. . . And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. – Shakespeare, As You Like It, 2/7
The United States can do nothing to stop North Korea from breaking international law in the next 10 days by firing a missile that is unlikely to be shot down by the U.S. or its allies, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday.
Appearing on “FOX News Sunday,” Gates said North Korea “probably will” fire the missile, prompting host Chris Wallace to ask: “And there’s nothing we can do about it?” “No,” Gates answered, adding, “I would say we’re not prepared to do anything about it.” Last week, Admiral Timothy Keating, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, said the U.S. is “fully prepared” to shoot down the missile. But Gates said such a response is unlikely.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu made the protectionist point during an underreported House hearing this month, when he said tariffs and other trade barriers could be used as a “weapon” to force countries like China and India into cutting their own CO2 emissions. “If other countries don’t impose a cost on carbon, then we will be at a disadvantage,” he said. – The Wall Street Journal
So let’s review. A cap and trade plan will result in raising the prices of manufacturing items. It will hurt those business already struggling and lead to more layoffs and more companies moving offshore. And then there will come the looming trade war with China. And the result may be more carbon being emitted into the atmosphere as manufacturing shifts worldwide to nations that have even less environmental controls. Lovely. Just what this country’s economy needs right now. – Betsy’sPage
The Obama administration used the threat of withholding more bailout money to force out General Motors Corp. Chief Executive Rick Wagoner and administer harsh medicine to Chrysler LLC, marking one of the most dramatic government interventions in private industry since the economic crisis began last year. The administration’s auto team announced the departure of Mr. Wagoner on Sunday. In a summary of its findings, the task force added that it doesn’t believe Chrysler is viable as a stand-alone company, and suggested that the best chance for success for both GM and Chrysler “may well require utilizing the bankruptcy code in a quick and surgical way.” The Wall Street Journal
If they are to be detained in the United States after some sort of process that determines that they are too dangerous to let out, or have committed offenses that merit punishment, we have to worry about where they’re put and what the effect is on the – what that effect might be on the place where they’re placed. If we are to release them in the United States, you can’t just sort of, as you said, put them on the street and there, but we need some sort of assistance to them to start a new life and not return to some of the conditions that may have inspired them in the first place. – Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence
The Pentagon claims more than 60 former Guantanamo inmates have been released by their home governments and are believed to be engaged in militant activities. It has not released a list of those former prisoners. Two of the top al-Qaida leaders in Yemen are former inmates, according to both al-Qaida and U.S. intelligence officials. And the Taliban’s top operations officer in southern Afghanistan was released from Guantanamo in 2007, according to U.S. intelligence and military officials.
Many Americans are so emotionally invested in the Obama presidency that they consider it too historic to fail. They won’t tolerate any criticism of the president or his administration, finding it easier to simply attack critics. And whatever goes wrong that they can’t defend or deflect, they just blame on George W. Bush. But to many of the rest of us, it’s clear that President Obama is flunking economics. He is trying to do too much at once, and so he is not doing any of it well. – Ruben Navarrette, CNN, 3-27-2009
…Meanwhile, some white Americans are turning themselves inside out to come up with excuses for why they’re not supporting Obama. – Ruben Navarrette, CNN, 5/14/2008
Mr Obama’s once-celestial approval ratings are about where George Bush’s were at this stage in his awful presidency. Despite his resounding electoral victory, his solid majorities in both chambers of Congress and the obvious goodwill of the bulk of the electorate, Mr Obama has seemed curiously feeble. – The Economist 3/26/2009
His advisers insist that Mr Obama is too clever to usher in a new age of over-regulation, that he will stop such nonsense getting out of Congress, that he is a political chameleon who would move to the centre in Washington. But the risk remains that on economic matters the centre that Mr Obama moves to would be that of his party, not that of the country as a whole. So Mr Obama in that respect is a gamble. . . He has campaigned with more style, intelligence and discipline than his opponent. Whether he can fulfil his immense potential remains to be seen. But Mr Obama deserves the presidency. The Economist, 10-30-2008
This marks our 100th post at Passing Thru. Thanks to all of you for making the journey so enjoyable.
Pete and Betsy
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