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Archive for the tag “United States Congress”

Is Something Bigger Than Lehman Around The Corner?

Anyone who remembers the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. little more than five years ago knows what a global financial disaster is. A U.S. government default, just weeks away if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling as it now threatens to do, will be an economic calamity like none the world has ever seen.

Read Here – Bloomberg

Sense Of Unease As Superpower Skids

An unmistakable sense of unease has been growing in capitals around the world as the U.S. government from afar looks increasingly befuddled — shirking from a military confrontation in Syria, stymied at home by a gridlocked Congress and in danger of defaulting on sovereign debt, which could plunge the world’s financial system into chaos.

Read Here – AP (Huffington Post)

If Only The Arms Hadn’t Been Chopped…

It’s a nationalist myth that Indian independence was won by militant Congress direct action and that partition was the inevitable price exacted by a pro-Muslim colonial power determined to divide and rule. On the contrary, effective independence was implicit in the progressive constitutional reforms introduced by the Raj in 1909 and 1919, well before Gandhi launched his campaigns of civil disobedience. Congress was knocking at an open door: the real point at issue was how to introduce Westminster-style democracy in a subcontinent so diverse and largely illiterate.

Read Here – The Standpoint

The Poison Chalice

The reason that U.S. President Barack Obama passed the buck on authorizing a military strike on Syria to Congress is not because getting congressional approval is the constitutional thing to do. It always has been, although presidents have regularly denied it. Rather, Obama passed the buck to Congress because it was the only way out of the dilemma that he imposed on himself when he declared the use of chemical weapons to be a red line, without having thought through whether or how to go to war if the line was crossed.

Read here – Foreign Affairs

The Boiling Sea

So far, public debate about the intervention in Syria has centered on the immediate scope and aims of any U.S.-led military operation, and whether the U.S. Congress should be involved. But no matter how the possible intervention and its aftermath play out, one thing is certain: the eastern Mediterranean — where exploratory drilling has unearthed vast reserves of natural gas, and where competition over the rights to tap those resources is already fierce — will become less stable.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Intelligen(ce) Lies!

America’s chief intelligence officers have a longstanding history of untruthiness — testifying falsely and fearlessly. They are caught in a dilemma — sworn to secrecy yet sworn to tell the truth. Sometimes they get their facts wrong; that’s human error. But sometimes their untruths are conscious. Soldiers can die as a consequence.

Read Here – Bloomberg

U.S. Says China’s Military Ambitions Growing

China is looking beyond its decades- old territorial dispute with Taiwan as it modernizes its military, according to the U.S. Defense Department’s annual report on military developments in the Asian nation.

“As China’s interests have grown and as it has gained greater influence in the international system, its military modernization has also become increasingly focused on investments in military capabilities to conduct a wider range of missions beyond its immediate territorial concerns,” the Pentagon said yesterday in the report to Congress titled “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2013.”

Read Here – Bloomberg

Read Pentagon Report Here

For Asian Students, All Roads Lead To The United States

Despite bipartisan consensus in favor of retaining foreign students studying at U.S. universities to make America economically competitive, Congress continues to disagree over the details. Over the past couple of years, we have seen introduced a panoply of cleverly-named legislative proposals to create a green card for foreign students receiving graduate degrees in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields can work in the United States immediately post-graduation. Yet, some fear that an accelerated inflow of foreign workers may depress wages and crowd out opportunities for Americans. Very soon, the American public will see some version of these proposals in a much-anticipated comprehensive immigration reform bill.

Read Here – Brookings

We All Like A Bit Of Threat, Do We?

The White House likes a bit of threat. In his State of the Union address, Barack Obama wanted to nudge Congress yet again into passing meaningful legislation. The president emphasized that America‘s enemies are “seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems.”

Read Here – Foreign Policy

The Long Road of U.S. Fiscal Reform

President Barack Obama in his State of the Union speech reiterated his call for a bipartisan agreement that would stabilize the debt and end a period where fiscal policy has lurched from crisis to crisis.

This ambition is broadly shared, but profound disagreements remain over the composition of measures to address debt and growth. Democrats insist on a “balanced package” that includes substantial new revenue and modest changes to entitlements. Republicans see the fiscal problem primarily as a spending problem and want deep and broad-ranging cuts. Prospects for a major agreement, a “grand bargain,” seem as remote as ever.

Read Here – Council on Foreign Relations

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