Monthly Archives: August 2008
A new report from the World Bank has caused the financial institution to revise its estimate of the number of people living in poverty from 1 billion to 1.4 billion. From the UN News Center:
“The new data confirm that the world will likely reach the first Millennium Development Goal [MDG] of halving the 1990 level of poverty by 2015 and that poverty has fallen by about one percentage point a year since 1981,” said Justin Lin, the World Bank’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Development Economics.
“However, the sobering news that poverty is more pervasive than we thought means we must redouble our efforts, especially in sub-Saharan Africa,” he warned.
The revised figures are based on 2005 measures of purchasing power parity, but due to lags, do not reflect the impacts of recent surge in food and fuel prices.
The agency also raised its poverty benchmark from $1 a day to $1.25 a day – the average poverty line for the world’s 10 to 20 poorest countries – based on the new data, reflecting a more accurate picture of the cost of living in developing nations.
“The new estimates are a major advance in poverty measurement because they are based on far better price data for assuring that the poverty lines are comparable across countries,” said Martin Ravallion, Director of the Development Research Group at the agency.
Can the Next President Make the Middle East Irrelevant? Starting NOW and running to 2pm, John Kerry, Greg Craig, Joschka Fischer, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Mel Levine, Walter Isaacson, Steve Coll, Rob Malley, Daniel Levy, James Zogby, and Janice O’Connell discuss at a Washington-Note-hosted DNC forum.
by Travis Moore, reporting from the Democratic National Convention in Denver (cross-posted at On Day One)
The last year in which the public trusted the Democratic party more than the Repulican Party on the issue of national security was 1967.
Although we’re mired in both the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and even though only 21% of the American public believes that we’re winning the War on Terrorism, national security remains the Democrats’, and Obama’s, Achilles heel.
Witness the following from a Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosener Research poll from earlier this year:
* 45% of independent voters rated Senator Obama as “not tough enough” on national security, compared to Senator McCain.
* Who would do a better job of “ensuring a strong military” (Republicans–57%; Democrats–28%)
* Who “respects the military” (Republicans–54%; Democrats–26%)
So how can progressives make inroads on the national security debate?
Yes, Hillary’s was well done too, but I’m talking about Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer. That guy knows how to work a crowd.
It’s worth the watch if for only that reason, but he also delivered what has, to this point, been the Convention’s most robust prime-time argument for a new direction in energy policy.
“America consumes 25 percent of the oil, but has less than 3 percent of the reserves. You don’t need a $2 calculator to figure that one out. There just isn’t enough oil in America — on land or offshore — to meet America’s full energy needs. Barack Obama understands that the most important barrel of oil is the one you don’t use.”
Kudos to Schweitzer for clearly recognizing the importance of efficiency and energy independence.
His support for “clean coal” is misguided, but, all in all, Schweitzer delivered a message that must be heard in prime time.
The United Nations Foundation and its sister organization, the Better World Campaign, released today the results of a six-month public opinion research project indicating shifts in the issues Americans are concerned about internationally and the approach they want the United States to take. The research shows a sharp swing in public concern about international economic issues (dependence on foreign oil and trade) a dramatic decline in the landscape of foreign policy and national security concerns and a new national security agenda and outlook that is significantly different from the one in the period after 9/11. (emphasis mine).
“An underlying shift is occurring in American attitudes regarding the international role and priorities of the United States. Voters across the party spectrum understand that America’s reputation has faltered, and believe this is a problem for the nation that needs attention and repair,” said Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation. “Both dependence on foreign oil and strengthening the global economy have skyrocketed, displacing terrorism at the top of voters’ international concerns.”
The SG: In Ethiopia over the weekend, the SG is now in the United Arab Emirates. Today he met with Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, where the two discussed developments in the region, including Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, and in the Middle East Peace Process.