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歐巴馬觀察
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胡卜凱

美國今年選出歐巴馬有其重大的歷史及社會層面意義。此處轉貼兩篇評論。我再略表己見。


雖然美國國力在式微中,但她做為當前全球超霸,其領導人的格局、見識、政策、和團隊自然對整個國際社會的穩定和發展一定會產生重大影響。


所以我將此欄更名,並略誌數語。歡迎大家參與報導和討論。



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2009/01/22 05:49 【不平則鳴】 聽其言, 觀其行: 冷眼看奧八碼就職
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誰在胡說八道?
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胡卜凱

以上兩篇關於歐巴馬總統外交政策的評論再度支持我「凡論述必有前提凡判斷必有立場這個命題或觀察

 

兩位作者都在「論述」歐巴馬總統的外交政策其結論或評價則南轅北轍。這個現象本來不足為奇有趣的是兩位作者論點的要旨也水火不容。一個說歐巴馬總統冷靜或冷酷的以「現實」為決策基礎;一個說他根本搞不清楚國際「狀況

 

我無意論斷誰是誰非,我只想指出,兩者之中至少有一位在胡說八道。讀者可自行判斷



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歐巴馬的幻想外交政策 - The Washington Post
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President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy

 

Editorial Board, The Washington Post, 03/03/14

 

FOR FIVE YEARS, President Obama has led a foreign policy based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality. It was a world in whichthe tide of war is receding” and the United States could, without much risk, radically reduce the size of its armed forces. Other leaders, in this vision, would behave rationally and in the interest of their people and the world. Invasions, brute force, great-power games and shifting alliances -- these were things of the past. Secretary of State John F. Kerry displayed this mindset on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday when he said, of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, “It’s a 19th century act in the 21st century.”

 

That’s a nice thought, and we all know what he means. A country’s standing is no longer measured in throw-weight or battalions. The world is too interconnected to break into blocs. A small country that plugs into cyberspace can deliver more prosperity to its people (think Singapore or Estonia) than a giant with natural resources and standing armies.

 

Unfortunately, Russian President Vladimir Putin has not received the memo on 21st-century behavior. Neither has China’s president, Xi Jinping, who is engaging in gunboat diplomacy against Japan and the weaker nations of Southeast Asia. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is waging a very 20th-century war against his own people, sending helicopters to drop exploding barrels full of screws, nails and other shrapnel onto apartment buildings where families cower in basements. These men will not be deterred by the disapproval of their peers, the weight of world opinion or even disinvestment by Silicon Valley companies. They are concerned primarily with maintaining their holds on power.

 

Mr. Obama is not responsible for their misbehavior. But he does, or could, play a leading role in structuring the costs and benefits they must consider before acting. The model for Mr. Putin’s occupation of Crimea was his incursion into Georgia in 2008, when George W. Bush was president. Mr. Putin paid no price for that action; in fact, with parts of Georgia still under Russia’s control, he was permitted to host a Winter Olympics just around the corner. China has bullied the Philippines and unilaterally staked claims to wide swaths of international air space and sea lanes as it continues a rapid and technologically impressive military buildup. Arguably, it has paid a price in the nervousness of its neighbors, who are desperate for the United States to play a balancing role in the region. But none of those neighbors feel confident that the United States can be counted on. Since the Syrian dictator crossed Mr. Obama’s red line with a chemical weapons attack that killed 1,400 civilians, the dictator’s military and diplomatic position has steadily strengthened.

 

The urge to pull back -- to concentrate on what Mr. Obama calls “nation-building at home” -- is nothing new, as former ambassador Stephen Sestanovich recounts in his illuminating history of U.S. foreign policy, “Maximalist.” There were similar retrenchments after the Korea and Vietnam wars and when the Soviet Union crumbled. But the United States discovered each time that the world became a more dangerous place without its leadership and that disorder in the world could threaten U.S. prosperity. Each period of retrenchment was followed by more active (though not always wiser) policy. Today Mr. Obama has plenty of company in his impulse, within both parties and as reflected by public opinion. But he’s also in part responsible for the national mood: If a president doesn’t make the case for global engagement, no one else effectively can.

 

The White House often responds by accusing critics of being warmongers who want American “boots on the ground” all over the world and have yet to learn the lessons of Iraq. So let’s stipulate: We don’t want U.S. troops in Syria, and we don’t want U.S. troops in Crimea. A great power can become overextended, and if its economy falters, so will its ability to lead. None of this is simple.

 

But it’s also true that, as long as some leaders play by what Mr. Kerry dismisses as 19th-century rules, the United States can’t pretend that the only game is in another arena altogether. Military strength, trustworthiness as an ally, staying power in difficult corners of the world such as Afghanistan -- these still matter, much as we might wish they did not. While the United States has been retrenching, the tide of democracy in the world, which once seemed inexorable, has been receding. In the long run, that’s harmful to U.S. national security, too.

 

As Mr. Putin ponders whether to advance further -- into eastern Ukraine, say -- he will measure the seriousness of U.S. and allied actions, not their statements. China, pondering its next steps in the East China Sea, will do the same. Sadly, that’s the nature of the century we’re living in.

 

Washington Post Editorials

 

Editorials represent the views of The Washington Post as an institution, as determined through debate among members of the editorial board. News reporters and editors never contribute to editorial board discussions, and editorial board members don’t have any role in news coverage.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/president-obamas-foreign-policy-is-based-on-fantasy/2014/03/02/c7854436-a238-11e3-a5fa-55f0c77bf39c_story.html



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歐巴馬的現實主義國際政策 - F. Kaplan
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The Realist

 

Barack Obama’s a cold warrior indeed.

 

Fred Kaplan, The Politico Magazine, 02/27/14

 

In a little-noticed passage in Robert Gates’s new memoir, the former defense secretary recounts a trip he took to Azerbaijan in the spring of 2010. His mission was to hand the reigning dictator, Ilham Aliyev, a note from President Barack Obama, hailing the importance of the two countries’ relations. Aliyev had been grousing about the U.S. military using his land as a stopover along the supply route to Afghanistan. Just “showing up” brought him back in line, Gates writes, adding, approvingly, “Neither the letter nor I mentioned human rights.”

 

More than five years into Obama’s presidency, the single word that best sums up his foreign policy is “realist” -- in some cases, as one former adviser told me, “hard-nosed,” even “cold” realist.

 

Like all postwar presidents, Obama speaks in hallowed terms about America’s global mission. But his actions reveal an aversion to missionary zeal. He has ended the regime-changing wars he inherited, and done much to avoid new ones. He rarely hectors foreign leaders about their internal affairs, at least in public. He suffers no ideological hang-ups about negotiating with dreadful rulers or sworn enemies, such as Iran, for the sake of national-security interests. To ease America’s way out of Afghanistan, he has cozied up to Central Asian autocrats and tolerated Pakistan’s duplicity. With almost clinical detachment, he has reassessed U.S. relationships in East Asia, embracing authoritarian regimes in Myanmar and Vietnam to promote trade and check an expansive China.

 

Obama’s belief in American values isn’t entirely rhetorical; he will sometimes place ideals above interests, though rarely when the two collide. He seems unmoved by the triumphalism that animated George W. Bush’s foreign policy, in part because he sees the bloody, futile legacy it left in the sands of Iraq -- but also because it’s just not his style. During his first presidential campaign, when he said he had “enormous sympathy” for the foreign policy of President George H.W. Bush and his national security adviser Brent Scowcroft -- ultimate realists -- many thought Obama was just taking a whack at his predecessor, H.W.’s son. Maybe he was, but he also meant it. Perhaps more than any president since Dwight Eisenhower, Obama defines the national interest narrowly and acts accordingly. And in following this course, he has been much more successful than his critics allow. In fact, his deepest failures have occurred when he has veered off his path.

 

***

 

At first, Obama was mistaken for the opposite of a realist. When Susan Rice and Samantha Power -- ultimate idealists -- emerged as key players on his campaign staff and transition team, some saw their presence as a sign of Obama’s idealist leanings. Rice was named U.N. ambassador and Power a National Security Council aide. But the foreign policy appointees who had by far the greatest influence in Obama’s White House, the trio with whom he spoke at length every day -- National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon; Donilon’s deputy, Denis McDonough; and John Brennan, counterterrorism adviser -- were thoroughgoing realists. Obama nicknamed them “the grim Irishmen,” but he almost always agreed with them and took their advice.

 

Gates, whom he unexpectedly kept on as a holdover from George W. Bush’s administration (and who had served as Scowcroft’s deputy under Bush’s father), emerged as another key adviser in Obama’s first term. Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s initial chief of staff, referred to Gates as the “center of gravity” in discussions of foreign affairs.

 

Early in Obama’s first term, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech laying out an agenda of people-to-people relations, especially women’s rights, the president paid it lip service in some of his own speeches, but he never followed through with action. There isn’t a trace of such sentiments in his dealings with those parts of the world -- Afghanistan, China, much of the Arab world -- where the theme had particular resonance; other factors, such as security and economics, clearly prevailed.

 

Even when it came to Obama’s own handful of lofty sentiments, notably his call in 2009 for the abolition of nuclear weapons, he stopped pushing when the resistance proved immovable. He negotiated a truly significant arms-reduction treaty with the Russians, but to win ratification in the Senate, he boosted the budget for nuclear research and development. When the Russians displayed a deep aversion to still more cuts, when U.S.-Russian relations took a dip across the board with Vladimir Putin’s return as president and when other crises overwhelmed Obama’s agenda, the talk of a nuclear-free world disappeared.

 

It’s curious that a president so previously inexperienced in foreign policy would emerge, so early in his term, with any worldview, much less a hard-nosed one. Still more intriguing is how a man with a passion for righting domestic wrongs like racism and inequality can seem so cold-blooded in his dealings abroad.

 

Much can be explained by what might seem the most unlikely source -- his truly seminal years as a community organizer in Chicago, working for an outfit modeled explicitly on the principles of Saul Alinsky. (Alinsky died in 1972, more than a decade before Obama moved to Chicago, but his thinking permeated the city’s activist groups.) Right-wing critics, especially at Fox News, have long latched onto this in their attempt to paint Obama as a dangerous lefty. But even more than usual, they had no idea what they were talking about. Alinsky was a Machiavelli of urban protest movements. In his great book Rules for Radicals (subtitled “A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals”), Alinsky stressed this as his No. 1 rule: “As an organizer I start from where the world is, as it is, not as I would like it to be. … That means working in the system. … We will start with the system because there is no other place to start from except political lunacy.” His tactics involved exploiting and playing jujitsu with power structures, not overthrowing them.

 

This realism -- starting with the world as it is, in order to make effective changes -- runs as a near-constant thread through Obama’s presidency. He articulated this view early on, in a speech that, several aides say, he worked on the longest and wrote almost entirely on his own -- his Dec. 10, 2009, Nobel Peace Prize lecture in Oslo. The prize was premature and, in retrospect, preposterous. But the speech was an astute statement about war and peace in the modern era, a sophisticated discourse on the use of force and the limits of power, and -- as it’s turned out -- a guide to almost everything he has done in foreign policy since.

 

In the past few years, I’ve brought up the Nobel speech with several of Obama’s aides, and they all agree: It’s “a template to how he approaches problems,” says one; a “framework for how he thinks about U.S. power,” says another. Benjamin Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, says, “When people ask me to summarize his foreign policy, I tell them to take a close look at that speech.”

It was a nervy lecture, given the occasion and the audience. “The instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace,” Obama said at one point. The global security of the post-World War II era, he added, was achieved not just by peace treaties, but by “the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.” To acknowledge the occasional necessity for force, he went on, isn’t an act of cynicism but “a recognition of history, the imperfection of man and the limits of reason” -- the world as it is.

 

He did note, in what many took as a swipe at Bush’s unilateralism, that, in a world where “threats are more diffuse and missions more complex, America cannot act alone” but must call on allies who share our interests and obligations. Even here, though, his reasoning was coldly realistic: “I am convinced that adhering to … international standards strengthens those who do, and isolates and weakens those who don’t.” For Obama, following norms is important, in part for its own sake, but more because it legitimizes the exercise of U.S. national power. That’s realism with a capital R.

 

***

 

Especially during his first term, Obama made foreign policy in a calculated manner. He accepted his generals’ advice to deploy 33,000 more troops to Afghanistan and switch to a more aggressive counterinsurgency strategy. But he made it clear, in closed-door meetings, that he expected swift progress -- specifically that the Afghan army take the lead in the fight within 18 months. This didn’t happen, so, almost 18 months to the day, Obama announced that he was scaling back the mission and pulling out all those “surge” troops. The month before, a SEAL team had killed Osama bin Laden. As a result, Obama could declare victory and go home (or at least begin to). But in fact, he was pulling out because the strategy hadn’t worked.

 

The generals were shocked: They had expected him to withdraw just a few thousand troops and give their strategy more time. They hadn’t realized that he had been serious: He had calculated how much he was willing to risk on their gamble of a strategy, in terms of lives, money and time -- and he was determined to risk no more.

 

He displayed a similar calculus in Libya. When Muammar Gadhafi started mowing down protesters and threatening to exterminate whole towns like rats, Obama’s advisers were split on what to do. The military wanted to stay out, citing the lack of vital interests. Some of his White House advisers, joined by Clinton, wanted to go in heavy with military force to prevent a humanitarian disaster.

 

Obama rejected both factions. According to aides and officials who were at the decisive meeting, he said -- as if thinking out loud -- that, while America had no vital interest in Libya, it did have some interest, especially since the Arab League had unanimously beseeched the world for help, the U.N. Security Council seemed ripe for a resolution and the main NATO allies seemed unusually keen to take action, too. He insisted that any U.S. action involve no boots on the ground and a division of labor with the allies: We would do the heavy work on the front end (drones, cruise missiles, smart bombs -- the stuff only we can do); they would take on the bulk of the long-term effort. One aide described this approach to a New Yorker reporter as “leading from behind” -- a much-ridiculed term that, in substance, was really quite shrewd. Michèle Flournoy, then the undersecretary of defense, says, “This was classic Obama, looking for some third way, an approach that’s effective but that’s also commensurate with our limited interests.”

 

Obama’s realism about engaging with the world as it is runs deep. It may be as much a moral stance for him as the “freedom agenda” was for Bush.

 

Many have wondered why Obama dropped bombs for the rebels in Libya but balked at even arming the rebels in the Syrian civil war, especially since then-CIA Director David Petraeus devised a plan in 2012 for doing so, a strategy endorsed by Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In fact, Obama’s template was the same; the conclusions were different. As one former official put it, “In Libya, there was open desert, so we could fire on forces effectively, while in Syria, it was urban warfare, with good guys, bad guys and civilians intermingled. Plus, the Libyan rebels seemed to have a shot at forming a cohesive government, while this seemed less so in Syria.” Most of all, this former official says, Obama feared the “slippery slope” of escalation. This conflict wasn’t merely a civil war; it was tethered to a regional conflict, which the United States had little power to control. Obama “did not want to get involved, on the ground, in a proxy war between the Saudis and the Iranians.”

 

In the past year, though, Obama got sucked into the Syrian crisis anyway, in what has devolved into the most disastrous foreign misstep of his presidency -- and it happened because he lost sight of his realist North Star. In August, according to the United States and its allies, Bashar Assad’s regime fired rockets loaded with nerve gas at an area dominated by Syrian rebels, killing nearly 1,500 people. Obama had publicly warned, five times in the previous year, that Assad would cross a “red line” if he used chemical weapons. No realist would lay down such a marker without a plan for what to do when it was crossed. Now he was in a corner of his own making.

 

He thickened the mess by devising a plan for retaliatory airstrikes, and making the bare bones of it public, without first ensuring international backing -- a prerequisite, by his own standards, for military action undertaken to enforce “international norms.” Then he announced that he wouldn’t attack without congressional authorization but didn’t take a vote count ahead of time. Just as Congress was about to vote down his request for authority, Vladimir Putin stepped in with a plan -- to his client, Assad, an order -- to strip Syria of chemical weapons under international inspection. It might have looked like hard-headed realism, but in reality Obama just caught a break: The crisis was resolved despite, not because of, his actions. One former senior official says, “When people -- serious people -- say Obama is indecisive and uncertain, they’re talking about this episode with Syria.”

 

Historians might assess Obama’s foreign policy by how another Middle Eastern crisis is, or is not, resolved -- Iran’s nuclear program. As we now know, around the time of the Syrian imbroglio, U.S. and Iranian diplomats were holding backdoor talks about the prospects of an accord to cap Iran’s nuclear program, making it extremely difficult for them to build A-bombs, in exchange for lifting economic sanctions. The interim deal that has since been signed is another classic case of international realism: Obama undertook the talks, despite -- and with no mention of -- Iran’s domestic repression, its support for Hezbollah and its military assistance to the Syrian regime.

 

Obama had made this point in his Nobel speech: Human rights can’t be imposed through “exhortation” but often require a combination of firm pressure and diplomatic incentives, for “no repressive regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open door.” Sometimes, he added, it’s necessary to engage with dreadful regimes, even if doing so “lacks the satisfying purity of indignation.” It was the opposite of Bush’s policy (at least in his presidency’s first six years), as summarized by Vice President Dick Cheney: “We don’t negotiate with evil; we defeat it.” Obama knew that defeating Iran was fantasy, so he negotiated with it, in the hopes of extracting tangible security benefits.

 

The Alinsky-inspired organizers in Chicago, of course, aren’t the only source of Obama’s thinking about dealing with these sorts of tensions. Obama’s realism about engaging with the world as it is runs deep; it may be as much a moral stance for him as the “freedom agenda” was for Bush. In the early stages of the 2008 presidential campaign, New York Times columnist David Brooks asked Obama if he had ever read Reinhold Niebuhr. Obama replied that Niebuhr was one of his favorite philosophers, and said that he took from his writings “the compelling idea that there’s serious evil in the world and hardship and pain. And we should be humble and modest in our belief we can eliminate those things.” Obama has been at his shrewdest, and best, when he’s kept his mind riveted on that idea.

 

Fred Kaplan is “War Stories” columnist at Slate, Edward R. Murrow press fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War.

 

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/02/barack-obama-realist-foreign-policy-103861.html?ml=m_t3_2h#.UxP0AU1WHmR



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「說不準主義」:歐巴馬外交政策 – D. Blumenthal
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The uncertainty doctrine

 

Dan Blumenthal, 04/24/12

 

In truth much as I searched, I have found that the Uncertainty Principle of quantum physics actually has no analogue in foreign policy. Regardless, it is a good way to describe Obama's foreign policy doctrine. Call it the Uncertainty Doctrine.

 

Businesspeople and economists make a good case that the uncertainty of Obama's domestic policies has slowed the economic recovery. The private sector does not know when and for what they will next be taxed or regulated, what the new health care law visited upon them means for the economy. The anxiety causes a freeze in economic growth.

 

So too with Obama's uncertainty foreign policy doctrine. Allies and adversaries have no idea what we will do next and are acting accordingly.

 

Obama announced a troop surge in Afghanistan and then immediately a pull out date. Should our allies stick with us as we take out just enough bad guys to make the Taliban more vengeful when they return? Or instead should Kabul just make deals with the Taliban? An Iranian nuclear weapon is unacceptable but so is Israel removing one from the hands of Iran. Assad must go, but we will not do anything to make that happen. On the other hand maybe its best if he just stayed -- easier to work with than the alternative.

 

China was a partner in global action problems -- perhaps even a G2 was in the offing! Together we would work on climate change, nonproliferation, who knows what else? Now the United States needs to pivot to Asia to keep China in check.

 

Here is another part of the uncertainty doctrine that must leave Europeans and Middle Easterners scratching their heads: The United States is pivoting to Asia (under fiscal constraint) but not abandoning its allies in Europe or the Middle East. The pivot, we tell the Chinese, is not about them. But then Manila and Tokyo ask: "What do you mean the pivot isn't about China. The Chinese are unwelcome visitors into our waters at least once a week!"

 

Oh, and we have new battle plan called "Air Sea Battle" that again is not about China. However, it is meant to operate in "anti-access" environments -- those in which enemies have many missiles, submarines, and cyber warfare capabilities. Sounds like China. We will be able to operate again in those environments once the plan is executed, but we will not execute it because we are cutting the defense budget, so China should worry a bit but not too much. Our allies should have just a little dose of reassurance to go along with their fears.

 

India is a strategic partner whom we would like to join us in checking (or not checking?) China but we are going to leave Afghanistan for India to fight over with its archrival Pakistan.

 

I think the point is made. Just as uncertainty in economic policy can make an economy sputter, so too has Obama's uncertainty doctrine made the world a more dangerous place. With no one else to do the chores, the United States must lead with certainty. The rest of the world may complain about our arrogance, but that is better than complaining about utter chaos.

 

http://shadow.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/04/24/The_uncertainty_doctrine

 



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關於經濟問題的討論,請以專題方式發表,以方便討論。可否麻煩你將大作歐巴馬觀察》以開欄方式重新貼一次再將《回應》以回應方式刊登

我不懂經濟學,但可以做些原則性的討論。



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胡兄:我引用Dupree是因為他的表列比較好懂,而且我自己有大致檢查一部份,暫無發現出入。如果還是不放心的人可以直接到眾議院網站下載原文,自行研究對照:http://www.rules.house.gov/111/LegText/111_hr1_text.pdf  。Dupree在此不是重點,至於他是誰我也不是很清楚

傳統基金會去年十一月亦有文章指出,政府支出並不能刺激經濟(http://www.heritage.org/research/budget/bg2208.cfm),原因是無法提供生產誘因。政府的錢是從民間來的,政府本身不會製造錢。因此,當政府支出,就等於減少民間支出。在美國歷史上,胡佛和羅斯福總統曾經試過用政府之出來就經濟,結果都是造成生產力衰退。所以要振興經濟,唯一的方法就是減稅,直接對民間企業生產製造誘因。

現在這個歐巴馬八千億經濟刺激方案,是一群政客利用經濟危機的機會把一大堆東西包在裡面想矇混過關。不然幹嘛這個提案上個禮拜五下午五點才出來,今天就急著投票..八千億可不是小數目。

這個不是經濟刺激方案,而是”政府成長方案”,或是”民主黨保證下次還會選上方案”,或是”社會救濟方案”。

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Dupree 是何方神聖
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胡卜凱
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歡迎光臨

這個議題值得深入討論

不過

凡論述必有假設

凡判斷必有立場

或許你可報告一下Dupree 的假設和立場給大家參考

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歐巴馬觀察
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小弟的整個部落格都在討論歐巴馬,有空也請大家來坐坐。

最新文章節錄如下:

歐巴馬八千億計畫是假貨:更加完整版

不管你支持不支持歐巴馬,討不討厭布希,都一定要來看看這個 ”經濟刺激方案”是真的在刺激經濟,還是在趁自由市場這波完成自我修正之前,趁火打劫,乘機將美國轉向社會主義。

這個應該改名為 ”民主黨實現夢想之花大錢兼延伸政府控制暨反對自由市場方案”

不相信的人,麻煩告訴我,贊助藝術,修理房屋,人口普查,種草皮,生育控制,全球暖化電腦模型,密西西比河整治,社區政策研究,原住民基金,農業研究,偏遠
地區無線網路和房屋保險貸款(等等等等)要怎樣刺激經濟。可惜看起來現在民主黨要全力通過,而少數的共和黨也沒種反對,因為怕會惹毛歐巴馬的選民,不能對
他們的帥哥偶像”不敬”。

覺得這方案有用而想進場買股票的人,祝你好運。

原版全文在此:http://www.rules.house.gov/111/LegText/111_hr1_text.pdf。懶得看六百多頁全文的人可以看以下這段,由Jamie Dupree整理的一些項目



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國際專欄:優秀的政敵 歐巴馬敢用 -- 郭崇倫
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胡卜凱

中時電子報 -- 郭崇倫(01/20/09)

然非裔美國人喜歡將歐巴馬視為金恩博士的衣缽傳人,歐巴馬真正的政治偶像卻是林肯,他宣布參選是在林肯與他都待過的伊利諾州參議院,重演乘火車進華府的儀式,甚至他宣誓就職手按上去的聖經,都要向林肯致敬。

雖然非裔美國人喜歡將歐巴馬視為金恩博士的衣缽傳人,歐巴馬真正的政治偶像卻是林肯,他宣布參選是在林肯與他都待過的伊利諾州參議院,重演乘火車進華府的儀式,甚至他宣誓就職手按上去的聖經,都要向林肯致敬。

歐巴馬認為林肯治國用人哲學的精髓,在於建立起「政敵團隊」(Team of Rivals),這正是朵瑞斯.古德溫(Doris

Kearns Goodwin)林肯新傳記的書名。

她描述,在一百五十年前,林肯組閣時並不是聚集相同想法的人,反而是去找在競選過程中與他有過激烈競爭的敵人,「他們是全國最優秀的人,我要他們在我身邊」。

古德溫的書,歐巴馬一看再看,「政敵團隊」也是歐巴馬競選過程中念茲在茲的概念。歐巴馬不同於其他候選人只在求勝,他在競選時已經在考慮如何治理這個國家

在去年六月與時代雜誌的訪談中,歐巴馬認為美國人是實際的,不注重意識形態,「我要撒下大網,盡可能網羅各種各類的人才」;他強調未來政府不只是要那些同意他想法的人,「我更要那些不斷(挑戰我的想法)把我推出慣性圈外的人」。

從後來宣布的名單中,可以看到,他不怕用極端聰明的人,像諾貝爾獎得主朱隸文;他也不怕用有爭議的人,如被迫辭職的前哈佛大學校長桑默斯。 

他會用敵對政黨的人,像留任國防部長蓋茲;他更敢用以前的敵人,譬如為民主黨提名曾經爭得你死我活的希拉蕊.柯林頓;另一個勁敵拜登,在初選中批評歐巴馬沒有經驗,「總統的職位不能邊學邊做」,歐巴馬同樣不計前嫌,邀請他當副手,而且還賦予重任。

但林肯的經驗不是沒有瑕疵的,他的國務卿希瓦德

William Seward),原本野心勃勃要爭取提名,敗給林肯後,被邀請入閣,可是仍然以「閣揆」自居;另一位財政部長蔡斯也是林肯的競爭對手,被延攬入閣後,同樣眼高於頂。

用人不是問題,未來真正考驗歐巴馬的是怎麼留住人才,就像希瓦德一樣,現在用了一個你不能開革的國務卿,怎麼辦?更糟的是,如果她半年就辭職,不是總統識人不明,就是沒有能力擺平閣員間爭議。

歐巴馬的用人至今仍然是一片好評,許多評論都以「出類拔萃的一群」(The Best and the Brightest),這是套用資深新聞人霍伯斯坦的書名,其中描寫甘迺迪拔擢長春藤盟校出身的一群精英加入政府

但現在使用的人往往不察覺原來暗藏的反諷味道,霍伯斯坦真正要探討的是,為什麼這群最聰明的人,竟然會把美國帶入越戰的泥淖,他們集體的決策究竟有甚麼盲點,他們的領導人有甚麼盲點?

美國才剛從伊拉克的夢魘驚醒,歐巴馬政府大概不會再進入另一場不值得的戰爭,不過許多人擔心目前歐巴馬的財經團隊並沒有辦法掌握方向,使用錯誤的手段,將會掉入另一個金融經濟陷坑,其中財經團隊的主帥桑默斯,以及財政部長蓋特納最令外界擔心。

比起過去八年,布希強調「共識」、「忠心」,但身邊盡是圍繞著唯唯諾諾的大臣,歐巴馬的用人使人耳目一新,誠如古德溫所說,領導人需要有極端的自信,才能用比自己有經驗的人,管理「政敵團隊」型的人才,但極端自信的反面就是自負,這也正是歐巴馬的性格特質。

歐巴馬下令撤除白宮林肯寢室中的液晶電視,要恢復舊觀,很可能自己偶爾是要到那裏尋求靈感,不知道林肯在天之靈,會不會對歐巴馬的用人與個性告誡再三。

clkuo@mail.chinatimes.com.tw)

轉貼自︰

http://news.chinatimes.com/2007Cti/2007Cti-Focus/2007Cti-Focus-Content/0,4518,9801200141+98012011+0+185502+0,00.html



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檢視歐巴馬內閣 -- C. B. BROWN/N-M. HENDERSON
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Cabinet: Middle-of-the-roaders' dream             

By CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN & NIA-MALIKA

HENDERSON, 12/19/08

CHICAGO — President-elect Barack Obama spent the

campaign fighting the notion that he’s an unabashed

liberal.

Now he can point to Exhibit A: a Cabinet that’s a middle-

of-the-roader's dream.

Consider the scorecard: The centrist Democratic

Leadership Council claims ties with half the group.

Movement progressives count a single one, California

Rep. Hilda L. Solis, a union favorite, at the Labor

Department.

But if Obama gives with Solis, he takes away with free

trade advocate and former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, no

union favorite, for trade representative.

Classic Obama, some grumbled.

Barack Obama has never made any bones about it: He is

a moderate,” said Matt Bennett, co-founder of Third Way,

a moderate public policy think tank. “People who ignored

that did so at their peril.”

Obama’s Cabinet, which will be rounded out Friday with

formal announcements for labor and transportation, is

politically moderate and ethnically diverse. There are Ivy

Leaguers and hoopsters, loyalists to Hillary Rodham

Clinton and longtime allies of Obama, and Midwesterners,

Westerners and New Yorkers. Texans filled 43’s White

House, but not 44’s, with just one in Kirk.

And for a guy who complained plenty about broken

politics, roughly half his picks are current or former

officeholders.

Whatever critics think of it, he did it fast — the fastest in

modern times, according to the nonpartisan White House

Transition Project, an organization of academics who

study presidential transitions. Obama has said he wants

to hit the ground running, with the country in recession.

He’s getting on a plane Saturday for Christmas in Hawaii,

which has a way of focusing the mind, too.

The Cabinet includes 15 executive departments, including

homeland security, health and human services and

defense. Other appointees, such as director of the

Environmental Protection Agency, White House chief of

staff and ambassador to the United Nations, will be given

Cabinet-level rank.

A few more notable features of Obama’s Cabinet:

Team of rivals? 

Sort of, political observers say.

Obama has long spoken of his admiration for Abraham

Lincoln, who appointed three former rivals for the

Republican nomination to his Cabinet.

“Lincoln basically pulled in all the people who had been

running against him into his Cabinet because whatever,

you know, personal feelings there were, the issue was,

‘How can we get this country through this time of crisis?’”

Obama told an audience in May. “That has to be the

approach that one takes, whether it's vice president or

Cabinet, whoever.”

So how did he do?

Obama one-upped Lincoln with a Cabinet that includes

four primary election rivals: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton

at State, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson at Commerce,

and Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) as vice president. Iowa Gov.

Tom Vilsack at Agriculture was briefly in the primary, too.

Vilsack later served as co-chairman of Clinton’s

presidential campaign. Solis also endorsed Clinton.

Obama plans to install a Republican, Rep. Ray LaHood of

Illinois, at transportation, although he is considered a

moderate. The president-elect also plans to keep

President George W. Bush’s defense secretary, Robert

Gates.

In terms of policy, however, there isn’t much daylight

between Obama’s Cabinet picks, said Norm Ornstein, a

resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise

Institute.

The group can be expected to argue vigorously but

ultimately understands the decision making lies with

Obama, he said.

Left vs. center

In recent years, the Democratic Leadership Council 

struggled to attract a single presidential candidate to its

national convention, while an annual gathering of liberal

bloggers saw its cache rise.

Their fortunes have been reversed.

Al From, the DLC’s founder and chief executive officer of

the DLC, identified ties with eight Cabinet members,

including a former chairman (Vilsack), a former convention

chairman (Ken Salazar at Interior) and convention

keynote speakers (Richardson, incoming chief of staff

Rahm Emanuel).

“Obama made a big promise that he was going to

transcend the old politics and create a post-partisan

politics,” From said. “The first test of that was to reach out

and appoint people to the Cabinet that moved beyond

party, and I think he has done that.”

Labor’s not loving Kirk, and no one is mistaking Timothy

Geithner at Treasury and Lawrence Summers as

Obama’s top White House economic adviser for union

guys. But still, the Cabinet will be “night and day compared

to the last eight years,” said Jonathan Tasini, executive

director of the Labor Research Association, a New York

nonprofit that works with trade unions.

“We just hoped the political diversity would have been

stronger,” said Tim Carpenter, executive director of

Progressive Democrats of America. “We see a lot of

recycled Clinton folks and he gets a strong ‘D’ on the

policy side. We hope he will hustle them to be more

progressive.”

In a town where
personnel drives policy, don’t bet on it,

others say.

On civil rights, on the rule of law, women’s issues, gay

rights, “this Cabinet is going to be progressive compared

to the last eight years,” Tasini said. “On economic issues,

there is a little more nuance. On that issue, Hilda Solis is

the progressive and then you slide to people who are

much more market oriented. It’s on the economic issues

that are much more of a concern.”

Greg Denier, communications director of
Change to Win,

a coalition of labor groups, said despite some difference

of opinion with Obama on several appointees, he did what

he said he would do.

“It is a very diverse Cabinet in terms of the range of

political opinions and backgrounds,” Denier said.

“Certainly Change to Win would not have picked every

individual he picked.”

Love for elected officials 

Obama repeatedly faulted a broken system in

Washington, but he filled his Cabinet with more than a few

of those Beltway insiders.

“Clearly president-elect Obama has a preference for

people who have faced the voters and gone through many

of the same experiences that he did,” said Charlie Cook,

editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. “Hillary

Clinton clearly knows foreign policy but you don’t make

her that because of her expertise. It’s because he saw in

her in those debates, a toughness, a tenacity and

intelligence that he wanted in that job, and that’s the

refrain in this Cabinet, people who have faced and been

responsive to voters, but not smacking of hacks, which is

obviously a fine line.”

He picked three House members, two senators and a

former senator, two governors and a former governor,

and one former mayor.

David Sirota, a progressive blogger and journalist, called

it an “Establishment Cabinet.”

“Obama has always engaged in a careful dance with the

establishment,” Sirota said. “He largely plays by its rules

and avoids frontal challenges to the power structure. So

the fact that he’s appointed an Establishment Cabinet isn’t

shocking.

“The more important question is whether his Cabinet

appointments represent a policy shift. That is, will the

ideologies of the personnel being put in place be the

ideologies of the administration, or will Obama be

successful in making these Washington ideologues the

vehicle for his own new policies?” Sirota asked.

Keeping pace on diversity 

Obama didn’t make a big deal of it like Bill Clinton did in

1992, promising a Cabinet that looked like America. But

Obama has continued what is now normal for a

presidential transition, assembling an ethnically and

racially diverse Cabinet.

Six of the 15 department secretaries are people of color.

Three others — at the United Nations, Environmental

Protection Agency, and U.S. trade representative — are

as well, meaning a total of four African Americans, three

Hispanics, and two Asian Americans.

“He did phenomenal on ethnic diversity,” Carpenter said.

“I’d give him an A-minus.”

Because Obama has not yet finalized which positions

rank at Cabinet level, it is hard to determine a final

percentage. But he appears to be keeping pace with the

Bush and Clinton administrations.

“With some Cabinets, you get a sense of filling in the

boxes as you get to the end. What’s struck me about the

Cabinet is that it is hard to find choices that say, ‘He

picked her because she’s a woman' or 'He picked him

because he’s black,’” Ornstein said. “These choices make

sense because they have savvy and experience. It’s

tough to get balance and diversity without making it look

like you are trying to get balance and diversity. I think he’s

done pretty damn well.”

Still not satisfied 

Obama made a big splash by appointing Clinton as

secretary of state — pleasing legions of her female

supporters — but some groups are saying he’s light on

women.

Women Count, a political action committee that aids

women candidates, sent an email alert Wednesday urging

its supporters to call the transition team and demand more

female representation in the Cabinet, which it said fails to

improve on Bush’s record and falls below Clinton’s.

Obama has appointed five women to Cabinet and top

agency jobs, although he has announced quite a few more

for White House staff positions.

“We urge the President-elect and his transition team to

act now to improve their record of commitment to naming

women to senior positions in the new administration,” the

alert read. “It's not too late. Such a lack of progress for

women underscores the need for real change — now.”

In terms of Southerners, the region delivered some of

Obama’s sweetest electoral victories, but he hasn’t given

back with an appointment. The West made out well,

landing four Cabinet posts, and a half-dozen hail from the

Midwest.

And not surprisingly, that includes three from Illinois —

home to Emanuel, LaHood at Transportation and Arne

Duncan at Education.

轉貼自︰

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1208/16734.html



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