Archive for October, 2010

Argentina: Today’s headlines from Clarin

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

I’m truly enjoying my trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and have a brief post:

Clarin, the newspaper whose stock went up by 50% the day after Kirchner’s death, has these two top headlines today (all links in Spanish):
Cristina returns today and shows strength: “The President will resume her full schedule tomorrow. Tuesday she’ll be at a business event in Cordoba. She will start her tour of Asia on Friday where she’ll attend the G-20 meeting.”

The poster above is one of thousands printed, distributed, and pasted on every corner of the city by the government the day after Kirchner’s death.

Today is Brazil’s runoff election:
Brasil’s ballots: Surveys confirm Dilma as the favorite. “Results were released this morning and show she will obtain between 55-56% of the vote against her Socialdemocrat rival Jose Serra.”
I know a guy named Jose Serra who is neither Brazilian, nor politician nor socialdemocrat.

Internet connections are iffy, so posting will continue to be sporadic, but I see that in the States the Jon Stewart rally went entirely as expected.


Surprise! I’m in Buenos Aires!

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

I’ve been traveling for the past few days and my current location is Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The big news today, Census day, is the former president Nestor Kirchner died of a heart condition this morning.

The Financial Times reports that

Argentine stocks saw their biggest rise in two years and benchmark sovereign bonds soared after Néstor Kirchner, 60, the former president and husband of current president Cristina Fernández, died of a heart attack and investors bet that the country’s “Kirchner era” was drawing to a close.

The funeral will start tomorrow, followed by a private burial on Friday at his hometown of Río Gallegos.

The Economist has an interesting post on Kirchner’s effect on Argentina’s politics.


“If you add the unemployed and the underemployed… it’s 17%” VIDEO

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

As stated by that arm of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy,

Shocking Video: 60 Minutes Admits Unemployment is Actually 17%, 22% in California.

Does that makes 60 Minutes irrational?


Protectionism’s temptations

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Record-high government spending, a hostile tax environment for individuals and corporations, takeovers of large sections of the economy (mortgages, automakers, healthcare), and protectionistic policies are a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately they also are the Obama administration’s economic agenda.
The tempting path of protectionism
Smoot-Hawley ended up burying American exports

The Obama administration is playing with fire when it tries to bully other countries like Mexico and China to satisfy protectionist interest groups in the United States.

It might be worth recalling how the Tariff Act of 1930 – still the statutory basis of U.S. trade policy – increased costs for consumers and businesses, devastated trade and plunged the Western world deeper into the depression that was already under way. Focused exclusively on domestic politics, President Hoover and members of Congress triggered an international catastrophe.

The article describes the effect on other countries. The effects today would be equally disastrous.


“Billions and billions”

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Joe Biden claims the Republicans are spending $200 billions in ads:

In an interview with Al Hunt of Bloomberg News scheduled to be shown Friday night, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. commented on the need for disclosure when corporate interests contribute to political groups.

“I was amazed at the amount of money, this $200 billion of money that is — where there’s no accountability,” he said. “When I say accountability, we don’t know where it’s coming from. There’s no disclosure, so the folks watching the ad can’t make a judgment based upon motive when you say it’s paid for by so-and-so.”

Slip of the tongue? Typo? Not quite: Gaffe-stastic Joe repeated himself,

“So it really — I’ve never seen this before, so the only caveat I’d put in terms of the House is how much impact this $200 billion are going to mean.”

Here he is on video

A billion here, a billion there, Joe?


Media in Latin America

Monday, October 25th, 2010

The Economist has a report on Media freedom in Latin America
Shooting the messenger
Threats from criminals and governments

The biggest threat now comes from organised crime, whose attacks against journalists often have the aim of inducing self-censorship. Mexico has become especially dangerous. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a New York-based organisation, at least 37 media workers have been killed or gone missing in Mexico since 2006. Most of the crimes have taken place along key drug-trafficking routes.

The second big threat to the media comes from governments. With the notable exception of the post-coup regime in Honduras last year, the principal offenders have been populist, left-wing elected leaders. When media outlets oppose such rulers they often face harassment.

Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina are the main offenders. Go read the whole report.


There will be no Carnival of Latin America for the next three Mondays.


Reiner lowers your IQ by two points in less than 2 minutes

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Rob Reiner: You know what this tea party movement reminds me of? Nazism

Ed Driscoll

we’ll linger in Hollywood just a bit for some comedy gold from Rob Reiner. Yes, the actor turned director turned anti-smoking obsessive quasi-government official gets his inner Garofalo on and has the Orwellian — and staggeringly clapped out — observation that the folks who want to shrink government and reduce its interference in our daily lives are secretly the folks who in the 1930s built one of the most massive welfare states of all — and I don’t mean FDR.

Meredith Drake:

Hitler promised health care, said that Germany’s business infrastructure needed a total government reform, and promised that all of the Germans would have jobs. Also, Hitler may have been elected by less than 40% of the people in Germany, but he was elected by 98.8% in Austria. After becoming Chancellor of Austria he took over the health care system, the car company (Austria had one major car manufacturing company at the time), and the business infrastructure.

Back to Ed,

Or to borrow from Ameripundit, “Nothing says National Socialism like a bunch of limited government, anti-central authoritarian activists who despise nationalization and the running of other people’s lives.”


The axis of Chavez

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

The other day I was posting about Obama’s statement that a nuclear Venezuela is fine by him.

Why is he mistaken?

Claudia Rossett spells it out,
Obama and the Axis of Chavez

In this case, Venezuela’s deal for a nuclear reactor emerged from a visit just paid by President Hugo Chavez to Moscow, as part of a ten-day trip to Belarus, Russia, Iran, Syria, Libya and Portugal. Setting aside Portugal, does anyone in the White House notice a common theme to this itinerary? Chavez is making yet another tour of an axis of despotisms. This gang runs the gamut from weapons dealers to sponsors of terrorism to nuclear proliferators — past, present and future. This is not the itinerary of a democratic leader shopping for technology to enhance the electricity supply of a free and happy citizenry back home. If your grandmother were to take off on a 10-day deal-making spree through Minsk, Moscow, Tehran, Damascus and Tripoli, you’d be right to wonder what she was really up to. When Hugo Chavez does it, it is head-spinning irresponsibility of the first order for the White House to entertain even for a split second the idea that this has anything to do with “peaceful” nuclear power.



They want another chance? Send the Scotts instead!

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Scott Ott’s new ad,

Meanwhile, in Princeton NJ, Desperate vandals: Scott Sipprelle has a chance . Here’s Sipprelle’s website.

I know both Scotts, and they are great guys. Let’s get them elected.


Recession? Let’s fly out to India!

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

President Obama will visit India for two days starting November 6, and will be in the company of hundreds, from the looks of it, while definitely running up the overhead,
Barack and Michelle’s Mumbai darshan plans (emphasis added)

To ensure fool-proof security, the President’s team has booked the entire the Taj Mahal Hotel, including 570 rooms, all banquets and restaurants. Since his security contingent and staff will comprise a huge number, 125 rooms at Taj President have also been booked, apart from 80 to 90 rooms each in Grand Hyatt and The Oberoi hotels. The NCPA, where the President is expected to meet representatives from the business community, has also been entirely booked.

The officer said, “Obama’s contingent is huge. There are two jumbo jets coming along with Air Force One, which will be flanked by security jets. There will be 30 to 40 secret service agents, who will arrive before him. The President’s convoy has 45 cars, including the Lincoln Continental in which the President travels.”

Over 700 hotel rooms for a presidential visit? Why? What’s going on that the contingent is so enormous?

I want to know, will the White House provide a list of exactly who the people are that will be accompanying the POTUS on the taxpayers’ dime?

But, never fear,

The President will be accompanied by his chefs,

and the teleprompter, too.