Nicholas Confessore

Nicholas Confessore is a reporter for The New York Times. Previously he was an American Prospect senior correspondent and an editor of The Washington Monthly.

Recent Articles

The Vindication of the IRS

Back in April of 1998, several employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) came before the Senate oversight committee to testify about a litany of supposed fraud and abuse at the agency. IRS officials, they charged, had pursued vendettas against outside individuals and corporations and fudged audits to help former co-workers who had moved to private industry. Many Republicans, especially antitax crusaders, denounced the IRS as just one more overbearing government agency in need of comeuppance--which they promptly delivered via the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, signed into law by President Clinton the summer after the hearings. They may have been too hasty. In late April, the IRS released a report completed by the General Accounting Office (GAO) in 1999 but kept confidential for nearly a year. GAO investigators found that although "witnesses were correct in some of the facts supporting their allegations in some of the cases ... the allegations...

Crazy for Bush?

There are basically two kinds of New Hampshire voters. The first kind--not very different from those in the rest of the country--is represented by Frank Claik, a local dignitary from Littleton, who recently shook hands with George W. Bush. Claik is a former Democrat who switched parties out of disgust with Bill Clinton; he now says he is a Bush man. Was there a particular policy of Bush's that attracted his support, I ask. Some program? "Well, that's a tough question," Claik says. "I guess I think he's by far the best Republican, and that's why I'm for him." An idea? Perhaps an aura? "I'd have to think about it," he finally replies. Claik is the chairman of a local Republican organization. So far this sort of thing has not been a problem for Bush. For several months, he has been running a presidential campaign of exquisitely calibrated nonspecificity for the Frank Claiks of the country, folks who like winners more than they care about the finer points of policy. But New Hampshire has...

Fun With Numbers:

Snnnnnck. Out come the long knives, the jabbering classes urging Al Gore -- now that the Supreme Court and a Florida circuit court have given him no love -- to put country above self. Congressional Democrats leak that time is running out. "Last gasp for Gore," The Boston Globe informs us; "Aura of Pessimism Pervades the Vice President's Team," reports The New York Times . Among the punditry, reports The Washington Post 's Howard Kurtz, "learned analysis of Gore's situation, after a careful sifting of all the relevant evidentiary matter, can be summed up thusly: Finito. Toast. Dead meat. History. Road Kill." And then there are the polls: Beginning with a CNN/Gallup poll taken after Katherine Harris' certification of George W. Bush as the winner, polls put the numbers at 58 to 38 against Gore. And a Newsweek poll taken over this past weekend, showed that 53 percent of the country believes Gore should concede while only 44 percent urge him to continue...

A Conversation with David Bosco

David L. Bosco ["The Next Test In Kosovo," TAP Vol. 11 Issue 1] worked in Bosnia from 1996 to 1998 as a political analyst and journalist. He is now a second- year student at Harvard Law School and co- director of the Harvard Seminar on Ethics and International Affairs. Nicholas Confessore ["Rwanda, Kosovo, and Limits of Justice," TAP 46] is a staff writer at The American Prospect. NC: You ended your piece in the Prospect by pointing out that, to ensure peace and create democracy in Kosovo, the UN has employed all the methods of democracy's opposite: blacklisting, sham elections, and restrictions on movement and speech. You write that it is unclear "how tolerable these rough methods will be to liberal Western societies." But left unanswered is the question of how the Kosovars themselves view trusteeship; your piece reveals a certain amount of ambivalence. Do the Kosovars- or, for that matter, the Bosnians- want a U.S. presence? DB: One thing is that these countries frankly, are used to...

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