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    Washington in a Flash: Dodd-Frank Anniversary No Cause for Celebration

    The Senate Banking Committee welcomes Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) to testify on the first anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The financial regulation bill has contributed to higher unemployment by imposing needless regulation on small and large financial institutions. It has deterred investment by imposing … More

    Indonesia: Time to Respond Against Religious Violence

    Two days ago a mail bomb exploded at the office of an Islamic group in Jakarta, injuring four people including two police officers who tried to defuse it. The package was addressed to Ulil Abshar Abdalla, a liberal Islamic scholar and activist known for his criticism against radical Islamist groups … More

    Breaking the Cycle of Intolerance in Indonesia

    In the last few days in Indonesia, inter-communal ugliness has reared its head in way that is major cause for concern. That concern is lighting up mobile phones, Twitter, and Facebook accounts across Indonesia. Indonesians – particularly its middle and professional classes – are outraged to an extent unseen since … More

    The President’s Words are Indeed Powerful—in Indonesia, too

    The President’s national security team prepared a solid speech for him to deliver at the University of Indonesia yesterday. The speech, intended as a follow up to his 2009 Cairo speech to the “Muslim world,” was first posted on the State Department’s America.gov website in its “as prepared for delivery” … More

    Pull it Together, Mr. President

    So America’s first “Asia-Pacific President” who brought America “back” to Asia after eight years of supposed neglect under the Bush Administration has canceled his Indonesia-Australia-Guam trip yet again.  That makes an unprecedented four cancellations (“postponements”) for this particular Presidential trip.  Indonesians fully expected him there in November of last year at the end of … More

    Indonesian Finance Minister Departure No Win-Win

    The economic world for good reason is focused intently on Greece and the potential for financial contagion in Europe.  But there’s been another interesting development on America’s Pacific-side.  One of the of most talented public servants in Indonesia, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati – by some accounts, the world’s best … More

    With Obamacare Passed, Will Obama Turn His Focus to Foreign Policy?

    Now that that the massive healthcare bill has been signed into law, President Obama can no longer make excuses for neglecting foreign affairs.  Just last week, he postponed an upcoming trip to Indonesia and Australia for one final push to pass Obamacare—a trip he had already pushed off a year … More

    Passing of an Indonesian Giant

    Most Americans do not know Abdurrahman Wahid (more affectionately known as Gus Dur) – Indonesia’s fourth President. To American eyes, his appearance alone could be a bit disorienting and difficult to rationalize with his towering influence. Even as President of one of the world’s largest, most consequential countries, Gus Dur … More

    Got Him!

    The Chief of the Indonesian Police has confirmed that murderer Noordin Top, Indonesia’s and Southeast Asia’s most wanted terrorist, was killed yesterday during a police raid in Central Java, Indonesia. Noordin was the mastermind behind the July 17 attacks on the Jakarta JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton that killed 7 people … More

    Resilient Indonesia

    Friday’s terrorist bombing of Jakarta’s JW-Marriott and Ritz-Carlton is truly a reminder not just to Indonesia, but to the world, that however well we may be preventing terrorist attacks, there is another team on the field. Terrorists can adjust tactics, morph organizations, and strike in unexpected ways at unexpected times. … More