What UN Reform?

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The Washington Post today has an interesting tidbit: apparently the Bush administration wants to hold a floor vote on its almost-derailed nominee for ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, even if his nomination gets sunk in committee. As Laura Rozen says, “If they can’t win playing by the rules, then their next move is … to change the rules.” But reading down to the end of the Post story, it seems the White House wants to do something else with a floor vote on Bolton:

Dan Bartlett, a senior adviser to Bush, said the president is eager for a floor fight over the United Nations and the need to shake it up. “A vote for John Bolton will be a vote for change at the United Nations,” he said. “A vote against will be for the status quo. The president believes the status quo is unacceptable and wants a person . . . who will be an agent for change.”

Right. The White House wants to let the United Nations know that it should be afraid, very afraid, to mess with the United States of frickin’ America. But all this talk about “a vote for change” strikes me as a bit of a red herring. What change? As far as I know, the Bush administration hasn’t proposed a single reform to the UN. We know the White House got upset that members of the United Nations were allowed to oppose the war in Iraq, and there’s a bit of mock outrage over Oil-for-Food—please, if conservatives were this upset about multimillion dollar scandals, embezzlements, and private contractor corruption, I can think of any number of examples closer to home they might get frazzled over—but nothing in the way of actual ideas for changing things up.

Kofi Annan himself is the only major world leader genuinely trying to shake things up, and there’s no reason to believe that John Bolton, a man who thinks international institutions are flat-out useless, will help things along in this regard.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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