Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Press Briefing

Jul 15, 2010

PEPFAR Programs in Uganda: An Update

New Hope For Alzheimer's Disease

New Delhi Will Deploy Resources In Fight Against Marxist Insurgents

Progress Report on Cybersecurity

How Can the International Community Maximize Human Rights Within Public Health Practices?

Obama's School Reforms Are a Priority - Congress shouldn't divert the funds the president needs to improve public education. By J Klein, chancellor of New York City schools; M Lomax, president and chief executive of the United Negro College Fund; J MurguĂ­a, president and chief executive of the National Council of La Raza. They are co-chairs of the Board of the Education Equality Project.

A Chicago-Style Peace Disturber - 'Community organizer' Saul Alinsky lumped politicians in with gangsters

Cultivating a Federal Workforce that Reflects the Diversity of the American People

The Air Force Needs a Serious Upgrade - Here are five steps to ensure that the U.S. remains the dominant force in the sky

The White House Blog: Prevention is a Priority -- Now It's a Reality

A Bill Lerach Tax Cut - Treasury mulls a break for contingency fee lawsuits

Federal civil servants - Preparing for Afghanistan: Training in Muscatatuck

Three Million Imaginary Jobs - The White House says the stimulus worked beyond even its hopes. Seriously.

The U.S.-South Korea Alliance: Outdated, Unnecessary, and Dangerous

Speaking Up for American Capitalism - Business has taken a pounding on Capitol Hill and at the White House and for the most part has remained silent. It's time to make our case.

Budget Consolidation: Short-Term Pain and Long-Term Gain. IMF Staff Study

Rove: My Biggest Mistake in the White House - Failing to refute charges that Bush lied us into war has hurt our country

Remarks to Members of the U.S. Delegation to the New START Negotiations and Nuclear Posture Review Department Staff. By State Sec Clinton, Ellen Tauscher,    Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, and Rose Gottemoeller, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation. Dean Acheson Auditorium, Washington, DC

New START: Beyond the Rhetoric

Press Briefing

Jul 14, 2010

Notable & Quotable: John Fund explores whether the illegal votes of felons determined the outcome of the 2008 Minnesota Senate election
WSJ, Jul 14, 2010

Did illegal felon voters determine the outcome of the critical 2008 Minnesota Senate election? The day after the election, GOP Senator Norm Coleman had a 725 vote lead, but a series of recounts over the next six months reversed that result and gave Democrat Al Franken a 312 vote victory.

The outcome wound up having a significant impact, giving Democrats the critical 60th Senate vote they needed to block GOP filibusters. Mr. Franken's vote proved crucial in the passage of ObamaCare last December in the Senate. . . .

Ever since Mr. Franken was declared the victor, the conservative watchdog group Minnesota Majority has combed through records comparing lists of those who voted with criminal rap sheets. It found that at least 289 convicted felons voted in Minneapolis's Hennepin County, the state's largest, and another 52 voted illegally in St. Paul's Ramsey County, the state's second largest. Dan McGrath, head of Minnesota Majority, says that only conclusive matches were included in the group's totals. The number of felons voting in those two counties alone exceeds Mr. Franken's victory margin. . . .

Minnesota Majority says it has been "stonewalled" by Hennepin County officials to whom it presented its findings. But in neighboring Ramsey County, Phil Carruthers of the local District Attorney's office says he takes the charges "very seriously" and found that Minnesota Majority "had done a good job in their review." His office has asked for 15 investigators to be hired to pursue the information. "So far we have charged 28 people with felonies, have 17 more under review and have 182 cases still open," he said.

The White House Blog - Wall Street Reform: Final Votes Approach

Real Government Efficiency - When a liberal pundit fawns over China's global-warming policies, one sees the Hobbesian within

The Taliban War on Women Continues - When 22-year-old Hossai was told to quit her job by the Taliban, she refused to be bullied. She was shot and killed.

The Failure of the Live Aid Model. By JOHN-CLARK LEVIN
Better government is the key to preventing famine.
WSJ, Jul 14, 2010

Twenty-five years ago yesterday, rock stars and charity organizers from both sides of the Atlantic came together for an unprecedented fund-raising event. Simultaneous concerts at London's Wembley Stadium and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia were joined via satellite linkup for a global television audience. Ethiopians were suffering from dire famine, and promotional posters proclaimed this would be "The day the music changed the world." They called it Live Aid.

In monetary terms, the event was considerably more successful than expected, raising £150 million ($283 million). There was an extended round of global self-congratulation and a knighthood for organizer Bob Geldof. More than ever, the attention of the world was focused on the famine and poverty afflicting Africa.

Yet despite the massive financial outpouring, the raised awareness and the cultural impact, Live Aid must be considered a failure.

Recently released CIA documents from 1985 (and a subsequent BBC investigation) suggest that so much of the money went to arms instead of food that it may have prolonged and deepened Ethiopia's humanitarian catastrophe. Live Aid also focused the developed world on a flawed approach to charity that ignores the governmental causes of Africa's misery.

Seven years later, the United Nations pledged to relieve the serious famine in Somalia brought on by its civil war. The U.N.'s first mission in 1992 was purely humanitarian—providing food, medicine and other vital supplies to a population in critical danger of starvation. Yet the country was so thoroughly in the grip of chaos that 80% of the food aid was stolen. Much of the remainder was unable to pass through the ruined Somali infrastructure to reach those who needed it.

It was not until a U.S.-led military mission was sent to restore order by force that the aid finally started getting through. The famine soon abated, and the conflict subsided considerably—until American forces pulled out after suffering 19 casualties in the Battle of Mogadishu the following year. Since the final withdrawal of U.N. peacekeepers in 1995, Somalia has known nothing but hunger, disease, anarchy and now piracy.

By contrast, when severe drought struck the Horn of Africa in 2006, Kenya and Ethiopia—with their relatively stable governments—were able to cope. They faced less serious food shortages than lawless Somalia, and what aid they did require from the U.N. and international relief agencies usually reached their people successfully. The easing of food shortages in the Congo in the past five years can similarly be attributed to the stability that came with the end of the region's six-year war. The quarter-century since Live Aid has borne out irrefutably that famine and poverty cannot be solved with charity alone. We can only stop them by putting an end to corruption and instability.

Even singer-turned-humanitarian Bono has conceded that these structural issues are the heart of the problem. He told NBC's "Meet the Press" in 2005, "This is the number one problem facing Africa, corruption; not natural calamity, not the AIDS virus. This is the number one issue and there's no way around it . . . So no one is talking about aid in the old sense . . . It makes matters worse, not better." Yet less than a week after that interview, Bono headlined a massive rehash of Live Aid called Live 8.

Although Live 8 branded itself as a new, "smarter" approach to charitable giving, the event shared the same misunderstanding of Africa's problems with its 1985 predecessor. The rockers and celebrities who turned out for Live 8 made high-minded calls for debt relief, monetary aid increases and trade renegotiation.

The U.N. recently announced an aid package for famine-stricken and unstable Niger. Sadly, there's little reason to think aid alone will do more good here than it has in other troubled lands over the past 25 years.

Mr. Levin, winner of the 2010 Eric Breindel Collegiate Journalism Award, is an intern at the Journal this summer.

President Obama Announces a New OMB Director: Jacob Lew

Victor Cha: North Korea ‘A Real Dilemma’

Remarks by the President on the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

Iran and the Missile Defense Imperative - U.S. intelligence now sees Tehran developing intercontinental missiles by 2015. If we continue our current strategy, we will not be able to counter the threat.

Special Briefing On Upcoming Kabul Conference, by Richard Holbrooke, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan

A Welcome Veto Threat - The White House takes on the left over education

State Dept Spokesman: Iranian Scientist Shahram Amiri (Taken Question)

The White House’s Continuing War on Affordable Energy

The Uncertainty Principle - Dodd-Frank will require at least 243 new federal rule-makings

Journalism Needs Government Help - Media budgets have been decimated as the Internet facilitates a communications revolution. More public funding for news-gathering is the answer

Shareholders of large, publicly traded banks have a higher appetite for risk than is compatible with our regulatory system

Obama Needs to Change Budget Dialogue Along with Budget Director

Obamacare’s Exploding Medicaid Costs

How Inequality Fueled the Crisis, by Raghuram Rajan

One State/Two States: Rethinking Israel and Palestine

U.S. National Space Policy. By Frank A. Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Verification, Compliance, & Implementation. Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, Switzerland

The Obama Tax and Spend Threat to Economic Recovery

The determinants of cross-border bank flows to emerging markets: new empirical evidence on the spread of financial crises, by Sabine Herrmann and Dubravko Mihaljek. BIS Working Papers No 315

Chris Matthews: What Percentage of Republicans Would You Put In the 'Nut Bag?'