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Center for Policy Studies

Public Affairs Discussion Group

The Federal Budget: Obama’s Vietnam

Joseph White, Ph.D. - Department Chair Department of Political Science, Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy, Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and the Director of the Center for Policy Studies at Case Western Reserve University
Dear Colleagues:

Over the past year, President Obama’s decisions about the federal budget have endangered the rest of his own agenda and alienated much of the core of the Democratic Party. Liberal activists cannot figure out if he actually believes the dominant rhetoric about how the deficit is the nation’s major problem, or whether he is just an incompetent wimp who cannot help seeking consensus even when there is no consensus to be found.

After writing a chapter on Obama and the budget for an evaluation of the President's first two years, I think one way to understand both the reasons for and consequences of President Obama's budgeting decisions is by comparing them to the choices made by another liberal President – LBJ’s decisions about Vietnam.

Very best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

A New Location

We are unfortunately unable to continue to gather in the Inamori Center classrooms. Many thanks to Shannon French for arranging that for the past few years, but we have to move on. We are very fortunate that the Kelvin Smith Library has stepped up to help out. So we'll meet each Friday when classes are in session in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm.

The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, it is just around the corner to the right.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. There is also on-street parking on both East Drive and Bellflower. Both are fairly short walks from the library.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

September 16: The National Broadband Plan: Policy and Politics. Lev Gonick, Vice President of Information Technology Services and Chief Information Officer.

September 23: Large Scale Utility Energy Storage. Robert F. Savinell, George S. Dively Professor of Chemical Engineering.

September 30: The Arab Spring – and Beyond. Pete W. Moore, Associate Professor of Political Science

October 7: Outsourcing and Offshoring Legal Services.  Cassandra Burke Robertson, Associate Professor of Law

October 14: The Campaign for the Republican Nomination for President.  Justin Buchler, Associate Professor of Political Science

October 21: What Can We Do With Vacant Land in Shrinking Cities?  W. Dennis Keating, Levin College Distinguished Professor, Cleveland State University

October 28: Should the Workday Include Time for Naps? Research Concerning Sleep and Productivity. Elizabeth Click, Assistant Professor, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

November 4: (Re)Regulating Financial Services: How Laws May Work in Practice.  Michael Wager J.D., Squire, Sanders and Dempsey

November 11: How are Successful Companies and Successful Universities Alike?  Richard E. Boyatzis, Distinguished University Professor and H. R. Horvitz Chair of Family Business, Departments of Organizational Behavior, Psychology, and Cognitive Science.

November 18: Wikipedia in the University.  Peter Shulman, Assistant Professor of History.

November 25: No Session - Thanksgiving Break

December 2: University Circle Update. Steven Litt, Architecture Critic, Cleveland Plain Dealer

December 9: TBA

September 6, 2011

Upcoming Events

Same-Sex Marriage and the Constitution

Professor George W. Dent, Jr., Schott-Van Den Eyden Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and Professor Mark P. Strasser, Trustees Professor of Law Capital University Law School.

September 15, 2011, 4:30-6 p.m., Moot Courtroom, Case Western Reserve University School of Law,11075 East Blvd., Cleveland, Ohio. This program is free and open to the public.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed by Congress in 1996, defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. As a result, same-sex couples are barred from receiving federal benefits conferred upon married couples, and no state is required to recognize same-sex marriages granted by another state.

On February 23, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Obama Administration had determined DOMA to be unconstitutional, and that the Justice Department would no longer provide legal defense for the law. Meanwhile, many states have adopted measures designed to forbid same-sex marriage. This year's Constitution Day program will examine the issues raised by DOMA, state regulations, civil unions, polygamy, and other constitutional issues related to marriage.

Israelis and Palestinians: The Possibilities for Peace

David Makovsky, Director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process at the Washington Institute for Near East Studies and Ghaith al-Omari, Executive Director of the Task Force in Palestine ATFP

September 21, 2011, 7:30 p.m., CWRU Thwing Student Center Ballroom, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio. This program is free and open to the public. This program is cosponsored by Cleveland Hillel, the CWRU Center for Policy Studies, and others.

David Makovsky is director of the project on the Middle East peace process at the Washington Institute for Near East Studies. He is coauthor with Dennis Ross of Myths, Illusions and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East (2009). Ghaith al-Omari has served in numerous senior positions with the Palestinian Authority, including as Director of the International Relations Department in the Office of the Palestinian President.

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