June 11, 2009
Who's Right? What's Left?
This week's shooting at the Holocaust Museum has sparked some discussion about whether it's accurate to describe the raving anti-Semite who opened fire at the museum (James Von Brunn) as a "right-wing extremist." That discussion has now taken an odd turn by the news that Von Brunn may have also targeted the offices of The Weekly Standard, a magazine associated with the neoconservative movement. How could Von Brunn be a right-winger, extreme or otherwise, when the Weekly Standard is a magazine of the right?
In what may have been an excess of exuberance, the White House issued a statement about the Chrysler deal Tuesday night. Attributed to an unnamed White House official, it included this assertion: "We are gratified that not a single court that reviewed this matter, including the U.S. Supreme Court, found any fault whatsoever with the handling of this matter by either Chrysler or the U.S.
Nathaniel Fick: New Cnas Ceo
I am currently in a packed ballroom for the Center for a New American Security's (CNAS) annual June conference, with 1400 military officers, think tank fellows, civil servants, and other security types. According to Richard Danzig, CNAS' chairman, several thousand potential attendees had to be turned away, which is understandable given the think tank's newfound prominence. Eleven former CNAS officials are either currently serving in the administration or awaiting confirmation.
Another Triumph For Ambassador Rice
Four especially reassuring elections occurred at the United Nations on Wednesday. So I hasten to bring you the good news.Let me give it to you seriatim:1. Libya was elected President of the U.N. General Assembly. The Libyan minister for African affairs has been designated for the post. 2. Sudan as been elected as vice president of the General Assembly. This bodes well for Darfur.3. Algeria has been elected as chair of the Assembly's Legal Committee, known in the U.N.'s streamlined bureaucracy as the Sixth Committee.4.
June 10, 2009
Health Care Top Tens
TOP TEN HEALTH WONKS TOP TEN SPECIAL INTERESTS RELATED
Divided We Fall
The successful nations in the twenty-first century will be those that come to terms quickest with the implications of globalization--of unprecedented flows of people, money, information and ideas. As a minister in the British government, representing a London constituency that is the most diverse in Europe, I have long been convinced of this. So when I attended the inauguration of President Obama in January this year, I couldn’t help feeling that America had stolen a march on Britain. Before my eyes, America was coming to terms with its multi-ethnic heritage. E pluribus unum.
Grock’s Last Gasp
Click here for Margo Howard's Week One coverage of the Clark Rockefeller case. Click here for her coverage of the first two days of Week Two. And click here for the last two days of Week Two.
It's that time again--the G8 ministers of finance get together for another face-to-face conversation, this time in Italy over the coming weekend. (Aside: the central organization at work is actually the G7, but the Russians get to join when the ministerial meeting is ahead of the annual G8 heads of government meeting). The G7, which first convened in the 1970s to guide the global economy after the breakup of the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system, seems increasingly irrelevant (and adding Russia, after the collapse of communism, added little).
A Sea Change In North Korea Policy?
Since January, analysts have been wondering what's up with Barack Obama's policy toward North Korea. There have been numerous signs that Obama's not interested in continuing the nukes-for-aid policy started by Bill Clinton and continued, with some interruption, by George W. Bush--signs including Hillary Clinton's recent suggestion that the administration can't talk de-nuclearization during what appears to be a succession crisis in Pyonyang, and the replacement of Christopher Hill with part-time envoy Stephen Bosworth.
Over at Grist, Dave Roberts has a smart piece on how health care reform has surpassed energy and climate change as Barack Obama's number-one domestic priority—and what that shift means for the prospects of getting both items done. The bottom line is that a big climate/energy bill that reduces carbon emissions is never going to amass 60 votes in the Senate unless Obama decides to put some muscle behind it. That would mean working closely with lawmakers, as he's currently doing on health care, according to Matt Bai's recent New York Times Magazine piece.