Living Abroad Counts

"Voters will judge whether living in a foreign country at the age of 10 prepares one to face the big, complex international challenges the next president will face."
- Hillary Clinton

"I can't think in front of a computer."
- Hillary Clinton

Living Abroad Counts

Just look at me. I was in my early 20s before I ever stepped foot on American land, and my rise in American politics has been faster than that of Barack Obama himself. I just started this year, and within months it was like Barack and I were in telepathic sync.
I have a tech startup that is doing really, really well this early in the game. I am in round 1. Larry Ellision was past 30 when he started Oracle, Sam Walton was past 40 when he started Walmart. I think my having lived abroad is a big plus that my company has. That gives the company its edge.

And you have definite advantages on foreign policy if you have lived abroad. You empathize with the average people out there in the poor countries. The village I call my homevillage is your typical Third World village. No electricity, no post office, mud roads while I was growing up. So when I read up on charity efforts by people like Bono and Bill Gates and Bill Clinton, I am always on the other side. That really gives perspective.

I feel for the innocent lives that have been lost - 150,000 - to the invasion of Iraq and the millions that have been displaced - 4,000,000. That comes from having lived abroad.

Unlike Hillary and W, I can actually tell the difference between Saddam and Ahmedinejad and Bin Laden. Saddam was a dictator. Ahmedijejad is a semi-elected theocrat. Bin Laden is a terrorist. That comes from having lived abroad.

If you don't drain the swamp, you will be killing mosquitoes forever and you will never win. There are a few thousand Al Qaeda. There are hundreds of millions of poor Muslims suffering from unelected leaders.

If you have lived abroad, it is easier for you to see through right wing schizophrenia.

You also appreciate more what works in America. And what doesn't. You have a sharper eye for things like racism. You have a fresher perspective.

And the number one item I have to deliver is what I said to Governor Dean right after Nepal's magical April Revolution 2006. Governor, Nepal is 27 million people and Iraq is 27 million people. We have to spread democracy like in Nepal not like in Iraq.

The First Major Revolution Of The 21st Century Happened In Nepal

That comes from having lived abroad.

Living abroad makes you more capable of out of the box thinking.

Iowa: Factor Football In

Obama 2008 might as well organize football watch parties for after the caucus is over. You tape the game. And you have pizza parties to watch it after the caucus is over. That after party has to be a class act. It has to be the party to celebrate the Obama victory and to watch the game.

In The News

Rice Defends Mideast Peace Talks New York Times “If the two concerned parties are going to the meeting without a statement they agree on, why are we and 40 other countries going?” ..... Palestinians wanted to call it a “document”; Israelis wanted to call it a “statement.” ...... Some Arabs expressed concern that the United States would push Arab governments to improve relations with Israel without requiring Israel to make any meaningful concessions in exchange. ...... Israelis “are trying to exploit this U.S. conference to wrest Arab recognition of the state of Israel as a state for the Jewish people to the exclusion of all others” ..... the conference could lead Arab governments to permanently accept the millions of Palestinian refugees displaced throughout the region. ..... the Palestinians are too fractured and weak to approach Israelis on an equal footing.
Nepal's peace process in danger: Amnesty AFP Nepal's peace process is in danger of collapse .... "The 'peace' which Nepal has so far achieved is temporary, incomplete and extremely precarious" ..... without delivering on the promises of justice, security and inclusion... there is a real danger of Nepal's recent tragic history repeating itself
New Hampshire sets primary date BBC News
Musharraf May Quit Army by Saturday ABC News
Expert Who Helped Start War on Stem Cells Now May End It New York Times
An E-Book Reader That Just May Catch On
New York Times
Barack Obama: I just want to go home
Times Online Obama sought to save himself in the gentler light of an American family Thanksgiving. ..... at Thanksgiving dinners he is “the clean-up guy” ..... “Michelle has all these wonderful uncles and storytellers ..... “I wish her a wonderful Thanksgiving.” ..... he would not allow his presidential campaign to be “Swift Boated” by insinuation and smears ...... this week has been one of the nastiest yet in the 2008 presidential race.”It’s getting close to the end now,” he said, “and people start getting nervous about where they are.”
They fear her sex
how he avoided any eye contact with the woman herself who was standing just a couple of feet to his right. ....... Edwards had the advantage of being a litte further away from her frost. ...... visibly wincing when Clinton accused him of throwing mud around ..... encountered her ice-queen stare close-up, Edwards has appeared almost like a cartoon character with his feet trying to walk backwards as his body remained rooted to the lectern. ..... male candidates are struggling to find the right way to attack a woman. ..... Margaret Thatcher could generate a sometimes sexually-charged aura of fear and respect around her. I can remember seeing some more excitable Conservative MPs almost squealing with a creepy purple-faced sado-masochist delight as she delivered a "handbagging". ....... They are okay at slagging her off behind her back. They just can't do it to her face.
Romney Jabs at Obama, Edwards The Associated Press
Clinton attacks rivals in new campaign tack
Los Angeles Times for months seemed on a turbulence-free course at the front of the presidential pack, has kicked into a new phase of aggressive campaigning designed to address emerging weaknesses and to engage her Democratic rivals more directly. ....... a new phase of the campaign in which the debate among candidates is not happening only on TV debates but has moved to the daily campaign dialogue. ........ a creature of a discredited Washington establishment. ..... has accused her of defending a corrupt political system. ..... All campaigns tend to get more intense and negative as the voting day approaches. ...... counting on a victory in Iowa to give their campaigns money, momentum and publicity to help win subsequent primaries. For Clinton, Iowa could be the last obstacle to her securing the nomination. ....... her lead in New Hampshire is narrowing. ..... changing or obfuscating her positions on trade and the Iraq war. ...... Gordon Fischer, a former Iowa Democratic Party chairman who is supporting Obama, said Clinton's criticism of Obama undercut her pledge at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner not to attack her rivals. ..... "The problem with Sen. Clinton is she's on both sides of every issue," Fischer said. "Unfortunately, negative campaigning is no exception."
Hillary vs. Clinton MSNBC With about a thousand hours to go until the start of the Iowa caucuses, it seems this race is as much about Hillary vs. Clinton – with "Hillary" representing change and "Clinton" representing status quo – as it is about Clinton vs. Obama. ....... Whenever the former president is on the scene, the immediate question for any political reporter or analyst is: Is he or isn't he an asset? ....... His words aren’t merely reported, they are analyzed. ..... how will voters react if they know Bill Clinton will be in Cabinet meetings? Or be traveling the country to sell Hillary’s policy proposals? Or head to the Hill to twist arms in Congress? ...... this idea of two presidents who pillow talk? ..... Obama in both looks and via his name screams "change." ...... Change usually trumps experience
Clinton, Edwards may boycott debate MSNBC When asked on a conference call if he planned to do the same, he said, “I do.”

Iowa Caucus: The Orange Bowl Effect ... (Jan. 3 -Vote, Broke or Football) the same day that one of the top Bowl Championship Series college football games airs on national TV. ...... "Given the choice, do you plan to go out in the freezing cold to the local community center and choose between candidates, or would you rather stay inside your warm house and watch the Orange Bowl on TV?" ...... see their state's two caucuses as more of "a winnowing out" of weaker candidates than a crowning of a sure-thing nominee. ..... until the years of the Bush-Clinton dynasties, Iowa often proved to be a poor predictor. .... Iowa rejected Ronald Reagan in 1980, and instead chose George H.W. Bush. In 1988, the state GOP chose Bob Dole over the very same Bush who went on the win the presidency. And in 1996, eventual nominee Bob Dole came close to being knocked off in Iowa by Pat Buchanan. ..... Bill Clinton got just 3 percent of the vote in the 1992 Iowa caucus
Iowa Caucus: The Orange Bowl Effect Four years before that, the Democrat's eventual nominee, Mike Dukakis, came in third place in Iowa. ...... Who in their right mind will be around in the middle of the week after New Year's, and be willing to brave the elements, plus skip watching on TV one of the nation's top sporting events, all in order to vote in a caucus? ..... there's no exact precedent to this year's situation. ..... Bill Richardson's supporters are more likely to go to Hillary Clinton, while Joe Biden's base leans more toward Barack Obama. To complicate things further, former Sen. John Edwards' support comes in great part from union members, a heavily male — and football-loving — crowd. ....... the closest thing America has to a national presidential primary, Feb. 5's "Tsunami Tuesday."

The Early Word: It’s All About Iowa
New York Times the psyche of the fickle – or maybe just disenchanted – Iowa voter ...... the Orange Bowl will be held the same night as the Jan. 3 vote. ...... trade skeptics, and the issue is splitting traditionally free-trade Republicans. .... the state is on the whole a big winner from global trade ...... Huckabee has tripled his support in Iowa since late July .... Giuliani has fought back vigorously, portraying the issue as yet another in a long list, along with abortion, gay rights and gun control, in which Mr. Romney has shifted his position ..... yesterday’s announcement that scientists have created stem cells without having to make or destroy embryos. ...... Most unusual on Tuesday was the intervention of Bush and his wife in the Democratic contest. Calling Clinton a “very formidable candidate,” the president told ABC News: “There is no question that Senator Clinton understands pressure better than any of the candidates, you know, in the race.” ....... and openly chatted about what he was like when he was their age ...... I was kind of a goof-off in high school ...... “There was a whole stretch of time that I didn’t really apply myself a lot. It wasn’t until I got out of high school and went to college that I started realizing, ‘Man, I wasted a lot of time.’” ....... Obama campaign .. is in the midst of a relaunch ...... “But when they’re spread out, students can have a lot more impact.” ..... He’s tough on crime. He’s big on God. ...... Kerry loyalists, meanwhile, seethe as they watch his new aggressiveness. ....... issue ads that mention a political candidate will be permissible in the weeks before an election as long as they focus on public policy and do not mention an election, a political party or an opposing candidate.
Clinton Mocks, Draws Rebukes Washington Post Clinton's comments drew a rebuke not only from Obama, but also from former senator John Edwards's campaign. ..... I've met with countless world leaders and know many of them personally. ..... "I mentioned that one of the reasons that I got it right when it came to Iraq was because I lived overseas when I was a child" ...... "Now we know what Senator Clinton meant when she talked about 'throwing mud' in the last debate. Like so many other things, when it comes to mud, Hillary Clinton says one thing and throws another." ....... She understands the klieg lights. ..... "I would tell you what . . . these candidates don't really understand is how complex the environment is inside the Oval Office," Bush said. "And how important it is to have a set of principles from which you will not deviate, and so that you can make good sound decisions. . . . I think it's impossible for anybody to fully comprehend, you know, how much incoming there is."
Republican Faithful Await A Savior In Iowa
Christian men gather every Wednesday at noon to be fortified by fellowship and prayer ...... "I like Huckabee," he says. "Romney -- I wouldn't hold it against him because he's a Mormon, although I have to wonder. . . . But that doesn't trouble me as much as his change of positions. You have to wonder whether he or Giuliani would put people on the bench that reflect my Christian values." ....... an ordained Baptist minister ...... "There's a football game that night -- it's going to be really tough." ...... GOP leaders fret that there's not enough passion in the fractured party to propel voters to the caucuses. ...... . There's been a lot of waiting -- waiting for Gingrich ..... or hold my nose and vote for someone I don't agree with ...... Sixty-eight percent of Huckabee's support comes from self-identified evangelical Protestants. ...... urging his fellow Christians not to put their faith and trust in any one man ... The Wells family -- owners of the $1 billion dairy business ...... "Part of the disheartening feeling I have is not just the lack of the ideal candidate, but the optimistic views of the other side ........ "I say we have to go vote because if we don't vote, then all the women will vote and we'll have a woman in the White House and then we got problems" ..... "God," he notes, "did not plan for a woman to run everything." ....... John McCain, he says, strikes him as "very negative, very angry," and Romney's Mormon religion "bothers more people than they care to admit." ...... "The Bible says that if a man can't lead his own family, how can he manage the house of God?" ........ a sense of disappointment on specific issues such as the deficit and immigration reform. "For a number of Iowans -- who are conservative before they are Republican -- they're discouraged by the reckless spending of last few years .......... Cargin weeps as he talks of bringing his disabled son to a nearby care facility, and everyone gathers tightly around him for one last prayer. ..... Putting our faith in man -- it isn't going to work.
Is Obama's Iowa Surge for Real? Time "electability plus." ..... a "party that doesn't just focus on how to win but why we should." ...... "the fierce urgency of now" ..... a rationale for why Obama is running now, why he didn't wait four or eight years .... Obama's message seems to be catching on among the notoriously pragmatic Iowans. ..... he has eliminated her advantage among women voters and older voters. He is also dead even with her when voters are asked whom they trust more to handle the economy, Social Security and the war in Iraq. ...... 21% of Republican respondents would like to see Obama as the Democratic nominee ..... 34% of Iowa voters said he was their second choice, compared with only 15% for Clinton ....... Before a crowd of 4,000, he can be magnetic and compelling. But before a crowd of several hundred, he can sometimes fall flat. ....... the best speech of his campaign ..... "He hits the wall in late afternoon before really firing back up .... Bush erred by focusing on Iraq instead of Afghanistan ...... But let me tell you something: if the minimum wage in Canada was $100 an hour ...... And the crowd, which cheers so loudly that he doesn't need to finish the sentence, is won over.
The Dalai Lama's Succession Rethink the tradition of searching for a reincarnation of the Dalai Lama among Tibetan boys whose birth coincides with the previous incumbent's death. ...... either some kind of democratic election among senior Buddhist monks or a personal selection by the current Dalai Lama himself ....... In 1995, the Dalai Lama chose a six-year-old Tibetan boy, Gendun Choekyi Nyima, to take the title of Panchen Lama, effectively the second highest ranking monk in the complex Tibetan hierarchy. The boy and his family disappeared almost immediately — spirited away, many suspect, by Chinese authorities — and haven't been heard from since. Beijing later appointed its own candidate for the position — a boy, now 17 years old, who was prominently on display as a guest during last month's 17th National Congress of the ruling Chinese Communist Party in Beijing. .......... he has always said that he admired Mao Zedong ...... Beijing has become more sophisticated in dealing with Tibetan religion, allowing some interaction among less exalted lamas on both sides of the political divide. ........ Tibet will lose much of its unique cultural identity within a generation ...... China's Muslim-majority province of Xinjiang, where Beijing has spent billions encouraging tourism — notably by building a train line through the region's vast desert to the remote city of Kashgar, connecting it with the rest of China — and improving the infrastructure to extract its considerable oil reserves. Along with the strict repression of even the slightest signs of dissent, the policy has been highly successful in neutralizing opposition to Chinese rule. ........ A $5 billion train line connecting Beijing and Lhasa ....... A forced relocation program that will resettle tens of thousands of nomadic herders, along with increasing urban migration among young Tibetans .... "It's never a pretty sight when indigenous peoples run into the power of the state"
Iran's Nukes: Still Room for Diplomacy For Iran's leaders there was confirmation of their cooperation with nuclear inspectors and of the fact that they have not diverted nuclear material for bomb-making purposes. And for advocates of continued diplomacy there was sufficient evidence of Iranian cooperation, and insufficient evidence of any immediate peril, to justify further negotiations. ........ During a visit to Saudi Arabia for an OPEC summit, the usually provocative Iranian president told an interviewer Iran would consider an Arab proposal for off-shoring its industrial uranium-enrichment in a neutral country such as Switzerland. ....... "It's actually not economical for Iran to enrich its own reactor fuel — it would be far cheaper to buy it from the Russians or others." ....... The hawks are warning that diplomacy is fruitless, and that the President will be forced before the end of his term to choose between military action and accepting a nuclear-armed Iran. ..... openly complaining that Bush is betraying his own best instincts under the malign influence of "pragmatists" such as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. ..... much of what President Nicolas Sarkozy is hearing from his own intelligence services dilutes the sense of urgency — suggesting that Iran is unlikely to cross the threshold to nuclear-weapons capability before 2010 or 2011. ..... the immediate consequences of air strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities would be far more dangerous than Iran's program. .... that the next U.S. President will be more willing than Bush to hold direct, unconditional talks with Iran in search of a diplomatic solution, as the Europeans have long urged
Sex Scandal Hits Atlanta Megachurch He slept with his brother's wife and fathered a child by her. ...... a recent court-ordered paternity test. ..... 34-year-old D.E. Paulk, who for years was known publicly as Earl Paulk's nephew. ...... former church employee Mona Brewer, who says Earl Paulk manipulated her into an affair from 1989 to 2003 by telling her it was her only path to salvation ....... after more than a decade of sex scandals and lawsuits involving the Paulks ...... church had become too personality-driven and prone to pastor worship ....... For years the church was at the forefront of many social movements — admitting black members in the 1960s, ordaining women and opening its doors to gays. ..... At its peak in the early 1990s, it claimed about 10,000 members and 24 pastors and was a media powerhouse. By soliciting tithes of 10 percent from each member's income, the church was able to build a Bible college, two schools, a worldwide TV ministry and a $12 million sanctuary the size of a fortress. ....... In 1992, a church member claimed she was pressured into a sexual relationship with Don Paulk. Other women also claimed they had been coerced into sex with Earl Paulk and other members of the church's administration. ...... "My uncle is 100 percent guilty, but his accusers are guilty as well," D.E. Paulk said, declining to talk further about the lawsuits.
The Tone-Deaf Democrats George W. Bush, whose naive support for democracy in countries that aren't ready for it has destabilized the Middle East
After the Oil Crisis, a Food Crisis? India, Mexico and Yemen have seen food riots this year. Argentines boycotted tomatoes during the country's recent presidential elections when the vegetable became more expensive than meat; and in Italy, shoppers organized a one-day boycott of pasta to protest rising prices. In late October, the Russian government, hoping to ease tensions ahead of parliamentary elections early next year, announced a price freeze for milk, bread and other foods through the end of January. What's the cause for these shortages and price hikes? Expensive oil, for the most part. ..... worldwide food reserves are at their lowest in 35 years .... In developing countries, costs will go up by a quarter to nearly $233 billion. ...... An estimated 854 million people, or one in six in the world, already don't have enough to eat ...... Retail prices are up 18% in China, 17% in Sri Lanka and 10% or more throughout Latin America and Russia. Zimbabwe tops the chart with a more than a 25% increase. That inflation has been driven by double-digit price hikes for almost every basic foodstuff over the past 12 months. ........ Biofuels, made from food crops such as corn, sugar cane, and palm oil, are seen as easing the world's dependence on gasoline or diesel. ...... one-quarter of the U.S. corn harvest in 2007 diverted towards biofuel production, the attendant rise in cereal prices ....... the gold rush toward biofuels is taking away food from the hungry ..... climate change could be behind recent extreme weather patterns, including catastrophic floods, heat waves and drought. All can diminish food harvests and stockpiles. But so can market forces.
Arabs show skepticism ahead of Mideast peace gathering International Herald Tribune Saudi Arabia is apparently holding out for promises that the Annapolis talks will launch negotiations on the thorniest Israeli-Palestinian issues such as the borders of a Palestinian state, the status of east Jerusalem and the future of millions of Palestinian refugees. ....... seeks high-level delegates from key Arab countries ..... worry that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is being lured into a PR show that will hold little substance, boosting Israel without committing it on the Arabs' central demand — a withdrawal from land it seized in a 1967 war. ......... So far, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have said they are attending, and Jordan is a sure bet. .... Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attempted to allay Arab concerns. After meeting Mubarak, he promised that negotiations to be launched by the conference would address all the key issues of the peace process, would take the Arab peace plan into account and could even lead to a final peace agreement in 2008. ...... the Palestinians, who have indicated their willingness to go to Annapolis regardless of the Arab League's position. ..... would attend the conference only if discussions included the return of the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed.
Musharraf could quit as Pakistan army chief by Saturday, official says
Supreme Court to rule on right to keep handguns at home Los Angeles Times
Let's Hope Kindle Is Only Chapter One
Mozilla Readies Firefox Patch
PC World
Democrats and Bush Spar on Military Spending Bill
New York Times
Clinton vs. Obama on foreign experience: Who scored?
USA Today "I was wondering which world leader told her that we needed to invade Iraq." ...... "This campaign is getting kind of heated now. It's getting a little more exciting and intense."
Bush, Giuliani weigh in on Clinton, Obama Los Angeles Times exchanges that saw Hillary Rodham Clinton belittle Barack Obama, John Edwards tweak Clinton ....... At least on Tuesday, the Democratic race for president looked more like a shoving match than a civil airing of policy differences. ..... Facing a dip in her Iowa and New Hampshire poll ratings, Clinton responded with an ad saying the "old Republican attack machine" was back and attacking her because of her strength and experience. ....... the fragility of her status as the national front-runner ..... Amid the tightening race, Clinton on Tuesday took a more aggressive posture toward Obama. She ridiculed the Illinois senator ...... "A long resume doesn't guarantee good judgment," he added. "And it says nothing about your character. And this next election is going to be about character. And it's going to be about judgment." ..... "I can't tell if he's endorsing her, hoping she's the nominee, or thanking her for her votes on Iraq and Iran." ... "It's an interesting admission from Sen. Clinton -- that if she's elected we're headed for four more years of the partisan warfare, Washington dysfunction, bitter divisiveness and gridlock that have marked the last 15 years, at a time when all Americans are desperate for real solutions to real problems" ...... Rudolph W. Giuliani, took a swipe at Clinton in Chicago on Tuesday. "Sen. Clinton has had so many different positions on Iraq, I would not want to be the one to state her most current position, because I'd probably get it wrong," he said, adding that Obama, by contrast, had stood "clearly against the war." .......... "I think that one of the things that we need from people running for office is not this pretense of perfection."
GOP Strategists Worry About Clinton Strength CBS News the battle for the Democratic nomination is toughening up the Clinton campaign, improving its rapid-response operation, and making clear that it can take nothing for granted ...... As for Bush, he remarks to friends that he sees strategic parallels between his 2000 race and Clinton's today. Notably, Bush says the 2000 primary process helped strengthen his campaign and ready him for the general election, especially after he lost the New Hampshire primary to John McCain and was forced to make a comeback.
Amnesty says Nepal needs its "truth" commission Reuters India
Over 80 killed in S Nepal in 6 months Xinhua
Southeast Asian nations split over treatment of Burma
Christian Science Monitor At least one country, the Philippines, suggested it would not ratify the charter unless Burma explicitly embraced democracy and freed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. ...... ASEAN's newer members, poor and ruled by autocratic governments — Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam — empathize with Myanmar's ruling junta and oppose efforts to press it to tolerate political dissent. Analysts said these countries feared that any stronger action by ASEAN on Myanmar might set an unwelcome precedent. ....... Burmese dissidents staged protests around the region. ....... only one of ASEAN's members - Indonesia - is a functioning democracy ....... nearly 10 years of sanctions against Burma have been undermined by Asia's – and particularly China's –quest for energy. ...... the "ASEAN way" that prioritizes consensus over confrontation ....... the extraordinary diversity of the region's 577 million people - Muslim-majority Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei; Buddhist-majority Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos; Christian-majority Philippines ........ "The road to reconciliation between the West and the Muslim world runs through Southeast Asia," argues Surin, noting that more than half the region's population will soon be Muslim. "We have to try to keep them moderate, accommodating, progressive and constructively engaged with the outside world."
ASEAN, India Closer To Inking Free Trade Accord Forbes
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China to hold Asia climate change meeting in 2008
Huckabee catching Romney in Iowa Boston Globe
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