The Scanner–International Edition, March 24, 2009: Say Goodbye to the Dollar? China, Russia Proposing a New World Currency for “Non-Credit” Based Economies, Echo G-20 Agenda of Expanding IMF; China Will “Consider” Buying IMF Bonds; 10th China Develpment Forum Underway (UPDATE 1X–Geithner Supports China Proposal??)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Scroll down for UPDATE

Whos in Charge Here?

Hu Jintao--Who's in Charge Here?--Barack Obama (Photo courtesy Xinhua via CRIEnglish.com)

Late last week I came across this release from Itar-Tass.  In case you can’t place the name, the IT website tells us that this agency is:

The successor to the Soviet TASS news agency, it was re-named in 1992, when Russia proclaimed its sovereignty following the collapse of the USSR. It has retained its status of being the state central information agency.

Needless to say, when Russia’s “state central information agency” talks, I listen. I held the story up and coincidentally, found something that should grab us all.  First, the story from Russia:

Russia proposes creation of global super-reserve currency

16.03.2009, 15.15

MOSCOW, March 16 (Itar-Tass) — Russia suggests the G20 summit in London in April should start establishing a system of managing the process of globalization and consider the possibility of creating a supra-national reserve currency or a “super-reserve currency.” The Russian Federation’s proposals for ways out of the ongoing financial and economic crisis and for a post-crisis order of the world financial system have been published on the Kremlin’s website. The proposals have been dispatched to the leadership of the G20 countries, the CIS and international organizations.

(SNIP)

The Russian side believes the summit should seek and achieve accord on the main parameters of a new world financial system. It suggests calling an international conference that would produce the basic parameters of a world financial architecture and adopt international conventions regarding a new financial world order.

Russia believes that the “obsolete mono-polar structure of the world economy should give way to a system based on cooperation by several major centers.”

In the sphere of control and supervision Russia suggests drafting and adopting an international agreement setting global standards of control and supervision in the financial sector – a Standard Universal Regulatory Framework (SURF).

Russia calls for reforming the international currency and financial system with the aim to strengthen its stability and control. In that connection the Russian side suggests discussing the possibility of expanding the list of currencies to be used as reserve ones, on the basis of the adoption of agreed measures to stimulate the development of major regional financial centers, and also “the creation of a supra-national reserve currency that will be issued by international financial institutions.”

“It looks expedient to reconsider the role of the IMF in that process and also to determine the possibility and need for taking measures that would allow for the SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) to become a super-reserve currency recognized by the world community,” the document says.

MORE

The release goes on to discuss for a new mandate and more resources for the IMF.

Well, now add this piece, posted by Logistics Monster yesterday in a post entitled Quick Note About New Global Currency! Pay Attention!

The post quotes an article from the Financial Times‘ Asia-Pacific section (excerpt):

China calls for new reserve currency

By Jamil Anderlini in Beijing

Published: March 23 2009 12:16 | Last updated: March 23 2009 23:24

In an essay posted on the People’s Bank of China’s website, Zhou Xiaochuan, the central bank’s governor, said the goal would be to create a reserve currency “that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run, thus removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies.

I suggest readers get over to Logistics Monster for the full quote from the article, which details the “special drawing rights” that we see mentioned in the Russian Itar-Tass release.

The Russia-China discussions apparently are just megaphones for what’s up at the Official G-20 website (excerpt):

The financial markets and the world economy continue to face serious global challenges and the severity of the crisis and ongoing uncertainties demonstrate the need for urgent action. During the United Kingdoms Chair, the immediate priority will be to gain further agreements for a concerted, co-ordinated international response.

The G-20 will need to send a strong signal that it is prepared to take whatever further actions are necessary to stabilise the financial system and to provide further macroeconomic support. At the same time, the G-20 must commit to maintaining open trade and investment, to avoid a retreat to protectionism, and direct necessary additional support to emerging markets and developing countries.

The G-20 should also lay the foundations to move beyond the crisis to a sustainable recovery. In 2009, it will be important to understand the roots of the international financial crisis and identify the lessons that we can learn to ensure that a crisis of this kind does not happen again. The G-20 should develop proposals that will restore global growth in the medium term, including the unwinding of emergency measures taken in response to the crisis.

Coincidentally, with the proposal to bolster the mandate of the IMF, we see this article from the Chinese news agency,
Xinhuanet/China View:

Central bank official: China “will actively consider” buying IMF bonds

www.chinaview.cn Special Report: Global Financial Crisis

BEIJING, March 23 (Xinhua) — China’s central bank said Monday it will “actively consider” buying bonds issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Hu Xiaolian, vice governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), made the comment during a briefing about President Hu Jintao’s coming visit to the G20 financial summit in Britain, scheduled for April 1 to 2.

“China supports the IMF’s innovative financing attempts, and a more efficient and timely financing mode can effectively ease the IMF’s cash shortage,” said the PBOC’s Hu.

“If the IMF finances itself by issuing bonds, China will actively consider buying” those bonds, Hu stressed.

Of course, the Chinese have already indicated that they are “worried” about U.S. Treasury bonds and a recent China Daily headline reads:  “Allure of US Treasuries Set to Fade”

“Although China is unlikely to massively cut its existing holdings of US Treasuries, it will try to reduce purchases,” said Yu Yongding, president of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The table is set.

I’m sure the G-20 will toast the dollar with fond reminiscences…

MEANWHILE, ahead of the G-20 meeting, China is now holding its 10th China Development Forum (excerpt):

Chinese premier: World should have faith in China

www.chinaview.cn

Special Report: China Development Forum 2009Special Report: Global Financial Crisis

China has launched plans to expand domestic consumption and promote economic growth. It will try its best to achieve the goal of eight-percent economic growth set for this year, according to Wen.

With timely efforts, the economy in some areas and industries in China is now witnessing better signs, Wen said.

“China can’t achieve self-development without rest of the world,” the Premier said, adding that China hopes to deliver confidence to the world and the world should have faith in the country.

SNIP

High-level officials, entrepreneurs, scholars and leaders from international and non-governmental organizations attended this year’s forum with the theme of China’s Development and Reform in the Global Financial Turmoil.

Remember the days when other countries sought “closer ties” to the U.S.? Well, Obama wants a “closer relationship” with China.

When these two meet at the G-20 session, who will be setting the pace?

And lest we forget Putin: he’s doing some saber-rattling…

Russian PM Putin Threatens to Review Relations with EU

SOCHI, March 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will start reviewing its relations with the European Union should Moscow’s interests be ignored, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

SNIP

Russia had been effectively excluded from talks at an international investment conference in Brussels on the modernization of the Ukrainian gas pipeline network, adding that the conference, convened by the European Commission, was limited to discussions between Ukraine and the EU.

“If Russia’s interests are ignored, we will also have to start reviewing the fundamentals of our relations,” Putin said. “We would very much like for things not to reach this point.”

Interesting times, indeed…frightening times.

***

UPDATE March 26, 2009

EXCERPT:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aAHStUZFitk8&refer=home

Treasuries Fall on Supply Concern as Seven-Year Sale Looms

By Dakin Campbell and Susanne Walker

March 25 (Bloomberg) —

snip

‘Poor Communication’

The Fed joins central banks in the U.K. and Japan in extraordinary purchases of government debt. U.S. policy makers announced the decision last week to buy $300 billion of government debt in the next six months along with a plan to more than double purchases of housing debt to $1.45 trillion, hoping to reduce rates on home loans.

The dollar fell the most in almost a week against the euro on concern Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner supported a Chinese plan to blunt demand among global central banks for the U.S. currency. The dollar weakened as much as 1.2 percent to $1.3651 per euro, the biggest intraday decline since March 19, before trading at $1.3601 at 4:20 p.m. in New York.

Geithner later affirmed the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency.

“The poor communication from the Treasury department has complicated the market for Treasuries,” said Baker Group’s Caughron.

More

***

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

China Optimistic about Hu-Obama London Meeting (CRIEnglish.com report 3/23/09)

Official G-20 website

International Monetary Fund (IMF) website

CIS: Overview (from the Commonwealth of Independent States)

THE CIS –Executive Committee website

CIS Wikipedia article

“Project Foreign Policy—Style!” Introducing This Season’s Newest Look–Obama’s Magic Foreign Policy Shoes!

Welcome to the new show on Bravo, “Project Foreign Policy-Style“!  Stay tuned as our resident style guru, Fahreed Zakaria, guides us through the trials of putting together a brand new foreign policy!!  Or is it really new, or just an expert tweaking to create a fresh new look for the season?

First, we’ll rewind to the day before the election to the preview show. Scat’s Blog picked up American Lassie’s pre-election post on the Trilateral Commission ties to the Obama crowd (see below) and provided a link to a CNN transcript of CNN’s Global Public Square with host Fareed Zakaria. Guest judges included former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; former chief of staff under Ronald Reagan, Ken Duberstein; and former national security adviser under Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Maddy went into her closet stuffed with classic foreign policy attire and came up with this ’80’s vintage look from her PERSONAL collection!  Dated? Well, the panel thinks they can “MAKE IT WORK!” by personalizing and updating the look for Barack Obama!!

Obamas Magic Foreign Policy Shoes!
Obama’s Magic Foreign Policy Shoes!

The gist of this entire “Cliff Notes” review of foreign policy, held entirely to enhance Obama’s appearance,  was the assumption that Obama had already won and John McCain was irrelevant; that “style” was a huge issue; that while Bush was WAY too arrogant in dealing with other nations, even Bill Clinton’s foreign policy approach was a bit too “arrogant” ; and that Colin Powell got the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.”

Of course, there was no mention of how the Bush Administration, as arrogant as they’ve been, did finally begin paying attention to foreign policy fashion and began talking with North Korea (finally following Clinton’s lead) and enlisting the aid of China in the process; how there have been contacts with Iran, and how the plans to deploy defense shield missiles in Poland (with Polish approval) has kept Russia off-guard (until now).

So, what did the foreign policy style gurus opine the day before the election?

First, note the glaring, implied assumption that Obama and his style leadership would win as Zakaria questions Brzezinski who echoes the Biden “gaffe” about the “testing” awaiting Obama:

ZAKARIA: All right. Let me ask you on the issue of policy, though. Does the president-elect start thinking about sending signals to foreign governments? Does he start actually sending those signals?

BRZEZINSKI: I think it depends on two things — one, on the nature of the president himself, and, two, on the circumstances.

I think what is going on right now — which is nothing less than a global crisis of American leadership, nothing less than that — I think the president-elect, whoever he is — and I have my own preference — will have to start sending signals right away, and will have to get ready to deal with some imminent problems.

Then, catch the comment by Brzezinski on who could become the new, fashion trend-setter as Secretary of State…and it isn’t Kerry or Richardson:

But then there is a second task he has to address, and that is to choose his Cabinet, to choose his foreign policy leadership, with which he will then make decisions.

And here, I think, a very important possibility that’s open to him — for the first time in a long time — is to create genuine bipartisanship in the decision-making process. And he can do that either by appointing a very distinguished leading Republican to the post of secretary of state. And there are some. And he has mentioned some of them by name. He’s traveled with some of them.

ZAKARIA: Who would you suggest they be?

BRZEZINSKI: Well, I would think, of course, such names come to mind, Senators Hagel and Lugar. But there may be others, but particularly those two.

I think that would be extremely reassuring and encouraging, both domestically and internationally, and would send the right signal.

Oops, where’s Olbermann on this? What does HIS fashion sense make of all this?

We then take a short detour for a rather smug exchange about McCain’s chance of winning the elite fashion world’s approval:

ZAKARIA: I should point out, there is, of course, a chance that Senator McCain will be elected president.

ALBRIGHT: Yes, we know …

(LAUGHTER)

The conversation continues with Albright discussing how the Obama crowd will change how things are done with a Republican Secretary of State, because, apparently with William Cohen, a Republican as Secretary of State under Clinton, things weren’t “bipartisan” enough. Frankly, it seems like just a bit too much “sensitivity” and only a chance to make a subtle dig at Clinton:

ZAKARIA: But let me ask you, Madeleine. You worked alongside a Republican secretary of defense, Bill Cohen. Does it work?

ALBRIGHT: I think it does. Though it was very funny, because when Bill first joined us, he used to say, “Well, you all have to do this.”

And we’d say, “What do you mean, ‘you all’? You are part of us.”

And I don’t know whether he thought of himself more as a senator dealing with the executive branch, or a Republican dealing with Democrats.

(LAUGHTER)

Ken and I have talked about this a lot.

DUBERSTEIN: Right.

ALBRIGHT: And we, in our own way, are going to do something about that, because I think, generally, there has to be a bipartisan approach. And people find it hard to believe that I was able to work with Jesse Helms. And because I was, I think we managed to get much further on NATO expansion, for instance, or a variety of issues.

You have to be able to work with the opposing party. That’s our system.

So, you’ve got a Republican in as Secretary of State, following the policies of Bill Clinton, but because his “style,” at first, isn’t quite up to par, the whole deal isn’t “bipartisan”?  But, oh, working with Jesse Helms..HEAVENLY!! HUH??

Zakaria then turns to the subject of Iran. Again, note how McCain’s fashion acumen is totally ignored in the set-up:

Madam Secretary, you spent some time trying to deal with Iran in your term in office, and you actually made some overtures — I thought very innovative ones. You apologized, in some sense, for America’s role in a coup that had brought the shah of Iran into power. You expressed regret about it. Some of those moves were reciprocated, many were not.

Obama faces, in a way, a similar challenge with regard to Iran.

Should he do something? Should he try and do something ambitious? Should he try and somehow restart a process you began?

Albright begins:

ALBRIGHT: The question is what’s going on in Iran, and whether — what the changes — Ahmadinejad is apparently not feeling well. He is facing elections.

I think we think of Iran as very monolithic, and it may not be. And that’s even more reason to actually begin talks with them. And talking is not necessarily making nice. It is delivering tough messages and listening.

(SNIP)

ZAKARIA: Ken, Reagan faced the same challenge in a way, because the issue was negotiating with the Soviets. He had seemed to suggest in his campaign that where they begin to — as he famously put it — they began to die on him, one after the other.

DUBERSTEIN: And then he finally got one he could work with, which was Mikhail Gorbachev.

But Reagan always thought that the power of ideas could triumph. And so, the answer was, of course you’re going to talk to your adversaries. And you’re going to listen to your adversaries, as well.

Duberstein then says that the U.S. hasn’t been talking enough (and certainly Clinton NEVER talked about the “power of ideas”), but then Brzezinski appears to say the opposite before giving away the store and Duberstein seems to agree:

ZAKARIA: Zbig, what about this point that both Madeleine and Ken are making about talking?

So, you start negotiations, perhaps with the Iranians. It seems to me Iran is not yet ready to rejoin the modern world. The regime rests on a certain oppositional element of defiance and opposition to the United States.

So, maybe we start talking and the talks don’t go very well. What do you then do?

BRZEZINSKI: Well, don’t forget that we have been negotiating with North Korea for quite a while, and we finally have made some progress. It hasn’t been consummated yet, but the progress has taken place. And China has played a very constructive role here.

It seems to me that, if we engage Iran in conversations, in negotiations — without preconditions, without demanding that, in advance of the negotiations, the Iranians concede on the critical issue of the negotiations — then we might be able to make some progress, and other countries are more likely to join us.

DUBERSTEIN: Precisely.

BRZEZINSKI: They’re also more likely to join us, if we don’t conduct these negotiations in an atmosphere of mutual abuse or of military threats, because that doesn’t help the atmosphere in the negotiations, and it also helps the Iranian extremists to mobilize public opinion behind them.

So, the style involved in the process is almost as important as the substance.

Then it’s back to how Clinton wore his foreign policy outfits. Not very well, it seems, so we get another dig at Clinton who apparently, displayed “arrogance” toward Europe…according to Zakaria.  (Are you buying this? It’s a new line on my radar…)

ZAKARIA: Madeleine, people in Europe tell me that they found that even dealing with the Clinton administration was tough in this regard, that there was — both on the economic side and the foreign policy side — there was a degree of American arrogance.

Oh, dear.

Then we come to the topic of Colin Powell, which reveals how Republican insider Duberstein has decided that the Colin Powell endorsement is the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” for Republicans. Yes, Colin Powell takes home raves for his stylish appearance and performance at the U.N.!  And his accessories–those fake photos–to DIE FOR! (literally)

ZAKARIA: Let me ask you about your friend, Colin Powell.

DUBERSTEIN: Right.

ZAKARIA: Powell endorsed Obama — very public and very successful, I think, a moving endorsement.

You’re a Republican. You were Reagan’s chief of staff. Will you tell us who you’re going to vote for on Tuesday?

DUBERSTEIN: Well, let’s put it this way. I think Colin Powell’s decision is, in fact, the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on Barack Obama.

ZAKARIA: And you’re going to take it?

DUBERSTEIN: I think so.

ZAKARIA: And we have to close. Thank you all.

So, the poster boy for the entire Bush Iraq-U.N.-Congress fake-out gets a free pass these days, I guess. If you’re an Obama supporter, history be damned! But, at least Powell LOOKS good, in either a uniform or a snazzy suit!

Remember, this little fashion preview/Obama infomercial happened the day before the election.  The judges simply swooned politely and in full agreement, over Obama’s haberdashery without one iota of concern about the man’ substance.  A waste of airtime if you wanted to find out anything about policy. But, SIGH, what a package they described!!! Perfect in every way, from his tasteful ties down to his classy footwear!

Now, let’s go back to that mention of Gorbachev.  Post-election, like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the PLO, Gorby is on the list of Obama admirers, perhaps hoping to get some sartorial tips from the man himself. (But what’s this I hear? Iran firing some sort of  new surface-to-surface missile?)  But Gorby is even MORE smitten.  From RIA Novosti, the Russian News Agency:

Gorbachev calls on Obama to carry out ‘perestroika’ in the U.S.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has said that the Obama administration in the United States needs far-reaching ‘perestroika’ reforms to overcome the financial crisis and restore balance in the world.

The term perestroika, meaning restructuring, was used by Gorbachev in the late 1980s to describe a series of reforms that abolished state planning in the Soviet Union.

(SNIP)

Gorbachev said that after transforming his country in the late 1980s, he had told the Americans that it was their turn to act, but that Washington, celebrating its Cold War victory, was not interested in “a new model of a society, where politics, economics and morals went hand in hand.”

(SNIP)

He told the paper that the world is waiting for Obama to act, and that the White House needs to restore trust in cooperation with the United States among the Russians.

“This is a man of our times, he is capable of restarting dialogue, all the more since the circumstances will allow him to get out of a dead-end situation. Barack Obama has not had a very long career, but it is hard to find faults, and he has led an election campaign winning over the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton herself. We can judge from this that this person is capable of engaging in dialogue and understanding current realities.”(MORE)

Oh, I get chills every time I hear someone talk about “politics, economics and MORALS” in the same breath, don’t you?  Makes me want to go out and buy a new outfit!

I guess Gorby is blinded by the glitz, perhaps…after all, he cites the Obama campaign as an indicator of being able to “engage in dialogue.”  “Hard to find faults?” What? Well, Gorby hasn’t been in power for about 20 years and is hopelessly stuck with those big shoulder pads from the era, which is unfortunate for Obama, judging from what the current Russian leadership thinks of the new fashionistas in D.C..

Seems Vladamir Putin’s hand-picked successor Dmitry Medvedev has just moved a few new missiles to Poland’s borders.  Now, it looks like Vlad himself maybe ready to strut his stuff on the runway again.

Constitutional Changes Go to Duma

…National media reports have suggested that Medvedev might step down as early as next year, perhaps on the pretext of the need for a new election under a new Constitution, clearing the way for Putin to return.

The Cabinet official said he also doubted that Medvedev would use the constitutional amendments as a pretext to leave before the end of his term. But he added that he had heard rumors since Putin’s first day as prime minister that he was already tired of being the prime minister.

Back during July’s European vacation,  Obama came out of a meeting with Gordon Brown “shaken” (British Commentators: The Chosen One Looked “Shattered” After Meeting Brown….and Did Cameron/Obama Discuss “Conservative Means” to Achieve “Progressive Goals”? and it looked like a repeat performance after his security briefing just after the election.

Can you image how the new Obama style will fare if he has to meet up with Putin? Obama will probably suggest a friendly round of shooting hoops and won’t those Magic Foreign Policy Shoes make it special! Putin himself showed great “anti-style style” when he took off his shirt and displayed some great beefcake photos out there before he left the top office, so I don’t know how Obama’s lightweight style will compare.

Maybe Obama will have to be carried out on a stretcher, with his Magic Shoe-bedecked feet dangling limply a la the Elton John’s big shoes as the he’s carried off in “Tommy,” after “The Champ” is defeated in spite of his rhinestone glasses and shimmering outfit!

The Big Boots

Oh, but you can bet that the little lights on Obama’s Magic Foreign Policy Shoes will still be flashing for the folks back home.  After all, even if you get creamed, you’ve gotta keep up your STYLE no matter what…and “MAKE IT WORK”!

*****

NOTES:

See Minute 4:25 of Elton’s Pinball Wizard video to recall how those big shoes were carried out with “The Champ” and disappeared in disgrace …

The Story Unfolds 2: Obama, Biden, Brzezinski, Carter…and the Trilateral Commission?

You can buy vintage LA Gear Lights here for about $400…


THE PAST WEEK:Recaps and Rambling Thoughts–August 3-August 9, 2008 (Highlights: A Great Post by Soldier4Hillary on the Fall of the Democratic Party; Rocky Mtn. News Reports O’s “Dual Citizenship” and Much More! (Update 1X)

The most important thing this week, of course, is the fact that the little toad came back for a day after a big rain.  There he was, in the water bowl, and I rescued him again.  He went under the bowl after basking in the sun for a few moments.  I’ve seen him do that before, so I’m presuming he lives under the bowl!

***

At the top of the week I came across this fantastic post by Soldier4Hillary on “The Fall of the Democratic Party: Losing the Women’s Vote.”  Check it out. It’s definitely worth a read!

***

Did you know that Obama holds dual citizenship in the US and Kenya? With all the controversy about his birth certificate and what he may be hiding, I found this interesting that a part of the mainstream media (and in Denver, no less!) decided to cough up some facts about the Chosen One.

Hat tip to Count Us Out, which posted the story from the Rocky Mountain News on August 8.  The story was called “Things You Might Not Know About Barack Obama.”

UPDATE

Late last night on a thread at No Quarter, Texas Hill Country reported that he had talked to the RMN reporter who said the info about Obama holding dual citizenship wasn’t “well-sourced.”  Which made me wonder, “Why was the info included in the article if the reporter knew it wasn’t ‘well-sourced?'”  “Who made sure it got into the piece?” In other words, what’s up at the Rocky Mountain News?

Texas Hill Country responded by saying he thought the reporter thought the report was accurate, but “realized maybe it should be checked.”

Sigh.  Either we have to be paranoid about the motives of the press these days or we are just being confronted with reporters who don’t do thorough fact checks or who writing things without indicating that there are questions about what they are reporting. We really can’t win these days!!!

So here goes…a link to a press release way back in February, 2007 by Andy Martin about his upcoming “blockbuster Chicago news conference” on the matter.  I can’t tell if this is the earliest reference to Obama’s citizenship questions or not, but it’s pretty early on.  By the way, Andy Martin is still blogging at Contrarian Commentary if you want to take a look.  As recently as early July he’s been on the top of citizenship America’s media critic Andy Martin slams the New York Times for anti-McCain bias.  Who is Andy Martin? A “An Illinois Corruption fighter” who wanted to run for the Senate (bio here) against Durbin as a Republican. He was defeated in the primary by Steve Sauerberg.

DISCLAIMER: DO I KNOW IF MARTIN IS REALLY LEGIT OR HAS REAL INFO? NO, I DON’T…so be warned!  There, I’ve just done what “professional reporters” fail to do….

Whatever. The mystery is STILL ongoing and hopefully, Larry Johnson at No Quarter and others are close to figuring it all out! (I don’t mean to slight “others” but you’ll find a lot of their info collected in the recent threads at NQ.)

By the way, if you would like to read about Texas Hill Country’s amazing background, check out the interview with THC in The Pakistani Spectator–A Candid Blog.

***

In case you missed it, I did a piece on Pelosi’s new book.  Here’s a short recap:

Pelosi’s book, Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters,  looks like a DUD! (See original post on the USA Weekend interview pushing it and Pelosi’s comments about Hillary Clinton…)

UPDATE Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hate to report anything from Drudge, but he quotes the Nielsen Bookscan as reporting that Pelosi’s book has sold 2,737 copies during its first week and this after the USA Weekend push.

By contrast, the anti-Obama title, OBAMA NATION, has sold 21,466, according to a Drudge “insider.”

Looks like the people are speaking!!

***

With the disaster in Georgia unfolding, I want to direct you to the International Press Library at this blog for some great sources of information on the region and the problems between Russia and Georgia.  I followed this story for a long while when I was doing the World Media Watch at that other site and the sources I used are really useful!  In addition to those that deal specifically with the area, I can also recommend Asia Times Online, one of  my absolute favorite sites for analysis of U.S. foreign policy and other key international news. You’ll find the links to news on Georgia in section titled NEWS SOURCES BY COUNTRY/REGION: RUSSIA; CENTRAL ASIA .  Asia Times Online is listed under several regions.

This conflict is about energy and security, not just about a breakaway province…

Note: As of this morning (Sunday, August 10), links to The Georgian Times do not seem to be working/are down.

***

So, Putin (gone as President, but now Prime Minister and still running the show) and Bush are supposed to talk about Georgia while at the Olympics.  I sure hope Bush can muster up some dignity.  As I was watching the opening ceremonies last night, I kept seeing Bush in his shirtsleeves draped over his seat with his mouth curled up and his legs spread apart like a good ‘ole boy! I instantly thought of Obama’s “crotch shot” on the plane.  Putin took off his jacket, too, but I didn’t strike that sort of pose.  Sarkozy stayed buttoned up as did the President of China and the head of the Olympic Committee. Bush was a real embarrassment, as usual.

***

Speaking of the Olympics, I was totally BLOWN AWAY by what the Chinese did!  It was simply magnificent! My least favorite part was Sarah Brightman on that globe, although I loved the dancers running around the surface!  And how the heck did they erect that torch so quietly??

As a shortwave radio listener, I love tuning in to Radio China International’s “Listener’s Garden” on a Saturday morning. Last year I entered a Q & A contest for a trip to panda country, then forgot all about it.  A few months later a package arrived with a “1st Prize” certificate for the “2007 Sichuan, the Beautiful Land of the Panda” Knowledge Contest and a gorgeous, embroidered linen tablecloth!

I’m planning to write to my friends at the “Listener’s Garden” to tell them how much I enjoyed the wonderful program I saw last night. It truly was incredible!!  Check out CRI for the latest news, weather, streaming local radio and archives of all programs in English! It’s a fantastic site!!

***

I’ll end this week’s roundup with a quote from one of my favorite sources of wisdom–Charlie Chan!

“If befriend donkey, expect to be kicked.’

***

THE WEEK’S POSTS

*posted by kenoshaMarge

The Past Week…Random Thoughts July 27–August 2, 2008 (Special “Toad Rescue Edition” w/Pic)

*PARTY DOLLS…

Nancy Pelosi Talks about Hillary during an Interview about Her New Book “Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters” (Ironic Title, Isn’t It?) (UPDATE 1X)

I Write to an Aussie Talk Show Host About Obama, He Gets “Inspired,” Writes a Column in “The Australian” (Mentioning Me), and Then…

Let’s Strip Donna Brazile’s Super Delegate Status!

BREAKING!! Tom Vilsack says Obama Will Get the Support of Clinton Supporters!

*W.O.M.A.N. (with comments by GRL)

Don’t Let the Edwards Story Let This Get By You…Next Week, “The Atlantic” is Possibly Publishing “Leaked Clinton Campaign Memos” on the Internet (Updated 3X)

Today’s Foreign News that Obama Probably Doesn’t Know a Thing About…

Who can forget that interview way back in 2000 when George W. Bush was asked who was heading Pakistan? Bush dismissively answered that it was some general and that it didn’t matter if he couldn’t recall the name, because he would be surrounded by advisers who knew all this stuff.

Were you impressed then? I sure wasn’t and I’m not impressed with Obama’s “expertise” on foreign policy either. His policies and some speeches may in large part come chapter and verse straight from the party platform and he can buddy all he wants with Jimmy Carter…but that sort of “foreign policy by association” doesn’t cut it with me, especially after seeing Bush and Cheney in action. Spending a few years in Indonesia as a kid, having a dubious relationship with Odinga in Africa, and never having the curiosity to explore Europe doesn’t count either.

So, when I ask if Obama knows the name of the current Japanese prime minister it’s because I want to see his ATTITUDE when he answers. Is he going to act like Bush?

I wake up to the BBC World Service news every morning via shortwave radio and in about 5 minutes I learn more than I could ever learn from the American media. Today was a BIG NEWS DAY on at least 3 fronts–Russia, Lebanon, and, yes, Japan. Having followed a lot of the related news while churning out the World Media Watch for Buzzflash for quite a few years, the stories I heard really woke me up, fast! Because the spectre of Obama (or McCain) reacting to some of the situations reported gave me a kick in the gut.

Right off the bat, there’s Russia’s little parade that was held today. For the first time since the demise of the Soviet Union, military hardware has been featured in Moscow’s Victory Day parade.

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