Thursday, January 20, 2011

Backdoor Men in China, Russia, Afghanistan, Job-Killers

"Chinese President Hu Jintao visited the White House. Fox News said it was a gathering of the world's most powerful communist — and the president of China." – Craig Ferguson
"Chinese President Hu Jintao made his first official state visit to the Unites States. Vice President Joe Biden has been asked not to do his 'Hu's on first' routine." – Jimmy Kimmel
"There was a really awkward moment when the Chinese president met President Obama's daughters and asked them, 'So what factories do you kids work at?'" – Jay Leno

Whenever we have a State Dinner for a foreign leader, it means that the Pentagon has pulled out all of the stops in selling them arms and technology. That is what we did with India, using a Canadian firm as smokescreen to sell them upgraded nuclear technology. Then, India went and visited Russia and got similar offers... It's not clear what kind of back-room deals are going on with China, since they compete with us in selling both arms and technology. We will sell them some passenger jets and maybe beg them to leave us some room in the solar energy market. This is our own fault. While we have trumpeted how beneficial alternative energy sources are, we have done little research and development, letting it become a political football to toss around when we think the press is watching. China went forward and has developed a solar cell that is both cheap and reliable, which can light up both an isolated hut in Nigeria or a whole village. Children can have lights to read and do homework, and adults can recharge cell phones or power a device like a computer or television. If Hu Jintao is merely visiting us because he is coming to the end of his political term, I hope a visit to Disneyworld in Orlando is on the schedule - it's the least we can do...

But the entertainment is in Afghanistan today, while Hamid Karzai is in Russia, hoping to make his own arms and energy deals, as reported in al Jazeera: "Karzai's national security advisor, Rangeen Dadfar Spanta, had told an Al Jazeera producer during the flight to Moscow that there were two reasons for the visit.

The first, said Spanta, was to gauge the possibility of contracting military equipment and for Russian training of Afghan security forces, and the second was to explore business opportunities including those in the energy sector.

Spanta also said the move was to secure Afghanistan's own security after the US-led coalition leaves the country, which is scheduled to take place in 2014. Turton said the US ambassador to Afghanistan was unhappy with Karzai's visit to Russia without consultations with any of his coalition partners.

Spanta was quoted as telling Al Jazeera: "If Afghanistan has learned anything from the lessons of Iran it is that we don't want to rely on one country or one group of countries. We want to have alternatives and that's why we want to forge a new chapter with Russia."

Russia would also like to stop the flow of heroin from Afghanistan. Since drugs is the second largest source of income for the country, the Afghanis made agreements on one hand, then protested when a heroin operation was raided by the Russians without warning... Anyway, there is a fight going on over the recent elections, and now between the newly elected parliament and Hamid Karzai. Karzai is ethnically a Pashtun, and the precincts where his strongest support has been is also the area where there were the most complaints about voter fraud and ballot-stuffing. The elections commission, under observation by the UN, basically threw out all of the votes once fraud had been established, with the result of a weakened power base for Karzai. So Karzai appointed a special investigator whose job was to reverse the election commission's decisions and approve as many representatives who were in favor of Karzai.

Which is where things stood until today. Karzai refused to let the parliament begin its first session until things went his way. Parliament then issued its own press release, saying that they would go and hold session anyway on Sunday, and if the police won't let them in, they'll hold session out in the street, if they have to. The Pashtuns already elected said they would sit this one out. So, instead of football, look for riots in Kabul and bloodshed by suicide bombers taking advantage of the situation.

Now that the Republican dominated House has repealed the health care bill, I wonder what other items they can label as job killing, job crushing, or job denying? I have yet to figure out how jobs relate to anything that they have been preaching. Cutting budgets means spending less money, means firing people from jobs, not hiring more... Most of the states have used up their reserve funds and still will have to cut millions this coming year. California is the worst, needing to cut $25 billion to balance their budget, New York will need $13 billion. Which means firing more people unless income taxes are raised somewhere. We will be firing more people than can be absorbed by the private sector, so our unemployment statistics will rise again this coming year.

Pretty soon a backlash against John Boehner and the other people who came up with the anti-healthcare jobs-killing strategy will develop. When you are caught in such an obvious lie, and it's also clear that there are no good plans to create new jobs by any new Congressman, how do you keep the faith with the public? Maybe we should force every member of Congress to go back to their districts after each vote and explain it their constituents, if they are brave enough to weather the crazies... If I were in Congress, I'd hire Circus du Soleil to distract everyone while I gave my speech in a small corner of the stage. It may not be good politics, but it is good entertainment... or we can coin an new phrase:

F**ked Up By Boehner Any Recognition ?

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