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Global Comments

From Reuters-June 2, 2009

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday that he and Cuban ally Fidel Castro risk being more conservative than U.S. President Barrack Obama as Washington prepares to take control of General Motors Corp.

“Comrade Obama! Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to his right,” Chavez joked on a live television broadcast.

Complete story at:


From Pravda Online April 27, 2009

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America’s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?

Complete story at



From the Telegraph of London On May 29, 2009

* By Nile Gardiner

Politico has an extraordinary report on Robert Gibbs, the White House Press Secretary, launching a furious broadside against the British press. Here are Gibbs’ sneering and condescending remarks:”I want to speak generally about some reports I’ve witnessed over the past few years in the British media,” Gibbs said. “In some ways, I’m surprised it filtered down.”

“Let’s just say if I wanted to look up, if I wanted to read a write-up of how Manchester United fared last night in the Champions League Cup, I’d might open up a British newspaper,” he continued. “If I was looking for something that bordered on truthful news, I’m not entirely sure it’d be the first pack of clips I’d pick up.”

Gibbs’ juvenile comments followed an article in The Daily Telegraph relating to the President’s decision not to release new photos reportedly showing appalling prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib by a tiny minority of military personnel. The straightforward news piece, hotly disputed by the White House, is based upon an interview with Major General Antonio Taguba, who oversaw the inquiry into the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal.

For the record I firmly believe the President was right to refuse to release the photos in the face of pressure from the ACLU, which would only further inflame anti-American sentiment across the Muslim world. However I cannot recall an instance like this where the President’s official spokesman has blasted the press of a key ally – in this case America’s closest friend, Great Britain.

This kind of attack would normally be made against the likes of the North Korean or Iranian state media, but in the current climate of “engagement” with America’s enemies the White House is far more likely to attack its own allies. Gibbs’ remarks have echoes of a senior State Department official’s anti-British statements to The Sunday Telegraph after the appalling handling of the Prime Minister’s visit in March.

Can you imagine Gibbs making these remarks about The New York Times or The Washington Post, or NBC, ABC or CBS? This would never happen. The British press, especially the Telegraph, has been singled out because they frequently publish articles critical of the Obama administration and are not afraid to take on the status quo in Washington. Increasingly, millions of Americans are turning to online UK news websites for cutting edge reports on American politics and U.S. foreign policy that the mainstream media refuses to cover in the States, especially if it is unflattering to the Obama White House.

Robert Gibbs’ completely unwarranted rant against the British press is an absolute disgrace, and the President should disown his views. An unreserved apology by Gibbs is also in order.

For all its talk of “raising America’s standing” in the world after the Bush years, the Obama administration is doing a spectacularly bad job of reaching out to its allies. Unfortunately this is the new face of America’s public diplomacy, which will only serve to alienate public opinion across the Atlantic. Congratulations Gibbs – you’ve just made an enemy out of the entire British media, quite an achievement for the man in charge of selling the President’s message.



Related Articles:

* Memo to Obama attack dog Robert Gibbs: stop pooping on our lawn by James Delingpole.
* Robert Gibbs, rattled by Telegraph story, lashes out at British press by Toby Harnden.


“Judicial Activism Threatens Clean Energy Source”

Posted at redcounty.com on 06/02/09

By House Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Once again, our way of life in the Northwest is being threatened. Today the threat isn’t from a politician or Wall Street financier. It’s from a judge in Portland.

With a stroke of a pen, U.S. District Judge James Redden last week undermined years of teamwork and collaboration and put removing the Lower Snake River Dams back on the table.

Redden threatened to reject a federal salmon restoration plan, required by the Endangered Species Act, because he doesn’t think it does enough to protect migrating salmon. The Biological Opinion or BiOp is an agreement between Idaho, Montana and Washington, most Columbia River tribes, and the federal government to improve salmon runs without destroying the dams, their electricity, and valuable irrigation reservoirs.

Redden’s decision contradicted his statement in March of 2009, when he praised the BiOp, saying it was very close to balancing the needs of power generation and salmon protection. However, after news the Obama administration wants to review the Bush-era BiOp, Redden decided to revisit the idea of removing the Lower Snake River dams.

During this debate, it’s important to remember the facts.

First, salmon and dams can coexist. Salmon runs on the Snake and Columbia rivers are up. With the latest mitigation measures, salmon runs can be protected. We are making progress at habitat restoration, as well as improving salmon hatchery programs and dam operations.

Second, hydroelectric dams provide nearly 70 percent of Washington State’s electrical power, with zero carbon emissions. It would take three nuclear, six coal-fired, or 14 gas-fired power plants to provide capacity equal to the four lower Snake River dams. These dams produce enough power to meet the annual needs of the City of Seattle. Our clean, renewable hydropower has kept the Northwest’s “carbon footprint” lowest in the country -at less than half that of the rest of the nation. Removal of the Snake River dams would add nearly 5½ million tons of CO2 to the atmosphere each year.

Third, inexpensive hydroelectric power from these dams built the Northwest’s economy. They provide affordable, renewable energy for companies dependent on low cost electricity, like Boeing and Kaiser Aluminum. For sixty years dams have provided irrigation and flood control. This has turned what was once a desert into the fertile Columbia Basin, fueling a multi-billion dollar agriculture industry. Additionally these dams meet critical transportation needs for agriculture and small businesses. Now, these dams are powering the high tech industry in our state.

It’s our responsibility as citizens and policy makers to find the right balance. There are many ways to help the environment. Providing unrestricted salmon runs while increasing carbon output to the exclusion of recognizing the economic impacts on working families is a bad trade-off.

As a member of Congress, I also am disturbed to see a judge imposing his opinion over the wishes of stakeholders who have worked for years to agree on a consensus solution. Even Governor Chris Gregoire, a former director of the state Department of Ecology, supports the BiOp.

Finally, the important environmental needs of the salmon can be balanced with the needs of working families. The American entrepreneur faces numerous challenges in today’s environment, the economic recession, goods from China (the world’s largest carbon polluter), and the vulnerability of our dependence on overseas oil.

In 2009, those of us in the Northwest, faced with the challenging currents of foreign energy, failed banks, and global polluters, might feel like it’s a long way upstream to long term security and prosperity. It’s something Judge Redden should consider before he makes his final ruling.

Salmon and dams can coexist for the benefit of all. Snake River dams are clean, green, American sources of energy. They should stay.


Chancellor of Germany Criticizes Central Bankers




From European Union Law Blog on June 3, 2009

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, has strongly criticized the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England for their action against the financial crisis. This is what she had to say:

“What other central banks have been doing must be reversed. I am very sceptical about the extent of the Fed’s actions and the way the Bank of England has carved its own little line in Europe.

(…) Even the European Central Bank has somewhat bowed to international pressure with its purchase of covered bonds.

(…) We must return to independent and sensible monetary policies, otherwise we will be back to where we are now in 10 years’ time.”

This is extraordinary, since the independence of the central banks, and the ECB in particular, is guarded by law.


From a bumper sticker around Spokane:

If you think health care is expensive now, just wait until it’s free!!





From Forbes.com – May 29, 2009

Ten Risks to Global Growth

By Nouriel Robubini




acting, acting czar skillsparty hard



Spokane Event

********A funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum – performance at the Spokane Civic Theater http://www.spokanecivictheatre.com/

Spokane Indians Home Opener:  June 20th

4th of July Tea Party Details at:  http://northwestteaparty.org/

20th Anniversary of the Spokane Hoop-fest June 27th and 28th http://www.spokanehoopfest.net

Mariners: http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=sea

dENSA returns to the Maxwell House on Wednesday, June 10th.


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