Applause for Obama’s Thoughtful Stand on Infrastructure Investment

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The New America Foundation’s Sherle Schwenninger and industrialist and philanthropist Bernard Schwartz were out way ahead of the pack in calling for massive government commitment to infrastructure investment. Now this has become conventional wisdom of late. Not too long ago, Senior Obama economic policy adviser Austan Goolsbee complimented Schwenninger’s heavy-lifting on the infrastructure agenda before many others were in that policy space. But beyond a bland embrace of the need for new infrastructure investment, I really appreciated Barack Obama’s thoughtful…

Obama’s Team Needs to Drop Phobia Towards Arab-Americans and Muslims

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A couple of well-placed insiders have told me that US Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad is going to make a quick split after the November 4th election. Some think he is going to position himself to run for the presidency of Afghanistan — which I sincerely hope he does not do. Others think he has lined up a financially lucrative perch at an investment house. The problem with the latter scenario is that I was informed by my…

Thoughts on Rahm & the Rest as I Trek to Yale

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Obama appointment rumors are spinning like crazy in DC. Very, very hard to tell what is real and what is self-initiated advocacy and perch-mongering from those who think they will help run Obama Land. The most interesting thing I’ve heard — and regret (though I hope he changes his mind or takes over at Health and Human Services) — is that Tom Daschle may be taking himself out of the running as chief of staff in Barack Obama’s White House….

Barack’s Infomercial

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I thought that the idea of a 30 minute infomercial on Barack Obama’s approach to policy and life had more downside than upside. I think I was right overall — but Obama’s performance and the package as a whole hit the target — and despite the risk — they will get more upside from this. For those who missed it or who want a replay, the video has been posted on YouTube just moments ago. — Steve Clemons

Don’t Vote

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This is a surprisingly moving and interesting video featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Snoop Dogg, Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts, Ben Stiller, Will Smith, Steven Spielberg, Justin Timberlake, along with Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat, Zach Braff, Colin Farrell, Neil Patrick Harris, Scarlett Johansson, Shia LeBeouf, Tobey Maguire, Ryan Reynolds, and Jason Segal. Most of you who read this blog probably don’t need encouragement to vote — but send this to those on the fence who don’t quite get…

Striking Syria–A step back for American Foreign Policy?

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Sunday’s strike of a compound in Syria by American Special Forces, purported to have killed important Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) smuggler Abu Ghadiya will have broad strategic consequences for America and the Middle East as a whole. In a fascinating article, The New Republic yesterday described how Sunday”s strike is part of a wider effort from the White House, which has recently given US Central Command jurisdiction to conduct attacks on the sovereign territory of other countries, ranging from…

Bartlesville Gas and the Downside of Dropping Prices at the Pump

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I snapped this picture on Monday morning this week in Bartlesville, Oklahoma where I paid $2.09 a gallon for gas. Bartlesville is the original home base of Frank Phillips and Phillips 66 (now ConocoPhillips). This ought to worry everyone. We’ll be under $2.00 in some parts of the country soon — and the price gougers elswhere in the country will slowly float down to these levels as well. This is unfortunate on a number of fronts as a combination of…

America’s Wrong-Headedness on Cuba

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When I find myself nodding in agreement with about 75% of what Jorge Mas Santos, the Chairman of the Cuban American National Foundation, is saying in a critique of George W. Bush’s wrong-headed US-Cuba policy, I know the world is changing and sense that South Florida politics may be undergoing a sea change. I don’t agree with Mas’ views on regime change in Cuba, but this essay blasts John McCain for status quo-ism and embraces Obama’s “flexibility” in thinking through…