Wednesday, November 10, 2010

British Prime Minister Warns China Over Trade Policies

The Telegraph:
The Prime Minister said China needed to understand what was at stake and he urged its leaders to open its markets.

In a speech in Beijing Mr Cameron explained that for the world economy to be able to grow strongly again – in particular the struggling Western economies – China had to start spending more and open its markets.
In a reference to the low valuation of the yuan, which has helped China’s exports and allowed it to build up massive reserves of foreign currency, he said: “The truth is that some countries with current account surpluses have been saving too much while others like mine with deficits have been saving too little.

“And the result has been a dangerous tidal wave of money going from one side of the globe to the other. We need a more balanced pattern of global demand and supply, a more balanced pattern of global saving and investment.”

Addressing students at Peking University, Mr Cameron admitted that China was already moving towards increased domestic consumption and looking at introducing greater “market flexibility into its exchange rate.”
But he added: “This cannot be completed overnight, but it must happen. Let’s be clear about the risks if it does not, about what is at stake for China and for the UK – countries that depend on an open global economy.”

Mr Cameron said if Europe’s openness to China is to be maintained, it must be clear that “China is open to Europe”.

And he said China can take a leading role now on dealing with economic problems as the world emerges from recession, but warned countries could retreat into protectionism as they fight unemployment and slow growth.

He added: “Countries will increasingly be tempted to try to maximise their own growth and their own employment, at the expense of others. Globalisation – the force that has been so powerful in driving development and bringing huge numbers into the world economy could go into reverse.

“If we follow that path we will all lose out.”

Mr Cameron will now fly to South Korea for a meeting of the G20 group of leading nations. There is will repeat his argument about the need for a more balanced global economy and hope to make progress with an international understanding.

Mr Cameron also today explained to the students the merits of the British democratic system in contrast to the Chinese one-party state, which lacks both a free media and independent judiciary.

And he said he was right to raise human rights issues because “the British people expect us to” and there are “sincere, and deeply held concerns.”

Last night, at a banquet with Premier Wen, Mr Cameron raised the issue of the Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who has been sentenced to 11 years in prison because of his calls for political reform.

In his speech Mr Cameron made it clear that people should be able to speak freely, and it is understood that that message was conveyed to Premier Wen.

The Prime Minister told his audience today that with its new economic power, China has new “political responsibilities.”

The country could no longer stay on the outside of the biggest discussions going on in the world – whether it be climate change, terrorism or debt.

He said: “China has attempted to avoid entanglement in global affairs in the past. But China’s size and global reach means that this is no longer a realistic choice.”

In a question-and-answer session after the speech one university student – who was not Chinese – accused Mr Cameron of acting like other Western leaders by coming to China to deliver a “lecture” on how the country should be run.

Another student pressed the Prime Minister about last week’s Coalition decision to raise tuition fees. She remarked that it could lead to less foreign students being able to study in Britain.

Mr Cameron issued a surprising reply, claiming that raising fees for domestic students would help keep a lid on the sums being paid by foreign students.

Mr Cameron said raising tuition fees will mean ”two things”
He said: “’It will make sure our universities are well funded … and we won’t go on increasing so fast the fees for overseas students.

”In the past we have been pushing up the fees on overseas students and using that as a way of keeping them down for domestic students. We have done the difficult thing. We have put up contributions for British students.

“Yes, foreign students will still pay a significant amount of money but we should now be able to keep that growth under control.”

Posted By Pat Dollard

Pakistani Christian Sentenced to Death for Blasphemy

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010 VOA News A Pakistani court has sentenced a Christian woman to death for blasphemy.

Asia Bibi, a mother of two, was sentenced in Punjab province this week. She has been jailed since June of 2009, when she got into a religious debate with a group of Muslim women in the village of Ittanwali.
The villagers, who worked as farm laborers with Bibi, claim that she defamed the Prophet Muhammad during the argument. Bibi denies this.

The Christian woman told the court the Muslim villagers were pressing her to accept Islam, and that she is being persecuted because of her religion.

Officials with Christian and human rights groups have expressed shock at the death sentence. The groups have launched an online petition calling for Pakistan’s blasphemy laws to be repealed.

Miami Heat Killer Paul Millsap Is The Face Of The NBA's New Economic Reality

Paul Millsap

Last night, Paul Millsap showed off his previously-unknown perimeter shooting stroke, while scoring 11 points in 28 seconds to power his Utah Jazz to an overtime victory over the Miami Big Three. Millsap was 3-3 from behind the arc during this explosion, after going 2-20 during the rest of his NBA career. So yeah: Paul Millsap, 3-point bomber.

Who knew?

Certainly not the Miami Heat, who surrendered what was, at one point, a 22-point lead to the Jazz and lost in overtime. Oh, the Jazz got the winning-time job done with their franchise point guard on bench due to fouling out. Not only did Millsap’s newfound outside shooting touch get the Jazz back in the game, his last-second tip-in sent the game to overtime. Needless to say, his 46-point (the most by a Jazz player since Karl Malone delivered the mail) 9-rebound game was indeed beast-like.
There are highlights of Millsap’s awesome finish, which is just one of the reason I love the Internet: Does Millsap’s performance lead credence to Jason Whitlock’s article about Chris Bosh being soft? Considering the results-based business sports is, I’m sure Whitlock thanks it is, but how many times did Bosh actually man up on Millsap?

 He certainly wasn’t guarding him on the perimeter when Millsap turned into Jeff Hornacek. That was Udonis Haslem, for two of them anyway. Bosh flew out at him during the second three-point bomb, but that has as much to do with Deron Williams drawing Miami’s perimeter defense and pitching it to Millsap.

The other two were directly on Haslem, as was the weak box-out attempt on Millsap’s tip-in that sent the game to overtime. While Bosh might not be the rebounding beast, ala Dennis Rodman, to Wade and LeBron’s “Jordan and Pippen” act, he’s not the only source of the Heat’s weak inside play. Haslem deserves as much scrutiny here as anyone on the Heat’s roster.

GOP Must Choose Leaders Wisely


By Bill Wilson
Republicans were cast into the wilderness beginning in 2006 because they abandoned a basic set of principles — not just their own principles, but those of the nation they were entrusted to lead.
Rather than standing up for American freedoms and free markets, the GOP instead became the party of big government and corruption — enabling Democrats to sweep into power promising to “drain the swamp” and usher in an era of “hope and change."

Obviously lurking beneath these rhetorical flourishes was a radical socialist agenda — one that has exploded our debt, derailed our economy and eroded our individual liberties. Not only was the swamp never drained, but the cost of Washington’s corrupt, deficit-driven “dependency culture” has never been steeper.

In a sweeping repudiation of this socialist agenda, taxpayers have taken action on a grand scale.
Get full story here.

Does it make a difference?


Get permalink here.

The Death Tax Threatens Family Farms


Video by Frank McCaffrey
Get permalink here.

Second Chance or Last Chance?

By David Bozeman
Senator-elect Marco Rubio, in one of the most rousing speeches on election night (is anyone really inspired by calls for bi-partisanship and compromise?) declared that the Republican Party was given a second chance to do what it had promised before. Last chance may be closer to the truth.

Indeed, the sweep of 2010 is wider than has been reported. North Carolina, for instance, is an anomaly, a conservative state that favors Democrats, but its legislature, for the first time since the late 1800s, is now under Republican rule. Yet Rubio is correct, 2010 was not a validation of a still highly-disfavored Republican Party but an opportunity to build a greater conservative movement for the next generation.

Right-wing pundits and intellectuals will generally speak the truth as they see it, but will Republican leaders in Washington succumb to the culturally ingrained notions of civility and bi-partisanship that typically undercut conservative values? That is a danger, because liberalism advances in increments, even small ones, while conservatism deals more in absolutes.
Get full story here.

Source for story on Cam Newton likely violated federal law

In the past week, Auburn QB Cam Newton has faced accusations of recruiting violations and academic cheating. (US Presswire photo)
Auburn's Gene Chizik defends Cam Newton
Florida coach Urban Meyer has denied being the source for a story alleging academic cheating by Auburn QB Cam Newton during his time at Florida.

Whoever leaked the info, however, could face legal repercussions.

According to The Buckley Amendment, a university or institution cannot release confidential information without the consent of the student.

From the UF website:
“Student directory information that can be released to the public is limited to name, class, college and major; dates of attendance; degree(s) earned; honors and awards received; local, permanent and e-mail addresses; telephone number; most recent previous educational institution attended; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; and the weight and height of members of athletic teams.”
Explanation of the Buckley Amendment on the school’s website also says:
“Non-directory information, such as grades and/or disciplinary records, will not be released to a third party without express written consent of the student.”
According to the story, Newton allegedly had three different instances of academic cheating during his two years at Florida. The story said Newton faced expulsion at UF before leaving the school after the fall 2008 semester (although, this story says it’s unlikely Newton would have been expelled).

“We can’t comment on federally protected student records,” UF spokesman Steve McClain said.
It’s unclear who the source for the story was, but UF seems the likely place to start looking.

posted by Rachel George

Ex-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie Routinely Exceeded Hotel Costs at Taxpayer Expense, IG Report Finds

Gov. Chris Christie/state photo By Allan Lengel

As a U.S. Attorney in New Jersey who crusaded against corruption, Chris Christie — now the New Jersey governor –  routinely stayed in expensive hotels at taxpayer expense, far exceeding the government allowance, according to a Justice Department Inspector General report released Monday.

The report, which looked at the travel of all 208 U.S. Attorneys from 2007 to 2008, found that Christie and four others routinely exceeded the government rate for lodging without justification or proper documentation. But it noted that Christie, who was U.S. Attorney from 2002 to 2008, was the biggest violator of the five.
The Inspector General  did not name the U.S. Attorneys, but the website Main Justice identified “U.S. Attorney C” in the report as Christie.

“After reviewing the travel documents and interviewing the U.S. Attorney’s secretary, we found insufficient justification for exceeding the government rate with respect to 14 of the 15 trips,” the report said of Christie.
“These 14 vouchers exceeded the government rate by $19 to $242 per night, for a total of $2,176 (excluding taxes for domestic travel). U.S. Attorney C’s lodging costs exceeded the government rate by more than $100 per night on 9 of the 14 vouchers.”

The report said Christie — considered a rising star in the Republican party –  stayed at the  Nine Zero Hotel in Boston for $449 per night and the $475-per-night Four Seasons Hotel in Washington at a cost of more than double the government rate for those cities.

On Christie, the report said: “The U.S. Attorney’s secretary told us that she routinely called hotels to seek the government rate. However, she also said that the U.S. Attorney selected his hotel if he was familiar with the city and that she would seek a recommendation for a “decent” hotel if he was not.
“The secretary told us that if the recommended hotel did not offer the government rate, she would consider other hotels but also take into account the time of the meeting and the distance from the hotel to the meeting site. The secretary stated that the U.S. Attorney normally stayed at the hotel closest to or at the location of his meetings.”

“The justification for his stay at the Four Seasons Hotel (at a rate of $475 per night) was an early morning speech at the hotel. We do not believe this was a suitable justification for exceeding the government rate, particularly by such a large amount, if lodging at the government rate was available at a hotel within a reasonable distance from that hotel.”

Gov. Chrisite’s press secretary Mike Drewniak did not immediately return a call Tuesday morning to for comment.  In a New York Time’s story, he declined comment and a spokesman referred to previous comments he made during his campaign.

”I had to go someplace for part of my job. We tried to get the government rate. We couldn’t. So my only alternative would have been to not go,”  Christie said during the campaign in October 2009, according to the Associated Press.
Read report

So Much for Those Obama Promises to the LEFT … Obama Officials Step Back from 2011 Afghanistan Exit Date

RUT-ROH … there will be hell to pay for Obama in Liberal Moonbat Land on this one …
It was one of Barack Obama’s campaign promises to the LEFT, that the US would be out of Afghanistan by July 2011. However, much like the many other promises like the closing of GITMO, Cap & Tax, et all … Obama appears to be back tracking. Obama officials are now publicly abandoning the July 2011 deadlines for the withdrawal from the war in Afghanistan.
Hey LEFT, Who’s your Obamamessiah now?
The Obama administration has decided to begin publicly walking away from what it once touted as key deadlines in the war in Afghanistan in an effort to de-emphasize President Barack Obama’s pledge that he’d begin withdrawing U.S. forces in July 2011, administration and military officials have told McClatchy.
The new policy will be on display next week during a conference of NATO countries in Lisbon, Portugal, where the administration hopes to introduce a timeline that calls for the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan by 2014, the year when Afghan President Hamid Karzaionce said Afghan troops could provide their own security, three senior officials told McClatchy, along with others speaking anonymously as a matter of policy.
 Oh how the LEFT is going to howl on this one as “The One” flip-flops on the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Obama had been told by many critics not to put a time line on the withdrawal; however, it fell upon his deaf ears. Now it not only looks like bad policy, Obama looks foolish in having to go back on his campaign promise. As Right Wing News aptly states, what did the LEFT think was going to occur, all of Obama’s promises  come with an expiration date.
What a year ago had been touted as an extensive December review of the strategy now also will be less expansive and will offer no major changes in strategy, the officials told McClatchy. So far, the U.S. Central Command, the military division that oversees Afghanistan operations, hasn’t submitted any kind of withdrawal order for forces for the July deadline, two of those officials told McClatchy.
The shift already has begun privately and came in part because U.S. officials realized that conditions in Afghanistan were unlikely to allow a speedy withdrawal.
“During our assessments, we looked at if we continue to move forward at this pace, how long before we can fully transition to the Afghans? And we found that we cannot fully transition to the Afghans by July 2011,” said one senior administration official. “So we felt we couldn’t focus on July 2011 but the period it will take to make the full transition.”
Wait for the liberal backlash on this one from the LEFT. can you say a Howard Dean challenge in the 2012 Democrat Presidental primary against Obama.

Video: Mysterious Missile Launches Off Coast Of Southern California, Pentegon Clueless

What the heck was that?:

From CBS News via drudge: Pentagon Can't Explain "Missile" off California
The Pentagon Tuesday said it was trying to determine if a missile was launched Monday off the coast of Southern California and who might have launched it.

Spokesmen for the Navy, Air Force, Defense Department and North American Aerospace Defense Command said they were looking into a video posted on the CBS News website that appears to show a rocket or some other object shooting up into the sky and leaving a large contrail over the Pacific Ocean.

The video was shot by a CBS affiliate KCBS' helicopter, the station said Tuesday.

"Nobody within the Department of Defense that we've reached out to has been able to explain what this contrail is, where it came from," Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said. "So far, we've come up empty with any explanation."

..."At this point, until we know more information about what it may have been, there is not alarm," Lapan said. "But that could change depending on what we find out."
In other words, they really are clueless. We're in the best of hands folks!

UPDATE: If the above video gets taken down, here's another:

Glenn Beck Rips Soros as A "Puppet Master"