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Archive for May 25th, 2014

Credit Suisse Pays $2.6 Billion for Tax Evasion

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Credit Suisse Pays $2.6 Billion for Tax Evasion
Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse has pleaded guilty to helping thousands of U.S. clients evade paying taxes to the U.S. government and agreed to pay a $2.6 billion fine.


‘Hunger Games’ career high for father of shooter

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

‘Hunger Games’ career high for father of shooter
Peter Rodger, who believes his son was the lone gunman in a Santa Barbara-area shooting rampage, has not been a major player in Hollywood, yet his work as an assistant director on the first installment of the wildly successful “Hunger Games” series in 2012 brought him a notable credit.


VA allows more veterans to seek care at private hospitals

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

VA allows more veterans to seek care at private hospitals
Under siege for crushing wait times and reports of misconduct, Veterans Affairs Department agrees to fix recommended by lawmakers

Facing VA scandal, Obama stresses “sacred obligation” to veterans
President Obama marks Memorial Day in his weekly address with a call to ensure veterans get the benefits they’ve earned


CNN’s Reliable Sources Chronicles How Right-Wing Media’s Hillary Clinton “Lies Take Hold”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

CNN’s Reliable Sources Chronicles How Right-Wing Media’s Hillary Clinton “Lies Take Hold”

From the May 25 edition of CNN’s Reliable Sources:

Previously:

Anatomy Of A Clinton Smear: From Rove’s Baseless Speculation To Right-Wing Media’s Calls For Evidence

Fox’s Karl Rove Says He Has No Regrets For Smear Against Hillary Clinton

Will The Media Help Rove Smear Hillary Clinton?


How America Treats Illegal Aliens vs. Veterans

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

How America Treats Illegal Aliens vs. Veterans
Michelle Malkin, RealClearPolitics
A government that fails to secure its borders is guilty of dereliction of duty. A government that fails to care for our men and women on the frontlines is guilty of malpractice. A government that puts the needs of illegal aliens above U.S. veterans for political gain should be prosecuted for criminal neglect bordering on treason. Compare, contrast and weep: In Sacramento, Calif., lawmakers are moving forward with a budget-busting plan to extend government-funded health insurance to at least 1.5 million illegal aliens. In Los Angeles, federal bureaucrats callously canceled an estimated 40,000…

Nuclear Winter in Kentucky Politics
E.J. Dionne, RealClearPolitics
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Anyone with a weak stomach and refined sensibilities should stay out of Kentucky for the next six months. From the mountains to the gentle bluegrass, this normally civilized state was transformed on Tuesday night into the staging ground for a merciless war over everything that has gone wrong in American politics during the last five and a half years. The books were not even closed on Tuesday’s primary when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell let loose a volley of ridicule that gave a suburban hotel ballroom the feel of a testing ground for a new generation of political…

Voters Seek Middle, Want Results
Salena Zito, RealClearPolitics
Allyson Schwartz never understood, even in the waning days of trying to win the Pennsylvania Democrats’ gubernatorial nomination, how voters could possibly reject her candidacy. Marjorie Margolies never got it, either; she projected an entitlement to winning back the suburban Philadelphia congressional seat she held for one term more than 20 years ago. And in the days after her loss, she didn’t contradict media stories that her son’s in-laws, Bill and Hillary Clinton, didn’t deliver the race for her. A bit of a news flash: The Clintons have absolutely nothing to do with Margolies’ failure to…

The Hillary-Industrial Complex
Jonah Goldberg, RealClearPolitics
Hillary Clinton is in a pickle. She’s a shoe-in for her party’s presidential nomination because of Barack Obama’s failures. But those failures might keep her from getting the job. Her husband’s “law of politics” is that elections are always about the future, but she’s stuck in the past. In 2008, Obama pandered to liberal hopes while Clinton appealed to their good sense. Obama promised miracles and magic. Clinton promised more homework. “Cynicism” was Obama’s real opponent, he explained. And he used Clinton as a stand-in for it. She…


Farage hails ‘historic’ Euro win

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Farage hails ‘historic’ Euro win
Nigel Farage hails an historic victory as UKIP tops the polls in the European elections with Labour second and the Lib Dems losing all but one of their seats.

UKIP looks to Westminster after win
Nigel Farage warns “You’ve not heard the last of us” as UKIP celebrates a resounding victory in the UK-wide European elections.

VIDEO: Pickles on Tory immigration target
Eric Pickles says the Conservatives will “move towards that (immigration) target” ahead of the 2015 general election.


Obama makes surprise visit to Afghanistan amid VA scandal

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Obama makes surprise visit to Afghanistan amid VA scandal
An aide saiad the scandal was not a “factor into the planning for the trip.”


Inside the classroom: Susan Shirk

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Inside the classroom: Susan Shirk
An Interview with Susan Shirk, of University of California San Diego, on her course, “Chinese Politics.”

The year was 1971. As the United States and China started to normalize relations, PhD student Susan Shirk was one of the first Western visitors to China. After studying abroad in Japan during high school, Shirk had become determined to discover more about East Asia; for so long, its culture and history had largely remained mysteries in the US.

Today, as Professor Shirk remarks on the state of China studies, she tells me that the situations then and now are like “night and day.”
She furthers, “our access to China has expanded so greatly; before, I had to do my dissertation by interviewing refugees in Hong Kong, but now I can go [to the mainland] all the time. My PhD students collect all sorts of useful information that have been published online through different agencies of local and central government.”

A leading expert on China’s political system, Shirk has spent almost 30 years teaching students at UC San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies. Her class, “Chinese Politics,” stands out as one of the university’s most well regarded courses on China. When I ask Shirk about what she tries to do differently with her course, she responds: “I try to teach Chinese politics much as you would teach the political institutions of other political systems. We use ‘the microeconomics of political institutions’ to map out authority relations and make sense of the policymaking process.”

In our conversation, Shirk notes that we face limits in our understanding of elite politics in China. Researchers find that Chinese elite politics can still be a black box about which they may only make guesses through rumor – even acquiring information through interviews and other means can be quite difficult.

But beyond the instruction aspect of teaching, Shirk finds much enjoyment from mentoring and getting to know her students. “I find it personally rewarding to give advice about everything, from potential career paths to child rearing, and I love hearing about a student’s own journey,” says Shirk. She also comments that because many of her students are from China, she treasures the opportunity to provide Chinese students with insights about their own political system. She hopes that her course material will allow her students to not only gain traction intellectually, but also to understand strategies for how to influence Chinese policymaking.

While on the topic of politics, I ask Shirk about her time as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs. She states that as an academic, she was excited by the rare opportunity to help create history rather than merely studying it. “I’d like to think that our administration made some good progress by putting a floor under US-China relations,” remarks Shirk. “China made some major concessions and took major steps forward to build the relationship too – such as when China negotiated to join the WTO.”

For those interested in US-China relations, Shirk has a few pieces of advice. She cites how the language abilities of today’s youth dwarf her own generation’s, and she encourages students to continue to follow such trends. She also recommends supplementing one’s academic knowledge with on-the-ground experiences; professional work in Chinese firms and NGOs provides much different pictures of China than a course on China.

The future, Shirk predicts, is thus quite bright for those wishing to study China. “China changes so much over time that people will never be bored. New intellectual puzzles will always emerge.”

_________

Susan Shirk is the chair of the 21st Century China Program and Ho Miu Lam Professor of China and Pacific Relations at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) of UC San Diego. Shirk’s publications include many notable works, such as The Political Logic of Economic Reform in China, and China: Fragile Superpower.

Erwin Li is a sophomore at Yale University and an associate editor of the magazine. Contact him at erwin.li@yale.edu.

This article also appears in China Hands.


Damascus Journal: Once Bustling, Syria’s Fractured Railroad Is a Testament to Shattered Ambitions

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Damascus Journal: Once Bustling, Syria’s Fractured Railroad Is a Testament to Shattered Ambitions
The shutdown of the Hejaz railway station in Damascus reflects the lost links of business and society that once connected the region.

Pro-European Businessman Claims Victory in Ukraine Presidential Vote
As voters cast their ballots to replace their toppled president, surveys showed the pro-Western billionaire Petro Poroshenko holding a wide lead over his strongest rival.



In Russia, Tune Changes About Leader in Ukraine
As Petro O. Poroshenko emerged as the front-runner, attitudes toward the billionaire businessman began to shift and personal attacks ceased.




Even in a State With Restrictive Laws, Gunman Amassed Weapons and Ammunition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Even in a State With Restrictive Laws, Gunman Amassed Weapons and Ammunition
Elliot O. Rodger was able to create a stash of weapons and ammunition, despite having struggled with mental health issues for years.