June 25, 2008

How To Win Friends And Influence Former Enemies
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Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met with Bush at the White House yesterday--the third major Vietnamese leader to be received by the U.S. since diplomatic relations were normalized between the two countries in 1995. Though the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam called for the White House to address Vietnam's poor human rights record, economic cooperation came first on the administration’s agenda. Why? Because while bilateral trade is booming between the two countries, the U.S. remains far behind China in terms of its economic and diplomatic leverage in the region.

Flashback: When Bill Clinton Was A Populist
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While I was hunting down video links for my item about vice presidential candidates and their great moments in campaign debates, I stumbled across the clip below, which is from the 1992 campaign. It doesn't feature the veep candidates, though. It showcases Bill Clinton going up against George H.W. Bush in what would become an iconic moment of that campaign. For those who don't remember, this was second of the three presidential debates that year. It was a town hall-style event, with audience members asking questions.

Climb Aboard The Bush Bus!
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Walking past the AFL-CIO building on the way to work yesterday, I couldn't help but notice a gaggle of union-supporters and other passers-by crowded around a massive tour bus plastered with pictures of President Bush. Organized by Americans United for Change (AUC), the "Bush Legacy Bus" turned out to be an enormous bio-fuel-powered mobile museum set to tour the country for the next several months and showcase an exhibit on the missteps and abuses of the Bush administration.

Don't Like The News In Your Inbox? Don't Open It!
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Never underestimate the Bush administration's ability to stick its fingers in its ears and sing "Doop dee doop de doop": The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior E.P.A. officials said last week. The EPA was responding to last year's ruling in Massachusetts vs.

In Case Of Emergency: Break Mugabe
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Pace Jamie’s Zimbabwe blogging: I am worried.

June 24, 2008

Feeding the Beast
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WASHINGTON--We tend to judge this year's food crisis, marked by seemingly indomitable prices, from the point of view of those who are suffering. It might be useful to judge the crisis also from the point of view of those who are causing it. That's where the real lessons will be learned. Let's take Argentina, one of the world's top producers of grains and soybeans. Agriculture, both traditional and industrial, employs a third of the country's work force and accounts for half of its exports.

June 23, 2008

Exchange: 'Nixonland' or 'The Age of Reagan'? (Part Two)

In this TNR debate, two powerhouse political historians--<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Sean Wilentz, the author of The Age Of Reagan and contributing editor for The New Republic, and Rick Perlstein, the author of Nixonland--try to figure out which president continues to have the stronger hold over our political culture. You can read Wilentz's first dispatch here.

The Money Pit
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WASHINGTON--Barack Obama's decision to forgo public funds will bring joy to opponents of campaign finance reform. But to say that Obama has killed public financing is to miss the point. The current system began to unravel eight years ago. George W.

McCain's Low Road To Victory
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Seldom has a presidential candidate faced such long odds. John McCain has repeatedly allied himself with the most unpopular president since the history of modern polling. He has embraced the most unpopular war since <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Vietnam. The U.S. economy continues its downward slide. Polls show generic Democratic candidates leading by double digits at all levels of government. <?xml:namespace prefix = o />And those are just the beginning of McCain’s problems. He is caught between a rock and a hard place in the core narrative about what he stands for.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Straussian
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The sanguinity of some people on the Left -- and the paleo, non-interventionist Right -- towards dictators and religious extremists continually astounds me. Last week, I wrote about one, minor instance of the credulity with which Matthew Yglesias continually evinces whenever he writes about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's statements regarding Israel.