Category Archives: U.S. Politics

Ahmadinejad on the U.S. Economy, his American Well-Wishers…….

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Mr. Ahmadinejad also indulged in a bit of triumphalism. He acknowledged that the West’s “crippling” sanctions against Iran had “worked well.” But he added: “Does Iran face more problems or the United States of America?” He referred to the “collapse” of the American financial system and suggested that Iran’s economy is in better shape. He added that the West will be driven by its weakness to “seek a rapprochement with Iran.” Then the interview was over, and Mr. Ahmadinejad zoomed back from bombast to conciliation. He beamed and told me: “We truly like and love the people of the United States.”………….

Ahmadinejad was gloating on television yesterday. He rattled off statistics, real data, about the U.S. economy that should worry any American. He talked about unemployment, poverty, widening inequality, public debt, prisoner ratios, and other issues. Of course, he did not care to mention how the Iranian economy and the Iranian people have been doing under his regime.
Like I said, the statistics he rattled off should worry most Americans and not just some. Most of the U. S. economic problems have been self-inflicted, especially the past obsession with “deregulation” and gutting oversight, while more of Iran’s problems are foreign-inflicted. Yet I have no doubt that there are Americans also gloating over some of the same statistics (while denying some of them). Ahmadinejad was trying to get back at the U.S. for imposing tough sanctions on his country. On the other hand, some Americans are no doubt seriously hoping for the hard times to continue, but only until after the elections of 2012.

A twist of fate: Mr. Ahmadinejad knows that the health of the Iranian economy is tied to the health of the U.S. economy, sanctions or no sanctions. He did not and he does not wish the American economy any ill, for his own country’s sake. American policy-makers also know that the health of the world economy is tied to the ability of Iran (as well as others) to produce petroleum, that same crude stuff that U.S. politicians rail about in public and want o “boycott’. They also know that a cessation of Iranian exports will cause prices to skyrocket, but probably help a couple of places like Texas and the Gulf of Mexico operations.
Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Next Year in Jerusalem, Next Year in New York, Next Year at the U.N.………….

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Israeli officials: Palestinians routed, about to fold YNet News (Israel)

“French president Sarkozy says UN will not vote on Palestinian state this year, promises a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli impasse within a year” Reports

Yesterday it almost looked like the Palestinian “authority”, never known for its backbone, had surrendered again. Reports quoted American and French officials that ‘negotiations’ will resume to reach a solution within one year. Sounds familiar? Remember 2009, when the new and “extremely naïve” Obama administration started negotiations with Israelis and Palestinians with a solemn promise that they will solve everything within one year. At that time I wrote here “forgetaboutit”. One year? It is too short a time to reach never.
The Jewish people have a mantra that they repeated during their long Diaspora , especially at every Passover Seder: “Next year in Jerusalem”. It kept them focused on the promise and the goal, which they eventually achieved. Now the Palestinians will have to adopt a new mantra “Next year in New York” or maybe just “Next year at the UN”.

Except it won’t be next year, or the year after, or any other year after, as long as the Likud and its right-wing allies rule the roost.

Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

White House and U.S. Congress Engineer another Market Crash………….

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What began as a weak day in the stock markets ended in the worst rout in more than two years, as investors dumped stocks amid anxiety that both Europe and the United States were failing to fix deepening economic problems. With a steep decline of around 5 percent in the United States on Thursday, stocks have now fallen nearly 11 percent in two weeks. Markets have been plunging as investors sought safer havens for their money — including Treasury bonds, which some had been avoiding during the debate over extending the nation’s debt ceiling…….With investors in the United States already focusing anew on fragile economic growth and high unemployment, waves of selling of stocks began in Europe and continued throughout the day in the United States. Analysts said the market still might have further to fall, as investors reassess the dimming economic prospects……..”

As someone said, or maybe as someone ought to have said: asinine politicians espouse asinine economic policies and create disaster. Clearly there is no shortage of asinine politicians in the United States Congress, from both parties, although the Republicans seem to earn the prize (in asininity). There is nothing more asinine in economics than forcing a contractionary economic policy during a deep recession. Even if it is for the sake of the higher goal of political expediency. Is like Roosevelt’s double-dip recession in the mid 1930s?
I know, I know, the situation in Europe helped, but the main culprits are in Washington, DC.
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

U.S. Tea Party Nation: the Democrats’ Date Rape………….

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While much of Congress is upset at the prospect of downing such a bitter brew, the new political faction known as the Tea Party doesn’t abide any compromise, no matter the stakes for the country. With just two more days on the debt clock, the machinations on Capitol Hill grew ever more surreal on Sunday. Reid’s initial compromise failed to get the required 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster……… As the deal evolved with more than $2 trillion in cuts, equal to or more than the amount needed to extend the debt ceiling through the next election, and with no additional revenue, the clear winner was the Tea Party. The newcomers held their ground, dictating the terms of the debate and extracting a historic victory in the scale of deficit reduction. Yet many who ran under the Tea Party banner could end up voting against it because it doesn’t go far enough. These members’ refusal to back down on any new revenue, not even closing tax loopholes for special interests, took the nation’s economy to the brink. And it left some Democrats feeling like they had been extorted ………..”

“Feeling extorted” is the wrong term to use for Democrat legislatures. The Democrats undressed, lied down (presumably on their backs but not necessarily so) and opened their legs just wide enough. Can they call it rape now? Absolutely not: they were intimidated, became the “chicken” in the unusual game of chicken, but they could have kept their clothes on, could have said “NO”.
(There is no such thing as a “Tea Party”: it is a major wing of the GOP now and soon it will be all of the GOP).
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

World Revolution Redux? a Wal-Mart World, PIGS of Europe, Arab Spring, Che Guevara……….

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S. Robson “Rob” Walton, Walmart chairman, has a net worth of about $19.7 billion. And he’s only number 9 on the list of 2010’s top 20 richest Americans. Walmart workers, meanwhile, make around $8.75 an hour—about $18,000 a year. They’d have to work over a million years to approach what the chairman of Walmart Stores is sitting on. Alice and Jim Walton each have about $20 billion, and Christy Walton has $24 billion. Last year Jonathan Turley noted that the CEO of Walmart, Michael Duke, makes his average employee’s yearly salary every hour………..

This is not just an American phenomenon anymore, although the gap tends to be wider in America and the third world (including the Middle East where the gap may possibly be the widest now) than in Europe or Japan. From Russia to Ireland, and south to the Middle East, income gaps are widening among working people and their corporate and government leaders. The middle classes, usually the pillars of stability wherever they exist, are being truly squeezed, forcing a very few of them upward, pushing the vast majority of them down the ladder. That is when revolutions erupt: when the middle class, if it exists, is threatened, when very few are at the top and most are at the bottom. Think France 1789, Russia 1917, China 1949, Iran 1979. The now-aborted Arab Spring was at least partly a bread and butter issue, about depots taking away both freedom and a chance at decent living.
Just when we thought Europe was irrevocably in its post-revolutionary stage, we are getting the ‘uprisings’ in Greece and Spain, not to mention the perennial French issue-oriented little ‘uprisings’. Advice to many older Europeans, especially in the PIGS countries: don’t throw away your Che Guevara posters and caps yet.
Okay, I may be exaggerating a bit, barely, so don’t sell the farm yet…..
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Sarahcuda and Israel: Palin Doing the Aliyah………..

        
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The 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee and former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, landed in Ben-Gurion airport on Sunday afternoon for her first ever visit to Israel. “As the world confronts sweeping changes and new realities, I look forward to meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the key issues facing his country, our ally Israel,” Palin said in a statement. Meanwhile Ynet has learned that US President Barack Obama may be planning a visit to Israel as well, this summer……

Regardless of any diplomatic nonsense Sarah Palin may be saying, she is doing her I’s: India, Israel, Iran. The three that any US candidate must do to get elected. Sorry about the “Iran” slip, couldn’t help it. India is not required and is rarely done. Maybe she should try Ireland and Italy (the latter is more promising). Many Americans probably wish she’d do the Aliyah (העלייה‎) and remain in Israel: these are the Republicans I am talking about. Democrats are urging her: run, Sarah, run. She is their best chance to keep the White House and maybe regain Congress.
As for Obama, he should stay the hell out of Israel. He is probably more popular over there there than Ahmadinejad or Khamenei, but that ain’t saying much, is it? It is not safe for him.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com