FM newswire for June 15, interesting articles about geopolitics

Today’s links to interesting news and analysis. If you find this useful, please pass it to a friend or colleague.

  1. One of America’s largest public investments.  What do we get in return?  “High Budgetary Cost of Incarceration“, John Schmitt et al. Center for Economic and Policy Research, June 2010
  2. There is some truth to the Bond movie Quantum of Solace.  “Leasing the rain“, PBS, June 2002 — Privatizing water in Bolivia.
  3. Explaining the Origins of the Tea Party“, John Sides, The Monkey Cage, 2 June 2010 — A rebuttal to Mark Lilla’s NY Review of Books article.  Weak thesis; interesting factoids.
  4. Afghanistan is not the only nation where practices remain that were abolished centuries ago in developed nations:  “In jail for being in debt“, StarTribune (Minneapolis – St. Paul, MN), 9 June 2010
  5. Bad news:  there are 3 pension funds in the US even more poorly managed:  “Illinois pension fund uses OTC derivatives to recoup returns, jeopardizes pensions“, Medill Reports (of the Medill graduate school of journalism, NW U), 10 June 2010 — Probably lots managed almost as badly.
  6. What we can look forward to if the Republicans return to power:  “Debt Default: It Can Happen Here“, Bruce Bartlett, The Fiscal Times, 11 June 2010 — Don’t believe him.  Follow the links for some insane recommendations from conservatives.
  7. Coping with failure, while denying it:  “Can Obama speed up the battlefield clock or slow down the domestic politics clock?”, Peter Feaver, blog of Foreign Policy, 14 June 2010 — We just need a bit more time, as we did in Vietnam.  Hibbs sees the light of victory approaching down the tunnel.  After all, we’re in control of events in Afghanistan.
  8. Recommended (Center for a New American Security is a lobe in the forebrain of US imperial thinking):  “COIN Think-Tank Jumps Shark“, Kelley B. Vlahos, AntiWar, 15 June 2010 — The brain freeze she describes started after last summer’s debates about the Af-Pak War, and the rout of the war’s supporters (see here for details).
  9. Major story, strongly recommended:  “SEC: Government Destroyed Documents Regarding Pre-9/11 Put Options“, George Washington’s blog, 14 June 2010 — It goes far beyond that astonishing opening.
  10. Buying the lede (the important content starts midway):  “Why are girls reaching puberty younger?“, The Telegraph, 15 June 2010

Feature article

(11) Reporting the end of empire is difficult

The Breach“, Mark Hibbs, blog of Foreign Policy, 4 June 2010 — “China is about to break important international rules designed to prevent nuclear proliferation. Can Beijing be stopped?” The US wants to remain hegemon — setting rules for others it does not follow. But our ability to do so has ended. Hibbs reports this, but with difficulty (slipping back into the normative voice, where the US sets the rules).

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