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Assembly of Experts caves to Fearless Leader
Today's Headlines
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 6: Politix
8 00:00 JohnQC [6469]
Why Obama's big economic gamble is failing
...Obama wagered that the deluge of money coming from the Federal Reserve would do the heavy lifting as far as stabilizing the financial sector and keeping the already apparent recession from turning into a real disaster. Voters would, thus, continue to support his policies to assert more government control over healthcare, heavily regulate energy through a costly cap-and-trade program and further intervene into the financial industry.

The gamble appears to have failed miserably, both economically and politically. The terrible tale of the tape: a) the current downturn is arguably the worse since the Great Depression; b) household wealth has fallen by $14 trillion during the past two years, including the first quarter of 2009; c) while the economy may not shrink as much this quarter as it did in the previous three months (-5.7 percent) or the final quarter of 2008 (-6.3 percent), unemployment is soaring; d) Obama himself said the jobless rate will hit 10 percent this year; d) even worse, the Federal Reserve sees it approaching 11 percent next year. (Recall, that the original White House economic analysis of the Obama economic plan never saw unemployment exceeding 8 percent if Obamanomics was passed by Congress.)
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 06/21/2009 05:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I have noticed that among those 80 and older that they have begun to stockpile canned goods. The reason being that just before the great depression things were as they are now. Next they say cash will become difficult to secure then you know what follows. Most young people I talk to can't put back now.
Posted by: Dale || 06/21/2009 10:28 Comments || Top||

#2  Plenty of rice and kippers, Bybel en Mauser.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/21/2009 12:03 Comments || Top||

#3  If the government has more control over more economic activity than it had before, it isn't a failure in the statist's scorebook, is it?
Posted by: eLarson || 06/21/2009 14:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Much of the crisis was already in motion when O was inaugurated. No matter what could have been done (by anyone), it would have gotten worse before it improved, and it would take quite a while to improve. I wouldn't say O gambled, but that he is trying the impossible, using the same methods that created the crisis to solve it, such as trying to keep ridiculously high housing prices inflated. O is relying on the same executive talent that created the problem and proved incapable of understanding what they were wreaking until it was far too late. Cap-&-trade can only impede economic growth. You can't get enough of what you don't need/want.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 06/21/2009 15:08 Comments || Top||

#5  And to this we must recall Rahm's admonition "Never waste a good crisis."
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/21/2009 15:16 Comments || Top||

#6  The obvious answer to this is more regulation, government healthcare, nationalized industries, and on and on.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 06/21/2009 16:55 Comments || Top||

#7  After all it worked so well for ZimBOB right?

Next thing you know Bambi will be seizing 'white Stockholder owned' companies and transferring ownership to his buddies from Chicago... you know the ones who haven't worked an honest day in their lives but think they should be given a chance.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 06/21/2009 17:18 Comments || Top||

#8  Well that's a real shock to me!

Throwing good money after bad, and then making bad currency will surely change things...


When will they learn that money REPRESENTS the economy? What their doing is like trying to steer a ship by holding a magnet near the compass...
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 06/21/2009 18:08 Comments || Top||

#9  Dale:

You don't have to be 80.

Obama is picking the best of some bad options. He can ignore the $14 Trillion in wealth disapearing, or work the money pump.

If he ignores the problem, we get deflation and massive unemployment like the great depression.

If he floods with money, he has the problem problem of sopping up the excess when the economy recovers (Massive inflation, starving pensioners)

The best he can hope for is a carter like stagflation, which makes him a one term president.
Posted by: flash91 || 06/21/2009 19:01 Comments || Top||

#10  The problem is that people like Presidents Clinton, Bush, the Big O, Dodd, Frank, et al, created this crisis as a byproduct of very bad legislation. Wall Street and the banks ran with it. Govt regulators were in bed with the Congress, President, Wall Street, and the Banks.

It is an ince$tous relationship, and what else do you expect from this unholy alliance? It will get worse until the cast of characters causing this crisis is removed from office. Otherwise we just go zimbob. Stockpile rice, wheat, canned goods, etc etc. It is responsible in many ways.
Posted by: Alaska Paul back home || 06/21/2009 19:20 Comments || Top||

#11  I have always stockpiled kippers. Mmmmmmmmmmm...
Posted by: no mo uro || 06/21/2009 20:35 Comments || Top||

#12  Next thing you know Bambi will be seizing 'white Stockholder owned' companies and transferring ownership to his buddies from Chicago...

Ummmm, General Motors?
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 06/21/2009 20:36 Comments || Top||

#13  We southerners have always believed in a well stocked Pantry.

You never know.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 06/21/2009 20:38 Comments || Top||

#14  Along the same theme as well as a well stocked pantry, we always keep some cash on hand, (Real green stuff, not checks) sometimes the Banks simply are NOT available.

Power out, severe storms, Truck not running, Tornado, roof missing, computers down, etc.

By the samee token, have some gasoline stored, if power's out, so are gas station's pumps. WalMart registers, Traffic lights, and so forth.

5 gallons is plenty.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 06/21/2009 20:49 Comments || Top||

#15  RJ - do you know how long gasoline will last (with the addition of an additive to lengthen its usefulness, of course)? I store gas for the generator, but even with test-running the generator, I can go years without using up the gas unless we get a bad storm.

That's the main reason I have only a one-gallon can of gas stored.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/21/2009 21:32 Comments || Top||

#16  I have kept gas with Sta-bil preserving it for 2 years, both in the gas tank & in a 5-gal can, it was able to start both my tiller & brush shredder right off. You need to add it as soon as you buy the gasoline.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 06/21/2009 23:39 Comments || Top||

#17  I keep 12-15 gallons of water stored at all times against power outages in winter and tornado outages in summer. But I get distilled water -- not as healthy as the regular stuff, I know -- and use it for ironing. Thus my stored water is rotated through, and never is stored long enough to go bad. Barbara, how about using your gasoline stash to fill the lawn mower and top off the car, that way you could rotate it every few weeks.

Posted by: trailing wife || 06/21/2009 23:57 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
VDH: What Do these First Six Months Mean?
I think the Europeans, who, remember, caught Obamania quite early, thought they were going to get more of the bipartisan American security shield, albeit with a charismatic multicultural veneer that would resonate with their citizens: no more Texas. No more Christianity. No more twang. No more nuclur. No more Iraq. But same old NATO. Same old bad cop to their good cop. Same old wide open Ami economy. Same old chance for triangulation. And?

As we are seeing in the Middle East, in the case of Israel, with Turkey, on the recent Iranian upheaval, and during the South America visit, Obama is clearly to the left of Europe. He sees himself more as multicultural prophet born out of the Third World, foe of colonialism, angry at past imperialism, skeptical of capitalism, eager to showcase his non-traditional ancestry and tripartite nomenclature. By coming from the West, but separating himself from the history of his own country, Obama has become a citizen of the world, who polls far higher, as intended, in the Middle East, than does his own country.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 06/21/2009 13:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Behold...'the Barry' revealed! This is an outstanding piece.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/21/2009 16:01 Comments || Top||

#2  yep, VDH is consistantly good. One of my favorite columnists.
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 06/21/2009 23:47 Comments || Top||

Can Pakistan take on the Lashkar-e-Taiba?
If Pakistan's battle against the Taliban seems difficult, a much tougher challenge lies ahead: deciding what to do about the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group it once nurtured to fight India in Kashmir.

Security experts from the United States and India believe the Pakistan Army and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency could shut down the group blamed for last year's attacks on Mumbai -- if they choose to do so. "The Pakistan Army could do it and the ISI could tell them where to find those guys in a heartbeat," said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer who led a review of strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan for President Barack Obama. "If they wanted to shut them down they could," said B. Raman, a former Additional Secretary at India's Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) intelligence agency. "They can do it, but they don't want to do it because they look upon it as a strategic asset."

But Samina Yasmeen, a professor at the University of Western Australia who is researching a book on the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), said the reality on the ground may be more complicated. Over the years, she said, the LeT had given birth to splinter groups which had broken free both of the Pakistan Army and ISI, and even from the LeT leadership. "There are elements within the Lashkar that are not under the control of the army anymore. They really moved on a trajectory that people did not expect," she said. "After 9/11 there was a section that emerged within the Lashkar that may not be under the control of the Lashkar leadership."

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pushed the LeT to the top of the agenda last week by effectively telling President Asif Ali Zardari that India would not re-open peace talks until Pakistan acted against the organisation and its leaders. He seems to have won support in the West, where the LeT is seen as potentially as big a danger as al Qaeda. "I think we have to regard the Lashkar-e-Taiba as much a threat to us as any other part of the al Qaeda system," said Riedel. But finding a consensus on what Pakistan can, should and will do about the LeT is like asking people to agree on how to label many different shades of grey.

For security analysts, the two questions are whether the army and ISI can close down the LeT, and if they want to do so -- the assumption being that this would have to be done by the country's powerful military rather than the civilian government. Riedel said he believed the capability was there. He acknowledged that taking on the LeT -- which is based in Punjab province, the main recruiting ground for the army -- would be hard. "They are Punjabis. You are taking on the same constituencies from which the Pakistan Army and the ISI draw their own core supporters," he said, adding that you could probably find officers with cousins in the LeT. "It's become more and more difficult but I would not underestimate the ISI's knowledge base. They would be able to bring people in," he said. But Yasmeen said more problems could be created by targeting the leadership. "You limit their ability to have some possibility of controlling those below. The risk of splintering increases," she said.

November's Mumbai attacks, which killed 166 people, offered hints about splits either within the ISI or the LeT -- for the first time Jews and westerners were targeted, risking an American backlash. Raman said for this reason he was not convinced the ISI as an institution -- as opposed to individual officers -- had ordered the attacks. "I've not seen any convincing evidence to show that the ISI as an institution gave the order," he said. "They would have seen to it that they did not attack westerners." The distinction is important since the ISI as an institution would be unlikely to take action without backing from the army -- whose chief General Ashfaq Kayani was formerly the ISI head.

Yasmeen said another possible explanation for Mumbai was splintering within the LeT, since its leader Hafiz Saeed, who was released from house arrest this month, had always been clear the group's focus was on India, rather than on a global agenda. Whatever the truth about Mumbai, the question of whether the army actually wants to shut down the LeT is quite separate.

India has long complained that Pakistan selectively targets militants who threaten domestic stability, like the Pakistani Taliban in the Swat valley, while leaving alone those who can be used against India or to extend its influence in Afghanistan. It is an argument that appears to be gaining currency in the west. "Pakistan sort of compartmentalises the various militant threats," a U.S. defence official said, adding the offensive underway against the Pakistani Taliban in the tribal areas was designed to stop a threat to Pakistan. And so we haven't seen anything to indicate a strategic re-orientation in Pakistan at this time."

Analysts say the army may be rethinking its attitude to militants after it lost control of the Pakistani Taliban, which then overran the Swat valley and began encroaching on Punjab. But giving up the LeT, seen as a "force multiplier" in the event of an invasion by India -- rather like citizens trained in civil defence -- would be another step altogether. Would the army chief turn against the LeT? "My sense of Kayani is that he is very pragmatic. He hasn't accepted that India is not a threat to Pakistan," said Yasmeen. "From Kayani's point of view, does he want to deny himself the possibility of using all trained and semi-trained people?"

That question returns to the Catch 22 of India-Pakistan relations. Without peace, Pakistan may never fully turn against the LeT. And India will not offer peace talks until it does so.
Posted by: ryuge || 06/21/2009 07:17 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Except that, like the Palestinians with regard to Israel, Pakistan cannot accept true peace with India, only a hudna.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/21/2009 20:29 Comments || Top||

Posted by: JosephMendiola || 06/21/2009 21:58 Comments || Top||

Posted by: JosephMendiola || 06/21/2009 21:58 Comments || Top||

Iran political cartoon
Posted by: || 06/21/2009 13:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6476 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I can understand why Obama is so quiet. This is how elections are normally run in Cook County and other parts of Illinois, just without the obvious violence.
Posted by: Ulinesh Hapsburg5687 || 06/21/2009 13:53 Comments || Top||

#2  With Obambi its all about Image. So he won't make any kind of strong statement until he's sure the side he picks is going to be the winning one - preferably after the victory is achieved.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 06/21/2009 16:21 Comments || Top||

Ali Larijani: Between Khamenei and Kant
Long piece from Tehran Bureau on Ali Ardeshir Larijani, speaker of the Iranian parliament, well known to Rantburg, and long-time hardliner of the 1979 revolution. Worth the read.
Posted by: || 06/21/2009 13:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

Mousavi's Letter to the People of Iran
This was posted at 9:21 PM local time.
Posted by: Frozen Al || 06/21/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

#1  niacblog is on it like a fly on democrat.

I remember Mousavi from when 30,000 dissidents (protesters) were killed.
Strange to see him on the flip side. He signals good intel for concilitory work.

I just hope those blessed people can wipe out the whole regime. Less to toss and turn about at night. Iranians are smart as all damnit and deserve that country as a real operating force in the world. These regimes have brought them nothing.

Pray for them, I feverently will.
Posted by: newc || 06/21/2009 2:05 Comments || Top||

#2  Before Khomeni took over, he ordered supporters to occupy cemetaries, because troops wouldn't attack them there. Just a thought.

Of course, the Khomenists were handed Iran by Jimmy Carter. His UN Ambassador - Andrew Young - referred to the Ayatollah as a "saint."
Posted by: Uloluns Scourge of the Bunions1692 || 06/21/2009 5:04 Comments || Top||

Posted by: JosephMendiola || 06/21/2009 21:55 Comments || Top||

Who's in the News
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Meet the Mods
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Bright Pebbles
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Two weeks of WOT
Sun 2009-06-21
  Assembly of Experts caves to Fearless Leader
Sat 2009-06-20
  Iran police disperse protesters
Fri 2009-06-19
  Khamenei to Mousavi: toe the line or else
Thu 2009-06-18
  Iran cracks down
Wed 2009-06-17
  Mousavi calls day of mourning for Iran dead
Tue 2009-06-16
  Hundreds of thousands of Iranians ask: 'Where is my vote?'
Mon 2009-06-15
  Tehran Election Protest Turns Deadly: Unofficial results show Ahmedinejad came in 3rd
Sun 2009-06-14
  Ahmadinejad's victory 'real feast': Khamenei
Sat 2009-06-13
  Mousavi arrested
Fri 2009-06-12
  Iran votes: Not a pretty sight
Thu 2009-06-11
  Gitmo Uighurs in Bermuda
Wed 2009-06-10
  Foopy becomes first Gitmo boy to stand trial in US
Tue 2009-06-09
  Truck bomb and gunnies attack 5-star Peshawar hotel
Mon 2009-06-08
  March 14 Maintains Parliamentary Majority in Record Turnout
Sun 2009-06-07
  30 MILF banged, camp seized

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