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February 02, 2009 04:46 PM UTC

Monday Open Thread

  • 28 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

“Dick Cheney and I do not want this nation to be in a recession. We want anybody who can find work to be able to find work.”

–George W. Bush

Comments

28 thoughts on “Monday Open Thread

  1. “Innumerable policy shops and interest group around DC have already put out strategic blueprints for a policy agenda in the new administration. But if President Obama’s staff is committed to new and innovative ideas outside the traditional beltway parameters, as expressed during his campaign, he ought to take a look up at some proposals coming from up North.”

    “The entire set of proposals is worth reading. Do not let the brevity deceive you — each of these authors have eschewed the lengthy academic paper format to meet the needs of their target audience. It goes to show that people outside Washington are seriously trying to contribute to the conversation about America’s national security challenges. It remains to be seen whether those inside the beltway will listen.”

    http://web.mit.edu/cis/Publica

    Two Ideas I like a lot:

    1) Fotini Christia’s three-staged strategy to salvage Afghanistan beginning with negotiations with the Taliban to split their fractious ranks.

    2) Peter Krause’s serious steps to win “the war of ideas” including tripling the number of annual fulbright students and reconfiguring Al-Hurra to a C-Span-like model.

    1. .

      I liked how professor Amsden suggests our foreign aid programs expand from the current situation, where we pass out fish, to a place where we also pass out fishing tackle.  

      Ms. Williams’ idea about taking money for diplomacy, stabilization and nation-building away from DoD, and asking the State Department to step up to these responsibilities, is not new, but its still interesting.  

      But she failed to say anything about the need for a shift in US national security policy from a mindset of world domination to a position of leadership through, well, leadership.  If you doubt whether that’s really our policy, note that the Air Force budget is based on what it would take to achieve total domination in air and space, on our own, anytime, anywhere.  

      Is that really our goal ?  Can we afford that anymore ?

      But my favorite has to be where Fox Fallon implicitly nominates himself for his old job.  Today, we’ve got a self-promoting partisan patsy in the most critical position in our military.  The Admiral indirectly suggests replacing him with a military professional.  Not a bad idea.

      .  

        1. ….and not looking past that milestone for the moment. What I see I like, in that it builds the policy and infrastructure to keep going forward.

          F’r Instance, the idea of negotiating directly with different ethnic tribes with varying levels of loyalty to the Taliban is not new – the British figured that out years ago.

          But if done correctly, that provides for more connections and negotiations on other points, since there is a direct connection to each tribe. So, if Pashtun Tribe X needs to start selling their Opium to the Poppy for Medicine Project, there’s a guy who’s already got a connection to set that up based on previous negotiations.  

      1. Is THE question, IMHO, of our times. On MTP this Sunday, Barney Frank actually raised the question. He asked whether the milkitary budget can be sustained. I cheered almost as loudly as when the Cardinals took the lead in the fourth.

  2. Several times here I’ve said that VB is a Republican I can live with.  He went against Bush a number of times, especially on environmental issues.

    Well, now he is just another typical Republican.  Recently he he commented to Obama that he misses having discussions while they both worked out in the congressional gym. So Obama invited him over for an hour of one on one conversation whilst huffing and puffing.  But Vern still voted No on the economic bill.

    His other recent (post 1/20) votes have all been straight obstruction.

        1. .

          Libertad and Jamby, too.

          I can still cry, after all this time, thinking about that little girl.  

          But this isn’t making fun of the tragedy of her death,

          this is about the circus that followed.

          .  

            1. And you don’t HAVE to feel guilty, but if you want to be like a Boulderite, you should at least pretend to feel guilty for a few minutes. Not so much because of Jon-Benet Ramsey, but more because of the polar bears.

              Boulder hates what’s happened to the polar bears.

              1. .

                I was a charter member, jumping in Boulder Reservoir on ? 1 Jan 1985, was it ?  Maybe ’86 ?

                Good old Trygve Bauge, a Boulder (then Nederland) icon.  

                Or do you mean different polar bears ?

                .

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