Archive for the ‘historic’ Category

No mandate for Obama, no lopsided Congress

November 5, 2008

The national election Tuesday was not only historic for the election of the first African-American president in the nation’s history but also for how little the avalanche of Democratic votes changed the political alignment in Congress.

The first Democratic Electoral College landslide in decades did not result in a tight race for control of Congress.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt won his second term for president in 1936, the defeated Republican candidate, Gov. Alf Landon of Kansas, won only two states, Maine and Vermont, and Democrats controlled both houses of Congress by wide margins.

By Robert Novak
Chicago Sun-Times
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But Obama’s win was nothing like that. He may have opened the door to enactment of the long-deferred liberal agenda, but he neither received a broad mandate from the public nor the needed large congressional majorities.

The Democrats fell several votes short of the 60-vote filibuster-proof Senate that they were seeking and also failed to get rid of a key Senate target: Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Republicans, though discouraged by the election’s outcome, believe Obama will be hard-pressed not so much to enact his agenda but to keep his popular majority, which he considers centrist, as he moves to enact ultra-liberal legislation, particularly the demands of organized labor.

Obama’s Victory Is Inspirational, India’s Manmohan Singh Says

November 5, 2008

By Jay Shankar

Nov. 5 (Bloomberg) — India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hailed the election of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the U.S., calling it an inspiration for people everywhere, and sought to build ties with the next administration.

“Your extraordinary journey to the White House will inspire people not only in your country but also around the world,” Singh said in his congratulatory message to the president-elect. “Our two countries, working together to address global issues and challenges, will be an important factor for world peace, stability and progress.”

Singh is reaching out to Obama after President George W. Bush made ties with India one of the key elements of his foreign policy, pushing for the successful conclusion of a civilian nuclear energy agreement between the two nations.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her counterpart, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, signed the agreement on Oct. 10, breaking India’s three-decade nuclear isolation and allowing U.S. companies such as General Electric Co. to sell atomic fuel and technology to India’s growing energy sector.

The agreement came after the U.S. helped India secure the right to buy equipment and fuel from the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group in September.

Read the rest:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601091&sid=aODczFAywlqQ

Election: Routine, Historic or Catastrophic?

November 2, 2008

Some elections are routine, some are important and some are historic. If Sen. John McCain wins this election, it will probably go down in history as routine. But if Barack Obama wins, it is more likely to be historic – and catastrophic.

By Thomas Sowell
The Washington Times

Once the election is over, the glittering generalities of rhetoric and style will mean nothing. Everything will depend on performance in facing huge challenges, domestic and foreign. Performance is where Barack Obama has nothing to show for his political career, either in Illinois or in Washington.

US Democratic presidential candidate Illinois Senator Barack ... 

Policies that he proposes under the banner of “change” are almost all policies that have been tried repeatedly in other countries – and failed repeatedly in other countries.

Politicians telling businesses how to operate? That has been tried in countries around the world, especially during the second half of the 20th century. It has failed so often and so badly even socialist and communist governments were freeing up their markets by the end of the century.

The economies of China and India began their take-off into high rates of growth when they got rid of precisely the kinds of policies Mr. Obama is advocating for the United States under the magic mantra of “change.”

Putting restrictions on international trade in order to save jobs at home? That was tried here with the Hawley-Smoot tariff during the Great Depression. Unemployment was 9 percent when that tariff was passed to save jobs, but unemployment went up instead of down, and reached 25 percent before the decade was over.

Higher taxes to “spread the wealth around,” as Mr. Obama puts it? The idea of redistributing wealth has turned into the reality of redistributing poverty, in countries where wealth has fled and the production of new wealth has been stifled by a lack of incentives.

Economic disasters, however, may pale by comparison with the catastrophe of Iran with nuclear weapons. Glib rhetoric about Iran being “a small country,” as Mr. Obama called it, will be a bitter irony for Americans who will have to live in the shadow of a nuclear threat that cannot be deterred, as that of the Soviet Union could be, by the threat of a nuclear counterattack.

Suicidal fanatics cannot be deterred. If they are willing to die and we are not, then we are at their mercy – and they have no mercy. Moreover, once they get nuclear weapons, that is a situation that cannot be reversed, either in this generation or in generations to come.

Is this the legacy we wish to leave our children and grandchildren, by voting on the basis of style and symbolism, rather than substance?

If Barack Obama thinks such a catastrophe can be avoided by sitting down and talking with the leaders of Iran, then he is repeating a fallacy that helped bring on World War II.

In a nuclear age, one country does not have to send troops to occupy another country in order to conquer it. A country is conquered if another country can dictate who rules it, as the Mongols once did with Russia, and as Osama bin Laden tried to do when he threatened retaliation against places in the United States that voted for George W. Bush. But he didn’t have nuclear weapons to back up that threat – yet.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news
/2008/nov/02/a-perfect-storm/

Japan urges China to sway global issues

December 28, 2007
By ANITA CHANG, Associated Press Writer

BEIJING – Japan urged China to use its growing influence to make an impact on key global issues such as climate change as the visiting Japanese prime minister opened a day of summit talks Friday with Chinese leaders.

The countries have a history of animosity stemming from disputes over territory, resources and wartime history, but Yasuo Fukuda’s four-day visit — his first as prime minister — follows several friendly meetings between leaders and a Chinese warship’s historic port call to Japan.

“In the long history of our relations, there has never been a time when Japan and China has had more influence or responsibilities in Asia and the world,” Fukuda said at a joint news conference with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071228/ap_on_re_as/china_japan_summit;_
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