Obama's big victory comes at a cost
Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:17pm GMT
By Steve Holland - Analysis
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's crucial victory in getting a $787 billion economic stimulus plan through Congress was achieved quickly, but his hopes of gaining a bipartisan consensus died an early death.
The bitter Washington debate over the stimulus plan, which the majority Democrats muscled through both chambers despite nearly unified Republican opposition, has political consequences that boil down to one question: Will it work?
If it has the desired effect of creating or saving up to 4 million jobs and kick-starting the economy, the package will be judged a smart move akin to President Bill Clinton's economic plan that was hotly debated back in 1993. Clinton's decision to raise taxes to balance the budget was seen as the foundation of the U.S. economic boom of the 1990s.
If it does not, opposition Republicans will be able to argue that Obama should give more consideration to their ideas, which focused on tax cuts. A lack of an economic rebound will provide fodder they'll use against the Democrats in the 2010 mid-term elections.
"If this works and Obama, through a combination of this and other things, turns the economy around, then Republicans will pay a price," Democratic strategist Steve Elmendorf said. "If he doesn't turn the economy around then they'll be able to say, 'I told you so.'"
Obama argued that Democrats allowed plenty of time to debate the package, but that with the economy needing swift attention, it was time to move on.
"We had a spirited debate about this plan over the last few weeks," he said on Friday. "Not everyone shared the same view of how we should move forward, and at times, our discussion was contentious. But that's a good thing."
Obama will sign the stimulus bill into law on Tuesday.
The stimulus victory was the achievement in what has been a stormy start for Obama, who as the package was being negotiated, had to deal with an uproar over the tax problems of several top choices for administration posts. Then his choice for commerce secretary, Republican Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, abruptly withdrew from consideration -- further blunting his bid for bipartisanship.
BLUNT POLITICAL STRENGTH
Republicans were left fuming, complaining that the stimulus package was more of a giant wish-list of unnecessary Democratic spending items instead of what they would have preferred, a slimmed-down version focusing on tax cuts and spending for roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects.
"They (Democrats) have with blunt political strength and in the guise of stimulating the economy pushed through their own political priorities, not those of the American people," said Arizona Republican Senator John McCain.
Republican pollster Whit Ayres said Republicans were on solid ground opposing the package. "Voting for a bill that is loaded up with an enormous amount of wasteful spending is never a good idea for Republicans," he said.
Republican strategist Scott Reed said the party's strategy has been wise, "because it's united the party against something that the country, according to polls, doesn't support.
"The key next step for Republicans is to come forward with some positive alternatives to Obama's policies," he said.
Other experts were not so sure the Republicans were playing their cards correctly by opposing the stimulus plan, given the grim state of the economy.
Pollster John Zogby said Obama's popularity means he has far more credibility than the Republicans.
"The thing is, he is the president and he's still on a honeymoon and he's talking bipartisanship. The Republicans don't have a credible enough voice or face right now to project where they're at," Zogby said.
He said Republicans could face the same situation as Democrats did two years ago when Democrats opposed President George W. Bush's surge of fresh troops into Iraq, a policy they were forced much later to admit had succeeded.
"For Republicans this may be the wrong time and the wrong issue for them to rediscover ideological purity," he said.
How quickly the economy can be stimulated will be of utmost importance in the months ahead.
William Galston, an economist at the Brookings Institution who worked in the Clinton White House, said his best estimate was that the stimulus would create upward of 2.5 million jobs.
"Economists of all stripes, it seems to me, are in agreement that it will be a net job generator," he said.
(Editing by Philip Barbara)
16 de febrero de 2009
15 de febrero de 2009
Belizeans get ready for the up coming elections as the two main parties in Belize go head to head in their political bombardment of each other. I have to ask myself if this is really necessary. Can’t we have a political party that will work for the people and be able to NOT criticize other parties. It is time for us to wake up and smell the office. Whether we like it or not each government has done good for us BUT has not been able to solve all our economical problems. I believe there has got to be a better way of getting Belize to economic stability. Some months ago I suggested that it was time for a change for my country. I have decided to do something about it. I am getting ready for the next General Election.
IT IS TIME FOR ME TO BE TOTALLY BELIZEAN AND TO GET INVOLVED.
I INVITE OTHERS TO SHARE MY VIEW. Join me in the fight to recover Belize and to may it a haven it should really be!
BETTER WILL BE COMING AND IT WILL COME BECAUSE I WILL WORK FOR IT.
WOMEN have got to take a stand and fight for this land and our children and their children. The time is now. The battle has begun. ARE YOU READY?
I KNOW I AM.
11 de febrero de 2009
Barbadians' pensions in serious peril, says former PM
Published on Tuesday, February 10, 2009
By Oscar Ramjeet
Caribbean Net News Special Correspondent
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: Former Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur has accused the government of posturing instead of stating the facts as it relates to CLICO Holdings Barbados Limited.
The Barbados Nation reported that Arthur told a packed hall in Speightstown, St Peter, on Sunday that the Barbados-based CLICO Holdings could not be well if its parent company, CL Financial, was ailing
CL Financial in Trinidad and Tobago had to seek a bailout from the Trinidad and Tobago government after its cash-strapped position was revealed on January 30, and Arthur told the audience, "Am I to understand that they should not be a change in the mind and management of CLICO in Barbados, too?”
He said that, given the situation, both Prime Minister David Thompson and the head of CLICO Holdings Barbados, Leroy Parris, needed "to come clean with the public of Barbados" and give the facts instead of posturing.
Saying that the problems with CLICO had only now started, Arthur, a former Minister of Finance, said that people's pensions and insurance policies could be "in serious peril".
He said the company was highly leveraged and explained that, when it was in that position, it had a large amount of debt "because of bad business practices".
Arthur questioned how it could be a problem in Trinidad, but it is "all right here?"
He urged the government to state if the statutory fund, as required by the Insurance Act, is "full and complete for the purpose of giving people the confidence that their pensions are good and the insurance policies are sound.”
“Give us the facts. Publish the facts," he said.
Arthur commended the Trinidad government for stepping in and acknowledging there was a problem and finding ways to deal with them.
He added that the time had come that CLICO insurance must be made fully solvent to protect the pension holders in Barbados. He said that the same thing the government of Trinidad was prepared to do; the Barbados government must also be prepared to do.
“You must not be left adrift,” he said.
10 de febrero de 2009
Iniciativa Mérida. Belice y EE UU firmaron ayer en la ciudad de Belice un Acuerdo para la entrega al gobierno beliceño de USD 1 millón, como primera parte del paquete de ayuda dentro de la Iniciativa Mérida. Los fondos serán utilizados para el Programa Centroamericano de Intercambio de Huellas Digitales, el mejoramiento de la Policía de Belice y de la Prisión de Hattieville. La Iniciativa Mérida incluye a México y Centroamérica, con el fin de combatir la delincuencia transnacional (News 5, 7 News, Love TV, Plus TV, Love FM, Estéreo Amor, Wave Radio, San Pedro Daily, comunicado del gobierno).
Cañeros. Después de terminar la huelga el 6 de febrero, la Asociación de Cañeros de Belice (BSCFA) llevó a cabo una asamblea general el pasado 8, donde se aprobó el Programa de Mejoramiento de la Calidad de la caña de azúcar, el cual contiene varios procedimientos técnicos y financieros para operar el nuevo sistema de control de entrega de caña. La entrega al ingenio se reanudó el mismo 8 de febrero. Se espera que el 12 de febrero comience a funcionar el nuevo sistema de control. BSI calcula los daños por la huelga en USD 3 millones (News 5, 7 News, Plus TV, Love FM).
Homicidio de cañero. El 6 de febrero se realizó el funeral del cañero Anastacio Gutiérrez, muerto por las fuerzas de seguridad, cuando éstas abrieron fuego contra los huelguistas el 2 de febrero. Continúa la investigación de la Policía para determinar las circunstancias de su muerte. El Ministro de Seguridad Nacional, Carlos Perdomo, indicó que no hubo una orden para disparar. El Sindicato de Maestros (BNTU) hizo una donación a la familia del cañero fallecido. Continúa la controversia sobre el uso justificado de la fuerza (News 5, News 5 #2, News 5 #3, Love FM).
Boda del Primer Ministro. El 7 de febrero, el Primer Ministro Dean Barrow contrajo matrimonio con su pareja Kim Simplis en Savannah, EE UU. Hoy el PM estará de regreso en su cargo. El mismo día, el PM Barrow, del Partido Unido Democrático (UDP) celebró un año de su victoria sobre el PUP en las elecciones generales (News 5, 7 News, Plus TV, San Pedro Daily).
Tarifas eléctricas. Después de una consulta pública para revisar una decisión previa, la Comisión de Servicios Públicos (PUC) decidió disminuir las tarifas eléctricas en un 15%, debido, entre otros motivos, a la disminución de los precios internacionales del petróleo. La reducción es retroactiva al 1° de enero de 2009 (7 News, San Pedro Daily,).
Turismo. Las entradas de turistas a Belice durante 2008 descendieron 2.5%. Sin embargo, el Consejo de Turismo de Belice (BTB) indicó que, a pesar de la crisis internacional, el desempeño de Belice es mejor que el resto del Caribe. Se realizan acciones para atraer el turismo de Europa y Canadá y se promueven acuerdos con 4 aerolíneas para abrir rutas desde Cancún, Canadá y Europa. El turismo de cruceros disminuyó 4% en 2008 (News 5, San Pedro Daily).
Campañas electorales. El opositor Partido Unido del Pueblo (PUP) presentó ayer su plataforma electoral para las elecciones municipales del 4 de marzo. Asimismo, presentó a Cecil Reneau, su candidato a la presidencia municipal de la ciudad de Belice. Los candidatos a alcalde de San Ignacio (occidente de Belice) se presentaron hoy en el programa matutino de TV de Channel 5 (News 5, 7 News, CTV3, Plus TV, Love FM, Fiesta Radio).
Alcaldes mayas. El 8 de febrero se realizaron las elecciones de alcaldes y vice alcaldes mayas en las aldeas de Santa Elena y de San Marcos, en el distrito de Toledo (sur de Belice). La elección se realizó después de que las comunidades rechazaron la controvertida designación de un alcalde por parte del Ministro de Estado Juan Coy. En las elecciones estuvieron presentes representantes de la Asociación de Alcaldes de Toledo y de la Alianza de Líderes Mayas (Love FM).
Finanzas municipales. El alcalde de Orange Walk pospuso de manera indefinida su informe sobre las finanzas del Ayuntamiento, el cual se había comprometido a presentar el 7 de febrero. El Ayuntamiento enfrenta acusaciones de presuntas irregularidades (CTV3, Fiesta Radio).
Contaminación por salmonela. El gobierno de EE UU dio a conocer que la empresa Peanut Corporation of America distribuyó crema de cacahuate procedente de su planta en Georgia aún cuando existían pruebas positivas de salmonela en parte de su producción. Se inicio una investigación penal. Algunos de los productos fabricados con esta crema se venden en Belice (News 5).
Capacitación en cocina. El Consejo de Turismo de Belice (BTB), con ayuda de la Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA), inició en la ciudad de Belice una semana de capacitación para cocineros y chefs de hoteles y restaurantes de Belice (Love FM).
Acuacultura. La preparatoria Ecumenical Junior College de Stann Creek (sur de Belice) inició un proyecto para la enseñanza y la instalación de granjas acuícolas para el cultivo del pez tilapia (Love FM).
Guatemala. El gobierno de Guatemala publicó hoy el decreto por el que se prohíbe el uso y comercialización de seudo efedrina. El químico es utilizado para la elaboración de drogas (Estéreo Amor).
2 de febrero de 2009
These are their rules!
Please note.. these are all numbered '1 '
1. Men are NOT mind readers.
1. Learn to work the toilet seat.
You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down.
We need it up, you need it down.
You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.
2. Sunday sports. It's like the full moon
or the changing of the tides.
Let it be.
1. Crying is blackmail.
2. Ask for what you want.
Let us be clear on this one:
Subtle hints do not work!
Strong hints do not work!
Obvious hints do not work!
Just say it!
3. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.
3. Come to us with a problem only IF YOU WANT HELP SOLVING IT. THAT'S WHAT WE DO.
Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument.
In fact, all comments become Null and void after 7 Days.
2. If you think you're fat, you probably are.
Don't ask us.
4. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the OTHER ONE
1. You can either ask us to do something
Or tell us how you want it done.
If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.
5. Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say during commercials..
1. Christopher Columbus did NOT NEED DIRECTIONS AND NEITHER DO WE.
6. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings.
Peach, for example, is a fruit, not A COLOR. PUMPKIN IS ALSO A FRUIT. WE HAVE no IDEA WHAT MAUVE IS.
1. If it itches, it will BE SCRATCHED.
We do that.
2. If we ask what is wrong and you say 'nothing,' We will act like nothing's wrong.
We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.
3. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, Expect an answer you don't want to hear.
7. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine... Really .
1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball or
2. You have enough clothes.
3. You have too many shoes.
4. I am in shape. Round IS A SHAPE!
8. Thank you for reading this.
Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight;
But did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping.
Pass this to as many men as you can -
to give them a laugh.
Pass this to as many women as you can -
to give them a bigger
1 de febrero de 2009
As election time comes around, the usualHARD WORK OF THE GOVERNMENT IN POWER IS OBVIOUS. The streets in Corozal are getting a face lift. Some are geting a complete overhaul and others are getting pimped! Either way, for now we accept the dust as we see better roads(which I doubt will last very long , but who am I to criticize.
I would like to send a message to my Town Board at this time. There are lots of speed bumps everywhere and a lot of them do not have any warning signs. Duing the day it is bad enough but at night it can be really bad because that is when you can't see them at all.
So here is my suggestion: paint them a neon colour, so we aren't shocked into tomorrow or put up the signs that warn us from a distance that they are there.
Until next blog, have a good day.