Notes, Nov 26 2007

November 26, 2007 § Leave a comment

Brezezinski’s views in   The Grand Chessboard ends with

“In the course of the next several decades, a functioning structure of global cooperation, based on geopolitical realities, could thus emerge and gradually assume the mantle of the world’s current “regent,” which has for the time being assumed the burden of responsibility for world stability and peace. Geostrategic success in that cause would represent a fitting legacy of America’s role as the first, only, and last truly global superpower.” – 215


Very difficult: TPMmuckraker  Talking Points Memo  White House Releases Principles for Permanent Iraqi Presence

So it begins. After years of obfuscation and denial on the length of the U.S.’s stay in Iraq, the White House and the Maliki government have released a joint declaration of “principles” for “friendship and cooperation.” Apparently President Bush and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki signed the declaration during a morning teleconference.

War Czar: Permanent Iraq Bases Won’t Require Senate Ratification

By Spencer Ackerman – November 26, 2007, 12:54PM

Could Congress stop a Bush administration-brokered deal to garrison U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely? Not according to General Douglas Lute, the so-called “war czar.” Here’s Lute at today’s gaggle:

Q General, will the White House seek any congressional input on this?

GENERAL LUTE: In the course of negotiations like this, it’s not — it is typical that there will be a dialogue between congressional leaders at the negotiating table, which will be run out of the Department of State. We don’t anticipate now that these negotiations will lead to the status of a formal treaty which would then bring us to formal negotiations or formal inputs from the Congress.

Q Is the purpose of avoiding the treaty avoiding congressional input?

GENERAL LUTE: No, as I said, we have about a hundred agreements similar to the one envisioned for the U.S. and Iraq already in place, and the vast majority of those are below the level of a treaty.

Lute said the White House intends to conclude negotiations on an enduring security guarantee with the Maliki government in July. Permanent military bases and residual troop levels will be specified in the final accord, he said.

The Bush administration is moving towards “we won in Iraq DESPITE the democrat opposition,” and they will declare that the economy is doing fine. The Dems, who have taken a fairly low profile (exept on some issues Edwards and on most issues, Kucenich (sp)) will have a hard time countering this.

Justice from

Call for prison reform draws attention from policy makers and members of the law enforcement community

U.S. Prison system a costly and harmful failure
http://www.maconareaonline.com/news.asp?id=19050

California a leader in number of youths in prison for life
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/politics/scotus/la-me-juvenile19nov19,1,231437.story?coll=la-news-politics-supreme_court
Crack cocaine sentence cut is stalled by retroactivity
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07323/835088-85.stm
NPR: Should Sentencing Reform Be Retroactive? [Real Player]
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16327095
Unlocking America [pdf]
http://www.jfa-associates.com/publications/srs/UnlockingAmerica.pdf
Bureau of Justice Statistics [pdf]
http://ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/welcome.html
Within the vast world of pressing policy problems, system-wide prison reform in the United States has been a subject that has vexed even the most dedicated experts and committed activists. Over the past four decades, the prison population has risen eight-fold, and people have laid the blame on everything from mandatory sentencing laws to economic restructuring in America’s manufacturing regions. This week, the JFA Institute released a report which contains a number of thoughtful policy recommendations which have generated comments from criminologists, politicians, and judges. Some of these findings may prove to be controversial, as they include recommendations for shorter sentences, and alternative punishments. The long-term effects of the current sentencing guidelines may have a deleterious effect on certain communities, as the report notes: “The massive incarceration of young male from mostly poor-and working-class neighborhoods, and the taking of women from their families and jobs, has crippled their potential for forming healthy families and achieving economic gains.” [KMG]

and Clinton and Perot

By David Sirota
Creators Syndicate, 11/23/07
Ross Perot was fiercely against NAFTA. Knowing what we know now, was Ross Perot right?”
That’s what CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Hillary Clinton at last week’s Democratic presidential debate. It was a straightforward query about a Clinton administration trade policy that polls show the public now hates, and it was appropriately directed to a candidate who has previously praised NAFTA.
In response, Clinton stumbled. First she laughed at Perot, then she joked that “all I can remember from that is a bunch of charts,” and then she claimed the whole NAFTA debate “is a vague memory.” The behavior showed how politically tone deaf some Democratic leaders are.
To read the full column, go to:
http://www.creators.com/opinion/david-sirota/was-ross-perot-right.html

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