Archive for the ‘Germany’ Category

Global Recession, Security Challenges Test Obama’s Popularity Among World Leaders

March 25, 2009

Only nine months ago, when he addressed an estimated 200,000 people in Germany, Barack Obama was heralded as “president of the world.”

But now that he’s president of the United States, the world doesn’t appear to be following up on its endorsement.

From France to Poland, from the Czech Republic to China, many nations are rebuffing the president and offering little wiggle room for him to negotiate economic and security policies.

Obama faces his first major international test next week when the world’s largest economies meet at the G20 summit in London.

“I think as the president heads to Europe, he faces a huge public relations disaster,” said Nile Gardiner, director of the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom.

“Europe is increasingly turning against his massive spending plans, which most European leaders see as a destructive way to move forward for the global economy and will only add to a massive American debt burden,” Gardiner told FOXNews.com. 

“At the same time, there is a growing impression across Europe that the Obama administration is inept and inefficient and increasingly poorly managed.”


Last summer in Europe: the people were at his feet.  Now?

A top European Union politician on Wednesday slammed Obama’s plans for the U.S. to spend its way out of recession as “a way to hell.”

Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, who lost a confidence vote in his own parliament this week and whose country currently holds the EU presidency, told the European Parliament that Obama’s massive stimulus package and banking bailout “will undermine the stability of the global financial market.”

That followed concerns by Poland that the U.S., as a way to appease Russia, plans to bail out of a missile defense shield the Bush administration negotiated with Poland and the Czech Republic.

“Russian generals, and even the Russian president, still continues to threaten us with the deployment of medium-range missiles in our immediate vicinity,” Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski told Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif., in Brussels on Sunday. “So we signed with the previous administration. We patiently wait for the decision of the new administration and we hope we don’t regret our trust in the United States.”

Most European leaders favor tighter financial regulation, while the U.S. has been pushing for larger economic stimulus plans.

“We consider that in Europe we have already invested a lot for the recovery, and that the problem is not about spending more, but putting in place a system of regulation so that the economic and financial catastrophe that the world is seeing does not reproduce itself,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy told a news conference in Berlin last week with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, rebuffing U.S. calls to spend more.

Read the rest from Fox:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100da
ys/2009/03/25/global-recession-tests-obam
as-popularity-world-leaders/

AIG Bonus Money Is Not The Problem: Government Is The Problem

March 17, 2009

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Ronald Reagan said that in his first inaugural address in 1981.

Thomas Jefferson said, “Most bad government results from too much government.”

We haven’t seen such stark reminders of those idea for a long time before today.

Obama is the problem.  Geithner is the problem.  Dodd is the problem along with Barney Frank and others.

Dodd took more AIG money in the form of campaign contributions than anyone.  Obama was second.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) said the administration is in “disarray.” 

This is “Obama-Gate” if you are kind.  “Obama-Gate I” if you think there will be more.

None of these guys has a clue how to run big corporations.  And the notion, myth really, fabrication that we  are in such a financial crisis that we absolutely MUST now spend heaps of money bailing out everyone, including other nations, and we absolutely must solve all the problems of health care, energy, education and global warming is crazy.  Nuts.

They teach this at Harvard?  I mean I know they are socialist, but crazy too?

We are in an economic crisis and we do not yet know how much we’ll have to spend to end it: that is a real problem.  Until we stop thinking about a second stimulus and more bailouts we have no idea how much debt we’ll have and if anyone will buy our T-bills.

We haven’t even solved the banks with toxic assets problem yet.

China has already swallowed hard and expressed dismay.

The AIG bonus flap is about 1/2 of 1% of the AIG bailout of some $173 billion.

As Joe Biden likes to say: “Gimme a f*&$#ing break.”

The real issue is how much will we need to spend before the bleeding stops and our economy turns areound — along with the economies of Japan, Germany and everyone else.
My friend went into the OR to have “one or two clogs in arteries” removed; a procedure expedted to take about one hour.  Thirteen hours later he came out — almost dead.  The doctor had removed more than 150 clots.  My friend has scars all over the place and couldn’t walk for weeks.

The reason the president should not go fast on health care, education, our energy system, and climate change, is this: we do not know our own economic health.

See:
Health care overhaul may cost another $1.5 trillion or more

Obama can cure cancer, Pakinson’s and Alzheimer’s later.  Lets restore jobs, and economic order before we overhaul the world and reorder the universe.

More spending may not solve all our problems.  It may open a lot of new wounds also known as a can of worms or Pandora’s Box.

The United States has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world and a capital-gains tax rate that President Barack Obama had threatened to hike during his presidential campaign.

“Government continues to dominate the American taxpayer’s budget,” said Tax Foundation president Scott Hodge last April. “Americans will still spend more on taxes in 2008 than they will spend on food, clothing and housing combined.”

In 2008, Americans worked 74 days to afford their federal taxes and 39 more days to pay state and local taxes. Meanwhile, buying food required 35 days of work, clothing 13 days, and housing 60 days. Other major categories are health and medical care (50 days), transportation (29 days), and recreation (21 days).

The following is from Politico:

AIG disclosed its retention-bonus program more than a year ago, including bonuses directed to those handling the exotic derivatives that got the company and the country into this mess

The bonuses were essentially a nonissue when AIG got its initial bailout money, almost $150 billion under President Bush in the two months surrounding the presidential election. Joe Biden, then the vice presidential nominee, came out strongly against the bailout. Obama did not.

Timothy Geithner, then at the New York branch of the Federal Reserve, was a huge proponent and architect of the AIG bailout. So if Obama had strong private opposition to the idea it did not affect his pick for the person who would oversee all bailouts.

Read the rest from Politico:
http://www.politico.com/news
/stories/0309/20108.html

So now you know why Tim Geithner always looks like he has something to hide: he has mismanaged the bailout effort entirely and his boss is telling taxpayers it is THEM (guys like AIG) and not us (the government itself) that is to blame.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D- Ohio, pauses in the elevator after arriving on Capitol
Geithner

 Obama: Fire Geithner

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03
/17/how-aig-read-you-and-i-are-bail
ing-out-the-world/

Related:
 AIG Bonus Flap: Lawsuit to Get Back $165 M Could Cost $300 M or More

Obama White House Issues “Lamest” Confidence Statement Ever for Geithner

Amid AIG Furor, Dodd Tries to Undo Bonus Protections He and Geithner Put In

 Biden Off Mic: “Gimme a f*&$#ing break”

AIG Bonus Flap: Lawsuit to Get Back $165 M Could Cost $300 M or More

 Obama Dead Wrong On Stimulus, Caterpillar Company Jobs, Recovery

Obama, His Outrage in Legal, Political Quicksand Over AIG Bonuses?
.
Obama Wants To “Unclog Blocked Lending Arteries” — Here’s The Problem

http://vivianlouise.wordpress.co
m/2009/03/18/the-aig-bonu
s-kerfuffle/

Socialist Former CNN Reporter Wins Election in El Salvador; “Yes We Could”

March 16, 2009

The world really is heading toward a more socialist utopia: make no mistake about that.

Mauricio Funes, a former television reporter, declared himself the winner before F.M.L.N. campaign workers chanting “yes, we could” at the Sheraton Hotel as supporters on the street waved flags and honked car horns in celebration.

“This is the happiest night of my life,” Mr. Funes said. “And I hope it is also the night of greatest hope for El Salvador.”

Funes’ victory ended a 20-year hold on the presidency by the right-leaning ARENA.

“Now the ARENA party passes into opposition,” Funes said. “ARENA … can be assured that it will be listened to and respected.”

El Salvador now has everything many of its neighbors, even its notable northern neighbor, has: bipartisanship, transparency, hope, “yes we can,” and socialism.

El Salvador joins other Latin American countries that have elected leftist leaders in recent years — Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Argentina, Honduras, Guatemala, Ecuador and Brazil.

New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/
17/world/americas/17salvador.ht
ml?_r=1&hp

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WOR
LD/americas/03/15/el.salvador.ele
ction/index.html

“If socialism signifies a political and economic system in which the government controls a large part of the economy and redistributes wealth to produce social equality, then I think it is safe to say the likelihood of its making a comeback any time in the next generation is close to zero,” wrote Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History, in Time magazine in 2000.

Socialism Is Alive in Europe:
http://www.newstatesman.com/eu
rope/2008/12/socialist-party-socialism

Japan’s Navy Warships Deploy to Somalia to Fight Piracy

March 14, 2009

Two Japanese navy destroyers left a port in southern Japan on Saturday to join an international anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia.

Prime Minister Taro Aso was on hand to see the ships off.

“It is well known that piracy is growing in the Gulf of Aden,” Aso said. “We hope you will fulfill your mission and return safely.”

Japan has had restrictions on the use of what other nations call “military forces” since the end of World War II.  To even send warships as far away from Japan on a mission that could including fighting required special government steps for Japan.

Japan’s Cabinet had to approve  a new anti-piracy bill to allow the mission.

Japan’s ships can only be deployed to protect Japanese vessels and their crews, during normal mission and Japan’s navy has been called the “Maritime Self Defense Force” for decades.

About 2,000 Japanese ships pass near Somalia each year.

A special Japanese law designed to relax restrictions on the use of arms by personnel on navy ships if engaged by pirates will allow Japan’s vessels to escort foreign ships in danger.

The anti-piracy effort has now drawn ships from Japan and China far away from home for the first time in decades to conduct actions that could involve actual engagement with another armed force.

China’s ships in the anti-piracy mission are the first Chinese warships sent outside China’s territorial waters in centuries.

Ironically, one of the two Japanese warships on the anti-piracy mission, Sazanami, visited China last June — the first visit to China by a Japanese waship since the 1940s.

 

Japan's 4,650-tonne destroyer Sazanami arrives ...
 Sazanami

Warships from several countries including Britain, the United States, France, China and Germany are participating in the anti-paracy mission that the Japanese warships will join when they get to the waters off Somalia.

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/
asiapcf/03/14/japan.pirates/index.html

Associated Press
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009
0314/ap_on_re_as/piracy

Biden: “U.S., West Not Winning In Afghanistan”

March 10, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden says the “deteriorating situation” in Afghanistan poses a security threat to every NATO country and beyond.
.

BRUSSELS — Vice President Joe Biden urged NATO members to jointly confront Al Qaeda and other extremist groups in Afghanistan where he said instability threatens all of the alliance’s members equally.

Appearing before NATO’s top decision making body, Biden solicited ideas to reverse a losing military strategy in Afghanistan as part of President Barack Obama’s policy to bring more European allies on board to fight the Taliban-led insurgency.

He warned the situation in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan was worsening, adding, “The deteriorating situation in the region poses a security threat from our respect not just to the United States, but to every single nation around this table.”

“It was from that remote area of the world that Al Qaeda plotted 9/11 and subsequent attacks” in Europe and elsewhere.

In his speech, Biden said the Obama administration will be keen to engage NATO allies in global security discussions, marking a departure from the last eight years when Washington often was on a go-it-alone course that upset its European allies.

“President Obama and I are deeply committed to NATO. Lets get that straight right from the start,” Biden told the North Atlantic Council — the panel of ambassadors from NATO’s 26 member nations.

Biden said Americans view a terrorist attack in Europe “as an attack on the United States. That is not hyperbole … We view it as a gateway to further attacks on the United States. So please understand that this is not a U.S.-centrist view that only if America is attacked is there a terrorist threat.”

He said he came to hear ideas from the allies on how NATO can bring stability to Afghanistan.

“It is from that area that Al Qaeda and its extremist allies are regenerating in conceiving new atrocities aimed at the people around the world from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to the United States, Europe and Australia,” he added.

After his consultations with NATO allies he will meet with senior officials at EU headquarters.
His visit, less than a week after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with senior NATO and EU officials here, highlights the new priority that diplomatic outreach to allies has become for Washington.

An issue closely related to the Afghan war is growing concern that neighboring Pakistan could be sliding further into instability.

Obama launched a strategic review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan after he took office in January. That review is expected to be completed later this month.

“What I want to learn is what your countries believe are working, what you think is not working, how we can do a better job in stopping Afghanistan and Pakistan from being a haven for terrorists,” Biden said.

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/200
9/03/10/biden-warns-deteriorating-sit
uation-afghanistan/

See Also Reuters:
“West Not ‘Winning’ in Afghanistan”
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200
90310/pl_nm/us_afghan_nato_b
iden_4

While President Obama and VP Biden attempt to squeeze more troops out of Europe, they are facing the economic problems of the global recession as well as great uncertainty about U.S. policy, commitment, capability and ability….

Related:
Obama Throws Britain Under the Bus: Relationship “Reset” and “Regime Change”

Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

Obama’s First Major Foreign Crisis Brewing?
.
Protocol: Brit Media Furious At Obama

Czech President Says Obama Views “Unknown” On Key Foreign Policy Issues

White House: U.S. Will Not Shoot North Korean Missile

Obama, State Department, White House Staff, Hillary “Unaware,” “Overwhelmed” by Expectations
.
Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

 Obama Forges New Path in Protocol

 Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

Global Economy Weakness Leading To Social Unrest

March 8, 2009

“If not handled, today’s financial crisis will become tomorrow’s human crisis. Social unrest and political instability will grow, exacerbating all other problems.”

That according to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

In China, Russia, France, Iceland and Britain, some leaders already fear that the worsening global economy will result in calls for new governments with new leaders and fresh ideas.

The Independent reported this week:

“China’s growth has dropped from 13 per cent in 2007 to 6.8 per cent in the most recent quarter. The rapid slowdown in the global economy, and in the US in particular, has hit China’s export-led economy, which has been at the heart of wider Asian growth in recent years. While extremely high compared with growth levels in mature economies, the slower pace is well below the 8 per cent the Government needs to create jobs for the millions of rural workers heading for China’s cities.The slowdown has left 20 million rural labourers unemployed, with 7 million college graduates also seeking work. The authorities are desperate to stop sporadic clashes between police and protesting workers turning into more general unrest against the Communist Party. ”

In Berlin, German, economically displaced people are setting paked luxury cars on fire.

In Russia there has been social unrest but leaders believe that welfare programs recently put into place will ease tensions.

“I believe that the current economic crisis will not damage social stability so severely,” Medvedev said in an interview with the Spanish media this week.

The “Tea Party” tax protests in the U.S. are rather small and mild mannered but indicate that many in America are also getting edgy with the poor economy and the solutions their governments are recommending.

Related:
http://www.globalenvision.org/tags/
social-unrest

Independent on China:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/
news/china-to-announce-extra-stimulus-as-fear
s-of-social-unrest-rise-1637743.html

https://arturoafc54.wordpress.com/categ
ory/social-unrest/

Michelle:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/07
/tea-party-on-taxpayer-revolts-in-green-
bay-lafayette-olathe-and-harrisburg/

Global Economy Sparks Protests; Governments Fear Greater “Social Unrest”

null
In Paris, protestors voice concerns at failing economy, overtaxed social services

********

Wealth Battlefield

By Michelle Malkin
The Washington Times

Enough. In a word, that is the message of disgusted taxpayers fed up with the confiscatory policies of both parties in Washington. George Bush pre-socialized the economy with billion-dollar bailouts of the financial and auto industries. Barack Obama is pouring billions more down those sinkholes. It isn’t just the camel’s back that’s broken. His neck and four legs have all snapped, too.

Enough. Last Friday, thousands of Americans turned out to protest reckless government spending in the pork-laden stimulus package, the earmark-clogged budget bill, the massive mortgage-entitlement program and taxpayer-funded corporate rescues.

Contrary to false left-wing blog smears that the hastily planned impromptu events were “Astro-turfed,” the crowds were packed with first-time grass-roots activists. They were people with families and day jobs whose usual definition of “community organizing” involves neighborhood yard sales or their kids’ soccer matches. They were members of the silent majority who decided to be silent no more.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news
/2009/mar/08/wealth-battlefield/

G7 finance ministers reject protectionist measures

February 14, 2009

Rejecting protectionism, the Group of Seven finance ministers pledged Saturday to work together to support growth and employment and to strengthen the banking system so the world can overcome its worst financial crisis in 50 years.

But the bad news continues. The final statement on their two-day meeting in Rome also predicts a gloomy forecast, with the severe economic downturn continuing through most of 2009.

By COLLEEN BARRY and ARIEL DAVID, Associated Press Writers

The G-7 ministers warned that any protectionist measures to boost national economies would only undermine global prosperity. They also stressed the need to support developing countries to prevent the world’s poorest from being the biggest losers in the downturn.

“The stabilization of the global economy and financial markets remains our highest priority,” the statement said, noting that the world’s seven most industrialized countries have “collectively taken exceptional measures” to address the challenges.

The statement endorses the U.S. and British approach to fixing the banking system by recapitalizing banks. The ministers also said a way must be found to deal with the banks’ toxic assets, however no prescription was laid out.

The meeting marked the international debut of new U.S Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who conferred with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as the session began Saturday at the Italian Finance Ministry.

Geithner smiled at cameras, but declined to respond, when asked if any progress was being made.

The G-7 countries urged China to continue allowing its currency to rise in value to even out the world’s massive trade imbalances. But there was no reference to comments Geithner made in Washington that were seen as a strong rebuke of China’s currency policy, which many believe keeps the yuan artificially low to boost exports.

Geithner, who arrived after a week of widespread criticism over the rollout of the administration’s new bank bailout plan, got a boost with Friday’s passage of President Barack Obama‘s $787 billion plan to resuscitate the economy.

But new economic data out Friday in Europe showed the continent’s recession deepening, lending urgency to the ministers’ task.

The ministers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, along with their central bankers, are looking for agreement on common approaches to the crisis, with the United States pushing for a bold approach to match its stimulus package.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090214
/ap_on_re_eu/eu_italy_g7

Stimulus: “Buy American” Retained; Sure To Anger International Partners

February 14, 2009

Congress approved protectionist measures in a $789 billion stimulus bill Friday that U.S. trading partners have warned could spark a trade war.

Associated Press

The bill, however, left the Obama administration some room to maneuver to appease other countries who say it will benefit U.S. companies unfairly.

The stimulus bill was approved by the House Friday afternoon and by the Senate later in the evening. It now goes to President Barack Obama who is expected to sign into law quickly.

Major partners, including the European Union and Canada, say the legislation favoring U.S. steel, iron and manufactured goods for government projects could undermine pledges by the leaders of major economies not to resort to perfectionism during the world economic downturn.

Requirements known as “Buy American” were softened as the bill progressed through Congress and after strong criticism from abroad. Senate and House negotiators agreed to a version that would require the government not to violate trade agreements when implementing the law.

The bill also allows the Obama administration and state governments to waive requirements to favor U.S. companies if they deem it in the U.S. public interest and if they publish a justification.

The dispute has put Obama in a difficult position. While campaigning last year, he raised questions whether U.S. trade agreements contained sufficient protection for labor and environmental standards. He has warned recently, however, about antagonizing trading partners and has made clear that passage of the overall stimulus bill is needed urgently to mend the U.S. economy.

In several television interviews last week, he said the stimulus package should not include protectionist language that could trigger a trade war. But now that it does, he is likely to sign it anyway. The measures appear, however, to give the administration discretion about how to implement spending decisions, given the requirement of meeting trade obligations.

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/elections/2009/
02/13/congress-approves-protectionist-measure-
spark-trade-war/

*****************

President Obama visited the Caterpillar factory in East Peoria, Illinois this last week.

Caterpillar says it pays $100,000 in tariffs on each piece of heavy equipment it exports to Columbia, because the U.S. Congresss has failed to pass the free trade agreement….

Now with this “buy American” provision in the stimulus it is likely the U.S. will find trouble with other trading partners…

Related:
 Pastor Obama Continues With Holy Stimulus, But The Congregation Isn’t Buying

Why Europe No Longer In Obama Camp Over Stimulus
.
China’s leader Hu Jintao cautioned President Obama about the “buy American” provision in the economic stimulus plan during a phone conversation.

Related:
CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITIC
S/02/05/senate.buy.american/index.html

 “Buy American” Sounds Good; Carries An Unbearable Down Side

Obama Caught Between World Leaders, Congress, U.S. Voters on “Buy American”

 Dallas Federal Reserve Chief, China, Germany All Call Protectionism “Death”

China announced that President Hu Jintao, seen here in 2008, ...
President Hu Jintao of China (AFP/File/Louisa Gouliamaki)

Made in china.jpg

World stocks sag on concerns about Obama plans

February 12, 2009

Thongs of happy Americans turned out on the Mall in Washington on January 20 to cheer Barack Obama’s inauguration.

And Europeans and much of the rest of the world also embraced the “hope” of Obama — as exemplified by a gathering in Berlin last July 24 before some 200,000 people.

After the troubles of the last few weeks it is not at all certain that the Obama hope remains alive — maybe it is on life support.

Pan Pylas of the Associate Press wrote today: “The raft of grim corporate news in Europe comes as the markets have largely given the thumbs-down to the passing of a $789 billion stimulus bill in Congress and U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s bank rescue plan, which could cost up to $2 trillion. On the Geithner plan, investors worried about the lack of detail, specifically the absence of any indications about how the banks’ toxic assets would be bought.”

“Policymakers will argue these details will be hammered out over time, but in the meantime the economic and financial black hole will potentially deepen, and for markets this means risk aversion will likely remain elevated,” said Daragh Maher, an analyst at Calyon Credit Agricole.

Read the entire story:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009021
2/ap_on_bi_ge/world_markets

obama_span_blog.jpg
Above: Obama in Berlin.

Related:
http://raymondpronk.wordpress.com/2008/0
7/25/obamas-berlin-speech-the-first-new-wor
ld-order-citizen-fellow-traveller-world-citizen/

Dow Drops 200 in 30 Minutes As Stimulus Rejected

Senate Votes “Softened” “Buy American” Section in Stimulus

February 5, 2009

A “Buy American” provision in the stimulus bill crafted by the House of Representatives may have sounded like good economic thinking that would keep money flowing to U.S. workers — but it violates international trade agreements and could have sparked a trade war with America’s overseas allies and friends.

Last night, the U.S. Senated voted to soften the “Buy American” part of the stimulus so that it won’t violate the United States’ existing trade treaties.

Senator John McCain wanted the entire “Buy American” pledge removed from the bill but he was overruled.

There was intese pressure to remove the “Buy American” language directed at the U.S. from China, Germany, Britain and other trade partners.

China’s leader Hu Jintao cautioned President Obama about the “buy American” provision in the economic stimulus plan during a phone conversation.

Related:
CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITIC
S/02/05/senate.buy.american/index.html

 “Buy American” Sounds Good; Carries An Unbearable Down Side

Obama Caught Between World Leaders, Congress, U.S. Voters on “Buy American”

China announced that President Hu Jintao, seen here in 2008, ... 
President Hu Jintao of China (AFP/File/Louisa Gouliamaki)