Archive for March, 2009

Just call him Mr. Goodwrench

March 31, 2009

That’s what President Obama is telling American car owners and buyers, making them an offer they can’t refuse: If General Motors or Chrysler won’t honor their warranties, he will.

Playing pitchman for the ailing U.S. auto industry, Obama on Monday offered guarantees on the warranty of every new vehicle sold by the Detroit automakers during their restructuring efforts. Obama said with additional incentives for new car buyers, the industry could sell an additional 100,000 new cars this year. 

But Uncle Sam won’t stand by warranties held by current vehicle owners or safety recalls, which can occur years after the warranty expires. That would leave uncovered about 10 million to 15 million GM and Chrysler vehicles bought in the past couple years, said Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety. 

Under the so-called Warranty Commitment Program, an accounting reserve must be established that contains 125 percent of the projected warranty costs for each new vehicle sold by GM and Chrysler.

Automakers will contribute 15 percent of those costs from their own funds while the U.S. government will cover the remaining 110 percent from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Treasury Department Web site says.

A separate company will be established to manage the funds and will continue to pay warranty claims even in the worst case scenario: automakers go into bankruptcy or out of business. 

If that happened, the warranty administrator and the U.S. government will search for a third-party warranty service provider to assume responsibility for all the warranties covered by the program in exchange for the assets of the program.

“If you buy a car from Chrysler or General Motors, you will be able to get your car serviced and repaired, just like always,” Obama pledged Monday. “Your warranty will be safe. In fact, it will be safer than it’s ever been. Because starting to day, the United States government will stand behind your warranty.”

Ditlow pointed out that plenty of legitimate claims are denied by warranty companies and the program offers no details about how the government would honor claims. 

He added that among the biggest unknowns are the ability to find third-party warranty service providers to perform the work and ensuring a continual flow of parts if the automakers go into bankruptcy or out of business.

“It’s a good idea but it’s not a proven plan to date,” he told FOXNews.com. Obama “has the right concept but there’s no guarantee in that warranty plan.”

Ditlow said he received a number of complaints from Daewoo owners when that South Korean car company went bankrupt and GM bought some of its assets but none of its liabilities.

“For vehicle owners, if GM or Chrysler goes into bankruptcy, get ready to lobby to have your debt recognized,” he said. “And that debt is your warranty.”

The White House nor the Treasury Department responded to requests seeking comment.

But the National Automobile Dealers Association said it also isn’t impressed by Obama’s plan.

“We are encouraged by President Obama’s commitment to putting the domestic auto industry back on the road to recovery but continue to urge the administration to focus immediately on correcting the dysfunctional credit markets,” the organization said in a statement, adding that bankruptcy should not be an option.

“It would further erode consumer confidence and, therefore, our ability to sell at the retail level. Moreover, it would further exacerbate the availability of credit.”

More and more we see how his “savior-ness” is slowly, but surely, taking  control over everything. The last time we saw anybody this power grabbing, they either had a koran in one hand or a picture of a hammer and sickle over their shoulder. This “government having a hand in everything” strategy is just bad! If businesses fail, they usually deserve it. The U.S. auto industry does. But, the underlying reason for both the failure and the bailout is all those UAW members that supported Obama and his socialist agenda and their demands. So bad are those union contracts,  they pay somebody $30/hr to put on the hubcaps. Of course those same union members will yell and scream how much the CEO gets. Lets hope America will snap out of this “cult-like” trance and send a message to Washington……….

NO MORE SOCIALISM!!!

The “Social Engineering” begins!

March 31, 2009

WASHINGTON — However they satisfy their nicotine cravings, tobacco users are facing a big hit as the single largest federal tobacco tax increase ever takes effect Wednesday.

Tobacco companies and public health advocates, longtime foes in the nicotine battles, are trying to turn the situation to their advantage. The major cigarette makers raised prices a couple of weeks ago, partly to offset any drop in profits once the per-pack tax climbs from 39 cents to $1.01.

Medical groups see a tax increase right in the middle of a recession as a great incentive to help persuade smokers to quit.

Tobacco taxes are soaring to finance a major expansion of health insurance for children. President Obama signed that health initiative soon after taking office.

Other tobacco products, from cigars to pipes and smokeless, will see similarly large tax increases, too. For example, the tax on chewing tobacco will go up from 19.5 cents per pound to 50 cents. The total expected to be raised over the 4 1/2 year-long health insurance expansion is nearly $33 billion.

Smokers are mulling their options.

Standing outside an office building in downtown Washington last week, 29-year-old Sam Sarkhosh puffed on a Marlboro Light. His 8-year-old daughter has been pleading with him to quit, he explained, and he has set a goal to give up smoking by his 30th birthday.

“I’m trying to quit smoking, and it could help,” said Sarkhosh, an information systems specialist. “I don’t think it will stop me from buying cigarettes every now and then, but definitely not as often.” A friend who smokes Camels went out and bought four cartons in advance, he said.

The tax increase is only the first move in a recharged anti-smoking campaign. Congress also is considering legislation to empower the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco. That could lead to reformulated cigarettes. Obama, who has agonized over his own cigarette habit, said he would sign such a bill.

Prospects for reducing the harm from smoking are better than they have been in years, said Dr. Timothy Gardner, president of the American Heart Association. The tax increase “is a terrific public health move by the federal government,” he said. “Every time that the tax on tobacco goes up, the use of cigarettes goes down.”

About one in five adults in the United States smokes cigarettes. That’s a gradually dwindling share, though it isn’t shrinking fast enough for public health advocates.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says cigarette smoking results in an estimated 443,000 premature deaths each year, and costs the economy $193 billion in health care expenses and lost time from work. Smoking is a major contributor to heart disease, cancer and lung disease.

Public health officials are urging individual doctors and staff at telephone “quit lines” in every state to make the most of the tax increase by reaching out to smokers. But it’s unclear how deeply the tax will cut into tobacco consumption.

Eric Lindblom, research director for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, says he expects a drop of at least 6 percent to 7 percent among young smokers.

Philip Gorham, who tracks the tobacco business for Morningstar, the investment research firm, said he expects an overall drop of 4 percent to 5 percent this year. What happens after that is less certain, especially as the economy recovers.

“I would expect a road bump this year,” said Gorham. “But these companies will still be extremely profitable. I still think they will make their return on capital by wide margins in the long run.”

Philip Morris USA, the largest tobacco company and maker of Marlboro, is forecasting a drop, but spokesman Bill Phelps said he cannot predict how big. Philip Morris raised Marlboro prices by 71 cents a pack early this month, and prices on smaller brands by 81 cents a pack. Other major companies followed suit.

The pricing moves raised eyebrows. “That’s nothing more than greed,” said Kevin Altman, an industry consultant who advises small tobacco companies. “They weren’t required to charge that until April 1. They are just putting that into their pockets.”

Responded Phelps: “We raised our prices in direct response to the federal excise tax increase, and people who are upset about that should find out how their member of Congress voted, and contact him or her.”

Some policy analysts have questioned the wisdom of boosting tobacco taxes to finance health care for children. They argue that the fate of such a broad program should not depend on revenues derived from a minority of the adult population, many of whom have low incomes and are hooked on a habit. The tobacco industry is also warning that the steep increase will lead to tax evasion through old-fashioned smuggling or by Internet purchase from abroad.

But smoking control advocates such as Lindblom say tobacco taxes should be even higher. “There’s a lot of room to go after cigars and smokeless,” he said. “We are certainly hopeful that health care reform will include some more increases.”

Standing outside a Washington department store, attorney Margaret Webster, 42, puffed on a Marlboro Ultra Light and lamented the fact that the government is reaching deeper into her pocketbook.

“I don’t think we (smokers) like it,” she said. “But I’ve heard so many people say they were going to quit when the price went up … and they’re still smoking.”

Gee Mr. President, smoking is so bad that, not only do you smoke but, the government should make more and more money off of it. The question is, what do you plan on doing with the additional revenue? Oh, that’s right, its for the chilllllllllllllldren. So the chilllllllllllllllllldren can have health care while the rest of us can die. So, when these children turn 18,  what do you do? Do you send them a letter saying.”happy birthday now if you get sick,  SCREW YOU!”? This is just more prove on a “ship that is rudderless”. Or as many of us are beginning to call it…..”The ObamaNation”!

“I know you want us dead, but……………..

March 31, 2009

Reuters reports……………. 

By Sue Pleming

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday she wanted Iran’s help on border security and fighting drugs in Afghanistan, but she had no plans to meet Tehran’s delegate at an international meeting.

Clinton played down expectations of her first contact with Iran at Tuesday’s Afghanistan conference in The Hague. She will be the highest-level official in the Obama administration to sit at the same table with Tehran.

“I have no plans (to meet the Iranians). I can’t forecast tomorrow, but we are looking forward to everyone playing a constructive role,” she told reporters traveling with her.

Clinton had personally suggested Iran should send a representative to the Dutch conference, where she will detail Washington’s new war strategy in Afghanistan and seek support from allies and others to implement the plan.

She said Iran was cooperative after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan that followed the September, 2001 attacks on the United States.

Border security and counter-narcotics had a direct effect on Iran’s well-being and Tehran could be helpful in those areas, in particular, she said.

“I believe there will be an opening by this conference that will enable all the countries, including Iran, to come forward, with how they want to participate,” Clinton said.

“The fact that they accepted the invitation to come suggests that they believe there is a role for them to play and we are looking forward to hearing more,” she added.

In a reversal of former President George W. Bush’s isolation policy of Iran, the Obama administration is actively seeking to engage Tehran, particularly on issues of mutual concern such as Afghanistan.

Clinton’s predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, exchanged pleasantries with Iran’s foreign minister at international conferences but they never held substantive talks.

In a video address to Iran this month, President Barack Obama said he wanted a new beginning with Tehran, which is at loggerheads with Washington on a range of issues, including a nuclear program the West believes is aimed at building an atomic bomb.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful electricity generation and that Washington must lift sanctions imposed over its uranium enrichment if it wants to improve ties.

Asked if Washington would impose more punitive measures as long as Iran refused to give up its nuclear work, Clinton sidestepped the question.

“We will stay focused on Afghanistan tomorrow and that is the purpose of this conference,” she said.

AID FOR ELECTIONS

In an attempt to encourage assistance from the more than 80 nations represented at the conference, Clinton announced $40 million in new U.S. aid for a U.N. fund to prepare for Afghanistan’s elections in August.

“We do not support or oppose any candidate but we want to assure that the elections themselves are going to have legitimacy and credibility,” said Clinton.

State Department spokesman Robert Wood said Clinton was not in The Hague with a shopping list but others could offer help in areas such as equipment, training for Afghanistan’s police force, aircraft and reconstruction projects.

“We do want to encourage the participants to begin thinking hard about what their contributions will be,” Clinton said.

Clinton is expected to be peppered with questions over the Obama administration’s new strategy for both Afghanistan and Pakistan, which was announced last Friday.

Obama’s goal is to crush al Qaeda militants in Afghanistan and in Pakistan and adopt a more regional approach by involving neighbors like Iran, and players India, China and Russia.

The United States plans to send 21,00 more troops to Afghanistan, including 4,000 to help train the Afghan army, along with hundreds of civilians to improve basic services.

Clinton said a focus would also be on making aid programs more efficient.

“We recognize we are starting at a point where there is very little credibility for a lot of what has already been invested. It is heartbreaking.”

Later this week, Clinton’s deputy Jacob Lew will visit both Afghanistan and Pakistan and special U.S. representative on the issue, Richard Holbrooke, will also be in the region to explain Obama’s plan and find practical ways to implement it.

(Editing by Jon Boyle)

So, here we are, in the middle of 2 wars. In the general region of these military actions, stands one, who, from all accounts, is either involved in, or is militarily and economically supportive of,  people who are actually killing American forces. The same country who has vowed to “nuke” us one day when they are capable of doing so. The same country who believes that our female Secretary of State shouldn’t even be allowed out of the house.  Much less, speaking with men not her husband. But these same people are,  suddenly,  going to run to help us  out in 2 wars. Mr. President, are you in denial or just plain dumb? I would rather you were the former but, I am starting to think maybe the latter.

Talking out of Both Sides of Our Mouths…..

March 30, 2009

WASHINGTON (CNN) — There is little doubt that a planned North Korean rocket launch next month is designed to bolster that country’s military capability, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday.

He also indicated that the U.S. military could be prepared to shoot down a North Korean missile if the rogue regime develops the capability to reach Hawaii or the western continental United States in a future launch.

The North Korean government says it will launch a commercial satellite atop a rocket sometime between April 4 and April 8.

“I don’t know anyone at a senior level in the American government who does not believe this technology is intended as a mask for the development of an intercontinental ballistic missile,” Gates said during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.”

Gates noted that while the United States believes it is North Korea’s “long-term intent” to add a nuclear warhead to any such missile, he “personally would be skeptical that they have the ability right now to do that.”
Japan recently mobilized its missile defense system — an unprecedented step — in response to the planned North Korean launch, Japanese officials said.

The move, noteworthy for a country with a pacifist constitution, is aimed
at shooting down any debris from the launch that might fall into Japanese territory.

In a concurrent response, U.S. Navy ships capable of shooting down ballistic missiles are being moved to the Sea of Japan, a Navy spokesman said Thursday.

Gates said that the U.S. military could shoot down “an aberrant missile, one that was headed for Hawaii … or something like that, we might consider it, but I don’t think we have any plans to (do) anything like that at this point.”

He does not believe North Korea currently has the technology to reach Alaska or Pacific coast.

Gates said that impending missile launch is a clear demonstration of the failure of the recent six-party talks to disarm the North Korean regime.

“It’s very troubling. The reality is that the six-party talks really have not made any headway any time recently,” he said.

“If (the missile launch) is Kim JongIl’s welcoming present to a new president … it says a lot about the imperviousness of this regime in North Korea to any kind of diplomatic overtures.”

Gates said that he believes economic sanctions are the best tool to getting countries like North Korea and Iran to the negotiating table. Both countries are believed by the United States and other Western nations to be trying to acquire nuclear capability.

It seems either our foreign policy doesn’t have any direction like a rudderless boat or, we are diplomatically “schizophrenic”. The mixed messages, we seem to be sending to our enemies, can only serve to undermine anything we maybe trying to accomplish, if anything at all. The Chinese must be sitting back and laughing at how juvenile we are coming across. I see them definitely encouraging the North Koreans to “go for broke”.

A Toothless Paper Tiger……

March 30, 2009

The United States can do nothing to stop North Korea from breaking international law in the next 10 days by firing a missile that is unlikely to be shot down by the U.S. or its allies, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday.

Appearing on “FOX News Sunday,” Gates said North Korea “probably will” fire the missile, prompting host Chris Wallace to ask: “And there’s nothing we can do about it?”

“No,” Gates answered, adding, “I would say we’re not prepared to do anything about it.”

Last week, Admiral Timothy Keating, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, said the U.S. is “fully prepared” to shoot down the missile. But Gates said such a response is unlikely.

“I think if we had an aberrant missile, one that was headed for Hawaii, that looked like it was headed for Hawaii or something like that, we might consider it,” Gates said. “But I don’t think we have any plans to do anything like that at this point.”

North Korea has moved a missile onto a launch pad and says it will be fired by April 8. Pyonyang insists the missile is designed for carrying a communications satellite, not a nuclear warhead that the secretive nation appears bent on developing.

Gates said while he doesn’t think North Korea has the capability yet to shoot off a long-range nuclear-tipped missile, “I don’t know anyone at a senior level in the American government who does not believe this technology is intended as a mask for the development of an intercontinental ballistic missile.”

Gates conceded that North Korea will likely get away with thumbing its nose at the international community by test-firing the missile. He also said that six-party talks aimed at curbing Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions have been largely fruitless.

“It’s very troubling,” Gates said. “The reality is that the six-party talks really have not made any headway anytime recently.”

Gates also lamented that the missile launch planned by dictator KimJongIl comes just two months after President Obama took office.

“If this is Kim JongIl’s welcoming present to a new president, launching a missile like this and threatening to have a nuclear test, I think it says a lot about the imperviousness of this regime in North Korea to any kind of diplomatic overtures,” he said.

Gates also said Japan is unlikely to shoot down a North Korean missile unless it drops debris on the island nation.

The Obama administration has signaled it wants to scale back the deployment of a missile defense system that was initiated by former President George W. Bush. The White House is also talking about dropping plans for missile defense facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Gates lamented the futility of diplomatic efforts toward North Korea and Iran, another nation with nuclear ambitions. Despite the Obama administration’s talk of ramping up diplomatic overtures toward Tehran, Gates was pessimistic about that strategy.

“Frankly, from my perspective, the opportunity for success is probably more in economic sanctions in both places than it is in diplomacy,” Gates said. “What gets them to the table is economic sanctions.”

The Obama administration has, once again, shown the world it will cower to all who stand up to it. After saying yesterday we would shoot down any missile launched over the Pacific, the Obama administration today, “ran and hid in the corner” and said it would only shoot down any missile approaching US Territory. This comes from the same administration who,purports to want a “dialogue” with members of the “Axis of Evil”. Does the Obama administration really believe that its “touchy-feelykumbaya” tactics will work with the insane Iranians or its “henchmen” in North Korea? The same North Korea who’s leader acts like a rich, spoiled teenager, looking for attention? 

The President and his foreign affairs advisers, better “grow up” in diplomatic terms, otherwise, there WILL BE a situation where the ones he has “cowered to”, will do something so heinous as to demand our response to be equally as much. i.e. using of “weapons of mass destruction”. 

The people we are dealing with have exhibited behavior that appears to indicated “mental instability”. Does Obama really think a “intelligent dialogue” will have any effect on them? Do you think the perception of cowering will have any effect? It will. But the effect will be one of en bolding them, not of capitulation.

Screw You Bro’!!!

March 30, 2009

Again from ABCNEWS……

Earlier this week, Malik Obama, half-brother of U.S. President Barack Obama, checked into a local hospital in western Kenya with a possible case of cholera. He wouldn’t confirm to media that he had the disease, but a local source told me that Malik Obama had been treated in the cholera ward for the past three days and would be released today.

Malik Obama was a guest at his brother’s inauguration in Washington, D.C., in January. But Kogelo, President Obama’s father’s birthplace and where Malik still resides, is a long way from the beltway, not just in distance but also economically.

I’ve been to Malik’s homestead. By Kenyan standards, it would be considered middle class — there’s a television, make-shift electricity, running water. But the village is largely off the electric grid and women travel distances to get daily water.

The closest thing to health care Kogelo has is a dispensary – a little clinic stocked with few drugs and health workers who can refer patients to larger hospitals in nearby towns. And so this village of 5,000 is prone to outbreaks of a disease that is nearly nonexistent in the West.

Cholera is common on the subcontinent. It’s an intestinal disease, caused by drinking and eating contaminated water and food. An outbreak occurs when there’s a breakdown in sanitation conditions and a lack of safe drinking water.

The most prominent outbreak at the moment is in Zimbabwewhere more than 60,000 people have been infected, and more than 3,000 have died. The disease is relatively easy to treat. Victims are given oral rehydration salts to replace the fluids lost through vomiting and diarrhea; in severe cases, fluids are injected intravenously. With proper care, most patients, like Malik Obama, are cured and discharged within a couple of days.

A look at the World Health Organization’s map of cholera outbreaks over the past two years shows that it is largely a poor man’s disease. It’s rampant in developing countries throughout Africa and Southeast Asia, and nearly nonexistent in the West, which has advanced water treatment systems. The last major cholera outbreak in the United States was in 1910. Kenya, on the other hand, is in the midst of at least two outbreaks.

Kenyans are very proud of the fact the President Obama has roots here, none likely more so than his own brother. “Yes we can” is a favorite saying here, often used by Kenyans to demand the same change in their government and infrastructure as the recent elections brought about in the United States.

But when the brother of the leader of the free world still lives in conditions in 2009 that leave him susceptible to a disease that the United States hasn’t seen in nearly a hundred years, it’s clear it will take more than a phrase and people power to bring health care here to a modern standard.

Once again we see the true phony Obama is. Here is his sick half-brother sitting in the jungles of Kenya while Mr. “I’m going to save the world” is hobnobbing with foreign leaders and royalty. That alone should show EVERYBODY the true character of the savior-in-chief. If the man has no compassion for his own family…………do you REALLY think he has any for you? Would ANYBODY really complain if he brought his brother here, at least, to get the best health care? Do you think he would, at least, in the street vernacular, “break da brotha off”? How about just acknowledging the poor guy exists? Oh, that’s right, we can’t remind Obama who he really is. He’s just the “poor kid from Chicago” right? (wink, wink) I guess will can safely assume Kenya isn’t a stop on………………….

                       “DEPRESSION  09—THE OBAMA WORLD TOUR”

President Obama’s “European Vacation”

March 30, 2009

Another article from ABCNEWS…….

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs jokingly referred to President Obama’s trip to Europe for the G-20, NATO, and EU summits as our European vacation,” and it’s clear that little soothing or relaxing awaits the young president as he prepares for his flight to London.

Over the weekend, the German Der Spiegel obtained a draft communiqué from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown urging the G20 nations to pledge $2 trillion in stimulus. While a Downing Street spokesman told Reuters that this was an old draft and “nothing more than the IMF’s estimate of action already announced,” the figure nonetheless reportedly prompted a strong reaction from Brown’s European counterparts.

German chancellor Angela Merkel assailed the “global new deal,” the Times of London reports “I will not let anyone tell me that we must spend more money.”

Spanish finance minister Pedro Solbes concurred, saying, “In these conditions I and the rest of my colleagues from the eurozone believe there is no room for new fiscal stimulus plans.”

This strong reaction comes as President Obama faces the task of lining up his G-20 counterparts to support “concerted action around the globe to jumpstart economic growth,” as Gibbs said on Saturday. Another priority: “that we are advancing a regulatory reform agenda to ensure that this crisis never happens again and prevent anything like that in the future.”

President Obama can rely upon close allies such as Brown for support, but despite his personal popularity worldwide Mr. Obama is now officially the face of America as it is — not the America Europeans dream about — and thus he faces a tough crowd.

Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek told members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg that “the US Treasury Secretary talks about permanent action and we at our [EU summit] were quite alarmed by that. He talks about an extensive US stimulus campaign. All of these steps are the road to hell.”

Even in London, Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, urged Brown to stop spending

“Given how big these deficits are, I think it would be sensible to be cautious about going further in using discretionary measures to expand the size of those deficits,” King told the Treasury select committee on Tuesday. “I think the fiscal position in the UK is not one where we could say, ‘Well, why don’t we just engage in another significant round of fiscal expansion?'”

Southward, at the Progressive Governance Summit in Vina del Mar, Chile, this weekend, Vice President Biden got a preview of some of the worldwide hostility towards the U.S. via Wall Street — and the skepticism towards American capitalism in general.

Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva complained of those who turned the global economy into “a gigantic casino…In the end, we reject the blind faith in the market.”

Biden expressed support for regulatory reform but cautioned that it not go too far. “We should not overreact,” Biden said.“A free market still needs to be able to function.”

All this plus, of course, global security and terrorism issues, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran’s nuclear program, the Israel/Palestine conundrum, the missile defense shield, plus those pesky Russians and Chinese pushing for a new international currency to replace the ailing US dollar.

“It is quite obvious that the existing currency system has not coped with the existing challenges,” Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told the BBC this weekend“We were lucky to have a set of currencies: dollar, euro, and a pound. But in the future this system should be based upon a multi-currency basket, it should also include other regional reserve currencies. If we manage to agree on that, in the future we could talk about creating a kind of a super currency.”

 

It seems the Savior-in-Chief does NOT have a worldwide following when it comes to his economic plans. I believe it will be a hard sell to these, much more, seasoned politicians. If the Europeans don’t jump on board, does Obama change his plans? Will he “go it alone”? I think he is too stubborn and will, indeed, be the “lone wolf”. If he does, America’s credibility takes another hit. I believe Europe will look for a new leader. It,  may very well be,  the Russians. Especially since no European countries have the “backbone” to take the lead on anything global. Its just another day of…………..

                    “DEPRESSION  09—THE OBAMA WORLD TOUR”

Obama says”Yes we can”! Europe says “A way to Hell”!

March 30, 2009
ABCNEWS reports…. 

The last time President Obama went to Europe, he was greeted with raucous applause and 200,000 Europeans choking a Berlin square, chanting “Obama” and “Yes We Can.”

This time, as the president heads to London this week to press the Group of 20 nations for a global economic stimulus plan, he’s likely to get a warm reception but cold comfort from many European leaders.

European Union chief Mirek Topolanek, the recently ousted leader of the Czech Republic, calls the plan the Obama administration has been pushing “a way to hell.”

Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel is also a skeptic.

“We must look at the causes of this crisis,” she said. “It happened because we were living beyond our means. … We cannot repeat this mistake.”

That sounds a lot like Obama’s Republican critics at home.

In the weekly Republican address, Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., repeated what has become an old Republican saw: “This plan spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much.Why the dramatically different European reception since last summer?

“That was then and this is now,” ABC’s George Will said. “Back then he was Not George Bush — capital N, G and B — and that was enough. Second, he was a novelty — an African-American, a new figure on the world scene. You can only be a novelty once. After that, you’re a familiar face.”Many European nations want more regulation and less direct spending.

“Some European welfare states have such a thick social safety net that an econ slowdown doesn’t alarm people as much as it alarms people here,” Will said.

Mark Zandi, an economist with Moody’s economy.com, told ABC News that explains the timing of the president’s financial reforms last week. He predicted slow progress.

“It’s not likely we’re going to get any explicit agreement at this meeting,” Zandi said. “But it will lay the foundations for some efforts that may succeed weeks, months ahead.”

Obama is relying on Britain’s Gordon Brown, the host of the London summit. He’s calling for a global New Deal and promises “detailed results” from the meeting. Whether Brown can bridge the gap has become the trillion-dollar question.

Well, looks like the Europeans see the “savior-in-chief” as full of hot air when it comes to economics. The EU chief calls Obama’s plan “a way to hell” and the German Chancellor is skeptical. Since these people are far more experienced at this then Obama, who is more believable? You thought George Bush was evil for running up the debt to 8 Trillion Dollars. Your descendants will think you were evil for voting for this moron!

“DEPRESSION  09—THE OBAMA WORLD TOUR”

U.S. takes small steps in ties with Iran

March 30, 2009

By Sue Pleming – Analysis
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is taking tentative steps to turn around caustic U.S. relations with Tehran but experts expect a bumpy, unpredictable ride to reverse three decades of hostility and mistrust.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to join Iran at an international conference on Afghanistan in the Hague on Tuesday, following through on a promise by President Barack Obama to deal with Tehran on issues of mutual concern.

No substantive talks are planned between Clinton and the Iranian envoy at the meeting, but U.S. officials hope any encounters they have will set a positive tone as Obama adjusts the isolation policy of his predecessor, George W. Bush.

“This is not a Nixon goes to China moment,” said Iran expert Joe Cirincione, referring to former President Richard Nixon’s visit to China in 1972 which broke two decades of silence between the two nations.

“You will have a series of incremental steps — small pieces that put together the mosaic of a new relationship,” added Cirincione, who heads the Ploughshares Fund, a grant-making foundation focused on nuclear issues.

Obama made early gestures to Iran in his January inaugural address and last week released a video message to the Iranian regime and its people, urging a new beginning.

Diplomats and U.S. officials, none of whom would speak on the record, said Obama was also considering a personal letter to Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but no decision had been made yet on the content or when to send it.

JUNE ELECTIONS

Iran has elections in June and there has been a spirited debate over whether any major U.S. overture before then could backfire and boost the chances of hard-line leader President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

There is also a fear that Iran will publicly rebuff any major initiatives and embarrass the Obama administration.

So far, Iran has given a guarded response, with Khamenei telling the United States to change its own behavior by lifting “oppressive sanctions” and speaking of Iranian assets frozen in the United States as well as U.S. backing of Israel, which Tehran does not recognize.

Clinton has made clear the United States will continue to pile on sanctions as long as Iran refuses to give up a nuclear program that the West suspects is aimed at building an atomic bomb. Iran says it is to generate electricity.

Iran also wants strong signs the United States is not interested in regime change in Tehran, as it did in Iraq with the 2003 invasion that toppled President Saddam Hussein.

The trick is to balance pressure with incentives and get the right mix to convince Iran to change its behavior, and this is what the ongoing review is trying to work out.

The Bush administration said repeatedly that military action was on the table and while Clinton and others have made clear “all options are open,” the rhetoric has softened.

“From the start of his administration, President Obama has said it is very important to use all the tools available, especially diplomacy, in our relations with Iran,” said State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid.

MORE CONTACTS

One change in U.S. policy is likely to be a relaxation of restrictions on contacts between U.S. and Iranian diplomats. Previously “substantial” talks between U.S. diplomats and their Iranian counterparts had to be cleared first.

The hope is that such conversations will help the United States establish the best way of dealing with Iran and overcome decades of mistrust.

“I think these kinds of discussions can yield information on who we should be talking to and how we should be handling a dialogue,” said Jim Dobbins of the RAND Corporation.

The Bush administration was looking into opening up a low-level diplomatic office in Tehran, but diplomats and officials say this is off the table for now until Washington has established Iran’s views on such a move.

Aside from mutual mistrust, there is domestic skepticism on both sides, with Obama facing some resistance in Congress and from conservative pundits who see engagement as fruitless.rmide

“I don’t think there is any meaningful way to engage with the government of Iran,” said Joshua Muravchik, formerly of the American Enterprise Institute.

But Cirincione disagreed: “Because you want a dialogue with Iran does not mean you are a sucker.”

Obama boasted this week of his persistence, a skill needed in abundance as his goal of changing U.S.-Iran ties could be derailed by incidents ranging from a minor skirmish in Gulf waters to Iran’s nuclear efforts.

“It has been a three decade-long estrangement. It will not be resolved in one or two steps,” said Suzanne Maloney, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

(Editing by Vicki Allen)

My take on this is………..how do you have a rational dialogue with people who vowed your death? How can you have a political relationship with people who believe that the have to start a worldwide transgression so you would attack them for their “savior” to return and they can annihilate you and dominate the entire world in a Islamic paradise? In fact, they have said, not too long ago, If and when they acquire atomic weapons, they would detonate them on Washington, D.C. and Tel Aviv.

War on Religon?

March 30, 2009

Below is a FoxNews article about Chris Mathews and his hatred for anybody not ultra-Liberal and Democrat. As we see once again, the hate spewing out of the mouths of those “touchy-feely, lets all get along,Kumbaya, but truly closet Fascist, Liberals.

Palin, Steele and Other Conservative Christians Not ‘Normal’? More Hypocrisy from ‘Hardball’

By S.E. Cupp
Republican Commentator/Author, “Why You’re Wrong About the Right”

Chris Matthews, along with Lois Romano of the Washington Post and David Corn of Mother Jones, devoted 10 minutes of last night’s “Hardball” to lamenting the religiosity of Republicans.

“Why does everything sound like the 700 Club?” Matthews flippantly probed his like-minded panelists. The criticism came in response to recent sound bites from Sarah Palin and Michael Steele — two very popular go-to targets of the left.

“Suspicious” is a good characterization of the liberal attitude toward Christianity. The media was “suspicious” of Palinthroughout the campaign, accusing her of speaking in tongues, and admonishing her for her pro-life position.

Mind you, neither Palin nor Steele were talking about the sinister ways in which they’d like to inject their voodoo brands of religion into the lives of others. Nor were they suggesting that Christianity play a more prominent role in politics writ large. They were simply acknowledging their own faith — how dare they.

Palin told a crowd of friendly Republicans that before her vice presidential debate against Joe Biden, she couldn’t find anyone in the McCain campaign that she wanted to pray with. Politically unwise to air out old grievances against a still-respected Republican senator? Perhaps, but Matthews implied it was some kind of cultish crusade to put a Bible at every bedside. For her admission, Matthews doesn’t think Palin is “normal” — which is exactly the kind of rigorous analysis we have come to expect of the veteran newsman who has hinted at running for office himself.

And Steele, chair of the RNC, told a reporter about his own possible run for office, “God has a way of revealing stuff to you. If that’s part of the plan, it will be the plan.” To this, Romano resoundingly declared, “He’s gone off the reservation.” And Corn said ominously, “Any time someone says ‘I’ll do this if God wants me to,’ I get suspicious.”

“Suspicious” is a good characterization of the liberal attitude toward Christianity. The media was “suspicious” of Palin throughout the campaign, accusing her of speaking in tongues, and admonishing her for her pro-life position. And they were “suspicious” of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal for his “extreme Catholicism,” as theHuffington Post called it, after reading a college paper in which he describes an exorcism experiment.

And of course they were “suspicious” of President Bush, who was chided for public admissions of his faith time and again. Newsweek’s Howard Fineman said that his 2005 inaugural address “was the closest thing to a sermon I can remember.”

But the media conveniently ignores that Democrats are religious as well. In fact, 78 percent of this country is Christian, according to the CIA World Factbook. Less than 16 percent say they are not religious. And 48 percent of Democrats say they are “absolutely committed to Christianity.”

bona fide media darling, President Clinton, wrote in his book “Between Hope and History,”

“I believe the First Amendment does not require students to leave their religion at the schoolhouse door. There is absolutely nothing improper about students wanting to reflect upon their faith. They can express their beliefs in homework, through artwork, and during class presentations, as long as it’s relevant to the assignment. They can form religious clubs in high school.”

If Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee said this, they’d be declared Christian jihadists, or some similarly hysterical and offensive equivalent.

And it’s not entirely without precedent in American politics to synthesize religious doctrine and political agenda. Joe Lieberman delivered a speech to the Christians United for Israel conference in 2007 in which he used his religious beliefs to make an argument for foreign policy:

“By standing with Israel today, each of you has…taken up the torch that was lit in God’s promise to Abraham 4,000 years ago, and carrying it forward to spread that light. I believe that Israel’s rebirth in 1948 was divinely inspired by God.”

Lieberman’s religious acknowledgment was largely ignored by the media — and rightly so. But President Bush, because he’s a Christian, ostensibly, was lambasted for admitting he prays a lot.

But the hypocrisy is particularly magnified in Matthews’ case. Unless we’ve forgotten the bizarre physiological effects then-candidate Obama had on his leg, it’s amusing to consider that he has no problem injecting his politics into his journalism, but Sarah Palin and Michael Steele can’t even acknowledge their religion — because they’re politicians.

Like any conversation about Sarah Palin on MSNBC, the “Hardball” discussion quickly devolved into one about her looks. She was compared to Dan Quayle, who was “also very good-looking,” they said. When Matthews and his cohorts mock 78 percent of the country, and some of its most respected national leaders, is it any wonder his ratings lag significantly behind his competition on FOX and CNN?