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Showing posts from September, 2010

Back to the future in Washington

Business Times - 01 Oct 2010


Back to the future in Washington

2010 is beginning to look like a replay of 1994 - with Obama reprising Bill Clinton's role, and Boehner doing a Gingrich

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

UNLESS you believe in miracles and/or don't trust American pollsters, you have no other choice but to assume that the Republican Party is going to take control of the US House of Representatives after the midterm elections in November and that the current House Minority Leader, Republican Representative John Boehner of Ohio, is going to be elected the next Speaker of the House.

Indeed, the results of the most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll suggest that a mix of a public sense of gloom about the economy and rising discontent with President Barack Obama's management of the economy, coupled with Republican enthusiasm and Democratic despair, make it likely that the Republicans are going to make big gains in the midterm elections.

Moreover, with Republ…

A recovery that doesn't feel like one

Business Times - 25 Sep 2010


A recovery that doesn't feel like one

The US recession is over. In fact, the economy has been growing since June 2009. That's according to the US National Bureau of Economic Research. But for many Americans it is difficult to talk about a recovery when unemployment remains high, when incomes are not rising and may even be falling and when the housing market is not getting any better.

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

MOST Americans may not have noticed, but the Great Recession ended over a year ago.

Say what? Yep. The most devastating economic downturn since the Great Depression is over. It was brought to an end in June 2009, 18 months after it began.

Says who? The US National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced this week that, based on its calculation of the broadest measures of economic activity, such as gross domestic product (GDP), hirings and layoffs, and personal income, the US economy has done plunging.

The recession is over, la …

Going way beyond the Palin

Business Times - 22 Sep 2010


Going way beyond the Palin

Is the radical right taking over the Republican Party - and making things easier for the Democrats in November?

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

KARL Rove, the legendary political strategist who helped George W Bush get elected president twice - he is AKA Bush's Brain - is one of the leading 'talking heads' of FOX-News where he has been bashing President Barack Obama and the Democrats, predicting huge Republican electoral gains in the coming midterm Congressional elections.

And he is regarded by Democratic activists and liberal pundits as a symbol of the efforts by conservative Republicans to dominate the American political agenda and its public discourse through a web of media outlets and front organisations - including the Tea Party movement. Mr Rove is a conservative that liberals love to hate.

So it was quite astonishing to watch him during an interview on FOX-News questioning the credentials of Christine O…

The Last Summit?

on The Huffington Posr

Israeli-Palestinian talks recently convened by President Barack Obama may or may not lead to a peace agreement. But the negotiations could mark the last serious attempt by a U.S. president to invest his (or her) own political capital and American diplomatic prestige in resolving the conflict based on a two-state solution.
An international consensus has emerged in support of a formula setting an end to the 100-year-old clash along the lines of the 2000 "Clinton Parameters." This consensus includes the members of the Middle East"Quartet," the Arab League, and mainstream Israeli and Palestinian leadership.
Thus, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are under pressure to conclude within the year negotiations over a final status agreement along the following lines: A Palestinian State that would be established on most of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Approximately 80 percent of the settler blocks in the West Bank would remain under Israeli sovere…

No relief for Sino-US trade tensions

Business Times - 21 Sep 2010


No relief for Sino-US trade tensions

With midterm elections approaching, the Obama administration may be torn between taking a more populist rhetoric and a harder stance on China

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

THE Obama administration seems to be embracing a harder hitting rhetoric on the issue of China's exchange rate policies. Or at least that was the message US Treasury Timothy Geithner was trying to convey to the US Congress during testimonies before the Senate Banking Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday and Friday.

While emphasising that China's management of its currency did not pose a 'systemic risk to the American financial system', he agreed with the lawmakers that the yuan was 'undervalued' and the Chinese were 'moving to let it rise, but not very quickly'.

Mr Geithner told angry US lawmakers who accuse China of keeping its currency artificially low and gaining an unfair trade advan…

Are Obama and Sarkozy the 'shrinking presidents'? - September 16, 2010

Trade policies emerge as political issues in US - September 14, 2010

Small stimulus for the big recession - September 8, 2010

Obama's Mideast Policy: An Unpromising Drive towards a Cost-Effective Pax Americana