Tag Archives: Obama’s Iraq War

Obama’s Distracting Fear-based Unilateralism

Protectionism may be Obama’s Iraq War, a huge, costly, error-prone, distracting, program that generates enemies and just might work.

The enemies are all over, including the generally pro-Obama CNBC

Just as Bush’s foreign policy was consumed by the Iraq War, there are signs that Obama’s economic plans may consume his foreign policy.

On Obama’s visit to our largest trade partner:

US President Barack Obama said he had assured Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Thursday that a “Buy American” clause in his new economic stimulus law would not harm trade between the two allies.
Obama was asked about the language in the package, which he signed into law on Tuesday, during a press appearance with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper here

On Secretary of State Clinton’s visit to Japan:

TOKYO, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Japan has sent a letter to the United States expressing concern about protectionism stemming from a “Buy American” plan in Washington’s mammoth stimulus package, the top government spokesman said on Thursday.

The letter, sent on Wednesday to top aides of U.S. President Barack Obama and the Senate’s majority and minority leaders, echoes concerns by other U.S. trading partners, including Canada and the European Union. [ID:nN03517537]

“The common responsibility shared by the two countries, which are the world’s No.1 and No.2 economies, is to resist protectionism together,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura told a news conference.

On Secretary of State Clinton’s visit to China:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton travels to Beijing, where Chinese leaders’ are concerned about the “Buy American” clause in the stimulus package. Steve Chiotakis talks to Marketplace’s Scott Tong about why China and the U.S. are both worried.

“Old Europe” piles on:

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission will monitor closely a “Buy American” requirement in a $787 billion U.S. economic stimulus package, the EU executive said in its first response since the bill came into force on Tuesday.

“Following the concerns expressed both in the U.S. and internationally, President (Barack) Obama’s administration has assured its partners that it will adhere to its international commitments,” the Commission said in a statement to Reuters.

Obama has signed two “Buy American” laws: one to keep out foreign workers, and another to keep out foreign goods. Obama’s first moves have President have been to cave in to fear, turn his back on allies, and go-it-alone on the most important foreign policy issue we have.

Anti-Science Republicans (with special guest star, John Conyers)

There is a lot to be said about the stimulus debate, both good and bad. Obama’s stimulus will increase our debt, of course.

stimulus_deficit_in_context

The stimlus was passed in a procedurally very messy way, with a crippled PDF circulated to legislators, with not even 48 hours of open comment, and with Obama using a military plane to fly in a Senator. Obama’s Stimulus will be Obama’s “Iraq War,” a controversial early decision which shapes everything else.

It also may work.

Just like the Democrats, who made many brain-dead arguments against the Iraq War (Howard Dean’s “mayor of Baghdad” quip being one of the stupidest), the Repulicans are busy crticizing thee stimulus because it supports science. Demonstrating a complete lack of knowledge of how science actually works, Powerline, for instance, issues this angry post:

Animal rights groups obviously have an agenda that is unfriendly to NIH, whose research projects involve lots of experimentation on animals. However, in a letter to Harry Reid, In Defense of Animals presented substantial evidence to back up its critique of NIH. For example, Dr. Brian Martinson, a researcher who headed-up an NIH-funded survey, has published results indicating high percentages of self-reported scientific misbehavior on NIH-funded projects, ranging from falsifying data, to using inadequate research designs, to using funds from one project to complete another, to cutting corners to complete a project. 28 percent of “early-career” respondents admitted to cooking data, dropping or overlooking data points, and/or failing to present data that contradicts their previous research. 50 percent admitted that they cut corners. For midcareer researchers, the percentages were 27 and 66, respectively.

No reference is provided, but this sounds like “Global warming advocates report that 66 of all drivers admitted to killing a pedestrian, intentionally running over a small animal, or breaking applying pressure to the car’s breaks, within the past month.” The first two are inexcusable. The third is the appropriate course of action in all cases. Indeed, there is a whole literature surrounding outliers, their detection, and treatment.

Similar some Republicans, having forgot the high oil prices and resulting geopolitical instability of the summer, are mocking Harry Reid for pushing mass transit.

Just as bad, other Republicans are joining with John Conyers (D-MI) to subsidize publishign companies by allowing them to charge for access to research paid for by taxpayers. Bailing out publishing companies by making science less accessible is against science, public health, and open access.