Monday, July 5, 2010

Sanctions Have Immediate Effect, Can We Now Love BP?

Paul Krugman
Amy Gardner

"Enough of the star-spangled American dream. Back to the grim American reality." - Ross Douthat
"Yet the Senate went home for the holiday weekend without extending benefits. How was that possible? The answer is that we’re facing a coalition of the heartless, the clueless and the confused." - Paul Krugman

Here's the irony of the job situation. Congress and the White House can only create government jobs, and private jobs through government contracts. In order to put more people to work, money has to be siphoned to state and local governments so that they can hire workers back and provide services. Giving money to the state and local city governments will have the most immediate effect on the economy, but unless there are some guarantees that the local jobs will last past 2012, it will only be a temporary fix.

The almost impossible task, is to help local small businesses start and grow. The rule of thumb for starting a small business was that it took about 5 years to establish a viable clientele, so most people looking to start a business should have that much needed capital in the bank, or access to a bank loan. Right now banks won't lend that much money, so we are at an impasse. I said before that once your mom and pop operations close, we may never get them back, and therefore permanently lose an important section of the job market. All of the whining that Obama has failed to create jobs ignores that there is such a limited area where he can help. Once your neighbor starts getting his paychecks from his new city job, then you can build a clientele for your business. Right now about the only businesses I see thriving are fast-food restaurants, but that may just be the culture of the town where I live, we have more franchise stores than any other town in Colorado.

Most of the rhetoric complaining about the Obama administrations lack of job creation is propaganda trying to create a negative image in your mind. Republicans are purposely saying no to every jobs bill going through Congress, along with anything that may improve our economic situation. The are creating the situation so that Obama will fail, or fail long enough that they will get some votes for their candidates come November. It is very cynical and mean-spirited, and exemplifies the kind of things Rush preaches and Karl Rove masterminds. Even more cynical is that they don't have any better ideas or plans to get us out of this mess other than lower taxes for the rich and fire federal employees...

And in case you have been wondering at why John Boehner and Michael Steele are making fools of themselves lately, it has all been explained as being a part of the master plan for Republican resurgence and dominance come November at the polls. No, John isn't showing how stupid he is and getting smacked down by Obama, he is standing up to the Man! He is being a thorn in his side, mr pugnacious sticking and weaving. Or, we don't like bullies, so take pity on poor Mr Boehner being called out like that by Obama. If it is a strategy, John must have come up with the idea while drinking at one of the many bars he frequents by five every afternoon... I can't get as worked up at Michael Steele because I delight in his public gaffes, and this time Ron Paul rode to his rescue, after Liz Cheney took on the Obama role and called for his dismissal. Tread softly Michael, for you tread on my dreams...

President Obama signed the sanctions against Iran on Friday, and already it has caused a reaction. The government of Iran has complained that planes of its official airline, Iran Air, and of a private airline, were not allowed to refuel at airports in Britain, Germany, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. And it was BP that refused to sell them fuel, with a spokesperson saying what did you expect, we have to do everything our new BFF the American government tells us to, get used to it. But not exactly in those words...: "The fuel cutoff comes in the middle of the summer holiday rush to and from Iran, forcing holiday-makers to resort to the few foreign airlines putting into Tehran for their overseas flights. Tehran is particularly put out by the refusal of the United Arab Emirates' international airport in Dubai to provide fueling services. It is a transit hub for the many of millions of Iranians who fly to Persian Gulf and Middle East destinations. So central is this facility to Iran's international air connections that it has two terminals, one for ordinary traffic and one just for Iranian flights." BP still has major contracts with the US military to provide fuel, and it may have to honor some of its contracts already made with Iran, the next few days will tell. But it's interesting the extent it is going right now to help us out. Can we now forgive the oil still spewing into the Gulf? Will we now have everyone apply for a BP gas card because we now love them so?

Iran is threatening to retaliate, and is another anticipated reason for the three American aircraft carriers now stationed in the Persian Gulf. The most delicate game is being played by the most vulnerable states like the UAE, which has hundreds of Iranian businesses located there and does millions if not billions of trade annually. Rising costs of scarce commodities like fuel may rise prices of other items in Iran and affect the lives of the regular person on the street, pissing off more folks... Maybe by the end of the month the Iranians will be willing to talk Turkey, actually do the fuel swap they had agreed to do, and slowly, slowly open up and let the UN inspectors back in. C'mon now, Mahmoud, time for a group hug...

And if that won't work, expect a joint US - Israeli raid on Iran within the next few weeks. It will either find Osama bin Laden, attack the northern nuclear facility, or convince the Iranian people that their military really isn't capable of protecting them. Drones away !!!!!
And while Turkey is officially threatening to sever all ties with Israel in a bonding effort with its trading partner Iran, the two countries militaries are still working well together. There is a contingent of Turkish soldiers training in Israel right now. They are learning how to take care of and control the Israeli drones that they have bought from them. They plan on using the drones on their own private war against the Kurds. Besides, the latest bluff to curtail diplomatic relations is in reaction to Netanyahu's snub when he said that Israel would never apologize for the flotilla raid. He regrets the loss of life, just won't say he's sorry.

I guess the Palestinians in Gaza won't have to close down their smuggling tunnels just yet. Israel gave the new list of items not allowed into Gaza to the Egyptian intelligence chief, and it looks like building supplies is short on the list. Hey, at least you can now get your Hershey bars over the counter...

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