The decisions taken here tonight all flow from one thing: the fact there is a single currency in Europe, the Euro. Britain is out of it, and will remain out of it. Other countries are in it, and are having to make radical changes–including giving up sovereignty to try and make it work.As the New York Times reports, the Euro leaders, by a 26-1 margin, have decided to accept what they define is the fundamentally German vision for the future which includes, as they understatedly describe it, as 'tighter oversight of government spending'.
The Financial Times in this article (free registration may be needed to access) defines the decision by the PM as having Britain saying farewell to Europe. They are pessimistic in the long run saying that the City (London's financial services industry) will find itself locked out by Paris, Berlin, and Brussels...and companies seeking to do business in the region will go to the EU as opposed to Britain.
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, writing in London's Telegraph, takes a far different view in an article that hammers "EU Idiots Craft Flim Flam Treaty"...
The leaders of France and Germany have more or less bulldozed Britain out of the European Union for the sake of a treaty that offers absolutely no solution to the crisis at hand, or indeed any future crisis. It is EU institutional chair shuffling at its worst, with venom for good measure.The Los Angeles Times, surprisingly, has a straight forward news story that reports on the proposed treaty that will take the integration of the nation-states of the EU (sans Britain) to a new level, but also reflectively notes that it is unclear whether the austerity demanded by 'Merkozy' would help revive the EU's weakest economies.
My position on this 'solution' should be clear. It is no solution. At best, it is kicking the can further down the road, but it does do nothing to really solve the fundamental problems that the Euro / Eurozone face. Creating a new 'level of integration' where a centralized government bureaucracy supercedes the authority of national governments for fiscal policy of those governments is not an effective solution. Embracing the vision of Jacques Delors over that of Margaret Thatcher is not a solution - as history demonstrates.
What is interesting about this is that the people of the EU community seem to also understand this. Polls are showing that public opinion regarding the Euro as a single currency for the EU community is dropping dramatically.
“The French have growing reservations about the euro: 36% want to withdraw from the eurozone and go back to the franc, the old national currency; 4% have no opinion, which means that they don’t warmly support the single European currency; 44% say it is a handicap in the present context of a world economic crisis; 45% say it doesn’t serve the national interests of France; and a staggering 62% say it is damaging the average French family’s standards of living and purchasing power.”This is in France. What we might be seeing are signs of another split in Europe - one which has the people and Britain on one side, and the leftists, elitists, and bureaucrats / political class on the other....where perhaps Europe sees the rise of their own Tea Party Movement?
Elsewhere in Europe, 15,000 to 25,000 or more protesters demonstrated in the center of Moscow against Vladimir Putin and the disputed election results from last weekend in the largest demonstrations since the fall of the USSR.
The current United Nations conference regarding global climate issues, which is seeking a new agreement to replace the Kyoto Treaty, is stuttering to a halt in Durban, South Africa.
Never mind where you might stand on the question of global warming, global cooling, climate change or plain old weather. If there’s one constant to this entire climate debate, it is that in the name of “climate,” the United Nations wishes to regulate and tax the economy of the planet — stripping resources from the most productive economies to hand them out as assorted UN bureaucrats deem fit.With 'Merkozy' embracing more statism, the United Nations seeking more statism and their centralized control, is it any surprise that the progressive Administration of President Barack Obama is also continuing their efforts to embrace statism within the United States?
This is an agenda for global central planning — which, at the extreme, is what the Soviet Union envisioned as the radiant future of mankind, at least until the USSR itself collapsed as a basket case of monstrously misallocated resources, pervaded by the nightmare repression required to enforce such a system. Nonetheless, at the UN this agenda keeps coming up, year after year, at one climate conference after another.
Columnist Mark Steyn focuses his column this week on the statist delusions of the President and the progressive / leftists....noting that in Europe, and soon for the US, the bill for the cradle to grave welfare state has come due.
Charles Krauthammer also notes this same pattern in his weekly column - focusing on the intellectual bankruptcy of the President's class warfare schtick...
This, in a country $15 trillion in debt with out-of-control entitlements systematically starving every other national need. This obsession with a sock-it-to-the-rich tax hike that, at most, would have reduced this year’s deficit from $1.30 trillion to $1.22 trillion is the classic reflex of reactionary liberalism — anything to avoid addressing the underlying structural problems, which would require modernizing the totemic programs of the New Deal and Great Society.This excerpt highlights one of the biggest elements of the scam that the President is trying to run on the American people...the 'tax the rich' more to achieve 'fairness' does nothing, NOTHING, to address the fundamental problem impacting our fiscal policy. It's not the 'unfairness' of 5% of the population paying 58.7% of the total federal income tax receipts. The fundamental problem remains excessive spending - spending that brings $1.3 trillion to $1.5 trillion annual deficits. Increasing taxes to knock the deficit by $80 billion in the name of 'fairness' doesn't fix the problem.
On it's editorial page, the Los Angeles Times still misses this in their vapid editorial that argues that cutting spending alone in California will not solve California's fiscal challenges. They are demanding, in the name of 'fairness' that taxes increase on the wealthy as well. Not only is the defining line between non-wealthy and wealthy being lowered, but guess what - tax the wealthy excessively and they will do what far too many are already doing - leaving the state taking their wealth, companies, and jobs with them. California's problems are related to it's irresponsible spending - a budget that has increased spending by nearly $40 billion in the last decade.
The Orange County Register hammers this point in an editorial that is a counterpoint to the LA Times embracing of more progressivism and statism when they say that hiking taxes on the 1% will not save California either. All we need to do is look at Europe and learn.
Oh, and in California, our state tax revenues continue to run $1 billion behind projections....
Michael Barone bluntly goes after the President's progressive / statist mindset...
Democrats like to think of themselves as the party of smart people. And over the last four years we have heard countless encomiums, and not just from Democrats, of the intellect and perceptiveness of Barack Obama. But a reading of the text of Obama’s December 6 speech at Osawatomie, Kansas, billed as one of his big speeches of the year, shows him to be something like the opposite.
Even by the standards of campaign rhetoric, this is a shockingly shoddy piece of work. You can start with his intellectually indefensible caricature of Republican philosophy: “We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.” Or his simple factual inaccuracy: “The wealthiest Americans are paying the lowest taxes in over half a century.” Or his infantile economic analysis, blaming job losses on the invention of the automated teller machine (they’ve been around for more than four decades, Mr. President, and we’ve had lots of job growth during that time) and the Internet.
What we have here, it seems a president who has no serious interest in public policy. He has spent nearly half his 15 years in public office running for other public office. The only difference now is that, having run out of higher offices to run for, he is just running for reelection instead. Those who pride themselves on belonging to the party of smart people should be embarrassed.
Powerline also sees this same in the demagoguery of President Obama and the progressive / statist left towards middle class America - and that this will not bold well for November 2012...
One imagines that there are several causes of demagoguery, multiple circumstances under which it arises or becomes necessary. In Barack Obama’s case, we are seeing a demagoguery born of incompetence. As the failure of Obama’s policies has become ever more stark, as the clock ticks toward his rendezvous with the electorate in November, as the public’s disapproval of his performance hardens, he has reacted in the only way he knows, by becoming ever more shrill and ever more fanciful in his denunciations of those who dare to point out that his record is awful and his policies inept.
Lost in the spinning done by the Attorney General Eric Holder in Congressional testimony on Fast and Furious was the testimony given to Congress by former NJ Governor, former Democrat Senator from NJ, the man slated to replace Tim Geithner as SecTreas, and the man that VP Joe Biden has described as always being the 'smartest guy in the room', Jon Corzine, on his captaining MF Global into a spectacular collapse that included making $1.2 billion in client funds disappear. When asked about there the clients money is, Corzine responded, "I simply do not know where the money is...". Right.
The Environmental Protection Agency continues to practice their executive abuses as they are currently scheduled to release new regulations to combat mercury levels in emissions from coal and oil fired power plants which they claim will save 17,000 lives every year. There is little real science behind that number of lives saved, it's like the Administration's developed of jobs created or saved byt their failed stimulus programs. But where there is science - it's immaterial to the EPA since it doesn't support the real intent of their regulations - to create more barriers, including higher costs, for power being generated by fossil fuels in the US. For example, in this case, if one picks a plant at random, and models the total emissions by that plant over one year with 4 billion white ping pong balls - and we paint and include a black ping pong ball to represent the amount of mercury released - we would have 27 black ping pong balls mixed in with the 4 billion.
In the world of media, there are a couple of stories of note.
Bye, Bye Christiane.... ABC News is announcing that the anchor of their Sunday morning news program, Christiane Amanpour is being replaced because of bad ratings. Bad ratings, eh? That is the often the result when one mixes bad television, bad journalism, and a person who is a poster child for the Peter Principle.
In the now annual fight for ratings this holiday season, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, have resumed their battle regarding if there is a 'war on Christmas' between conservatives and progressives. After Jon Stewart responded to the assertion by BOR that the war on Christmas was ongoing - including a dig about watching Fox News 8 hours a day, BOR delivered this delicious rejoinder - a clue by four upside Stewarts noggin. Newsbusters calls this a battle of wits - but if that is the case, then Stewart is already trying to fight with one hand tied behind his back...
Finally, we have this case of Campaign cluelessness coming from the Mitt Romney campaign. In an effort to demonstrate and communicate how Mitt Romney is more reliably conservative than Newt Gingrich, the Romney team organized a special conference call with journalists to make the case...except that all of the invited participants are center left / hard left media people. Not one conservative or conservative blogger were invited to participate.
Stupid isn’t the word here. You are trying to make the case you are more conservative than Newt Gingrich and you not only exclude Conservatives from questions but you take questions from flipping Mother Jones and Talking Points Memo?Note to the idiots of the Romney for President campaign - if you wanted to know why the candidate cannot get over 25% support of Republicans in any of the polls - here's why.