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March 13, 2007

Three Queasy Questions
Posted by Heather Hurlburt

To nag at the back of your mind like they're nagging at mine:

1.  The US-Brazil ethanol initiative unveiled by President Bush on his Latin America trip:  clever initiative that will jump-start the alternative fuel markets or a strange admission that conservatives really do like cartels, as long as we're in them?  I genuinely don't know the answer to this one.

2.  Firing Public Servants:  We now know how far the White House thought it could go in interfering with District Attorneys it thought were insufficiently politicized:  fire all 93. How bad and how deep will the analogous pressures on our military and Foreign Service turn out to have been, when we find out about it over the next few years?

Bonus:  add your own question here about whether the longterm interests of the armed forces, or the nation, are served when the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is so ready and willing to say publicly that homosexuality is "immoral."

3.  The CFR Arthur Ross Book Award: 5 finalists and a jury of 7 and among them one woman and one person of color?  (As an exercise, I timed how long it would take me to come up with the names of ten women and ten non-whites who would have been a credit to the jury.  Two minutes -- and most of them belong to the Council.) Should CFR just be quietly embarrassed and pledge to do better next year, or should they ask us here at Democracy Arsenal for advice? 


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To your first question, the deal simply says that the two countries will "share technology" and establish global standards, but they won't do anything about the current 54-cent-per-gallon tariff that's imposed on Brazillian ethanol.

The deal is one part show-pony ("Bush is serious about alternative fuels!") and one-part stick-in-the-eye to Chavez.

I just don't think it matters. Do you? I mean, I know you want it to matter, but really...

Or to put a finer point on it, I'm not sure you could call any of the top contenders for office in the Republican Party conservative.

(Democrat = Republican; Demcratic ≠ Republican)

Seems clear to me...

Seems clear to me...

Seems clear to me...

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