Saturday, July 30, 2011

U.S. public deserves what is coming their way.

Maria Cardona's article 'Tyranny of 87' on CNN blog sums it well that 87 tea party congress members are holding the country, its financial system and the world's economy hostage.

It may be unkind to say it, but U.S. public deserves what is coming their way. After all, they elected this zealot group of 87 tea party activists who have no clue of the harm they are about to inflict on the nation. They say that to avoid default, just pay the interest on debt and stop all social security and medicare checks. This will leave millions of Americans in despair, but that does not bother them as long as there are no tax increase on the rich and loopholes remain open for big corporations to avoid taxes.

What the U.S. needs at this time is to carefully nurture its economy back to health, even if it requires more stimulus or Quantitative Easing 3. But the actions of Republicans, especially the group of 87 could cause a recession all over again with more job losses adding to the already high 9% unemployment.

Handing veto power to a group of unknown idealists of the opposing party, only two years after electing a new President was a huge mistake.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


A Congress that repeatedly voted funds totaling trillions of dollars for an illegal, ill planned and an ill executed war in Iraq, also voted nearly a trillion dollars for another badly managed, over extended war in Afghanistan, is now not prepared to vote for an increased debt ceiling to avoid a US default? Such a Congress deserves to be thrown out.

US voters should hold each and every Senator and House member accountable for this political debacle and elect new representatives who will be more responsible in running nation's affairs than this bunch of idiots.

Had the US Congress been sensible, it would have shut down Iraq & Afghan wars early enough to save $4 trillion. Had that been done, total US debt today would have been $10.3 trillion not $14.3 trillion. An increase in debt limit would not be needed.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Uncle Sam is Bankrupt, this Financial Statement stinks.







(Source: US Debt, The Globe and Mail)

Which Corporation or business in the world spends 154% of what it earns and still survives?

Apart from excessive expenditure on first three items, the main culprit is the US Corporations. They earn billions of dollar each quarter and pay only $196 billion in taxes, which is a mere 20% of what private citizens pay in personal taxes!

More wars anyone?

US: Tea Party is to blame for the impending default

The intransigence of Republican Party, especially their Tea Party component to raise debt ceiling is sending Canadian Dollar, Gold and Swiss Franc soaring. The markets consider these safe havens in case of a US default. If a default occurs August 2, 2011 onwards, the Tea Party will be to blame for creating havoc with US and World financial systems.

The debt ceiling was raised 17 times under Reagan, 4 times under Bush Sr. 4 times under Clinton and 7 times under Bush Jr. The Republican Party has only now developed consciousness or is it that their game play has gone too far?

The Tea Party's ideology is warped. In a country where every dollar spent, only 62 cents are raised in revenue and the rest is borrowed, Tea Partiers refuse to increase revenue sources. Granted that US spending is out of control and needs to be reigned in, but most of the extra spending in last ten years has been on expensive wars.

The Republican lawmakers who rave and rant against Government spending are themselves guilty of appropriating funds by way of entitlements for their pet projects, whether these are productive or not - like the bridge to nowhere in Alaska. They tag entitlements to any bill that passes Congress.

Although this fight between Tea Party and President Obama seems mostly ideological, but there may be some undercurrents of racism here. In 2010 elections, some Tea Party zealots suggested that African Americans should not vote as they don't understand democracy. It seems that Tea Party has a one point agenda - remove Barack Obama from office, no matter what the cost to country's economy.

To prevent default, if moderate Republicans do come to a last minute agreement with President Obama, Tea Party may try to stall the bill in Congress. If they cannot, they will probably field their own Presidential candidate in 2012. This could rip the Republican Party as their votes will split against Obama.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Is the Republican Party about to commit Harakiri? One hopes not.

After voting to raise US Debt Ceiling a record seven times in George W. Bush's eight years presidency, the Republican Party is now dragging its feet to raise it once unless they get their way - further reduction in taxes for the rich and drastic cut in social services for the poor i.e. medicare, social security etc. While Bush reduced taxes of his own accord, Republican Party never insisted on cuts to social services during his presidency.

By not increasing the debt ceiling, Republicans are holding US and world economy hostage as without the increase, US Government will most certainly start to default on its obligations from August 2, 2011 onwards. The debt ceiling should have been raised in May 2011, but Republicans have been playing hard ball, but now it is time for Republicans to deliver.

After pulling out of talks with President Obama Friday, the Speaker of the House probably realizes his folly and is now desperately trying to come up with a solution before the Asian markets open Monday. Though he has left it rather late, but one hopes that his efforts will bear fruit.

The Wall Street is extremely worried that if debt ceiling is not raised, default by US Government is imminent. If that happens, all hell may break lose in the financial markets. It is time for Wall Street and big Corporations (the main financiers of Republican party) to impress upon them that unless a deal is done within hours, all further funding to Republican party will cease.

Most Americans know what is going on and a majority of them are with President Obama on this. Perhaps the President should set a final deadline of 12 Noon (EST) Sunday and if no agreement is in place, he should go directly to the American public and take them into confidence. They should know who is playing havoc with their future.

NORWAY - The Serpent within, Should it be called Christian Terror?

The rather tranquil country of 4.9 million inhabitants was shaken by a huge bomb blast in Oslo followed by random killings at a youth rally on an island. This horrific and mindless act of a terrorist has left nearly one hundred dead and many more injured.

At the outset, media and politicians pointed a finger at Islamic terrorism. But soon enough it turned out that the terrorist was none other than a blonde haired blue eyed Norwegian citizen. The suspect, Anders Behring Breivik is an extreme right wing Muslim hating, immigrant hating Christian fundamentalist.

In the last few years, this land of prosperity and peace has turned from a liberal to an extreme right majority. The media and politicians openly spew out hatred against Islam and immigrants. Extreme right wingers are constantly interviewed on television and their pathetic and hateful views given airing on a regular basis.

Apparently Anders Behring Breivik is one such person, who openly demonstrated hate against Muslims and immigrants. Ultimately, hate got the better of him and in an act terror, he snuffed out the lives of one hundred innocent human beings and for no reason at all. The serpent grew within. History has shown that when extremists are allowed a free reign and moderate and sensible people do not raise voice to check them, the consequences are often deadly. Hitler was a product of such hatred. The Muslim countries are also guilty of not stopping extremists in their midst, who turned from extremists to gun toting terrorists. Today, many countries including Muslim countries are suffering the consequences.

Since Mr. Anders Behring Breivik is an extremist Christian fundamentalist, should this act of terror now be called Christian Terror? Ideally, it would be best not to link name of any religion with terror as terror has no religion. It should be denounced most vociferously whenever and wherever it occurs. Hopefully, the West will have a better understanding of it after this heinous act.

Monday, July 18, 2011

US Debt Ceiling - Just to Defeat Obama in 2012, will the Republicans sink the US Economy?

The Republican Congressmen and Senators are playing an extremely dangerous game with their nation's finances. In their desire to defeat Barack Obama in 2012, they are pushing the issue of National Debt Ceiling to the brink.

If Congress does not approve an increase in country's debt ceiling by August 2,2011, United States Government will default on its debt obligations at the rate of $4 billion a day. The will result in lowering of US credit rating from AAA and no one will be willing to lend money to US Government unless there is a substantial increase in interest rates.

The interest rate hike will hit the already weak economy hard, pushing unemployment to double digits, the housing market will suffer a down turn like it has never been seen before. Already some 29 million homes are under water i.e. their mortgages are higher than market values, increase in mortgage defaults will bankrupt many US banks and unlike 2008, Uncle Sam will not be able to save them this time as Uncle Sam will itself be bankrupt.

Are the Republicans really this desperate to defeat Obama that they will sink the entire US ship? Many think they are playing brinkmanship and will come good at the last minute to avoid default. I hope they are right, because otherwise they have to be extremely despondent to do this to their own country.

The US default will also impact the World economy. The already suffering European economies of Greece, Ireland, Portugal and others will sink even further, resulting in a possible breakup of EU or the Euro as a single EU currency.

And why are Republicans not willing to increase the debt ceiling even once in Obama's three years, when they raised it no less than seven times in Bush's eight years? Apparently they want more tax cuts for the wealthy and oppose closing tax loopholes for big Corporations. They want to eliminate Medicare and cut Social Security for the poor. The American public knows well that the high debt is a Republican legacy from George Bush's ill planned wars and tax cuts cuts for the rich.

If a default occurs, Obama will probably take the high road and heap entire blame on Republicans and rather than winning the White House in 2012, Republicans could end up losing majority in the House and many Senate seats too.

In case of default, US voters have only themselves to blame for giving Republicans and Tea Party candidates a majority in the The House in 2010 despite George Bush's disastrous eight year Presidency.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Rebekah Brooks, the CEO of one of the sleaziest newspaper (not surprisingly with largest circulation in the world) 'News of the World' presided over an empire which is alleged to have hacked private phones, paid bribes to policemen, gave free overseas trips to U.K. Prime Ministers and may even have bribed politicians on both sides of the pond. Yet she surprisingly refused to quit for several days while the scandal grew bigger and bigger. Today she fell on her sword and finally resigned.

This newspaper (along with others) owned by Mr. Murdoch's News Corp lowered the level of journalism to the lowest levels. The FBI is reportedly investigating whether their journalists and 'investigators' hacked into the phones of families of 9/11 victims as they did with families of 7/7 victims in the U.K.

Many politicians in U.K. and U.S. are hastily distancing themselves from Mr. Murdoch as many of them may have enjoyed his hospitality, political support and perhaps more.

All credit goes to Hugh Grant for exposing this scandal by secretly tape recording a conversation with a News of the World 'journalist', whom Grant suspected of hacking his phone. The link below is interesting to watch.

The British politicians are making a huge mistake by calling Mr. Murdoch before a House of Commons Committee. This will give him a platform to plead innocence on live television and the truth will never be out. The best thing is for British Prime Minister, David Cameron (who himself was chummy with Rebekah Brooks and also enjoyed Murdoch's political support through Sun Newspaper) to appoint an inquiry commission headed by a judge to investigate this whole sordid affair thoroughly.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rupert Murdoch's Come Uppance

When one man or one Corporation controls so much of media around the world, arrogance and complacency is bound to set in. With world's major newspapers and television channels in his camp, Rupert Murdoch played God with politics.

His Fox TV became a mouthpiece of the extreme right wing in the US, promoting Republicans and Tea Partiers whether they were right or wrong. His Sun newspaper in UK blatantly supported Conservative Party, not to mention the sleaziest of newspapers - The News of the World allegedly bribed policemen, hacked in to people's telephones and voice mail messages.

Even the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown was not spared as his phone was allegedly hacked into. Some of his newspapers deliberately published false stories about Palestinians in order to provide support to Israel. It is beyond belief that Mr. Murdoch did not have a hint of all this, that went on for years.

The uproar in UK is well justified, even the British Prime Minister, David Cameron has become tainted with the scandal for hiring a former Murdoch employee who was already under investigation. The British Prime Minister has started an inquiry and who is conducting the inquiry - the Scotland Yard, many of whose policemen were on the take from News of the World? It would behoove the Prime Minister to constitute an independent inquiry commission.

It is time for U.K., U.S. and other countries to examine the possibility of releasing Mr. Murdoch's stranglehold on world media. The US Senate may soon hold an inquiry into the affairs of News Corp, Mr. Murdoch's flagship. The highly respected newspapers like 'The Wall Street Journal' and Britain's 'The Times' should be spun off quickly in order to spare them from this scandal.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The West Has Screwed Up in Libya?

After the riots and overthrow of dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, Col. Gaddafi should have seen the writing on the wall. He should have realized that forty year rule is long enough and instead of trying to install his sons in his place, he should called free and fair elections and offered to step down and handed over power to an elected Government. But dictators never learn, do they?

As the riots started and Ben Ghazi fell to opposing tribes, Gaddafi and his sons thought they could suppress the people by branding them thugs and drug dealers and by using brute force against them. The reality was quite different, after 40 years of rule, people wanted freedom of speech and a right to choose their own Government. After all a country is not one man's or one family's fiefdom.

To stop the killing of civilians in Libya, United Nations passed a timely resolution to prevent further bloodshed. However, the West took that as a License to Regime Change. This is blatant misuse of a UN resolution. NATO's bombing of civilians in Tripoli and elsewhere has by now probably killed as many if not more civilians than Gaddafi's brute attacks.

The main culprit in all this the French President Sarkozy, followed closely by Cameron, Obama and Berlusconi. Berlusconi seems to have seen the error of his ways of late and is trying to halt bombing by his NATO partners, but they are not listening to him as regime change is their real agenda and they say so openly. Berlusconi's enlightenment may also have something to do with huge economic losses staring Italy in the face by stoppage of uniterrupted oil flow from Libya. Also possibility of relicensing ENI's Libyan oil concessions to China and Russia may also be a factor.

NATO is in violation UN Resolution 1973. Perhaps this time the International Criminal Court (which took no action against Bush & Blair for causing death of over 100,000 Iraqi civilians) will show some courage and add the names of NATO leaders for crimes against humanity in addition to Gaddafi's! However, that may be too much to ask of ICC as up to now they have only found courage to charge minor African and Serbian leaders.

The UN Secretary General, Ban ki Moon's job is to bring peace to this world. He should have tried to bring all sides together in Libya and found a peaceful solution for a transition. Instead, he has failed to make any efforts to stop the carnage. He should resign and go home instead of seeking another term.

Gaddafi is a dictator and has been cruel to his people of late, but over the years, he has been a benevolent dictator. Food, Education (including higher education), Housing and Healthcare is substantially subsidized by the Libyan Government. This is something neither Obama, nor Sarkozy have been able to accomplish for their people. No wonder, Gaddafi still has support from a segment of Libyan population. The main opposition to him comes from larger tribes that Gaddafi has sidelined from power for a very long time. The West did not take all this into account before their gung-ho bombing of Tripoli.

Instead of removing Gaddafi, NATO's action have only served to strengthen him as it is beginning to appear that he may have outwitted the West. This is great shame, for it is time for him to step down and let Libyans elect a democratic Government.