Lately Bill Frist and many others have come up with a lovely way to be Bi-Partisan and find unique ways to get yet more money from the Federal Government and your wallets so that the bounty of America can be spent by bureaucrats. They wish to do this via the ONE Vote '08 concept to improve world health. Anyone who is familiar with my attitudes on Darfur will know exactly what is coming: and it will not be pleasant.
There is one sovereign rules about organizations from the Revolutionary to the corporate: as they are constructed, so shall they work once they have the means to do so. Thus when an a group works to head up many independent groups it is of actual good intent to SEE who is leading them. Thus, comes their roster from a Press Release on 06 JUN 2007:
Bill Frist, former Senate Republican Majority LeaderAll very nice people I must say!
Tom Daschle, former Senate Democratic Majority Leader
General James L. Jones, (ret.) USMC, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe; Current President & CEO, Institute for 21st Century Energy, US Chamber of Commerce [invited]
Susan McCue, President & CEO of The ONE Campaign
Jack Oliver, GOP Strategist and co-chair of The ONE Campaign
Ashley Judd, actress and humanitarian
Brian McLaren, Pastor, named by TIME magazine one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America
Karen Sichinga, nurse, Churches Health Association of Zambia (CHAZ), Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria
Bill Frist, as everyone will recall, was Senate Majority Leader up to 2006 where he bowed out as he had promised when he first assumed the position. While he did have qualms with the 2006 Immigration Reform Bill, he did vote for its passage, as seen in the Senate Roll Call for that vote. As a doctor, however, he still kept up with his work in that field and has been tireless in it to the point of drafting a bill to direct the President to use Dept. of Agriculture funds to help folks overseas clean up their water supplies, put down educational capability and to make local markets more robust to sustain such things.... that WAS in the proposed bill S. 492 Safe Water: Currency for Peace Act of 2005 that he proposed in 02 MAR 2005. From SEC 104d to amend the Foreign Assisstance Act of 1961 (my thanks to the Thomas Multi Congress Search in preparing this article!):
`(c) AUTHORIZATION-So handy of Sen. Frist to care so much about the health of those folks who will get USDA funds to clean up their water supplies. Any word on when the SUPERFUND Sites will be all cleaned up?
`(1) IN GENERAL- To carry out the policy set out in subsection (b), the President is authorized to furnish assistance, including health information and education, to advance good health and promote economic development by improving the safety of water supplies, expanding access to safe water and sanitation, promoting sound water management, and promoting better hygiene.
`(2) LOCAL CURRENCY- The President may use payments made in local currencies under an agreement made under title I of the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 (7 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) to provide assistance under this section, including assistance for activities related to drilling or maintaining wells.'.
(b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 104(c) of the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 (7 U.S.C. 1704(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
`(9) SAFE WATER- To provide assistance under section 104D of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to advance good health and promote economic development by improving the safety of water supplies, including programs related to drilling or maintaining wells.'.
Then there is S.2210 the Debt Relief Enhancement Act of 2002 which Sen. Frist co-sponsored. It is one of those lovely things that was decided on by the G-8 and Paris Club and was all in the spirit of that Papal debt forgiveness concept for poor Nations. And it has a lovely section about those Nations not eligible for aid of this sort:
`(c) CONDITIONS- A country shall not be eligible for cancellation of debt under modifications to the Enhanced HIPC Initiative described in subsection (a) if the government of the country--Notice the lack of the words 'Liberty' and 'Freedom' involved? Also just what is "excessive level of military expenditures"? Compared to which Nations? The US scrimps by around 4% or so of GDP and most European Nations skirt in the 1-2% area, while the old USSR, when you could figure out if they had an economy at *all*, was estimated at the low end at 10-15% with the high end running to 25%. So just what, exactly, is 'excessive'? Good thing the G-8 and Paris Club are involved to decide *that* isn't it?
`(1) has an excessive level of military expenditures;
`(2) has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism, as determined by the Secretary of State under section 6(j)(1) of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (50 U.S.C. App. 2405(j)(1)) or section 620A(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2371(a));
`(3) is failing to cooperate on international narcotics control matters; or
`(4) engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights (including its military or other security forces).
Then there is the entire 'cooperate on international narcotics control matters'.... no word about *effectiveness* is involved, just willing to cooperate. Such lovely pablum, so that just about any Nation with a counter-narcotics unit that is barely funded can fit into that!
Finally there is the 'gross violation of human rights' concept. Are we going to hand that over the UN or HRW to decide? If so then the US would not be eligible to GIVE THE AID as we really don't qualify as having any sort of real human rights according to them...
I do not mind Sen. Frist's involvement with National Health Concerns and enjoy that he is concerned about global health problems. What is missing is that the Federal Government is not set up to DEAL with those things. When Congress tries to legislate Foreign Policy initiatives they try to hook it in with all sorts of lovely and, ultimately, meaningless agreements that get *nowhere*. The last successful International Program was that of smallpox eradication. It took decades and there was continual backsliding in that and that had a team of dedicated professionals trying to get the work *done*.
So do excuse me if I get a bit jaded on what Sen. Frist has as a conception of what the US Government can *do*. If it could have been done, then he would have achieved it while he was in the Senate. There are a few other bills and such that do point to the problems of this, but if the US cannot figure out how to deal with its OWN medical problems then we have a real problem giving money from the Federal coffers to other folks that can put that money into corrupt political schemes at home for enrichment of the few and deprivation of the many. The reason that smallpox eradication *worked* is that it was simple vaccination given by a skilled health care professional that was cheap and could be distributed with no fear of it being embezzled, although I am sure that some of that went on, too.
Now, Sen. Daschle spent lots of time concentrating more on US concerns but he did get his name on a bill or three that concerned overseas health issues. One of those was S.2525 United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2002. And from the start in its Definitions section we get to see who will run this thing:
In this Act:Quite the polyglot of bureaucratic overhead ripe for political pontification, isn't it? And I am sure that Department of Homeland Security would get added today. Ok, with all of those actors involved, can you imagine actually getting such little things as *meetings* together? Not only would multiple parts of different Departments show up, but also different departments in Agencies and then you add in the overseas folks from the UN, WHO and who knows *what* else. This is NOT a recipe for swift action nor assured action nor much of anything.
(1) AIDS- The term `AIDS' means the acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
(2) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES- The term `appropriate congressional committees' means the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives.
(3) DESIGNATED CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES- The term `designated congressional committees' means the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Health , Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee on International Relations and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives.
(4) GLOBAL FUND- The term `Global Fund' means the public-private partnership known as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria that was established upon the call of the United Nations Secretary General in April 2001.
(5) HIV- The term `HIV' means the human immunodeficiency virus, the pathogen that causes AIDS.
(6) HIV/AIDS- The term `HIV/AIDS' means, with respect to an individual, an individual who is infected with HIV or living with AIDS.
(7) RELEVANT EXECUTIVE BRANCH AGENCIES- The term `relevant Executive branch agencies' means the Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development, the Department of Health and Human Services (including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Institutes of Health , the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, and the Food and Drug Administration), the Department of Labor, the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Defense.
Luckily this document begins to map THAT out also:
SEC. 101. DEVELOPMENT OF A COMPREHENSIVE, FIVE-YEAR, GLOBAL STRATEGY.Oh, my! This is the spaghetti infestation of bureaucracy everywhere. The US will adhere to the UN say-so on what needs to be done when and where! And we are to be good 'yes-men' in that aren't we? I mean it is all internationally done and such, by the ever trustworthy folks who ran the Oil For Food Program for Saddam Hussein. Also notice the '180 days' to formulate a strategy. Can we get a 180 day policy to address Federal Pork Spending, first? That will take far fewer organizations, and only be limited to 535 individuals who will just have to agree to stop spending on Pork programs.
(a) STRATEGY- The President shall establish a comprehensive, integrated, five-year strategy to combat global HIV/AIDS that promotes the goals and objectives of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its Special Session on HIV/AIDS in June 2001, and strengthens the capacity of the United States to be an effective leader of the international campaign against HIV/AIDS. Such strategy shall--
(1) include specific objectives, multisectoral approaches, and specific strategies to treat individuals infected with HIV/AIDS and to prevent the further spread of HIV infections, with a particular focus on the needs of women, young people, and children;
(2) assign priorities for relevant Executive branch agencies;
(3) improve coordination among relevant Executive branch agencies and foreign governments and international organizations;
(4) project general levels of resources needed to achieve the stated objectives;
(5) expand public-private partnerships and the leveraging of resources; and
(6) maximize United States capabilities in the areas of technical assistance and training and research, including vaccine research.
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to designated congressional committees a report setting forth the strategy described in subsection (a).
(2) REPORT ELEMENTS- The report required by paragraph (1) shall include a discussion of the following:
(A) The objectives, general and specific, of the strategy.
(B) A description of the criteria for determining success of the strategy.
(C) A description of the manner in which the strategy will address the fundamental elements of prevention and education; care and treatment, including increasing access to pharmaceuticals and to vaccines and microbicides when available; research, including incentives for vaccine development and new protocols; and training of health care workers, and the development of health care infrastructure and delivery systems.
(D) A description of the manner in which the strategy will promote the development and implementation of national and community-based multisectoral strategies and programs, including those designed to enhance leadership capacity particularly at the community level.
(E) A description of the specific strategies developed to meet the unique needs of women, including the empowerment of women in interpersonal situations, young people and children, including those orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
(F) A description of the programs to be undertaken to maximize United States contributions in the areas of technical assistance, training particularly of health care workers and community-based leaders in affected sectors, and research including the promotion of research on vaccines.
(G) An identification of the relevant Executive branch agencies that will be involved and the assignment of priorities to those agencies.
(H) A description of the role of each relevant Executive branch agency and the types of programs that the agency will be undertaking.
(I) A description of the mechanisms that will be utilized to coordinate the efforts of the relevant Executive branch agencies, to avoid duplication of efforts, to enhance on-site coordination efforts, and to ensure that each agency undertakes programs primarily in those areas where the agency has the greatest expertise, technical capabilities, and potential for success.
(J) A description of the mechanisms that will be utilized to ensure greater coordination between the United States and foreign governments and international organizations including the Global Fund, UNAIDS, international financial institutions, and private sector organizations.
(K) The level of resources that will be needed on an annual basis and the manner in which those resources would generally be allocated among relevant Executive agencies.
(L) A description of the mechanisms to be established for monitoring and evaluating programs and for terminating unsuccessful programs.
(M) A description of the manner in which private, nongovernmental entities will factor into the United States Government-led effort and a description of the type of partnerships that will be created to maximize the capabilities of these private sector entities and to leverage resources.
(N) A description of the manner in which the United States strategy for combating HIV/AIDS relates to and promotes the goals and objectives of the United Nations General Assembly's Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS.
(O) A description of the ways in which United States leadership will be used to enhance the overall international response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and particularly to heighten the engagement of the member states of the G-8 and to strengthen key financial and coordination mechanisms such as the Global Fund and UNAIDS.
(P) A description of the manner in which the United States strategy for combating HIV/AIDS relates to and enhances other United States assistance strategies in developing countries.
By the way, what if a program is deemed not to be 'effective' and is then continually funded by a Congresscritter via Pork to reward an overseas advisor, assistant or lackey? Can we get some criminal penalties written up for that sort of thing?
And how about those annual outlays? Isn't that a lovely thing to see: Congress telling the President that more money needs to be spent and figure out how much for something that resides in the Foreign Policy area. One of the things NOT cited in the Bill is which Treaty this is being promulgated under. Because Congress cannot promulgate law for regularization of anything with Foreign Nations without a Treaty being involved. I just can't seem to find it.
I am *sure* there *must* be a Treaty involved... otherwise Congress is telling the President that the US needs to submit to the will of a non-elected International Body without having any legal backing at all to do so. And such directions from such bodies would violate the US Constitution as those foreign bodies are not allowed to tell the US what we are to do so as to enact Treaties. I notice that the Global Coordinator in the State Dept. for this has no mention of any Treaty involved and that the PEPFAR Office is totally under US outlook.
Now I thank Gen. Jones, USMC, ret. for his work heading up the Supreme Allied Command in Europe! And for the adoption of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, so as to instill the respect for the Martial Arts that are as still as necessary today, where close quarters fighting can get far too close, as it was in ancient times.
Unfortunately he has stepped into an organization that puts him at the equivalent of being bound up in a straitjacket, blindfolded, surrounded by a group of Ninjas right before they turn the lights out. A Dorsai ... I expect a Dorsai to get out of that unscathed and carrying the leader off in the same straightjacket, alive. What is this group? Well, for that I will let John Fonte describe the activities they are involved in The Transnational Left and Transnational Right, when dealing with current views of the Right to Capitalist Transnationalism:
REGIONALIZATION: NORTH AMERICAN INTEGRATIONThe US Chamber of Commerce is getting set up as a delegated group to oversee the 'harmonization' of 'North America'. The US Chamber of Commerce, plus other corporations and foreign Nationals are being set up via the North American Competitiveness Council to 'harmonize' the laws and cultures of Mexico, Canada and the United States so as to make them into one, borderless, North America with one homogeneous culture. It is obvious that Gen. Jones will have to make a reasoned decision on exactly *what* he will do when he comes to know of this. I, however, place no trust in the US Chamber of Commerce and their inclusion at such a high level by both Senators Frist and Daschle speaks ill of their outlook and intentions on this matter.
For several years, government leaders and business elites in US, Canada and Mexico have been promoting North American integration. An executive agreement established the Security and Prosperity Partnership for North America (the SPP). In June 2005 and March 2006 Cabinet members from the US (including Condoleezza Rice, Carlos Gutierrez, Michael Chertoff) and their counter parts in Canada and Mexico outlined priorities.
These priorities include:
(1) The immediate number one priority was to “facilitate the movement of people” across the borders of North America.
(2) The “harmonization of security and customs regulations in all three countries.” This priority is vaguely written and ambiguous, although implicit is the suggestion that there should be one border for all of North America.
(3) The “formalization” of a “transnational professional labor force” that could work in any North American country.
(4) The creation of institutions to promote North American integration
On March 31, 2006 the three governments established the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC) to implement these measures. The US Chamber of Commerce is the Secretariat for the council.
The Bush Administration has not involved or even fully informed Congress on North American integration; even budget figures are almost impossible to come by. Unlike some, I don’t believe a conspiracy is at work. Nevertheless, the North American integration project is deeply flawed both conceptually and administratively.
Obviously there are areas of cooperation with our neighbors that are being pursued by the SPP that make perfect sense in health regulations, trade, and intelligence cooperation. However, issues of border security and immigration are issues that should be decided by the Congress of the United States. They should not be delegated to Canadian, Mexican, and American executive branch officials, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and transnational corporate executives.
Susan McCue, on the other hand, has worked as the Chief of Staff for Sen. Reid and has a trail behind her as a political partisan and hack. That is evidence by the email exchange she had during the Nomination of John Bolton to the UN Ambassador position posted at Move America Forward:
-----Original Message-----Yes, a staunch DEFENDER of the UN! Also note the knee-jerk reaction to two-partyism, as if the Constitution *mandated* only two parties. Plus, she can dish it out but not take it. She is also on the Board of Trustees for Third Way, which is a self-proclaimed Progressivist organization. This organization has a very skewed way of looking at the world we are currently in and has put out a security agenda that is transnationalist in outlook and agenda, plus it misapprehends what the threat is in this era of Transnational Terrorism. One of their views is that 'Realism' in Foreign Affairs should be applied to Rogue Nation States as seen in this misunderstanding of dealings with the USSR and comparing them to the modern era (p. 10):
From: Cory XXXXX@columbus.rr.com
To: Anderson, Kai (Reid) Kai_Anderson@reid.senate.gov; Hafen, Tessa (Reid) Tessa_Hafen@reid.senate.gov; McCue, Susan (Reid) - Susan_McCue@reid.senate.gov; McCallum, David (Reid) David_McCallum@reid.senate.gov
Sent: Thu Mar 17 09:05:17 2005
Subject: Bolton Nomination
Bolton is the best possible person for the job of U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Senator Reid needs to get off of his extreme partisan horse, quit playing political games, and get back to representing his state in the Senate.
Cory S. Estes
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
That email from Mr. Estes, elicited this response from Democrat Leader Reid’s Chief of Staff, Susan McCue:
----- Original Message -----
From: McCue, Susan (Reid) - Susan_McCue@reid.senate.gov
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2005 9:33 AM
Subject: Re: Bolton Nomination
And you, cory, need to get off your extreme partisan puppetry and think this through. Blame the UN for the world’s ills if it makes you feel better. But maybe you should stop and think about what you as an individual can proactively do to protect this great nation. Name-calling at the behest of the rich republican propaganda machinery isn’t it. Supporting our two-party constitional democracy is.
The Office of Senator Harry Reid
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Mr. Estes replied to the berating he received from Reid’s Chief of Staff with the following email. However, note that the Read Receipt Mr. Estes received indicates that McCue deleted the email without even opening it up to read:
----- Original Message -----
From: McCue, Susan (Reid) - Susan_McCue@reid.senate.gov
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2005 1:54 PM
Subject: Not read: Re: Bolton Nomination
To: McCue, Susan (Reid) - Susan_McCue@reid.senate.gov
Subject: Re: Bolton Nomination
Sent: Thu, 17 Mar 2005 10:13:00 -0500
was deleted without being read on Thu, 17 Mar 2005 13:54:23 -0500
Young lady, where was I name-calling? And, what makes you think that I am involved in “extreme partisan puppetry”? You do not know me personally and have no right to make such accusations. Are you an extremist yourself? After all, it is normal for those with extreme beliefs to accuse others of being extreme.
I absolutely support our constitutional democracy (as you put it), and support the need for two or more parties to represent the differing political points of view in our country. I am a student of US history, constitutional law, and US politics. I read and study both sides of issues and base my decisions on personal values and historical perspective, not on what some media personality or blogger says. I am nobody’s puppet and never will be!
And finally, you said, “But maybe you should stop and think about what you as an individual can proactively do to protect this great nation.” Again, you should be more careful about what you say. I proudly and honorably served in the US Air Force for more than 20 years. I think I can very safely say that I have not just stopped and thought, I have proactively given a large part of my life to the protection of this great nation,
Sincerely and proudly,
Cory S. Estes, USAF (Retired)
The war has exposed this Administration’s misunderstanding of diplomacy. Negotiation is not a reward to other nations for good behavior; it is a tool for advancing our country’s interests. For five long years, in some of the world’s most dangerous places, the Bush team has sacrificed the reality of negotiated progress to the illusion of regime change. Until very recently, the Bush Administration opposed negotiations with nations such as North Korea, Syria and Iran on the grounds that this course was incompatible with eventual regime change. This is a misreading of history. From the beginning of the Cold War to its end, every US president conducted serious talks with the Soviet Union. Communism collapsed, not because we refused to negotiate, but rather because our economic performance, military technology and political ideals ultimately eroded the competitive standing and the will of our enemy. As Robert Litwak puts it, “The unresolved tension over the objective of US policy toward rogue states—behavior change versus regime change—frustrates the effective integration of force and diplomacy.”I have some bad news for these folks: this concept of Foreign Policy depends upon Rational Nation State Actors that have a view towards self-survival. I went over that in this article on Why not containment for Iran? and looked at the drives of the State of Iran:
A look at the Cold War style of containment saw the West, in general, supporting the containing and isolation of the Communist system. Today there is no generalized sympathy in the West against Islamization and Islamic based Transnational Terrorism. Transnational Progressivism has eaten away at the heart of Western liberal (old school liberal) belief structures and has generally eroded the Nation State concept globally and, most particularly, in Old Europe. Islamic based violence and intimidation, from weeks long riots in France to the Cartoon Concerns to the killing of those who speak out against Islamism is NOT being responded to by the West.That is dealing with the individuals and Nations involved in a manner that utilizes their actions and their stated outlook and sees if they conform to each other. They do. The United States could not perform 'regime change' upon the Soviet Union because it, in all of its nastiness, adhered to Western conceptions of Nation State, Reciprocity between Nations and the idea that Treaties need to be adhered to and Nations accountable to each other. Those wishing to form Islamic Empire have NO NEED OF THAT. The mentality that these Progressives display is that 'all diplomacy is good' and that 'negotiating with tyrants is necessary'. Tyrants, instead, use the fact that we negotiate with them to extract anything they can from such because they can 'hold up progress' otherwise and be attacked BY PROGRESSIVES due to that intransigence of tyrannies. These tyrants do not believe that the US has the will to back up diplomacy by warfare: that is what the negotiations with North Korea have demonstrated, time and again.
Indeed, the West is capitulating and taking on self-censorship, denying the freedom of ideas to spread and, generally, caving into Islamism and its violence. One dare not speak against them via even the gentlest of cartoons in most publications, bookstores and universities across Europe and the US. For containment to *work* there must be a solid wall against violent Islamism and Islamic based Transnational Terrorism.
That is not in place nor can be set in place with the current atmosphere of Transnational Progressivism pervading the West. The world cannot be 'One Big Happy Family, Ruled by Those With Insight', unless those doing the ruling are Islamic. Transnational Terrorists would be MORE than happy to supply *that* ruling class. Moderate Muslims see no need to protest this as they are *winners* no matter who loses in a conflict between the traditional West and radical Islam.
So containment by the West cannot happen given the current state of culture and politics.
That is a non-starter. If we can't come together to ensure freedom of speech, something difficult like actually opposing violent Islamism will get zero traction.
Containment *can* work if a majority of the West could get on the self-saving bandwagon of such. This has not happened, nor can it easily happen in Old Europe without some sort of 'ethnic cleansing'. Remember that the French did invent the cordon sanitaire and I am sure would re-discover it *given time*. And so the West might, also, given time. I do not place my bets on *might* and *possible* unless one is actually engineering these things to happen. On the diplomatic side this is NOT the case. And, indeed, the Transnational Progressivist nature of Old Europe will not allow such to take place without a violent overthrow of regimes and a replay of the late 1920's to early 1930's.
Containment practiced solely by the United States and one or two cooperating allies has a possibility of working but would require the most vigorous use of aggressive military denial seen in centuries. Iran would need to be blockaded, cut off, its supplies and flow of oil interdicted and, generally, the entire nation brought to a halt via commercial means. Anything *less* than that will see such broken by France, Germany, Russia and China as happened with Saddam in Iraq. Iran would be seen as a regional counter-weight to US influence and if it gains nuclear devices, they would not be anywhere near the top of the target list. As Iraq has proven: containment with a 'dimmer switch' does not WORK.
And the reason that Soviet Communism fell is due NOT to Progressives and only partially due to the US trying to remain steadfast while the rest of Europe was looking to import as much socialism as possible. I have some bad news for the Progressives on that count, also: Soviet Communism was brought down by a Nation that kept to Roman Catholicism while being under the yoke of tyranny and stuck the mighty hammer blows by WORKERS against the 'Worker's Paradise'. That could not be done by the outside in any way, shape or form. Best we remember that and thank the Polish People for rising once again from the belly of the Beast that had swallowed her THIS TIME. It was not the economic nor military prowess of the United States, although that helped. It was the People who remembered Freedom seeking it when things got horrible in their Nation and they would not put up with it any longer.
Just so you can get a further feel for how Progressivists think and what the Third Way stands for, on p. 13:
We will also need new governance institutions. On September 10, 2001, Harry Truman would have seen the same Cold War security architecture he built—with the exception of the US military’s ability to fight as a single, “joint” fighting force. While it is perhaps understandable that there were no widespread government reforms between 1989 and 2001, it is astonishing that there have been so few since. Indeed, the Administration has not been interested in, and even has seemed hostile to, such a process.Yes, call for the creation of brand spanking NEW forms of government and then criticize others when they do the exact same thing and they do not WORK. Apparently Progressives don't get the point by now: Government is not made to work efficiently, effectively or even with more than a bare minimum of competence. I cannot point you to anything outside of the active warfighters that *demonstrates* effectiveness, efficiency and pro-active behavior meant for survival. That is because they are looking to SURVIVE. This little bit just a bit further down describes their outlook perfectly:
Shortly after Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt launched an investigation into how the United States could have suffered such a catastrophe. In contrast, the Bush Administration not only failed to do so, it dragged its heels when Congress demanded the creation of the 9/11 Commission. It impeded the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and failed to engage in significant reform of the intelligence community, eventually creating an entirely new bureaucracy in the Director of National Intelligence. The Administration then failed to make either institution effective; quite the reverse, as Hurricane Katrina made clear. More recently, the report of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction tells a tale of bureaucratic layering and duplication, red tape, turf protection and repeated failures to cooperate that would almost be funny if the consequences were not so grim.14 The Bush Administration’s inattention and even hostility to governance reflects—and magnifies—its failed strategic vision and incompetent execution.
While 9/11 and the war in Iraq have dimmed bright post-Cold War hopes, they should not produce pessimism and must not lead to an American withdrawal from the world. With a new strategy, we can get back on track and move toward a safer America and a better world.Translation: Please make 9/10 come back!
That is the outlook that has Susan McClure on its Board of Trustees: Transnationalist, bureaucratic, ineffective and backwards looking and pining for the 'good old days' right after the Cold War when everything looked so sweet and peachy, don't mind the blood outside the CIA, the bombing of the WTC, the African Embassy Bombings, the Khobar Towers bombing, and many, many attacks upon US Citizens, Federal Employees, Diplomats, Armed Forces and even an attempt to assassinate a sitting US President. If we just make lots more government to regulate our lives more and appease dictators we will be so much safer....
Apparently I was living in a pre-9/11 world that was only bad in a matter of degree, not kind from 9/11. Too bad the Progressives do not live in this world as those that are after us have no compunction about killing to their taste whenever and wherever possible. That might even be a long-term health threat! I wonder if ONE Vote '08 will look into that....?
Next up is Jack Oliver, and for him I will look at his resume at Bryan Cave Strategies LLC:
Jack Oliver serves as Chairman of Bryan Cave Strategies LLC, a subsidiary of Bryan Cave LLP with headquarters in Missouri and Washington, DC. Oliver also serves as a senior advisor for Lehman Brothers with a focus on the firm’s global client relationship management and private investment management businesses.Yes, a well connected political activist with ties to multiple organizations, thus making him a well connected political apparatchik. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund targets Federal Departments for their students so that activities can be directed upon them by the Fund. They do this not only through private donations but by seeking targeted grants from the Federal Government for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Having worked inside the Federal Government in an area that had to work on Contracts and Grants, the main difference is that a Grant has very little that need show for it for the money to go out, while Contracts require strict deliverables and 'pay for performance' concepts. Thus bringing in a well connected party functionary allows TMCF to slide pork into the Federal Budget for targeted Grants via the HBCU concept. While I applaud the Fund for its work, I do wish the Federal Government would either just make payments and cut out overhead or put out contracts and hold those in them accountable. Grants are a 'feel good' pain in the ass that take up valuable time and overhead from real work. Not that the political parties care about that.
A native Missourian, Oliver has worked at the highest levels of national and Missouri politics as an advisor and strategist for Bush-Cheney ’04, Bush for President and Sens. Ashcroft, Bond, Danforth and Talent. Described by Time magazine as “the man largely responsible for what is being heralded as the most formidable money machine in modern political history,” Oliver most recently served as national finance vicechairman for Bush-Cheney ’04 and Victory 2004 managing the campaign’s $240 million national finance plan. Prior to that, Oliver was deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee, serving as chief operating officer and overseeing all day-to-day operations of the 2002 effort resulting in historic Republican mid-term gains in the House and Senate. Oliver served as national finance director for then Gov. George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign and managed a fundraising effort in the primary and general election that shattered all previous presidential fund-raising records.
Before joining the Bush campaign in 1999, Oliver served in various political, financial and managerial roles in the campaigns and government offices of Sen. John Ashcroft, Sen. John Danforth, Sen. Kit Bond, Congressman Jim Talent, Congressman Bill Emerson and the Missouri Republican Party.
Oliver serves on the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, as an advisory council member of the George Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University, on the National Leadership Council of Communities in Schools, the Robin Hood Foundation Leadership Council, the E-Health Corporation board of directors, as an advisory board member for the Legacy Partners Group and on the Board of Trustees for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
The National Leadership Council of Communities in Schools has an agenda which is highly laudable of ensuring that children stay in school and do not drop out, and works on a partnership pairing concept. It also has a 'Who's Who' sort of roster of supporters which is this diverse: Steffi Graf, Herb Alpert, Ambassador Andrew Young, Burt Bacharach, Andre Agassi, Michael Milken. Yes they *do* have a lobbying office in DC and my bet is that they, like the TMCF seek to get loans, grants and other goodies socked into the Federal Budget, also. This does point up the problem that education is a local concern, not Federal, and is in no way given to the Federal Government to worry about. Until, of course, Jimmy Carter got the Dept. of Education made....
The Robin Hood Foundation is likewise targeted to ensuring good education for children and young adults in rough neighborhoods in and around NYC, and is one that has a strong partnership concept to it. Plus it is fully funded by private donations and not seeking to suckle from the Federal Budget! These things still exist in America?
Ehealth is an organization that is set up to broker between individuals and multilple health insurance plans, and looks to be a private set-up with only a minimum of lobbying on the Federal side of things. They *do* some of that, but it does look mostly to allow more individual choice in such things.
Looking at Legacy Partners does not yield much beyond their being in the investment banking arena, targeting the middle swath of companies providing goods and services across all forms or industry.
From those I can say that Mr. Oliver associates himself with some pretty decent partners. His depth of party contacts and inroads to the Federal budgeting process do look to be key motivational factors as well as his undoubted ability to fund raise. Can't have a successful lobbying organization like ONE Vote '08 without lots of money.
And you can't have a *serious* lobbying organization with humanitarian outlook without someone that is slightly famous in showbusiness/music/whatever. Thus, Ashley Judd.
From what little I have seen of Brian McLaren and the Emerging Church concept, it appears that religious diversity is still alive in the US and the ability of new approaches to religion, faith and how to live one's life in accordance with beliefs is an ever changing landscape where we tend to shift around and get new views on the mountains in the distance.
Finally, and the backgrounding is almost done (really!) there is Karen Sichinga. Ok, when I hit a place like Friends of the Global Fund to fight against AIDS, TB and Malria and I see them getting goodies from the Federal Budget on the front page... lets just say I am a bit turned off. Yes, $850 million is pocket change to the House of Representatives, where a $1.2 billion biathlon course in Alaska goes unnoticed, but it is not what I like to see at all that it is trumpeted as a *good thing*. So lovely of Congress to decide that OTHER people need help and then NOT provide enough to the VA Hospitals or procure enough war fighting equipment for the troops. And decry *that*. And the amount of paperwork that Vets have to go through. Lovely that they have their own Washington Office to lobby with, isn't it?
Ok, that was the *easy* stuff.
Now time for the ONE Presidential Platform! Yes, they have their very own thing that they want Presidential Candidates to sign up to and support. Isn't that just the thing for a lobbying organization to do? Why yes, yes it is! And it is *so* lucky that there are so MANY lobbying firms involved: Bryan Cave LLC, Ehealth, Communities in Schools, Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, and, of course, the heavyweight of all time, the US Chamber of Commerce. Thank you to The Center for Public Integrity and their handy, dandy lobbyist search!
The ONE Campaign is loaded for Lobbying and now lets see where their aim is.
For that we can start at p. 18 and get their first steps for the next President to take:
• The U.S. should address the quality of its development assistance by more effectively targeting it and investing it directly in the poorest communities. This should include efforts to increase harmonization both within the U.S. development portfolio and among other donors and host countries. In addition, an aggressive timetable for reducing the proportion of tied assistance is essential.Not even a 5 point plan! Why, how un-doctrinaire! But I do smell "harmonization" and that can lead to no good at all. So lets start with the top and take a look at these lovely points.
• The next president of the United States should commit the U.S. to a target date for reaching an additional 1% of the U.S. budget in poverty-focused development assistance, with annual interim targets to reach that goal. The U.S. should then scale up resources through the budget accounts that have the most direct impact on the world’s poorest people to ensure that the MDGs are achieved.
• The next president should create a more robust implementation structure for foreign assistance that prioritizes and harmonizes international development objectives and activities across implementing agencies. For example, the creation of a new, cabinet-level agency focused solely on international development and humanitarian affairs could ensure that critical aid dollars are spent effectively and that poverty alleviation is as much a priority of U.S. foreign policy as defense or diplomacy.
• The U.S. should increase its focus on program measurement and impact evaluation. Policymakers should provide funding for operations research and program evaluation as an integral component of all U.S. funded or supported development, emergency relief and international health activities. Unproven programs should be required to have an evaluation component to determine their effectiveness.
First off is that of effectively targeting the poorest communities for aid. Generally a good idea! And when dictators, bureaucrats and local politicians look to get in the way and get 'their cut' of the goodies? Then what? Because that is how it works in almost ALL of these 'poor communities' that have corrupt political structures that reward adherance to the ruling party/strongman/coalition/tribe/religion/ethnic cohort. Poor communities in many areas of the world are often poor for a *reason*. Those areas of the world that do NOT have accountability of their political/police/military class see 'Foreign Aid' as a 'personal domain' FIRST and then whatever is left after the skimming, bribes, payoffs, and such gets delivered. Remember Oil For Food? Where Saddam was able to leverage that program and so corrupt it that it served HIS purposes, both material and media, and served to empower HIM and impoverish his people.
Before you know it those 'on the take' were 'harmonizing' their bribes and payoffs and political pressure in the US, UK, Russia, China, France, Germany... to weaken those sanctions. Aid works in exactly the same way: where funds and goods get siphoned off, stolen, misplaced in a permanent fashion, and then allotted as the regime wants. Excuse me for saying so, but that first point is so idealistic as to be unrealistic. Unless those in charge of the ONE Campaign intend to SUPPORT tyrannical and despotic regimes living off the backs of the 'poor communities'?
Then there is the 'timetable' concept. Has Congress worked out a good 'timetable' since 1986 to secure the borders of the US?
How about good UN 'timetables' to a democratic government in Kosovo?
Ok, then how about having a 'timetable' UN Peacekeepers held accountable for their actions and ending: slavery, sex slavery, pedophilia, sex for food, extortion, and owning up to 'Blue Helmet Babies'?
Excuse me for saying so, but 'timetables' work very good for trains and not so good for Foreign Aid, save as something known as: A Deadline for Cut-Off.
That gets attention. 'Timetables' are flexible, and that flexibility leads to inherent graft, corruption, etc. seen in the likes of the OFF deal, amongst many. You can't get a shipment to 'war torn' or 'impoverished' areas without seeing local thugs and personal militias getting their share FIRST and the regular folks end up with the scraps.
Point two, for me, is a killer: 1% of the Federal Budget allocated to this above and beyond what is already done. Mind you, quite some billions are *already* tied up in the USDA in this sort of thing. But lets take them at their word that an *additional* amount equal to 1% of the current US Federal Budget is what they want to siphon off of the US Taxpayer to send overseas. Current estimates put the Federal Budget (more or less) at $2.9 trillion (US trillion). So an additional 1% is $29 billion.
Lets do a bit of comparison, and to do that I will use the spreadsheet for the 2007 budget and get some summary totals. Ahhh... spreadsheets!
|Dept. of Agriculture||$92.783|
|Dept. of Commerce||$6.6|
|Dept. of Defense - Military, Unclassified||$505.863|
|Dept. of Health & Human Services||$699.58|
|Dept. of the Interior||$9.432|
|Dept. of Justice||$24.682|
|Dept. of Labor||$53.357|
|Dept. of State||$14.487|
|Dept. of Treasury||$494.293|
|Social Security Administration||$622.709|
|Dept. of Education||$64.484|
|Dept. of Energy||$21.419|
|Dept. of Transportation||$65.651|
|Dept. of Homeland Security||$43.553|
|Dept. of Housing and Urban Development||$44.668|
|Dept. of Veterans Affairs||$73.844|
|Food and Drug Control Programs||$0.202|
|International Assistance Programs||$16.843|
|Other Defense Civil Programs||$47.299|
|US Army Corps of Engineers - Civil Program||$5.879|
So, this splendiferous concept of forking over more would, of course, not be its own line item.... heaven forbid *that*. Mind you the Dept. of State budget also includes goodies for other Nations, so the International Assistance Programs really cannot be seen all on its lonesome. And, as seen before, money gets squirreled away into the USDA and other places for Foreign Aid. But if this idea WERE a line item it would rank ahead of: Dept. of Justice, Dept. of Energy and be far ahead of the already existing International Assistance Program and NASA.
It would, in fact, be 181% of the IAP as it exists and *combined*, for nearly $45 billion, they would place ahead of: Dept. of Homeland Security, Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, and be just a bit behind Other Defense Civil Programs.
But Point 2 then looks to SCALE UP all the spending for something that is already larger than: State, Justice, Homeland Security, HUD, Energy, NASA, plus a slew of smaller things like GAO and EEOC. Basically, this becomes the largest, single Federal Giveaway EVER.
Then what do these folks want with Point 3? Why, an ENTIRE BUREAUCRACY to go with it! Take a look at the Dept. of Education sitting up there. Now, here is the problem with it: it has not effected the reading levels of US children. They remain, stolidly, at the levels they were in 1958 when Johnny couldn't read.
I thought the idea was to help the poor and sick, not to ensure that their condition lasts just as it is forever onwards? Just what the Federal Government NEEDS is an entirely new bureaucracy dedicated to giving American Tax Dollars to poor folks overseas. That is one of the best income re-distribution plans that I have ever seen, anywhere, outside of the USSR.
Finally, Point 4, which is made moot by Point 3. You will have a bureaucracy with turf wars and sinecured positions and folks fighting to keep their little areas funded forever onwards and they will NEVER be ended. It only took a little over three decades to end the Mohair subsidy for gloves that were made during the Korean War! Can you imagine trying to end a program that is feeding corrupt tyrants overseas and pointing to the starving people being 'helped' by it?
*You can't END this program as it does so much GOOD!!!*
As some thug pockets 20% of the funds, distributes goods to his inner circle and then stages a truck delivering supplies only when cameras show up. And the bureaucrat in Washington ONLY sees *that*. Don't believe that? Look at the Oil For Food program, in which Saddam kept corpses on ice and defrosted them whenever the media showed up for a corpse and starvation show. That will be how Transnational Progressivists will couch their views, and the Transnational Capitalists will point out how this is economically *good* for them... although not necessarily for the Nation or the People.
Yes, indeed, the ONE campaign is a big old ZERO by adding in Washington, DC to the mix.
Tell you what, why don't you just encourage folks to give a bit more to ACCOUNTABLE CHARITIES and keep the Federal Government out of it, hmmm? So that the People can decide what does and does not need to be done in the world, not some lousy politician looking to empower foreigners with American Taxpayer dollars.
I trust my fellow Citizens to do that.
Why don't these people?