October 2nd, 2010
CR Editor's Note: Glenn Beck's rally was called "Restoring Honor", just a few days after the event Stewart and Colbert came out with the idea to "restore sanity" and Colbert's Rally was called "Keeping Fear Alive" in a mock overture against the Tea party. Now they are reversing their "bright ideas" just a bit, due simply to the fact that 70% of the Americans people identify with The Tea party --according to a recent poll--which is something many of us have known all along. As with any of these "Elite wannabes," profit will always come before ideology, and ideology always comes at the expense of others as the butt of insipid jokes~BLS
By Daniel Kreps
(RollingStone.com) -- Jon Stewart says that his Rally to Restore Sanity -- and Stephen Colbert's sister event, March to Keep Fear Alive -- are not meant to counter Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor event of last August.
"The march is like everything that we do, just a construct ... to translate the type of material that Stephen and I do on "The Daily Show" and "Colbert Report," Stewart said at a Q&A last night at New York's 92nd Street Y.
Instead, the rallies are meant to satirize the political process, and the news coverage spawned from it.
"I'm less upset about politicians than the media," Stewart, who was quoted by The Hollywood Reporter, said, adding that he "very much" wanted to avoid claims that his rally was a response to Beck's.
The Rally to Restore Sanity and March to Keep Fear Alive will take place in Washington, D.C. on October 30th. (Halloween costumes will likely be involved.)
"Think of our event as Woodstock, but with the nudity and drugs replaced by respectful disagreement; the Million Man March, only a lot smaller, and a bit less of a sausage fest; or the Gathering of the Juggalos, but instead of throwing our feces at Tila Tequila, we'll be actively not throwing our feces at Tila Tequila," goes a description on the Rally to Restore Sanity site.
Conservative host Bill O'Reilly has declined Stewart's invitation to appear at his rally. President Barack Obama, meanwhile, said he was "amused" by the idea.
Speaking to students yesterday about how the media has become "very splintered," with extreme tones from both conservative and liberal commentators, Obama said, "Jon Stewart, the host of "The Daily Show," apparently he is going to host a rally called something like Americans in Favor of a Return to Sanity or something like that. And his point was, you know, seventy percent of the people, it doesn't matter what their political affiliation are, seventy percent of the folks are just like you, which is they're going about their business, they're working hard every day, they're looking after their families."
October 2nd, 2010
October 2nd, 2010
Emanuel's decision to quit the White House and run for Chicago mayor had been so well known that even Obama mocked the lack of suspense. But it still felt like the most important transition to date for the Obama operation, which has been fueled for nearly two years by Emanuel's demands, drive and discipline.
At an emotional farewell, Obama said, "We are all very excited for Rahm, but we're also losing an incomparable leader of our staff." Emanuel choked up as he said his goodbye.
Into the breech steps Rouse, an Obama senior adviser known around the White House as a problem-fixing, media-shy strategist and organizer. Rouse is expected to serve as interim chief for several months and may eventually get the permanent job, as the White House is in the midst of reviewing a broader shake-up.
Considered the most consuming and influential staff job in American politics, the chief of staff shapes nearly everything at the White House — how the president spends his time, how he pursues his strategies on foreign and domestic policy, how he deals with a politically deadlocked Congress and a skeptical electorate.
Distinctive, profane and combative in his approach, Emanuel was a bruising but successful manager often known simply as "Rahm." The jarring contrast between the outgoing and incoming chiefs of staff was on full display as Obama spoke of both men in the grand East Room, which was packed with staff members.
Emanuel waved to colleagues, whispered to his children in the first row and stood familiarly with his hands on hips, as if ready to get going. Rouse was quiet and stoic except for the occasional smile. He almost seemed to shy away into the background even as Obama lauded his skills and his results.
"It's fair to say that we could not have accomplished what we've accomplished without Rahm's leadership," Obama said. The president singled out Emanuel's work on signature health care and financial reform legislation, hugged him more than once and told his audience: "I will miss him dearly."
Emanuel choked up when his turn came. He spoke of his family's immigrant background, the opportunities he's been afforded, his pride in Obama.
"I want to thank you for being the toughest leader any country could ask for," Emanuel told his boss.
In a nod to the political sensitivities of Emanuel's move, he never directly mentioned that he was running for mayor, and Obama didn't touch that, either. Emanuel, sure to be cast as an outsider by his competitors in the upcoming mayoral campaign, did not want to announce his run from Washington.
Instead, referring to the Chicago that both he and Obama call home, Emanuel said: "I'm energized by the prospect of new challenges, and eager to see what I can do to make our hometown even greater."
He is expected to formally announce his bid in the coming days, already the biggest name in a crowded race.
As for the more introverted Rouse, Obama joked: "Pete has never seen a microphone or a TV camera that he likes." Indeed, Rouse never spoke. He is not expected to become a public face of the administration or do the activities he has long avoided — appearing on the Sunday talk shows or attending political dinners.
He will move into Emanuel's giant corner office, though, and command the job of keeping the staff focused on Obama's directives. A veteran of Capitol Hill politics, Rouse offers Obama continuity and comfort, having served as his Senate chief of staff, campaign adviser and resident White House fixer.
Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama's senior advisers, put it this way: "When I walk into a room and see Pete, I feel better. And everybody else does, too."
Still, within the building, the confidence in Rouse came packaged with a sense that Obama had lost a leader.
Emanuel's biting words could get him in trouble. And his preference for results over ideology made him a sometimes hated figure for Obama's liberal base of supporters, especially when it became known that Emanuel was pushing a piecemeal approach on health care reform. (Obama trumped him on that.)
He offered, though, a force of personality and range of political experiences that worked for Obama. He swore and yelled. His stamp was everywhere.
"All of that will be missed," said David Axelrod, a top Obama adviser. "There's a talented group of people here who are ultimately motivated by the president and more than capable of carrying on. It may be that portfolios will change and be expanded because Rahm took up so much real estate. But I think we'll be fine."
Axelrod himself is expected to leave the White House next year to help shape Obama's re-election bid. Obama has already seen key departures among his economic and national security teams and is likely to see more, including Cabinet changes. It is a part of the rhythm of the White House, a grinding place to work.
Emanuel has a huge challenge ahead in the mayor's race, where other candidates have hardly been scared away by his intentions. They are all going for the seat long held by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, who announced in early September that he would not seek a seventh term.
Ever the political operative, Emanuel got a reminder of his own ways earlier Friday.
Before a smiling collection of senior staff members in the Roosevelt Room, economic adviser Austan Goolsbee gave Emanuel a dead fish wrapped in Chicago newspapers. An angry Emanuel had once famously done the same thing to a Democratic pollster with whom he was less than pleased.
October 1st, 2010
Tea Party For Wussies
CR Editors Note: Great! Now we of The Tea Party ilk are considered "Anarchic," good story gone bad...Moronic writer with displaced thoughts. Less Government has nothing to do with "No Government" Paul. You speciously silly little man. The Tea Party IS the "middle class"-- you of the obtuse euphoric Ninny class (sheez!) Folks, this just goes to show what we are facing with "the Pea (brain) Party"...
By Paul B. Farrell,
ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- “What’s distinctive about the Tea Party is its anarchist streak -- its antagonism toward any authority, its belligerent self-expression, and its lack of any coherent program or alternative to the policies it condemns,” warns Jacob Weisberg in Newsweek. But why not three cheers for the Tea Party Express?
Admit it, something historic is brewing. And yes, it’s good for America, even the anarchy. Revolution is renewal. Tea-baggers want to take on both parties, “restore honor” and “take back the country.” Bring it on, the feeling’s mutual.
OK, maybe most Americans just silently mimic the words, “we’re mad as hell, won’t take it any more.” But watch out: After November the campaign’s shrill rhetoric explodes into action.
Tea-baggers are kicking the revolution into high gear. Debt is sinking America. Both parties are to blame. So vote out incumbents. Spare no one. We need new leadership, another Reagan or Truman. Congress better get the message: Cut that budget, or they’ll dump the rest of you in the coming Great Purge of 2012.
Unfortunately they’re tone deaf. Congress cannot see past the election. All that changes in November.
So thanks Tea Party, Vegas odds must favor a Second American Revolution. Actually, the revolution is already roaring, hot, it’s about time. The GOP and the Dems had more than a decade. But America’s worse off. We need a real revolution to restore sanity … or we can kiss democracy and capitalism good-bye, permanently.
Warning: Another revolution will cost investors 20% more losses
Yes, big warning, the Second American Revolution will extract painful austerity, not the “happy days are here again” future touted by tea-baggers. For years it’ll be impossible for most of America’s 95 million investors to develop a successful investment or logical retirement strategy.
Why? Political chaos will translate into extreme volatility and a highly unpredictable stock market. Result: Wall Street will lose another 20% of the value of your retirement portfolio in the next decade, just as Wall Street did the last decade. So if you think you’re “mad as hell” now, “you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!”
Here’s the timeline:
Stage 1: The Dems just put the nail in their coffin by confirming they are wimps, refusing to force the GOP to filibuster the Bush tax cuts for America’s richest.
Stage 2: The GOP takes over the House, expanding its war to destroy Obama with its new policy of “complete gridlock,” even “shutting down government.”
Stage 3: Obama goes lame-duck.
Stage 4: The GOP wins back the White House and Senate in 2012. Health care returns to insurers. Free market financial deregulation returns.
Stage 5: Under the new president, Wall Street’s insatiable greed triggers the catastrophic third meltdown of the 21st century Shiller predicted, with defaults on dollar-denominated debt.
Stage 6: The Second American Revolution explodes into a brutal full-scale class war rebelling against the out-of-touch, out-of-control greedy conspiracy-of-the-rich now running America.
Stage 7: Domestic class warfare is compounded by Pentagon’s prediction that by 2020 “an ancient pattern of desperate, all-out wars over food, water, and energy supplies would emerge” worldwide and “warfare is defining human life.”
What’s behind our 2010-2020 countdown? It became obvious after reading the brilliant but bleak “Decadence of Election 2010” report by Prof. Peter Morici, former chief economist at the International Trade Commission. He sees no hope from America’s political parties, just a dark scenario ahead.
Here are the 10 points we see in his message:
1. Expect nothing positive from Dems, the GOP or Tea Party
Yes, we’re all “justifiably ticked off.” But “Democrats, Republicans, and yes the Tea Party offer little that is encouraging.” Earlier Morici warned: “Democratic capitalism is in eclipse. … Politicians have deceived voters,” and are “suffering from delusions of grandeur, self deception and good old-fashioned abuse.”
2. Democracy has become too-big-to-govern … by anyone
“The current economic quagmire is a bipartisan creation.” Bush failures led to a “Great Recession … reckless Wall Street pay and fraud, a breakdown in sound lending standards by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac … Countrywide, and a huge trade deficit with China and on oil” leaving “Beijing and Middle East royals with trillions of U.S. dollars that they invested foolishly” in bonds “financing the housing and commercial real estate bubbles.”
3. Clinton, Bush, Obama policies all feeding revolutionary flames
Even before Bush, “all was set in motion by bank deregulation engineered by Clinton … Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers … Clinton’s deal to admit China into the World Trade Organization” handed “China free access to U.S. markets” while blocking exports. Earlier Dems blocked “domestic oil and gas development” and froze “auto mileage standards.” Obama “finally imposed higher mileage requirements,” but after pushing offshore drilling, he “punished the entire petroleum industry” for the BP disaster.
5. All partisan political leaders are destined to sabotage America
One thing is clear to Morici: Not only were America’s leaders a “bunch of second-rate incompetents” on both the Clinton and Bush teams, “Obama’s ratcheting up government spending and taxes won’t fix what’s broke, and neither will the GOP prescription of tax cuts and deregulation.” Get it? Democracy is in a classic double-bind, no-win scenario.
6. America’s democratic capitalism trapped in systemic failure
Morici simply dismisses “Obama’s two signature initiatives -- health-care reform and financial services reregulation.” They “simply don’t work.” Why? Politicians “failed to address the root problem, Americans pay 50% more for doctors, hospitals and drugs, than subscribers to national health plans in Germany, France and other decadent socialist European countries.” Yet, insurers hate reform, will self-destruct America first.
7. Wall Street’s insatiable greed is a virus that never sleeps
Wall Street banks are “back to their old tricks,” warns Morici, “hustling municipal governments into the kind of quick-fix budget schemes, like selling parking meters and airport fees.” Why? Wall Street’s “hustling shoddy corporate bonds that lack adequate collateral and may never be repaid” to justify their absurd mega-bonuses. And they’ll keep doing it till the revolution creates a new non-capitalist banking system.
8. New political leaders offer no hope -- Wall Street rules America
GOP’s next leaders will fail: “Cutting taxes and mindless deregulation are not the answer.” We need the revenue. They have no real plan to trim “$1 trillion from federal spending … few believe deregulation will fix health care or Wall Street.” The GOP has no “effective government solutions to health care, Wall Street, fixing trade with China, and dependence on foreign oil.” And the Tea Party “only offers a purer form of failed Republicanism. Tax and spend less, and turn the country over to the robber barons.”
9. Praying for a messiah, we’re sleepwalking till the revolution
Morici’s solution: America “needs a prophet, another Harry Truman or Ronald Reagan.” But we’ll never get one, until a catastrophe hits. Wall Street’s so greedy, so corrupt, so untouchable, so much in control, they will bankroll and control all future “prophets.”
10. The Second American Revolution coming
Yes, extreme austerity: “Americans must accept fewer government-paid benefits -- for the rich, the poor and those in between -- and must acknowledge the market works best most of the time, but it is not working in health care, banking, China, and oil.” Huh? Sounds like classic economist’s double-speak: “The market works most of the time” … except the market doesn’t work at all in the four biggest economic sectors? Fuzzy thinking?
Morici warns, we need “new approaches to regulating, yes regulating, what the medical industry charges, bankers pay themselves, what Americans tolerate and buy” and “guiding big oil and car companies to sustainable solutions.”
Holy cow, he suddenly sounds more like a liberal politician than conservative economist. Yes, he’s reflecting the total chaos coming on the short road to the Second American Revolution.
In the end, however, you have to admit the good professor does make a lot of sense: “Sounds radical but running the world has never been a choice between statism and anarchy,” says Morici.
Choice? Unfortunately, he offers a false choice: Running America effectively means accepting “that the private sector is not the enemy and government is not evil, but neither can serve the other, and us, if value is not seen in each.”
Laudable, but impossible because once the GOP Tea Party of No-No is back in power, compromising is not on their agenda, “gridlock” is. So anarchy is the only choice -- they will never, never work with Democrats … until forced by the Second America Revolution when the middle class finally rises up and overthrows the greedy wealth conspiracy of Wall Street, Washington, CEOs and the Forbes 400.
Till then, anarchy rules as the conspiracy keeps looting Treasury, stealing from taxpayers, conning us all.
October 1st, 2010
By Sarah Arnott
China is pouring another $7bn (£4.4bn) into Brazil's oil industry, reigniting fears of a global "land grab" of natural resources.
State-owned Sinopec clinched the deal with Spain's Repsol yesterday to buy 40 per cent of its Brazilian business, giving China's largest oil company access to Repsol Brasil's estimated reserves of 1.2 billion barrels of oil and gas. The whopping price tag for Repsol Brasil – which values the company at nearly twice previous estimates – is a sign of China's willingness to pay whatever it takes to lock in its future energy supplies and avoid social unrest. It will give the company enough cash to develop all its current oil projects, including two fields in the Santos Basin.
The Repsol deal is not China's first in Brazil. In February last year, Sinopec stumped up a $10bn loan to Petrobras, the state-owned oil company, in return for guaranteed supplies of 10,000 barrels of oil every day for the next 10 years.
It also follows a slew of similar deals across the world. While much of the developed world is baulking at its debts in the aftermath of the financial crisis, China has continued a global spending spree of unprecedented proportions, snapping up everything from oil and gas reserves to mining concessions to agricultural land, with vast reserves of US dollars.
This year alone, Chinese companies have laid out billions of dollars buying up stakes in Canada's oil sands, a Guinean iron ore mine, oil fields in Angola and Uganda, an Argentinian oil company and a major Australian coal-bed methane gas company.
"China is rich in people but short of resources, and it wants to have stable supplies of its own rather than having to buy on the open market," Jonathan Fenby, China expert and director of research group Trusted Resources, said.
But it is a strategy causing anxiety elsewhere in the world. Rumours in recent weeks that China's Sinochem may make a bid for Canada's Potash Corporation raised fears that the Middle Kingdom would corner the global market for fertiliser.
Similarly, when BP's share price plummeted after Barack Obama's criticisms in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, there was concern that the company would be driven into the hands of the Chinese.
More explicitly still, when the aluminium giant Chinalco was trying to buy Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto last year, television ads protesting against the scheme from no less than the Senate opposition leader bellowed "Keep Australia Australian".
"Chinese acquisitions are increasingly on the political radar," said Robin Geffen, the chief executive of Neptune Investment Management, which runs a leading China investment fund. "The pinch points come when people feel that supplies affecting national security could be threatened by China buying them all up."
Contrary to the conspiracy theories, China is not looking for world domination. It has seen economic growth averaging a massive 10 per cent for the best part of three decades, and although it is expected to drop into the high single-digits in the coming years – in response to a dip in export demand – the natural resources required to support even slightly moderated growth are an overwhelming priority.
China is already the second-largest oil consumer in the world and far outstrips its domestic supplies. Neptune estimates that it will need to buy two companies the size of BP each year for the next 12 years to meet its growing domestic energy demand. Demand for electricity alone is growing each year equivalent to Britain's entire output.
"These are massive, massive numbers," Mr Geffen said. "The deal with Repsol today, and all the others we have seen in recent years, are wholly strategic, to nail down what they estimate future demand will be."
But, despite the concerns that China is cornering the market and will push up prices, the developed world also has a vested interest in China pursuing a successful strategy.
Notwithstanding qualms about a change in the global balance of power, China's continued economic growth has been vital to hauling the world out of recession – and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The threat from political instability if Chinese growth stalls has similarly global implications. "The whole world needs China to have these resources to help pull us out of recession and avoid local unrest," said Ian Sperling-Tyler, a partner and oil and gas expert at the consultancy Deloitte.
But concerns remain about China's involvement in politically difficult countries, particularly in Africa. China is not squeamish about the politics of its business partners. It follows a simple formula, offering premium prices and massive infrastructure investments in return for long-term concessions for key resources. There are several well-documented deals on the continent – including a recent $2.5bn tie-up with Britain's Tullow Oil in Uganda and off-shore production in Angola and Nigeria. And the positive impact is evident in spanking new infrastructure including hospitals, ports, and road and rail links being built with the influx of Chinese money.
But China is also involved in some of Africa's more controversial countries. It came in for widespread criticism in 2008 for arms sales to war-torn Sudan, a major trade partner, and its alleged refusal to help resolve the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. It has also been accused of paying multimillion-dollar backhanders in return for African leaders repudiating Taiwan at the UN, although nothing has ever been proved. And because the majority of the deals are done on a government-to-government basis, there is no way to be clear on the extent of the relationships.