Seeing the Forest for the Trees in Afghanistan



The Washington Post ran a feature yesterday that asked a number of foreign policy experts to offer their first impressions of President Obama’s speech at Camp Lejuene. I found many of the responses interesting, but was particularly struck by Andrew Bacevich’s comments. Bacevich teaches International Relations at Boston University and is the author of The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism. He wrote: A promise to end the war in Iraq formed the cornerstone of Barack Obama’s run…

Eric Schmidt’s Economic Forecast Misses Key Point



Eric Schmidt has a somewhat optimistic short op-ed in today’s New York Times, “Back Online by 2010,” on the economy and when it might rebound. He thinks that bargain hunters need to have their acquisitions of deflated assets in hand before things begin to bounce back mid-2010. Fine. But this won’t drive growth and won’t solve the “collapse of consumption” problem we have seen in this dramatic recession. Schmidt writes: There are, however, steps that need to be taken to…

The Limits of a “3 Minute Rahm” in Obama’s Kitchen Cabinet



I can’t get into names, but if a crafty business journalist got on the phone to the biggest billionaires and financial wizards who support the Democratic Party and Barack Obama, he or she would find a large passel of very frustrated economic elites who think that Obama’s stimulus package and spending priorities are not going to either restore confidence and economic growth or reinvest in the backbone of the US economy in a way that can help generate recurring returns…

A Miscellenous Sunday



(photo credit: Andrew and Diane of Nemablog) I had never heard of a polar desert before — but the pic above is of one. I was enticed to learn a bit more after receiving an invitation from the Embassy of France to a meeting co-hosted by the National Science Foundation, and the Embassies of Italy and France titled “Polar Deserts and their Secrets.” The meeting is on March 18th at 6 pm at “La Maison Francaise” at the Embassy of…

EU Emergency Summit


BRUSSELS: While stomping around through Europe on various endeavors, I coincidentally found myself in Belgium today amid an economic summit. I’ve squirreled my way into the working press center — the top floor, too (this thing goes down an additional two stories) — to find roughly as much press attention as the US presidential campaign drew. Nothing substantial is projected to come out of today’s lunch/ press junket. The story appears to be the human narrative beneath the bleak economic…