Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wall Street Journal Criticises Cash for Clunkers Program

This 3 billion dollar program that ran triple over budget and was abruptly abandoned, is a good poster child for those who regard current stimulus concepts socialistic

The US government takes money away from American citizens who earned it, and gives it for free to other citizens who want to buy a new car
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All Clunkered Out

The $3 billion plan is being hailed in Washington as a great success because so many Americans sought to get a $3,500 to $4,500 check financed by other taxpayers in return for trading in their old car.
it's hardly miraculous that some Americans would be willing to apply for "free" money to do what they probably would have done eventually anyway.
the program has proven to be an administrative fiasco, as the central planners at Transportation
had to scramble to borrow workers from the likes of the Federal Aviation Administration to process claims.
The idea that a temporary subsidy program will launch the auto industry onto some new, higher sales and production plane defies logic. More likely, the program will merely have concentrated sales over a shorter period, as buyers either postponed purchases once they learned the program was in the works, or accelerated them to meet the subsidy deadline.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A remarkable technological development

I am excited to read of this project, and look forward to the vast new world that will be opened by this one small step
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Financial Times

CBS and Pepsi bring video ads to printed page

When some readers of Entertainment Weekly open their magazines next month, they will discover characters from US television programmes speaking to them from a wafer-thin video screen built into the page.

The marketing experiment – which is being conducted by CBS, the US broadcaster, and Pepsi, the soft drinks maker

The video, which will play on a screen about the size of those found on mobile telephones, will appear in copies of the Time Warner magazine sent to subscribers in the New York and Los Angeles areas.

Who briefs Richardson

Whence comes Richardson's unique capacity to assess North Korean intentions?

What careless and raggedy political craft
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SANTA FE, New Mexico(AFP) — North Korea is calling for new nuclear talks but wants them directly with the United States, Governor Bill Richardson said after a rare meeting with diplomats sent by Pyongyang.

"We had productive talks," Richardson said. "I got a sense that temperatures have really cooled down since President Clinton?s visit.

Richardson, who met with North Korean delegates Kim Myong-Gil and Paek Jong-Ho at his sprawling hacienda overlooking Santa Fe, said Pyongyang felt it was now up to Obama to make the next move.

"I detected for the first time... a lessening of tension, some positive vibrations."

The White House stated clearly that the North Korean mission had not come at the behest of the Obama administration.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said no message had been passed to Richardson to give to the North Koreans and reiterated Washington's policy on North Korea.

Jerusalem Post criticizes Obama's closeness to Mubarak

Jerusalem Post is clear in its position, but its tone is mature and measured
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Obama delivered his address to the Muslim world in Cairo in June and has already met Mubarak three times since taking office.

Yet, while Obama has called upon the pro-American Arab states, including Egypt, to adopt new confidence-building measures towards Israel such as allowing Israeli airlines to fly over their territories, establishing semi-diplomatic and commercial offices and opening their borders for tourists, Mubarak said that these measure would come only after Israel signs peace agreements with all of its Arab neighbors.

Obama's Cairo speech and his obsession with the settlements issue to the point of exclusion of all other obstacles to Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution, led the Arabs to believe that they don't have to contribute anything to the process and that the US will do all the work for them.

Seventy one senators politely wrote Obama on August 10 that he needs to better balance his strategy:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wall Street Journal condemns Kim Dae Jong's Sunshine Policy

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That rapprochement came in the form of the "Sunshine Policy," arguably his worst mistake although he won the Nobel Peace Prize for it in 2000. He sought to thaw relations with Pyongyang through conciliatory talk and generous aid. Instead, the South's money and other favors propped up Kim Jong Il's regime without yielding lasting progress on denuclearization or human rights—and probably delayed the collapse of the Kim regime. The current president, Lee Myung-bak, has disavowed the policy, which remains deeply controversial in the South.