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Posted: 3 Feb 2008

Battle of Kosovo/historyofjihad.org
KOSOVO INDEPENDENCE: A RADICAL ISLAMIC THREAT? By Dennis Mullin

Following Feruary 3 Serb elections, it is inevitable that the Albanian Muslim Administration of the Serbian province of Kosovo will unilaterally declare independence. Despite Serb protests, the United States stands ready to recognize this declaration and the fallout could be enormous. However noble their intentions, the military intervention in the Balkans in the late 1990s by the Clinton Administration and the European Union has resulted in creating a potentially militant Islamic presence on the continent pointed directly for the heart of Europe. What is alarming is that the international community at large is unaware or uninterested in what is happening in this critically strategic area. In fact, given the latest UN determination to begin final status talks on Kosovo, it is clear the world body is simply trying to wash it hands of a situation it largely created in the first place and walk away.

Already experiencing a radical increase in domestic populations of immigrants from Islamic countries, (Rotterdam alone has a population that is 40 percent Moslem), Europe must come to grips with the fact that it is facing a potential terrorist pandemic. Evidence is mounting that the creation of Bosnia-Herzogovina, and the pending creation of an independent Islamic state in Kosovo, offer the most radical elements in Islam an ideal staging ground for the introduction of further militant terrorism into Europe and the United States.

This is not an anti-Islamic or idle diatribe. The evidence that the fringe forces are using the Balkans as a hub is nearly indisputable. Beyond the recent bombings in Madrid and London, and the discovery of a major terrorist ring in Denmark, it is clear the Balkans has become central to the Islamic Jihad. A recent Special Report from Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily has identified the source and type of the explosives used in the terrorist bombings in London in July and the Madrid railway bombings of March 2004. The report says the man at the center of the provision of the explosives in both instances was an Albanian operating out of Kosovo (with links into Bosnia), and is a second-ranking leader in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The principal material used in the London and Madrid bombs was CK123 plastic explosive, which is similar to, but slightly more powerful than the more well-known Semtex, once widely manufactured by intelligence services in the former Czechoslovakia under the auspices of the then Soviet intellegence service, the KGB, during the Cold War.

The report says the explosives provided for the Madrid and London attacks were assembled in Kosovo and carried to the Western Sahara, before being routed to the targeted cities. Significantly, CK123 cannot be detected by most airport explosives detection equipment. It is also suspected, that one or more shipments went by truck directly from Bosnia-Herzegovina to several destinations in Western Europe. One was stopped when a truck was interdicted at the French-Belgian border. The report says that, “fuses were smuggled directly to London and Madrid from Bosnia-Herzegovina.” It is also suspected that some of the CK123 came from Albanian Government stocks, originally provided by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The report quotes sources that the CK123 had originally been for warheads of torpedoes supplied during the Cold War by the PRC for Albania’s Chinese-supplied submarines (no longer in service). Significantly, it is suspected that former Chinese intelligence officials are currently operating on a free-lance basis in Kosovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Two young Pakistanis of British nationality were blown up recently in Kosovo, while they were testing the linkage of a cell phone to a remotely-controlled bomb. The two participated in seminars organized by an institute – Renaissance of the Islamic Heritage – which has been named as a terrorist organization by the UN. The report also says that since the withdrawal of Serbian control over its Kosovo province there has been an increasing amount of opium grown in the area. The zone has become a major base of heroin laboratories and and a route for raw opium fed into the system, from, or via, Turkey (possibly including raw opium from Afghanistan). Albanian “mafia” control of the heroin trade in Western Europe is now well-documented.

This lawlessness has spawned a major operational center for the movement of stolen cars throughout the European market. Witnesses also say that human trafficking in prostitutes is one of Kosovo’s more prosperous industries, with young girls, lured mostly from Ukraine, Rumania and Russia under false pretenses, available for sale (as virtual slaves) in Pristina today (with false papers provided) for as little as $1,000.

In one of the greatest understatements of all time, UN Special Envoy Kai Eide who advocates the immediate movement toward the final status negotiations on Kosovo, says in his own recent report of the conditions there: “Respect for the rule of law is inadequately entrenched and the mechanisms to enforce it are not sufficiently developed.” The UN is now opening a Pandora’s Box for terrorism in Europe. The Clinton Presidential legacy of its one and only failed major use of force, and the EU’s support, however seemingly imperative at the time, has created a mythology of Islamic victimhood in Balkans. The absolute opposite is taking place. While the world stands by, a potential disaster is in the making. Creating more political entities on ethnic lines (the UN has already created five) in an already truncated formally, unified, and recognized nation that was once Yugoslavia, is and should not be, the role of a World Body established to create universal peace. The opposite is happening, and the fallout will unfortunately be long felt.

Comment |Printable Version |About Dennis Mullin 
Posted: 24 Nov 2009
Dennis Mullin POLITICS: President Obama’s approval rating has dropped below 50% for the first time in the latest polls, as has support for the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. Along with the health care debate, the continuing recession and the renewed threats of terrorism, the Democrats are in worse shape with the electorate than they have been since winning the election a year ago; and that’s cheering GOP ranks.  -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Nov 2009
Dennis Mullin POLITICS: The liberal press is having a field day attacking Sarah Palin as a bimbo and an idiot, while declaring here politically irrelevant. But the vehemence and mean-spirited tone of their assaults indicate that they fear her political future deeply, and the more they disparage her, the more popular she becomes.  -- Read More >
Posted: 22 Nov 2009
Dennis Mullin POLITICS: The liberal press is having a field day attacking Sarah Palin as a bimbo and an idiot, while declaring her politically irrelevant. But the vehemence and mean-spirited tone of their assaults indicate that they fear her political future deeply, and the more they disparage her, the more popular she becomes.  -- Read More >
Posted: 22 Nov 2009
Dennis Mullin POLITICS: President Obama’s approval rating has dropped below 50% for the first time in the latest polls, as has support for the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. Along with the health care debate, the continuing recession and the renewed threats of terrorism, the Democrats are in worse shape with the electorate than they have been since winning the election a year ago; and that’s cheering GOP ranks.   -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Nov 2009
Dennis Mullin OF PERU, INCAS AND REBELS: I am reading a book that deals with the Sendero Luminoso, or Shining Path guerrilla movement in Peru. This is an excellent mystery novel by Santiago Rongagliolo, about a prosecutor in Ayacucho, the center of the rebellion, entitled, “Red April.” He traces a series of murders which connect to the Shining Path rebel movement, and raises the question of whether or not the Maoist guerrilla group has been truly vanquished as the government claims   -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Nov 2009
Dennis Mullin OF PERU, INCAS AND REBELS: I am reading a book that deals with the Sendero Luminoso, or Shining Path guerrilla movement in Peru. This is an excellent mystery novel by Santiago Rongagliolo, about a prosecutor in Ayacucho, the center of the rebellion, entitled, “Red April.” He traces a series of murders which connect to the Shining Path rebel movement, and raises the question of whether or not the Maoist guerrilla group has been truly vanquished as the government claims   -- Read More >
Posted: 16 Nov 2009
Dennis Mullin Dissent is called "hooligism" and those opposed to what's happening are "rednecks and racists."   -- Read More >
Posted: 16 Nov 2009
Dennis Mullin REALITY CHECK: Think what you want, Democrat, Republican or Independent, but there is something scary happening in America right now. Dissent is being branded as “hooliganism, extremism,” and those that don’t like what is going on are called “rednecks and racists,” by responsible officials.(   -- Read More >
Posted: 12 Nov 2009
Dennis Mullin The race for new sources of energy production and conservation are continuing even as nuclear power is ignored. The hugely expensive Cap & Trade bills loom on the hazy horizon and hyperbole now rules the climate-change “catastrophe” debate at levels rivaling that of politics   -- Read More >
Posted: 12 Nov 2009
Dennis Mullin ENERGY: The race for new sources of energy production and conservation are continuing even as nuclear power is ignored. The hugely expensive Cap & Trade bills loom on the hazy horizon and hyperbole now rules the climate-change “catastrophe” debate at levels rivaling that of politics.   -- Read More >
Posted: 9 Nov 2009
Dennis Mullin POLITICS: Following the first elections since the Obama landslide, the pundits are in full spin – Democrats insisting that their huge setbacks are not a referendum on the President, and the Republicans claiming a resurgence that will reverberate into the 2010 off-year contests. One thing is very clear however: there has been a dramatic shift in the landscape of the electorate that differs greatly from the conventional wisdom that followed the Democratic 2008 triumph.   -- Read More >
Posted: 9 Nov 2009
Dennis Mullin POLITICS: Following the first elections since the Obama landslide, the pundits are in full spin – Democrats insisting that their huge setbacks are not a referendum on the President, and the Republicans claiming a resurgence that will reverberate into the 2010 off-year contests. One thing is very clear however: there has been a dramatic shift in the landscape of the electorate that differs greatly from the conventional wisdom that followed the Democratic 2008 triumph.  -- Read More >
Posted: 6 Nov 2009
Dennis Mullin A pattern is emerging as the administration creates more and more new opponents with its Chicago-style, scorched-earth campaign against its foes. Polls show 40 percent now consider themselves “conservatives,” as Obama pushes massive big government. Even some Democrats are starting to quietly look beyond this administration, and there is some of the same old Hillary noise in the Washington air.   -- Read More >
Posted: 6 Nov 2009
Dennis Mullin POLITICS: A pattern is emerging as the administration creates more and more new opponents with its Chicago-style, scorched-earth campaign against its foes. Polls show 40 percent now consider themselves “conservatives,” as Obama pushes massive big government. Even some Democrats are starting to quietly look beyond this administration, and there is some of the same old Hillary noise in the Washington air.   -- Read More >
Posted: 3 Nov 2009
Dennis Mullin If you want fame and fortune in America today, you are best served by committing a crime, doing something incredibly stupid, being very bad at your job, or generally attracting attention to yourself however distasteful that may be. At a minimum you will get your own talk radio show; with luck a reality series or maybe even a move.   -- Read More >
Posted: 3 Nov 2009
Dennis Mullin MEDIA WATCH: If you want fame and fortune in America today, you are best served by committing a crime, doing something incredibly stupid, being very bad at your job, or generally attracting attention to yourself however distasteful that may be. At a minimum you will get your own talk radio show; with luck a reality series or maybe even a move.   -- Read More >
Posted: 31 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin Carl Sagan, who founded the Planetary Society, is often cited as one of the great thinkers of our time who found not theological satisfaction in his obsession with the vastness of the universe. Shortly before his death in 1996, I saw an interview with him. He was dying of cancer, and when asked about what came next, he said, “a deep dark sleep.”   -- Read More >
Posted: 31 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin G.M. Corrigan writes about “Greed, Utopianism and the Adversarial Impulse” particularly as reflected in today’s media.

Dennis Mullin asks in "Darwin vs God, Part IV," if Carl Sagan’s “Deep, Dark Sleep” is all there is.   -- Read More >
Posted: 29 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin GEOPOLITICS (PART III): The demise of America’s global leadership remains the conventional wisdom within intellectual circles. But some argue that it is too early to mark the death of American exceptionalism. There are many factors at play   -- Read More >
Posted: 29 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin Is it too early to mark the death of American exceptionalism?   -- Read More >
Posted: 27 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin So much for all the news that’s fit to print. The New York Times Correspondent in Athens, Greece, Anthi Karassava, was expelled Oct. 16 from the Athens Foreign Correspondents Association. She was the ONLY foreign Correspondent found to be on the payroll of the state-owned Agriculture Bank of Greece, as evidenced by a list that was made public during the investigations of government scandals in the Karamanlis administration.   -- Read More >
Posted: 27 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin POLITICS: The White House now says it is proud of the way it controls the press, and has launched a full assault on Fox News. The cable network has been breaking ratings records, claiming to be “fair and balanced.” But in Washington that now means not kowtowing to the Great Savior.   -- Read More >
Posted: 25 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin James Kurth of the American Interest offers a detailed breakdown of how he sees the future playing out. Even if we succeed in revitalizing our economy by depending on scientific-technological leadership, we will still need to re-create a successful American way of war for current circumstances.   -- Read More >
Posted: 25 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin GEOPOLITICS (PART II): The demise of America’s global leadership remains the conventional wisdom within intellectual circles. But some argue that it is too early to mark the death of American exceptionalism. There are many factors at play.   -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin GEOPOLITICS (PART I): The demise of America’s global leadership remains the conventional wisdom within intellectual circles, with the promise that our grandchildren will all be speaking Mandarin. But some argue that it is too early to mark the death of American exceptionalism. There are many factors at play.   -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin The demise of America's global leadership is conventional wisdom in intellectual circles.   -- Read More >
Posted: 21 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: With Afghanistan, health care and the economy all in limbo, some critics on both the left and the right are now questioning whether the president is tough enough to handle the job. The questions are loud enough that the White House has felt compelled to refute them and reply forcefully. That’s a clear sign of an administration perceived, at least, to be adrift – a problem in itself.   -- Read More >
Posted: 21 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin Right and left ask "Is Obama tough enough to handle the job?"   -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin Obama's approval ratings are stabilizing at around 50% while polarization marches on   -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin Obama’s approval rating is stabilizing at around 50 percent, as health care reform looms and decisions await on the war in Afghanistan. But the hyperbole surrounding this administration is unprecedented, as the polarization of the electorate continues   -- Read More >
Posted: 15 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin Where does evolution leave God? Richard Dawkins responds this way.   -- Read More >
Posted: 15 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin Author Richard Dawkins responds to the question “Where does evolution leave God?” asked by the Wall Street Journal this way:   -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin STATUS ANXIETY: In 1970, Norman Mailer wrote, “Of Fire on the Moon,” regarding Apollo l1. NASA just dropped a bomb on the moon searching for water. The H1 virus looms; mankind is moving forward at a dizzying pace. But the Washington Post tells us we are all suffering from “Status Anxiety,” if we don’t love Obama. A few idiots in Norway appear to agree. What planet are these people on?   -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin The Washington Post says we are suffering "Status Anxiety" if we don't love Obama. A few fuzzy liberals in Norway agree.   -- Read More >
Posted: 8 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin A friend from Oregon recently remarked that "Sarah Palin was the dumbest politican alive and couldn't find Russia on a map." The truth says otherwise.   -- Read More >
Posted: 8 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin POLITICS: A scientist friend of my mine, from the late-great state of Oregon (the University of Oregon ranks 57th in the US News survey of state colleges, tied with New Jersey Institute of technology in Newark, and just ahead of LSU at 64), remarked at a Washington restaurant, “The Front Page,” that Sarah Palin was the “dumbest politician alive and couldn’t find Russia on a map”.   -- Read More >
Posted: 6 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin DEFENSE: Russian leaders never liked the idea that the U.S., Poland and the Czech Republic were cooperating on missile defense to confront an emerging Iranian threat. So Obama agreed to drop the idea to placate the Kremlin   -- Read More >
Posted: 6 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin Russian leaders never liked the idea that that the U.S., Poland and the Czech Republic were coopeerating on missle defense to counter an emerging Iranian threat. So Obama agreed to drop the idea in order to placate the Kremlin   -- Read More >
Posted: 4 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin DARWIN AND GOD, PART 11: The Wall Street Journal recently asked some theologians to respond independently to the question, “Where does evolution leave God?” Karen Armstrong says we need God to grasp the wonder of our existence   -- Read More >
Posted: 4 Oct 2009
Dennis Mullin DARWIN AND GOD, PART 11: The Wall Street Journal recently asked some theologians to respond independently to the question, “Where does evolution leave God?” Karen Armstrong says we need God to grasp the wonder of our existence.  -- Read More >
Posted: 30 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin DARWIN AND GOD, PART 1: (First in a four-part series)Charles Darwin has been very much in the news lately as this year marked the 150th anniversary of the publication of his 1859 book, “On the Origin of the Species,” the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature. Many believe that the work disproved the existence of God. Some amateur theological musings on the subject.   -- Read More >
Posted: 30 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin Charles Darwin has been has been in the news lately, as this year marks the 150th anniversary of his "On the Origin of the species." Does this work disprove the existence of God?   -- Read More >
Posted: 28 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin ABROAD: China is now one of the most significant global actors in the international system,influencing economic and military matters and venturing into outer space. Many believe that the future belongs to Beijing as it replaces the U.S. as the new world superpower. What are its goals, and is it a direct threat to American interests?   -- Read More >
Posted: 28 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin ABROAD: China is now one of the most significant global actors in the international system, influencing economic and military matters and venturing into outer space. Many believe that the future belongs to Beijing as it replaces the U.S. as the new world superpower. What are its goals, and is it a direct threat to American interests?   -- Read More >
Posted: 27 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin POLITICS: Jimmy Carter’s latest words of unwisdom, that race is behind opposition to Obama’s spending sprees, have reopened another old wound. For a man who promised to heal the nation’s divisions, Obama certainly appears to be going in the opposite direction.  -- Read More >
Posted: 26 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin Jimmy Carter says race is behind opposition to Obama's spending sprees, reopening an old wound. This does not contribute to healing the nation's divisions   -- Read More >
Posted: 24 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin This week the President addressed the UN, hosted the G-20, and swamped TV with appeals for health care reform. But the question remains: does he have a strategy and comprehensive vision for the future?   -- Read More >
Posted: 24 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: It’s been a hectic week for the President, addressing the UN General Assembly in New York, hosting the G-20 in Pittsburgh and swamping the air waves with appeals for health care reform. But amid all the frenetic activity the question remains: does he really have a strategy and a comprehensive vision for the future?   -- Read More >
Posted: 22 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin ENERGY: Biofuels, solar,nuclear? seven myths about new energy sources.   -- Read More >
Posted: 22 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin ENERGY: Global warming alarmists want everyone to switch immediately to alternative fuels. As the world looks around anxiously for replacments to coal and oil. Biofuels, solar, and nuclear seem like they could be the magic ticket. They're not. Here are seven myths about new energy sources set out by Foreign Policy Magazine:   -- Read More >
Posted: 20 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin ECONOMY: One year after the near collapse of the global financial system, analysts are still trying to sort through the implications and the lessons that can be learned and pitfalls that can be avoided. But what is rising out of the ashes?   -- Read More >
Posted: 20 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin One year after the near collapse of the global financial system anslysts are asking what lessons can be learned and what will rise out of the ashes.   -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin MEDIA: The mainstream press keeps wondering why it isn’t making any money, and is looking at all sorts of gimmicks to charge for its content online and other solutions. But what it clearly doesn’t understand is that nobody believes it, few want to read it, and until it reforms itself it has no role to play   -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin The mainstream press doesn't understand why nobody believes it, few want to read it, and until it reforms itself, it has no role to play.   -- Read More >
Posted: 17 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin Time is winding down to the moment of truth -- when the Democrats must decide whether to go-it-alone on health care reform. Should they push it through on a party-line vote the real bloodbath will begin, as opposition to the administration’s liberal agenda is gathering broad support.   -- Read More >
Posted: 17 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin Democrats must decide whether to go-it-alone on health care as opposition to the administration's liberal agenda builds.   -- Read More >
Posted: 15 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin Japan's opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) won a landslide election victory. Will it yield any significant shifts in policy?   -- Read More >
Posted: 15 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin Japan's opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has fulfilled predictions by winning a landslide victory over the moribund ruling Liberal Democratic Party. The change in government is historic; but will it result in any significant changes?   -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin INTELLIGENCE: It is clear that despite the president’s protestations, his Justice Department won’t rest until it has brought the CIA to its knees. None of the president’s men seem to understand the consequences of unilateral disarmament.   -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin Despite Obama's protestations, his Jusitce Dept. seeks to bring the CIA to its knees.   -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin Whatever else he has done, Obama has polarized the American electorate to a degree perhaps never seen before.   -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin Whatever else he has done, Obama has polarized the American electorate to a degree perhaps never seen before. Bill Clinton quickly backed off in his first months after he pushed a host of unpopular liberal issues. But Obama shows no signs of seeking compromise and keeps pressing ahead.   -- Read More >
Posted: 9 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin CONGRESS: Amid the Obama meltdown, the Democrats are getting nervous that even with the Republicans in an attenuated political state, their control of Congress could be weakened or even in jeopardy in next year’s elections. That’s what the polls show.   -- Read More >
Posted: 9 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin Democrats are getting nervous that even with the Republicans weakened, their control of Congress could be in trouble next year.   -- Read More >
Posted: 7 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin Is America finished as THE world power? Not so fast!   -- Read More >
Posted: 7 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin My French and Australian neighbors keep rejoicing in their conviction that America is finished as a great power, and that with its economic problems and Obama’s leadership its days of global influence are over. A grateful world can now build a new non-American order, they believe. A look at some future scenarios:  -- Read More >
Posted: 5 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin SECURITY: A government seeks to use the potential threat of hackers to allow the severing of private citizens from the internet. Sounds like China but it is not; it is the United States. The big government threat is growing exponentially and soon if you don’t agree with it, they’ll take away your laptop and cell phone.   -- Read More >
Posted: 5 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin The government seeks to use the potential threat of hackers to sever private citizens from the Internet. Will they take away yiour laptop and cell phone?   -- Read More >
Posted: 2 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin THE WHITE HOUSE: One of the administration’s unusual tactics has been to appoint outside Czars -- who require no confirmation or vetting – to head up important policy posts. This has enabled Obama to insert people with questionable credentials into key spots, which critics fear is designed to carry out the radical changes he privately has in mind.   -- Read More >
Posted: 2 Sep 2009
Dennis Mullin THE WHITE HOUSE: One of the administration’s unusual tactics has been to appoint outside Czars -- who require no confirmation or vetting – to head up important policy posts. This has enabled Obama to insert people with questionable credentials into key spots, which critics fear is designed to carry out the radical changes he privately has in mind.   -- Read More >
Posted: 31 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin The president hopes to use the death of liberal Senator Teddy Kennedy to rally the nation around health care reform. But the chances of a compromise are actually dimming, and if he chooses the “nuclear option,” and crams through a partisan bill, it will further polarize an already deeply divided nation and send his polling numbers down even further.   -- Read More >
Posted: 31 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: The president hopes to use the death of liberal Senator Teddy Kennedy to rally the nation around health care reform. But the chances of a compromise are actually dimming, and if he chooses the “nuclear option,” and crams through a partisan bill, it will further polarize an already deeply divided nation and send his polling numbers down even further.  -- Read More >
Posted: 29 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin Commentators gush over the Chinese Economy, but more doubt emerges every week   -- Read More >
Posted: 29 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin ABROAD: Commentators keep going on about the Chinese economy being the new world model, but there is more doubt emerging every week over some serious bubbles on China’s horizon. The rest of Asia is also bouncing back, but their export-driven systems offer no long-term solutions either.   -- Read More >
Posted: 27 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin I the brave new world of of war, robots will be assuming more and more of the tasks in combat.   -- Read More >
Posted: 27 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin DEFENSE: In the brave new world of war, robots will be assuming more and more of the tasks in combat. That will reduce casualties, but will it make wars easier to fight, and more likely to be launched? There are new ethical questions to ask about the wars of the future.   -- Read More >
Posted: 25 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin Supposedly, the US is in the process of withdrawing from Iraq just as everyone has demanded. But bombs are going off with greater regularity and the peace established by the US appears to be dissolving.   -- Read More >
Posted: 25 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin ABROAD: Supposedly, the U.S. is in the process of withdrawing from Iraq just as everyone worldwide, Iraqis included, have demanded. But the bombs are going off with greater regularity and the peace established by the U.S. presence appears to be dissolving. What is going on?   -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin ON MESSAGE: Marshall McLuahn, the communications theorist, argued that ones, “whole fallacy could be wrong.” The Democrat’s zeal to force old big-government measures has had unimagined consequences on the political debate, in this new strange, splintered information environment. An entirely new technological culture demands new visionary answers which no politician on the horizon, and clearly not Obama, have apparently even considered.   -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin ON MESSAGE: Marshall McLuahn, the communications theorist, argued that ones, “whole fallacy could be wrong.” The Democrat’s zeal to force old big-government measures has had unimagined consequences on the political debate, in this new strange, splintered information environment. An entirely new technological culture demands new visionary answers which no politician on the horizon, and clearly not Obama, have apparently even considered.  -- Read More >
Posted: 21 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: The White House is now considering pushing its health care reform through Congress on a party-line vote, with no Republican support. That could be a dangerous move, as there are indications that Democratic majority has badly over-estimated its mandate, and the entire Obama presidency could be defined by that miscalculation.   -- Read More >
Posted: 21 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin The White House considers ramming its health care “reform” through Congress on a party-line vote without Republican support. This could be a dangerous move…..

The U.K. on Obamacare: Been there, Done that!
  -- Read More >
Posted: 20 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin Sleeper Jihadist cells operating across the country wait to strike yet this administration frets more about civil rights than upcoming casualties.   -- Read More >
Posted: 20 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin TERRORISM: Sleeper jihadist cells are operating widely across the country waiting to strike, yet the administration is more worried about the attackers’ civil rights than the plight of the coming American casualties. That is the sad, but true state of affairs.   -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin DEFENSE: The U.S. Navy is developing a dedicated close-air support aircraft for its SEAL commandos operating in Afghanistan. As force requirements shift, the army is trying to convince sailors and airmen to switch over and join up   -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin The U.S. Navy is developing a dedicated close-air support aircraft for SEAL commandos in Afghanistan. As force requirements shift, the Army tries to convince Airmaen and Sailors to switch over and join up.   -- Read More >
Posted: 16 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin Biden strikes again in terms which he said "shouldn't be uttered publicly>"   -- Read More >
Posted: 16 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin Biden did it again, speaking about Russia in terms he said shouldn’t be uttered publicly. He sees an inherent, long range weakness in Moscow’s struggle to regain its standing in global geopolitics. But he may be selling Putin short, and Russia is likely to strike back hard when it gets the chance.   -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin Obama approval rating falls to under 50%...down from 57% approvala month ago   -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: As he marks his 200th day in office, the president's job approval rating has fallen below 50% -- down from 57% in only just over a month. Fewer voters are undecided about his performance and his “strong disapproval” numbers are hardening. This is a reflection of growing unease over his handling of the economy, his deficit-stretching spending, the nasty health care debate and many other missteps   -- Read More >
Posted: 7 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin REALITY CHECK: Think what you want, Democrat, Republican or Independent, but there is something scary happening in America right now. Dissent is being branded as “hooliganism, extremism,” and those that don’t like what is going on are called “rednecks and racists,” by responsible officials.


  -- Read More >
Posted: 7 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin REALITY CHECK: Think what you want, Democrat, Republican or Independent, but there is something scary happening in America right now. Dissent is being branded as “hooliganism, extremism,” and those that don’t like what is going on are called “rednecks and racists,” by responsible officials.   -- Read More >
Posted: 4 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin J. Matt Barber asks “ Do Homosexual Penguins choose the Gay lifestyle, or are they hatched that way?”
Dennis Mullin posits that voters fear Big Brother and Health Care Reform faces a Roadblock from “Blue Dog” Democrats   -- Read More >
Posted: 3 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin Voters show fear of Big Brother's role in their lives. Health care reform faces a roadblock from "Blue Dog" Democrats.   -- Read More >
Posted: 3 Aug 2009
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: Some good economic news does little to boost the President’s sagging popularity as voters fear Big Brother’s role in their daily lives. Obama’s penchant for sermonizing and his “teaching moments” don’t help. Health care reform faces a roadblock from the “Blue Dog” Democrats.   -- Read More >
Posted: 30 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin TEACHING MOMENT: The President thinks that the economic crisis can sit on the back burner while he worries about his old Harvard friend’s run in with the police and take time out to have a “teaching moment.” Few know the real reason why Obama hates the Cambridge cops.   -- Read More >
Posted: 27 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: The bloom is off the rose and Obama’s support is dropping like a stone, and he doesn’t even seem to realize what is going on. Even some of his most ardent supports have announced a “suicide watch” on the latest Democratic attempt to rewrite all the rules and spend every cent, and laugh it up as we all go down the tubes.   -- Read More >
Posted: 27 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: The bloom is off the rose and Obama’s support is dropping like a stone, and he doesn’t even seem to realize what is going on. Even some of his most ardent supports have announced a “suicide watch” on the latest Democratic attempt to rewrite all the rules and spend every cent, and laugh it up as we all go down the tubes.  -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin The President is demanding the largest revision in the American Social System since Social Security, and wants it passed before the August Recess.

  -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin WITHER HEALTH CARE: Despite Wednesday evening's effort to calm fears on Health Care Reform, the president is demanding the largest revision in the American social system since Social Security and wants it passed before everyone goes on vacation in August. He claims it will save the nation a lot of money, but the exact opposite may be the case, however fast he crams it through.   -- Read More >
Posted: 21 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin TERROR UPDATE: The latest terrorist attack in Indonesia puts the focus back on the Jihadists problem that affects Southeast Asia. That country remains the greatest threat, and there are other hot fronts active in the Philippines and Thailand. Bangkok has a real problem on its hands.  -- Read More >
Posted: 21 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin The latest terrorist attack in Indonesia refocuses on Southeast Asia.   -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin Obama pushes an overloaded agenda   -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: The administration is sticking to its plan of, “not letting a good crisis go to waste,” by overloading the circuits with so many proposals that it’s hard to keep them straight. And it is pushing with an urgency to get things done fast, no matter how sloppily, before the momentum fades -- and that has many people worried   -- Read More >
Posted: 17 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin FACTS & FIGURES: On the lighter side, there are many things in the country that are becoming extinct, besides white, heterosexual, non-partisan, hard working and generally normal, happy males, many of whom remain good fathers and husbands. Most of the products and services going by the wayside have been overtaken by technology or changes in consumer markets, and thankfully they haven’t voted.  -- Read More >
Posted: 17 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin Besides hard working, heterosexual, happily married good fathers and husbands, many other things are becoming extinct.   -- Read More >
Posted: 16 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin ABROAD; China’s leader rushed home from the latest G-8 Summit to deal with widespread domestic violent unrest that questions China’s pre-ordination as the next global leader. What may be really at stake is the security of the economic power’s lifelines to trade.   -- Read More >
Posted: 16 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin Violent domestic unrest questions China's pre-ordination as the world's next leader   -- Read More >
Posted: 14 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin UNDER THE RADAR: Washington remains hard at work as unemployment keeps climbing -- debating whether or not to pass a resolution honoring Michael Jackson and watching videos of members being bribed. White’s attacked in a “Black World."   -- Read More >
Posted: 14 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin Congress debates honoring Michael Jackson and watches video of member being bribed. Whites attacked in a "black world."   -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: Bill Clinton won the Oval Office on the slogan, “it’s the economy stupid.” Perhaps President Obama is looking too far ahead, but at the current pace of the recovery, he is losing support fast among every group of voters except his most diehard liberal backers who have never seen a dime of other people’s money that they didn’t want to spend.   -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin Obama's support is slipping except among the most diehard liberal backers   -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin The mainstream press digs deeper and deeper into the irrelevance pit. Its bitterness is matched only by its ineffectual role.   -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin MEDIA WATCH: The mainstream press just keeps digging itself deeper and deeper into the irrelevance pit. Its’ bitterness is matched only by its ineffectual role as it struggles mightily to convince anyone who reads it any more that it meaningfully controls the national agenda.


  -- Read More >
Posted: 9 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin Pelosi calls terrorism an "external contingency." The Obama crowd downplays the hard fact that 23 potential disasters have been averted due to law enforcement diligence.   -- Read More >
Posted: 9 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin TERRORISM: To hear Nancy Pelosi describe it, the war against terrorism never existed, and was just an “external contingency,” blown out of proportion by the Bush crazies. Now the Obama crowd is trying to wish away the hard fact that 23 potential disasters have been averted as result of strict law enforcement diligence.   -- Read More >
Posted: 8 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin Obama's Foreign Policy Priorities: Michael Jckson's funeral and a minor Gay Rights Issue in India trump North Korea's Missle Buildup   -- Read More >
Posted: 7 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: Whenever the kind of dramatic overhauls such as those the Obama administration is attempting to undertake occur, the realities of “creative destruction,” are required to free up space for the new order. What is drawing new attention is not what the President proposes, as much as what he will be replacing.  -- Read More >
Posted: 7 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin "Creative Destruction" will be required for the new leftist order   -- Read More >
Posted: 5 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin UNDER THE RADAR: There is a strong tendency toward adolescent behavior in our new culture. We are dominated by decision-makers who have never left a college campus or had anything but a government job, or ever had to meet a payroll. A moment of silence in the House for the death of Michael Jackson interrupted a vote that will pay billions overseas to people not to cut down trees – even as we go bankrupt. Go figure.<   -- Read More >
Posted: 5 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin UNDER THE RADAR: There is a strong tendency toward adolescent behavior in our new culture. We are dominated by decision-makers who have never left a college campus or had anything but a government job, or ever had to meet a payroll. A moment of silence in the House for the death of Michael Jackson interrupted a vote that will pay billions overseas to people not to cut down trees – even as we go bankrupt. Go figure.
  -- Read More >
Posted: 4 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin GEOPOLITICS: The demise of the Western World and the rise of the Asian Century, in which everyone will drop English and be speaking Mandarin, is now taken as gospel in trendy circles. But a closer look reveals that we are a still a long way from that.  -- Read More >
Posted: 4 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin GEOPOLITICS: The demise of the Western World and the rise of the Asian Century, in which everyone will drop English and be speaking Mandarin, is now taken as gospel in trendy circles. But a closer look reveals that we are a still a long way from that.


  -- Read More >
Posted: 3 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin CLIMATE DEBATE: The cap-and-trade bill which Al Gore says is needed to save the planet, and republicans call a disaster and the largest tax increase in history, is making its way through Congress. Yet even the science is now open to question like never before.   -- Read More >
Posted: 3 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin Al Gore says we need Cap-and-Trade to save the planet,; Republicans call it the largest tax increase in History. Scientists raise questions.   -- Read More >
Posted: 1 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin Republicans are gearing up for the next ropund of voting for Congress and seem to think their chances aren't as dismal as many have predicted. Even some Democrats sense vulnerability over the liberal agenda.   -- Read More >
Posted: 1 Jul 2009
Dennis Mullin CONGRESS & POLITICS: Republicans are gearing up for the next round of voting for Congress, and seem to think their chances aren’t as dismal as many have predicted. Even some Democrats sense vulnerability over the liberal agenda.   -- Read More >
Posted: 30 Jun 2009
Dennis Mullin Experts declare Obmama's honeymoon officically over. What comes next?   -- Read More >
Posted: 30 Jun 2009
Dennis Mullin Experts declare Obama's honeymoon officially over. What comes next?   -- Read More >
Posted: 29 Jun 2009
Dennis Mullin In the "I'm Mad as Hell" Dept; "Pravda on the Potomac," ABC refuses to air alternartive Health Plan,Brooksville, FLA demands skivvies, Gay News supersedes all else, and more.....   -- Read More >
Posted: 29 Jun 2009
Dennis Mullin MAD AS HELL: In the “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore,” rant department, we note the weekly course of widely unreported events that prove conclusively that the world is truly turning upside down   -- Read More >
Posted: 28 Jun 2009
Dennis Mullin UNDER THE RADAR: Here’s a story that was oddly left pretty much out of the news, considering its enormous implications. Whether they were real or fake, the $134 billion in bonds found on two Japanese on the Italian-Swiss border is cause for serious concern.


  -- Read More >
Posted: 28 Jun 2009
Dennis Mullin UNDER THE RADAR: Here’s a story that was oddly left pretty much out of the news, considering its enormous implications. Whether they were real or fake, the $134 billion in bonds found on two Japanese on the Italian-Swiss border is cause for serious concern.


  -- Read More >
Posted: 27 Jun 2009
Dennis Mullin SCIENCE: While we keep looking for the next Big Thing that will spark innovation and creativity, it may be of use to look at ten developments that took place in 2008 that may have a bearing on the future outlook.   -- Read More >
Posted: 27 Jun 2009
Dennis Mullin Ten 2008 Scientific Developments which will Change the Future   -- Read More >
Posted: 25 Jun 2009
Dennis Mullin Despite Obama's personal popularity, a majority of Americans still call themselves conservative   -- Read More >
Posted: 25 Jun 2009
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Posted: 22 Jun 2009
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Posted: 21 Jun 2009
Dennis Mullin We note the weekly events proving the world is turly turning upside down   -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Jun 2009
Dennis Mullin The Left takes a pasting while Right Wing parties gain in Europe   -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Jun 2009
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Posted: 22 May 2009
Dennis Mullin IN THIS ISSUE:

Japan is locked into its worst recession in post-war history and is paralyzed by domestic politics. Will much-needed reform slip away again?

The conventionasl wisdom that America is finished is questioned. Part of that has to do with signs the global recession is easing and part lies in concerns that others may be worse off. Many economists agree.



ABROAD: Locked into its worst recession in post-war history, Japan, the world’s second largest economy, remains paralyzed by its domestic politics. As the LDP carries on with business as usual, the opposition is now in disarray, raising the prospect of the chance for much-needed change to slip away once again.

Bu Dennis Mullin


Japan's political world was recently rocked by the twin resignations of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan's leader, Ichiro Ozawa, and his top lieutenant, Yukio Hatoyama. Mr. Ozawa has spent the last 15 years forming a succession of parties in a quest to dethrone the Liberal Democratic Party from its position atop Japanese politics -- a spot it has held for the past half-century.

SCANDAL: Just when it looked like he would achieve his goal, a fundraising scandal involving his top aide has apparently brought him down. Whether his foibles will doom his party's chances to reshape Japan's political map remains to be seen.

Michael Auslin of the American Enterprise Institute, in a new analysis, notes that Japan's political system has been in flux for the better part of the last decade and a half, in no small part due to Ozawa. The LDP received an electoral boost during the 2001-2006 administration of the popular Junichiro Koizumi, who as recently as this month topped a public opinion poll that asked who should become Japan's next prime minister. Since Mr. Koizumi stepped down, the LDP has hemorrhaged support, with two prime ministers in a row resigning due to political paralysis and scandal.

LOW SUPPORT: Current Prime Minister Taro Aso saw his public support plummet to less than 20 percent until Ozawa's scandal hit in March. Since then, Aso's numbers have inched up (yet are still under 30 percent), while Ozawa's have dropped. Ozawa resigned in the name of "party unity" and to boost the chances that the DPJ will win a majority later this year in Japan's powerful lower house of parliament.

If this happens, the DPJ would control both houses and gain the premiership. Political pundits claim Ozawa's resignation is just what the DPJ needs to put a fresh face at the top of its ticket and appeal to voters tired of the same old clubby politics. Yet Japan's political future may not be decided so simply, for several reasons.

First, no one is sure how Japan's voters will react to Ozawa's resignation over the medium-term. They may be more likely to view the DPJ as little more than a clone of the LDP, with the same corruption problems, lack of stable leadership and inability to focus on the real issues of concern to the public, such as health, education and economic opportunity.

FEW DIFFERENCES: Indeed, one of the DPJ's main problems is that it was founded and largely populated by ex-LDP members, and many Japanese voters see it as little different from the ruling party. Ozawa labored in recent years to change that impression, largely through an aggressive platform of support for working families, shrinking the income gap, and talking about greater independence from the United States. That platform helped the DPJ take control of the upper house of parliament in July 2007, thus bringing about a period of political paralysis in Japan.

Secondly, the DPJ itself is riven with factions, largely between the older guard represented by Messrs. Ozawa and Hatoyama, young turks like Seiji Maehara and Akihisa Nagashima and former members of Japan's Socialist Party. While ex-DPJ head Katsuya Okada is considered a front-runner to replace Ozawa, party members locked out of the ruling circle until now could also challenge for the leadership.

UP FOR GRABS: Moreover, without Ozawa at the helm, the party's platform may be up for grabs, potentially diluting its message to voters. The DPJ also has had trouble in the past fielding candidates in all precincts, and its current woes may make it difficult to attract fresh talent.

No one, however, should think that Ozawa's resignation is the break for which the ruling LDP has been waiting. The LDP has been on the defensive for the past two years and shows no signs of finding new leadership or policies that appeal to the average voter. Aso has a hold on power within his party largely because no one else is interested in captaining a ship so obviously taking on water.

Few analysts believe the LDP can maintain its two-thirds majority in parliament in elections this year. It will either slip into the minority or maintain a bare majority that will be flummoxed by the stonewalling tactics the DPJ has used effectively since 2007.

LUKEWARM: It may yet turn out that the thought of a new DPJ leadership is enough to drive a majority of voters over to the opposition. However, Japan's electorate might also become lukewarm to both parties and vote to largely keep the system as it is. That would be the worst possible outcome, for it would mean continued policy paralysis in the world's second-largest economy and an endless focus on winning the next election.

Auslin concludes that Japan, which is in the midst of its worst recession in postwar history, desperately needs aggressive action to stabilize its economy. It also needs to reassure its partners, especially the U.S., that it will remain engaged in regional and global issues, carry through commitments to support military realignment with the U.S., and play a role in global economic recovery. If the new leader of the DPJ can do that, then his party very well might win a victory that puts Japan on a new road.

GLOBAL ECONOMY: The conventional wisdom that America is finished is coming under question as we noted recently. Part of that has to do with signs that the recession is easing, and part lies in concerns that others may be in even worse shape. Now many other economists are joining the contrarian chorus.

By Dennis Mullin


As the world economy gradually returns to something approaching normality after the catastrophe triggered by the Lehmans bankruptcy on Sept. 15 last year, the prognosis for the long-term have centered on the collapse of America as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez likes to crow, to the emergence of China as the primary superpower, as People’s Daily trumpets.

MODELS: As ecomonic models are never good at predicting turning points in cycles, to assess the long-term political and ideological impact, it makes more sense to consider two scenarios. In the first, which has dominated thinking throughout the crisis, the deflationary forces of the credit crunch prevail and the world sinks into a recession lasting many years, with unemployment soaring to levels last seen in the 1930s.

In that case, this crisis really will mark the end of U.S. dominance, not only as a global power, but also as an economic model and source of political inspiration. But rather than shifting the mantle of global leadership to China or maybe Europe -- if we take seriously the triumphalist rhetoric of President Sarkozy after the London G20 summit about the “death of the Anglo-Saxon model” -- a prolonged recession would usher in chaos.

ALTERNATIVES: China is far too poor, too technologically backward and too inward-looking to be a credible economic leader and its social arrangements are hardly a model for the democratic world. As for Europe, it would suffer even more institutional damage than the U.S. from a prolonged depression, as it did in the 1930s. In short, the widely predicted depression would lead to what some investors describe as the “Mad Max World”: a state of global anarchy in which the only assets worth owning would be farmland and oil wells - and the guns and ammunition to protect them.

London Times columnist Anatole Kaletsky, notes that the alternative possibility is that monetary and fiscal stimulus succeed and the world returns to normal growth and moderate unemployment within a year or so. To judge by much commentary, this benign outcome is unlikely. But on Wall Street and in much of Asia it is becoming the mainstream assumption, he says.

UPHEAVALS: The benign scenario should be the focus of all policy discussions for two reasons, he says. First, because economic theory tells us that fiscal and monetary reflation will succeed and hints of success are starting to show. Second, if the world is about to collapse into anarchy and nothing can be done, there is no benefit in predicting it. If, on the other hand, the end of the world can be averted, acting on this assumption, will make recovery more likely. But big upheavals may lie ahead.

The financial crisis has profoundly changed US politics. It has convinced voters of the need for government, and of leaders who believe in government. With the election of an administration dedicated to competent government, things have improved, as voters have noticed, he continues. Thus U.S. and European ideology have moved closer together. Many Bush Administration foreign, social and environmental policies have been reversed, sending the signal that Americans no longer live on a different planet from the rest of the world. As a result, America has become more attractive as a political model throughout the democratic world.

STRONGER: Less obviously, the U.S. economic model, far from being discredited, may be strengthened by this crisis. If the U.S. returns to growth much faster than Europe and Japan, the crisis will reaffirm the resilience of Anglo-Saxon capitalism, provided that it is not confused with totally deregulated market fundamentalism.

Moreover, the crisis may strengthen the U.S. economy structurally by promoting President Obama's agenda of clean energy and healthcare reform. Developing new energy sources will play to America's advantage in technology, while correctly-managed healthcare reform could reduce the cost burden that has crushed many U.S. industries.

For Europe, the crisis has exacerbated three distinct problems that Kaletsky notes. First, global deleveraging is having a bigger impact on Germany than on the U.S. or Britain. Second, Eastern Europe faces a catastrophic financial crisis, like the one in Thailand and Indonesia 12 years ago. Third, the euro has been transformed into a source of vulnerability rather than strength because Europe's sovereign borrowers can no longer print their own money, making them prone to default in the same way as state and local governments in the U.S.

PERFECT STORM: He goes on: The result of this perfect storm is that Europe will probably become more inward-looking. The question of more or less Europe will have to be debated anew, as maintaining the status quo may not be compatible with the survival of the euro or the new financial regulations now widely demanded.

In Central Europe the painful consequences of the harsh economic reforms imposed by Germany, the European Commission or the IMF in exchange for financial support will probably strengthen the influence of Russia, which handled its own financial crisis surprisingly well.

Turning to Asia and China, does this crisis mark the moment of transition from U.S. to Chinese dominance? Probably not. For Japan even more than Germany, the crisis has been a total disaster and the concept of export-led growth has been discredited.

China's leaders understand the dangers of excessive dependence on exports and are trying to shift emphasis to domestic growth. But this will slow productivity growth and economic development and it is not clear if China's authoritarian politics can adapt to a society emphasizing consumption rather than production.

DOLLAR’S ROLE: Finally, what of the dollar's status as a reserve currency? Those who argue that U.S. budget deficits and monetary expansion will destroy its international status must point to another currency underpinned by stronger fiscal and monetary foundations. At present, there is no such currency, except possibly the Chinese yuan, which is already artificially grossly over-valued cannot be legally owned by foreigners.

Those who argued that the dollar would collapse because of the global crisis forgot that to sell one currency it is necessary to buy another. The currency game is not a beauty contest but an ugly contest, in which investors must choose the currency that is least ugly.
In some ways this is true of global geopolitics.

The crisis may have revealed grave flaws in the U.S. economic and political models. But the weaknesses in other countries have become even more obvious. The logical conclusion is that President Obama's post-crisis America will be more powerful and influential than it was under President Bush, Kaletsky concludes.
  -- Read More >

Posted: 21 May 2009
Dennis Mullin ABROAD: Locked into its worst recession in post-war history, Japan, the world’s second largest economy, remains paralyzed by its domestic politics. As the LDP carries on with business as usual, the opposition is now in disarray, raising the prospect of the chance for much-needed change to slip away once again.

Bu Dennis Mullin


Japan's political world was recently rocked by the twin resignations of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan's leader, Ichiro Ozawa, and his top lieutenant, Yukio Hatoyama. Mr. Ozawa has spent the last 15 years forming a succession of parties in a quest to dethrone the Liberal Democratic Party from its position atop Japanese politics -- a spot it has held for the past half-century.

SCANDAL: Just when it looked like he would achieve his goal, a fundraising scandal involving his top aide has apparently brought him down. Whether his foibles will doom his party's chances to reshape Japan's political map remains to be seen.

Michael Auslin of the American Enterprise Institute, in a new analysis, notes that Japan's political system has been in flux for the better part of the last decade and a half, in no small part due to Ozawa. The LDP received an electoral boost during the 2001-2006 administration of the popular Junichiro Koizumi, who as recently as this month topped a public opinion poll that asked who should become Japan's next prime minister. Since Mr. Koizumi stepped down, the LDP has hemorrhaged support, with two prime ministers in a row resigning due to political paralysis and scandal.

LOW SUPPORT: Current Prime Minister Taro Aso saw his public support plummet to less than 20 percent until Ozawa's scandal hit in March. Since then, Aso's numbers have inched up (yet are still under 30 percent), while Ozawa's have dropped. Ozawa resigned in the name of "party unity" and to boost the chances that the DPJ will win a majority later this year in Japan's powerful lower house of parliament.

If this happens, the DPJ would control both houses and gain the premiership. Political pundits claim Ozawa's resignation is just what the DPJ needs to put a fresh face at the top of its ticket and appeal to voters tired of the same old clubby politics. Yet Japan's political future may not be decided so simply, for several reasons.

First, no one is sure how Japan's voters will react to Ozawa's resignation over the medium-term. They may be more likely to view the DPJ as little more than a clone of the LDP, with the same corruption problems, lack of stable leadership and inability to focus on the real issues of concern to the public, such as health, education and economic opportunity.

FEW DIFFERENCES: Indeed, one of the DPJ's main problems is that it was founded and largely populated by ex-LDP members, and many Japanese voters see it as little different from the ruling party. Ozawa labored in recent years to change that impression, largely through an aggressive platform of support for working families, shrinking the income gap, and talking about greater independence from the United States. That platform helped the DPJ take control of the upper house of parliament in July 2007, thus bringing about a period of political paralysis in Japan.

Secondly, the DPJ itself is riven with factions, largely between the older guard represented by Messrs. Ozawa and Hatoyama, young turks like Seiji Maehara and Akihisa Nagashima and former members of Japan's Socialist Party. While ex-DPJ head Katsuya Okada is considered a front-runner to replace Ozawa, party members locked out of the ruling circle until now could also challenge for the leadership.

UP FOR GRABS: Moreover, without Ozawa at the helm, the party's platform may be up for grabs, potentially diluting its message to voters. The DPJ also has had trouble in the past fielding candidates in all precincts, and its current woes may make it difficult to attract fresh talent.

No one, however, should think that Ozawa's resignation is the break for which the ruling LDP has been waiting. The LDP has been on the defensive for the past two years and shows no signs of finding new leadership or policies that appeal to the average voter. Aso has a hold on power within his party largely because no one else is interested in captaining a ship so obviously taking on water.

Few analysts believe the LDP can maintain its two-thirds majority in parliament in elections this year. It will either slip into the minority or maintain a bare majority that will be flummoxed by the stonewalling tactics the DPJ has used effectively since 2007.

LUKEWARM: It may yet turn out that the thought of a new DPJ leadership is enough to drive a majority of voters over to the opposition. However, Japan's electorate might also become lukewarm to both parties and vote to largely keep the system as it is. That would be the worst possible outcome, for it would mean continued policy paralysis in the world's second-largest economy and an endless focus on winning the next election.

Auslin concludes that Japan, which is in the midst of its worst recession in postwar history, desperately needs aggressive action to stabilize its economy. It also needs to reassure its partners, especially the U.S., that it will remain engaged in regional and global issues, carry through commitments to support military realignment with the U.S., and play a role in global economic recovery. If the new leader of the DPJ can do that, then his party very well might win a victory that puts Japan on a new road.
  -- Read More >

Posted: 21 May 2009
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Dennis Mullin Obama's "policies are polarizing the electorate in eveything from taxes, to regulations to the role of religion. Do Republicans face 40 years in excile?"   -- Read More >
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Posted: 30 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin GLOBAL WATCH: The Mideast is in turmoil again, with riots breaking out worldwide against Israel’s actions in Gaza. Meanwhile, the Russians are now confidently predicting the total demise and breakup of the American republic.  -- Read More >
Posted: 30 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin The Mideast is in turmoil again, with riots breaking out worldwide against Israel’s actions in Gaza. Meanwhile, the Russians are now confidently predicting the total demise and breakup of the American republic   -- Read More >
Posted: 29 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin Test   -- Read More >
Posted: 29 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin HOMELAND SECURITY: In a little less than a month, Washington will host the U.S. presidential inauguration, during which Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president. The event is of major historical importance, as the first African-American to assume the nation’s highest office, also brings with it considerable security concerns.  -- Read More >
Posted: 25 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin THE MEDIA: It may have been right about the election outcome, but the mainstream press got a lot wrong last year. Its credibility is at an all time low, helping to explain why it is in such dire economic straits and few think they have to read the paper.  -- Read More >
Posted: 25 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin THE MEDIA: It may have been right about the election outcome, but the mainstream press got a lot wrong last year. Its credibility is at an all time low, helping to explain why it is in such dire economic straits and few think they have to read the paper.   -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: The Obamistas try to limit expectations as the realities of the economic troubles hit home. A quick turnaround is highly unlikely, and they don’t want to be blamed for that, as the realities also bring some revisionism on the Bush political record.  -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: The Obamistas try to limit expectations as the realities of the economic troubles hit home. A quick turnaround is highly unlikely, and they don’t want to be blamed for that, as the realities also bring some revisionism on the Bush political record.  -- Read More >
Posted: 22 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin TECHNOLOGY: Much of the debate over energy policy and the auto industry will hinge on what technology goes into the automobile of the future. The cost will be enormous and the choices difficult to make and crucial to the economy.



By Dennis Mullin




How will the car of the future be powered -- by a hydrogen fuel cell, a lithium-ion battery, ethanol, liquefied natural gas? Or by something else entirely? Billions of dollars have been invested in the competing technologies, and billions more will be spent. But the winner in this race won't be decided for years. So how do executives in the auto industry decide what technology to back? The right choice can turn a newcomer into a powerhouse. The wrong choice can hobble even an established industry giant.

COMPLEX: Perhaps the most important element is which new technologies the car makers choose to embrace. There are competing visions of what should drive the next generation of autos. The contending technologies are more-complex than conventional wisdom suggests. To make the right decisions, executives need to understand some important patterns of technological evolution. In trying to figure out which technology to back, companies often make some fundamental mistakes.

In a survey, the Wall Street Journal says that in particular, executives fail to distinguish among different levels of technology, with the result that they focus too much on one level and get tripped up by changes in another level. They assume technological performance follows a standard path -- from innovation to obsolescence. It often doesn't.

INNOVATION: Too often, they fail to recognize that technological innovations shape consumers' tastes, not mere whims. In the end, it turns out, companies are often better off betting on more than one horse. The crucial challenges the companies face are identifying the technologies that will drive markets choices, and not adopting market-changing technology too eagerly or abandoning another one too quickly, and underestimating the effect of new technologies on consumers' tastes.

Executives first need to distinguish among three different levels of technological innovation: platform, design and component. A platform is an underlying technology that relies on a unique scientific principle. For example, in displays for television sets, there are four different platform technologies: cathode-ray tube, or CRT; liquid-crystal display, or LCD; organic light-emitting diode, or OLED; and plasma. Each uses a different scientific principle to form an image on a screen.

Any platform can support a number of design innovations. LCDs, for instance, come in a variety of sizes. Moreover, a variety of component innovations can be used in any design. LCDs can be made of glass or plastic, for example. Innovation occurs almost constantly at the level of design and components, absorbing firm’s attention as they look for ways to best their competitors. Platform innovations are less frequent. But when they do occur, they have the potential to transform markets, not just give an edge to one competitor.

DANGERS: One great danger is to be so immersed in design and component innovation that they miss out on a platform innovation. For example, while Sony Corp. focused on improving its CRT television sets, a market it dominated, rival Samsung invested heavily in flat-screen LCD TVs. As the market for LCD TVs grew, Sony fell behind its rivals and ended up entering into a joint venture with Samsung to build liquid-crystal displays.

Another mistake to avoid is to assume that all technologies follow a standard progression.
The conventional wisdom is that the performance of any technology is initially low, then improves rapidly after some breakthrough, and ultimately levels out in maturity. A new technology's performance supposedly starts below that of the established technology, surpasses it after the breakthrough and then remains superior until the next innovation.

Literature on the subject has encouraged managers to embrace a new technology once it begins to show rapid improvement, and to abandon the old technology because it is destined to become obsolete. Rarely do businesses have innovation activities that integrate distinctive knowledge from around the world as effectively as global supply chains integrate far-flung sources of raw materials, labor, components and services.

NOT SIMPLE: But technological evolution is much messier than this simple pattern suggest. For instance, new technologies sometimes enter the market with better performance than the existing ones, only to fall behind before later regaining the lead. That's the case for external lighting. When gas-discharge lighting, which is used in fluorescent tubes, was introduced in 1930, it was brighter per watt than the existing arc-discharge lighting, which is used in street lamps, and it maintained that superiority for 40 years, until improvements in arc-discharge lighting made it the brightest per watt again.

Then, in 1980, gas discharge made its biggest jump in performance so far, again surpassing arc discharge in brightness per watt. Both technologies have gone through several long periods of stagnation followed by sharp improvements in performance.

When one technology is growing rapidly, it's easy to get caught up and over invest in it. However, the unpredictability and impermanence in this and other markets suggests that companies should consider investing in, or at least monitoring, a portfolio of technologies so they aren't alterable by a sudden improvement in one or another.

Consider the competition between ink-jet and laser technology in the printer market. When the two technologies were introduced in the mid-1980s, laser was far superior to ink-jet in resolution. Ink-jet quickly caught up, but didn't surpass laser's resolution. Then, in the mid-1990s, laser again took a significant lead. But ink-jet surpassed laser in resolution in 1997 and has maintained that edge. All the while, printer maker Hewlett-Packard Co. continued to sell both ink-jet and laser printers, putting itself in the best position to succeed in a shifting market.

COMPLICATED SHIFTS: Investment decisions are further complicated by shifts in the metrics by which consumers evaluate products. The conventional wisdom is that these changes are random -- the result of consumers' whims. But that's not the case. For example, in displays, in the 1970s and 1980s, when CRT was the sole platform, consumers judged competing products on resolution. When LCDs came on the scene they excited interest in thinness and lightness. In the 1990s, when plasma emerged, it got consumers interested in brightness and screen size. Now, OLED, a technology that allows flexible screens, has introduced convenience as a potential deciding factor for consumers.

The challenge for managers is to see these changes coming. That means, first, watching carefully for any emerging technologies that might apply to their market, and then comparing these new technologies with the existing platforms at regular intervals. How do the new technologies measure up in the features that current technologies provide? Progress in performance over time may show a growing threat to the existing technologies. And second, how might the new technologies' strengths in other features change what consumers will look for?

SHARP EYE: That means keeping a sharp eye on other markets. Companies are often taken by surprise because a new technology doesn't compete directly at first with the existing technologies in their market. LCD displays didn't compete directly with CRTs for many years because they didn't offer high enough resolution. The technology was initially used for pocket calculators, digital watches and other small electronic devices.

But improvements in resolution eventually allowed it to be used in computer monitors and televisions. Today, the demand for LCD screens outstrips the demand for CRT screens. A manager who monitored LCD technology's progress in small electronics might have anticipated its entry into other markets. In the cars of the future, lithium-ion batteries are currently the most efficient of several alternatives for powering cars with electricity, but that superiority emerged only in the past couple of years and it took many companies in the auto industry by surprise.

Companies might have predicted the emergence of lithium-ion batteries in the auto market by monitoring the technology's performance outside that market. Lithium-ion batteries were initially used in portable electronic products like laptop computers, cellphones and cordless power tools. Their performance in those devices improved drastically in the years just before they soared to the top of the efficiency ratings in cars.

COMPETITIVENESS: Lithium-ion batteries also have other strengths that bolster their competitiveness, including safety, ease of recharging and relatively low cost -- strengths that would be apparent to companies that examine competing technologies on the basis of several performance criteria. Of course, there is no guarantee that lithium-ion technology will retain its position as the most efficient alternative for car batteries. Other existing technologies might jump ahead, or a new technology might change the market. But managers who understand how technologies evolve and compete with each other will be in a strong position to figure it all out.
  -- Read More >
Posted: 22 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin TECHNOLOGY: Much of the debate over energy policy and the auto industry will hinge on what technology goes into the automobile of the future. The cost will be enormous and the choices difficult to make and crucial to the economy.  -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin THE HEMISPHERE: James Monroe would be rolling over in his grave. Central and South American nations are meeting in Brazil with Cuba, Russia and China, and the U.S. is notably not invited. How concerned should Washington be about its own back yard?  -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin THE HEMISPHERE: James Monroe would be rolling over in his grave. Central and South American nations are meeting in Brazil with Cuba, Russia and China, and the U.S. is notably not invited. How concerned should Washington be about its own back yard?   -- Read More >
Posted: 17 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: Obama takes over amid an unprecedented economic crisis that also provides him with political goodwill and an unusual bipartisan opportunity. But history shows that unless he can control his own party, the Democratic advantage can doom him to repeat Carter’s mistakes.  -- Read More >
Posted: 17 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: Obama takes over amid an unprecedented economic crisis that also provides him with political goodwill and an unusual bipartisan opportunity. But history shows that unless he can control his own party, the Democratic advantage can doom him to repeat Carter’s mistakes.  -- Read More >
Posted: 15 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin HOMELAND SECURITY: Now the Pentagon wants the right to deploy troops inside the county. That has many civil libertarians alarmed that the anti-terror war has gone way too far. But is this really a threat or a necessary measure to assure order in times of crisis?

By Dennis Mullin   -- Read More >
Posted: 15 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin HOMELAND SECURITY: Now the Pentagon wants the right to deploy troops inside the county. That has many civil libertarians alarmed that the anti-terror war has gone way too far. But is this really a threat or a necessary measure to assure order in times of crisis?   -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin Test   -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin COMMODITIES: One of the painful side affects of higher gas prices, soaring commodity demands from China and India and the diversion to ethanol, has been the rising cost of food. At mid-year that sparked a global grain crisis. The pressure is easing, but is the respite temporary?   -- Read More >
Posted: 11 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin CYBERWARS: The threat to American security by cyber attacks is getting dangerously worse and must be addressed urgently by the new administration. There was an attack as recently as Nov. 22, and fixing the problem is so expensive that the threat is as much an economic one as a security danger.   -- Read More >
Posted: 11 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin CYBERWARS: The threat to American security by cyber attacks is getting dangerously worse and must be addressed urgently by the new administration. There was an attack as recently as Nov. 22, and fixing the problem is so expensive that the threat is as much an economic one as a security danger.   -- Read More >
Posted: 9 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: Obama promises more bad times ahead for the economy, and even more federal spending and bailouts, but the cupboard could soon run bare. Meanwhile liberals want yet more largesse, and are grumbling over his centrist cabinet choices.  -- Read More >
Posted: 9 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: Obama promises more bad times ahead for the economy, and even more federal spending and bailouts, but the cupboard could soon run bare. Meanwhile liberals want yet more largesse, and are grumbling over his centrist cabinet choices.   -- Read More >
Posted: 6 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: Is Obama already building a ruling coalition? History shows that a Presidency is defined by the ability to govern. For Bill Clinton that meant “triangulation,” and working with Republicans while largely ignoring the Democratic left. Obama’s selections so far, indicate he is following the same path but this time sooner rather than later.  -- Read More >
Posted: 6 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin

THE PRESIDENCY: Is Obama already building a ruling coalition? History shows that a Presidency is defined by the ability to govern. For Bill Clinton that meant “triangulation,” and working with Republicans while largely ignoring the Democratic left. Obama’s selections so far, indicate he is following the same path but this time sooner rather than later.  -- Read More >
Posted: 4 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin JIHAD STRIKES AGAIN: The attacks in Mumbai may create the first real foreign policy test for the new Obama administration. The terrorists achieved their goals by scrambling an already complicated geopolitical equation that could result in open warfare and presents the U.S. with some onerous choices.

By Dennis Mullin



The Islamic terrorists accomplished far more than mass chaos, in their attacks which left 174 dead and paralyzed the Indian city of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) for four days. They have set the stage for another Indo-Pakistani confrontation.

There is little doubt that the terrorists were trained in Pakistan and probably received support from that nation’s rogue intelligence services. India could now push its military forces forward all along the Indo-Pakistani frontier, move its nuclear forces to an alert level, begin shelling Pakistan, and perhaps -- given the seriousness of the situation -- attack short distances into the country or carry out airstrikes deep within Pakistan.

TRANSPARENCY: India will demand greater transparency for New Delhi in Pakistani intelligence operations. The Indians will not want to occupy Pakistani territory but they will want accountability from Pakistan’s security apparatus. Naturally, the Pakistanis will refuse that. There is no way they can give India, their main adversary, insight into Pakistani intelligence operations.

But without that access, India has no reason to trust Pakistan. This will leave the Indians in an odd position: They will be in a near-war posture, but will have made no demands of Pakistan that Islamabad can reasonably deliver and that would benefit India. In one sense, India will be gesturing. In another sense, India will be trapped by making a gesture on which Pakistan cannot deliver. The situation thus could get out of hand.

TALIBAN WINS Pakistanis certainly will withdraw forces from western Pakistan and deploy them in eastern Pakistan. That will cost the U.S. dearly as the Petraeus plan to control the Taliban in the tribal areas will dissolve. Washington’s expectation of greater Pakistani cooperation along the Afghan border will disappear along with the troops. This will free the Taliban from whatever limits the Pakistani army had placed on it.

The Taliban’s ability to fight would increase, while the motivation for any Taliban to enter peace talks would evaporate. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has suggested talks. Pressure on al Qaeda in the tribal areas would also decrease.

The attackers have weakened the Indian government facing elections next year. They have forced the Indian government to face an internal political crisis driving it toward a confrontation it didn’t plan on. The minimum Pakistani response will be a renewed Indo-Pakistani crisis and the withdrawal of forces from western Pakistan.

RICE’S ROLE: Third, sufficient pressure on Pakistan’s civilian government could cause it to collapse, opening the door to a military-Islamist government -- or it could see Pakistan collapse into chaos, giving Islamists security in various regions and an opportunity to reshape Pakistan.

Finally, the U.S.’ situation in Afghanistan has now become enormously more complex. Secretary of State Rice’s trip to India this week now becomes the crucial next step. She wants Indian restraint. She does not want the western Pakistani border to collapse. But she cannot guarantee what India must have: assurance of no further terror attacks on India originating in Pakistan.

Without that, India must do something. No Indian government could survive without some kind of action. So it is up to Rice, in one of her last acts as secretary of state, to come up with a miraculous solution to head off a final, catastrophic crisis for the Bush administration -- and a defining first crisis for the new Obama administration. Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once said that the enemy gets a vote. The Islamists cast their ballot in Mumbai with a profound vengeance.

TERROR: India has a serious terrorism problem. Last year India suffered over a thousand dead from terrorist attacks. Over 2,000 died in 2006. This carnage is exceeded only by Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. While Islamic terrorism, as in Mumbai, was a major source of deaths, it was not the only one.

The major source of Islamic terrorism in India is the Pakistani-backed campaign to drive Indians, particularly non-Moslem Indians, out of the disputed, by India and Pakistan, province of Kashmir (Jammu-Kashmir, as the lower portion of the state is largely Hindu.)

Kashmir, on the other side of a mountain range from Jammu, is largely Moslem, and Pakistan believes all of Kashmir (Pakistan invaded and seized northern Kashmir in the 1940s) should be theirs. Twenty years ago, Pakistan decided that terrorism was the only way to get Kashmir back. India has beaten Pakistan militarily in every war between them.

PAKISTAN BASED: The terrorist groups, which have bases and training camps in Pakistan, not only send terrorists across the border into Indian Kashmir but have also been responsible for about two-thirds of the deaths from Islamic terrorism in the rest of India. It was Kashmir-based terrorists who carried out the Mumbai atrocities.

The Pakistani-based terrorists have also caused the growth of similar, but smaller, groups inside India (which has 150 million Moslems). The Kashmir terrorism campaign has largely failed, and the number of active terrorists there has been dwindling over the past few years. This has apparently played a part it carrying out attacks elsewhere in India.

Only some parts of the Pakistani government back these terrorists, as most Pakistanis realize that too much Pakistani-based Islamic terrorism inside India could trigger a major war with India. Since both nations now have nuclear weapons, this could get very ugly. The Islamic terrorists don't care, as they are on a mission from God.

OTHERS AS WELL: Tribal separatists in northeast India are another major source of terrorist deaths. The northeastern tribal territories only became part of India when the British colonial government departed in 1947. The tribes resent this, as they do the growing flood of migrants from other parts of India. The terrorism is directed largely at these immigrants. There used to be over 5,000 active and armed separatists, but counter-terror operations, and an amnesty program have reduced the number to under a thousand.

The third source of terrorism is in eastern India, where communist (Maoist) rebels seek to establish a communist dictatorship. There 5-10,000 armed Maoists out in the countryside, where they battle counter-terrorism forces and locals who violently disagree with the Maoists goals and methods. India uses a special force (165,000-man Central Reserve Police Force), the army, and several intelligence agencies to battle their terrorism problems. These groups have been recognized as "international terrorists," and are subject to prosecution overseas.
  -- Read More >
Posted: 4 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin JIHAD STRIKES AGAIN: The attacks in Mumbai may create the first real foreign policy test for the new Obama administration. The terrorists achieved their goals by scrambling an already complicated geopolitical equation that could result in open warfare and presents the U.S. with some onerous choices.

By Dennis Mullin


The Islamic terrorists accomplished far more than mass chaos, in their attacks which left 174 dead and paralyzed the Indian city of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) for four days. They have set the stage for another Indo-Pakistani confrontation.

There is little doubt that the terrorists were trained in Pakistan and probably received support from that nation’s rogue intelligence services. India could now push its military forces forward all along the Indo-Pakistani frontier, move its nuclear forces to an alert level, begin shelling Pakistan, and perhaps -- given the seriousness of the situation -- attack short distances into the country or carry out airstrikes deep within Pakistan.

TRANSPARENCY: India will demand greater transparency for New Delhi in Pakistani intelligence operations. The Indians will not want to occupy Pakistani territory but they will want accountability from Pakistan’s security apparatus. Naturally, the Pakistanis will refuse that. There is no way they can give India, their main adversary, insight into Pakistani intelligence operations.

But without that access, India has no reason to trust Pakistan. This will leave the Indians in an odd position: They will be in a near-war posture, but will have made no demands of Pakistan that Islamabad can reasonably deliver and that would benefit India. In one sense, India will be gesturing. In another sense, India will be trapped by making a gesture on which Pakistan cannot deliver. The situation thus could get out of hand.

TALIBAN WINS Pakistanis certainly will withdraw forces from western Pakistan and deploy them in eastern Pakistan. That will cost the U.S. dearly as the Petraeus plan to control the Taliban in the tribal areas will dissolve. Washington’s expectation of greater Pakistani cooperation along the Afghan border will disappear along with the troops. This will free the Taliban from whatever limits the Pakistani army had placed on it.

The Taliban’s ability to fight would increase, while the motivation for any Taliban to enter peace talks would evaporate. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has suggested talks. Pressure on al Qaeda in the tribal areas would also decrease.

The attackers have weakened the Indian government facing elections next year. They have forced the Indian government to face an internal political crisis driving it toward a confrontation it didn’t plan on. The minimum Pakistani response will be a renewed Indo-Pakistani crisis and the withdrawal of forces from western Pakistan.

RICE’S ROLE: Third, sufficient pressure on Pakistan’s civilian government could cause it to collapse, opening the door to a military-Islamist government -- or it could see Pakistan collapse into chaos, giving Islamists security in various regions and an opportunity to reshape Pakistan.

Finally, the U.S.’ situation in Afghanistan has now become enormously more complex. Secretary of State Rice’s trip to India this week now becomes the crucial next step. She wants Indian restraint. She does not want the western Pakistani border to collapse. But she cannot guarantee what India must have: assurance of no further terror attacks on India originating in Pakistan.

Without that, India must do something. No Indian government could survive without some kind of action. So it is up to Rice, in one of her last acts as secretary of state, to come up with a miraculous solution to head off a final, catastrophic crisis for the Bush administration -- and a defining first crisis for the new Obama administration. Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once said that the enemy gets a vote. The Islamists cast their ballot in Mumbai with a profound vengeance.

TERROR: India has a serious terrorism problem. Last year India suffered over a thousand dead from terrorist attacks. Over 2,000 died in 2006. This carnage is exceeded only by Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. While Islamic terrorism, as in Mumbai, was a major source of deaths, it was not the only one.

The major source of Islamic terrorism in India is the Pakistani-backed campaign to drive Indians, particularly non-Moslem Indians, out of the disputed, by India and Pakistan, province of Kashmir (Jammu-Kashmir, as the lower portion of the state is largely Hindu.)

Kashmir, on the other side of a mountain range from Jammu, is largely Moslem, and Pakistan believes all of Kashmir (Pakistan invaded and seized northern Kashmir in the 1940s) should be theirs. Twenty years ago, Pakistan decided that terrorism was the only way to get Kashmir back. India has beaten Pakistan militarily in every war between them.

PAKISTAN BASED: The terrorist groups, which have bases and training camps in Pakistan, not only send terrorists across the border into Indian Kashmir but have also been responsible for about two-thirds of the deaths from Islamic terrorism in the rest of India. It was Kashmir-based terrorists who carried out the Mumbai atrocities.

The Pakistani-based terrorists have also caused the growth of similar, but smaller, groups inside India (which has 150 million Moslems). The Kashmir terrorism campaign has largely failed, and the number of active terrorists there has been dwindling over the past few years. This has apparently played a part it carrying out attacks elsewhere in India.

Only some parts of the Pakistani government back these terrorists, as most Pakistanis realize that too much Pakistani-based Islamic terrorism inside India could trigger a major war with India. Since both nations now have nuclear weapons, this could get very ugly. The Islamic terrorists don't care, as they are on a mission from God.

OTHERS AS WELL: Tribal separatists in northeast India are another major source of terrorist deaths. The northeastern tribal territories only became part of India when the British colonial government departed in 1947. The tribes resent this, as they do the growing flood of migrants from other parts of India. The terrorism is directed largely at these immigrants. There used to be over 5,000 active and armed separatists, but counter-terror operations, and an amnesty program have reduced the number to under a thousand.

The third source of terrorism is in eastern India, where communist (Maoist) rebels seek to establish a communist dictatorship. There 5-10,000 armed Maoists out in the countryside, where they battle counter-terrorism forces and locals who violently disagree with the Maoists goals and methods. India uses a special force (165,000-man Central Reserve Police Force), the army, and several intelligence agencies to battle their terrorism problems. These groups have been recognized as "international terrorists," and are subject to prosecution overseas.
  -- Read More >
Posted: 2 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: Obama’s new national security team follows a familiar pattern – enough stability not to rock any boats and enough promises of a new direction to indicate dynamic leadership. But there are traces of the same old Democrat song.   -- Read More >
Posted: 2 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: Obama’s new national security team follows a familiar pattern – enough stability not to rock any boats and enough promises of a new direction to indicate dynamic leadership. But there are traces of the same old Democrat song.   -- Read More >
Posted: 1 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin CHINA AND CYBERWARS: Recently, there have been more new reports of Chinese cyber spies penetrating government computer networks, even at the White House and the Pentagon, reading classified material and e-mail. Unfortunately experts say that's only the beginning of it.   -- Read More >
Posted: 1 Dec 2008
Dennis Mullin CHINA AND CYBERWARS: Recently, there have been more new reports of Chinese cyber spies penetrating government computer networks, even at the White House and the Pentagon, reading classified material and e-mail. Unfortunately experts say that's only the beginning of it.<   -- Read More >
Posted: 29 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin

GEOPOLITICS: The landmark election of a child of immigrants from Indonesia and Kenya to the Presidency is sign enough of the changes that are taking place in the world. The globalization of the plant is continuing apace, financial crises and modern- day piracy aside, and as a result, the role of America as the world’s sole superpower will wane.   -- Read More >

Posted: 29 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin

GEOPOLITICS: The landmark election of a child of immigrants from Indonesia and Kenya to the Presidency is sign enough of the changes that are taking place in the world. The globalization of the plant is continuing apace, financial crises and modern- day piracy aside, and as a result, the role of America as the world’s sole superpower will wane.


By Dennis Mullin

American economic and political clout will decline over the next two decades and the world will be more dangerous, with food and water scarce and advanced weapons plentiful, a new National Intelligence Council analysis "Global Trends 2025" says.



The outlook is intended to inform U.S. President-elect Obama of factors that will influence global events. It is based on a year-long global survey of experts and trends by U.S. intelligence analysts.



GREAT RISKS: The U.S. dollar's role as the world's major currency would weaken to become a "first among equals," the report said, and "The next 20 years of transition to a new system are fraught with risks." The assessment was more pessimistic about U.S. influence and the potential for conflict than the last outlook for 2020.



Thomas Fingar, chairman of the intelligence council and deputy national director of intelligence said harmful outcomes were not inevitable. "It is not beyond the mind of human beings, or political systems, (or) in some cases (the) working of market mechanisms to address and alleviate if not solve these problems," Fingar told reporters. "If that happens, we could have a better world in 2025."



China and India, following a "state capitalism" economic model, are likely to join the U.S. atop a multi-polar world and compete for influence, the report said.

Russia's potential is less certain, depending on its energy wealth and internal investment. But Iran, Turkey and Indonesia are also seen gaining power.



POTENTIAL FOR CONFLICT: A world with multiple power centers has historically been less stable than one with a single or two rival superpowers, and there is a growing potential for conflict, the report said. Global warming will be felt, and water, food and energy constraints may fuel conflict over resources.



"Strategic rivalries are most likely to revolve around trade, investments and technological innovation and acquisition, but we cannot rule out a 19th century-like scenario of arms races, territorial expansion and military rivalries," the report said. "Types of conflict we have not seen for a while -- such as over resources -- could reemerge," it said.



Global wealth is seen shifting from the developed West to the energy-rich Gulf States and Russia, and to Asia, the rising center of manufacturing and some service industries.

Global rich-poor disparities will grow, leaving Africa vulnerable to increased instability. A reordering of the world financial system is also happening faster than the report's authors envisioned, Fingar said.



MAJOR SHIFTS: The recent Group of 20 summit of advanced and major developing countries in Washington showed work had begun, he said. A shift away from an oil-based energy system will be underway or complete by 2025. Better renewable technologies such as solar and wind power offer the best opportunity for a quick and low-cost transition, the report said.



There is a greater, but still small, risk of nuclear attack, based on spreading technologies and the weakening of international nonproliferation systems. If Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons, Fingar said, that could set off an arms race in the Middle East, which is considered in the report as an "arc of instability." The risk that militant groups will use biological weapons is greater than the risk of nuclear terrorism, the report said.





TERRORISM: The appeal of terrorism could decline over the next two decades, particularly if Middle Eastern countries provide productive education and opportunities for their young people, the report said. With a growing population, the pool of potential terrorism recruits is likely to be larger, and access to dangerous weapons will rise. But al-Qaeda could decay "sooner than people think,” it adds, citing the group's growing unpopularity in the Muslim world. "The prospect that al-Qaeda will be among the small number of groups able to transcend the generational timeline is not high, given its harsh ideology, unachievable objectives and inability to become a mass movement," it says.



On other observations: The EU is meanwhile predicted to become a "hobbled giant," unable to turn its economic power into diplomatic or military muscle. "Strategic rivalries are most likely to revolve into types of conflict we have not seen for a while. Such conflicts and resource shortages could lead to the collapse of governments in Africa and South Asia, and the rise of organized crime in Eastern and Central Europe, it adds.

  -- Read More >

Posted: 27 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin FUTURE WATCH: Obama gets some interesting advice from physicists on how to deal with upcoming problems, and they include some surprises. The terror threat is being misread; the energy answer is not in hydrogen or electric batteries but in nuclear power, and manned space research may be a waste.

  -- Read More >
Posted: 27 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin FUTURE WATCH: Obama gets some interesting advice from physicists on how to deal with upcoming problems, and they include some surprises. The terror threat is being misread; the energy answer is not in hydrogen or electric batteries but in nuclear power, and manned space research may be a waste.


  -- Read More >
Posted: 25 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin

THE PRESIDENCY: Now the debate over how far Obama should go begins. Liberals are already accusing him of selling out to Washington, by selecting former Clinton administration officials to top posts. Moderates and conservatives are so far relieved that he seems to be heading for a middle course.

  -- Read More >
Posted: 25 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin

THE PRESIDENCY: Now the debate over how far Obama should go begins. Liberals are already accusing him of selling out to Washington, by selecting former Clinton administration officials to top posts. Moderates and debate over how far Obama should go begins. Liberals are already accusing him of selling out to Washingtonthat he seems to be heading for a middle course.   -- Read More >

Posted: 23 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin THE HEMISPHERE: Russia is aggressively courting Central and South America, determined to make it our “near abroad” problem. More people were killed along the border with Mexico last year than there have been U.S. fatalities in Iraq since the war began in 2003. The violence will spread north, as America’s wars get closer to home.

  -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin THE HEMISPHERE: Russia is aggressively courting Central and South America, determined to make it our “near abroad” problem. More people were killed along the border with Mexico last year than there have been U.S. fatalities in Iraq since the war began in 2003. The violence will spread north, as America’s wars get closer to home.

  -- Read More >
Posted: 20 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin THE MEDIA: The mainstream press got is way and won the election. Now it is time to pay the piper as the industry takes financial hits amid its outright errors and mythmaking. The online world might not be so hospitable to the “new journalism.”   -- Read More >
Posted: 20 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin THE MEDIA: The mainstream press got is way and won the election. Now it is time to pay the piper as the industry takes financial hits amid its outright errors and mythmaking. The online world might not be so hospitable to the “new journalism.”   -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: Obama faces a daunting task as the G-20 economic summit that tied Washington in knots over the weekend illustrates. National security and the economy are on the top of his list as he starts putting his new government together.   -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: Obama faces a daunting task as the G-20 economic summit tied Washington in knots over the weekend illustrates. National security and the economy are on the top of his list as he starts putting his new government together.   -- Read More >
Posted: 15 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin ENVIRONMENT: The nation is undergoing a cold winter, one which the Farmer’s Almanac predicts will be far worse than normal. Many scientists see global cooling as a bigger immediate threat than global warming, but that is to speak heresy in the scientific community, where political correctness has replaced basic research as the standard. So said the late Michael Crichton.  -- Read More >
Posted: 15 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin ENVIRONMENT: The nation is undergoing a cold winter, one which the Farmer’s Almanac predicts will be far worse than normal. Many scientists see global cooling as a bigger immediate threat than global warming, but that is to speak heresy in the scientific community, where political correctness has replaced basic research as the standard. So said the late Michael Crichton.  -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: First up is the auto-industry crisis, and Democrats are already demanding that aid be provided to help the Big Three from going under. There is some money in the bailout, but the solution remains unclear. Deflation fears.   -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin THE PRESIDENCY: First up is the auto-industry crisis, and Democrats are already demanding that aid be provided to help the Big Three from going under. There is some money in the bailout, but the solution remains unclear. Deflation fears.   -- Read More >
Posted: 11 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin

THE PRESIDENCY: The race is over and the big question is: Now What? Will President Obama be a practical task-master that can pull the nation together, or will he be an ideologue that ignites the 2012 race tomorrow? The answer will become clear soon, as the nation’s problems must be addressed with dispatch.   -- Read More >

Posted: 11 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin

THE PRESIDENCY: The race is over and the big question is: Now What? Will President Obama be a practical task-master that can pull the nation together, or will he be an ideologue that ignites the 2012 race tomorrow? The answer will become clear soon, as the nation’s problems must be addressed with dispatch.
  -- Read More >

Posted: 10 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin NATIONAL SECURITY: Americans now feel safer than at any time since 9/11. Experts share some of the optimism, but warn that another major attack by Islamists is a near certainty.   -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin NATIONAL SECURITY: Americans now feel safer than at any time since 9/11. Experts share some of the optimism, but warn that another major attack by Islamists is a near certainty.   -- Read More >
Posted: 8 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin SHOWDOWNS? The new President barely heard the election results when Iran issued a nasty threat against any American over-flights of its territory, presumably referring to incidents over Syria weeks ago. Will Obama be tested early and often?   -- Read More >
Posted: 8 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin SHOWDOWNS? The new President barely heard the election results when Iran issued a nasty threat against any American over-flights of its territory, presumably referring to incidents over Syria weeks ago. Will Obama be tested early and often?   -- Read More >
Posted: 6 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin

HISTORIC WIN: Obama sweeps to his expected historic victory, but the Democrats fall short of the overwhelming mandate for radical change they had hoped for. During the honeymoon period, key appointments will be watched carefully for signals of whether or not the President-elect he will ignore, or run to the political center.

The national election Tuesday was not only historic for the election of the first African-American president in the nation's history but also for how little the avalanche of Democratic votes changed the political alignment in Congress.

The first Democratic Electoral College landslide (349-163) in decades did not result in a tight race for control of Congress. When Franklin D. Roosevelt won his second term for president in 1936, the defeated Republican candidate, Gov. Alf Landon of Kansas, won only two states, Maine and Vermont, and Democrats controlled both houses of Congress by wide margins. Ronald Reagan won every state but one in 1984.

But Obama's win was nothing like that. He may have opened the door to enactment of the long-deferred liberal agenda with his 52-16 percent win (about what the polls had predicted), but he neither received a broad mandate from the public nor the large congressional majorities needed for the overwhelming mandate for radical change the pundits had predicted..

SMALLER GAINS: The Democrats fell far short of the 60-vote filibuster-proof Senate that they were seeking and also failed to get rid of a key Senate target, Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. They gained five seats in the Senate (with some still being counted) and 19 in the House, fewer than their planned gains of 10 and 50 seats respectively and short of the filibuster-proof numbers they had hoped for.

Republicans, though discouraged by the election's outcome which they blame largely on the financial crisis on Wall Street which came when the candidates were tied, still believe Obama will be in a tough spot. He must move to enact his ultra-liberal agenda, particularly to meet the demands of minorities and organized labor, while maintaining his popular majority, which he considers to be centrist.

The signs that he will initially run to the center came in the first appointments he has been considering. Word that Obama has offered the White House chief of staff job to Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., point in that direction. Emanuel, is a sharp-tongued, sharp-elbowed, keenly intelligent veteran of the Clinton White House who is said to have ambitions to be Speaker of the House. But he also was a strong supporter of Clinton’s “triangulation” strategy of ruling from the center while seeking Republican support.

EXPERIENCE: Emanuel’s experience and the hard, cold realities of the financial crisis have also given an indication that Obama will be careful not to rock too many boats right out of the gate. John Podesta, a former White House chief of staff under President Clinton, and a known pragmatist and political conciliatory, has been leading quiet conversations about key positions, especially those relating to the economy, another indication that Obama will be tying to build a moderate, experienced team.

MARKETS: The markets had expected the outcome, and largely treated the election as a non-event in Wednesday's trading, with the Dow closing down steeply again. "It's virtually all technical, psychological, and very little to do with politics," said Jack A. Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank. "Everyone was buying the rumor yesterday and selling the news today.”

The market had not only anticipated an Obama victory, but a much greater Democratic sweep, so cooler heads appear to have prevailed,” Harris says. “Everything pretty much occurred as expected, so most investors are focusing on the Labor Department's October employment report Friday and other broader indicators.”

The next step is to look forward at what sectors of the economy are likely to prosper under Democrats. Traditionally the markets have fared about the same as a result of which party holds power, but the economic emphasis is always different.

The key markets sectors being watched are alternative energy, healthcare, defense and finance. A snapshot of analysts' views on what some individual stocks might do:

b>ENERGY: Many in the sector see an increase in government support coming for alternative technologies. Shares of solar energy companies, beaten down by credit worries and the drop in crude oil prices, have surged in anticipation of a policy focus. Suntech Power Holdings, JS Solar Holdings, First Solar Inc, and SunPower Corp are all up by more than 50 percent in the past week. Shares of Denmark's Vestas, the world's No. 1 wind turbine maker are up by nearly two-thirds in that time.

Experts also see natural gas for electricity generation and industry as key to the energy plans. A drive for more hybrid cars would benefit Energy Conversion Devices Inc, which patented the nickel metal hydride storage technology used in hybrid electric vehicles. Other possible winners are Swiss company Landis+Gyr, which received $1.1 billion in new financing in June and had been looking at floating shares. California-based Silver Spring Networks, which just got $75 million in venture capital funding, and Pittsburgh-based BPL Global are also seen beneficiaries.

DEFENSE: U.S. defense contractors thrive as well during Democratic administrations, if not better, than in Republican ones, and the likely election of Obama as president offers no hint of being an exception. Likely beneficiaries include companies with long-term contracts building fighters, bombers, warships and missiles -- the bread and butter for Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and other big contractors.

Likely losers in the event of an Obama win are companies with lucrative contracts supplying U.S. forces in Iraq, such as bullet-maker Alliant Techsystems, armor plate maker Ceradyne, or large contractors making fighting vehicles such as General Dynamics Corp and BAE Systems Plc.

Boeing looks like a winner, given Democrats' staunch support for the company in its effort to win a controversial $35 billion refueling tanker contract, which will be put up for grabs again next year.

HEALTH CARE: It may be tempting for investors in pharmaceutical and biotech stocks to rush for the exits if a Democratic administration takes over the White House, but drugmakers are about to prove once again why they are a safe haven.

Major decisions on how to cope with the credit crisis are likely to dominate U.S. government thinking in the New Year, bumping down healthcare reform on the priority list for the new president and members of Congress. That spells relative stability for drug stocks, which is attractive to investors seeking safety after a terrible October for the stock market, one of the worst months on record.

Additionally, there are other stocks likely to benefit, including stem cell companies. Obama has voted to overturn current limits on federal funding for stem cell research. That has pushed up the shares of Geron Corp 33 percent over the past week. Shares of Aastrom Biosciences Inc and StemCells Inc have doubled.

TELCOMS: The Democratic win may clear the way for changes to Internet policy sought by Google that would bar Internet providers from discriminating against some Web content. The "net neutrality" issue pits Internet service providers (ISPs) like Comcast and AT&T against content companies like Google and Microsoft.

FINANCE: Democrats are certain to try to help bank customers more, particularly as they try to deal with an economic downturn. Banks may face pressure to renegotiate mortgages to help borrowers avoid foreclosure, and to curb or lower fees on credit cards. That could drive down margins at a time many lenders are scrambling for deposits by offering high yields. Some banks are not waiting for Washington to act before taking steps they say will help struggling borrowers.

JPMorgan Chase, for example, last week announced plans to modify up to $70 billion of mortgages, including from the former units of Washington Mutual that it acquired in September. Bank of America, which bought mortgage lending giant Countrywide Financial Corp in July, adopted a similar program under pressure from regulators.

UNKNOWNS: What lies ahead from Wall Street to Main Street is a great unknown. Seldom if ever, has anyone been elected President, which so many people know so very little about. Obama won a campaign loaded with platitudes and short of specifics. His promises of change and unity never went beyond that – promises and words.

What he will actually do in office remains very much of a mystery, and Obama could turn out just as easily to be a Ronald Reagan or a Jimmy Carter are the extremes, or a Bill Clinton in the mediocre center.

Realclearpolitics.com says: “The Democrats have a mandate to take the country in a new direction. Less obvious is the scope and shape of this new direction. Expanded Democratic majorities give President-elect Obama both the muscle and the latitude to enact a wide variety of legislation that will help flesh out some of the vague aspects of Obama's call for change that carried him to victory.”

“Over the course of the two year campaign, Obama captured the imagination of the American people with his soaring rhetoric of hope and his calls for bipartisan unity. Now, he'll need to use every ounce of his considerable political skill to help guide the country through the host of challenges America currently faces.”
  -- Read More >

Posted: 6 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin

HISTORIC WIN: Obama sweeps to his expected historic victory, but the Democrats fall short of the overwhelming mandate for radical change they had hoped for. During the honeymoon period, key appointments will be watched carefully for signals of whether or not the President-elect he will ignore, or run to the political center.  -- Read More >

Posted: 3 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin

ZERO HOUR: Finally the end is near. In two days American will have a new President. The polls show an overwhelming Obama win, with the nation veering, perhaps radically, toward the left.   -- Read More >

Posted: 3 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin

ZERO HOUR: Finally the end is near. In two days American will have a new President. The polls show an overwhelming Obama win, with the US veering, perhaps radically, toward the left.   -- Read More >

Posted: 2 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin ASIA’S CARRY TRADE: As the economic malaise spreads worldwide, the new President will have a lot more on his plate than Wall Street woes. The global financial system is so inter-related its everyone’s problem, as Asia’s “carry trade” shows.  -- Read More >
Posted: 2 Nov 2008
Dennis Mullin Asia’s “carry trade” shows.   -- Read More >
Posted: 31 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin GULF MELTDOWN: The oil-rich Sheiks are not immune to the market turmoil that is spreading worldwide. There are even some real estate bargains in Dubai. With oil prices plunging and the dollar soaring, Gulf credit lines are coming due, causing heartburn in Arabia.

  -- Read More >
Posted: 31 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin GULF MELTDOWN: The oil-rich Sheiks are not immune to the market turmoil that is spreading worldwide. There are even some real estate bargains in Dubai. With oil prices plunging and the dollar soaring, Gulf credit lines are coming due, causing heartburn in Arabia.  -- Read More >
Posted: 29 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin CAMPAIGN 2008

i>   -- Read More >

Posted: 29 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

The Stock markets, while vacillating a great deal and, despite yesterday’s nearly 900 point Dow spike, have been losing a torrent of value for three straight weeks now. When Bush signed the rescue bill Oct. 3, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Composite Index was valued at $14.3 trillion, closing at 7,088 points. The Composite Index, unlike the Dow Jones Index, is a look at how all stocks in the market are faring.
  -- Read More >

Posted: 28 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin FINAL WEEK: The polls keep pointing to a big Obama win, as critics charge that it will mark the end of Capitalism and American Exceptionalism as we know it. Get ready for a full scale redistribution of income in the United States of Europe. But, it is close enough that McCain could still pull off an eleventh-hour upset.  -- Read More >
Posted: 28 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin FINAL WEEK: The polls keep pointing to a big Obama win, as critics charge that it will mark the end of capitalism and American exceptionalism as we know it. Get ready for a full scale redistribution of income in the United States of Europe. But, it is close enough that McCain could still pull off an eleventh-hour upset.   -- Read More >
Posted: 24 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin CAMPAIGN 2008,


SOLDIERS’S VOTE TOO:
The endorsement of Obama by the New York Times and the Washington Post was hardly a surprise, nor was that of former General Colin Powell. But the overwhelming support of the armed forces goes to McCain. This army isn’t looking for any grand change in strategy   -- Read More >
Posted: 24 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin CAMPAIGN 2008,
SOLDIERS’S VOTE TOO:
The endorsement of Obama by the New York Times and the Washington Post was hardly a surprise, nor was that of former General Colin Powell. But the overwhelming support of the armed forces goes to McCain. This army isn’t looking for any grand change in strategy.   -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

FINAL LAP: In the campaign’s waning days Obama holds on to his strong lead, but the polling numbers are still close. He’s outspending McCain by the millions, and the Wall Street upheaval has hurt upset hopes. But it isn’t over until it’s over; picking the cabinet; a backlash.
Little has changed as the campaign nears its end. Obama keeps out-spending and out-polling McCain, especially in key battleground states needed to win the Electoral College. We are now in the period of the “ground game,” or how campaigns refer to getting out the polls by encouraging people to vote. Obama needs a big turnout to win convincingly, and McCain must get the Republicans to vote heavily to pull off an upset.   -- Read More >

Posted: 23 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

FINAL LAP: In the campaign’s waning days Obama holds on to his strong lead, but the polling numbers are still close. He’s outspending McCain by the millions, and the Wall Street upheaval has hurt upset hopes. But it isn’t over until it’s over; picking the cabinet; a backlash.
  -- Read More >

Posted: 21 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

WALL STREET CORRECTS: Wall Street ended a tumultuous plunge with big rallies. The blue chips advanced of 4.8%, the best weekly gain since March 2003. Investors were cheered by signs of easing credit markets. On Oct. 20, the Dow closed up 413.21 continuing the optimistic trend; Bernanke; cyclical view; short sellers help.
  -- Read More >

Posted: 21 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

WALL STREET CORRECTS:

Wall Street ended a tumultuous plunge with big rallies. The blue chips advanced of 4.8%, the best weekly gain since March 2003. Investors were cheered by signs of easing credit markets. On Oct. 20, the Dow closed up 413.21 continuing the optimistic trend; Bernanke; cyclical view; short sellers help.<   -- Read More >

Posted: 18 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

ASIA AND THE MELTDOWN: Amid the worldwide downturn, falling export demand will rattle many Asian countries and direct foreign investment is likely to dry up. But most of the “Asian Tigers” are resilient enough to survive the current problems, although it is the most severe threat faced since the 1997-98 Asian Crisis brought the region to near-collapse.   -- Read More >

Posted: 18 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

ASIA AND THE MELTDOWN: Amid the worldwide downturn, falling export demand will rattle many Asian countries and direct foreign investment is likely to dry up. But most of the “Asian Tigers” are resilient enough to survive the current problems, although it is the most severe threat faced since the 1997-98 Asian Crisis brought the region to near-collapse.<   -- Read More >

Posted: 16 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin GLOBAL ECONOMY: Central bankers are about to do what the communists couldn’t successfully manage: nationalize the banks and seize productive assets while attempting to assure free market future growth. God help us all.   -- Read More >
Posted: 16 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin GLOBAL ECONOMY: Central bankers are about to do what the communists couldn’t successfully manage: nationalize the banks and seize productive assets while attempting to assure free market future growth. God help us all.   -- Read More >
Posted: 14 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008: The pundits have announced that it is over. The Messiah has arrived and McCain cannot win under any circumstances. But despite the economic upheavals the Dow scores it biggest gain ever, and the race remains remarkable statistically close under the circumstances. The deal has not yet been completely closed

.   -- Read More >
Posted: 14 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008: The pundits have announced that it is over. The Messiah has arrived and McCain cannot win under any circumstances. But despite the economic upheavals the Dow scores it biggest gain ever, and the race remains remarkable statistically close under the circumstances. The deal has not yet been completely closed.

  -- Read More >
Posted: 12 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

DEFENSE New Fronts are Opening that could put the Continental U.S. at Risk. Behind them are a Resurgent Nationalist Russia and a KGB with no Ideological Litmus Test on its Friends and Allies.  -- Read More >

Posted: 11 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

DEFENSE New Fronts are Opening that could put the Continental U.S. at Risk. Behind them are a Resurgent Nationalist Russia and a KGB with no Ideological Litmus Test on its Friends and Allies.

  -- Read More >
Posted: 9 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

WORLD MARKETS Attention Turns to the Second Largest Economy China Is it Immune to the Global Upheaval? On Closer Inspection, Beijing Faces Some Extremely Serious Structural Problems that put it at Great Risk.   -- Read More >

Posted: 9 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

WORLD MARKETS Attention Turns to the Second Largest Economy; China. Is it Immune to the Global Upheaval? On Closer Inspection, Beijing Faces Some Extremely Serious Structural Problems that put it at Great Risk.

  -- Read More >
Posted: 7 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008, The Wall Street Crisis Goes Global and Deals a Body Blow to McCain’s Prospects. But he is Sill Holding his Own in the Polls, and the “Undecided” Numbers Remain High.
  -- Read More >

Posted: 7 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008, The Wall Street Crisis Goes Global and Deals a Body Blow to McCain’s Prospects. But he is Sill Holding his Own in the Polls, and the “Undecided” Numbers Remain High.

  -- Read More >
Posted: 6 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

DEFENSE, New Systems Are Altering the Way the Pentagon Does Business. Drawing on Commercial Advances, it Moves UAVs to Non-aviators and Even to Autopilot

  -- Read More >
Posted: 6 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

DEFENSE, New Systems Are Altering the Way the Pentagon Does Business. Drawing on Commercial Advances, it Moves UAVs to Non-aviators and Even to Autopilot   -- Read More >

Posted: 4 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

TECHNOLOGY: The Private Sector Takes a Big Step Forward in Space with a Successful Launch. It May Replace NASA in Key Roles and Major Profits Await.

  -- Read More >
Posted: 4 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

TECHNOLOGY: The Private Sector Takes a Big Step Forward in Space with a Successful Launch. It May Replace NASA in Key Roles and Major Profits Await.


  -- Read More >
Posted: 2 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008 Obama Holds a Narrow Lead Amid an Unpredictable Political Landscape and Economic Uncertainty. There is a Huge Disconnect in the System; Can Congress or a Community Organizer Fix Wall Street? Europe Takes a Hit   -- Read More >

Posted: 2 Oct 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008 Obama Holds a Narrow Lead Amid an Unpredictable Political Landscape and Economic Uncertainty. There is a Huge Disconnect in the System; Can Congress or a Community Organizer Fix Wall Street? Europe Takes a Hit. By Dennis Mullin   -- Read More >

Posted: 30 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

THE MARKETS, Even as Lawmakers Dither and Rome Burns, the U.S. Economy Does Remain Fundamentally Sound, and the Feds Could Actually Make a Profit on a Bailout.

  -- Read More >
Posted: 30 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

THE MARKETS, Even as Lawmakers Dither and Rome Burns, the U.S. Economy Does Remain Fundamentally Sound, and the Feds Could Actually Make a Profit on a Bailout.   -- Read More >

Posted: 29 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

DEFENSE: Obama Wants to Shift the Focus to Afghanistan, But that Conflict May Make the Combat in Iraq Look Easy by Comparison, and Carries Huge Risks   -- Read More >

Posted: 29 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

DEFENSE: Obama Wants to Shift the Focus to Afghanistan, But that Conflict May Make the Combat in Iraq Look Easy by Comparison, and Carries Huge Risks   -- Read More >

Posted: 25 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

CONGRESS: Biden Says Paying Taxes is Patriotic, so he Should ask Fellow Lawmakers for Contributions; It’s Now the Hundreds of Millions Club, and Spends Only Your Cash.   -- Read More >

Posted: 25 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

CONGRESS: Biden Says Paying Taxes is Patriotic, so he Should ask Fellow Lawmakers for Contributions; It’s Now the Hundreds of Millions Club, and Spends Only Your Cash.  -- Read More >

Posted: 23 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

WALL STREET: The Stakes are Enormous, as Bernanke and Paulson Try to Halt the Credit Crunch Bleeding; Will Confidence-Building Measure Be Enough?   -- Read More >

Posted: 23 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

WALL STREET: The Stakes are Enormous, as Bernanke and Paulson Try to Halt the Credit Crunch Bleeding; Will Confidence-Building Measure Be Enough?  -- Read More >

Posted: 21 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT: Under the Radar, the IAEA says Rogue Pakistani Scientists Are Still Selling Nuclear Weapons Technology on the Open Market

  -- Read More >
Posted: 21 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT: Under the Radar, the IAEA says Rogue Pakistani Scientists Are Still Selling Nuclear Weapons Technology on the Open Market

  -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

ABROAD: Israel Bailed out of Georgia in a Flash, as it’s Interests Lie More with Keeping Russia out of the Mideast than Placating an Increasingly less Important U.S.   -- Read More >

Posted: 18 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

ABROAD: Israel Bailed out of Georgia in a Flash, as it’s Interests Lie More with Keeping Russia out of the Mideast than Placating an Increasingly less Important U.S.
  -- Read More >

Posted: 16 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008: The Wall Street Crisis is the Latest Wildcard in the Race, Which Remains a Virtual Tie. Offering Solutions Provides Risks for Both Candidates


By Dennis Mullin




The one thing that is certain about Presidential campaigns is that nothing is certain. This week the John McCain post-convention, post-Palin bounce has settled down. There has been not surge in any direction and with a two-point lead the race with Barak Obama remains in a statistical dead heat.



The arguments continue over experience, dirty campaigning, etc. etc. The first interview of the controversial Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin only indicated that she is unclear of what the Bush Doctrine is – although so is the entire rest of the country and many would argue the President himself isn’t quite sure.



But the crisis on Wall Street is getting everyone’s attention and could have a major impact on how the election plays out. Banking instability could upend the final 50 days of the campaign, with both candidates forced to confront a calamity that has gotten only glancing attention during the first 20 months of the race.



RED FLAGS: Warming signs about the nation’s economic infrastructure have been popping up at least since the collapse in March of the investment bank Bear Stearns. But neither McCain nor Obama has talked in detail about the potential consequences for voters and the government.



Until now, the crisis seemed like just another confusing Wall Street story. That all ended with the fast-moving events of Sunday, which the New York Times has called “one of the most extraordinary days in Wall Street’s history.” A CNBC special report on Sunday night called it “a complete realignment of Wall Street.”



Former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan said Sunday the U.S. is mired in a "once-in-a century" financial crisis which he called “by far” the worse he had seen in his career.

"There's no question that this is in the process of outstripping anything I've seen, and it still is not resolved and it still has a way to go," Greenspan said. "And indeed, it will continue to be a corrosive force until the price of homes in the U.S. stabilizes.”



Greenspan said, "This will induce a series of events around the globe which will stabilize the system," but he added that there was still a “less than 50 percent” chance that the U.S. could escape a recession as a result.



ONCE IN A CENTURY: "I can’t believe we could have a once-in-a-century type of financial crisis without a significant impact on the real economy globally, and I think that indeed is what is in the process of occurring." The former Federal Reserve chairman also predicted that the financial crisis would see the failure of more major financial institutions, even as embattled Wall Street investment giant Lehman Brothers scrambled to find a buyer.



"In and of itself, that does not need to be a problem,” he continued. “It depends on how it is handled and how the liquidations take place. And indeed we shouldn't try to protect every single institution.” Secretary Henry Paulson said that consultations internationally and coordinated actions would stabilize the capital markets.



But how the credit crisis will affect the campaign remains a major wildcard, as neither McCain nor Obama can be blamed for it, nor can responsibility be avoided by the administration or Congress which also plays a major role in market regulation.



IMPACT: In one analysis, Politico sees these effects of the Wall Street crisis on the campaign. 1.) The candidates had hoped to put off their detailed prescriptions until they were in office, unrolling an economic agenda in conjunction with an address to the new Congress. Now, there's no way to duck it.



But at a time when the economy is the top issue on voters’ minds, one of the candidates could wind up winning the neck-and-neck election by talking clearly and convincingly about the fallout and what should be done.



This is the financial equivalent of Russia invading Georgia -- an unexpected event that calls for leadership and direction. This is an opportunity for both candidates to go beyond their (comments on) administration action and show how they would stabilize the system on a more lasting basis.



2.) The new crisis crowds the candidates’ agendas in the stretch run, keeping them from talking about the issues that they had planned to focus on. But the candidates are creatively trying to meld the disaster into their existing messages.



REFORM MESSAGES: McCain aides say he plans to use the news to underscore the reform message that he began hammering at the Republican National Convention. “This is bad news for the country and yet another sign that we need to reform Wall Street,” a senior McCain official said. “The only way we can do that is by reforming Washington first. We will show McCain and Palin as the ticket which will take action on the economy and make sure the taxpayers aren't stuck with the bill.”



Obama aides say he will hammer the message that the market upheaval shows that the country can’t afford four more years of policies aligned with those of the current administration. His running mate, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), is planning major speeches on the subject and will try to get heavy coverage on this theme.



3.) Just like the markets, however, each candidate faces an enormous downside risk: Troubled times could make voters less likely to take a chance on Obama, with his shorter time in Washington. McCain could pay the price for the economic disruption on a Republican's watch, or if he looks like he doesn’t have the energy and creativity to reassure a worried nation.



4.) They will also be more constrained when they get to Washington, with analysts estimating that the government takeover of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is likely to cost the Treasury $100 billion to $300 billion. Treasury Secretary Paulson “spent the cookie jar” with the takeover, a McCain adviser said.



Paulson said Monday: “What is going on in New York has nothing to do with politics. These problems did not develop on my watch. International Institutions and Congress now have to work their way through appropriate regulatory reforms. The American financial system is resilient and strong and will absorb these changes. The markets are responding with maturity and calm, and we should all be proud of that.”



That may sound good, but it is tough to run for President in this environment. You certainly cannot advocate the status quo. But at the same token, this may not be the time to be promising sweeping changes to the system either. Just when everyone thought this campaign topped them all for novelty, there are more surprises – and there is still potential for many more to come.
  -- Read More >

Posted: 16 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008: The Wall Street Crisis is the Latest Wildcard in the Race, Which Remains a Virtual Tie. Offering Solutions Provides Risks for Both Candidates

  -- Read More >
Posted: 15 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

ABROAD Russia is back in the Caribbean with Warships and Cash. In a tit-for-tat over Georgia it may Rekindle Cold War Tensions courting Nicaragua and Venezuela as well

  -- Read More >
Posted: 15 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

ABROAD Russia is back in the Caribbean with Warships and Cash. In a tit-for-tat over Georgia it may Rekindle Cold War Tensions courting Nicaragua and Venezuela as well   -- Read More >

Posted: 12 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

DEFENSE Behind the Success of the Surge in Iraq were Special Operations Teams designed to go after Terrorists; they have scored one Success after Another

  -- Read More >
Posted: 12 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

DEFENSE Behind the Success of the Surge in Iraq were Special Operations Teams designed to go after Terrorists; they have scored one Success after Another

  -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008 UPDATE



At mid-week, the McCain polling advantage is holding, with major shifts in women and independent voters in his direction. The press still doesn’t understand that it is hurting its favorite son. Even the money race is going the Republican’s way.

  -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008 UPDATE


At mid-week, the McCain polling advantage is holding, with major shifts in women and independent voters in his direction. The press still doesn’t understand that it is hurting its favorite son. Even the money race is going the Republican’s way.

  -- Read More >
Posted: 9 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008 The Media Served up a Softball, and Republicans Hit it Out of the Park. Polls Show a 17-Point Swing in McCain’s Favor, as Odds Improve that He May Beat the “Community Organizer” in Eight Short Weeks.

  -- Read More >
Posted: 8 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin The Media Served up a Softball, and Republicans Hit it Out of the Park. Polls Show a 17-Point Swing in McCain’s Favor, as Odds Improve that he May Beat the “Community Organizer” in Six Short Weeks.   -- Read More >
Posted: 7 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

ABROAD An Update on the Arab-Israeli Conflict Carries Some Surprises, About Lebanon, Venezuela and Problems Within the Israeli Army Itself

  -- Read More >
Posted: 7 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

ABROAD An Update on the Arab-Israeli Conflict Carries Some Surprises, About Lebanon, Venezuela and Problems Within the Israeli Army Itself

  -- Read More >
Posted: 4 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT Speaker Pilosi Ignited the Latest Abortion Furor and the Catholic Church is Not Amused; Is She Politicizing the Debate Anew?


POLITICAL SCENE: Change is the Codeword for the Campaign, But Who Will Really Bring It? Some See an FDR Type “Audacity of Hype”

  -- Read More >
Posted: 4 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

POLITICAL SCENE: Change is the Codeword for the Campaign, But Who Will Really Bring It? Some See an FDR Type “Audacity of Hype”   -- Read More >

Posted: 1 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008, McCain Drops a Bombshell With his VP Selection; Will a 44-Year-Old woman Help of Hurt? Polls Show He Trumped Obama’s Convention

DEFENSE Extended UAV Flight Has Become the Rage as a New Record is Broken, and Others Seek to Expand the Horizons Vastly with New Technology

  -- Read More >
Posted: 1 Sep 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008, McCain Drops a Bombshell With his VP Selection; Will a 44-Year-Old woman Help of Hurt? Polls Show He Trumped Obama’s Convention   -- Read More >

Posted: 29 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin

CHAIRMAN ‘S REPORT A Mile High Convention; Reporters Won’t Listen to Their Own Interviewee; Rock Stars Could Hurt the Candidate; New Yorkers Warned on Booze


  -- Read More >
Posted: 26 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008 , The Convention Comes With the Race Still Tied; Watching Expectations; Biden Choice Has Little Impact; National Security Debate

  -- Read More >
Posted: 24 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin

DEFENSEThe War in Georgia Highlights the Kremlin’s Need for a New Military Doctrine, as it Seeks to build a Modern Armed Forces for a Post Cold-War World

  -- Read More >
Posted: 24 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin

DEFENSEThe War in Georgia Highlights the Kremlin’s Need for a New Military Doctrine, as it Seeks to build a Modern Armed Forces for a Post Cold-War World


  -- Read More >
Posted: 20 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin CONGRESS, Lawmakers Get Involved in Homeland Security Details, This Time Over Cargo Screening, and Once Again Do a Bad Job
TRADE, Anti-Drilling Forces Argue, “Use it or Lose it,” But They ignore the Huge Costs and Risks Involved. Proponents Want to Allow Drilling to Move Forward
ABROAD, NATO Contemplates Expansion in the Face of Russian Aggression, But Some Contend that Entails More Risks and Dangers than the Status Quo
DEFENSE, The War in Georgia Highlights the Kremlin’s Need for a New Military Doctrine, as it Seeks to build a Modern Armed Forces for a Post Cold-War World
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT, Cultural and Religious Sensitivities Amongst Moslem Nations are Severe, as a New Film Dispute Between Egypt and Iran Illustrates
  -- Read More >
Posted: 20 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008 With Conventions Looming the Real Contest Begins, and Democrats Could Provide Some Clinton Drama; The Race is a Dead Heat; The VP Picks


  -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin

ABROAD: The Russian-Georgia War Holds Many Dangers, as the Repercussions of the Demise of the Soviet Union Linger Years After the Fact   -- Read More >

Posted: 18 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin The Russian-Georgia War Holds Many Dangers: Repercussions of the Demise of the Soviet Union Linger Years After the Fact
  -- Read More >
Posted: 16 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin CAMPAIGN 2008, The Edwards Scandal Highlights the Demise of the Mainstream Press; Could it Have Sunk Hillary? People Complain of Obama Overload
  -- Read More >
Posted: 16 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin CAMPAIGN 2008, The Edwards Scandal Highlights the Demise of the Mainstream Press; Could it Have Sunk Hillary? People Complain of Obama Overload
  -- Read More >
Posted: 14 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin

TRADEThe Demise of the Doha Round Won’t Spell Disaster for World Commerce, as Systems Take Place in Individual Nations That Bolster Trade Globally

  -- Read More >
Posted: 14 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin

TRADE The Demise of the Doha Round Won’t Spell Disaster for World Commerce, as Systems Take Place in Individual Nations That Bolster Trade Globally

  -- Read More >
Posted: 12 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT, On the Olympic Watch, Everyone is Following Weather and the Terrorists Open Their Promised Fatal, anti-Government Attacks


  -- Read More >
Posted: 12 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin

REALITY CHECK

By Dennis Mullin

  -- Read More >
Posted: 11 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin ABROAD, Vietnam is Following the China Model with Great Success. But it is Hitting Some Roadblocks of its Own With Higher Food and Fuel Costs By Dennis Mullin   -- Read More >
Posted: 9 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin ABROAD, Vietnam is Following the China Model with Great Success. But it is Hitting Some Roadblocks of its Own With Higher Food and Fuel Costs   -- Read More >
Posted: 7 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin

CONGRESS A Full Switch by Democrats, Including Obama, on Off-Shore Drilling Shows the Issue has Real traction for McCain and the Republicans


  -- Read More >
Posted: 7 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin

DEFENSE: The Pentagon and CIA Call Them “Black Holes,” or the Key Places Terrorists and Fugitives Can Hide Around the World, with Near Impunit   -- Read More >

Posted: 6 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin

CONGRESSA Full Switch by Democrats, Including Obama, on Off-Shore Drilling Shows the Issue has Real traction for McCain and the Republicans,/b>

  -- Read More >
Posted: 5 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008:More of the Same From the Press, But The Latest Poll Actually Shows McCain Ahead for the First Time, And Leading With Independents

  -- Read More >
Posted: 5 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008:More of the Same From the Press, But The Latest Poll Actually Shows McCain Ahead for the First Time, And Leading With Independents


  -- Read More >
Posted: 4 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT : A Billion of Anything Goes a Long Way, But Also Leads to Incredible Waste When Put in the Hands of Big Government

  -- Read More >
Posted: 3 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin

DEFENSE: Top Officers are Looking at IRS as a New Field of Great Importance to Provide Real-Time Intelligence to Forces Engaged in Active Combat   -- Read More >

Posted: 2 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin The threat of terrorist attacks at the Olympics has been high on Beijing’s list of concerns. It has homegrown radical Moslems and various political dissidents to deal with as it is, but also now must worry about imported threats. That is symbolized by how to deal with the Israeli delegation at a time when it could be at great risk.   -- Read More >
Posted: 2 Aug 2008
Dennis Mullin ABROAD: China Faces a Dilemma as it Gears up for Possible Terror Threats at the Beijing Olympics



By Dennis Mullin<   -- Read More >
Posted: 31 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin

TECHNOLOGY:Is the U.S. Losing its Lead in Science and High-Tech? That is the Conventional Wisdom, but New Numbers Say it is Not the Case

  -- Read More >
Posted: 30 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin

CONGRESSBailout Funds for the Banks are Put Into Place, to the Distress of Many

  -- Read More >
Posted: 29 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin CAMPAIGN 2008 Depending on Who You Believe, Obama either Got a Bounce Overseas, of Fell Flat. The Latest Polls Show McCain Actually Going into the Lead   -- Read More >
Posted: 28 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin CONGRESS: The Housing and Credit Problems Demand Attention from Reluctant Lawmakers, Who Would Prefer Private Sector Solutions

  -- Read More >
Posted: 27 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT Eurosclorosis Turns Into Euronuerosis as Intellectuals Seek Enlightenment; America too Seeks a Revitalization

  -- Read More >
Posted: 27 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin Test   -- Read More >
Posted: 26 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin

ABROAD:Some Mideast Peace Deals May be on the Horizon in the Third Quarter, But Many Details Still Have to Fall into Place

  -- Read More >
Posted: 26 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin Mid East Peace Talks on the Horizon: Details Still Needed   -- Read More >
Posted: 25 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN UPDATE: Is the Press Reaction Backfiring in this, the First Virtual Election?

  -- Read More >
Posted: 24 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN UPDATE: Is the Press Reaction
Backfiring in this, the First Virtual Election?

  -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin

TODAY’S FEATURE



Believe it or Not, There is Some
Good News About Energy


REALITY CHECK

  -- Read More >
Posted: 22 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008 , Barack’s Coronation Trip Draws Predictable, Effusive, Media Praise; Both Candidates Gear up for Expensive, Nationwide Voting Drives

CAMPAIGN 2008 , Barack’s Coronation Trip Draws Predictable, Effusive, Media Praise

  -- Read More >
Posted: 22 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin

Consider the headlines on July 21 from a cross-section of papers. “Obama’s Iraq Spotlight,” “No Downside to Obama’s Trip,” “Hoping Obama Makes the Case for Victory,” “Obama’s Plan Wll Cover Illegal Immigrants,” “For Obama, Beyond Civil Rights,” “McCain Caught in Crossfire Over US Troop Status, “Obama Meets with Afghan President Karzai,” and, “News in Terror Hot Spots Aide Obama.”



One outlet, citing the “Obama Press Orgy,” even noted that increased violence in Afghanistan, talks over a the post-surge withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and the failed nuclear talks with Iran by Europe all “helped” Obama, rather than proving that these long-held McCain positions proved the Republican Senator to be prophetic.



As the three network anchors battled over exclusive interview rights with a man who still has not officially received the Democratic delegate votes to secure the nomination, and despite the fact that he leads Sen. McCain by an insignificant few points in the polls, the pundits have declared the election over. At a minimum they have concluded this election is about McCain running for President Bush’s third term, and, at most, Obama will face questions of over his foreign policy leadership credentials.



The Press has already passed him on that score this week, so the chattering hoards can now focus on McCain, because it appears that the Republican can win the election only if it becomes about Obama’s capabilities, and the press is not going to let that happen.



UNPRECEDENTED: Besides owning the press, Obama's fund-raising machine has been scoring unprecedented success. His campaign will need every penny of its $300 million goal to bankroll a 50-state election campaign with a massive army of volunteers.



The Obama campaign already has by far the largest full-time paid staff in presidential campaign history, and unlike McCain's, continues to grow by the day. The Obama campaign is paying close attention to polls in more than a dozen states that show Obama has a chance of winning over for the Democrats in November.



To accomplish that, Obama is assembling what would be the largest field operation in the history of American politics. Advertising and campaign communications will be important and debate performances will be critical, but the Obama campaign is investing heavily in the importance of organizing voters and getting them to the polls on Nov. 4.



It's a major departure from the 2004 Democratic game plan, in which the ground organization was split and sometimes duplicated between the Sen. John Kerry, Democratic Party operation and a group called America Coming Together, financed by wealthy liberal activists and labor unions. ACT spent about $80 million and had 300 employees and 1,400 paid canvassers working in 17 key states.



SOPHISTICATED: In their nomination fight, the Obama and Clinton campaigns have built sophisticated state-by-state organizations. The Obama campaign has employed three different organizing models over the course of the campaign, and in May, about 30 of the top state and field directors met to map a strategy for the general election.



They came up with a neighborhood and volunteer-based plan that incorporates elements of the Republican model under Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman for Bush's 2004 reelection campaign. The GOP used commercial marketing data with volunteers organizing Bush supporters around the "virtual precinct" of their own social networks.



"This allows us to increase the volume of voters we're talking to and have it be done with people who live in their community," one veteran Democratic operative says. The level of organization is a first on the Democratic side. The Obama model, particularly in its use of the Internet as an organizing tool, is a significant upgrade.



"People tend to believe information delivered by people they know and who live in their neighborhood more than an ad they see on television or what some third party from out of their state is telling them," says one operative. "It can really change the electoral map."



Many states won four years ago by President Bush, in many cases by huge margins are now seen in play. Obama's effort could nudge states such as Virginia, Indiana, and North Dakota into the Democratic column and produce a surprising Electoral College boost.



TOSSUP STATES: McCain so far is running a more traditional campaign, targeting perennial tossup states such as Florida and Ohio, sending smaller staffs to those states than Obama, but spending more on television ads. His campaign manager, Rick Davis, said recently that his staff will eventually increase to about 450. By earlier this month, it had opened 11 regional offices in key states and another 84 offices across the country.



"It is an incredible amount of progress for a campaign that ended the primaries with no money, little infrastructure, and no formal organization outside the early primary states," says a McCain staffer. "By putting emphasis on our regional operations we have built a campaign that will be nimble when it counts and close to the ground where grass-roots activity will drive our message and efforts."



Obama, meanwhile, is already running uncontested television advertising in seven of the historically Republican states and is sending in large paid staffs. Between the Obama staff and the Democratic Party staff there will be several thousand paid operatives on the ground deployed across the country.



Reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show that in May the Obama campaign had a payroll of about 900, not counting nearly 500 part-time workers who were paid stipends. As of May 31, the Obama staff was well over twice the size of the Bush reelection campaign staff in 2004 and nearly three times the size of McCain's.

Through the end of May, the Obama campaign had spent $35.7 million on salaries and benefits, triple the $11.9 million spent by the McCain campaign, according to tabulations by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group.



EXPENSIVE: Obama's labor-intensive strategy will become increasingly expensive, though the campaign took a large step toward its goal by raising $52 million in June after wrapping up the Democratic nomination. But it will probably have to exceed that figure every month until November to hit its target, and the Democratic National Committee, which announced that it took in $22.4 million last month, faces a similar task to reach a goal of $180 million by the election.



The Republican Party and McCain campaign hope to raise a combined $400 million to be competitive in the fall. That includes $84.1 million in public funding McCain says he will accept after his formal nomination on Sept. 4. Despite assertions in the past that he would also take public funding, Obama will become the first presidential candidate to refuse the public grant since the advent of federal financing in 1976.



Obama's campaign is optimistic it can reach its targets because it achieved ambitious goals in its bitter upset over Hillary Clinton to win the nomination. Underlying the optimism is faith in the premise of the Obama candidacy that many Americans are angry, anxious, and engaged as never before in the political process because they want change. And there is increased confidence that they fawning press will make the process easier.
  -- Read More >

Posted: 21 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin

DEFENSE: China’s Army Raised Some Eyebrows By Showing up At Refugee Relief Camps Short on Gear; Building a Modern Army Costs a lot and Takes Time

  -- Read More >
Posted: 20 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin

ABROAD Missiles or no Missiles, Iran is a Mess, With an Economy on the Rocks

  -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin

DEFENSE: China’s Army Raised Some Eyebrows By Showing up At Refugee Relief Camps Short on Gear; Building a Modern Army Costs a lot and Takes Time

By Dennis Mullin

  -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin TRADE: Petrodollar Billions Don't Buy Freedom as Newly Rich States Face "Oil Curse"


By Dennis Mullin



  -- Read More >
Posted: 17 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin CONGRESS: After FISA, Lawmakers Will Now Take a New Look at More Restrictions on the CIA, As They Move to Control the War on Terror   -- Read More >
Posted: 17 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin By Dennis Mullin
  -- Read More >
Posted: 16 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin

CAMPAIGN 2008 Polls now Show a Dead Heat in the Presidential Race, Something the Media is Loath to Admit. They Also Show McCain’s Age a Concern

  -- Read More >
Posted: 15 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin ABROAD: Columbia's Hostage Rescue Highlights the Free Trade Arguement   -- Read More >
Posted: 14 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin Is the World Going to Hell in a Hand Basket? Big Change is Coming; But Outlook isn’t All Gloom   -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin CONGRESS: Politics May Be Behind the Bad Idea to Force Many Working for Foreign Subsidiary Firms to Register as Foreign Agents

  -- Read More >
Posted: 11 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin War Comes to American Soil, as Mexican Drug Cartels Invade the Southwest and Drug Smuggling Submarines Attack California Coasts. What the Hell is Going On?

  -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin

TODAY’ FEATURE: Is the World Going to Hell in a Hand Basket? Big Change is Coming; But Outlook isn’t All Gloom

  -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin The G-8 Meets Amid Disturbing Global Conditions; Is the Energy Alternative A New Avenue to Growth?   -- Read More >
Posted: 2 Jul 2008
Dennis Mullin CAMPAIGN 2008, Timing Will Become Crucial as the Candidates Try to Control the News Cycle; Mending Fences, Silencing Surrogates

CONGRESS, The EU Failure to Deal With High-Tech Imports Brings Pressure on Lawmakers to Take Action

TRADE, The U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue Seeks a New Treaty to Deal With Contentious Bilateral Matters   -- Read More >
Posted: 26 Jun 2008
Dennis Mullin

REALITY CHECK: OFFSHORE DRILLING, PEAKING
DEMAND, DRIVING OIL DEBATE

  -- Read More >
Posted: 25 Jun 2008
Dennis Mullin ISSUE DATED JUNE 25-JULY 2 2008

CAMPAIGN 2008, The Media Shifts the Election Debate to the Economy. It is not as Bad as it Looks, But Opens a Door For Obama on his Media-driven March to November.
CONGRESS, After Months of Delay, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Finally Gets on Overhaul; Many Democrats aren’t Happy about it.
TRADE, The South Korean Government Could Topple Over U.S. Beef
ABROAD, Is China Losing the New War Being Waged with “Soft Power”?
DEFENSE, The End Game in Iraq Depends on a Crucial Treaty and its Nuances
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT, Why Shouldn’t Seniors Fight the Nation’s Wars? They Have Some Marked Advantages Over Their Children
TODAY’S FEATURE, Reality Check; U.S. Energy Hypocrisy and Nuclear Power

  -- Read More >

Posted: 23 Jun 2008
Dennis Mullin U.S. ENERGY HYPOCRISY MAY
FORCE A NUCLEAR SOLUTION
  -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Jun 2008
Dennis Mullin ISSUE DATED JUNE 18-JUNE 25
CAMPAIGN 2008, Historians and Pundits Give McCain Absolutely no Chance of Winning in November. But They Were Wrong on Hillary Just Six-Months Ago.
CONGRESS, Lawmakers go on a Conservation Binge Nationwide
TRADE, NAFTA May Actually Hold the Key to a North American Energy Strategy
ABROAD, Irish Vote is the Latest Blow to Drive for a United States of Europe
DEFENSE, Cyber War Becomes a Huge Priority with China Taking the Offensive
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT, Terrorist Threat Rocks the Booming UAE
TODAY’S FEATURE,The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Focuses on Iraq and Afghanistan in Viewing the Military Landscape   -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Jun 2008
Dennis Mullin ISSUE DATED JUNE 10-JUNE 17

CAMPAIGN 2008, The Democratic Race is Gratefully Over. Obama’s First Presidential Decision Will be Picking His Running Mate, and The Process has Changed
CONGRESS, Lawmakers Don’t Fare Well on the Big Stage; a Setback on Environmental Legislation
CLIMATE CHANGE, The G-8 Meeting in Japan Could Find That the Cost of Really Doing Something About It is Enormous
TECHNOLOGY, Is America Losing the Space Race? China Is Coming on Strong and Plans to Beat the U.S. Back to the Moon. Its Program has Civilian and Military Goals
ABROAD, Terrorists Are Finding it Harder and Harder to Operate Around the World. The Ten Countries Osama bin Laden and his Gang Don’t Want to Be Assigned to
DEFENSE, Troops on the Ground Are Now Getting High-Resolution Video From Aircraft on Hand-Carried Devices that Significantly Increase Combat Effectiveness
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT, Who is safe? It is More Dangerous to Live in South Africa Than Fight in Iraq; for Women, the Army is Safer than Being in College
TODAY’S FEATURE, Are Our Politicians Becoming Irrelevant? (Watch for Carlos Campbell’s Report from the Olympics in Beijing)
*AmericaWeek*

CAMPAIGN 2008



The race for the Oval Office is now down to two – finally. Over the weekend Hillary Clinton officially suspended her campaign and announced her support for Barak Obama. But the endless and bitter Democratic primary has opened fault lines within the party and exposed Obama to criticism that Republican John McCain will now attempt to exploit.

Nobody is certain how the race issue will play out, or if white American males, who have been totally ignored by the pollsters so far, are ready to cast their vote for a black man who many claim is questionable on defense issues. Obama’s national experience is limited to two years in the Senate, and he has associated himself with some pretty less-than-strong Patriotic elements, some Republicans charge.

The newly anointed Obama will now turn to his first major decision as the presumptive nominee, and that is the selection of a vice presidential running mate. The furor is whether selecting Hillary will strengthen him among Democratic elements or hurt him as a candidate who ran on change, then reversed himself to carry the Clinton baggage.

Some 36 million Americans took part in selecting the Democratic nominee for president, and half voted for Clinton. And yet, only one person chooses the nominee for vice president, a potentially crucial choice in a system that often produces one-term leaders.

Analyst Michael Barone notes that, theoretically, the choice of vice president could go to the party's national convention, as some Hillary supporters are now suggesting. That happened to Adlai Stevenson in 1956. There was a floor fight between John F. Kennedy, Albert Gore Sr., and (the ultimate winner) Estes Kefauver for the second spot.

But ever since 1972, in reality, the presidential nominee has been in absolute control of a majority of votes at the conventions. Delegates expect direction from their preferred Commander in Chief, and a second round of mini-primaries and caucuses to choose the vice presidential nominee becomes too tedious to work. Hence, it is the nominee’s decision

TIMING: Before the Democrats nominated Walter Mondale in 1984, vice presidents were usually picked at the last minute at the conventions. In 1976 Gerald Ford selected Bob Dole in the wee hours of the morning, and Jimmy Carter selected Mondale during convention week. In 1980 Ronald Reagan picked George H. W. Bush only after some hours of negotiation by Gerald Ford for a "co-presidency."

Mondale wanted to do it differently. When he was vice president, Jimmy Carter had delegated important government responsibilities to him, had given him an office in the West Wing and held regularly scheduled meetings with him. It was the first time the VP had real responsibility and was a change from previous practice.

In the three months Harry Truman was vice president, he meet with President Franklin Roosevelt exactly once. When he was summoned to the White House on April 12, 1945, he did not even know that Roosevelt was in Washington. Richard Nixon was never once invited to the President's private quarters in the eight years he was Eisenhower’s No. 2.

Lyndon Johnson was treated more respectfully by JFK, but not by some of his staffers. Johnson repeatedly humiliated Hubert Humphrey. Richard Nixon assigned Spiro Agnew a role as speech giver and nothing else, and the VP even ended up getting indicted.

FEMALE FACTOR:

Mondale was under pressure to seek a female nominee at a time when the Democrats had few female officeholders with plausible credentials. So he had his staff spend some time vetting possible nominees, and ended up choosing Rep. Geraldine Ferraro over then San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein.

In the meantime, Reagan was giving the first President Bush significant responsibilities as vice president. In 1988, Bush as Republican nominee and Michael Dukakis as the Democratic nominee, both spent time interviewing and examining the credentials of candidates and came up with Dan Quayle and Lloyd Bentsen.

Bill Clinton spent considerable time before choosing Al Gore, who had significant accomplishments as vice president. In 2004 John Kerry ran a careful vetting process in coming up with Sen. John Edwards.

What has emerged is a deliberative process in which, if one person still makes the decision, at least others are involved and they all have a considerable period of time in which to reach that decision. The vice presidency has become a useful office and its occupant is determined in a less haphazard way than has been the case in most of the 19th and 20th centuries. Now we have to see how Obama and John McCain do it, but there are unlikely to be any great surprises – even over whether Hillary is included or not, because they are strong arguments both for and against her.

CONGRESS



Despite public approval ratings lower than ever recorded, (just 18 percent, two-times worse than George Bush) lawmakers are taking heart this election season. No seated member of Congress has won a presidential election since John F. Kennedy, and this time there are two running against one another.

Even those with legislative experience have had their problems dealing with big stage decisions. Al Gore served in the Senate before being Vice President under Bill Clinton. When he got the nomination in his own right, Gore viewed the Clinton scandals as an unwelcome headwind and banished him from his campaign. Why, critics taunted after the 2000 election, would you sideline the most popular Democrat and talented campaigner?

Senator Hillary Clinton on the other hand, was not only married to him, but saw Bill Clinton as a political asset and made him her most prominent public surrogate. Why, the critics now ask, would you allow your unruly husband to hijack your campaign and make your message all about restoration, at a time when the electorate is hungering for change?


Now Hillary will have to return to the Senate, although she is thought to be eyeing another presidential run, the governorship of New York or a seat on the Supreme Court. That may encourage other lawmakers with equal ambition, but the day-to-day running of the nation’s affairs has remained above the pay scale of most lawmakers – until now.

VOTE FALLS SHORT: On June 6, Democrats failed to get the 60 votes needed to bring legislation on climate change to the floor. Proponents of the landmark measure applauded that the 54 votes (48 yes, six expressions of support by absentees) provided momentum for action to take place next year with a new Congress and a new president.

For now, with gasoline costing more than $4 a gallon, the mood on Capitol Hill for showing leadership on global warming is decidedly missing. Senate Republicans derided the bill sponsored by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) as an avenue to even higher energy costs for Americans.

Opponents employed delaying tactics, such as having the 491-page bill read aloud, and offered poison pill amendments designed to undermine the central and necessary purpose of the bill, which is to put a price on carbon through a cap-and-trade system.

The language of "Title XIII: International Partnerships to Reduce Emissions and Adapt" had the sound of cooperation but was actually a hammer over fast-growing developing nations to institute comparable carbon-limiting regulations. The measure's key subsection was a piece of protectionism that would have required importers of goods like steel from countries such as China and India to pay special fees. Business denounced the bill as unreasonable, shortsighted and hugely expensive.

Both the Bush administration and Congress have done a poor job of telling Americans that reducing emissions will require a lot more effort than changing light bulbs and much more sacrifice than driving less. There still hasn’t been a comprehensive energy strategy drawn up and introduced in this do-nothing Congress.

CLIMATE CHANGE



With oil over $130 as barrel, and the G-8 summit approaching in Japan, the International Energy Agency says the cost of really doing something about climate change and energy efficiency is acute and will run to a very large fortune.

The agency says that governments and industry need to invest at least $47 trillion, or 1.1 per cent of world GDP annually, to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That calls for a massive increase in nuclear energy output, about 32 new nuclear plants a year for the next 40 years, compared with the 393 currently in commission as well as other forms of non-carbon-emitting power generation.

An average 60 new coal- and gas-fired electricity plants around the world would need to be fitted each year with carbon dioxide capture and storage technology, at a cost of $90 billion annually. Massive investment would be needed to develop CO2 reduction technology, up to $100 million annually for the next 15 years, the IEA says. But the alternative, under a continuation of current energy use, is a 130 percent increase in emissions over that time and a 70 percent net increase in global demand for oil.

One benefit of achieving the 50 percent emissions reduction target would be a significant lessening of oil-dependence -- total world oil demand in 2050 would be 27 percent below 2005 levels, according to the study. Under current policies and practices, IEA executive director Nobuo Tanaka warned: "We are very far from sustainable development, despite the widespread recognition of the long-term problem. We will require immediate policy action and a technological transition on an unprecedented scale."

At a summit in Hokkaido next month, G-8 leaders are expected to adopt Japan's proposal to halve the current level of world CO2 emissions by 2050. The target was recently endorsed by G-8 environment ministers. The IEA membership includes all the G-8 states except Russia; the US, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Russia, Canada and Italy, plus most other significant developed economies, including Australia.

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda hopes to produce the framework for a global warming agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol on emissions control, expiring in 2012.
But IEA membership does not include the big developing economies such as China, India and Brazil. Nor is the U.S. Congress paying much attention to the action.

TECHNOLOGY



Is America losing its edge in the Space Race? Even with the Phoenix Lander digging on Mars and the Space Station expanding, testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission last week indicated that the American lead is in serious danger. China is likely to beat the U.S. in landing the next humans on the moon.

The panel said Chinese astronauts are on schedule to get to the moon two or three years before America returns, according to the head of NASA’s lunar exploration program. “If they keep on the path they’re on, they can” land before Americans, said Rick Gilbreth, NASA’s associate administrator for exploration systems.

The goal of NASA’s Constellation program is to return astronauts to the moon by 2020, as proposed in President Bush. Gilbreth said the Chinese could accomplish that by 2017 or 2018. The Chinese lead will be even longer if the U.S. schedule slips, as some space experts predict.

But NASA said its back-to-the-moon program is substantially bolder than China’s.
“They’re taking an Apollo-like approach,” Gilbreth said. “Our program is much more ambitious than Apollo. We’re going to put four people on the moon for seven days, eventually for six months. China is looking for a minimum capability. We’re looking to put an outpost on the moon.”

IMPRESSIVE: He called China’s program “very impressive,” but said, “We’re not in a race. We’re going for the long haul.” China sent up its first satellite in 1970, lofted its first astronaut into space in 2003, and launched a mission to orbit the moon in 2007.

Russia has landed robots on the moon, but not humans. NASA’s new Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is scheduled to launch in November. The first unmanned test flight of Orion, the next lunar Lander, won’t come until 2015. As for the 2020 target for U.S. astronauts to land on the moon, a blue-ribbon panel of space experts recently expressed doubt that the timetable would be met.

Still, China’s space program also represents a major investment aimed at enabling Beijing to utilize space in expanding its national power. Consequently, China’s space policy goals could be characterized as simultaneously focused on securing economic and development benefits, enhancing national military capabilities, and procuring symbolic benefits that both aid regime survival at home and enhance Chinese prestige abroad.

The panel told Congress that Beijing’s current military space program is oriented towards exploiting space for military operations, denying space to superior adversaries, and preparing for struggles over space control by developing its own space-related deterrent and war fighting capabilities.

That will support its regional presence and projection operations in East and Southeast Asia and in the Indian Ocean, and fill in the missing links required to complete its area and access denial strategy vis-à-vis the U.S. across the entire western Pacific. The maturation of China’s space and counter-space capabilities thus reflect the larger challenges facing the U.S. as it reacts to the rise of Chinese power and its ability to develop new technologies for both commercial and military use, the panel said.

ABROAD



Over the last seven years, some countries have become particularly difficult for Islamic terrorists to operate in. U.S. intelligence officials say pro-terrorist Internet message boards are engaged in heated discussions about this, and how to overcome the obstacles found in the theaters most prepared to counteract them. The ten worst countries for Islamic terrorist operations (in no particular order) are:

The United States. It is regarded as a very hostile environment, especially among the Moslem population. The police follow up on any tips, and those Islamic terrorists caught are quickly prosecuted and, if convicted, put away for long periods.

Iraq comes in second for many of the same reasons. Algeria is third, although there are still Islamic terrorists operating here, but after over a decade of terrorist violence, and over 100,000 dead (many brutally slain by terrorists), the civilian population has turned against the Islamic radicals. While many Algerians agree with some of the Islamic radical's objectives (eliminate corruption, more jobs), they have been turned off by the terrorist violence. The Algerian security forces have lots of experience hunting down the terrorists, and the government used an amnesty program to convince many to surrender.

The scenario in Egypt is similar to Algeria. The Islamic terrorists killed Moslem civilians, and the police became very good at obtaining tips and following them up. There are still Islamic terrorists in residence, and many potential recruits. But it's also a very hostile environment for them.

France, despite millions of Moslem immigrants, many of them unemployed and angry, has put together a very effective counter-terrorism force. Special prosecutors can move quickly, and the police have an effective intelligence gathering system. Israel has sealed off the Palestinians and goes after the terrorist leadership and technical experts. Terrorist attacks went from one a week six years ago, to one a year.

Saudi Arabia used be a prime al Qaeda recruiting ground, until the terrorists brought the war home in response to the U.S. invading Iraq in 2003. The population quickly changed their minds. The security services became more aggressive. The terrorists were soon gone. Jordan is also making progress, following the Algerian and Egyptian models. Even Syria, a police state that supports terrorism abroad but not at home, has crushed any hint of domestic activity, not state-sanctioned.

Russia created its own little Iraq in Chechnya, where the terrorists obligingly fought it out with Russian Special Forces. Chechens civilians have grown weary of being caught in the middle and tired of all the violence and have turned against the nationalists as well as the Islamic terrorists opposing Moscow’s control. This has had a national impact and resulted in the restriction of the activities of all radical movements.

DEFENSE


The U.S. now has 3,500 portable UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) video viewers in operation among the ground troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Called ROVER (Remote Operations Video Enhanced Receiver) these units allow troops to view real-time video from a UAV or aircraft overhead via a satellite link. Aircraft with camera targeting pods or surveillance gear are much more effective when the guys on the ground have ROVER.

This kind of real-time, "common picture,” capability makes air power much more effective, and reduces friendly fire incidents. U.S. Special Forces troops and infantry unit commanders use ROVER to obtain a larger view (than their low flying Raven UAVs can provide) of the surrounding area. A handheld (about the size of a PDA) version of ROVER will arrive later this year.

The devices use a satellite data link to get the video from overhead UAVs or aircraft. The original ROVER system, as well as the current one, was developed and sent to the troops in record time. That’s because a Special Forces soldier, just back from Afghanistan, walked into the Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, and asked the technical people to develop a device that would allow them to watch the video being generated by a Predator, AC-130 or other aircraft overhead.

At that time, the video was being viewed by people in the aircraft, or UAV operators who were in the U.S., running things via a satellite link. The ground troops had to ask the air force what could be seen on the video, and there was a delay in getting the information.

The air force went to work, and in two weeks had a ROVER prototype that Special Forces personnel could take to Afghanistan. ROVER I was not very portable, but could be hauled around in a hummer, and see what any Predators overhead were seeing. A few months later ROVER II appeared, which allowed troops to view UAV videos on a laptop computer. By late 2004, Rover III, a 12-pound backpack unit, was put into service.

Although ROVER IIIs cost $60,000 each, they are now used in Afghanistan and Iraq, and can grab video feeds from army, marine and air force UAVs and bomber targeting pods, which have great resolution up to 20,000 feet. Without the wartime pressure, it would have taken a decade or more to get ROVER to where it got in only a few years. A decade ago, army planners did not see anything like ROVER being available until the 2020s.

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT



Who is safe? Here are some interesting new facts that show that being a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan may be one of the safer places to be today. With things quieting down in Iraq (casualties hit a low in May), South Africa has regained its position as the most violent country on the planet, with a murder rate of 65 per 100,000. The Iraqi rate is now running at about 48 per 100,000. The death rate is also high in some other African countries (Sudan, Somalia and Congo), but those places don't keep efficient records.

The Afghanistan rate is even lower, about 15 per 100,000. India, another area plagued by terrorism (communist and tribal), the murder rate is about 4 per 100,000. That's about the same as most European nations, and half the U.S. rate. But the Western Hemisphere has always had a higher homicide rate than the Old World. No one is quite sure why.

WOMEN TOO: The same may be true especially for women. Periodically the mass media will run stories of sexual harassment and assault in the military. It does happen. Currently, about 210 per 100,000 members of the military are victims of sexual assault each year. However, non-military personnel carried out 60 percent of the assaults.

Moreover, the sexual assault rate is more than five times higher among the U.S. college population. That might be explained by the greater opportunity. About 55 percent of college students are women, while only 15 percent of military personnel are female. And the military is better disciplined than average students. As for combat risk, that causes far less injury to military women each year than sexual assault.

So college life has no edge there. In fact, the greater opportunity to use drugs in college, puts women at more risk than in the military (where random drug tests are standard.) Moreover, women in the military are all trained in the use of weapons, and how to protect themselves if attacked. The bottom line is that young women are safer in the military than they are in college, or as civilians. That said, military life is dirtier and more tedious than what many women, or men, are willing to tolerate.


TODAY’S FEATURE



Election 2008: Are Our Politicians Becoming Irrelevant? By Dennis Mullin



Many Americans are beginning to wish, were it possible, that this election could simply be canceled. It is already stultifyingly endless, and we won’t even choose a President for another six months. The real campaign hasn’t even started yet. That’s bad news for the candidates in 2008, who clearly don’t understand that they cannot count on business as usual and may become irrelevant by the time they seek re-election. They are the politically functional equivalent of the old IBM in a world looking to discover its new political version of Bill Gates and Microsoft.



SHOUTING MATCH: The unseemly Democratic shouting match, which rehashes the same issues day after day after day, puts the ultimate shouter Chris Matthews to shame. McCain is wondering around somewhere, and the idiots on TV are providing 24X7 coverage of exactly the same thing over and over. It’s feeling like Ground Hog Day.



Everybody is promising billions for this and billions for that, which we all know isn’t available and won’t be spent. The Democratic Congress just keeps spending money hand over fist with Republican support, proving that it won’t make a difference who wins the Presidency or which party can steal the most.



The whole thing is a reality show for people who have wanted to be a politician all of their lives, either because they aren’t qualified to hold a real job or just want to say they accomplished their goal. This time we even have one who implies she is entitled to the Oval Office because her husband once partied there.



HYSTERIA: The campaign has also become a classic case of politically correct demographic hysteria. The professors who invented the 6,000 categories on the race form (which does not include mixed race) must be thrilled to hear that X percentage of the white, female, non-cooking, smokers over 42 with 11.4 years of elementary education voted differently from the Hispanic, male, smoker with a mustache, and a high school diploma who prefers baseball over soccer, according to the latest exit polls.



FARM FAT: The Democrat-controlled Congress has poured on the fat. It approved a $307 billion farm bill on May 14, by a vote of 318 to 106. The Senate endorsed this boondoggle with near-full Republican support. The legislation gives $3.8 billion in farming disaster assistance to those who already have received $5.2 billion in direct payments for their "historical planting average," even if they have stopped farming.



While typical GIs in Iraq and Afghanistan dodge bullets for just $41,591 annually, couples with yearly incomes up to $1.5 million still can receive agricultural subsidies. Democrats consider these wealthy growers rich enough to sustain tax hikes, yet poor enough to receive farm welfare.





Meanwhile, dim-witted ethanol assistance survives, excessive sugar supports expand, and those who cultivate lentils, chickpeas, salmon, and even racehorses join the dole. Greedy politicians use taxpayers' money to buy the votes of equally greedy farmers, even as they chastise other nations in trade talks for exactly the same thing.



IRRELEVANT: It is clear that who controls Congress doesn’t matter, and all of the Presidential candidates are promising one way or another to spend even more. But that is why the political process may finally have proven itself to be irrelevant, in the sense that a new generation of leadership has yet to emerge that understands the new realities that will drive America into the future.



Michael Malone, author of "The Protean Corporation" writes in the Wall Street Journal that America is undergoing a seismic shift as it defines its next frontier. “The geographic one gave way to the scientific and technological one of the 20th century. Americans invented more milestone technologies and inventions, created more wealth and leisure time, and reorganized their institutions more times than any country had ever done before – despite a massive economic depression and two world wars.”



“It all reached a crescendo in the magical year of 1969, with the creation of the Internet, the invention of the microprocessor and, most of all, a man walking on the moon.”



He notes some interesting developments: Schools are increasingly Internet based. We still have companies and corporations, but now they are virtualized, with online work teams handing off assignments to each other around the world. Men and women go to work, but the office is increasingly at home. In 2005, an Intel survey of its employees found that 20% had never met their boss face-to-face. Half of them never expected to. A Stanford study of IBM, Sun, HP, Microsoft and Cisco found the percentages greater.



Newspapers are dying; networks are dying, and with new advanced video technologies television, as we know it, could die soon as well. More than 200 million people now belong to just two social networks: MySpace and Facebook. And there are more than 80 million videos on YouTube, all put there by individual initiative.



SERIAL ENTREPRENEURS: Malone says the most compelling statistic is that half of all new college graduates now believe that self-employment is more secure than a full-time job. Today, 80% of the colleges and universities in the U.S. offer courses on entrepreneurship; 60% of Gen Y business owners consider themselves to be serial entrepreneurs, according to Inc. Magazine. Tellingly, 18 to 24-year-olds are starting companies at a faster rate than 35 to 44-year-olds. And 70% of today's high schoolers intend to start their own companies, according to a Gallup poll.



CONSEQUENCES: While the consequences are still evolving, such as in genetic engineering, Malone believes that a social transformation of equal importance is taking place that will redefine how we work and live and govern ourselves as well. Many of these changes are already apparent.



He notes some interesting developments: Schools are increasingly Internet based. We still have companies and corporations, but now they are virtualized, with online work teams handing off assignments to each other around the world. Men and women go to work, but the office is increasingly at home. In 2005, an Intel survey of its employees found that 20% had never met their boss face-to-face. Half of them never expected to. A Stanford study of IBM, Sun, HP, Microsoft and Cisco found the percentages greater.



Newspapers are dying; networks are dying, and with new advanced video technologies television, as we know it, could die soon as well. More than 200 million people now belong to just two social networks: MySpace and Facebook. And there are more than 80 million videos on YouTube, all put there by individual initiative.


“An upcoming wave of new workers in our society will never work for an established company if they can help it. To them, having a traditional job is one of the biggest career failures they can imagine,” he says.



“There has never been a nation in which the dominant paradigm is entrepreneurship. Not just self-employment or sole proprietorship, but serial company-building, entire careers built on perpetual change, independence and the endless pursuit of the next opportunity.”



NEW EPOCH: “Without noticing it, we have once again discovered, and are racing to settle a new frontier. Not land, not innovation, but ourselves and control over our own lives and careers. Each step in the development of American society has been towards an ever-greater level of independence, freedom and personal liberty. And as the rest of the world catches up, we've already moved on to the next epoch in the national story.”



“But liberty exacts its own demands. Entrepreneurial America is likely to become even more innovative than today. And that innovation is likely to spread across society, not just as products and inventions, but new ways of living and new types of organizations.”



“The economy will be much more volatile and competitive. In the continuous fervor to create new institutions, it will become increasingly difficult to sustain old ones. New political parties, new social groupings, thousands of new manias and movements and millions of new companies will pop up over the next few decades. Large firms that don't combine permanence with perpetual change will be swept away,” he concludes.



IMMIGRANTS: A new study by the Manhattan Institute also indicates that these shifts will easily incorporate new arrivals. It says of the latest extraordinarily large burst in immigration, that the new arrivals bear much resemblance to the Italian, Greek, and Polish immigrants of 1910. These immigrants are quite distinct from the native-born population because they speak English relatively poorly and tend to occupy lower rungs on the socio-economic ladder.



Yet the immigrants of a century ago, and many groups of immigrants today, make quick progress as they spend more time here -- advancing economically, and becoming naturalized citizens. “In addition, their children are in most ways nearly indistinguishable from native-born children.”



That indicates that while academia and politicians keep striving to define America as distinct Bantustans that must be catered to and showered with entitlements, the opposite may be the case. Interestingly, the most quickly and successfully assimilated immigrants are from Vietnam and Cuba, and those fleeing totalitarianism. Thus the new technological and entrepreneurial landscape will create new voters who value self-reliance and fiscal responsibility over social paternalism, and government intervention.



That’s bad news for the candidates in 2008, who clearly don’t understand that they cannot count on business as usual and may become irrelevant by the time they seek re-election. They are the politically functional equivalent of the old IBM in a world looking to discover its new political version of Bill Gates and Microsoft.
  -- Read More >

Posted: 2 Jun 2008
Dennis Mullin Election 2008: Are Today’s Politicians Becoming Irrelevant?































































CONSEQUENCES: While the consequences are still evolving, such as in genetic engineering, Malone believes that a social transformation of equal importance is taking place that will redefine how we work and live and govern ourselves as well. Many of these changes are already apparent.












































  -- Read More >
Posted: 28 May 2008
Dennis Mullin Obama’s Model Promises Radical Changes by Turning Back the Clock

  -- Read More >
Posted: 28 May 2008
Dennis Mullin CAMPAIGN, Wrapping up
VEEPSTAKES, Pros and Cons of Hillary’s Baggage
CONGRESS, HRC Must Get Back in Seniority Line
TRADE, Action on China Fades in Political Turmoil
DEFENSE, Troop-Strapped Pentagon Banks on Futuristic Weapons
ABROAD, Jihad in Thailand; Burma Agrees on Aid
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT, Relief Workers as Child Abusers
TODAY’S FEATURE, Election 2008: Are Today's Politicians becoming Irrelevant? (see "Reality Check")
  -- Read More >
Posted: 24 May 2008
Dennis Mullin The Latest State of Play; There are Some Silver Linings   -- Read More >
Posted: 16 May 2008
Dennis Mullin China: Critics May Be Wise To
Be Careful What They Wish For   -- Read More >
Posted: 13 May 2008
Dennis Mullin Inscrutable Japan to Host G-8 Summit
As it Measures its Influence in Asia   -- Read More >
Posted: 11 May 2008
Dennis Mullin The Commodities Panic is Now Also
Driving a New Global Arms Race   -- Read More >
Posted: 4 May 2008
Dennis Mullin U.S. Exceptionalism Deepens Divide With Europe; Gives Rise to New Isolationism
  -- Read More >
Posted: 30 Apr 2008
Dennis Mullin Military Update on Iraq Shows Success; Pentagon Shuns Windows; the Vulture
  -- Read More >
Posted: 27 Apr 2008
Dennis Mullin Japan’s Economic Problems Are As Unsettling as Those at Home
  -- Read More >
Posted: 25 Apr 2008
Dennis Mullin New Oil Finds, Technologies, Offer a Way
Out, But Congress Won’t Let That Happen
  -- Read More >
Posted: 21 Apr 2008
Dennis Mullin As the World Ages, Many Profound
Changes and Decisions Lie Ahead   -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Apr 2008
Dennis Mullin Understanding the Newly Powerful China Will be a Necessary, Very Difficult Task
  -- Read More >
Posted: 14 Apr 2008
Dennis Mullin Beijing Says Tibet has Been Part of China for 700 Years; Hollywood Disagrees. Who is Right?   -- Read More >
Posted: 12 Apr 2008
Dennis Mullin SUMMER OUTLOOK MAY NOT BE AS BLEAK AS MANY FORECAST   -- Read More >
Posted: 5 Apr 2008
Dennis Mullin The Nuclear Power Debate is Back Amid
The Latest Energy Crisis; Mining is Key
  -- Read More >
Posted: 3 Apr 2008
Dennis Mullin Global Warming Orthodoxy Faces
Some Uncomfortable New Scrutiny
  -- Read More >
Posted: 28 Mar 2008
Dennis Mullin Don't Forget Afghanistan: The Taliban is Weaker But not Vanquished, While NATO Keeps Vacillating   -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Mar 2008
Dennis Mullin FIVE YEARS IN IRAQ STILL HAVEN'T CREATED CONDITIONS ALLOWING FOR A WITHDRAWAL   -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Mar 2008
Dennis Mullin AS BEIJING OLYMPICS LOOM, THE FOCUS SHIFTS TO CHINA'S WOES AND ITS GREATER GLOBAL ROLE   -- Read More >
Posted: 15 Mar 2008
Dennis Mullin DARPA WORKING ON THE NEW BIONIC MAN: SELF-DRIVING CARS; SIMPLER SPACE SYSTEMS   -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Mar 2008
Dennis Mullin AN ADMIRAL'S RESIGNATION HIGHLIGHTS WASHINGTON'S DYSFUNCTIONAL WAYS

  -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Mar 2008
Dennis Mullin Venezuela’s Chavez Keeps Stirring the Pot, But He Will Lose Any War with Colombia

  -- Read More >
Posted: 7 Mar 2008
Dennis Mullin GLOBALIZATION CREATES A NEW MIDDLE CLASS AND A NEW DIVISION OF GLOBAL PRODUCTION by Dennis Mullin

  -- Read More >
Posted: 3 Mar 2008
Dennis Mullin As Terrorism Goes Grassroots, Local Law Enforcement Becomes First Line of Defense   -- Read More >
Posted: 2 Mar 2008
Dennis Mullin U.S. Recession will have Wide-ranging

Impact on Economies Worldwide
  -- Read More >
Posted: 26 Feb 2008
Dennis Mullin Spending, Short on Managing Experience

  -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Feb 2008
Dennis Mullin By Dennis Mullin   -- Read More >
Posted: 21 Feb 2008
Dennis Mullin Dangerous Hornet’s Nest   -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Feb 2008
Dennis Mullin A Full Year, and Asia’s Militaries Simmer   -- Read More >
Posted: 15 Feb 2008
Dennis Mullin From West Point, New York, Dennis Mullin writes of the controversial Benedict Arnold and his role in events which could have altered the course of the Revolutionary War.   -- Read More >
Posted: 12 Feb 2008
Dennis Mullin Veteran Correspondent Dennis Mullin provides a "Reality Check" into the ongoing political campaign. "I just spent some time in the hospital, where all the interns and industrious young staff were interested in the daily ups and downs of the current campaign. It wasn’t easy to be hontestly cyncical and tell them that none of it really matters in any case – and that the flaws in the current polticial system are as deeply embedded as they are in the human body."   -- Read More >
Posted: 7 Feb 2008
Dennis Mullin EVEN AS WORLD TRADE IS UNDER POLITICAL
EVEN AS WORLD TRADE IS UNDER POLITICAL
ATTACK, ITS VOLUME BOOMS NONETHELESS   -- Read More >
Posted: 6 Feb 2008
Dennis Mullin FOREIGN POLICY POSITIONS REVIEWED by Dennis Mullin   -- Read More >
Posted: 3 Feb 2008
Dennis Mullin

Following the February 3 Serbian elections, it is inevitable that the Albanian Muslim Administration of the Serbian province of Kosovo will unilaterally declare independence. Despite Serb protests, the United States stands ready to recognize this declaration and the fallout could be enormous. However noble their intentions, the military intervention in the Balkans in the late 1990s by the Clinton Administration and the European Union has resulted in creating a potentially militant Islamic presence pointed directly for the heart of Europe. What is alarming is that the international community at large is unaware or uninterested in what is happening in this critically strategic area.   -- Read More >

Posted: 1 Feb 2008
Dennis Mullin NUCLEAR POWER PRESSING AHEAD;
CONGRESS LOOKS AT LIABILITY   -- Read More >
Posted: 31 Jan 2008
Dennis Mullin POLITICIANS TAKE NOTICE AS
POVERTY BECOMES A MAJOR ISSUE   -- Read More >
Posted: 24 Jan 2008
Dennis Mullin IMPACT ON WATER OF ETHANOL SWITCH,
NEEDS TO BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT
  -- Read More >
Posted: 21 Jan 2008
Dennis Mullin DOLLAR AND OIL PROBLEMS;
HOW SERIOUS ARE THEY?
  -- Read More >
Posted: 20 Jan 2008
Dennis Mullin THREATS OF MARITIME TERRORISM
DRAW SPECIAL ATTENTION   -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Jan 2008
Dennis Mullin ARE CONCERNS OF OVER-EXTENDED U.S.
ARMED FORCES REAL OR EXAGGERATED?
  -- Read More >
Posted: 12 Jan 2008
Dennis Mullin HAS THE NEW DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS CHANGED
POLICY PRIORITIES? ANALYSTS SAY, NOT MUCH   -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Jan 2008
Dennis Mullin LAWMAKERS AGAIN EYE GLOBALIZATION,
BUT OUTSOURCING ISN’T GOING TO BE SLOWED   -- Read More >
Posted: 9 Jan 2008
Dennis Mullin ARCANE ELECTION PROCEDURES UNDERWAY
FOR 2008; PRESIDENCY IS NOT THE ONLY PRIZE   -- Read More >
Posted: 8 Jan 2008
Dennis Mullin AN OPTIMIST’S VIEW OF THE U.S. FOREIGN POLICY
FUTURE; AMID THE WIDESPREAD DOUBTS
  -- Read More >
Posted: 6 Jan 2008
Dennis Mullin NANOTECHNOLOGY TAKES CENTER STAGE,
WITH NATIONAL SECURITY A PRIORITY
  -- Read More >
Posted: 5 Jan 2008
Dennis Mullin PATENT FIGHTS ARE CONTENTIOUS,
LUCRATIVE, AND CAN BE DANGEROUS
  -- Read More >
Posted: 4 Jan 2008
Dennis Mullin ARCHAIC PATENT LAWS ARE BEING REVAMPED,
AMID A SERIOUS DEBATE; THE PROS AND CONS   -- Read More >
Posted: 3 Jan 2008
Dennis Mullin GEOPOLITICAL STAKES RISING ALONG
WITH THE PRICE OF OIL AND GAS   -- Read More >
Posted: 2 Jan 2008
Dennis Mullin Test   -- Read More >
Posted: 31 Dec 2007
Dennis Mullin IS THE U.S. SAVINGS RATE A CURSE OR
A BLESSING? A SURPRISING ASSESSMENT   -- Read More >
Posted: 30 Dec 2007
Dennis Mullin POLITICAL FIELD STILL WIDE OPEN, AS BUSHS RATINGS INCREASE   -- Read More >
Posted: 26 Dec 2007
Dennis Mullin NEW PRESIDENT IS OFF TO A FAST START, MENDING
FENCES AND PLOTTING AMBITIOUS ECONOMIC PLANS   -- Read More >
Posted: 25 Dec 2007
Dennis Mullin Edna Ferber, Roast Beef Medium
Christmas isn't a season. It's a feeling.   -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Dec 2007
Dennis Mullin EASING VISA HURDLES TO ATTRACT
TOP SCIENCE, HIGH-TECH TALENT   -- Read More >
Posted: 22 Dec 2007
Dennis Mullin AMID ISOLATIONIST TREND, FOREIGN
INVESTMENT COMES UNDER NEW SCRUTINY   -- Read More >
Posted: 21 Dec 2007
Dennis Mullin COMPUTER USE IN ASIA IS
CONSUMING MASSIVE ENERGY   -- Read More >
Posted: 20 Dec 2007
Dennis Mullin THE RIGHT TO GO TO WAR
COMES UNDER QUESTION   -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Dec 2007
Dennis Mullin REALITY CHECK It appears that the Turkish army has taken its first real public reaction against the Iraqi Kurd militants. From my experience, I would not advise angering the Turkish military. In the Korean war, the UN had to order it not to fight.   -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Dec 2007
Dennis Mullin THE U.S. AND CHINA; JOINED AT THE HIP,
OR HEADING FOR CONFRONTATION?   -- Read More >
Posted: 14 Dec 2007
Dennis Mullin HOW TO ADDRESS TERRORIST
ACCESS TO HIGH TECHNOLOGY
  -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Dec 2007
Dennis Mullin ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE IS
THE MAIN TOPIC, YET AGAIN
  -- Read More >
Posted: 11 Dec 2007
Dennis Mullin WHAT WILL INTELLIGENCE CONFUSION
ON IRAN, MEAN TO U.S. POLICY?
  -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Dec 2007
Dennis Mullin NEW CONVENTIONAL SYSTEMS
CAUSE ANT-TERROR CONCERN
  -- Read More >
Posted: 8 Dec 2007
Dennis Mullin ANTI-NUCLEAR VOICES RESURFACE,
AS ENERGY DEBATE INTENSIFIES   -- Read More >
Posted: 6 Dec 2007
Dennis Mullin PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS BECOME
MORE COMPLICATED, AND DANGEROUS   -- Read More >
Posted: 5 Dec 2007
Dennis Mullin INDUSTRY PRODS CHINA; NEW PROGRESS
AND TENSIONS BEFORE PAULSON VISIT   -- Read More >
Posted: 3 Dec 2007
Dennis Mullin SANCTIONS AGAINST BURMA MOVE
TO RESOURCES AND “BLOOD JEWELS”
  -- Read More >
Posted: 28 Nov 2007
Dennis Mullin CONCERN OVER MIDEAST TURMOIL
INCLUDES PAKISTAN’S NUCLEAR BOMBS   -- Read More >
Posted: 21 Nov 2007
Dennis Mullin NATURAL RESOURCE BATTLE RAISES NEW ALARM ON SEVERAL COUNTS
NEW ALARM ON SEVERAL COUNTS   -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Nov 2007
Dennis Mullin NASA NOT STANDING IDLE, AS ASIA
JOINS THE SPACE RACE IN EARNEST

  -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Nov 2007
Dennis Mullin PANEL WANTS LESS FOR GNEP R&D,
MORE FOR NEW NUCLEAR PLANTS
  -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Nov 2007
Dennis Mullin IMMIGRATION EMERGES AS KEY ISSUE,
IMMIGRATION EMERGES AS KEY ISSUE,
THAT COULD DEFINE THE ’08 RACE   -- Read More >
Posted: 2 Nov 2007
Dennis Mullin FOREIGN POLICY POSITIONS EMERGE
FOR 2008, BUT THEY LACK CONSENSUS   -- Read More >
Posted: 24 Oct 2007
Dennis Mullin TREASURY CHIEF PAULSON BETS
HIS LEGACY ON THE SUPER-CONDUIT   -- Read More >
Posted: 22 Oct 2007
Dennis Mullin ASSESSING THE “FORGOTTEN WAR” IN
AFGHANISTAN; WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE   -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Oct 2007
Dennis Mullin OIL IS PLAYING A KEY ROLE IN THE
MOUNTING TURK-KURDISH TENSIONS   -- Read More >
Posted: 11 Oct 2007
Dennis Mullin MAJOR ECONOMIC TROUBLES WILL
CONTINUE TO HAUNT BURMA   -- Read More >
Posted: 8 Oct 2007
Dennis Mullin SOUTHEAST ASIAN OIL STATES BECOME
PLAYERS; EXPANSION BRINGS RISKS   -- Read More >
Posted: 26 Sep 2007
Dennis Mullin BURMA IS MAKING NEWS AGAIN WITH TROUBLE
AT HOME, AND A BIG RESOURCES DEAL OFFSHORE
  -- Read More >
Posted: 16 Sep 2007
Dennis Mullin Test   -- Read More >
Posted: 9 Aug 2007
Dennis Mullin BRIDGE COLLAPSE HIGHLIGHTS THE NATION’S
INFRASTRUCTURE CRISIS; WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE   -- Read More >
Posted: 1 Aug 2007
Dennis Mullin FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN THE U.S. TO
GET MORE SCRUTINY UNDER NEW BILL   -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Jun 2007
Dennis Mullin The delay with North Korea over the frozen funds in Macau may finally be ending, opening the way to a deal on its nuclear program, officials here say, thanks to help from, of all places, Russia. “The U.S. is working with Russian and Macanese authorities to facilitate the transfer of the funds previously frozen at Banco Delta Asia,” Molly Millerwise, a Treasury Department spokeswoman said.   -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Jun 2007
Dennis Mullin New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire himself, has left the Republican Party and opened the path for a prospective candidacy as an independent.In an election campaign which has already reached ridiculous proportions; voting day is still a year-and-a-half away, there are enough candidates to fill an entire baseball team and all are furiously raising multi-millions, there is even a new twist.   -- Read More >
Posted: 3 Jun 2007
Dennis Mullin

Balkan Terrorists at work in the U.S.? The recent "Fort Dix Six"( a Turk, a Jordanian, and four ethnic Albanians), most long-time residents of the U.S.(three are illegal), may well have an ominous nexus to Balkan Islamist terrorism. Accordingly, we are reposting here a Publisher's Memo originally appearing in ContinentalDivide.us February, 2006.

  -- Read More >
Posted: 30 May 2007
Dennis Mullin On May 28, the U.S. and Iran engaged in their first discussions in over 27 years, this time over the security of Iraq. Both sides described the event in Baghdad as positive, but the two nations did not accomplish much. What was clear however, is that the U.S. is leaving Iraq and Shiite Teheran will have the upper hand in the majority Shiite Iraqi nation in the near future at least.   -- Read More >
Posted: 16 May 2007
Dennis Mullin The U.S. and Iran announced May 13 that they would meet in Baghdad in the next few weeks to discuss security in Iraq, one of the few face-to-face meetings for the two governments in more than two decades. On May 11, Iran and other developing nations forced a downgrading of the final statement on a review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at a meeting chaired by Japan, objecting to what they called “imbalance.”   -- Read More >
Posted: 27 Apr 2007
Dennis Mullin China’s insatiable quest for natural resources has gained a good deal of media attention -- particularly involving oil. But now Greenpeace and many other groups are saying that the real issue is now timber; and that Chinese firms may be destroying many eco-systems around the world.   -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Apr 2007
Dennis Mullin China is pressing ahead with a program to commission up to half of the new People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officers from its finest universities, following the U.S. ROTC model. In the near-term, this initiative will take advantage of civilian institutions of higher education to train technologically proficient military leaders better able to function on the high-tech battlefields of the 21st century. Over the longer-term, while relying on civilian education may well increase the level of PLA officers’ professionalism, it could also help liberalize the military’s mindset.   -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Apr 2007
Dennis Mullin Given the tensions surrounding North Korea and China’s military buildup, the ongoing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the brinkmanship with Iran, along with the precarious balance in the Persian Gulf oil routes, there is a good deal happening on the naval front. Pentagon officials point to a few developments in the last few weeks that signal a new naval arms race in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, especially involving submarine technology. On the eve of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Tokyo, Prime Minister Abe urged transparency on China's defense spending in order to lessen the perception of Beijing as a threat. That was welcomed in Washington.   -- Read More >
Posted: 5 Apr 2007
Dennis Mullin Democrats in Congress, with present economy difficulties firmly in mind, are on the warpath on trade, arguing that outsourcing and globalization have contributed to the loss of jobs and increased income disparity. But others argue that it is not that simple, and that the U.S. could suffer badly by tilting toward protectionism, especially in the Information Technology area.   -- Read More >
Posted: 4 Apr 2007
Dennis Mullin In case anybody doubted that the trade issue is going to be huge a one with the new Democratic Congress in charge, despite the new Free Trade Agreement(FTA) with Seoul the Bush administration announced April 2 that it is formally accusing a full 63 trading partners with erecting unfair barriers to American exports. It has some suggestions for Japan, but particularly targets China.   -- Read More >
Posted: 3 Apr 2007
Dennis Mullin The latest round of six-party talks between the two Koreas, Japan, the U.S., China and Russia have ended again with no progress in Beijing, derailed by a dispute over $25 million in Pyongyang bank accounts frozen by the U.S. in 2005 on charges of counterfeiting and other illegal currency transactions. In exchange for closing its nuclear program the North would receive 50 million tons in emergency fuel. The talks also hinge on issues such as diplomatic recognition by the U.S., Japan’s concern over kidnapped citizens and other peripheral matters. But the really important issue has just come to a head -- the South Korean-U.S. free trade pact has finally been approved.   -- Read More >
Posted: 26 Mar 2007
Dennis Mullin Many here are questioning the surging role of China, which now claims it may put a man on the moon before the the U.S. can do it again. But others are cautioning that the real anchor in Asia is Japan, and that the administration should keep that very much in mind when it considers international strategy. Michael Green, an Associate Professor of International Relations at Georgetown University and Japan Chair at the CSIS draws attention to the renewed contention that the world may be making a mistake by -- “Japan Passing.”   -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Mar 2007
Dennis Mullin Critics of American economic policy, particularly in the newly Democratic-controlled Congress, are hammering at the trade deficit as the ruin of the national economy, and a rationale for blocking free trade agreements. There is also an almost universal consensus that the record U.S. trade deficit for 2007 with China, Japan and other nations, is a drag on U.S. growth and a threat to global economic stability. But some have a different view.   -- Read More >
Posted: 22 Mar 2007
Dennis Mullin On March 14, the Center for Strategic and International Studies in conjunction with the Stanley Foundation, issued a report on “Bulding an Open and Inclusive Regional Architecture for Asia.” CSIS Japan Chair Michael Green supported the reports basic conclusions that the U.S. must build on its alliances with Japan, Korea and Australia, and its new partnership with India, while dealing with China to set ambitious objectives for “a principled multilateral cooperation system in Asia to ensure development of an open and inclusive regional architecture.”   -- Read More >
Posted: 15 Mar 2007
Dennis Mullin State Department officials are bemoaning the latest headache they don’t need -- Japanese Premier Abe’s attraction of international reproach for disputing that his country's military coerced young women into sexual enslavement during Japan's occupation of China and the Korean peninsula.   -- Read More >
Posted: 11 Mar 2007
Dennis Mullin The Pentagon said last week that it will examine industry concerns about U.S. export controls and whether they are keeping non-traditional contractors out of the defense market. The move comes as a new group of firms announced the formation of the “Coalition for Security and Competitiveness” to address the joint issues of national security and international trade.





  -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Mar 2007
Dennis Mullin President Bush’s arrival in Brazil today to discuss an ethonol deal, follows news of a project under consideration between the Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA and Japan's Mitsui to supply Brazilian ethanol made from sugar cane to the Japanese market which could cost as much as $8 billion. With oil at $60 a barrel, the search for alternative energy sources is gaining new momentum. But the energy industry here also believes that there is plenty of more oil in the ground and that technolgical advances may significantly increase existing resources.   -- Read More >
Posted: 6 Mar 2007
Dennis Mullin TREASURY CHIEF PAULSON TAKES AN
AMBITIOUS AGENDA TO ASIA THIS WEEK   -- Read More >
Posted: 1 Mar 2007
Dennis Mullin Wall Street’s sell-off on Feb. 27, and the global meltdown of markets has triggered a wave of commentary here and elesewhere on the integration of the world markets.Indexes from Tokyo to Turkey, to Chile dropped on the news driving home again the point that globalization is now a financial reality for everyone.   -- Read More >
Posted: 28 Feb 2007
Dennis Mullin That is the question many in Washington are now pondering. The similarities are striking. Both nations started from scratch, Japan after WW II, and China after the destructive decades of Mao’s communist rule. Both boomed on the basis of cheap labor and low cost goods, and now China appears to be on the verge of advancing to the type of high-tech economy that has made Japan a world model.   -- Read More >
Posted: 25 Feb 2007
Dennis Mullin U.S.-China relations are due for another rough spot. The deficit with China has almost tripled since President Bush took office, and many Democrats newly in power have China's government subsidies and currency practices in their sights -- major bilateral trade problems are likely ahead. They are demanding that the administration takes a tougher stance with all trading partners, but especially Beijing.

China passed Mexico as the second-largest U.S. trading partner in 2006, while the U.S. trade deficit soared to record $232.5 billion. The China deficit was 30 percent of the total U.S. trade deficit with all nations, which reached $763.6 billion last year, a record for the fifth straight year. The new Democratic “fair trade” Congress is steaming mad.

“There needs to be a fundamental shift in U.S. policy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats wrote in a letter to the President last week. Democrats called on Bush to give them 90 days to come up with a “comprehensive plan” to end trade deficits with China, Japan and the European Union.

Few analysts here have an easy answer for accomplishing that objective. But what is clear is that trade relations with China are headed for a difficult period. The administration has already presented cases to the WTO on steel, paper and subsidies for other industries.

TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY

The Democrats' criticisms about the trade deficit underscore their differences with the administration over broader trade policy. USTR Susan Schwab is banging on doors on Capitol Hill to attempt to gain the extension of the administration’s trade promotion authority due to expire June 30. Labor unions, heavy Democratic contributors, are trying to stop her, in their general opposition to outsourcing and trade globalization.

That’s the so-called “fast track” authority that allows the administration to negotiate trade deals in bulk, with Congress getting an up-or-down vote. Without it, Congress would be able to micro-manage every aspect of U.S. trade policy.

Companies such as Boeing, Wal-Mart and New York Life Insurance have been paying lobbyist millions to get the trade authority renewed. “The initial reception has been cordial” in Congress, Schwab said last week. “I hope that we can reach an accommodation without sacrificing principle.”

“At stake are the 70 years of market-opening tariff cuts and global trade agreements that the U.S. has pursued since World War II, which had added a trillion dollars a year to the economy,” says Gary Hufbauer of the Peterson Institute.

TRADE IMPERATIVES

Schwab and other proponents of the free trade measures see them as imperative. She said that the deficit aside, they have led to a boom in U.S. exports this year, including a 25 percent jump in goods sent to Brazil and 32 percent in exports to China.

But Democrats, led by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel of New York, are leery of renewing trade promotion authority unless the administration insists on protections for workers, such as rights to join unions. This comes despite the fact that union membership in America has been sinking like a stone.

They also say the administration needs to take a tougher stance against overseas barriers to U.S. exports, especially in China, if the U.S. is going to reduce the deficit and develop a policy that benefits workers.

The administration has been “more passive than active, and that's true in so many areas whether it's China, Japan, currency or the negotiations with South Korea,” Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, the Democratic chairman of the trade subcommittee said. The trade deficit “is one reflection of a trade policy that isn't working.”

SECOND ONLY TO CANADA

China is now second only to Canada as a U.S. trading partner. Democrats are matching their criticism with legislative proposals. Already this year there are half-a-dozen measures introduced in Congress aimed at Chinese trade or currency practices.

In the House, Democrat Tim Ryan of Ohio and Republican Duncan Hunter of California plan to reintroduce a measure that would allow companies to petition for duties on imports from China to compensate for the discount Chinese exporters get from their undervalued currency. “This issue is gathering steam, and a lot of people are looking for us to do something about it,” Ryan said. Some measure aimed at China's currency will pass Congress this year, he predicted.

Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota has proposed repealing permanent normal trade relations with China, a measure Congress approved before China joined the WTO in 2001. “Congress can -- and must -- send a clear message that China needs to stop cheating and start trading fairly,” Dorgan said.

Schwab, while trying to restrain the backlash, said that the administration isn't satisfied with the efforts by China to open its economy. “Where there are unfair trade practices, clearly we have to go after them,” Schwab said. “China has not done enough.”

Business lobbyists claim that most of the Democrats measures won't become law -- but still may disrupt commercial ties they credit with bringing low-priced imports to U.S. consumers and fostering growth in one of the fastest growing export markets.

PAULSON ON DECK

“What you will see out of Congress this year is an infinite number of wrong proposals aimed at China,” says William Reinsch, president of the National Foreign Trade Council. Still, the groups are optimistic that lawmakers will approve new trade agreements, and may even approve the negotiating authority. “We recognize that we may have a long campaign ahead of us,” said Nicole Venable, the chamber's top trade lobbyist.

Treasury Secretary Paulson remains the man in the middle, but still is also starting to talk tough. He announced that he is setting up a telephone hotline connecting him directly with the Vice-Premier of China and has named a new deputy to oversee high-level talks amid the agitation in congress.

Paulson said last week that he understands there is growing pressure on the administration to do something about the U.S.-China trade relationship, and concrete results are becoming more urgent .He has stuck by his guns that he believes the high-level strategic dialogue he has created is the best opportunity to achieve results, but concedes privately that time may be running out.

Alan Holmer, an executive of a pharmaceutical company and a former trade official during the Reagan administration has been tapped to be Paulson's deputy in charge of the strategic talks.

Meanwhile, the former U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow agreed with Paulson that America doesn’t have much leverage. The U.S. can't force China's government to allow faster gains in the yuan, he said. “It's in China's own interest to continue to allow the yuan to expand in terms of flexibility,” Snow, now chairman of Cerberus Capital Management said in Hong Kong. “I don't think we can force China to do anything.”

Snow's comments came after the Group of Seven nations urged China to allow the yuan to “move” more on a trade-weighted basis to narrow global imbalances. Snow said that a “big and efficient” market was setting the value of the yuan and the Japanese yen and exchange rates are best set by investors.

PENTAGON CONCERNED

The U.S. military isn’t very happy about bilateral relations either. The outgoing U.S. military commander in the Pacific,Navy Admiral William Fallon, a long a proponent of U.S.-China military cooperation, said says it's regrettable that China recently fired a missile into space to shoot down a satellite, noting Beijing has repeatedly vowed to follow a peaceful path to space development – and has taken a potentially offensive action there.

The Jan. 11 missile test, confirmed by Beijing after two weeks of silence, made China only the third country after Russia and the United States to shoot down anything in space. Fallon said the pursuit of such capabilities would seem to contradict statements from Chinese officials that the country wants to grow peacefully.

“China’s Leadership ought to consider carefully its actions and the actions of its subordinates and the messages that they send to others in the world,” Fallon said. “China has been very vocal, particularly in recent years, stating its absolute adherence to a peaceful future and to development of the security of itself as its priority. If that's the case, then what's with these kind of steps?”

The incident in which China destroyed one of its own defunct weather satellites last month, could hinder U.S. moves to expand military relations with Beiging. Pentagon analysts believe, rightly or wrongly, that the satellite test was likely part of a People's Liberation Army effort to develop the ability to counter U.S. military power if there is a face-off over Taiwan.

Fallon said Satellites have become increasingly important to U.S. forces in recent years. In Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. has used satellite technology to deliver precision-guided bombs directly to their targets. “It's regrettable that we see events like this because there are very few people in the world that have satellites relative to others, and it's pretty obvious why someone would be trying to acquire this capability,” Fallon added.

At the Pacific Command, Fallon has pushed to resume and increase U.S.-China military exchanges to reduce the risk of either side misinterpreting the other's actions. The steps warmed relations largely frozen when a U.S. spy plane and a Chinese jet fighter collided off the coast of China in 2001.

Nonetheless, he said he thought cooperation could continue despite China increasing space debris by 10 percent for no discernable reason. “Bilateral exchanges are needed in part to show Beijing that Americans have no plans to invade China but are committed to defending Taiwan as required by U.S. law,” he said. Expanded exchanges have led to the two militaries holding bilateral naval search-and-rescue exercises and communications drills last year. The two countries also increased port visits. More activities are being planned this year, despite the latest incident.

PROGRESS STILL POSSIBLE

The admiral spoke a few weeks before he is due to leave his Hawaii headquarters of the last two years to take over as the top commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East. He'll be based at the Tampa, Fla., offices of the U.S. Central Command. He predicted the U.S.-China relationship would improve over time but suffer setbacks along the way. “As with most things in the world, things move forward in fits and starts,” Fallon said. “I think we're moving forward. Again, no cloudburst of brilliant sunlight and everything is all different, but steady progress.”

The goal, the admiral said, is to bring China into the world community as a constructive, major player. He said the PRC has a ways to go in this regard, as exemplified by Beijing's denial and later acknowledgment it fired the missile.

“As the PRC develops, and changes from this inwardly focused, secretive state, to one in which they are engaged more with the outside world they have adjustments to make,” Fallon said. “This isn't going to happen on a one-way street. We have to engage, bring them along, encourage them by our actions and establish some amount of trust.”

ANAYLSIS CUTS BOTH WAYS

Here’s an analysis of what the current bilateral situation breaks down to, according to one Asian-policy analyst:

• The WTO complaint is superficial, since China already has planned to implement half of the requested reforms in the near future. The real reason behind the Bush administration's move is to keep peace on the domestic political front and buy more time for the Chinese to deal with internal reforms.

• The economic rationale behind Schwab's action is totally political -- given that comprehensive tax reform proposals that would address half of the current complaints already are sitting on Chinese President Hu Jintao's desk.

• The Chinese leadership understands the domestic reasons behind Washington's actions, and would rather the U.S. Congress be kept at bay with minimal disruption to U.S.-Chinese relations.

• The USTR's complaint seems to be a low-cost, very public hit at the Chinese to appease domestic U.S. pressure (at least temporarily), while reminding the Chinese that cooperation is necessary and to keep “China-bashers” in Congress appeased

• This is not the first time Washington has used WTO complaints for these purposes. It has been known to loudly and publicly decry the Chinese for their alleged misconducts. U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's very public criticism of China's currency policies during the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue on Dec. 14, 2006, is an example. The dialogue was designed to keep both countries on the same page on key strategic economic issues. Despite receiving much U.S. media attention, Bernanke's comments were nothing new to the Chinese and had negligible impact on their currency policy.

• Under existing legislation, the U.S. Congress cannot implement retaliatory policies unless the Treasury Department classifies China as a “currency manipulator” in its biannual currency manipulation report. Given that the yuan already is at an all-time low to the dollar, and that past reports have not labeled China a “currency manipulator,” Paulson is unlikely to denounce China now. The Bush administration does not want to slap tariffs on China that would hurt vital business interests. But its ability to constrain Congress at home might shift if legislative changes remove that classification as a precondition for retaliatory action.

• Congress has not tried to act on its own to pressure China, such as bringing forward the Schumer-Graham tariff bill. This bill threatened to levy an extra 27.5 percent duty on all Chinese imports unless Beijing sped up revaluation. More recently, Congress has shown support for suggestions from a group of economists, policymakers and academics proposing that the USTR's trade enforcement authority be transferred to the Justice Department and out of the Bush administration's hands. The USTR has yet to take such threats seriously.

• Asian businesses invested in China -- not Chinese-owned firms -- will be the hardest hit by the implementation of the requested reforms, because most of the affected firms are not Chinese-owned. Instead, they are owned mainly by foreign firms that have outsourced their manufacturing and/or assembly operations to China (usually overseas Chinese from Taiwan or Hong Kong). More than half of China's exports are produced by foreign-invested enterprises.

• The real winners after the USTR's actions will be the Congress and the Bush administration. The members of Congress gain, because they now have more than just talk to take back to their constituents, while the Bush administration can demand more “give” from China on other economic and trade issues.

• The Chinese will benefit to an extent from the WTO case, since they get more time to focus on their own internal reforms while keeping Sino-U.S. relations stable. Key outcomes from this WTO complaint already are playing out on the stage of U.S. domestic politics, but may not end up disrupting international trade.

Finally, the more the Democrats tangle with international trade, analysts here believe the stronger Paulson’s hand will be within the process -- and he is known here as “Mr. China.” But there is serious trouble ahead.
  -- Read More >
Posted: 21 Feb 2007
Dennis Mullin The basis of the bilateral relationship between Japan and the U.S. on numerous issues is drawing increasing attention in diplomatic circles, especially as the resurgent Democrats in Washington alter the foreign policy landscape. Vice President Cheney’s visit this week is designed to ensure Asian leaders that the Bush administration remains committed to the region. Officials here have high expectations for the U.S.-Japan partnership and many nations and issues are involved in the equation.

DECISION MAKING: Following special national security adviser to the Prime Minister Yuriko Koize’s visit last week, State Department officials are pleased that Japan is strengthening its institutions and bureaucratic infrastructure to facilitate the most effective decision-making process possible on global matters.

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  -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Feb 2007
Dennis Mullin The new Democratic Congress is preparing to make the first significant legislative revisions to procedures for reviewing foreign investment rules in the U.S., since last year’s Dubai Ports World controversy. The bill, which was marked up by the House Financial Services Committee on Feb. 13, aims to establish a 12-agency panel to oversee the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), the body charged with reviewing foreign investments in U.S. firms.   -- Read More >
Posted: 16 Feb 2007
Dennis Mullin The new Democratic House began debate Feb. 13 on a non-binding resolution saying that it “disapproves of the decision” to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq. But it also says that Congress will, “continue to support and protect” U.S. forces and significantly, it doesn't address cutting war funds. This means that the President is likely to get his budget request for increased Pentagon spending passed.   -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Feb 2007
Dennis Mullin There is a view that the U.S. dominates the UN and attempts at reform are designed to enhance American influence. But Washington’s power within the U.N. is limited, and often the UN is used as a multilateral vehicle to attack the U.S. -- especially by strategic competitors such as Russia, China, India and France. The administration and Congress back Japan’s call for Council expansion, to balance the equation, but officials say their efforts to spur changes are stalled.


  -- Read More >
Posted: 11 Feb 2007
Dennis Mullin In announcing President Bush’s budget request for the Department of Energy Feb. 5 of $24.3 billion for FY 2008, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said funding priorities include investments in affordable, clean and reliable energy; further scientific discovery; continued efforts at environmental cleanup and maintaining the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile while promoting civilian nuclear power.


  -- Read More >
Posted: 5 Feb 2007
Dennis Mullin The U.S. filed a complaint against China before the WTO on Feb. 2, after months of negotiations between Washington and Beijing failed to meet Washington's demand that China end subsidies that U.S. officials say make Chinese exports artificially cheap. The Pentagon isn’t happy either over the recent satellite missle-test and anaylsts here predict major tension ahead.   -- Read More >
Posted: 4 Feb 2007
Dennis Mullin The U.S. energy problem has climbed to the top of the charts -- once again -- with the rising dependence on foreign oil and increasingly volatile prices. The failure of the administration to make Iraq’s energy production the top priority following the invasion has also drawn notice. Everyone has recognized the problem for years, but for commercial or environmental reasons little action has been taken. Sorting through the options, nuclear power seems the only logical answer. The debate:   -- Read More >
Posted: 2 Feb 2007
Dennis Mullin As the Democrats take over Congress, the debate over America’s competitive position in the world is heating up. Some argue that the nation has lost its long-term ability to lead in manufacturing and is losing the trade war to nations such as China and Japan – and nobody seems to have a clear answer how to address the problem.   -- Read More >
Posted: 29 Jan 2007
Dennis Mullin Iran has assembled a satellite launch vehicle that could lift off soon, according to a Jan. 26 Aviation Week & Space Technology report, citing the chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission. Experts here say that it is not difficult to convert a space launcher to an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which would able to drop a payload weighing 300 km anywhere in the world including Washington, DC, or Tokyo for that matter.   -- Read More >
Posted: 24 Jan 2007
Dennis Mullin The Democratic takeover of the House and Senate has led to widespread speculation that many American taxpayers, particularly large U.S.-based corporations, especially oil firms, and their top managers, are in line for major increases in their 2007 tax bill. The Democratic platform was also based on the charge that the top 1 percent of U.S. earners are stretching the income inequality equation to the limit, and they and their corporate employers need to be brought to account.   -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Jan 2007
Dennis Mullin A strong earthquake on Jan. 21 in Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island, 1,365 miles northeast of Jakarta, focused attention again on the danger that the frequency of quakes in Asia pose to vital international communications links, the Internet and to crucial financial markets.   -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Jan 2007
Dennis Mullin President Bush’s phone call on his new plan for Iraq to Japanese Prime Minister Abe during the PM’s trip to Germany, even before his national TV address Jan. 11, was a clear illustration of the common concerns over the situation in Iraq, diplomatic observers say. While Abe was making the first visit by a Japanese leader to NATO headquarters, Japanese ministers were all over Washington, another sign of the strengthening relationship -- even as the administration was remaking itself.

BUSY WEEK: This was a busy week in Washington as the President said that he would add 21,500 more troops to the 132,000 military personnel already in Iraq, in the so-called “surge” strategy advised by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, to specifically target the security situation in Baghdad.

The additional U.S. forces will be combined with greater pressure on the Iraqi government to suppress sectarian militias and begin delivering basic government services, Bush said in his speech at the White House. The administration, under extreme pressure following the Democratic takeover of Congress, has also been playing musical chairs in personnel -- reassigning people across the board.   -- Read More >
Posted: 4 Jan 2007
Dennis Mullin Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promises big things for the first 100 legislative hours of the new 110th Congress starting Jan. 4. Former President Ford’s funeral Jan. 2, serves as a reminder of the constant changes in the political process in Washington. Foreign policy aside; here’s a brief preview on the new U.S. domestic congressional agenda that will dominate the debates in coming weeks and months.   -- Read More >
Posted: 30 Dec 2006
Dennis Mullin
A Modest Reflection On How It Is

  -- Read More >
Posted: 26 Dec 2006
Dennis Mullin The results of the first U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue last week were decidedly mixed by all accounts. The Treasury Department’s own statement on Secretary Henry Paulson’s mission said that the discussions reaffirmed commitments, “to pursuing macroeconomic policies, such as China's exchange rate regime reform and increasing the U.S. savings rate, to promote balanced and strong growth and prosperity in our two nations.” That was about the size of it. But officials say that the real progress made during Paulson’s visit pushed American interests at energy talks.   -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Dec 2006
Dennis Mullin It has not escaped the attention of intelligence officials in Washington that the conventional tone now in vogue in media and academic circles, is that the age of the Pax Americana may be waning. Foes of the U.S., of multiple political and ideological stripes may be lining up in an Islamic-led global coalition against the West. A new phenomenon appears to be at work that warrants close attention -- one which could soon increase the dangers of terrorism for the U.S., Japan and their allies.   -- Read More >
Posted: 17 Dec 2006
Dennis Mullin Chairman of the House Committee on International Relations for the past six years, Illinois Republican Henry Hyde is stepping down after 32 years in Congress. He recently told the Council on Foreign Relations he bemoans the bitter partisanship that has badly complicated the debate over Iraq, the utter failure of efforts to reform the UN, but is very comfortable that the Committee will be in good hands under the leadership of his successor, California Democrat Tom Lantos.   -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Dec 2006
Dennis Mullin As the Bush administration prepares to send half of its cabinet to Beijing next week for trade and currency talks, trade officials admit that China has come a long way in opening its economy. They still say it needs to do much more to avoid facing a stiff American response. That is especially likely as the Democrats take over Congress   -- Read More >
Posted: 8 Dec 2006
Dennis Mullin The long awaited report by the bipartisan 10-member Iraq Study Group has hit the President’s desk, without something of a thud. The hope has been that its recommendations would provide a guideline toward a solution. Instead, it rehashed alternatives that have already been endlessly debated, and at most laid out a probably unrealistic glide path to a dangerous and ignominious exit.   -- Read More >
Posted: 4 Dec 2006
Dennis Mullin Pundits have suggested that Democratic control of the Congress after the recent elections spells doom for free trade. But some experts offer an alternative view, arguing that the Democrats actually have a tradition of economic internationalism and may prove to be a positive force in global commerce.   -- Read More >
Posted: 28 Nov 2006
Dennis Mullin President Bush visits Jordan Nov. 29, to meet with King Abdullah of Jordan and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. The King has warned that the region is at risk of dealing with three civil wars at the same time; in Iraq, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories, and says he supports a regional peace process. For all nations with interests in the Mideast as well as international energy markets, analysts in Washington are saying that the reality should be sinking in that the U.S. is getting ready to pull out.   -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Nov 2006
Dennis Mullin Democratic lawmakers believe they have a mandate for fundamental changes in both the policies and the approach to American foreign policy; starting with Iraq. In a wide-ranging discussion with the Council on Foreign Relations Nov. 20, California Democrat Tom Lantos, set to take over as chair of the House International Relations Committee, says he plans to focus on North Korea, Iran and the Midddle East. Interestingly, the well-known China basher never mentioned Beijing once.   -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Nov 2006
Dennis Mullin Much attention has been given to the political implications of the U.S. elections on U.S.-Japan relations, but after the dust settles there are countless other issues and industry sectors that will be affected. On energy production, the election results may turn out to be positive.   -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Nov 2006
Dennis Mullin President Bush’s decision to replace Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with former CIA officer and current President of Texas A&M University Robert M. Gates has raised more than a few eyebrows in Washington. He has no known strong positions or working experience on Japan, Noprth Korea or Asia in general and little on the Mideast for that matter, and comes from a Sovietologist background.   -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Nov 2006
Dennis Mullin John Kerry's "stuck in Iraq" gaff had scant effect on the election but it reinvigorated the unfortunate canard that our military is the last refuge for dummies. Editor-in-Chief Mullin reviews the demographic composition of the U.S. armed forces and concludes otherwise.   -- Read More >
Posted: 9 Nov 2006
Dennis Mullin The Republicans have lost the House and probably also the Senate, pending recounts, because of the war in Iraq and allegations of corruption. But it shouldn’t affect Japan-U.S. relations in any meaningful way. Still, it may have an impact on American trade policy over the near-term.   -- Read More >
Posted: 3 Nov 2006
Dennis Mullin Unlike in Japan, the U.S. Congress grants enormous discretionary power to Committee Chairmen to set the legislative agenda, often beyond the control of their party’s leadership. Come next Tuesday, if the Democrats take back control of either house, the national debate will be changing significantly; but policy probably won’t.   -- Read More >
Posted: 29 Oct 2006
Dennis Mullin Japan’s decision to scale back its role in the development of the Azadegan oil field from the 75 percent stake agreed upon when the $2 billion deal was struck in 2004 is looking increasingly like a wise move, according to senior U.S. officials.   -- Read More >
Posted: 22 Oct 2006
Dennis Mullin TREASURY SEES A STRONG ECONOMY
GETTING STRONGER; MOST EXPERTS AGREE   -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Oct 2006
Dennis Mullin The reported detonation of a nuclear device by North Korea on Oct. 9 raises the question of potential military action against North Korea. Most experts in Washington don’t believe a realistic military campaign is doable.   -- Read More >
Posted: 13 Oct 2006
Dennis Mullin Political experts anticipate big Democratic gains in congress in the elections now just weeks away, with them possibly regaining control of one or both chambers. The question is, what impact would that have on U.S. foreign policy?   -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Oct 2006
Dennis Mullin While Japan considered further sanctions and Prime Minister Abe reassured his countrymen that Tokyo has no intention of developing nuclear weapons, the reaction elsewhere to Pyongyang’s declaration that it had tested a nuclear warhead was swift, and tainted with more than a little alarm.   -- Read More >
Posted: 7 Oct 2006
Dennis Mullin China’s relentless move into Africa has set off alarm bells in Washington and Tokyo, but Japan may be at a major disadvantage as it attempts to compete with Beijing on the continent.   -- Read More >
Posted: 2 Oct 2006
Dennis Mullin 97 Reasons Democrats Are Weak On Defense And Can't Be Trusted To Govern In Wartime   -- Read More >
Posted: 24 Sep 2006
Dennis Mullin Dennis Mullin, President of Mullin Communications Inc. of Washington, DC, has worked and traveled widely worldwide as a foreign correspondent for U.S. News & World Report, and been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post and many other publications. He favors us here with a glimpse into an Irish-American Weltanschauung....his own.   -- Read More >
Posted: 24 Sep 2006
Dennis Mullin One of the most important U.S. issues this political year is immigration. The Democrats are courting the Latino vote and not pressing it. Republicans are seeking conservative support and pushing for tough border measures. Congress this week will end up somewhere in the middle.   -- Read More >
Posted: 20 Sep 2006
Dennis Mullin The U.S. software giant says the European Commission is once again meddling and spawning confusion, unsettling markets and could force the delay of the release of the new Vista operating system on the continent.   -- Read More >
Posted: 11 Sep 2006
Dennis Mullin To illustrate the depth of the acrimony on both sides, the anniversary has been marked by a bitter dispute over a TV movie which claims that the Clinton administration was so preoccupied with its domestic problems that it allowed Osama Bin Laden to escape reprisals multiple times. Former President Clinton and his top aides have loudly attacked the project as non-factual and politically biased.   -- Read More >
Posted: 9 Sep 2006
Dennis Mullin Political analysts in Washington are pondering everything from an outright attack on Iran to sanctions, to security guarantees to get Teheran to give up its nuclear ambitions. But few see any of the alternatives as truly realistic ones.   -- Read More >
Posted: 6 Sep 2006
Dennis Mullin One the most glaring aspects of driving around the country today, is the overwhelming predominance of foreign-made automobiles. Given the latest merger talks involving GM, the real issue is if Detroit can ever compete again.   -- Read More >
Posted: 28 Aug 2006
Dennis Mullin Chinese engineers of the state-controlled oil company Sinopec and Cubans of the government-owned CubaPetroleo, are currently drilling for oil less than 50 miles from the U.S. coast. Congress is not happy.   -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Aug 2006
Dennis Mullin The ceasefire in Lebanon doesn’t change the fact that the Middle East is never a peaceful place. But even by regional standards, the U.S. faces major problems in virtually every area, and at least one prognosis is an extremely dismal one.   -- Read More >
Posted: 14 Aug 2006
Dennis Mullin The first important results are in from the primaries leading up to the off-year Congressional elections in November, and what is clear is that Iraq and President Bush will be the key factors in determining which party controls the legislature.   -- Read More >
Posted: 12 Aug 2006
Dennis Mullin The U.S. could be drawn into the dispute between Japan and China over offshore drilling, which is currently heating up, if the testimony of a senior Energy Department official before a Congressionally-created panel is any indication, and as China becomes a bigger energy player.   -- Read More >
Posted: 5 Aug 2006
Dennis Mullin The war between Israel and Islamic forces in Lebanon brings back into focus once again the issue of international trafficking in weaponry. In play are U.S., Chinese and Russian arms, Japanese trucks and multiple variations of weapons configured together by other nations. Hezbollah is now using technology to attack Israel, which Washington gave Tel Aviv, which sold it to Beijing, which sold it to Tehran, which shipped it via Syria to Lebanon.   -- Read More >
Posted: 1 Aug 2006
Dennis Mullin ● “Nano-technology,” is not so far-off, says Jack Uldrich, a Minnesota businessman. “It is being used now." People should be aware of how the new technologies will affect their businesses during what he said will be “an opportunity and disruption" phase. Nano-technology will prompt "more changes in our civilization in the next 25 years than in all of the 20th century," he says.   -- Read More >
Posted: 30 Jul 2006
Dennis Mullin It may have been pushed off the front pages for the time being by the violence in Israel and Lebanon, but as far as U.S. interests are concerned, the quagmire in Iraq remains foreign policy issue No.1. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki visited Washington last week to confer with President Bush. U.S. Ambassador to Baghdad Zalmay Khalilzad recently provided an overview and status report on the situation in Iraq from his perspective.   -- Read More >
Posted: 22 Jul 2006
Dennis Mullin As the G-8 has met in Russia to discuss potentially world shattering events, many high-tech firms are wondering if it is worth doing business in Europe, or if governments such as France, are just trying to steal technology on the cheap.   -- Read More >
Posted: 18 Jul 2006
Dennis Mullin Stock markets worldwide have reacted with extreme anxiety over the recent uproar in the Middle East, as a combination of factors have come together to raise real concerns over the global international outlook.   -- Read More >
Posted: 16 Jul 2006
Dennis Mullin The Group of Eight will meet in St. Petersburg this weekend, for what had become an annual photo-shoot. The summit has been so unproductive in recent years, that Ronald Reagan suggested canceling it 20 years ago. The agenda was to include Avian Flu, global education and third world debt relief. Guess what? This time around, the issues are deadly serious and Putin will be playing the Czar.   -- Read More >
Posted: 12 Jul 2006
Dennis Mullin The President’s poll ratings have come back to the 40 percent level, from the low 30s. That indicates that he and the Republicans may be able to turn things around before the November elections. The Democrats clearly don’t have a coherent alternative, in a world that has seemingly gone mad.   -- Read More >
Posted: 9 Jul 2006
Dennis Mullin The Korean missile tests highlight the precarious military balance in Asia today, as nations try to adapt by modernizing their forces as the threats escalate. Japan could be in a particularly difficult position as the arms race heats up.   -- Read More >
Posted: 6 Jul 2006
Dennis Mullin North Korea has finally made it good on its threat to carry out missile tests, firing a total of seven so far. The worldwide uproar was predictable, but there was a silver lining as well, as an international consensus emerged that something has to be done about the rogue regime in Pyongyang and the technology demonstrated was far below expectations.   -- Read More >
Posted: 2 Jul 2006
Dennis Mullin Japan has long cooperated closely with the U.S. in the war on terror. Despite having troops in Iraq, it has been inclined to consider itself relatively safe from a terrorist attack on its own soil. But it may be time to reconsider the dimension of the threat to the region.   -- Read More >
Posted: 25 Jun 2006
Dennis Mullin Baffled by the authenticity and competence of the citizen media via the Internet, the NT Times and others, desperate to re-assert their heretofore monopoly on public discourse, would kill their kids to uncover government attempts to save them. While supporting plagiarists and others, they pretend to be the nation's conscience -- they are anything but.   -- Read More >
Posted: 22 Jun 2006
Dennis Mullin The new head of the CIA, Michael Hayden, is hitting the ground running and his first order of business is to boost the agency’s clandestine services, which have been plagued in recent years by political infighting and dissension that have resulted in widespread resignations of key operatives.   -- Read More >
Posted: 16 Jun 2006
Dennis Mullin The mood in the White House has taken a decided upward turn in recent weeks, as the changes brought about by new Chief of Staff Joshua Bolton seem to have shaken the West Wing out of the six-year doldrums   -- Read More >
Posted: 4 Jun 2006
Dennis Mullin On June 1, the major countries involved in trying to resolve the dispute with Iran over its nuclear activities, agreed to yet another approach to persuade Teheran to comply with international demands to halt uranium enrichment and its suspected search for a nuclear bomb.   -- Read More >
Posted: 29 Apr 2006
Dennis Mullin Tyson’s Foods shut its plants to “support comprehensive immigration reform.” Organizers say it was “a celebration of Hispanic culture,” and that non-Hispanic immigrants were not supposed to be involved. Mexican President Vincente Fox announced on April 28 (although he since backed off) that he would sign a bill legalizing the possession of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and ecstasy. That’s what is has come down to. We need immediate regime change in Mexico City. On May 1, International Labor Day, and the annual day of celebration of the late Commintern – the international Soviet communist organization, dedicated to overthrowing democracies worldwide -- millions of illegal immigrants, who technically are not here, are threatening to walk off their jobs. Tyson’s Foods is shutting its plants to “support comprehensive immigration reform.” Organizers say it is “a celebration of Hispanic culture,” and that non-Hispanic immigrants are not supposed to be involved. Mexican President Vincente Fox announced on April 28 that he would sign a bill legalizing the possession of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and ecstasy.   -- Read More >
Posted: 1 Apr 2006
Dennis Mullin George Bush only recently visited Mexico. The topic was immigration. Did he ask Vincente Fox why (showing him a video of) hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants were waving Mexican flags in Los Angeles, for the supposed right to be here?   -- Read More >
Posted: 20 Mar 2006
Dennis Mullin

*Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat, Michigan, gratuitously lambasting the President, the failed Ports deal, and telling our best friends in the Arab World to go to hell.

  -- Read More >
Posted: 19 Mar 2006
Dennis Mullin

* The world greeted the third anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq and its controversial occupation with less than “Shock and Awe.” The headline on AOL news of activity around the world said: “Iraq War Protests Attract Few People.” The AP reported that, “Many of the demonstrations in Australia, Asia and Europe drew smaller than anticipated crowds. In London, police said 15,000 people joined a march from Parliament and Big Ben to a rally in Trafalgar Square. The anniversary last year attracted 45,000 protesters.” It reported that 800 showed up in Tokyo, presumably the rest were watching their national team playing the World Baseball Classic.

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Posted: 10 Mar 2006
Dennis Mullin .“Golf” is derived from a Scottish description of the game at the time of its invention: “Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden.”
.It is impossible to lick your elbow.
.Coca Cola was originally green.
.The average number of people airborne in the US at any time is 61,000.
.Half of Americans live within 50 miles of their birth.
.The most looked up word online at Webster’s Dictionary website last year was “integrity.”
More boat owners chose “obsession” over any other name.   -- Read More >
Posted: 9 Feb 2006
Dennis Mullin   -- Read More >
Posted: 6 Nov 2005
Dennis Mullin A British Journalist   -- Read More >
Posted: 28 Oct 2005
Dennis Mullin Why do I live in Wahington?   -- Read More >
Posted: 10 Oct 2005
Dennis Mullin One Picture is worth a thousand words.   -- Read More >
Posted: 2 Oct 2005
Dennis Mullin The night (very late) of the Redskins victory over Denver in the 1988 Super Bowl in San Diego, with the “Miracle Quarter” of Doug Williams, the Hogs and Timmy Smith breaking scoring records, I had the occasion to share the celebration with some of the Redskin linemen.   -- Read More >
Posted: 26 Sep 2005
Dennis Mullin The Justice Department reported Sept. 25 that violent crime in the United States in 2004 stayed at the lowest level since the government began compiling statistics 32 years ago, with males and youths victimized at higher rates than others, as if that should be a surprise. There were 24 million violent crimes and property crimes in 2004, about the same rate as the previous year, according to an annual study by the government's Bureau of Justice Statistics.   -- Read More >
Posted: 26 Aug 2005
Dennis Mullin After NASA’s Discovery touched down from its low-earth orbit flight to the International Space station on Aug. 9, one of the astronauts was interviewed on TV. He was asked if the Columbia’s dissolving on reentry in the last shuttle adventure was on his mind during the landing. The question was particularly important as Discovery had many of the same problems -- foam falling from the external fuel tank occurred in both liftoffs, forcing the Discovery crew to make an unscheduled space walk to check out the heat tiles which protect the craft on reentry. Clearly anyone would be worried that perhaps Discovery had experienced wing damage similar to that which caused the Columbia to breakup. He responded that he was so busy on reentry checking multiple dials, that it only crossed his mind fleetingly when he viewed the gauges that would indicate a similar crisis.<   -- Read More >
Posted: 24 Aug 2005
Dennis Mullin As the battle over Supreme Court nominees continues on a blatantly partisan level, it would behoove us all well to consider what Big Brother is already doing to us, as precedents are being set every day which make a joke of our individual rights and the constitution itself, which the court has already abandoned make, not interpret laws…
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Posted: 19 Aug 2005
Dennis Mullin   -- Read More >
Posted: 23 Jul 2005
Dennis Mullin We recently read Edward Klein’s book “The Truth About Hillary,” more out of curiosity about how it was received than anything to do with the near-certain presidential candidate. The release of the book was controversial, not for its subject matter but for the fact that it was widely panned by both the left and a large part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy   -- Read More >
Posted: 22 Jun 2005
Dennis Mullin   -- Read More >
Posted: 10 May 2005
Dennis Mullin

If the earth's population were reduced to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like this:

  -- Read More >
Posted: 22 Apr 2005
Dennis Mullin As Bill Hartley writes in “Eye on Asia” (April 12), Chinese diplomacy is “fumbling around the world” as the heirs to the Mandarins attempt to live up to their new-found growing economic and military might. He notes that the diplomatic disputes over Taiwan even spilled over onto the Pope’s funeral over Italy granting a visa to Taiwan’s President to attend the late Pontiff’s funeral – even though the Vatican is one of only 25 countries around the world that recognizes Taipei as the government of China and is the only one in Europe to do so.   -- Read More >
Posted: 21 Apr 2005
Dennis Mullin Consider what has occurred recently. Tens of thousands of Chinese students chanting "Japanese Out" have attacked the Japanese Embassy in Beijing and Japanese businesses and shops around the country. They are protesting the release of new textbooks in Japanese schools that omit references to the use of poison gas in China in WWII which killed 250,000, the practice of forcing Chinese women into sex slavery, and barely mention the "Rape of Nanjing" in which hundreds of thousands more were murdered outright. Officials in Tokyo announced that they would make their annual pilgrimage (and continue to do so) to a shrine that honors the Japanese dead (including executed war criminals) from World War II.   -- Read More >
Posted: 14 Mar 2005
Dennis Mullin PRESS RELEASE   -- Read More >
Posted: 11 Mar 2005
Dennis Mullin

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new exciting site, GlobalOpEd.us. It is our hope that this will serve as a one-stop forum for worldwide opinion on the issues of the day that affect us all. We intend to make this site as non-partisan and diversified in opinion as possible.

  -- Read More >
Posted: 11 Mar 2005
Dennis Mullin

More people get killed on TV every night than died in any one day in most major wars. More people make sexual or scatological inferences on TV each night than at all football stadiums in the country combined on a fall weekend. Homosexual references are so pervasive, that if an alien landed here and watched one night of television, he would understandably deduce that the majority of humans are cops, forensic scientists, advertisers, homosexuals or all four; most of the total population copulates hourly; all are heavily armed, and murder and child abuse are the preferred human pastime. It’s no accident that Law & Order has virtually trimmed all of its segments (mostly well done and thought provoking), in favor of “Special Victim’s Unit” which deals exclusively with sex crimes. Even if the “people” in Hollywood lived this way, they’d all be dead. Why do they make it all up? Why do producers pay for it? What planet do they think they live on? We have become a society which has de-linked cause and effect, one based solely on self-indulgence and situational ethics. We are morally and intellectually bankrupt. How is a young person entering the formative years of their life, to deal with a society that is truly upside-down?

  -- Read More >
Posted: 1 Mar 2005
Dennis Mullin This article, by Dennis Mullin, President and Editor in Chief, first appeared in the Washington Post Outlook section on Jan. 5, 2003. Given the current developments, not to mention beheadings and other atrocities in the Mideast, and what clearly has become an attack on the House of Saud, it is perhaps more prescient now than ever. Many changes are underway in the region, most notably elections that threaten the seated plotocrats -- Osama may have started a movement he never imagined, or would approve of.   -- Read More >
Posted: 4 Feb 2005
Dennis Mullin Following the World Disaster Reduction Conference in Kobe, Japan, the battle has begun over who should be in charge of spending (stealing) the $30 million it will take to contruct a worldwide warning system and the close to $2 billion raised in aid. The plunder money is on the table and the UN "civil servants" on the East River are salivating.   -- Read More >
Posted: 1 Jan 2005
Dennis Mullin As the dust settles after election night's surprising results, the soul searching among the coastal and media elites has begun in earnest. One is reminded of the New Yorker poster displayed in uptown apartments all over Manhattan , of the island stolen from the Indians linked directly by a bridge with California . The implication is clear that there is nothing in between. For these proud New York liberals, the “Red” or Republican states that so markedly consumed the entire heartland of the country on colored election maps, save the “Blue” Democratic states of New England and California , don't even exit.   -- Read More >
Posted: 1 Jan 2005
Dennis Mullin The concept was perceived and implemented by the Big Three auto manufacturers in the 1950’s. The idea was to create a product that would have a survival of just a few years, so the consumer would have to buy a new one on a regular basis. Superior Japanese manufacturing techniques, and international trade, forced them to rethink. But the concept is very much alive, and especially among American politicians, the media and computer makers.   -- Read More >
Posted: 1 Jan 2005
Dennis Mullin Throw Away the Bow Tie Read It Now! I was a member of this club, including serving as the Edward R, Murrow Fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations, (sponsored by CBS News). I was proud of that at the time, but now the media makes me sick. The latest surveys show that the CBS Evening News with Managing Editor Dan Rather, is down over 30 percent with viewers in the People's Republic of New York City (imagine what it must be in Utah). Is this due to the fallout of Memogate, when “What's the Frequency Kenneth” tried to pay George W. back for his father walking off the CBS set years ago? W just gave an interview with Bill O'Reilly on Fox News, which now outnumbers all cable news outlets combined in viewer ship. What is “Fair and Balanced,” “We Report You Decide,” in this country's media anyway? Someone should resurrect the old television show “Who Can You Trust”? Bill “You Are a Fascist” Moyer, Rush “Are You a Commie” Limbaugh, Al “I Love Bill (and Hillary)” Frankin, “Kill all Republicans (except my wife) immediately" – with a sneer- James Carville, “You Are a Traitor?” Ann Coulter, the list goes on and on.   -- Read More >
Posted: 1 Jan 2005
Dennis Mullin Deja (Dien Bien) Phu In mid-September, Unicom, China’s second-largest mobile phone company announced that it will soon be opening 3,000 Internet cafes around the country by the end of the year. On Oct. 14, the Sacramento Kings will play the Houston Rockets before a sellout crowd in Shanghai as the NBA makes inroads into China.   -- Read More >
Posted: 1 Jan 2005
Dennis Mullin Few of the lumpen punditry class are arguing that the Republican convention in New York, wasn’t a least a tactical success, resulting a bump of sorts for the Bush camp. But one recently went conveniently overboard in making the case that events in the news cycle have drowned out the convention coverage taking the bloom off of any proverbial rose.   -- Read More >
Posted: 1 Jan 2005
Dennis Mullin WHERE TO START? How about the Olympics? A judge makes a mistake and they want the American to give the medal back. The last time, a French lady took favors from a Russian and the solution was to give everybody a Gold. Why not just do that – everybody gets Gold. We might as well dumb down the whole world, now that we have legislated mediocrity into the American value standard. It makes sense for judges; if everybody is equally inefficient, they can’t kick them off the bench.   -- Read More >
Posted: 1 Jan 2005
Dennis Mullin Read Mr. Mullin's address to the Optimist Club on the governmental decision-making process and the transformation of the national media.   -- Read More >
Posted: 1 Jan 2005
Dennis Mullin WHY RUSSIANS PLACE THEIR BETS ON JOHN KERRY…AND ONLY 7% ARE FOR BUSH STAYING IN THE WHITE HOUSE   -- Read More >
Posted:
Dennis Mullin That’s the question raised by several reports out last week. On April 5, the World Bank said that the export-dependent “Asian Tiger” economies are facing the “worrying” prospect of weaker growth in sales to China, which is also squeezing its neighbors out of key overseas markets. As China follows the Japanese post-WW II model and ratchets up its economy from cheap exports to producing more high-tech, valued-added goods it is importing less and less component parts.   -- Read More >
Posted:
Dennis Mullin China’s economic growth in the past 25 years has been averaging more than 9 percent a year. While there have been comparable growth rates in countries such as Japan and South Korea, there is no precedent for such rapid growth in a country the size of China, whose population of 1.3 billion is thirteen times that of Japan. If China continues its rapid growth (11.1 percent in the first quarter), it will take the global economy into uncharted terrain. A new study released here April 17 by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace examines implications of “China’s Economic Prospects 2006-2020.” The highlights:   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin In a provocative new article, Dan Murphy of Outsource Marketing argues that change for changes sake, is not a productive business model. He says as globalization takes hold, international managers should attempt to be aware of, but not obsessed with, rapid market changes and should stick to their time-tested methods.   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin All of the other participants in the Six Party Talks are awaiting a resolution of the pending settlement of the Bank of Macau financial question, over the $25 million in North Korean money frozen in connection with counterfeiting and money-laundering allegations. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said last week that more sanctions against North Korea may be needed if Pyongyang does not soon meet its initial obligations under the accord reached in February in Beijing.   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin Data from the last five years reveals a remarkable increase in “outsourcing,” as Japan the U.S. and others move more parts of their manufacturing and data processing to China and India and other natons abroad. According to the consulting firm McKinsey, offshore business operations tallied between $32 billion and $35 billion as a global industry in 2002. By 2008, McKinsey says they will be worth over $100 billion. There is now even an Outsourcing Insitute, a professional association providing outsourcing information, consulting and networking opportunities.   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama, who trails New York Senator Clinton by 36.2 percent to 25.3 percent in the latest polls (On the Democratic side: former VP candidate John Edwards is at 13.7 percent, and former Presidential contender Al Gore is at 13 percent without even suggesting he will run) had some strong words for the automobile industry in a recent speech to the Detroit Economic Club. In one of the first indications of where he stands on policy, (he’s said little on Asia so far) he addressed the fuel economy issue by praising Japanese and foreign automakers and castigating Detroit.   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin A report released May 17 by the non-profit research RAND Corporation says that complex military challenges facing the U.S. and its allies, will require all four arms of the military services need to rethink the way their forces are manned, equipped and deployed. It also expresses particular concern over the security balance in East Asia and recommends major force adjustments.   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin • STRATEGIC DIALOGUE YIELDS MIXED RESULTS
• CHINA ON THE DEFENSIVE
• CONGRESS NOT MOLLIFIED
• WALL STREET UNEASY
• PENTAGON SPLITS THE DIFFERENCE   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin Former South Carolina Senator and Democratic Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards is trailing Hillary Clinton by 34.5 percent to 12.2 percent in national polls, but is running strongly in the early Iowa caucuses surveys -- which are usually the launching pads for the nomination. His campaign has been dominated by reports that his wife is suffering from breast cancer. Mrs. Edwards grew up between the U.S. and Japan where her father served as a Navy pilot, and is familiar with issue related to Asia, aides say. She has also served as her husband’s closest political adviser in his previous campaigns. Recently he has been speaking out on foreign policy, addressing the Council on Foreign Relations last week.   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin The increasing demand by the world’s largest energy consumers such as the U.S., Japan, China, India and others has driven the search for alternatives to Mideast oil to biofuels, especially ethanol. President Bush called in his State of the Union Address for a “Renewable Fuel Standard” based on, “the increased use of biofuels, renewable energy, clean coal and advanced nuclear energy.”   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin The Committee on Foreign Investment (CIFIUS), an inter-agency group, chaired by the Department of Treasury, that includes USTR, and the Departments of Commerce, State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security has been getting renewed attention lately, a year after the Dubai Ports World uproar.   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin
Around July 4, former Tennessee Senator, TV and movie actor (Law and Order, The Hunt for Red October) Fred Dalton Thompson is expected to formally announce his candidacy for the Oval Office, with hopes to duplicate Ronald Reagan’s appeal and success. He is in the process of creating an organizing and campaign apparatus, and even though he is still undeclared, a poll out June 5 has him running a close second among Republican voters nationally for the nomination (Rasmussen Poll: Giulinai 23-Thompson 17) and surging in many southern states such as Florida.   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin Japan's Prime Minister Abe is in Germany for his first G-8 summit, which this year will focus on climate change, as well as U.S.-Russian disputes over missile defenses. He met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel June 5, holder of the EU's rotating presidency, and in a joint statement they said Japan and the EU will lead efforts to develop a new UN plan to combat global warming when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. This comes as U.S. officials say their policy on climate is changing.   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin As the Presidential race heats up -- unbelievably, a full year-and-a-half before the election -- new polls show that Fred Thompson, the former senator and actor has surged into second place for the Republican nomination. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is still ahead but the gap is closing.   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin Congress is again getting heavily involved in the automobile issue, seeking to legislate more effective Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. Senate legislation under consideration by four different committees would require cars to average 36 mpg, and trucks 30 mpg by 2020. Today's standards are 27.5 for cars and 22.2 for trucks.   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin China has been all over the Washington Policy map in recent days. First the positives, according to U.S. diplomats: The fourth round of the U.S.-China Senior Dialogue concluded June 21. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and Executive Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo co-chaired the extensive discussions. In this report:

• SENIOR DIALOGUE MEETING
• PROGRESS ON KOREA
• STRATEGIC ECONOMIC TALKS; TAX INCENTIVES
• IMF REFORMS ON CURRENCIES; COUNTERVIEWS
• EXPORT CONTROLS; POLLUTION THREAT   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin The controversial immigration bill is dead at least until after the 2008 election. As the U.S.population grows exponentially, the issue of immigration has become crucial to the world’s largest economy. It was center-stage today in Washington where the proposed legislation failed to pass by 14 votes of 60 required in the Senate.Few issues have been so divisive here. Some see immigration as a positive, others as an invasion.   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin Trade is clearly going to play a major role in the 2008 Presidential election, with an important impact on all American trading partners. The Council on Foreign Relations has done a new breakdown on the whole field of candidates on the issue. Most call themselves free traders, but their voting records indicate that they are anything but that, and that America may be headed for a more protectionist future. Here is a synopsis of their views, in alphabetical order, to file away as the campaign plays out. First the Democrats.   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin Congress is again getting heavily involved in the automobile issue, seeking to legislate more effective Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. Senate legislation under consideration by four different committees would require cars to average 36 mpg, and trucks 30 mpg by 2020. Today's standards are 27.5 for cars and 22.2 for trucks.   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin TERRORIST ATTACKS IN THE UK
RAISE NEW CONCERNS IN WASHINGTON   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin CANDIDATE McCAIN IS STRUGGLING TO RAISE MONEY,
BUT HAS A GOOD DEAL TO SAY ABOUT FOREIGN POLICY
  -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin FORMER UN AMB. BOLTON BLASTS THE ADMINISTRATION
FOR LETTING NORTH KOREA OFF THE HOOK   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin NUCLEAR POWER, ITS PROS AND CONS, IS BACK IN
THE NEWS THIS WEEK AS THE ISSUE KEEPS HEATING UP   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin The ongoing dustup with the Pentagon notwithstandingMany political analysts believe that former First Lady Hillary Clinton has an excellent chance to win the Democratic nomination and become the first woman to hold the Presidency. She is currently running 14 points ahead of the rest of the field (Clinton, 37 percent, Obama, 23, Edwards, 11, Gore, 15). In the Oval Office she can be counted on to rely heavily on Bill Clinton -- and that means a strong emphasis on foreign policy. In recent appearances she has given some indication of where that policy might go.   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin The economic noose around Iran may be tightening, U.S. officials say. The demand that Japan pay for the oil it buys in yen is designed to limit future U.S. economic leverge -- but it also appears to be part of a much wider problem. Domestically, the government’s plan for gas rationing, in one of the world’s largest exporters, has sparked widespread public protests. Congress is taking action designed to make matters even more difficult for Tehran, which would also target foreign corporate investors in the Islamic Republic’s oil or nuclear sectors.   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin CANDIDATE ROMNEY HAS A BROADER FOREIGN
POLICY OUTLOOK THAN MOST OF THE FIELD

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney first gained national attention for his role in turning around the 2002 Winter Olympics. Son of a former Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney was a successful businessman before entering public life. He founded Bain Capital, one of the nation's most successful venture capital and investment firms. Bain Capital helped launch hundreds of companies, and employs more than 2,000 people in 25 offices worldwide. He has visited Japan many times and has put a greater focus on foreign policy than most others in the field.

ASIA AND TRADE: Romney (who is now running fourth in the Republican field with 10 percent) says that the U.S. must “reach out to China and to chart out a course that is consistent with a free economy and a free society,” according to National Review. Romney, who traveled to China at the end of 2006, says that the U.S. must ensure that Chinese markets are open to U.S. goods, and that the Chinese enforce intellectual porperty rights just as they enforce their own. “Try to counterfeit an Olympic T-shirt in Beijing, for instance, and see how long it takes for them to find you,” he adds.

“China and the rest of Asia are on the move economically and technologically,” he says. “They are a family oriented, educated, hard-working, and mercantile people. We must be ready and able to compete. This means ensuring our children are educated to compete in this new market, our trade laws are fair and balanced, and our economy and tax laws welcome new investment. If America acts boldly and swiftly, the emergence of Asia will be an opportunity. Trade and commerce with these huge new economies can further strengthen our economy and propel our growth. If America fails to act, we will be eclipsed.”


He continues: “At the same time we have to make sure that the rules of free trade are fair. It's time to make sure China's markets, for instance, are open to our goods. Fair trade has to be fair in both directions; it's good for all of us.”   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin VSLIM PROGRESS BEING MADE IN
DEALING WITH BURMA’S JUNTA   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin BOEING-AIRBUS DISPUTE TAKES NEXT WTO STEP,
WITH RESOLUTION STILL A LONG WAY OFF   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin STRANGE DYMANICS AT WORK IN THIS
ELECTION, MEAN GEOPOLITICAL UNCERTAINTY   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin THE ISSUE THAT WON’T GO AWAY;
THE ISSUE THAT WON’T GO AWAY;
HOUSE ACTS ON “COMFORT WOMEN”
  -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin IS THE U.S. IGNORING ASIA AT ITS PERIL?
MANY SEEM TO THINK THAT IT IS   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin CONGRESS CONSIDERS NEW TEETH FOR
IRAN DISINVESTMENT MEASURES   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin CANDIDATE BIDEN IS A LONG SHOT; BUT HE’S
AMONG THE BEST PREPARED ON FOREIGN POLICY   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin WHEN CONGRESS RETURNS, FREE TRADE, IMMIGRATION,
AND GLOBALIZATION WILL ALL BE TIED TOGETHER   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin OIL SECTOR DODGES FIRST SEASONAL BULLET;
BUT STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS STILL RUN DEEP   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin BUSH, HARPER, CALDERON SUMMIT CAN’T
KEEP NAFTA OFF OPPONENT’S TARGET LIST   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin SECURITY TOPS AGENDA AS BUSH STOPS
SECURITY TOPS AGENDA AS BUSH STOPS
IN IRAQ, HEADS FOR APEC IN AUSTRALIA   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin IN THE RUSH TO ETHANOL, THE DRAMATIC IMPACT
ON FOOD IMPORTERS HAS BEEN LARGELY IGNORED   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin AMERICAN VOTERS INCREASINGLY MOTIVATED BY
FOREIGN POLICY IN POLARIZED CAMPAIGN   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin NORTH KOREAN, IRANIAN NUCLEAR DEVELOPMENTS,
PUT A NEW EMPHASIS ON NON-PROLIFERATION   -- Read More >
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Dennis Mullin IRAN PREPARES TO FILL THE VACUUM IN IRAQ,
AS THE U.S. FACES DISMAL POST-WAR OPTIONS   -- Read More >