(FT.com) The oil revenues of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, the cartel that controls 40 per cent of the world’s oil supplies, will increase by 10 per cent to a record $522bn this year, the US Department of Energy forecasts.
Opec’s increased wealth, driven by continuing high oil prices and an increase this year in the group’s production, should help keep interest rates low if members of the group continue to spend their increasing wealth in the
bond market, economists said. US
But what if they don’t? What if the OPEC nations, or just one or two of them decide to start taking in Euros for oil sales to Europe like
's decision to set up an oil and associated derivatives market next year has generated a great deal of interest. Iran
This is primarily because of
s reported intention to invoice energy contracts in euros rather than dollars. ' Iran
The contention that this could unseat the dollar's dominance as the de facto currency for oil transactions may be overstated, but this has not stopped many commentators from linking
s current political disquiet with America' to the proposed Iranian Oil Bourse (IOB). Iran
(Business Week) If investors needed a wake-up call about how heavily the global financial system relies on the actions of
Asia's central banks, they received a nasty one on Nov. 26. A widely reported remark by People's Bank of China Policy Board member Yu Yongding that planned to trim its purchase of U.S. Treasuries quickly sent the dollar to four-year lows vs. the euro and the yen. Beijing
It look[ed] like a false alarm.
quickly moved to quell the fears by declaring that Yu had been misquoted. […]Look closely at U.S. data, however […]They show that Asian central banks, with the exception of Japan, already have been weaning themselves off dollar assets for the better part of the year -- without triggering a spike in inflation or U.S. rates. Beijing Taiwanand South Koreahave increased their dollar holdings only modestly, those of Thailandand Singaporehave stayed virtually flat, and Hong Kong's Treasury holdings have dropped by $5 billion. As a result, the dollar is up 4% this year against the greenback while the Korean won has leapt 14%. "Everybody has been scaling back, and the whole exercise has been pretty benign," Singapore
And what if
has finished removing the seals placed by UN inspectors at a nuclear fuel research site.The development has been strongly condemned by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. He said Iran would call an emergency meeting of the IAEA, the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, to discuss what steps to take. Britain
This already means that:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil struck a three-month high on Wednesday on concerns Iran's nuclear ambitions could draw international sanctions that disrupt crude flows from the world's fourth biggest exporter.
crude futures hit $64.80 a barrel, the highest since early October, before settling up 57 cents at $63.94. London Brent crude ended at $62.17, up 25 cents. U.S.
Falling Dollar, rising oil prices, aggressive Asian economies,
"Armondo" at Daily Kos points out a duel between Mr. Schumer and Judge Alito:
-In reference to Schumer pointing out former Reagan nominee Judge Bork’s editorials on Roe v/s Wade, and his attacks on its constitutional legitimacy, followed by Judge Alito’s comment of
“I think he was one of the most outstanding nominees of this century. He's a man of unequaled ability [and] understanding of constitutional history.”-The two (Schumer and Alito) had this dialogue:
JUDGE ALITO: Well, I certainly was not aware of what he had said about stare decisis when I made those comments. I have explained those comments. They were made when I was a -- an appointee of President Reagan, and Judge Bork was --
SEN. SCHUMER: But you weren't -- excuse me. You weren't working in the White House. You were a
attorney prosecuting cases. There was no obligation for you to say what you said, right? U.S.
JUDGE ALITO: No, but I had been in the Department of Justice at the time about --
SEN. SCHUMER: You know, but it was a voluntary interview with some
news outlet. Is that correct? New Jersey
JUDGE ALITO: And I was asked the question about Judge Bork, and I had been in the department at the time of the nominee -- at the time of his nomination, and I was an appointee of President Reagan, and I was a supporter of the nomination.
Say Anything Sammy is saying 'Hey, I needed to kiss up to the boss. What do you want from me?'In other words, the question for Say Anything Sammy is "were you lying then or are you lying now?"
From Live Journal.com “squarestpeq” writes on a different duel between the two:
There's general agreement that Kennedy, Biden, Feingold and Feinstein have embarrassed themselves and done nothing to make Alito look anything other than knowledgeable, patient, articulate and fully worthy of being a Supreme. But a few have suggested that Chuckie scored some points. I disagree, and this succinct comment makes clear that Schumer's schtick was just as ineffective--and self defeating--as the others.
One thing Schumer said actually made NPR's audio excerpt list and its worth listening to just to understand how confused he is
Judge Alito, in case after case, you give the impression of applying careful legal reasoning, but too many times you happen to reach the most conservative result. Judge Alito, you give the impression of being a meticulous legal navigator but in the end, you always seem to chart a rightward course . Some wrongly suggest we're being results-oriented when we question the results you have reached, but the opposite is true. We're trying to make sure that you're capable of being fair, no matter what the identity of the party before you. Sometimes you give the government a free pass, but refuse to give the plaintiffs a fair shake.
Schumer's problem with Alito appears to be that his process just isn't producing the predetermined results that the left demands, after all, everybody should take turns being right.The entire exchange reminded me of the current series of NBA commercials with Ali G.. The Ali G schtick is fabulous, relying on political correctness to prevent his targets from pointing out that his questions betray colossal ignorance and stupidity. Schumer G. relies on much the same paradigm, knowing that as a Senator and a liberal icon, everything he says is brilliant no matter how transparently foolish.
(AP) Diplomats from
Mexicoand Central America on Monday demanded guest worker programs and the legalization of undocumented migrants in the United States, while criticizing a proposal for tougher border enforcement. U.S.
"Migrants, regardless of their migratory status, should not be treated like criminals," they said.
"There has to be an integrated reform that includes a temporary worker program, but also the regularization of those people who are already living in receptor countries," Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez said.
Mexicans working in the
United Statesare a huge source of revenue for Mexico, sending home more than $16 billion in remittances in 2004, 's second largest source of foreign currency after oil exports according to the country's central bank. Mexico
Aguilar also said migrants "don't emigrate because they lack work, but rather for a series of other reasons, cultural reasons or better living conditions."
I’m pretty sure this one is bi-partisan. None of like the idea of open flow immigration from
If you don’t want us to treat migrants like criminals, then start helping us stop ILLEGAL immigration.
Among the names of possible guests at the conference are the Israeli journalist lsrael Shamir, a convert to Christianity, and Horst Mahler from
This is almost out of a bad action movie. They are going to get a former Red Army Faction member, Self described “apolitical atheist”, the black sheep professor of Northwestern University, and of course, Ahmadinejad himself sitting around a table trying to find a way to rewrite history to better reflect their anti-Semitic views, and to meet the political needs of those like Iran.
The middle two (Faurisson and Butz) are both big fans of Paul Rassinier, the French communist whom in 1948 made two arguments in “Crossing the Line”
(1) There is a natural human tendency to on the part of victims to exaggerate what has happened to them and
(2) the "atrocities" that did occur were not the fault of the Nazis but of the victims themselves -- particularly the inmate guards whom the SS placed in charge of the camps.
Maybe they can get some “sharks with lasers” too?
"I would consider that not only not an extraordinary circumstance, but a threat to the independence of the judiciary, and I would stop it in its tracks with my vote,"
- Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican and one of the "Gang of 14”
if Judge Alito refuses to answer questions on issues that Democrats deem vital, the party will be more likely to block the nomination. "If he continuously, given his previous record, refused to answer questions and hid behind 'I can't answer this because it might come before me,' it would increase the chances of a filibuster,"
she would likely block the nomination if she concludes that Judge Alito would overturn Roe v. Wade […] "If I believed he was going to go in there and overthrow Roe ... most likely 'yes,'"
I guess to get to how I feel on this one, I have to remove the “D” and “R” from the argument.
How does any of this serve the people? Our tax dollars pay their salary to work on legislation that is supposed to represent, serve, and protect the Constitution of the
(AP) The Justice Department is now using Abramoff to continue a probe into allegedly as many as 20 members of Congress and/or their aides. Is this a late Christmas for struggling Democrats heading into election years, or a indicator that corruption has not party affiliation?
The headliners right now are obviously Tom DeLay (most think he is already convicted, he just doesn’t know it yet), and now Bob Ney (R-OH) is apparently facing the spotlight over a paid golf trip to
in 2002. Scotland
House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-ILL) has joined a list of politicians quickly trying to clear their names by donating any money received from Abramoff to charity (after all, who can complain about money donated to charity right?).
Still more connections:
(Baltimore Sun) Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich of
is connected to Abramoff by his deputy chief of staff, who founded a company that was central to Abramoff’s schemes to defraud clients and conceal kickbacks to himself and others. Maryland
But wait, there are Democrats involved too:
(NYT) Apparently Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), ranking Democrat on the committee investigating Abramoff is returning $67,000 in political contributions from Abramoff’s former clients and partners.
Now, I have no doubt that the Republicans are going to bear the brunt of this fall out. After all, Abramoff is/was a GOP lobbyist. However, where there is money in
I personally hope he sings like a canary and a whole slew of folks get nailed. It is way past the point that a “House” cleaning took place, and the Senate can join them.
(CNS News) The National Republican Senatorial Committee said Wednesday that 40 of 45 members of the Senate Democrat Caucus have taken money from lobbyist Jack Abramoff, his associates and Indian tribe clients.
Among those named by the NRSC as the worst examples of "Democrat hypocrisy" for taking money from Abramoff and his associates are: Sen. Byron Dorgan, (D-N.D.) who received at least $79,300; Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who received at least $45,750; Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who received at least $68,941 and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), who received at least $6,250.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush, who has been criticized for consulting with only a tight circle of trusted aides, is soliciting the views of former secretaries of state and defense, some of whom have doubted his Iraq policy.
The group will meet Bush on Thursday and will be briefed by Gen. George Casey, the
U.S.commander in , as well as Zalmay Khalilzad, the American ambassador there. Iraq
"The president initiated an effort to broaden the outreach," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. "It is an opportunity to talk about our plan for victory in
, and the progress we're making and the challenges ahead." Iraq
At the meeting will be former Secretaries of State: Colin Powell (Bush Jr.), Madeleine Albright (Clinton), Lawrence Eagleburger (Bush Sr.), James Baker(Bush Sr.), George Shultz (Reagan) and Alexander Haig (Reagan).
Also attending will be former Secretaries of Defense: William Cohen (Clinton), William Perry (Clinton), Frank Carlucci (Reagan), Harold Brown (Carter), James Schlesinger (Nixon), Melvin Laird (Nixon), and Robert McNamara (Kennedy/Johnson).
With this mob of former statesmen and advisors, surely all would have to agree that Bush will finally be getting some diverse opinions and advice. I think this is just a PR move by Bush, but it will surely shore up any complaints about the monopoly the “war hawks” have had on holding Bush’s ear.
What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall in that room. With no cameras and/or reporters there, I’d be interested to hear some of the REAL opinions expressed there by the supposed “experts.”
I do find it reassuring that our President is not so proud as to essentially admit that he could use some council though.
(AP) Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was in serious condition Thursday following seven hours of emergency surgery to stop widespread bleeding in his brain caused by a life-threatening stroke, doctors said. Vice Premier Ehud Olmert was named acting prime minister and convened the Cabinet for a special session. Close
associates said they did not expect the 77-year-old prime minister to return to office. Sharon
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas contacted Israeli officials Thursday to express concern over
's deteriorating health, an Abbas aide said. Ahmed Jibril, a radical Palestinian leader in Sharon , called the stroke a gift from God. (Isn't this special) Damascus, Syria
Speaking to reporters outside the hospital,
Sharonaide Raanan Gissin warned 's enemies: "To anyone who entertains any notion to try and exploit this situation ... the security forces and IDF (Israeli military) are ready for any kind of challenge," he said. Israel
We have intelligence reports from Europe’s least aggressive nations detailing
We have Chinese companies funding and supplying Iran with missiles and chemical weapons related supplies.
And We’ve had
This thing seems like a ticking time bomb to me.
(Guardian) The Iranian government has been successfully scouring
Europefor the sophisticated equipment needed to develop a nuclear bomb, according to the latest western intelligence assessment of the country's weapons programs. Scientists in Tehran are also shopping for parts for a ballistic missile capable of reaching Europe, with "import requests and acquisitions ... registered almost daily", the report seen by the Guardian concludes.
It concludes that
Syriaand have also been buying technology and chemicals needed to develop rocket programs and to enrich uranium. It outlines the role played by Pakistan Russiain the escalating Middle East arms build-up, and examines the part that dozens of Chinese front companies have played in 's nuclear weapons program. North Korea
"In addition to sensitive goods,
continues intensively to seek the technology and know-how for military applications of all kinds," it says. Iran
More flawed intelligence from US agencies? More trumped-up charges to try and justify a war by the cowboy Bush? More over-aggressive foreign policy, where we try to justify the whims of a proverbial “Bull in a china shop”? Nope, in fact the
The 55-page intelligence assessment, dated July 1 2005, draws upon material gathered by British, French, German and Belgian agencies, and has been used to brief European government ministers and to warn leading industrialists of the need for vigilance when exporting equipment or expertise to so-called rogue states.
Iranian scientists are said to be building wind tunnels to assist in missile design, developing navigation technology, and acquiring metering and calibration technology, motion simulators and x-ray machines designed to examine rocket parts. The next generation of the Shahab ("shooting star" in Persian) should be capable of reaching
Austriaand . Italy
Sleep tight Europe,
36 have been accused of spousal abuse
7 have been arrested for fraud
19 have been accused of writing bad checks
117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
3 have done time for assault
71, repeat 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
8 have been arrested for shoplifting
21 currently are defendants in lawsuits
84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year
Throw out your guess, the answer is in the comment section
(this information originated from Capitol Hill Blue in 1999. Some of the people have changed, but it doesn't make the statistics less frightening)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rep. John Murtha, a key Democratic voice who favors pulling
Vietnamcombat veteran who retired as a colonel after 37 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Murtha told ABC News' "Nightline" program that "absolutely" was a wrong war for President George W. Bush to have launched. Iraq
"Would you join (the military) today?," he was asked in an interview taped on Friday.
"No," replied Murtha of Pennsylvania, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees defense spending and one of his party's leading spokesmen on military issues.
"And I think you're saying the average guy out there who's considering recruitment is justified in saying 'I don't want to serve'," the interviewer continued.
"Exactly right," said Murtha
If you can’t force recruiting numbers down enough to bring back the draft (and thus prove yourself right) by: maliciously attacking the President, stating that we “cannot win” in
Heck, just strait up tell kids not to join, after all, it’s the “Patriotic” thing to do.
Let me try my hand at a timeline:
(Brieitbart) Support for President George W. Bush's Iraq policy has fallen among the US armed forces to just 54 percent from 63 percent a year ago, according to a poll by the magazine group Military Times.
In its annual survey of the views of military personnel, the group reported on its website that support for Bush's overall policies dropped over the past year to 60 percent from 71 percent.
the new poll "found diminished optimism that US goals in
This media group has a version of magazine that is sold on every
We can bicker about the reasons behind this shift in attitude, but not the fact that it is happening. What remains to be seen at this point is what effect it will have on current operations and long term strategic goals.