New Republic


D’Escoto Inferno: Meet the Sandinista who runs the U.N.

THE NEW REPUBLIC

June 2009

By James Verini

Reverend Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann At the United Nations, there are, as you’d expect, flagrantly pointless press briefings going on in some wing or another, concerning some topic or another, at any given hour of the day. The diplomats and reporters accept the custom with knowing smirks and lazily upraised hands. It’s the standard kabuki. Except, that is, when Reverend Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann is speaking. The president of the U.N. General Assembly, d’Escoto has apparently decided, at age 76, that he has no time left for politesse, and his briefings are another animal entirely–the kind of invective-laced bravura jags perfected by Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, who, as it happens, are two of d’Escoto’s heroes. See Full Story


The Devil’s Advocate

THE NEW REPUBLIC

September 2007

By James Verini

The Devil's Advocate On a hot spring evening in early May–the kind that elicits nervous global-warming jokes–a crowd of powerful and wealthy people are gathered at a cocktail party, in the banquet hall in the Hart Senate Office building on Capitol Hill, sipping wine and talking carbon. The advocacy group Environmental Defense is throwing the party, and mixed among its staff and the requisite Democratic lawmakers are attendees who normally wouldn’t be caught dead in the company of career tree-huggers: bankers, energy company executives, suits from General Motors, Chevron, nascar–yes, nascar–and a bunch of right-leaning multimillionaires. Virginia Senator John Warner is here, with his lupine frown. Warner, of course, is a Republican, as is Indiana’s Richard Lugar, who spoke earlier in the day at E.D.’s board meeting. Both men rated a whopping 20 percent from the League of Conservation Voters last year. See Full Story