Thursday, June 25, 2009
In 1983, Ronald Reagan used a word to describe the Soviet Union that some of his advisors who wanted engagement with the Soviets wished he wouldn't use. It will anger the Soviet leaders, they said. It will make negotiations impossible.
But Reagan used the word anyway. He called the Soviet regime "evil."
And the impact of that word changed history.
"He could not have helped us better," Lech Walesa, the head of Poland's Solidarity movement, said later. "I don't think any missiles or any army could have been more effective."
President Obama finally spoke forcefully and eloquently about the aspirations of the Iranian people who are demonstrating in the streets of Iran today. His words, "Those who stand up for justice are always on the right side of history" were particularly meaningful.
Still, President Obama is standing by his policy of engagement with the Iranian theocrats.
Like the advisors to President Reagan, Obama wants to preserve the option of negotiations with Iran. A perfect example of this was the President's refusal in the press conference to address the issue of rescinding invitations to Iranian diplomats of the current Islamic regime to Fourth of July celebrations at U.S. embassies across the world.
But the President's policy of engagement with Iran is dead. The protestors in the streets of Iran killed it.
What's left is a tremendous opportunity - and a tremendous choice - for President Obama. He can use his great rhetorical skills and the resources of the American government to buttress the courage shown by the protestors in the Iranian streets, or he can use them to betray them...
Iran's envoy to the United Nations' atomic watchdog said last week that his country has the right to build nuclear weapons, Agence France Presse reported.
"The whole Iranian nation are united... on [the] inalienable right of [having a] nuclear weapon,"
Ali Asghar Soltanieh said, in an apparent departure from the country's usual refrain that it is only pursuing nuclear energy for civilian purposes.
In addition, the report warned that Tehran has sped up its production of nuclear fuel and has increased its number of installed centrifuges to 7,200—more than enough to make fuel for two nuclear bombs per year.
It was to be ''the Battle of Toronto,'' a three-day bombing assault aimed at shutting the downtown core, crippling the economy and killing civilians. Members of the so-called Toronto 18 would pack three U-Haul vans with explosives and park them at three locations: the Toronto Stock Exchange; the Front St. offices of Canada's spy agency; and a military base off Highway 401
Those were some of the comments made by the alleged Number 2..
Japan's stronger firms have responded relatively quickly to the recession, in marked contrast to the dithering during the "lost decade" of the 1990s. However, it's certain that efforts to keep their struggling companies afloat are hurting them. All of this does enormous harm, says the Economist:
- Tellingly, the shut-down rate of companies in Japan is around half that in America and Britain:
- And the number of corporate insolvencies is expected to increase in Japan this year by only 15 percent, despite the depth of its recession, compared with more than 30 percent in Western Europe and 40 percent in America.
Furthermore, Japan's experience -- a downturn followed by years of stagnation -- serves as a reminder of the importance of destruction in capitalism.
Instead of continuing to prop up struggling companies, Japan and other countries need to let them go under, so that new, better ones can be created...
Sixty-four percent (64%) of Americans have at least a somewhat favorable view of Wal-Mart, including 24% who are very favorable toward the merchandising giant.
Three-out-of-10 Americans (30%) shop at Wal-Mart at least once a week. Twenty-six percent (26%) rarely or never shop at the store.
While Wal-Mart is often accused of having a negative impact on small, local stores when it moves into an area, 52% of Americans believe, that Wal-Mart is good for the community. Only 28% now say Wal-Mart is bad for the community. [and they're all union workers]
Forty-seven percent (47%) of Americans oppose more government regulation of the U.S. financial system, while just 23% of adults favor giving the Federal Reserve Board more regulatory control.
Fifty-one percent (51%) oppose expanding the Fed’s regulatory powers.
The new survey was taken after the president last week announced a major expansion of regulatory controls over banks and other financial institutions and increases the Fed’s powers over the economy.
image toon - mny sclm = Stimulus balloons = still down economy
Seventy-six percent (76%) of Americans say it is at least somewhat likely that a large amount of money in the $787-billion economic stimulus plan will be wasted due to inadequate government oversight. Nearly half (46%) say it is very likely, only 18% say it is not likely that taxpayer money will be wasted.
Just 36% of Americans are at least somewhat confident that taxpayer money will be wisely and carefully spent, but that’s down 10 points from February just after the president made his pledge of unprecedented oversight of all government spending and put Vice President Joseph Biden in charge of oversight.
Forty-five percent (45%) of Americans believe the rest of the new government spending authorized in the stimulus plan should be canceled right away.
Obama in a press conference on Tuesday acknowledged that the U.S. economy remains sluggish and reiterated his intention to speed up stimulus spending...
In 2009 the United States will post a deficit of $1.8 trillion. Even looking forward to 2019, the deficit will still be in the trillions, $1.2 trillion to be exact. But this can't go on forever. What will shock America into action is the prospect of fiscal collapse. And making the challenge far greater: Obama's budget is packed with a wish list of expensive new programs, led by a giant health care reform plan, says CNNMoney.com.
[Credit where due]
During the June 23 White House press conference, ABC News reporter Jake Tapper sparred with Barack Obama over the details of the President's universal health care plan, bluntly observing,
"...If the government is offering a cheaper health care plan, then lots of employers will want to have their employees covered by that cheaper plan, which will not have to be for-profit, unlike private plans."
Tapper's question, about whether the so-called "public choice" option would actually allow employees to keep the current insurance plans they have now, was a follow-up to a similar one offered by USA Today's David Jackson. After the President failed to answer that query, Tapper began by challenging,
"I wonder if you could actually answer David's? Is the public plan non- negotiable?"
A testy Obama retorted,
"All right, if that's your question ... You think you're going to- are you the ombudsman for the White House press corps? What's your question- is that your question?"
After pointing out how the public option could lead to employers choosing a cheaper, government plan, Tapper continued,
"And then their employees would be signed up for this public plan, which would violate what you're promising the American people, that they will not have to change health care plans if they like the plan they have."
Obama interrupted and attempted to clarify,
"Well, all right- when I say if you have your plan and you like it, and your doctor has a plan- or you have a doctor and you like your doctor, that you don't have to change plans, what I'm saying is the government is not going to make you change plans under health reform."
[Translation: Yes, we'll be forced into the government plan when our employeers cancel their private-insurance coverage to have the tax payers foot the bill.
This is what Obama said on the campaign trail he expects to happen, leaving only the government system in '15 to 20 years'.]
A transcript of the June 23 exchange, which occurred at 1:02pm, follows:
"No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people,"
President Obama told the American Medical Association on June 15.
"If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what."
But today the president 'clarified' that promise.
It seems he wasn’t saying “no one” will take away any American’s health insurance – he was saying the government wouldn’t.
Which is not to say that the government wouldn’t create a situation where such a thing would happen...
“Now, there ae going to be employers out there that start start making decisions..."
[Like I just said. I think those folks really think we're that stupid.]
It looks like public hospitals in British Columbia, Canada, will have to cut patient services in order to comply with global warming laws established by the provincial government. According to the Surrey Leader:
- The Lower Mainland's health authorities will have to dig more than $4 million a year out of their already stretched budgets to pay B.C.'s carbon tax and offset their carbon footprints.
- Critics say the payments mean the government's strategy to fight climate change will further exacerbate a crisis in health funding.
"You have public hospitals cutting services to pay a tax that goes to another 100 per cent government- owned agency,"For example:
- The Fraser Health Authority will pay $616,000 in carbon tax this year, rising to $821,000 next year, officials there said.
- And by 2010 Fraser will pay $1.3 million a year to the province's Pacific Carbon Trust to offset its projected 52,600 tons of carbon emissions released.
- Vancouver Coastal Health Authority also expects its costs will be close to $2 million next year in combined carbon tax and offset payments.
Washington - A portion of the revenue from any U.S. system capping carbon emissions must go toward softening the impact of higher energy prices on consumers, a White House official said on Wednesday. Joseph Aldy, special assistant to the president for energy and the environment, said building a clean energy economy will not be easy.
''There will be those who are going to be vulnerable as we make this transition''
[That would be everyone, and the economy itself.]
Perhaps the most destructive legislation in our country's history will, as soon as TOMORROW, be voted on in the House of Representatives: the Waxman-Markey tax bill in the guise of addressing climate change [aka: H.R. 2454 (the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009).]. It will have adverse and lingering consequences for every American.
- It will raise the cost of electricity in our homes, the fuel for our cars and the energy that produces our manufacturing jobs, with little or no environmental benefit.
- Independent experts estimate that it will cost Americans more than $2 trillion in just over eight years.
- All Americans in the Midwest, South and Rocky Mountain regions will be most drastically affected because the climate change legislation will destroy the nation's coal industry and the low-cost electricity it has provided to these regions for generations.
- Wealth will be transferred away from almost every state to the West Coast and New England.
But this legislation forces America to throw away this tremendous resource, and our low-cost electricity with it. For instance, the legislation discards coal by setting an unattainable cap on carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, with the first reductions due by 2012.
Under the program, businesses that emit carbon dioxide would be required to purchase or obtain from the government special carbon dioxide credits.
This carbon dioxide cap will force utilities to switch from lower-cost coal to natural gas or other more expensive energy sources.
Reliable estimates show that this bill will cost each American family at least $3,000 more in energy costs each year, notwithstanding the $2 trillion cost to the economy in just eight years.
"OPPOSE H.R. 2454 (the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009)."
YOUR Congressman: https://forms.house.gov/wyr/welcome.shtml
or: Speed Message them with your personal distribution list...
[white envelope lower-left will forward a link to this brief]