Thursday, April 16, 2015

Today's Tune: Dwight Yoakam - Man of Constant Sorrow

Review: ‘Second Hand Heart,’ From Dwight Yoakam, Reckons With Grown-Up Love

Dwight Yoakam is a high-concept classicist. He inhabits an era and geography all his own, a remembered 1960s California where Buck Owens and the Byrds somehow reigned together in harmony. It’s a place and time where a songwriter’s job — forged from exemplars like Hank Williams and Carl Perkins, polished by the British Invasion and California pop and honed by the impatience of punk — was to capture the deepest emotions in the fewest words, preferably monosyllables. In the title track of his new album,“Second Hand Heart,” Mr. Yoakam sings about new romance after bitter experience: “Pick up all those small hopes back off the ground/’Cause after years of tears it’s hard to say what’s up or down/So if you will I’ll try to start/And take the chance that we might fall apart.”

The album is a reckoning with grown-up love, a battle against disillusionment and a big brash stomp. It was produced by Mr. Yoakam with his road band for backup; they did some recording sessions between arena shows opening for the country hitmaker Eric Church. Even the ballads are pugnacious, buttressed by the band’s three-guitar lineup, while Mr. Yoakam’s voice flaunts its rural drawl and holler, breaking into a near-yodel or a rockabilly whoop every chance he gets.

There are scars and misgivings behind the musical assurance. Brisk strumming, a galloping drumbeat, pealing lead guitar and, all of a sudden, a swoop of Beach Boys-like falsetto promise hope as Mr. Yoakam sings, “Your tortured heart’s soft anguished pleas/rescued by love shall be set free” — but, as the song’s title points out, that’s “In Another World,” not this one. And the beefed-up rockabilly of “Liar,” with some of Mr. Yoakam’s most exuberant screams, shouts back at duplicity.

Mr. Yoakam has been releasing albums since 1986, and he was a country hitmaker in the 1980s and 1990s, selling millions of albums, before radio tastes changed. Now he jokes in the Elvis Presley-tinged “The Big Time” that “I ain’t never seen the big time,” but he’s happy just to be “a-sittin’ on the front porch” watching his partner do the laundry. But the album says otherwise: He’s still pushing, still sure of what makes a song alive and durable.

Dwight Yoakam: Second Hand Heart Review

April 14, 2015

Nearly 30 years into his career, Dwight Yoakam has little to prove to anyone. Country radio has long since lost interest in the throwback honky-tonk sound that the 58-year-old has held true to all this time, nor is he going to get a courtesy invite to shake things up on the stages of Coachella or Lollapalooza. That hardly seems to matter to this Kentucky-born legend.
Even with the invite in recent years to add a taste of old-school authenticity to Eric Church’s bombastic arena tours, he’s doggedly staying the course. And from the sound of his new album, he’s moving the needle back to his days in the California music scene of the ‘80s where he would share the stage with likeminded storm-bringers and shit-kickers X and The Blasters.
Second Hand Heart is put together like a great live set. He and his razor-sharp road band kick things off with two barnburners—the stomping “In Another World” and the Byrds-ian “She”—followed by quick dips into balladry, a dancefloor-ready waltz, and other peaks and valleys that draw you in, push you back and leave you sweaty and blissful at the end.
The album also realizes that rare goal of gaining steam and strength as it carries forward. Yoakam and company stuff the back end of Second Hand Heart with the hottest burning cuts like his rockabilly take on the now standard “Man Of Constant Sorrow” and “Liar,” a wailing British Invasion-inspired rave up/kiss off. Even the album closing ballad, a cover of Anthony Crawford’s despondent “Vs of Birds,” smolders so that you feel like you could light a cigarette off its heat.
With many artists of Yoakam’s age and in his similar position, the release of a new album seems almost perfunctory, something to keep the bean counters at their label happy while they head out on the road playing nothing but old material. There’s no such sentiment with Second Hand Heart. Even if Yoakam is still using his songs to sift through the wreckage of broken relationships’ past, he’s doing it with a still-blazing fire in his belly and a huge grin barely hidden underneath his Stetson.

Saudi Connection to 9/11 Still Being Covered Up in Washington

Posted By Michael Walsh On April 15, 2015 @ 7:41 am In Politics | 4 Comments

An explosion rips through the south tower of the World Trade Center as smoke billows from the north tower. (Robert Clark / Associated Press)

What a surprise: the desert dictatorship of the House of Saud, which pretty much owns both American political parties as well as a bunch of oil-producing sand, is very likely complicit up to its eyeballs in the attacks of Sept. 11 — and we just sit here and take it:
Just 15 days before the 9/11 attacks, a well-connected Saudi family suddenly abandoned their luxury home in Sarasota, Fla., leaving behind jewelry, clothes, opulent furniture, a driveway full of cars — including a brand new Chrysler PT Cruiser — and even a refrigerator full of food. About the only thing not left behind was a forwarding address. The occupants simply vanished without notifying their neighbors, realtor or even mail carrier. 
The 3,300-square-foot home on Escondito Circle belonged to Esam Ghazzawi, a Saudi adviser to the nephew of then-King Fahd. But at the time, it was occupied by his daughter and son-in-law, who beat a hasty retreat back to Saudi Arabia just two weeks before the attacks after nearly a six-year stay here. Neighbors took note of the troubling coincidence and called the FBI, which opened an investigation that led to the startling discovery that at least one “family member” trained at the same flight school as some of the 9/11 hijackers in nearby Venice, Fla. 
The investigation into the prominent Saudi family’s ties to the hijackers started on Sept. 19, 2001, and remained active for several years. It was led by the FBI’s Tampa field office but also involved the bureau’s field offices in New York and Washington, and also the Southwest Florida Domestic Security Task Force. Agents identified persons of interest in the case, establishing their ties to other terrorists, sympathies with Osama bin Laden and anti-American remarks. They looked into their bank accounts, colleges and places of employment. They tracked at least one suspect’s re-entry into the US. 
The Saudi-9/11 connection in Florida was no small part of the overall 9/11 investigation. Yet it was never shared with Congress. Nor was it mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report. Now it’s being whitewashed again, in a newly released report by the 9/11 Review Commission, set up last year by Congress to assess “any evidence now known to the FBI that was not considered by the 9/11 Commission.” Though the FBI acknowledges the Saudi family was investigated, it maintains the probe was a dead end.
Sure it was. That’s why the House of Bush hustled the Saudis — including bin Laden’s own relatives — out of the country pronto. As CBS reported at the time:
Two dozen members of Osama bin Laden’s family were urgently evacuated from the United States in the first days following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, according to the Saudi ambassador to Washington. One of bin Laden’s brothers frantically called the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington looking for protection, Prince Bandar bin Sultan told The New York Times. The brother was sent to a room in the Watergate Hotel and was told not to open the door. 
Most of bin Laden’s relatives were attending high school and college. The young members of the bin Laden family were driven or flown under FBI supervision to a secret place in Texas and then to Washington, The Times reported Sunday. Many were terrified, fearing they would be lynched after hearing reports of violence against Muslims and Arab-Americans. They left the country on a private charter plane when airports reopened three days after the attacks.
That would be the same “prince” Bandar who’s been identified as one of the chief financiers of the murder of 3,000 Americans.
Former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham, who in 2002 chaired the congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11, maintains the FBI is covering up a Saudi support cell in Sarasota for the hijackers. He says the al-Hijjis’ “urgent” pre-9/11 exit suggests “someone may have tipped them off” about the coming attacks. Graham has been working with a 14-member group in Congress to urge President Obama to declassify 28 pages of the final report of his inquiry which were originally redacted, wholesale, by President George W. Bush. 
“The 28 pages primarily relate to who financed 9/11, and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier,” he said, adding, “I am speaking of the kingdom,” or government, of Saudi Arabia, not just wealthy individual Saudi donors. 
Sources who have read the censored Saudi section say it cites CIA and FBI case files that directly implicate officials of the Saudi Embassy in Washington and its consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks — which, if true, would make 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an act of war by a foreign government. The section allegedly identifies high-level Saudi officials and intelligence agents by name, and details their financial transactions and other dealings with the San Diego hijackers. It zeroes in on the Islamic Affairs Department of the Saudi Embassy, among other Saudi entities.
A national tragedy has become a national disgrace, abetted by top members of both parties. Oddly enough, their names are Bush and Clinton — the same two families that may well run “against” each other in next year’s presidential elections. Think about that.

Article printed from The PJ Tatler:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A eulogy for “Justified,” the most underappreciated drama of our time

Adam Epstein
April 14, 2015
The SopranosBreaking BadThe WireMad Men. These are the prestige television dramas that most say form the foundation of the 21st century’s “Golden Age of Television.” But those four shows don’t tell the whole story.

Justified might not be one of the pillars of TV’s Golden Age, but it too, was great—at times, transcendent, even. But it often feels like no one watched the show, placing it squarely in the realm of great TV shows like The Wire that somehow flew under the radar when first on the air, and relied instead on its few loyal fans proselytizing to their friends to convert them into fans.

A victim of the Golden Age that spawned it, Justified was routinely overshadowed by other cable dramas, in both the ratings and awards departments. It gradually lost viewers after it premiered in 2010. Just 1.8 million people watched the penultimate episode; 5 million people watched the second-to-last episode of fellow FX show Sons of Anarchy.
It was nominated for the sporadic Emmy, winning only twice (for actors Margo Martindale and Jeremy Davies, both well-deserved) and, inexplicably, never received a nomination for best drama. Justified was also a critical darling, but that apparently failed to translate to awards glory, even as shows that were not as consistently acclaimed, like Showtime’s Homeland, racked up nomination after nomination.
Nor did Justified ever ignite the internet buzz machine the same way a show like Breaking Bad, or another excellent FX series The Americans, did. (When’s the last time you read a Justified think piece, or visited the show’s page on Reddit?) Admittedly, the show’s central premise—a US marshal who plays by his own rules returns to his hometown in the Kentucky hills—is not quite as compelling as a chemistry teacher turned meth magnate, or a group of figuratively lost souls literally lost on an island with polar bears and a smoke monster.

Justified was never quite as influential as some of these other Golden Age shows—it was a product of the new TV environment, not necessarily a contributor to its creation. Nor was it even all that innovative. The show began with a fairly generic “bad guy of the week” format before morphing into a heavily serialized saga in its second season. And even then, Justified wasn’t wildly transformative. Its spiritual forebearers, The Shield and Deadwood, had already explored its themes of revenge and forgiveness, of home and family, of loyalty and betrayal, years before the show aired.
So if it wasn’t influential, and its plot wasn’t very innovative, and its themes were well-trodden, what made Justified worthy of its place on the Mount Rushmore of 21st century TV dramas?

To say nothing of its uniformly excellent writing and acting, Justified was, perhaps more than any other show, one that knew precisely what it was and what it wanted to accomplish. It was always perfectly comfortable in its own skin, and despite a few missteps along the way, it refused to be anything other than its strange, funny, verbose, serpentine self.

Based on a character by the late novelist Elmore Leonard, Justified told the story of Deputy US marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) as he is reassigned to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky after shooting a criminal in Miami—the result of his fabled quick draw. Raylan’s childhood friend, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), has grown into a criminal mastermind of sorts, a silver-tongued chameleon as Alan Sepinwall aptly calls him, a man who is always 10 steps ahead of everyone else and can talk his way in or out of any situation imaginable. The two men share a witty rapport even as they remain enemies—they both know they share a history, that they’re two sides of the same coin, two kindred spirits who will always have Harlan running through their veins for as long as they still draw breath.

Olyphant and Goggins were both born to play these roles, assisted in no small part by the deft writing of creator Graham Yost and his team of scribes. They, too, stormed out of the gate with a serious advantage, having the writings of Elmore Leonard—who liked the show and frequently consulted with the producers until his death in 2013—from which to derive ideas.
Even as the show took us through the tragic pits of rural poverty and the criminal underworld of Appalachia, it was always funny. It was funny because it never took itself too seriously—it figured out a way, as no other show other than Breaking Bad ever did—to at once reconnoiter with the darkest depths of our society and show us the comic absurdity of it all. In that way, Justified was innovative, it was quite unique, but not in such a pronounced manner that it could be mentioned alongside the other transformative shows of the era.

Justified could stay so confident and robust for six seasons largely because of its constant additions of fascinating supporting players. (The aforementioned Martindale played pot tycoon and family matriarch Mags Bennett; Davies played her fidgety son Dickie.) So many shows add supporting characters that turn out to be poorly developed, or they opt not to add any at all precisely because it’s so hard to do them right. But when it came to secondary characters, Justified could (almost) do no wrong. From the rollicking mafia man turned informant Wynn Duffy, to the ruthless Robert Quarles, to this season’s leathery, magnetic big bad in Avery Markham (Sam Elliott, another actor born to be on Justified), the show’s recurring characters—its villains, especially—were rarely thinly written, and always a ton of fun.

I say rarely because the fifth season of the show was what can be best described as a creative misfire. Michael Rapaport, who played the main villain that season, was the show’s first and only serious miscasting. The plot, normally intricate and layered in the best way possible, became unnecessarily convoluted in the same way that many shows that are on the air for so long tend to do. Even at its worst moment, Justified was still a good show—certainly better than most—and it’s miraculous that the show didn’t fail much more than just once, given how fearless it was at taking familiar TV conventions and turning them on their heads.
Justified was never appointment television for me (I watched it on DVR or on-demand), but that’s probably because I never had anyone to talk about it with. I always made sure to read a review or two, to at least feel like I was part of some conversation. But the truth is, that conversation never really existed, at least not in the way that it should have.

The show was not part of the television zeitgeist. Actually, it wasn’t very popular by any standard. But it was so very good, and so very fun, and it didn’t really care about being anything besides those two things. I can only hope, that in a few years, more people will come around to it, and then we’ll become collectively annoyed when people act as though they’ve “discovered” it, just as they do with The Wire. I long for that annoyance.

So long, Justified.

Why Cuba Was, and Must Remain, on State Terror List

Posted By Henry Gomez On April 14, 2015 @ 5:56 am In Uncategorized | 7 Comments

In this Saturday, April 11, 2015 photo, U.S. President Barack Obama, right, smiles as he looks over towards Cuban President Raul Castro, left, during their historic meeting, at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama. The leaders of the United States and Cuba held their first formal meeting in more than half a century on Saturday, clearing the way for a normalization of relations that had seemed unthinkable to both Cubans and Americans for generations. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

On December 17, President Obama addressed the nation, explaining how the United States would be changing its policy toward Cuba. At the same time, Raul Castro, Cuba’s dictator, also addressed his country. His rhetoric was significantly different.

Using Orwellian doublespeak, Raul welcomed America’s opening — but only as long as Cuban “sovereignty,” meaning the Castro brothers’ ability to repress the Cuban people, would not be infringed. In other words, “don’t count on any changes from us.”

The State Department has recommended removing Cuba from the U.S. list of state supporters of terror. This is just one of the many steps that President Obama needs to take to achieve the full normalization of diplomatic and economic relations that he desires for reasons that are only known to himself.

Despite the recommendation, as a practical matter Cuba’s regime and its tactics have not changed much since 1982, when the country was first put on the list.

From the very beginning of his rule, Fidel Castro set his eyes on subverting other countries throughout Latin America and then, later, even Africa. By 1982, through his America Department, Castro was fueling wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador and revolutionary movements in various other countries [1].

In his State of the Union address that year, Ronald Reagan tipped his hand about putting Cuba on the terrorist list [2]:
To those who would export terrorism and subversion in the Caribbean and elsewhere, especially Cuba and Libya, we will act with firmness.
An earlier CIA report entitled “Patterns of International Terrorism 1980” warned:
Havana openly advocates armed revolution as the only means for leftist forces to gain power in Latin America, and the Cubans have played an important role in facilitating the movement of men and weapons into the region. Havana provides direct support in terms of training, arms, safe havens, and advice to a wide variety of Guerilla groups. Many of these groups engage in terrorist operations.
With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the ending of its subsidies to Cuba, the island’s economy collapsed. This era was dubbed “The Special Period” by Fidel Castro, and lasted until Hugo Chavez was elected in Venezuela. Chavez took over as the regime’s benefactor and strategic client. Cuba’s active role in subverting other countries shrank by necessity, and not surprisingly, democracy finally began to take hold throughout the region.

In the intervening years, the Castro regime has made removing the U.S. trade embargo a primary goal, and has thus ramped up propaganda efforts to rehabilitate its image. The regime wants to give the impression that it is moderating to breathe dollars into Cuba’s still fragile economy, while in reality they are moderating as little as possible.

But is Cuba still a state sponsor of terrorism? Have the Castro brothers changed their minds about the role of violence in bringing about the Latin America they’d like to see?

During the 2000s, the State Department has continually renewed Cuba’s status as a terrorist state on the basis of some unchallenged facts [3]. The Castro brothers continue to harbor international terrorists from Spain’s Basque separatist group ETA and Colombia’s Marxist rebels FARC, as well as American domestic terrorists from groups like the Black Liberation Army.

Nothing has really changed on this front. It’s estimated that 70 U.S. fugitives are being harbored by Cuba, including Joanne Chesimard (AKA “Assata Shakur”), a convicted cop killer.

Apologists for the Castro regime try to argue that Cuba does not meet the criteria of state sponsor of terrorism via technicalities. They insist that the Basque terrorists in Cuba are a matter for Spain to resolve bilaterally with Cuba, and that the FARC terrorists don’t count because Cuba is hosting peace talks between FARC and the Colombian government, and that Chesimard doesn’t qualify as a terrorist because she didn’t kill a civilian, conflating a police officer with a member of uniformed armed forces in a declared war.

Needless to say, the straws they grasp at paint no more of a flattering picture of the totalitarian dictatorship they defend, which is in its sixth decade.

Let’s examine what Cuba’s role in Latin America and the world is today. Venezuela’s former ambassador to the United Nations, Diego Arria, was quoted as saying [4]:
Venezuela is an occupied country. The Venezuelan regime is a puppet controlled by the Cubans. It is no longer Cuban tutelage; it is control.
The Cubanization of the Venezuelan government reached a grotesque zenith last year [5] as government troops beat, shot, and killed pro-democracy protesters.

In July of 2013, a North Korean vessel was intercepted carrying Cuban weapons and military aircraft bound for North Korea in clear violation of UN sanctions [6].

And just a few weeks ago, a Chinese ship carrying undocumented weapons to Cuba was detained by Colombian officials [7].

And that’s without even mentioning the standing indictments of Cuban Air Force pilots for their role in the premeditated shooting down of two American civilian aircraft [8] over international waters, resulting in four deaths.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Even if Cuba is removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism on a technicality, even if Cuba’s tactics these days are less obvious, the uncomfortable fact is that neither the Castro regime’s ideology nor its goals nor its leaders have changed since they day the Reagan administration put them on the list.

Why the Obama administration is so desperate to make nice with these bad actors who are sworn enemies of the U.S. and democracy worldwide is beyond me.

Article printed from PJ Media:

URLs in this post:

[1] Castro was fueling wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador and revolutionary movements in various other countries:

[2] Ronald Reagan tipped his hand about putting Cuba on the terrorist list:

[3] the State Department has continually renewed Cuba’s status as a terrorist state on the basis of some unchallenged facts:

[4] Venezuela’s former ambassador to the United Nations, Diego Arria, was quoted as saying:

[5] reached a grotesque zenith last year:

[7] a Chinese ship carrying undocumented weapons to Cuba was detained by Colombian officials:

[8] for their role in the premeditated shooting down of two American civilian aircraft:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

We must revisit how Marathon bombers became extremists

By Ayaan Hirsi Ali  
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (second from left) was found guilty of all 30 counts stemming from the Marathon bombings. His brother, Tamerlan (third from left), was killed during a shootout with police in Watertown.

Now that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been found guilty in the Boston Marathon bombing, we need to revisit a key issue — understanding why he and his brother became radicalized exponents of jihad.
Western commentators sometimes blame harsh economic conditions, dysfunctional family circumstances, confused identity, the generic alienation of young males, a failure to integrate into the larger society, and so on. None of this is convincing, as the Tsarnaev case shows.
Born in the former Soviet Union to a Chechen father who had sought asylum in the United States in 2002, both Dzhokhar and his brother Tamerlan had received the gifts of free education, free housing, and free medical care from various US governmental agencies.
Their paths to becoming US citizens could scarcely have been smoother. So why did the brothers feel compelled to build two explosive devices and detonate them in a crowd of spectators?
Growing up, the Tsarnaevs were typical examples of what I call “Mecca Muslims,” meaning that they were not raised to be zealots. The parents — at least in their early years in the United States — do not seem to have been very devout. The brothers rarely observed Islamic strictures: one had dreams of becoming a boxing champion and spent most of his days training while the other had a busy social life, dated girls, and smoked pot.
Yet when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wrote a bloodstained note in the final hours before his capture, the first words he used were: “I believe there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger.” That is the Shahada, the Muslim profession of faith, and it is the most important of the five pillars of Islam. Today it is also the banner of ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Boko Haram.
What he wrote next made it clear that he was no naive dupe but a fully-fledged “Medina Muslim” — that is to say, a committed believer in the literal application of the teachings and practice of the Prophet Mohammed after his move to Medina and adoption of jihad — holy war — as a method.
“I’m jealous of my brother who ha[s] [re]ceived the reward of jannutul Firdaus [the highest level of Paradise] (inshallah) before me. I do not mourn because his soul is very much alive ... I ask Allah to make me a shahied (iA) [a martyr] inshallah to allow me to return to him and be among all the righteous people in the highest levels of heaven. He who Allah guides no one can misguide. A[llah Ak]bar!” He also offered this explicit account of his and his brother’s motivations: “the ummah is beginning to rise/ [unintelligible] has awoken the mujahideen, know you are fighting men who look into the barrel of your gun and see heaven, now how can you compete with that[?]”
When people commit violence in the name of religion, we must consider the possibility that they mean what they say. As I argue in my new book, which calls for a reformation of Islam, jihad in the 21st century is not a problem of poverty, insufficient education or any other social precondition. It is embedded in some of the key teachings of Islam itself.
If Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were the only homegrown jihadists on record, it might be possible to dismiss them as mentally disturbed. But they are not. The Islamic State’s social media mastermind is believed to be Ahmad Abousamra, a dual American-Syrian citizen, who grew up in Stoughton. He attended the private Xaverian Brothers Catholic high school in Westwood before transferring to Stoughton High in his senior year, when he made the honor roll. He also made the dean’s list at Northeastern University.
If this sounds like a privileged upbringing, that’s because it was. Yet, according to the testimony of FBI agents, Abousamra “celebrated” the 9/11 attacks and, while in college in the early 2000s, expressed his support for murdering Americans because “they paid taxes to support the government and were kufar [nonbelievers].” Abousamra worshipped at the same Cambridge mosque — the Islamic Society of Boston — as the Tsarnaev brothers and five other high-profile terrorists, among them Aafia Siddiqui, an MIT scientist turned Al Qaeda agent who was sentenced to 86 years in prison for planning a chemical attack in New York.
These jihadists are hardly uneducated, unskilled, or impoverished. That they have nevertheless committed themselves to holy war against the West is deeply perplexing to those of us who cannot imagine anything being more attractive than the Western way of life. That is why we cast around desperately for explanations of their behavior — any explanations, other than the obvious one.
As the Tsarnaev trial heads toward its denouement, with the only remaining question whether or not the death penalty should be imposed, many Bostonians are hoping for closure — above all those families who lost loved ones so cruelly when the brothers detonated their bombs. Unfortunately, we need to face the possibility that this is just the opening of a new and worrisome era.
Since 2013, 29 people in the United States have been charged or detained as juveniles on allegations of seeking to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. About 24 other Americans are believed already to be with the the Islamic State or to have been killed fighting for it.
The case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is a warning to America about the deadly danger posed by Medina Muslims. We must heed it.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s new book is “Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now.’’ She is a Fellow of the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a Visiting Fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, and founder of the AHA Foundation.