Additional Focus

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How Pop Culture Is Re-Evaluating Lyndon B. Johnson’s Legacy

April 1, 2014 COMMENTARY BY: Peter Osnos TOPICS: Additional Focus, General Policy

Now rivetingly played by Bryan Cranston on Broadway, the 36th president is being remembered for his political skills and domestic achievements, not just his escalation of the Vietnam War.

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Tags: vietnam, medicare, medicaid, lyndon johnson, lbj, great society, civil rights act, bryan cranston, broadway, all the way

The US Has Its Eye on Energy

September 30, 2013 COMMENTARY BY: Allison Good TOPICS: Foreign Policy, Additional Focus, General Policy

What happens when a stalwart American ally “postpones” the visit of a high-level US delegation for no reason? For Azerbaijan, apparently nothing. This September, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Melia and others were expected to arrive in the capital of Baku to “observe preparations” for the October 9 presidential election, but the Azerbaijani government postponed. These elections are paramount because Azerbaijan’s opposition parties have only symbolic representation in parliament -- the two-term limit on the presidency was abolished in March 2009 by popular referendum.

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Tags: western european market, wall street journal, russia, reuters, pipeline, oil pipeline, oil, natural gas, human rights watch, exports

The Middle East’s Secret Pipeline Plan

September 26, 2013 COMMENTARY BY: Allison Good TOPICS: Additional Focus, General Policy

A new alliance between Jordan and Israel, sparked by a secret agreement, could bring the two countries even closer. Israel and Jordan have had a peace treaty for almost 20 years. Recent reports show secret talks between the two countries could strengthen the existing alliance, but what they’re discussing would be geopolitically advantageous for many, including the United States: a natural gas pipeline from Israel to Jordan.

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Tags: tamar, political stability, pipeline, oil, jordan, israel, fuel, foreign policy, austerity, advocacy

‘The Butler’ and Ronald Reagan’s Race Problem

September 4, 2013 BY: Harold Pollack TOPICS: Additional Focus, General Policy

In the "Ten Miles Square" blog for the Washington Monthly, Century fellow Harold Pollack analyzes the film The Butler in light of a recent op-ed in The Washington Post. The op-ed criticized the film for its negative portrayal of former president Ronald Reagan as being "racially insensitive." Pollack responds:

"Whatever Reagan’s inner racial views or his private behavior towards individual African-Americans, he chose to court what might politely be called race-conservative segments of the American electorate. He and his party prospered politically by making that choice."

Why the Latest Snowden Leaks about Pakistan Are Scary

The New Republic covers senior fellow Barton Gellman's most recent work for the Washington Post, which reveals the United States's strained relationship with Pakistan. 

As the story notes, "Pakistan appears at the top of charts listing critical U.S. intelligence gaps. It is named as a target of newly formed analytic cells. And fears about the security of its nuclear program are so pervasive that a budget section on containing the spread of illicit weapons divides the world into two categories: Pakistan and everybody else." The real importance of the piece, however, is what it indirectly explains: namely, that even if the Pakistanis follow our wish and wholeheartedly pursue terrorist groups and Taliban elements, there is bound to be serious collateral damage, and a host of fresh problems.

U.S. intelligence agencies spend millions to hunt for insider threats, document shows

TCF senior fellow Barton Gellman for the Washington Post on a classified budget document, provided by former National Security Contracter Edward Snowden, which reveals that the U.S. government anually reinvestigates thousands of employees in the intelligence community. "The CIA found that among a subset of job seekers whose backgrounds raised questions, roughly one out of every five had “significant terrorist and/or hostile intelligence connections,” Gellman writes.

"So sharp is the fear of threats from within that last year the NSA planned to launch at least 4,000 probes of potentially suspicious or abnormal staff activity after scrutinizing trillions of employee keystrokes at work."

 

Additional Focus

Additional Focus

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