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Posts Tagged ‘News’

Obama Toes the Red Line in Syria

April 26th, 2013

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Syria is a test for President Obama and the New America coalition he brought to power. Can the U.S. fulfill its obligation to be “the world’s indispensable nation” while at the same time avoiding the kind of military quagmire that enrages Democrats?

The Obama Administration did it once before, in Libya. The U.S. had limited interests in Libya. The Obama Administration proved that it could make a limited commitment, using limited resources, for a limited goal. No invasion, no nation-building. Syria, however, is more complicated and more dangerous.

There are two arguments propelling the Obama Administration to intervene in Syria. One is political. President Obama has drawn a “red line” in Syria. The government of Syrian President Bashar Assad appears to have crossed it. Obama said last year, “A red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.”

Now the White House has released a finding by the intelligence community asserting “with varying degrees of confidence” that the Assad government has used chemical weapons “on a small scale.” The Syrian regime has called Obama’s bluff. Now what will we do?

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Creating a 40-Hour Work Week for Prisoners

January 19th, 2010

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This piece was originally published on The Huffington Post.

Violent crime decreased by 4.4% in the first half of 2009, despite the lousy shape of the economy and the high rates of unemployment, according to a surprising report released last week by the FBI. Experts looking to explain this counterintuitive trend have credited everything from smart and targeted policing in big cities (last year New York was safer than it had been during any year on record), to innovative use of new technologies to prevent and deter crime (more cities are using crime-mapping systems and other novel strategies to leverage scarce resources), to the $4 billion included in the stimulus bill to help state and local law enforcement and criminal justice systems weather the tough economic times.

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