Monday, February 1, 2010

News Bits

Can’t Buy Me Gov – Or, on Second Thought…

The U.S. Supreme Court rules 5-4 that corporations and ideological groups can spend unlimited money on political advertisements during campaigns and elections. At issue is the little man—whether he be an unsuspecting U.S. voter or an opinionated corporation. Such organizations are now free to devote endless funds toward the shaping of public opinion.

Aid is Enough

Relief efforts continue in Haiti—but to what end? Some Haitians have expressed a desire for the United States to replace the Haitian government, but that is certainly not Washington’s aim. Foreign aid is both an extension of our country’s humanitarian values and a tool of public diplomacy, but Haiti needs significant restoration. While it’s likely that the United States will contribute to the effort, it’s unrealistic to assume that the country will assume all the responsibility. Nonetheless, humanitarian aid has become a battleground for nations and ideologies to win the hearts and minds of foreign publics.

From the Hard Power Files:

U.S. and Chinese officials square off over arms sale to Taiwan. The Obama administration’s decision to sell arms to Taiwan suggests a willingness to disappoint Chinese expectations. Or is it just another example of bold action characterizing the beginning of a U.S. president’s term before he realizes the wisdom of avoiding the economically muscular country’s wrath, lest China snap at him with a rolled up towel and shove the country into a gym locker?

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