BPC Blog

Harnessing national pride during nutrition education campaigns could help increase the impact of such efforts

Obesity is no longer just an American problem. Like the United States, Ireland presents alarming obesity statistics: 23% of two-to four-year-olds are overweight or obese; 19% of teenagers are overweight or obese; and 61% of Irish adults are overweight or obese. Last month, I delivered the keynote address at Ireland's Obesity and Behaviour Change Seminar in Dublin. Hosted by Ireland's Nutrition and Health Foundation, a non-profit tasked with promoting a healthy Ireland, the conference addressed ways to change individual behaviour with respect to healthy eating and active living. As someone who prides herself on facilitating cross-pollination among diverse stakeholders, I was anxious to learn from and share with colleagues across the pond.

A Better Path Forward on the Volcker Rule and the Lincoln Amendment
By Jim Cox, Jonathan Macey, and Annette Nazareth, co-chairs of the Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative’s Capital Markets Task Force

“The task force’s recommendations avoid a “one-size-fits-most” approach to implementation that focuses on individual transactions and presumes trading to be proprietary and impermissible. Instead, the task force’s recommendations stress the importance of a functional, data-driven model that takes account of the significant differences across asset classes, products, and markets. This approach focuses on tailored, data-driven metrics to help define what constitutes impermissible proprietary trading as well as the use of safe harbors to promote clarity regarding clearly permissible activity. An iterative, phased-in approach with access to a robust set of data maximizes the ability of regulators to fine-tune implementation and to continue to adjust in the future.”

Congress’ failure to pass a budget or a continuing resolution funding non-essential government operations led to a seventeen-day shutdown of the federal government from October 1 through October 16. After agreeing to a short-term continuing resolution, Congress re-opened the government to at least January 15, 2014 when the current funding legislation will expire.

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Many housing providers deliver health care and other vital support to their residents in “service-enriched” environments

With our nation’s health care system entering a period of substantial change as the Affordable Care Act goes into effect, understanding the deep connection between housing and health care has never been more important.

The Chinese system will be incompatible with NATO’s missile defense shield or early warning radars already deployed in Turkey

Harry Parkhouse contributed to this post.

The Turkish government has – shocking the U.S. and its NATO allies – recently announced that it has chosen the Chinese defense company China Precision Machinery Export-Import Group (CPMIEC) over NATO nation-owned competitors for its long-range air and missile defense system. Facing disapproval over its choice, Turkey has pointed to other NATO allies with non-NATO weapons systems. Yet, while such claims are factual, the circumstances by which these defense systems were attained are drastically different and only serve to highlight just how unusual, and worrisome, Turkey’s decision was.

If earmarks had once been used to “grease the skids,” by 2005 they had become the skids themselves

Since the end of the shutdown of the federal government and the enactment of a continuing resolution that will keep the government operating for at least a few more months, there has been a good deal of discussion about why congressional leaders were unable to form majorities around compromises that would keep the federal government open for business.

Turkey has begun to reconsider its active financial support for rebel groups in Syria

At the beginning of the Syria conflict in 2011, Turkey was the first player to show its hand in full support of the anti-Assad movement. This initially involved strong vocal condemnation of the Assad regime, but then developed into active and public support for military intervention in Syria, the training of anti-Assad forces in Turkey, and the opening up of the Syrian-Turkish border for the transfer of weapons to rebel factions.

New revelations complicate ongoing efforts to restore Turkish-Israeli relations

David Ignatius, of The Washington Post, reported that early last year the Turkish government disclosed to Iranian intelligence the identities of up to 10 Iranians meeting in Turkey with their Mossad case officers. This incident reveals the meandering path Turkey’s foreign policy has taken under Prime Minister Erdoğan and the AKP. Prior to the AKP’s ascendance, Turkey was dominated by the Kemalist elite, subscribers to the philosophy of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who created Turkey in his vision of a modern, secular, ethno-nationalist republic. Kemalist foreign policy also avoided Middle Eastern entanglements, meaning that while modern Turkey might not have been friendly with Israel, it was also rarely at odds with it. In the 1990s, when Turkey and Israel faced similar threats from Syria and Iran, this allowed for friendly ties to develop between the two nations, including military sales and intelligence cooperation.

BPC's Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative marks its one-year anniversary and previews its upcoming work

On October 18, 2012, exactly one year ago, BPC launched the Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative, and it has been a great first year for us. Starting near our launch, we began sharing “What We’re Reading” blogs, which recap topical research, reports and articles on financial reform. We also released Analysis of the Nominations Process for Financial Regulators, which is continually updated in the form of BPC’s Nominations Tracker. Shifting gears, our second report addressed a new federal regulator created in Dodd-Frank, and what it has done to date. 


A BPC panel explored ways to modernize voter registration, reform the redistricting process, and improve election administration

Whether it’s access to the polls or the integrity of the ballot, Americans can’t agree about what election priorities should be. Maybe the chief election official of Ohio, Secretary of State Jon Husted says it best: “make it easy to vote and hard to cheat.”


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