The U.S. Doesn’t Need Congress for Cophenhagan…for Politics or Policy

I’ve read mentions of EPA regulating GHG emissions before, but I hadn’t ever found a comprehensive explanation of what exactly EPA has the power to do.  Most articles and blogs dismiss EPA regulation as a second-best solution to legislation passed by Congress.  The only reason why most pundits will defend EPA regulation is that it … Continue reading

Read A Good Book (and my quick follow up to Nick’s post on Paul Farmer)

I just read Nick’s post on Paul Farmer at USAID and had to add my quick input (which knowing me turned into something a bit longer.) As an incoming college freshman, I read MOUNTAINS BEYOND MOUNTAINS, an excellent work of nonfiction on Paul Farmer’s unprecedented HIV/AIDS work in Haiti.  Along with Jeffrey Sach’s END OF … Continue reading

Update: When Barack Met Chuck…

Following up on Nick’s rant about Chuck Grassley… The Obama administration relented and gave the senator assurances (courtesy of Secretary Clinton and U.S. Trade Rep Ron Kirk) that the tariff on sugarcane-based ethanol, mainly from Brazil, will not be lifted. I had seen a couple of indicators that I thought were hopeful signs for progress … Continue reading

Another Perspective on Biden

From Daniel Larison at the Week. Larison offers an interesting perspective that follows up on a post I made a little over a week ago on the vice-president’s trip to Ukraine and Georgia.  Still, I think his commentary could use a little clarity. His main point is that Biden has not been making gaffes or … Continue reading

Climate and Trade Discussion Needs a Reality Check

Since the narrow passage in the U.S. House last month of climate-change legislation that gave an OK to so-called border adjustments for imports from countries that have not approved similar policies, various policymakers and commentators have debated whether this is a good idea. President Obama took a surprisingly tough stance on the House action, condemning … Continue reading

Why the Ukraine-Georgia Trip Now, and Really, Why at All?

Vice-President Biden’s trip to Ukraine and Georgia this week raises three key questions.  (1) What is Joe Biden’s role in the administration’s foreign policy? (2) Is there any strategic value to scheduling a trip to these countries so soon after President Obama’s big show of reaching out to Russia? (3) Is there any stategic value … Continue reading

The New African-American Relations

The Economist has a curious article out this week arguing that in the broad scheme of things, American foreign policy toward Africa won’t change much from under George W. Bush. The idea is that (1) Africa was one of few relative policy successes for Bush: he presided over a gigantic increase in foreign aid, especially … Continue reading

Where in the World is Hillary Clinton?

Yesterday afternoon Hillary Clinton delivered a groundbreaking speech on the Obama Administration’s approach to foreign policy and finally set herself up as the foreign policy voice of this administration. . . . . well that’s what the State Department would like you to think. The speech was well written but can be best described as … Continue reading

Time for a Jerusalem Speech?

Apparently, President Obama has started to alienate Israelis, and I’m not talking about the crazed few who now lead the Israeli government.  I mean, the common folk. A survey from late-June found that just 6% of the Israeli public believes Obama is on their side, and a whopping 50% think he is pro-Palestinian.  36% say … Continue reading