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Lorelei Kelly
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Lorelei Kelly is a Research Fellow with the Open Technology Initiative at the New America Foundation. She is standing up a new project called SmartCongress--which seeks to establish a decentralized system of expertise for American legislators, including new approaches for local civic engagement. Until recently, Lorelei directed the New Strategic Security Initiative--educating Americans and elected leaders about security in an interconnected world. She arrived in DC as a Special Advisor to Congresswoman Elizabeth Furse (OR), ret. Her latest project is the Afghanistan Congressional Communications Hub, an information service about the non military aspects of US engagement in Afghanistan. Her longstanding interest in the practice of democracy began at Stanford University’s Center on Conflict and Negotiation where she also taught Peace Studies. Lorelei focused on National Security and Congress as a Senior Associate at the Henry L. Stimson Center, an independent think tank in Washington, DC. In 1998, she founded and led “Security for a New Century,” a bipartisan study group that continues today–supporting cutting-edge knowledge on foreign policy and defense issues in both the House and Senate. More recently, she directed the Real Security Initiative at the White House Project, a national communications and training network dedicated to women's leadership influence. In 2008, she co-founded The Progressive Caucus Policy Foundation. Lorelei has lived outside the USA, is a certified mediator and a civil-military relations specialist. After a Grinnell College BA and a Stanford University MA, she attended the Air Command and Staff College of the U.S. Air Force. She has co authored two books, Policy Matters: Educating Congress on Peace and Security and A Woman's Guide to Talking about War and Peace.
. Both are free online.

Blog Entries by Lorelei Kelly

Off the SOPA Box and Into the Town Square

(8) Comments | Posted January 27, 2012 | 10:51 AM

Last week, the U.S. Congress was partly rehabilitated from its dreggy popular ratings. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) in the Senate were withdrawn after immense opposition from a broad cross-section of internet participants. At long last, millions of Americans...

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Dumb by Design: Gingrich's Lobotomy of Congress and Today's Dysfunction

(356) Comments | Posted November 29, 2011 | 7:59 AM

While there was much to be thankful for last week, the rise of Newt Gingrich in the GOP polls made some of us eat the apple pie early. We were afraid it might rot like so many other fine American institutions -- namely the United States Congress. It was, after...

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Getting Your Man to Commit

(2) Comments | Posted March 7, 2011 | 6:08 PM

I'm all for exclusive relationships. Except for today. Today, I'd like you to ask your man to commit to every woman in the world. Guys, If you made it to sentence #2, this is your chance. Committing yourself to women's rights is HOT! And while roses and tubs of those...

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ROTC on Campus Is a Good Thing

(89) Comments | Posted March 4, 2011 | 1:19 AM

Last night, Columbia University's Task Force on Military Engagement released its findings. ROTC -- the Reserve Officer's Training Corps -- is welcome back on campus. Harvard followed suit. Both pro and con voices at these Ivy League schools have legitimate feelings about a uniformed presence on campus. The recent difficult...

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Our Coup d' Etat, by Accident

(162) Comments | Posted February 18, 2011 | 1:23 AM

The F-35's extra engine got the ax this week, but don't put away your air quotes. The arguments over "security" have just begun. Democrats and freshmen Republicans deserve congratulations for protecting taxpayers, but let's face it, this extra engine could not have been more unwanted if it had been wearing...

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Republican Congress: Back to the USSR

(105) Comments | Posted February 8, 2011 | 7:35 AM

Happy Birthday Ronald Reagan. Indeed, GOP types are doubtless hoping that a cake and ice cream sugar high will vault them over an awkward ideological split that's the size of the river Nile.

What would Reagan say about Egypt today? His presidential track record on security policy seems confusing:...

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The Road from Tucson

(45) Comments | Posted January 21, 2011 | 1:37 AM

Today Congresswoman Giffords will leave the hospital. Her steady convalescence sends a signal of hope -- one that should inspire all of us to step back, assess our own surroundings and do our best to make sure a Tucson massacre never happens again.

Who do we blame, The gunman...

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Congress vs. the World

(145) Comments | Posted December 22, 2010 | 1:14 AM

Today the US Senate will approve a cooperative agreement to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons. This agreement is called the START treaty -- and was originally championed by Ronald Reagan. Despite its conservative origins and its importance for US credibility, most Republicans have tried to slow-walk it to nowhere....

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Thank You Tea Party!

(647) Comments | Posted November 26, 2010 | 9:00 AM

Five things I'm grateful for:

1. Bike Lanes

In DC, people put on ties and lipstick to get a midnight slurpee. The city's type A drivers -- flustered by the dastardly indirect French roadplan -- have made biking to work a Road Warrior sport. Until now. Today, showing up in...

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Boehner's Dilemma: Decency vs. Depravity

(150) Comments | Posted November 19, 2010 | 9:06 AM

Decency and depravity have something in common: they are behaviors characterized by the same human desire to be included, to follow the rules, to be liked, and to win approval. In social systems, leaders are vital -- they persuade large groups to prefer one type of validation over the other....

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Tea Party Defense Guidelines

(106) Comments | Posted November 11, 2010 | 8:16 AM

Today is Veterans Day. Thank you veterans and everybody else who has sacrificed for the rest of us. Thanks to those in uniform and to those in regular clothes.

A rumble has broken out amongst DC defense wonks and it will be a defining fight for the Tea Party....

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Beyond Head-Stomping -- the Democratic Battle That Awaits

(32) Comments | Posted November 3, 2010 | 3:40 AM

Okay. It's over.

Wealthy conservatives in America have played the long-game. For 40 years they have mapped and organized the takeover of public institutions to benefit themselves. This election proved the success of a consistent minority repeating the same things over and over again to influence the majority. Now...

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Millennial Civics: Your Revolution Is Tuesday

(9) Comments | Posted October 28, 2010 | 1:52 AM

Hey you twenty-something independent who voted for Obama but is now too bummed to show up. Who worked on the campaign and then felt dropped like a hot rock. I hear you. Lots of us do. But Tuesday is vital. This time you will be voting for control of the...

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Crashing the Tea Party Joyride

(1096) Comments | Posted October 15, 2010 | 1:40 AM

The Tea Party has done us all a favor. It has pointed out how absent we've been in building a common narrative about modern American citizenship. Their candidates are fascinating -- like watching campaign season through beer goggles. But every time I hear one of them speak in public, I...

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Keep the Democrats in Charge of Congress

(512) Comments | Posted September 9, 2010 | 11:40 PM

I hope that some bright young lights in the Democratic party grab the steering wheel. Here we are in the midst of an economic crisis and a war and today's Republican talking points run the gamut from the laissez-faire to the feral. Are you an angry independent? Keep in mind...

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Beck-Palin 2010

(379) Comments | Posted August 29, 2010 | 11:31 PM

No, I don't think either of the stars of last Saturday's "Restoring Honor" gathering in DC will run for office this year. I do think that they have revealed a compelling narrative just in time for campaign season, however. The well produced plot -- funded by billionaires with...

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Save Afghanistan? How About America?

(130) Comments | Posted July 3, 2010 | 1:54 PM

The fracas over General McChrystal departing Afghanistan is a reminder that impressive fireworks exist year round in our nation's capital. I'm hoping everyone got a good refresher on civil-military relations out of this experience because we, as a nation, really need it. And despite what you think of the situation,...

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Remembering What a Military Is For

(124) Comments | Posted June 1, 2010 | 9:06 AM

Yesterday was Memorial Day. Here in Washington, the National Mall was packed with Americans paying their respects. The motorcycles of Rolling Thunder echoed through the streets. Sunday night featured a concert in front of the Capitol. At dinner parties, everyone was talking about the President's new National Security Strategy. And...

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What The Hurt Locker Means for the Rest of Us

(69) Comments | Posted March 4, 2010 | 7:30 AM

I tried to take off my DC defense wonk hat when I saw The Hurt Locker. I sat down in front of the TV determined to just enjoy the story about an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team at work in Iraq.

But I couldn't.

I know that this movie...

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Be a Real Progressive: Take a Teapartier to Lunch

(31) Comments | Posted February 11, 2010 | 9:42 AM

Ronald Reagan must be smiling. A massive snowstorm just closed down the federal government and disproved global warming. (joke!). But as I sit here with the snow drifting 12 feet off the ground, covering my windows -- eating 70% chocolate bars (cupboards bare!) what amazes me is the silence. Snow...

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