Archive - March 29, 2009

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Establishing The Peace Corps: Anybody Want Some PCVs?, Post 15
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So Damn Much Money

Establishing The Peace Corps: Anybody Want Some PCVs?, Post 15

Warren Wiggins would tell me in an interview I did with him in January 1997 (published in RPCV Writers & Readers) that the greatest weakness of the original idea of the Peace Corps was that it didn’t have a constituency beyond “the youth of America.” The Peace Corps, Warren said, “was not an outgrowth of development experience. It didn’t have a constituency in the Congress, the press, or other leadership institutions in the U.S. nor did it have a constituency abroad.”      This proved to be an immediate and immense problem. Kennedy had created a Peace Corps and no one wanted it! There were 25,000 potential PCVs waiting to go do something for America, but no Third World country asked for them.      Getting requests for PCVs was a major problem. “Shriver almost terminated me in those early months,” Warren recalled in his interview. “He would never admit that, and . . .

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So Damn Much Money

Over the weekend I read a great review of So Damn Much Money: The Triumph of Lobbying and the Corrosion of American Government by Robert G. Kaiser [Knopf 2009]. (Kaiser is The Washington Post associate editor and senior correspondent.) The review was written by Michael Tomasky, the editor-at-large for The Guardian, and appears in the April 9, 2009 issue of The New York Review of Books. You should take a look at it for no other reason than to see why it is so important that Obama is able to clean out the lobbyists on K Street in Washington, D.C. Michael Tomasky writes in his review: “A central aspect of Obama’s entire approach to governance has focused on the reducing the power and influence of these lobbies.” What is key is what Obama said at the end of February in a radio-video address about his plans for his new administration: . . .

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