karan English, former House Chief Administrator Jay...

ISN'T HAVING HISTORY OF BEING, YOU KNOW, ETHICAL IMPORTANT FOR RUNNING AN ETHICS OFFICE?

Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner have named a group dominated by ex-representatives (including Abner " nobody that nobody sent " Mikva ) to run the new Office of Congressional Ethics including Republican former CIA Director Porter Goss who will co-chair the office with democratic ex-Rep. David Skaggs . Recall that Goss was one of the main backers of the USA PATRIOT act which sadly didn't seem to keep him in Bush 's good graces as the president replaced Goss with Gen. Michael Haydon soon after. Goss was also against a public 9-11 commission. He finally got the boot from Bush after the FBI raided subordnate Dusty Foggo 's office and home and connected Foggo to the Brent Wilkes / Duke Cunningham scandal . He sounds like the perfect guy to lead an ethics oversight office. --Daniel Strauss

COULD UNSEEN MEMOS FINALLY LEAD TO CONSEQUENCES FOR ADVOCATES OF TORTURE?

Jane Mayer discussed her new book The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals , with Steven Clemons today at The New America Foundation. The discussion touched on a number of topics in Mayer's book but the most engaging and disturbing part of the discussion was when Mayer was asked if anyone within the Bush White House are war criminals: "As a political reporter, I've covered the White House since the Reagan era, off and on, so I really see this much more as a political question than a legal question. ... You have to ask yourself 'do you see the appetite in this country for putting people on trial who could say that they were trying to protect America in a difficult time?' I think it's a real stretch to think that the public is the public is going to demand that these people go on trial." But perhaps that would change if some of the still "unsolved mysteries" Mayer mentioned were uncovered: "There are a number of legal memos nobody's...

MCCAIN'S PROBLEM IS WHAT HE'S SAYING, NOT HOW HE SAYS IT.

I attended a panel today on political speeches at The New America Foundation moderated by Steve Coll with Michael A. Cohen , James Pinkerton , and Jeremy Rosner . Rosner had probably the best point of the day. He said that the problem with McCain 's speeches is that he hasn't figured out a political strategy yet: "I think John McCain faces a deeper problem than staff shakeups which is that he hasn't figured out a political strategy. ... A lot of people have noted he's just very incoherently between the right and the center, between offshore drilling and $300 million prizes for new electric batteries. ... He just hasn't figured out a strategy for being a presidential candidate. My advice is that he needs to sort of place a clear bet on whether he's trying to do another Karl Rove base consolidation strategy or whether he's truly trying to gun for the middle and change the Republican party -- he just hasn't figured that out. Until he does that he's not going to solve the sense of...

MCCAIN SCRATCHES CONTRACTOR BACKS.

You'd think both John McCain and Barack Obama would support competition for government contracts, alongside every other reasonable person. A healthy competition means the end product is the best possible, right? Consider the the Northrop Grumman vs. Boeing competition to build a fleet of refueling tankers for the Air Force. Originally the Air Force awarded the contract to Northrop Grumman. Boeing appealed to the Government Accountability Office, which found that the Air Force had not been thorough enough in its decision making; the Grumman planes were not superior in cost or design. The GAO recommended the Air Force reopen the bidding process. Obama agreed, but surprisingly, McCain didn't, siding with Northrop Grumman. McCain had actually been trying to sway the Air Force in favor of Grumman for a while -- among McCain's staff are lobbyists for the manufacturing contractor. It's ironic that McCain, who flaunts his military and defense positions like nobody's business, would not want...

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