Brookings Today, 12/18/14

A roundup of some of the content published today at Brookings.

  • Brookings experts on the U.S. diplomatic breakthrough with Cuba:
    • Harold Trinkunas: “President Obama’s use of executive authority to push for restored diplomatic relations with Cuba and liberalization of economic ties creates a historic opportunity to revitalize hemispheric relations, but there are also some potential pitfalls ahead.”
    • Katherine Moon: “… people should not get their expectations up that U.S.-DPRK relations might improve in any historic, dramatic way in the near future. A Cuba effect that is positive is highly unlikely. Rather, the impact may be negative one for U.S.-DPRK relations.”
    • Evans Revere: “Today’s move by the United States and Cuba, together with the ongoing delicate talks between the United States and Iran, serve only to highlight the degree to which the DPRK [North Korea] is an outlier in contemporary international society. What a tragedy for the DPRK and its people.”
  • Nixon and Moynihan: White House Odd Couple. In the latest Brookings Cafeteria podcast, Stephen Hess shares vivid anecdotes of liberal Pat Moynihan in conservative Richard Nixon’s White House.
  • Has the ruble gone to rubble? Brookings experts react to news about the falling Russian ruble and answer some of the most pertinent questions.
  • Magical thinking on tax reform. Bill Gale says “Tax reform is important but policy makers and the public should not be misled about its true trade-offs.”
  • Multiracial marriage on the rise. William Frey documents the rise in multiracial marriages in America, noting that the rate was 0.4 percent in 1960, but is 15 percent for recent newlyweds.
  • Are Chinese companies retooling in Africa? Witney Schneidman explains how and why Chinese companies are adopting new approaches to investing in Africa.
  • The Nixon Sightings (part IV). Stephen Hess recalls a key moment in his time working with Richard M. Nixon. In this story: Lincoln Week, 1965.