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1. Are we better off without an 'Obama Doctrine'? (Kalb) Fox News
2. Mutually Assured Cyberdestruction? (Nye) The New York Times
3. Densification under microscope (Glaeser) The Vancouver Sun
4. Republicans Launch Attack on Tax Front (Kamarck) The Wall Street Journal
5. From war injuries to PTSD to backlogged claims, new veterans battle new foes after coming home (Bilmes) The Washington Post
6. Nonprofit expenses under scrutiny (Fremont-Smith) Ventura County Star (CA)
7. “A Revolution Needed to Be Waged and a Union Needed to Be Saved” (Cogan) The Huffington Post
Are we better off without an 'Obama Doctrine'?
Commentary by: Marvin Kalb
Topic: US presidents and ‘doctrines’
Question: Why is there no “Obama Doctrine,” some bold assertion of American military power in defense of our national interests? Other presidents, facing extraordinary challenges, have adopted “doctrines” that warned potential aggressors that they could go this far and no further.
For example, the Truman Doctrine in 1947: The US, President Truman stated, would protect Greece and Turkey against possible communist subversion or assault.
The Eisenhower Doctrine in 1957: The US, President Eisenhower proclaimed, would defend its friends in the Middle East who are threatened by Soviet expansionism. …
Mutually Assured Cyberdestruction?
The New York Times
Quoted: Joseph Nye
Topic: Cyber warfare
It took years after the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima for the nation to develop a common national understanding of when and how to use a weapon of such magnitude. Not until after the Cuban Missile Crisis, 50 years ago this October, did a consensus emerge that the weapon was too terrible ever to employ again, save as a deterrent and a weapon of last resort. …
But there is nothing so simple about cyberattacks. Usually it is unclear where they come from. That makes deterrence extraordinarily difficult. Moreover, a good deterrence “has to be credible,” said Joseph S. Nye, the Harvard strategist who has written the deepest analysis yet of what lessons from the atomic age apply to cyberwar. “If an attack from China gets inside the American government’s computer systems, we’re not likely to turn off the lights in Beijing.” Professor Nye calls for creating “a high cost” for an attacker, perhaps by naming and shaming. …
Densification under microscope
The Vancouver Sun
Quoted: Edward Glaeser, Taubman Center, Rappaport Institute
Topic: Urban densification and development
When Harvard urban economist Ed Glaeser looks at Vancouver, he sees an example for the rest of the world of a successful economic powerhouse. With its tall towers, airy space, dramatic views and proximity to wilderness and countryside, Vancouver is admired for "get-ting it right," he says. …
Glaeser…said in an interview that cities, once places people fled, have come into vogue again.
"The New York I grew up in 45 years ago in Manhattan is an example. Living in the city didn't seem like a very great idea. We've seen a radical reshaping of that, where a majority of people find city living to be far more attractive than they once did," he said. "In part that's the result of cities becoming safer and more pleasant but it is also because of cities excelling and providing an ongoing array of entertainment and forms of cultural innovation." …
Republicans Launch Attack on Tax Front
The Wall Street Journal
Quoted: Elaine Kamarck, Belfer Center
Topic: Recent jobs report
In the wake of Friday morning’s weak jobs report, Republicans were betting that tax issues – and the expiring Bush-era tax levels in particular – will gain heft as a political cudgel they can use to beat up on Democrats. …
“Today’s weak jobs reports reinforces the fact is the economy is treading water,” said Elaine Kamarck, co-chairman of the RATE Coalition and a former adviser to President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.
“Policymakers have begun to realize that to speed up job creation we need corporate tax reform that lowers the tax rate to a competitive level and simplifies the code so that business owners have the confidence to start hiring aggressively.”
From war injuries to PTSD to backlogged claims, new veterans battle new foes after coming home
The Washington Post
Quoted: Linda Bilmes
Topic: Healthcare benefits for veterans
America has a new generation of veterans. More than 1.6 million troops are back from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and they are unlike any other group of veterans the nation has ever seen.
… The cost of veterans’ benefits and health care peaks decades after a war ends, says Harvard University economist Linda Bilmes. These peaked in 1969 for veterans from World War I and in the 1980s for World War II. They haven’t peaked yet for Vietnam veterans.
Finances are likely to be even tighter 30 years from now when costs for the newest veterans are greatest, she said. Unless a special fund for them is started now, “It’s quite plausible many people will feel we can’t afford these benefits we overpromised,” Bilmes warns.
Nonprofit expenses under scrutiny
Ventura County Star
Quoted: Marion Fremont-Smith, Hauser Center
Topic: Controversy over nonprofits’ spending reports
Thousands of nonprofit organizations in the United States misreport how they solicit billions of dollars in donations, making it impossible for Americans to know how their gifts are used. …
Some experts express indignation that major charities would claim to spend nothing on raising money.
"This is just outrageous," said Marion Fremont-Smith, senior research fellow at Harvard University's Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations. "If they say zero — and it cannot be zero — then that is a misreported tax form. And there are penalties for that." …
“A Revolution Needed to Be Waged and a Union Needed to Be Saved”
The Huffington Post
Commentary by: Charles Cogan, Belfer Center
Topic: The evolution of Memorial Day
These were the words of America's first black president, Barack Obama, as he praised those who had "left their homes and took up arms."
The occasion was a speech on the morning of May 28 at Arlington National Cemetery, during the Memorial Day commemoration of those who gave their lives in America's wars.
Interestingly, to begin with, Memorial Day wasn't all that inclusive. It began, after the Civil War, as Decoration Day, an annual ceremony at the end of May, in honor of all those who had fallen on the Union side. …
CNBC , 6/4
Topic: Recent jobs report
This selection of media appearances is compiled by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.
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