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07 May 2017

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hemeantwell

Right. He was behind the labor regulation revisions that had tens of thousands of people in the streets two years ago. He's as fresh as last week's fish head.

Fred

cp,

That LA Times editorial is almost a year old and the IMF study quoted therein more than a year old.

Valissa

Apparently there are 2 entirely different bills referred to as H.R. 1644. Support of which one of these are you referring to?

Based on Tulsi's stand supporting the pipeline protestors in South Dakota, she would have supported this one:

H.R.1644 (2015-2016) Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining Act or the STREAM Act — 114th Congress https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1644/

This bill was passed on 1/20/16, however "Appropriations for the study are authorized for FY2016-FY2017."

I do not understand why a completely different bill was given the same numeric designation considering studies are still being done on the above bill.

Here is the newer bill with the same number...

H.R.1644 (2017-2018) Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act- 115th Congress https://congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1644/

I am assuming this second bill is the one you are concerned about.

Although that specific bill is not mentioned in the article I'm about to share, it does show her concern for Hawaii given that it's a lot closer to North Korea than the continental US. So it wouldn't surprise me based on that, that she would support sanctioning North Korea. Given her controversial support for Assad and against the US indirectly supporting Jihadis, she may see support for the anti North Korea bill as maintaining her FP credibility.

PACOM Commander Confirms North Korea’s Threat to Hawai‘i http://mauinow.com/2017/04/26/pacom-commander-confirms-north-koreas-threat-to-hawaii/


Lars

Many things will be said about the new French president and much will be just speculation. It appears, however, that he speaks better English than the current POTUS.

LG

i think he was the one who said his Syrian students told him SAA couldnt find enough men to recruit and hence was finished.

Nancy K

A much higher percentage of French voted than Americans did in our election.

English outsider


From the same site - Verhofstadt on the necessity for a European Defence Force -

http://www.dw.com/en/guy-verhofstadt-on-syria-we-need-a-european-army/a-36091333


And some indication (at 3mins 25secs) of what he might have wished to see done with it in the Ukraine. Verhofstadt speaking at the Maidan, early 2014:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQnXo2HMriQ

Federika Mogherini has for some time been stressing the need for the EU to pursue a foreign policy independent of the US:-

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2017/05/06/520746/US-losing-leadership-in-world-EU-top-diplomat

Mogherini speaks of the countries within the EU as equivalent to the States within the US - as if the UK bore the same relation to Brussels as Ohio does to Washington. I do not think this comparison is mere rhetorical flourish. This is the imperial vision of the EU as sometimes articulated by Sarkozy in the past.

It makes sense therefore for an imperial army to be created. A unified army for a unified country, as the USA has.

I do not think that would be good news. Democratic control of EU foreign policy, given that the constituent countries have no common political culture and are wide open to divide et impera, would be non existent.

It was a theme of the recent US Presidential election that the US government was out of control - that because of the way the party system operates it's difficult for the citizen to have much say in what his government does. But I wouldn't push that argument too far. The voter in California might be at daggers drawn with the voter in flyover country, but at least those two sub-groups of voters know more or less what the other is about. It is possible to arrive at at least some degree of national consensus that the politicians must take some account of. Even in foreign policy, that area of government that the citizen normally takes the least interest in and can know least about, there is some sort of check on the US politician.

Is this the case in Europe? It's true that a similar common political culture does exist to an extent in Europe. The middle class progressive in Germany has the same outlook as the middle class progressive in England. The mantras are much the same, as is the rejection of nationality or ethnicity being a desirable component of one's political thinking. But apart from a few dissidents the middle class or the progressives - the two terms are more or less interchangeable - don't take an informed interest in foreign policy. There's no check there when it comes to examining or controlling what their governments or the EU decides to do abroad.

Nor need the European politicians take much account of what the broad mass of the European population wants. There is no broad mass of the European population. Apart from the middle class it's all enclaves, divided by ethnicity, nationality, language and the lack of a common political outlook. The EU politician need fear no check there either.

Power unchecked by even the minimum degree of accountability is a nightmare. If there's to be a common European foreign policy it will therefore be even more at the mercy of special interests or ideologues than is the case in the US. If there's a common EU army to give teeth to that EU foreign policy, it'll be even more of a nightmare for those regions where it is deployed than the nightmare many of those regions - the Ukraine, the ME and elsewhere - are living through at present. Imagine an out of control EU superpower acting on such imperatives as are set out in the Blumenthal/Libya email, and with the clout to enforce those imperatives. Seems unlikely now, but we'd be looking back with some regret to the era when the US neocons ran the West and had the unchallenged say.

visitor

Macron came out of "nowhere" in the sense that he is, at least, formally, not part of the traditional political establishment in France.

Macron was, years before he joined Valls' government, a member of a "commission to unleash growth" presided by long-time consummate insider Jacques Attali. In fact, Attali picked Macron to be his right hand man and introduced him to the Rotschild bank afterwards. Before that, Macron had become a favourite of Jean-Pierre Jouyet when working at the finance inspectorate -- himself uninterruptedly a grey eminence of French governments left and right for decades (and right hand man of Jacques Delors at the EU Commission). Even before that, in the early 2000s, Macron had made an internship under Georges Sarre, a heavyweight of the Socialist Party in Paris.

After Rotschild, but before joining Valls government, Macron worked under Hollande (introduced to him by Jouyet); before that, he had been asked twice by right-wing governments to join them, but declined. Apart from the Attali commission, Macron took part in the works of various important French think-tanks.

And there is even more. Macron worked for, met and was groomed by many long-standing heavyweights of French politics.

If you read French, peruse the wikipedia page on Macron. You will see how wrong your assessment of him as a kind of "outsider" is.

aleksandar

Sorry, but it has nothing to do with center-right and Far-right.
It's FN against all others, from far left to center right.
In the US FN will be seen left of the republican party.
The struggle for now, and in more and more European states is globalist vs nationalists.
See the 5 stars party in Italy for example.
The fact that, more or less, 25% decide to vote for leaving euro and EU ( remenbering that France is a founding country of EU )is just amazing.

Macgupta123

http://elections.interieur.gouv.fr/presidentielle-2017/FE.html
Blancs 6.35%, Nuls 2.21% of the 47,568,588 Inscrits.
Macron got 43.63% of the Inscrits.
Le Pen got 22.38% of the Inscrits.

aleksandar

Vichy 2 ?
OMG, you're a media victim probably.
This election has nothing to do with Vichy, whatever number you give to it.
Vichy is a 70 years moment , after a military defeat.
Things today are quite different.
One joke here is :
"Marine will implement fascism in France !"
" Fascism ? But yours cell phone are already monitored, as all ours emails and communications, as things we buy and where we go, civils liberties have been reduce to nothing, freedom of speech already limited and so.
How is it possible for her to implement fascism in France ?"


different clue

confusedponderer,

The EUROpean authorities knew all about this when they let Greece into the EUROzone. The private interest-seeking banks ( mainly German I believe) knew all about this when they lent Greece the credit. So-called "bailing out Greece" is strictly and exactly using Greece as a conduit through which to pass the money to the private banks which lent Greece the credit even while knowing ( or should-have-been-knowing) all about Greece's bad habits. It is those private profit banks which should have been forced to eat the entire loss. Instead, it is the EUROzone taxpayer and the Greek citizen forced to eat the loss as the Greek economy is degraded and attrited in a project to force Greece to privatize every public thing of profit-taking value and the EUROzone taxpayer who will be forced to eat the loss so that the private banks get to eat all the money.

Or am I wrong? As Bill O'Reilly likes to say.

Fred

Margaret,

I don't think the comparison is very good. "Vichy1" came about after a military defeat with a couple hundred thousand casualties not a national election.

Jack

Margaret

I agree that French economic policies and labor regulations are very statist. However, if France had a sovereign currency and monetary policy they could ameliorate to some extent the straight-jacket they are under with the euro.

English outsider


Thank you. Here's the section I noticed:-

“(b) Specific Findings.—Each report required under subsection (a) shall include specific findings with respect to the following ports and airports:

“(1) The ports of Dandong, Dalian, and any other port in the People’s Republic of China that the President deems appropriate.

“(2) The ports of Abadan, Bandar-e-Abbas, Chabahar, Bandar-e-Khomeini, Bushehr Port, Asaluyeh Port, Kish, Kharg Island, Bandar-e-Lenge, and Khorramshahr, and Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“(3) The ports of Nakhodka, Vanino, and Vladivostok, in the Russian Federation.

“(4) The ports of Latakia, Banias, and Tartous, and Damascus International Airport, in the Syrian Arab Republic.

"

There seems to be a lot of scope in this bill for penalising countries other than North Korea, citing as justification a finding that those other countries were assisting North Korea.

One of the countries mentioned that could be subject to such a finding is the SAR. Does H.R.1644 therefore open the door to another means of acting against Syria?

Valissa

In theory perhaps, Jack, but given that France is currently "very statist" they'd have to have another revolution to change that. And France seems quite content with it's system overall. Yes, there are grumblings from some subgroups but nothing serious enough to challenge the very established status quo from what I can tell. The French elite are firmly in charge of their country, as in Germany. Those countries ARE the core of the EU. Their establishments are well established and successful enough to resist significant change and outsider challenges.

France has a different political culture than the US, so comparisons to US elections always seem "off" to me. I have never agreed with the narrative that Le Pen was similar to Trump, though I can see the appeal. Other than campaigning as anti-EU and attempting to claim the populist mantle there is little else they share.

Le Pen was never going to win the election, her party has too much historical baggage.

kao_hsien_chih

So you are saying that Macron is as much of an insider as Louis XVIII was a Bourbon. I think that paradox was implicit in where I was going (not terribly well-formed thought, I admit.) I fully expect that superficially, at least, Macron will be acting like continuation of the present status quo, but wherever he "really" came from, he seems clearly aware that the "traditional" practice of politics in France is dead. He may pursue the same "broad" goals as the present "mainstream," but he will not be using the same methods. I expect Macron to be as Trumpian as Louis XVIII was "Revolutionary." Macron is, I think, not a continuation of status quo, but a "reactionary revolutionary" who will use the fears of the present day elites (exactly the people whom you listed) to do some unprecedented things of which we do not have good sense yet. If I were a member of present French establishment, I'd be deeply fearful of the kind of things that Macron will try to pull off.

Valissa

I hadn't looked that closely at the bill. Looks like major ports from all the current geopolitical enemies - China, Iran, Russia, Syria - are included.

From the bill overview:

"The Department of Homeland Security may implement enhanced screening of cargo bound for or landed in the United States that: (1) has been transported through a sea port or airport that has repeatedly failed to comply with applicable Security Council resolutions; (2) is aboard a vessel, aircraft, or conveyance that has entered North Korean territory, waters, or airspace, or landed in any of its seaports or airports, within the last 365 days; or (3) is registered by a country whose inspection compliance is deficient."

Since all those countries are dealing with various levels of US hostility toward them I expect that increases their trade with each other. No surprise that sanctions will be attempted to mitigate that. After all, financial or economic warfare is the name of the game these days.

Whether this bill opens the door to another means of acting against Syria... seems likely. All I know is that if the Borg decides to go against a country, congressional bills are just one of many tools for doing so.

English outsider


Apologies for an error above. The UK/Brussels Ohio/Washington comparison was Junker's, not Mogherini's. Junker has an inexhaustible supply of gaffes but this comparison, I think, he meant. They all do. "Ever Closer Union" in the EU dreamworld means just that.

English outsider


Agree wholeheartedly. The French didn't have time to get their act together. We did. Blitzkrieg doesn't work as well if there's twenty miles of water in the way.

I'm sticking my neck out, on a site for experts in such matters, but my impression is that the French fought with considerably more spirit than the history books allow, and that it was closer than those books say. Maybe if there'd been better co-ordination and a more accurate assessment of how stretched the invaders were...

Vichy is what happens when it all goes horribly wrong. "Divine surprise" notwithstanding, I doubt even the most right-wing Frenchman would have gone with it for choice.

Fred

KHC,

I don't think that string of words ' "out of nowhere" - means what you wish them to mean. You sound like Karl Rove with his "we create our own reality". Reality reality kind of bit his reality in the rear end.

Poul

Why should a French socialist vote for Macron if the economic policies of a Le Pen is more to his/hers liking?

Being sceptical of globalist economic policies is a core socialist/social-democratic issue in Europe. Only the past of FN scares potential voters from the left to make the jump to FN.

Marine Le Pen has done a lot to clear out the extreme elements of FN. But as we saw with three-day chairman of FN, Jean-François Jalkh, there more to be done.

Lurker

WWII deja vu. Brexit is the war declaration against Germany. The French election of Macron is like the Vichy government. The Ukrainian coup is the first salvo of the Iii Reich's Eastern Front dash. The Minsk agreement is like the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact to facilitate construction of Nord Stream II. The build up of NATO forces on the Eastern border and the THAAD installations in Romania and Poland is the prelude to the battle of Leningrad. History repeats itself. Let's see if the partisans rise up against Germany in Greece, the Balkans and if Separatists in the Basque country and Cataluña rebel against the neo Franquists.


LeaNder

Yes, banks are only minimally less evil then the Germans collectively. Closely followed by the 'Clintocrites' and 'Obamacrats', maybe?

But considering this:

Instead, it is the EUROzone taxpayer and the Greek citizen forced to eat the loss ...

What's your guess to what amount this concerns German taxpayer or French ones for that matter collectively?

The EUROpean authorities knew all about this when they let Greece into the EUROzone. ...

Yes, vultures led by the Germans who wanted to bleed Greece to death from the very, very start. They were pulled into the Eurozone struggling and kicking, absolutely no doubt about that, to no avail.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Recession#Housing_bubbles

But you shouldn't give up hope, there is still hope the Eurozone will break up. US economists expect that for a long time after all, and they cannot be that wrong. And maybe the larger European post WWII Utopia.

Margaret Steinfels

"This election has nothing to do with Vichy, whatever number you give to it."

One of Le Pen's campaign points was deporting immigrants; I'm thinking she didn't mean Germans, Dutch, Polish immigrants, but the survivors of France's colonial policies in Africa, Asia, and possibly the ME. Who did the French deport in 1942? Jewish immigrants. The French police not the Germans carried out rounding them up and getting them to German death camps.

Maybe she didn't really mean it. Maybe she wouldn't do it. In the meantime, the example of Vichy stands as a warning. Let's call it Vichy 1.25.

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