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Smart Foreign Policy Strikes Again

March 29, 2010

First – British report says “Special Relationship” with US is dead.

BRITAIN’S special relationship with the US — forged by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt in the second world war — no longer exists, says a committee of influential MPs.

(…)

In an apparent rebuke to Tony Blair and his relationship with President George W Bush, the report says there are “many lessons” to be learnt from Britain’s political approach towards the US over Iraq.

“The perception that the British government was a subservient poodle to the US administration is widespread both among the British public and overseas,” the MPs say. “This perception, whatever its relation to reality, is deeply damaging to the reputation and interests of the UK.”

While the excerpt above seems to lay the blame for this on George W. Bush, I can’t help but notice the report was only issued after Obama has slighted the British a number of times.

Second – Obama resigned to nuclear Iran

Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton expressed concern Sunday that Washington was coming to terms with a nuclear Iran.

“I very much worry the Obama administration is willing to accept a nuclear Iran, that’s why there’s this extraordinary pressure on Israel not to attack in Iran,” Bolton told Army Radio.

The former envoy claimed that this pressure was the focus of last week’s meetings in Washington between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyhau and US officials, including President Barack Obama.

This also ties in with item 3 – The US may throw Israel to the UN wolves by abstaining on a security council motion condemning Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem.

From the Jerusalem Post again –

Bolton said that the Obama administration had embraced the view, prevalent in Europe, that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the key to the resolution of all other conflicts throughout the Middle East, including the Iranian conflict.

He added that the rift in US-Israel relations stemmed from a fundamental difference in the understanding of the Middle East and Israel’s role in the Middle East, and is not really about east Jerusalem at all.

Bolton said that the treatment Netanyahu received during his visit “should tell the people of Israel how difficult it’s going to be dealing with Washington for the next couple of years.”

(h/t)

These signals are a little worrying to say the least. To me they recall Carter’s completely ineffectual policy of appeasement of America’s enemies. Look how well that worked.

-elsewhere-

The Washington Post reports that Dems have emerged from the Health Care fight without suffering major political damage.

After steering the landmark health-care reform bill through Congress, the Democratic Party’s leaders have emerged mostly unscathed, according to a new Washington Post poll, but they have not received a notable boost in approval ratings.

Shifts among core constituencies suggest that President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) may have reaped some benefit from the legislation’s passage, but the public’s take on the Democratic Party has not budged, and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) appears to be losing popularity. None of the central players in passing health-care reform appears to be winning favor with the bill’s opponents.

Fox News meanwhile is reporting that only 50% of respondents oppose Health Care reform now. I can’t find a link yet but it seems like that is a 5% drop in a week. Pinning out hopes in November on HCR alone will be a mistake.

(h/t)

China again

(…)officials at the Foreign Ministry were pledging that Google’s exit wouldn’t affect Sino-U.S. ties. Meanwhile, analysts see hints of a thaw in the hot-button issue of China’s currency. Washington maintains that the yuan is artificially undervalued and hurts U.S. exports; China has always insisted that such claims are “irrational.” But in early March, China’s central-bank governor, Zhou Xiaochuan, said the yuan’s dollar peg was a “special” response to the international financial crisis–suggesting it may be allowed to strengthen soon. That may sound like a victory for China’s cosmopolitan cadres–but it could also fuel nationalists’ anger as the intraparty wrangling continues.

Germans are losing their fear of climate change, according to a survey, with just 42 percent worried about global warming.

The latest figure is a clear drop from the 62 percent of Germans who said they were scared of such changes just in autumn 2006.

The new survey, carried out by polling company Infratest for Der Spiegel magazine, showed a quarter of those questioned thought Germany would profit from climate change rather than be badly affected by it.

Many people have little faith in the information and prognosis of climate researchers with a third questioned in the survey not giving them much credence. This is thought to be largely due to mistakes and exaggerations recently discovered in a report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, the IPCC.

I thought only us Americans were stupid enough to question climate change, that all our European betters wholeheartedly believed in it. Welcome to the ranks of us morons Germany.

On too Health Care – Insurers may not have to cover pre-existing conditions on children

WASHINGTON — Just days after President Obama signed the new health care law, insurance companies are already arguing that, at least for now, they do not have to provide one of the benefits that the president calls a centerpiece of the law: coverage for certain children with pre-existing condition

(…)

Insurers agree that if they provide insurance for a child, they must cover pre-existing conditions. But, they say, the law does not require them to write insurance for the child and it does not guarantee the “availability of coverage” for all until 2014.

William G. Schiffbauer, a lawyer whose clients include employers and insurance companies, said: “The fine print differs from the larger political message. If a company sells insurance, it will have to cover pre-existing conditions for children covered by the policy. But it does not have to sell to somebody with a pre-existing condition. And the insurer could increase premiums to cover the additional cost.”

Dems disagree saying their intent was to force companies to cover kids, but what they intended is trumped by what the wrote, passed, and what Obama signed.

Huffington Post – Health Care Reform doesn’t really reform anything. It just forces us all to purchase overpriced policies from greedy insurance companies.

Companies likely to drop prescription benefits for retirees after congress changed tax benefits for offering the plan. The companies say they informed congress of this multiple times and were ignored, so a fake 5.4 billion dollar revenue gain could be realized.

Maybe you should have listened to us when we said this bill was fatally flawed, overpriced, and did little to improve coverage.

People are so f***ing uninformed. Last week there were a number of posts going around about the health care reform bill and how it authorizes Obama to raise a private army based on section 5210 of the bill. It was rapidly debunked as referring to the Public Health Service, which is one of the seven uniformed services along with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard (and their reserve components), and NOAA, but now here it is again. At least read that part of the bill people, it supersedes a previous version of the same law and the major change isn’t giving Obama some magical extra-constitutional power to appoint officers. It adds language that clearly spells out when the reserve corp of the Public Health Service may be utilized.

(h/t)

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. xbradtc permalink
    March 29, 2010 8:34 am

    Don’t forget how well the Obama admin has done in our own back yard:

    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/299969.php

  2. March 29, 2010 8:34 am

    The funding channel and prior implementation for the quasi-military force expanded under the recently passed health care bill does indeed grow out of the historical “surgeon general’s army” which ostensibly responds to health crises. But there are no safeguards to limit it to this use. Note the exact wording (page 1314) from the Affordable Health Care Bill:

    (B) be available and ready for involuntary calls to active duty during national emergencies and public health crises, similar to the uniformed service reserve personnel;….

    Civil unrest in response to gun confiscation, seizure of our retirement funds, etc. would be such a national emergency, against which the “surgeon general’s army” could be deployed.

    From Marxist Strategy for Enslavement

    • xbradtc permalink
      March 29, 2010 9:01 am

      Well, considering that the Ready Reserve Corps of the USPHS is composed of doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel, they’re hardly going to be all that effective at suppressing a popular uprising.

      Really, with 50 million valid reasons to criticize Obama and the rest of the Dems, you are determined to latch onto some stupid conspiracy theory.

    • jenn1964 permalink*
      March 29, 2010 10:50 am

      @American Daughter

      Your paranoia is simply astounding. Your Marxist strategy foe enslavement is just rehashing the same charges that were made against Bush as a fascist plan for enslavement all that changed is the name.

      As I have said before, there are a lot of things that are bad about this bill, we don’t need to make things up. Please take a clue pill.

      (edited because I hit print before I meant to)

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