Tag Archives: larry summers

Obamafans Experiencing “Hopeover”

A Lexicon of Disappointment
by NAOMI KLEIN

Click on image for Obama's hypnosis techniques

Click on image for Obama's hypnosis techniques

All is not well in Obamafanland. It’s not clear exactly what accounts for the change of mood. Maybe it was the rancid smell emanating from Treasury’s latest bank bailout. Or the news that the president’s chief economic adviser, Larry Summers, earned millions from the very Wall Street banks and hedge funds he is protecting from reregulation now. Or perhaps it began earlier, with Obama’s silence during Israel’s Gaza attack.

Whatever the last straw, a growing number of Obama enthusiasts are starting to entertain the possibility that their man is not, in fact, going to save the world if we all just hope really hard.

This is a good thing. If the superfan culture that brought Obama to power is going to transform itself into an independent political movement, one fierce enough to produce programs capable of meeting the current crises, we are all going to have to stop hoping and start demanding.

The first stage, however, is to understand fully the awkward in-between space in which many US progressive movements find themselves. To do that, we need a new language, one specific to the Obama moment. Here is a start.

Hopeover. Like a hangover, a hopeover comes from having overindulged in something that felt good at the time but wasn’t really all that healthy, leading to feelings of remorse, even shame. It’s the political equivalent of the crash after a sugar high. Sample sentence: “When I listened to Obama’s economic speech my heart soared. But then, when I tried to tell a friend about his plans for the millions of layoffs and foreclosures, I found myself saying nothing at all. I’ve got a serious hopeover.” Full Story

Somalian Pirates Protecting Against Exploitation

The Forbidden Truth about Pirates

‘Toxic waste’ behind Somali piracy

Somali pirates have accused European firms of dumping toxic waste off the Somali coast and are demanding an $8m ransom for the return of a Ukranian ship they captured, saying the money will go towards cleaning up the waste.

The ransom demand is a means of “reacting to the toxic waste that has been continually dumped on the shores of our country for nearly 20 years”, Januna Ali Jama, a spokesman for the pirates, based in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, said.

“The Somali coastline has been destroyed, and we believe this money is nothing compared to the devastation that we have seen on the seas.”

The pirates are holding the MV Faina, a Ukrainian ship carrying tanks and military hardware, off Somalia’s northern coast.

According to the International Maritime Bureau, 61 attacks by pirates have been reported since the start of the year.

While money is the primary objective of the hijackings, claims of the continued environmental destruction off Somalia’s coast have been largely ignored by the regions’s maritime authorities.

Dumping allegations

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy for Somalia confirmed to Al Jazeera the world body has “reliable information” that European and Asian companies are dumping toxic waste, including nuclear waste, off the Somali coastline.

“I must stress however, that no government has endorsed this act, and that private companies and individuals acting alone are responsible,” he said

Allegations of the dumping of toxic waste, as well as illegal fishing, have circulated since the early 1990s.

But evidence of such practices literally appeared on the beaches of northern Somalia when the tsunami of 2004 hit the country.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) reported the tsunami had washed up rusting containers of toxic waste on the shores of Puntland.

Nick Nuttall, a UNEP spokesman, told Al Jazeera that when the barrels were smashed open by the force of the waves, the containers exposed a “frightening activity” that has been going on for more than decade. Full Story

Johann Hari: You are being lied to about pirates

In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.

Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: “Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it.” Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to “dispose” of cheaply. When I asked Mr Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: “Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention.”

At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia’s seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: “If nothing is done, there soon won’t be much fish left in our coastal waters.” Full Story

See:

UN: Nuclear Waste Being Released on Somalia’s Shores After Tsunami
Exploration rights in Somalia for Chinese oil giant CNOOC
UN envoy decries illegal fishing, waste dumping off Somalia

Moronic Self-Serving Stimulus Package

In this video Afshin Rattansi interviews Paul Craig Roberts. Roberts tells Rattansi that everyday 20,000 Americans lose their jobs. The United States economy is imploding yet new wars are being waged. The corporations do not care about Americans, only their banks, which is who they will bailout.

Obama’s Billions: Afshin Rattansi & Fmr. Asst. Treasury Sec. on “Morons”

Driving Over the Cliff
More by Paul Craig Roberts

Is there intelligent life in Washington, DC? Not a speck of it.

The US economy is imploding, and Obama is being led by his government of neconservatives and Israeli agents into a quagmire in Afghanistan that will bring the US into confrontation with Russia, and possibly China, American’s largest creditor.

The January payroll job figures reveal that last month 20,000 Americans lost their jobs every day.

In addition, December’s job losses were revised up by 53,000 jobs from 524,000 to 577,000. The revision brings the two-month job loss to 1,175,000. If this keeps up, Obama’s promised three million new jobs will be wiped out by job losses.

Statistician John Williams ShadowStats reports that this huge number is an understatement. Williams notes that built-in biases in seasonal adjustment factors caused a 118,000 understatement of January job losses, bringing the actual January job loss to 716,000 jobs.

The payroll survey counts the number of jobs, not the number of employed as some people have more than one job. The Household Survey counts the number of people who have jobs. The Household Survey shows that 832,000 people lost their jobs in January and 806,000 in December, for a two month reduction of Americans with jobs of 1,638,000. Full Story

Obama Honeymoon Over Already?

After less than a week in office, Barack Obama’s approval rating plunges 15 points

Barack Obama might have been in office for less than a week, but the euphoria is beginning to wane.

The new President’s approval ratings have fallen from a stratospheric 83 per cent to a more modest – although still impressive – 68 per cent.

Washington analysts said the scale of the drop in the Gallup poll underlines the immense challenges Mr Obama faces in trying to turn round the U.S.’s battered fortunes.

He still remains vastly more popular than his predecessor George Bush – who left office with around 25 per cent approval.

But there were signs yesterday that reality has set in following the wave of optimism surrounding his inauguration last Tuesday.

Mr Obama is facing an ugly battle with Republicans over his plans to bail out the economy with £515billion of taxpayers’ cash. Opposition leaders claim the rescue package relies too much on government spending and not enough on tax relief for families and small businesses.

In a radio address at the weekend Mr Obama gave details of his plan for the first time, saying he wants to double the nation’s use of wind and solar power within three years and modernise 10,000 schools to help combat the ‘unprecedented crisis’ faced by the country.

The address was also broadcast on YouTube, where it drew 450,000 views and 3,000 comments – most of them positive – in just one day.

But the President’s top financial adviser Larry Summers, head of the National Economic Council, risked angering Republicans last night by refusing to rule out yet another influx of government money to prop up the ailing U.S. banks.

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