The key term is global. America can't do it alone. That admission has to be the starting point for the building of a new architecture for the trillions in global finances that move around like data on the internet. The internet is global.
America is lucky to have Barack Obama for president. That is a global person. He is a Hawaii guy. He was 11 when he first got to see the continental US, and he saw it on a Greyhound bus. He was raised by a white mother, white grandparents. I have always thought of him as white.
The current crisis is a lesson in humility for America. Yes, we can. That is a call for humility. And a touch of boldness. Humility itself is a bold act.
The problem with American banking is not that the banks have not had enough money. That is why the bailout can not be the number one thing you do, the stimulus package can not be the number one thing you do.
The problem was the banks had too much outside money and did not know what to do with it, so they gave it out like it was nobody's business. It was not a case of demand and supply. Money did not go where the demand was the greatest. The demand is the greatest in the Global South, the demand is with poor women who need just a little bit of capital to start small businesses. But the warped global financial architecture sent the global money to inflate the prices on American houses. Instead.
The house is on fire. America and the world can not afford a meltdown of the American financial infrastructure. The bailout is water. The stimulus package is water. Putting out the fire is important. But the real task is going to be to build a new house, a new tower. The Twin Towers will be gone when the dust settles.
It is going to be a major challenge to draw the outlines of a new financial architecture. How do you institutionalize transparency, and accountability, and stay as close as possible to the fundamental market ethos? As in how do you not overreact and end up restraining the market forces? On the other hand, how do you make sure you don't sit back and hope things will take care of themselves? There is major work that needs to be done.
People, voters did not realize when he first started saying it, but Barack's bringing people together dictum is what is going to do the trick. You bring world leaders together. You bring together the titans of global finance. You bring together disagreeing politicians. You bring along the powerless and the neglected to the table, you bring them together with those who might always have excluded them, knowingly and unknowingly.
The stimulus package jacks up spending on education. That probably is my favorite part. That is the knowledge economy way. That is the 21st century way.
The last major tinkering with global finance was when the World Bank and the IMF were created. But this crisis is bigger. So minor tinkering with those two institutions will hardly do the trick. The Twin Towers are gone. It is not like they lost a few floors, so you are going to do repair work. They are gone.
A new tower is going to have to be built. A Freedom Tower. A Prosperity Tower.
No piecemeal approach will work. All three big challenges ask for holistic approaches. And because they all do, you can learn from one to the other. If you can make peace in the Middle East, perhaps you can also fix global finance, perhaps you can also tackle global warming.
That is why it is so important to work on Middle East peace. Permanent peace is possible. Has to be. Global warming can be reversed. Has to be. Global terrorism can be defeated. Has to be. Or we are doomed.
Barack's autobiography is Dreams From My Father. I have always thought of Barack as black. President Barack is black.
He has a sister with an Indian name, I have met and talked to one on one, no time pressure. That is how he is my cousin, distant, but still.
That sister is married to a Chinese Canadian. China will not go to war over Taiwan. I am not worried.
While he was running, some neocons tried to emphasize his middle name. Barack was Barack HUSSEIN Obama.
That he is. White, black, Indian, Chinese, Muslim. I am going to argue he gets along a little too well with Rahm Immanuel for my comfort. That makes him part Jewish too.
Barack Hussein Obama is global, yo.
Global Finance, Global Terrorism, Global Warming, Global President.
There are reports Bush-Cheney started looking for excuses to declare war on Saddam as soon as Bush got into office. It has to be noted Saddam attempted an assassination on Bush Senior some time in the 1990s when Bush Senior went on a visit to Kuwait. It was a plot that went nowhere, but Clinton did send in a few missiles in retaliation. "Not enough," Bush Junior said while campaigning for president in 2000.
The direct and indirect costs of the Iraq War have been estimated at three trillion dollars by the likes of Joseph Stiglitz. That is a ton of money. I am going to argue that sum played a key role in sending the US economy into the tizzy that it is in right now.
The verbal assaults by the Al Qaeda on Barack, the US drone strikes inside of Pakistan, neither have surprised me. The war the Al Qaeda declared on America a long time ago was an ideological war. Two vibrant, opposing ideologies continue to be very much at loggerheads.
Barack immediately started doing what he said he will do. On Guantanamo and torture, on Pakistan. The biggest downside of the misadventure in Iraq has been the Al Qaeda got pretty much a free reign in the stateless parts of northwest Pakistan from where they continue to plot. In his latest tirade Bin Laden has talked of going into "new directions." As far as Bin Laden is concerned, the entire world is a stage. He does not have to strike inside America to prove the resiliency of his organization.
It is hard to fight an unconventional war with a conventional army, with conventional tactics. Iraq was Looking Tokyo Going London, but it was also conventional. You were in a hurry to bring down a state. The Al Qaeda is stateless.
Barack might end the war in Iraq, and he might close Guantanamo, and he might end torture as a tactic, and he is hugely popular in the Arab world, and he might get the geography right in terms of a renewed focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan, but I fear he might get the details wrong.
A big chunk of the work in Pakistan is political. How do you bring the Pakistani army completely under the parliament? How do you bring the Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI, usually called a state within a state, completely under the Pakistani parliament? The ISI gave birth to the Taliban, but back then that is what the US wanted, the Soviets had gone amok in Afghanistan.
And it would be a mistake to think the Al Qaeda exists only in a particular, rugged province in Pakistan. It is stateless, it is global. It is an ideology seeking converts, seeking the disenchanted, the angry few. They don't even need direct communication half the time to do what they need to do, which is to stage "spectacular" attacks, like the one in Mumbai, London.
I have long maintained the only way to conclude the War On Terror is by bringing about a total spread of democracy in the Arab world. There is a progressive, proactive way to do that that is nothing to do with the Al Qaeda, an organization of a few thousand individuals in an ocean of a billion Arabs/Muslims.
As in, there is not a Bush way to build democracy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, just like there was not one in Iraq. There is a progressive alternative.
Harassing Arab Americans have been a bad idea. Talking disrespect of Islam as a religion is a bad idea. And the Palestinian plight is a permanent thorn. That has to be resolved. It is a good sign that the first foreign leader President Barack called up was Abbas.
Three major world religions clashing is not a pretty sight. There are complex emotional threads entangled. The situation is volatile, has been for decades. The task is tough. The communists claimed godlessness, the Islamists claim God. At some level that makes their ideology more challenging.
The idea remains to help make the mainstream Muslims feel their destiny is in their own hands. The hard work of peace, the hard work of state building, the hard work on education and health, the hard work of prosperity.
It is not going to be easy. It is not going to be swift. Moments might feel like reverse progress. But it is necessary work, the central challenge in global politics today.
If and when we start seeing more democracies in the Arab world, you can expect the largest political parties to be as steeped in Islam as you could argue the Republican Party in America is steeped in Christianity. Turkey is a case in point.
What the Palestinians are going through right now is worse than apartheid. It feels like a case of child abuse. The Germans abused the Jews so the Jews are going to abuse the Palestinians. Where is the logic in that?
I am glad I rooted for Caroline, because Caroline rooted for Barack when it was not obvious he will win. The primary fight was tougher than the general election fight.
I was scared the seat might go to some guy. I have nothing against Cuomo, I hear he has been a good Attorney General, but there are already too many guys on Capitol Hill.
Kirsten Gillibrand - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Paterson Picks Gillibrand for Senate - NYTimes.com known for bold political moves and centrist policy positions ....... considered an up-and-coming and forceful lawmaker in her district and has gained considerable attention from Democratic leaders in Washington. ...... Mr. Paterson made his final decision shortly before 2 a.m. Friday after a marathon series of phone calls and deliberations with his top aides ...... One of Mr. Paterson’s preferences had been to select a woman to replace Mrs. Clinton. ..... The choice reflects Mr. Paterson’s thinking that his selection should be someone who can help him attract key demographics — in Ms. Gillibrand’s case upstate New Yorkers and women. ....... (Ms. Gillibrand received a standing ovation on the floor of the House from her colleagues for working right up to the day she gave birth to Henry.) ....... a day of anonymous and often bitter sniping over Caroline Kennedy’s mystifying departure from the Senate field ...... Paterson “never had any intention of picking Kennedy” because he had come to consider her unready for the job. ...... the governor told Ms. Kennedy last week that she was the choice but that he would use the next few days to do “a little misdirection to keep the suspense up.” ......... and released a statement by e-mail at 12:03 a.m. Thursday, saying, “I informed Governor Paterson today that for personal reasons I am withdrawing my name from consideration for the United States Senate.” ..... several people who are longtime allies of the governor warned that he was unpredictable.
Britannica Goes 2.0, Prez Slams Wikipedia/GoogleWebProNews Wikipedia, the fourth-most visited website in the world with 2.7 million articles in 250 languages. Conflicting accounts offered on Caroline Kennedy's pullout Boston Globe Aide: Kirsten Gillibrand picked as next NY senator USA Today42-year-old Gillibrand India celebrates 10 'Slumdog' Oscar nominationsThe Associated Press The movie got the second highest number of Oscar nominations Thursday, including best director for Danny Boyle, best picture and — generating the most buzz in India — three music nominations for Indian composer A.R. Rahman. ...... "I'm at the top of the world," Rahman told the Times of India. "Everything is a blur." ..... The gritty movie, which features prostitution, religious violence and maimed beggars, has sparked great debate over whether the film is a blow to India's international reputation. ..... Calling it "a piece of riveting cinema," the paper praised the movie as "a Cinderella-like fairy tale with the edge of a thriller and the vision of an artist." ...... The movie was being released both in English and in Hindi and many predicted it to be a monster hit. ..... The film was also nominated for best adapted screenplay, cinematography, sound mixing, sound editing and film editing. Rahman nominated for three Oscars, Slumdog for 10 Indian Express, India 10 Oscar nominations for Slumdog Sify, IndiaThe film has got 10 nominations, of which three are for the film's music - one for best original score and two for the best original songs - “Jai ho” and “O saya”, for the 81st Annual Academy Awards. The lyrics of 'Jai ho' have been penned by noted lyricist Gulzar. ..... best motion picture, best director, best adapted screenplay, best film editing, best sound editing, best sound mixing and best cinematography. ..... the movie has already raked in $43 million at the US box office and jumped itself back to the US Top 10. ...... “The Bollywood dance scene that explodes under the closing credits feels both incongruous and earned: Young India kicking up its heels. You may even feel like dancing in the aisles yourself ....... "Boyle brings down the curtain with a musical number that registers as a gift from movie heaven. He breaks your heart, then heels it - and sends you out with a song." ....... The movie triumphed at various awards across the globe. Screen Actors Guild Awards, London Critics Circle Award, New York Film Critics Circle Awards, Satellite Awards, Toronto Film Festival, British Independent Film Award - to name a few. ........ Brad Pitt starrer reverse-ageing drama "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" leads the race with 13 nominations.
My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.
I thank President Bush for his service to our nation as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.
The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.
Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound, is a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less.
It has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame.
Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life. For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West, endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.
For us, they fought and died in places Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.
Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.
This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed.
Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.
For everywhere we look, there is work to be done.
The state of our economy calls for action: bold and swift. And we will act not only to create new jobs but to lay a new foundation for growth.
We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.
We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's qualityand lower its costs.
We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.
All this we can do. All this we will do.
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has already done, what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long, no longer apply.
The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works, whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.
Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.
And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched.
But this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control. The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.
The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.
Our founding fathers faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations.
Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake.
And so, to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.
They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use. Our security emanates from the justness of our cause; the force of our example; the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
We are the keepers of this legacy, guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort, even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We'll begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard- earned peace in Afghanistan.
With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat and roll back the specter of a warming planet.
We will not apologize for our way of life nor will we waver in its defense.
And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that, "Our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken. You cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you."
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.
We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth.
And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.
To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.
To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.
And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders, nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.
As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.
We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service: a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves.
And yet, at this moment, a moment that will define a generation, it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.
For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies.
It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break; the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours.
It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.
Our challenges may be new, the instruments with which we meet them may be new, but those values upon which our success depends, honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old.
These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history.
What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
This is the source of our confidence: the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.
This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed, why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall. And why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.
So let us mark this day in remembrance of who we are and how far we have traveled.
In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river.
The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood.
At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
"Let it be told to the future world that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it."
America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words; with hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come; let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.