The Broader, International Context for an Obama New Deal

Promoted. Originally posted 2009-03-14 09:07:50 -0500. -- GH

Today  Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will be meeting with President Obama in Washington. Their agenda will be focussed on the world economic crisis, although other subjects such as trade relations between Cuba and the United States are expected to be discussed as well.  Time Magazine discusses the Latin American aspect of the visit, and da Silva's potential role in helping to ease US relations with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.

Both presidents will be attending to important international conferences in April. On April 2 the annual Group of 20 meeting converence convenes in London. How to deal with toxic assets (better described--please excuse my vulgarity--as a furious debate on who will carry the can).  The banker's side of the story is discussed in this Bloomberg Wire. Later in the month Summit of the Americas wil be taking place in Trinidad. David Ignatius gives a more straightforward account of the issue under dispute in the Washington Post (in an article datelined tomorrow).

I'm Home, but Still Haunted by Guantanamo

Originally posted Sun, 08/17/2008 - 07:50, giving it a little bump to the top - standingup

So many times in history policy and the inability to deviate from policy has often led to disastrous consequences. World War 1 where for reasons known only to themselves the various governments of Europe believed they fully understood their counterparts when they did not. The Domino Theory and Vietnam is just another example of this. People want to believe that we learn from our mistakes yet governments do not.

Given recent revelations it would seem the Bush administration was incapable of learning histories lessons. How does this relate to Guantanamo Bay and the detention center there currently holding almost 500 people without any realistic judicial recourse. Because in both conflicts there were humanitarian abuses that the world supposedly learned from but did not. World War II is the best example. Governments should have learned from the atrocities of Nazi Germany. One could argue that in most cases they did but of course there are many examples where they did not. Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia come to mind.

Making a Market out of Carbon Footprints and the US's not too nice history with water torture

Some weeks, I just wish everyone could afford a subscription to The New Yorker. Two essays this week seem of particular interest to people who post here.

Making a Market out Carbon Footprints:

Michael Specter's Big Foot begins by describing Sir Terry Leahy, head of Tesco Supermarkets in Britain, and his pledge that Tesco will be a leader in creating a low-carbon economy.

He announced that Tesco would cut its energy use in half by 2010, drastically limit the number of products it transports by air, and place airplane symbols on the packaging of those which it does. More important, in an effort to help consumers understand the environmental impact of the choices they make every day, he told the forum that Tesco would develop a system of carbon labels and put them on each of its seventy thousand products. “Customers want us to develop ways to take complicated carbon calculations and present them simply,” he said.