US-Cuba Policy Change is Coming. . .

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Vice President Joe Biden said this week that President Obama had no intention of ending the embargo of Cuba when he attends the Summit of the Americas in mid-April, but as Senator Richard Lugar and his senior staff member, Carl Meacham, outlined in a Senate Foreign Relations Commitee Print on US-Cuba relations, there is a vast amount of “unclenching the fist” that can be accomplished within the structure of the current embargo — even though I believe that embargo has…

The Manatee and the Robin

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This manatee floated up to the surface in one of the canals in Ft. Lauderdale when I was there a week ago. It was a magnificent creature and stayed with us quite a while — sort of posing. Maybe since Spring is upon us, I’ve been more tuned into nature than normal. For instance, I have been somewhat obsessed with this huge robin trying to build a nest on my front porch — at the top of a column under…

Obama Should Read up On How Roman General Pompey Dealt with Terrorists

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Barack Obama is having America up the ante on its investment in rolling back the Taliban and those who follow them in Afghanistan. We are sending more troops and trainers, and are committing to civil reconstruction programs whose outlines are unclear. But Obama and his advisers should read this bit on Roman General Pompey’s efforts to deal with the terrorists of the day at the height (and near end) of the Roman republic. Pompey gave the pirates he quelled an…

Martin Wolf and Laura Tyson on the Global Financial Crisis and the London G-20 Summit

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This is a fascinating session with Financial Times chief economics commentator Martin Wolf and former Clinton administration National Economic Adviser to the President and UC Berkeley Haas Business School Professor of Global Management Laura Tyson. Martin Wolf’s comments that this financial meltdown is just a manifestation of a much larger systemic crisis as well as Laura Tyson’s comments on her concerns about permanent “Hoovervilles” in America — as now exists outside of Sacramento — as well as other important reflections…

Juan Cole on Engaging the Muslim World

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Juan Cole is such a refreshing, extraordinary force attempting to drag Americans toward a more enlightened and constructive understanding of the Muslim world. I had the privilege this week of hosting Cole for a discussion of his just released book, Engaging the Muslim World. If you want to have a quick 8 minutes with Juan, the clip above works well. A longer presentation and discussion is here. More soon. — Steve Clemons

Rebalancing Global Currency Reserves

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At this morning’s superb economic event at the New America Foundation and in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, there was a lot of discussion about China’s recent proposal to consider a move away from the US dollar and towards the use of a new “super-sovereign reserve currency.” The intention according to China’s central bank governor, Zhou Xiaochuan, would be to ultimately “create an international reserve currency that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain…

LIVE STREAM TODAY: Bernard Schwartz, George Soros, Martin Wolf, Laura Tyson and Many More on “What Will Take the Place of the U.S. Consumer?”

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The New America Foundation is hosting today the first in a series of Bernard L. Schwartz Economic Symposia from 8:45 am – 1:00 pm EST. The event will feature some of the world’s most thoughtful and influential economic policy practitioners and commentators including Bernard Schwartz, George Soros, Laura Tyson, Martin Wolf, Clyde Prestowitz, Desmond Lachman, Tom Gallagher, Steve Coll, Mark Zandi, William Gerrity, Leo Hindery, Richard Vague, Nicholas Lardy. Jeff Madrick, Sherle Schwenninger, and others. The rules of the global…

A Pro-Unity Government Palestinian Minister from Fatah Speaks Out

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Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of hosting Advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestine Minister for Economic Development Mohammad Shtayyeh in my office to discuss the status of Palestinian Government unity government talks between Fatah and Hamas. This is a highly unusual and important exchange because Shtayyeh is a solid Fatah party leader — who in contrast to many of his party colleagues — wants to achieve a workable unity government that includes Hamas. He believes Hamas wants this…

STREAMING LIVE: Juan Cole on Making Engagement with the Muslim World a National Priority

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Juan Cole has just published a new book about America’s interaction with the Middle East, called Engaging the Muslim World. As readers of his blog Informed Comment know, Juan is one of the most knowledgeable and thoughtful American observers of the Middle East and was one of the earliest and most consistent debunkers of neoconservative myths about our role in the Middle East and our so-called “War on Terrorism.” I will be hosting an event with him TODAY at the…