So the recession has ended- Reuters said so. If you are like me, you don’t know the technical definition of a recession. Obviously, it doesn’t mean a period like recess when we were all in grade school. Take the collapse of Wall Street, the ripples and/or causes throughout the credit and real estate mortgage world, and the resulting jolt to both the U.S. and world economies and you have what has been overwhelmingly referred to as the worst recession since the actual Great Depression. So, what does that mean?
The last time we had a charismatic Democratic president bent on change and hope it was Bill Clinton. He made some progress, but largely failed in his efforts to pass healthcare reform or create meaningful, positive welfare reform. One of the other things he did while in office was create the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” legislation, meaning that people joining the military did not need to disclose their sexual orientation, and that the military was forbidden from asking about it.
Well, Obama is weighing in on this very issue, pledging to end restrictions on the service of gays in the military. He told a huge crowd that he is committed to ending “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the military. “That’s my commitment to you,” he said.
Things have been tough lately, if by "lately" you mean "for the past two years". It seems like every single day now I've got somebody checking in with me to make sure everything is okay. I mean, jeez, I'm made of tougher stuff than that. It's really not a big deal that I'm going through a rough patch. There's no need to be all like, "Are you sure you're not too stressed? You can take a break if you want." How many times do I have to say it? I'm the freaking President. Stress is what I do.
According to Reuters, there is a foreclosure filing every 13 seconds in America.
Every 13 seconds!
What was just months ago blasted as certain to cost over $1 Trillion is now being billed at an estimated $829 Billion and would cut the federal deficit by $81 Billion over 10 years. Well, let’s do it then! That’s some pretty fantastic news on the cost front- an over 15% reduction? I’m starting to think that Obama played the politics out right on this one- let everybody complain and protest during the break and come back with rebuttals and a cheaper plan- nice.
Right. Well, while I doubt we are in much danger of losing the EU to an al-Qaeda alliance, it’s hard to look at the war in Afghanistan and the ongoing struggle with al-Qaeda as successful.
Dwight Eisenhower gave an epic speech during his presidency where he addressed for the first time what he called the “Military-Industrial Complex,” saying that if we were not careful to keep the military actions of the United States separate from the business-industrial concerns and objectives of the folks who build the weapons we would end up with essentially one entity- something Orwell-esque where the government starts wars in order to keep the economy going.
1. No one needs permission for that.
2. How did the U.S. do it?
3. What should be their next step?
The G7 holds a series of meetings between the finance ministers from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, the United States and Canada – (Canada?). So of course one issue is that China isn’t in the G7, so why should they listen to their recommendation, right? Maybe invite them to join the group and they may be more receptive to suggestions you make guys- hell, they may even help you make the suggestion.
In a move that should surprise no one, the EU is pressing the U.S. to do more on climate change. This was called for earlier this week by the UN and is warranted with everything going on around climate change.
Here are a few points to consider:
1. The U.S. is the #2 emitter of carbon emissions in the world, only recently falling from #1.
2. The U.S. has around 300 million people out of the world’s 6.6 billion or more. Do the division: We are 1/22 of the world’s population and the second largest contributor to the problem.
3. The U.S. refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
4. The U.S. is ignoring the Copenhagen climate summit as a deadline for passing meaningful climate change legislation.
I'll be honest, at first I didn't give two tosses about the whole Olympic Games in Chicago thing. I mean, I've got a lot on my plate right now. Sure, I'd be proud and everything, but when you're in the middle of two intractable wars, an economic meltdown, an embarrassing health care crisis and the prospect of half the damn country voting for a certifiably insane wolf-murderer from up north in 2012, the idea of some dude who's really good at throwing javelins coming to my city to throw some javelins better than a Korean guy who's also really good at throwing javelins isn't really more than a consolation prize.
Transparency means trust- and right now Iran has some of the lowest amount of each from the international community- in fact, Iran is so suspected by the West that the U.S. is willing to set up a meeting with them just to talk about what will be talked about at the 6 country meeting that is happening now-
That’s fear, paranoia and suspicion enough to fill a Hollywood movie, perhaps even an entire season of Melrose Place (looks like they could use a little more of that to get the ratings up), but in truth, it’s all true. Twice now Iran has lied about and hidden a nuclear enrichment facility- as they say, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
And now, third time, try to fool the world a third time? Something has to change.