Washington Post has a good article this morning on the US’s official international development agency, USAID.
Tensions between USAID, the Department of State, the White House and the international development community are brewing. There seem to be two main points points of departure for the tensions. The first, that USAID is still missing a leader. The Clinton Department of State came up against barriers in the vetting process for USAID leadership,and some say that likely candidates are nervous about the future of the agency. Paul Farmer, well know in the development community, is said to be high in the runnings for the job.
The second departure point for tensions revolves around a central question of whether USAID will continue to be absorbed by the Department of State. Some within USAID say that is a bad idea while some at State believe a deeper mixing of aid and diplomacy would be beneficial. There’s probably truth in both worries.
*UPDATE* Interesting “Open Letter to Paul Farmer” regarding employment at USAID
The European Council of Ministers just adopted CAP reform with the intent to “increase the competitiveness of the EU’s wine producers, strengthen the reputation of EU quality wine as the best in the world, recover old markets and win [new] ones in the EU and worldwide”. (see Commission website)
The photo to the left is me and some graduate school friends enjoying a bit of EU quality wine after a grand opening of our palazzo. I post this to make a comment on the EU’s newest stab at CAP reform. While I wholeheartedly applaud CAP reform I’m not so sure that the intentions of this move would have not been accomplished on their own. Seriously. This picture (taken before this reform took full effect) indicates:
- Increased Competitiveness - EU quality wine pictured in its cheapest form
- Strengthened Reputation - doesn’t it look like we’re having a good time?
- Recovering Old Markets - wine pictured came from a party in the cloister of a 500 plus year old church
- Winning New Markets - The picture is the result of Frecobaldi being marketed to Americans (the wine here was a gift from il Marchese Frescobaldi himself)
My point: none really. I wanted to share this joyous photo.
- AMBASSADOR CARSON: ...and the final stop on the President’s trip will be in Cape Verde.
- QUESTION: The President’s trip?
- AMBASSADOR CARSON: Sorry, the Secretary’s trip.
- QUESTION: Almost.
- QUESTION: Almost. (Laughter.)
- AMBASSADOR CARSON: That may have been a Freudian slip. But the Secretary’s trip, she will end it in Cape Verde.
A @centromatic art show? I really want to be there. I might have to send some $$$ to my brother and sister-in-law in the big D so that they can get me something.
See the latest Centro-matic post (their website is almost is good as their music).