Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sweetening the Deal

Just a spoonful of sugar? It's likely no coincidence that on the same day--yesterday--the White House leaked President Bush's intention to name Robert Zoellick to head the World Bank and disclosed Bush's plan to call on Congress to provide $30 billion to the global AIDS fight. Zoellick will not be a popular choice at the Bank or among many member nations. Though as deputy secretary of state he was no rigid ideologue (neocon or otherwise), he still comes from the inner core of Planet Bush, having been one of Bush's original foreign policy advisers during the 2000 presidential campaign. And as a member of the Bush posse bears a share of the blame for the Iraq war. Could Bush not have found a non-Bushie for the job? Well, he could have. (Imagine if he had even named a Democrat.) He obviously didn't want to. He stuck with the usual gameplan: appoint a loyal Bush insider. This is another sign of the insularity that has plagued the Bush administration and landed the United States in a mess--that may well be worsening--in Iraq.

But $30 billion can buy even Bush some goodwill. So his Zoellick announcement was tied to the AIDS funding news. It's hard for the rest of the world to grumble too much about Zoellick when Bush (and give him credit for this) is boosting funding to fight AIDS in Africa and elsewhere. There is, of course, a catch: he is putting the money into a specific program, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and extending this program for five more years. As Population Action International notes, "PEPFAR represents a significant investment in ending the scourge of AIDS and the increase in funding could go a long way in helping bring an end to the global AIDS crisis." But PEPFAR requires that 7 percent of its funding be devoted to abstinence education, and it's far from clear that such programs work in the field. [UPDATE: A reader writes to say it's been confirmed that such programs don't work. Click here.] Think of the abstinence education requirement as a $2.1 billion payoff to the social conservatives. And that's one big spoonful of sugar to secure conservative support for the program.

Posted by David Corn at May 30, 2007 11:35 AM


Gerald said...

Whomever Hitler Bush puts in the World Bank will enter with tainted character references.

capy, thank you for the Eightfold Path information. It is a lengthy article. I added it to my favorite's column to be read at my leisure.

Most religions have beautiful principles. The breakdown comes from the people and their interpretations of these principles.

Gerald said...

Confessions of a Useful Idiot

Gerald said...

The Stench of Corporate Welfare

Gerald said...

Buzzflash has several good articles to read today.

I was listening to the Diane Rehm show and one of the guests made a comment. I do not recall who made the comment but David Corn did not make it. David Corn was one of the guests.

The guest said that there are many sources for information and he cannot read all the sources. I find this comment to be very truthful. I find myself overwhelmed by the many sources out there in blogland.

capt said...

"capy, thank you for the Eightfold Path information."

I'm still not positive that my post is what IBW was speaking to. I think IBW is a nocturnal bird so he might respond in the later hours.

I added a video at the bottom - is looking for signatures. Check it out.


David B. Benson said...

The Independent today has an article indicating that Brazil may be on its way to having rubber trees once again.

This will be good for the environment: less use of synthetic rubber, which requires lots of crude oil for its manufacture; rubber trees are better than no trees at all in what used to be tropical rain forest...

Gerald said...

capt, the Eightfold Path of Salvation for Buddhism was the correct link that you gave me.

Gerald said...

Lectures on the Eightfold Path

capt said...

"If once [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions." -- Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787

"In the general course of human nature, a power over man's substance amounts to a power over his will." -- Alexander Hamilton

"Believe nothing merely because you have been told it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings -- that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide." -- Buddha [Gautama Siddharta] (563 - 483 BC),


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

New Thread