Global Warming

"I like Al Gore, he is a smart guy, but he sees things that don't exist."
- President Clinton to an aide about Gore badgering him on global warming during their first term.

"A tree is a tree, how many do you need to look at?"
- Ronal Reagan.

In The News

The Return of Authoritarian Great Powers Foreign Affairs the post-Cold War rise of economically successful -- and nondemocratic -- China and Russia may represent a viable alternative path to modernity that leaves liberal democracy's ultimate victory and future dominance in doubt ....... Today's global liberal democratic order faces two challenges. The first is radical Islam -- the societies from which it arises are generally poor and stagnant. ........ nondemocratic great powers: the West's old Cold War rivals China and Russia, now operating under authoritarian capitalist, rather than communist, regimes ...... Authoritarian capitalist states, today exemplified by China and Russia, may represent a viable alternative path to modernity, which in turn suggests that there is nothing inevitable about liberal democracy's ultimate victory -- or future dominance. ........ The liberal democratic camp defeated its authoritarian, fascist, and communist rivals alike in all of the three major great-power struggles of the twentieth century -- the two world wars and the Cold War. ..... a greater ability to elicit international cooperation through the bonds and discipline of the global market system
A New Deal for Globalization earnings for most U.S. workers -- even those with college degrees -- have been falling recently; inequality is greater now than at any other time in the last 70 years ..... Less than four percent of workers were in educational groups that enjoyed increases in mean real money earnings from 2000 to 2005; mean real money earnings rose for workers with doctorates and professional graduate degrees and fell for all others. ...... the two most commonly proposed responses -- more investment in education and more trade adjustment assistance for dislocated workers -- are nowhere near adequate. ...... instituting a New Deal for globalization -- one that links engagement with the world economy to a substantial redistribution of income. ..... This protectionist drift extends to much of the world. The Doha Development Round of trade negotiations, the centerpiece of global trade liberalization, is years behind schedule and now on the brink of collapse. ...... The economic gains from globalization are immense. .... trade and investment liberalization over the past decades has added between $500 billion and $1 trillion in annual income -- between $1,650 and $3,300 a year for every American. ....... information technology (IT) -- one of the United States' most globally engaged industries ..... Gains from globalization have been similarly large in the rest of the world. China and India have achieved stupendous rates of productivity growth, lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. Central to this success has been the introduction of market forces, in particular international market forces related to trade and FDI. ....... previous rounds of trade negotiations had treated poor nations unfairly by failing to open the very sectors -- such as agriculture -- whose openness would most likely help the world's poor. ....... globalization is good for both the U.S. economy and U.S. security interests ..... special-interest protectionists are facing a more receptive audience ...... its enjoyment of relatively affordable toys, DVD players, and other products depends on globalization. ..... security concerns strengthen rather than weaken the case for further trade and investment liberalization, as long as such liberalization is viewed as fair to the developing world. ...... the public is becoming more protectionist because incomes are stagnating or falling ...... from 1966 to 2001, the median pretax inflation-adjusted wage and salary income grew just 11 percent -- versus 58 percent for incomes in the 90th percentile and 121 percent for those in the 99th percentile ....... the many benefits of open borders -- lower prices, greater product diversity, a competitive spur to firms ..... What seems to matter most is what kind of worker you are in terms of skill level, rather than what industry you work in. ...... seven educational categories -- high school dropout, high school graduate, some college, college graduate, nonprofessional master's, Ph.D., and M.B.A./J.D./M.D. -- only those in the last two categories, with doctorates or professional graduate degrees, experienced any growth in mean real money earnings between 2000 and 2005. Workers in these two categories comprised only 3.4 percent of the labor force in 2005 ....... since 2000 even college graduates and those with nonprofessional master's degrees -- 29 percent of workers in 2005 -- suffered declines in mean real money earnings. ....... the share of national income accounted for by the top one percent of earners reached 21.8 percent in 2005 -- a level not seen since 1928 ...... the benefits of strong productivity growth in the past several years have gone largely to a small set of highly skilled, highly compensated workers. ..... upgrading skills is a process that takes generations ...... It took 60 years for the United States to boost the share of college graduates in the labor force from six percent (where it was at the end of World War II) to about 33 percent (where it is today). ....... Since 1988, 74 percent of American students at the 146 top U.S. colleges have come from the highest socioeconomic quartile, compared with just 3 percent from the lowest quartile. ........ At $760 billion in 2005, the regressive payroll tax was nearly as big as the progressive income tax ($1.1 trillion). ..... striking a delicate balance -- between allowing globally engaged companies to continue to generate large overall gains for the United States and using well-targeted fiscal mechanisms to spread the gains more widely
What Next For Palestine? Read Martin Indyk's new update Read 2003 essay unless an antidote was found to the fundamental weakness of Palestinian governing institutions .... Bush went back to his default position of disengagement from any serious effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with predictable results. ... a territory now teeming with armed gangs, warlords, and a well-equipped Hamas militia
Overhauling Intelligence crisis-driven necessity .... rationalized decision-making and integrated the intelligence and military establishments ..... a "stovepiping" of intelligence, arrested the growth of information sharing, collaboration, and integration -- patterns that still linger. .... an ever larger number of nonstate actors moving at increasing speeds across geographic and organizational boundaries ..... blur the traditional distinctions between foreign and domestic, intelligence-related and operational, strategic and tactical ...... the United States' 16 intelligence agencies .... integrate intelligence and law enforcement ..... enemies who seek to acquire and detonate weapons of mass destruction on U.S. soil ..... unique mandates and competencies. They also have their own cultures and mythologies ..... Greater collaboration is vital because no single agency has the capacity to survey all the available information. The U.S. intelligence community collects more than one billion pieces of information every day.
A False Choice in Pakistan
Better and Better
Grand Strategy for a Divided America

YouTube emerges as star of Democrats' debate fuelled solely by questions uploaded to YouTube by ordinary people - neither members of the press nor the debate's audience. .... a groundbreaking event, the first debate of its kind to enlist the Web as a tool to open politics up to the public. .... The Washington Post headline reads "Public Voice Ads Edge to Debate." .... sharp and sometimes witty video questions ..... The New York Times is a little less charitable, with the headline "Novel Debate, Same Old Candidates." Even with the new format, "candidates frequently lapsed into their talking points, and there was little actual debate among them" ..... candidates being "pelted" with "unapologetically blunt queries." ...... "What did we really learn? (former Alaska Senator) Mike Gravel is mad as hell and isn't going to take it anymore ... (Connecticut Senator) Chris Dodd knows even his Senate salary won't pay for his kids college education ... (Illinois Senator) Barack Obama will make a wonderful ambassador ... of hope ... and (Delaware Senator) Joe Biden is a widower ...who knew? ...... Edwards questioned Clinton's fashion sensibilities -- she had opted for a bright pink jacket over the darker hues donned by her male counterparts. ....... Biden said the thing he liked best about Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich was his wife. .... the growing role citizen journalism is playing in shaping public debate. ..... selecting the 39 questions that made it to air out of about 3,000 that were submitted.
Clinton and YouTube win South Carolina debate Chicago Tribune the debate was another encounter of the candidates that didn't scramble the Democratic race's dynamics. .... put in another strong performance. She was smooth, informed, unflappable and with a touch of humor. Anytime the leader in the polls comes out of a debate unscathed, she or he is the winner by definition. ........ Clinton gave a nuanced answer that was exactly right, downright presidential. ..... If they had been playing tennis, she would have just scored on him with a passing shot that caught him moving in the wrong direction ..... CNN said some focus group in New Hampshire gave the debate to Obama ...... as a trial lawyer in an earlier life he fought the industries that have so much power in Washington—the big insurance and drug companies for instance—and won. .... blacks of all incomes in Charleston, S.C. pay more for their mortgages than similarly situated whites. ...... Sen. Chris Dodd's people sent an e-mail out following the debate saying he had won it. The Richardson people sent out an e-mail claiming their man won. ......... Mike Gravel, the former Alaska senator, still channeling the angry Peter Finch character from the classic film "Network" seems to have it in for Obama, accusing him of being beholden to big money by taking money from "bundlers." It was another missed opportunity for Obama. He could have said his campaign has collected more money from smaller donors than Clinton's, underscoring the grassroots excitement he has created as he benefits from the hunger for change. He didn't. ....... The biggest winner of the CNN/YouTube Democratic debate in the end was probably YouTube. .... the summer's best reality show.
Obama’s Bad Night National Review Online “Of course” the president should talk to Ahmadinejad and other such leaders,” Kucinich said. “You can get on a cell phone and call somebody on the other side of the world right now. To me, it is almost unbelievable that someone running for president of the United States would say that they wouldn’t pursue a meeting with another person in the cause of building peace.” .... “You’re referring to Sen. Clinton?” .... “Of course I am.” .... that he would “use the science of human relations and diplomacy,” along with “international agreements and treaties” to settle differences without fighting ..... YouTube founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley ..... “You don’t have to be in New Hampshire, you don’t have to be in Iowa, to present a question,” Chen said. “You’re not restricted by where you live.”
Cuomo: Spitzer aides used State Police to try to damage Bruno The Journal News /
British postman defies floods for Harry Potter fans (Extra)
Monsters and
Obama Targets Clinton At YouTube Debate
U.S. News & World Report attempts by other candidates, particularly Sen. Barack Obama, to directly challenge Sen. Hillary Clinton ..... 'The time for us to ask how we're going to get out of Iraq was before we went in.' ..... Obama and Edwards "targeted" Clinton. .... 'Do you believe that compromise, triangulation, will bring about big change?' Edwards said ..... a more aggressive and sure-footed performance from Obama, accused of being flat and long-winded in previous debates. ... Obama, who is beating Clinton in fundraising but trailing by an average of 15 points in national polls, seemed much more at ease than in previous debates ....... the best debate yet. .... In New Hampshire, reporter Mary Snow said the CNN focus group found that Obama "got the most favorable [response] in terms of the best performance from the 24 people who are here tonight. ...... something much more akin to a game show - complete with commercial breaks - than anything Lincoln or Douglas might have imagined." ...... Obama asserting that he never has to explain how black he is when trying to catch a cab. Clinton said she wouldn't use the word 'liberal' to describe her politics but rather prefers the term 'progressive ...... Debates are 'no longer a province of the elite, or the press,' said Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. 'After tonight, I think it's going to be hard to go back to debates how they were, without user-generated comments,' added CNN host Anderson Cooper." ...... Most of the video questions posed in last night's Democratic debate were more memorable than the answers ..... a budget of $2.9 trillion Obama and Clinton clash on YouTube The format was designed to force candidates to drop their rehearsed answers and sound bites and sparked lively exchanges between all eight Democratic candidates on Iraq and diplomacy, and an extended discussion of race and gender involving Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton.

SEN. OBAMA: I would. And the reason is this: That the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them, which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration, is ridiculous. (Applause.) Ronald Reagan and Democratic presidents like JFK constantly spoke to the Soviet Union at a time when Ronald Reagan called them an evil empire. And the reason is because they understood that we may not trust them, they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we have the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward. And I think that it is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them. We've been talking about Iraq. One of the first things that I would do in terms of moving a diplomatic effort in the region forward is to send a signal that we need to talk to Iran and Syria, because they're going to have responsibilities if Iraq collapses. They have been acting irresponsibly up until this point. But if we tell them that we are not going to be a permanent occupying force, we are in a position to say that they are going to have to carry some weight in terms of stabilizing the region. SEN. CLINTON: While I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these during my first year, I will promise a very vigorous diplomatic effort, because I think it is not that you promise a meeting at that high a level before you know what the intentions are. I don't want to be used for propaganda purposes. I don't want to make a situation even worse. But I certainly agree that we need to get back to diplomacy, which has been turned into a bad word by this administration. And I will pursue very vigorous diplomacy, and I will use a lot of high-level presidential envoys to test the waters, to feel the way. But certainly we're not going to just have our president meet with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and, you know, the president of North Korea, Iran and Syria until we know better what the way forward would be. (Applause.)
Elton John stands behind Nepal's gay community Hindustan Times
Elton John AIDS Foundation Takes On Nepalese Politicos Queerty
Flood situation in Bihar grim
Hindu Nearly two million population spread over eight districts in Bihar continued to reel under the impact of floods as the overall situation remained unchanged with major rivers, including Punpun, Bagmati and Kosi in spate. ..... Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Sheohar, Saharsa, Madhubani, besides East Champaran and West Champaran .... In Sitamarhi, swollen Rato river breached the embankment in a stretch of 100 feet at Srikhandi under Sursand block in the district, inundating more than 200 villages.
Bihar flood situation gets grim Hindustan Times
Flood fury in Bihar The Statesman
Analysis: Blair the believer Jerusalem Post Blair will be able to count himself lucky and probably pick up a Nobel Prize in the process .... What Rice didn't say, of course is that, no matter how close an ally Blair has been to the Bush administration, the real business of getting the two sides to talk to each other is still an American monopoly. ..... Wolfensohn explained that it's impossible to improve the Palestinians' financial situation and to promote internal political stability outside of the wider context of the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations. .... really believes that he can pull off something of the scale of the peace agreement his government brought about in Northern Ireland. ....... Israeli diplomatic sources might have said that he still has a lot to learn on the issues, but you can be sure that a policy wonk such as Blair has already put in the hours of study. ...... prepared to give a week out of every month of his valuable retirement time
UN Rejects Taiwan's Bid to Join, Citing `One China' Principle Bloomberg
Illinois Bans Smoking in Public Places Washington Post
Google Hits Back in Spectrum Battle (Again) PC Magazine
Don't go gaga over Google It has created more investor wealth in less time than any company in history. ( ....... only three companies have created more wealth: General Electric (Charts, Fortune 500), Exxon MobilCharts, Fortune 500) and Microsoft (Charts, Fortune 500). ....... Google has created all that staggering wealth using only $9 billion of capital. This is the info-based economy at its most dramatic and amazing. ...... When you buy a stock, after all, what you're paying for is the future. ..... But you can't invest $5.1 billion every year at 52.5 percent. .... Four years ago its return was 111 percent; the following year it was 82 percent. ..... it has been brilliantly run. .... Google is a terrific company that may one day deserve to sit beside GE, Exxon and Microsoft. But not yet.
Quanta mum on reported iPhone, Dell smartphone deals InfoWorld Quanta Computer, the world's largest contract laptop PC maker, is reportedly gearing up to make iPhones for Apple and a new smartphone for Dell, but the company isn't talking. ...... Hon Hai, which operates under the name Foxconn, is the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer. There has been speculation of a tie-up with Quanta for some time because pundits believe Hon Hai wants to enter the laptop PC manufacturing business
Wireless USB finds its way to Dell and Lenovo laptops engadget
Dell, ThinkPad laptops first on official Wireless USB kit list Reg Hardware
New Cable-Free Laptops Announced by Dell and Lenovo AHN
No safe haven: Diet sodas linked with health risks Reuters
Kids’ Health Gets Political New York Times
• Disable Fly-out
Newsweek they're all pros who stayed reliably on message. .... the control was in Anderson Cooper's hands—a fact which rankled many dedicated YouTubers, who would have preferred that CNN air the most popular videos submitted ........ A pair of hammy hillbillies from Tennessee asked if all the will-he-or-won't-he over former vice president Al Gore's intention to run hurts the candidates' feelings ....... and then gazed longingly (and a little comically) into each others' eyes ...... In "every single question we've heard," Illinois Sen. Barack Obama said toward the end of the debate, "you see cynicism about the capacity to change this country." ...... In the spirit of the evening, we watched the debate streaming live on ...... Hillary further polishing her front runner posture .... Mike Gravel grew ever grumpier, complaining whenever he spoke that he was not getting enough time to talk. When asked to defend a previous statement he had made about Vietnam, he answered: "I like the question; I don't get many of them, thank you." Then he asked the audience, losing his cool, "Has it been fair?" ........ Edwards, who was slick throughout, apparently contracted foot-in-mouth disease immediately before the last question was asked. All the candidates were told to say one thing they like and one thing they dislike about the person standing to his or her left. Edwards looked at Clinton and said, "I don't know about your coat." Maybe it wasn't just the YouTube submitters who needed a filter last night.
Assessing the CNN-YouTube Debate