As the G-20 circus brought out the whole gang in London, Hugo Chavez was doing his thing in Iran.
Chavez had this to say about the G-20 summit:
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday ridiculed the G-20 summit’s attempts to deal with the global financial meltdown, saying that capitalism is in crisis and must end. Chavez criticized the G-20 nations’ pledges of more than a trillion dollars for lending to struggling countries at Thursday’s summit in London, calling it “the same medicine that’s killing the patient—a trillion dollars … more money for a bottomless pit.”
The IMF and the World Bank are “tools of imperialism” and must be eliminated, Chavez said.
Well, he has a point…But does this mean that he’s no longer Obama’s “best buddy” since Obama is part of the Obama Borg?
Meanwhile, a couple of weeks ago, Chavez took steps to deal with Venezuela’s economy during this global economic crisis:
Chavez, who won a referendum last month allowing him to stay in office as long as he keeps winning elections, is popular for spending oil revenues on health and education programs for the poor majority.
During 10 years in office he has nationalized much of Venezuela’s economy including major oil projects as part of his drive to build a socialist state.
On Saturday, he cut the 2009 budget by 6.7 percent to $72 billion, raised the minimum wage 20 percent and increased planned government financing to $16 billion from $5.6 billion. And he increased a sales tax to 12 percent from 9 percent.
Economist Luis Vicente Leon described the package of measures as moderate but said the government was gambling crude prices would recover later this year.
“These are not truly deep measures, they don’t attack the fundamental problems of the economy,” Leon told Reuters.
Faced with Latin America’s highest inflation, Chavez has in recent weeks increased pressure on business to lower prices by taking over farms and rice mills and threatening to nationalize the country’s top private employer, which makes food and beer.
What do you think of that last part? When does Obama go after the food supply?
The next two items courtesy Kenosha Marge:
A couple of weeks ago we learned that Evan Bayh has put together a group of “pragmantic Democrats.” Then there are the Blue Dogs:
By Froma Harrop
There’s trouble around the Democratic campfire. The party has the White House and solid congressional majorities. But what it doesn’t have is everyone on the same page, strumming the same chords, singing the same tune.
Liberals who kept the fires burning during the long Republican reign now fear that moderate Blue Dog Democrats will thwart their much-delayed dreams. Elected from purplish parts of America, the Blue Dogs are fiscal conservatives who regard expensive new programs with a wary eye.
What’s a liberal to do? First, recognize that the Blue Dogs are the reason Democrats have such nice majorities. They are why the dreams are even on the menu. Second, concede that the Reluctant Ones have a point.
“The Reluctant Ones”…has a certain ring to it, yes?
THE PAST WEEK
*By American Lassie
Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (April 4, 2009) Spring Winds; Squirrel Wars; Bees Invade Feeder; Wounded Butterfly; Sunrise Over the Organs; Slick Lounges Around
Non-Stop Campaigning Here in NM-CD2 By Bill Richardson’s Hand-Picked Freshman Rep Harry Teague, Who’s Splitting His Votes Pro/Con on Obama Policies
Iowa Gone Wild With Nazi Reference at Public Hearing (Listen to the Audio) as New Yorkers in CD-20 Test Obama’s Popularity
Canada Follows the U.S. Terms for GM/Chrysler; Harper Still Worrying About the “Eased” ‘Buy-American’ Clause in Stimulus Package
Closing Out Women’s History Month With Dr. Mary Schweitzer, Ground-Breaking Molecular Paleontologist, and a Special T. Rex
*China, the Treasury, and Real Estate (As in the New World Trade Center); Cross-Pollination:The New America Foundation/Council of Foreign Relations
The Past Week: March 22-28, 2009 (A Split in Russian Political Forces as Putin Weakens; The Voice of Korea, North Korean Propaganda Outlet; G-20 Protests Begin; A Prescient Wish for a Bush Successor ca. 2006; X-Rated Google Earth)
Filed under: Current Politics | Tagged: "The Reluctant Ones", "stimulus package", Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Blue Dog Democrats, capitalism, Centrist Democrats, Chrysler, Council of Foreign Relations, Democratic Party, Dr. Mary Schweitzer, Evan Bayh, fiscal conservatives, Froma Harrop, G-20 meeting, GM, Hugo Chavez, IMF, International Monetary Fund, John Deere. government bailout, New America Foundation, North Korea, Rep. Harry Teague, the Obama Borg, Venezuela, World Bank | 7 Comments »