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Via Kevin Alexander Gray:
Obama campaign announces “Senior Working Group on National Security”
–Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
–Senator David Boren, former Chairman of the Senate Select Committee
–Secretary of State Warren Christopher
–Greg Craig, former director of the State Department Office of Policy Planning
–Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig
–Representative Lee Hamilton, former Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee
–Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder
–Dr. Tony Lake, former National Security Advisor
–Senator Sam Nunn, former Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
–Secretary of Defense William Perry
–Dr. Susan Rice, former Assistant Secretary of State
–Representative Tim Roemer, 9/11 Commissioner
–Jim Steinberg, former Deputy National Security Advisor
This is what happens when names are vetted by a campaign that is fearful of opposition research or offending anyone. The problem is that when you pick people on the basis of their being most likely to escape the attack dogs (including the pundit class), you’re not likely to get much in the way of “change.”
And a reader writes in, “Who is the person on that list with a strong human rights/civil liberties background? Hasn’t a fundamental debate over the last eight years been that rights have suffered greatly in pursuit of national security imperatives? Who stands out on the new team to address that problem? Shouldn’t that aspect of national security policy be front and center for this team since fixing the US’s reputation and standing is central to this campaign?”
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”