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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

Government’s Faustian bargain

Much is written daily about the turmoil throughout the United States, and wars around the world. When the headlines of these stories are put together, the story is diabolical and dangerous; it would appear the U.S. has made a Faustian bargain, and is even under siege – from within.

Each of these stories individually delves into the horrors taking place somewhere in the U.S. or on foreign soil. The list of news headlines from the last two days, none of which were in my local newspaper, tells a more complete… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Shifting Strategic Perspectives Abroad

Foreign Policy: My parents, who have now passed away, were both born around the start of World War I. They were of the “greatest generation” that came to adulthood during the depression and World War II. They grew up in a world where it was us and other democracies against the fascists and imperialists across the oceans. We had the white hats. They wore the black hats. The white hats won. It was all pretty clear.

I was born in 1955, square in the middle of the “baby boom” generation. We came of age during the Cold War and the Vietnam War. It was still pretty clear. There were 3 worlds: us with the white hats, the communists with the black hats, and the “third world” that we and the communists fought over. The Vietnam War was America’s first experience with a conflict that arguably did not result in the defeat of the opposition, which spoiled our air of invincibility. But, our objective for the Cold War, as Ronald Reagan famously described, was, “We win. They lose”. And, that is what happened. Also pretty clear.

After the Cold War came the “peace dividend” and a hope, if not an… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Chaos in Washington

If I were to tell you things were chaotic in Washington last week, you might correctly exclaim, “So, what else is new?”. But, things seem to be even more chaotic than normal right now. I submit the following rundown for your consideration:

The President announced his latest strategy for Afghanistan in which he tries to thread the policy needle by giving a timetable for some withdrawal, but at the same time keeps more troops there throughout his term than at any time during the Bush presidency. I don’t think he succeeded in pleasing anyone with this plan – certainly not this Member of Congress. He also still has not indicated what it is we are now fighting for and what the desired end-state looks like. Bin Laden is dead and al-Qaeda is largely out of Afghanistan. Are we nation building? I think we are and I don’t think that is worth $2 billion a week and more American lives. I also believe you either fight wars with all you’ve got, or don’t fight them at all. Vietnam taught us that. The President seems to want to fight half a war. Speaker Boehner criticized the President’s speech and basically called … Read More