Friday, July 9, 2010

Kurds Sell Oil To Iran, Colorado Wussy GOP Candidates Shun Steele

EJ Dionne Jr
Nicholas Kristof
Paul Krugman

"The East Coast is suffering from a terrible heat wave. Wall Street bankers are jumping out of windows just for the cool breeze on the way down." – Jay Leno

"Queen Elizabeth is visiting New York City for the first time since 1976. I understand she's trying to help them recruit LeBron James." – Jay Leno

"Back in 1776, Americans were fighting to escape British rule, these days we're fighting to escape British oil." – Jay Leno

"Iran has banned the mullet. Today, the state of Kentucky broke off all diplomatic relations with Iran." – Jay Leno

Now that the US and Russia have successfully traded spies, showing Israel and Palestine how painless it can be, perhaps Hamas will now release Gilad Shalit. Lord knows he's not much of a bargaining pawn, especially since Benjamin Natanyahu came back from Camp Obama full of positive energy and ready to meet again in face to face negotiations. If Mahmoud Abbas is really trying to get a Nobel peace prize, he had better get his butt in gear and sit down at the table; no more whining. Oh yeah, hold an election while you are at it...In fact, Netanyahu is so jazzed up, saying that a peace deal could be worked out within one year if we get to it tomorrow, that cynics are making bets on where and who will shoot themselves in the foot, creating another incident that will draw them apart... It could be when whatever drugs Obama slipped in his coffee wears off, or it could be the new flotilla ships heading towards Gaza from Libya...

The NY Times has a great article on the sale of Iraqi oil to Iran. We're not talking a little bit, we're talking over 1000 tanker trucks per day rolling out of the oilfields in Kirkut and hopping across the border: "The scale and organization of the trade has raised concerns among American officials here, said one senior American official in northern Iraq, who would speak about the Iran oil trade only anonymously, following diplomatic ground rules. They fear that proceeds from the sales could be flowing to corrupt Iraqi politicians and benefiting the Iranian government, even as the United States has approved new unilateral sanctions against Tehran, imposing penalties on foreign entities that sell refined petroleum products to Iran. A senior Kurdish government official said that the benefits from a business he described as “elaborate” and “huge” went to the region’s two governing parties and affiliated companies, and that officials and politicians in Baghdad were involved as well."

“The people are being scammed, but by whom, we do not know,” - Hamid Mohammed, truck driver
The scale of these blatant rip-offs that take place in Iraq and Afghanistan can be boggling. The Iraqi oil minister in Baghdad says he doesn't know anything, but then he's not a Kurd. 1000 oil tanker trucks can't be hidden or driven down back roads to the border, and there is conflicting stories as to where the profits are going. It looks like the expensive, high rise neighborhoods in places like Dubai are being bought up by Iraqi, Iranian, Afghan officials along with some ex-Taliban and heroin dealers, who decided to live the good life instead of fighting the good fight. A man has to feed his family any way he can, now that the American money train is about to leave the station...

Apple is opening stores in China, its first one is in Shanghai, and it plans to open 20 more within the next two years. It will soon be schooled in how the Chinese do business. They will reverse engineer all of the Apple products, then introduce versions of their own at cheaper costs. Within the next five years, Apple will be shut out of the Chinese market and come back home, whipped and defeated. It's the potential of such a large market that lures in american and European businesses, but the government stacks the deck so that only Chinese businesses win any of the hands. But they are galloping in, ignoring the lessons learned from nearly every other business to venture alone into China...

Funny, funny. Michael Steele's first public appearance at a state Republican fund raiser happened here in Colorado, and was reported in Politico, which made our front runner candidate out to be a bunch of wussies, all making up some BS excuses as to why they could not show up and be seen standing next to him: "The RNC reached out to a number of Republican candidates, including former Rep. Scott McInnis, who’s running for governor, and former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, the national GOP’s favored candidate for Senate, to invite them to the event. Neither McInnis nor Norton accepted.

“He has another event elsewhere,” McInnis spokesman Sean Duffy explained. “It was, ‘Can you guys attend an opening on this day, at this time?’ And Scott just wasn’t available.”

Duffy said he could not recall the details of McInnis’s scheduling conflict and declined to say whether McInnis would have joined Steele if his schedule had permitted it.

Norton’s campaign confirmed that the RNC approached them about the event several weeks ago, but explained that Norton had already planned to campaign that day with Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch. And Norton told POLITICO this week that she did not approve of Steele’s comments on Afghanistan.

“I do think Michael Steele’s comments about the war were downright erroneous and unfortunate,” Norton said in an interview. “I do think the party needs its very best leadership going forward in the 2010 and 2012 elections and I have been disappointed in some of the comments the chairman has made.”

Norton’s chief rival in the Republican Senate primary, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, didn’t exactly rush to the event, either. Buck planned to attend a fundraiser with South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, said spokesman Owen Loftus, who explained: “We’ve been planning this for so long we haven’t even thought about it.” Yeah, sure, use Orrin Hatch and Jim DeMint as convenient scapegoats. So much for part solidarity... These same candidates are just regurgitating the GOP talking points that the Obama administration is anti-business and his socialist agenda is ruining everything. Paul Krugman's article at the top of the page refutes those arguments: "How much truth is there to these claims? None... So why are we hearing so much about the alleged harm being inflicted by an antibusiness climate? For the most part it’s the same old, same old: lobbyists trying to bully Washington into cutting taxes and dismantling regulations, while extracting bigger fees from their clients along the way."

He ends his piece with the analysis of the people who are paying the lobbyists their outrageous fees: "Beyond that, business leaders are, as I said, feeling unloved: the financial crisis, health insurance scandals, and the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico have taken a toll on their reputation. Somehow, however, rather than blaming their peers for bad behavior, C.E.O.’s blame Mr. Obama for “demonizing” business — by which they apparently mean speaking frankly about the culpability of the guilty parties." So, perhaps instead of voting for demagogues we should start a campaign to give some love to our businesses that haven't contributed to causing a global economic meltdown, or the biggest oil spill in American waters.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi! Thanks for commenting. I always try to respond...