Sunday, April 6, 2008

60 Minutes Exposes China's Control Over U.S. Economy

It is frightening. Communist China has so much influence over the American economy that they could bring us to our knees. It could potentially be more devastating than 9-11. And Our government sits idly by does very little to protect us. Just as they did very little prior to September 11th:

Over the winter, as Wall Street was losing tens of billions of dollars due to the mortgage and credit crises, it wasn’t the Fed or Congress that came to the rescue. It was something called sovereign-wealth funds -- pools of money controlled by foreign governments.

Desperate for cash, some of Wall Street’s ailing
mega-banks -- like Citigroup -- reached out to these funds. So, for instance, Abu Dhabi bought $7.5 billion worth of shares in Citigroup.

Altogether the sovereign-wealth funds of countries like Abu Dhabi and Kuwait have spent over $30 billion bailing out our financial system.

Which has raised troubling questions: are these mostly undemocratic regimes saving Wall Street … or invading it? As correspondent Lesley Stahl found out, one fund is of special concern. It's new, highly secretive, and the fifth largest in the world.

Welcome to the Beijing headquarters of the China Investment Corporation, where 180 employees are looking for companies to invest in in the West.

"How much do you have to invest?" Stahl asked the fund’s president, Gao Xiqing.

"$200 billion," Gao replied.

[...]"Now, some people consider what you're doing, as a huge threat," Stahl said. "Your real intention is to 'gobble us up,' you know. They see you as vultures, really. I mean, I’ve seen that word."

[...]the problem is that China has over $1.5 trillion in reserves, the world's largest currency surplus: and it’s growing by $1 billion a day.

"China has so much money that they can spend buying U.S. companies that the danger is that they can strip these companies," Navarro said. "They can strip the companies of jobs, research and development, technology."

[...]we’re all but dependent on Chinese investments. Beyond this fund, China holds half a trillion dollars in US Treasury bonds. For that reason economist Navarro says they have us over a barrel. If they don’t like our behavior, he says all, they have to do is dump all their U.S. investments. It’s known as the financial nuclear option.

"What would that do? That will cause interest rates to spike. Mortgage rates to spike. Inflation to spike. The dollar to go through the floor. The stock market to go into chaos," Navarro said. "We would be in deep, deep, deep trouble."

"The nuclear option, financial nuclear option is China’s pulling all its money out of U.S. treasuries," Stahl said to Gao.

Read the entire article/transcript...

Transcript: John McCain on 'FOX News Sunday' 4-6-08

Read the entire transcript here:

You're here today at the Civil Rights Museum, but it has come to our attention that in 1983 you voted against the federal holiday for Martin Luther King. You voted in 1990 against civil rights legislation.

Isn't it going to be hard to reach out to all those groups given your history and the history of the party?

MCCAIN: Well, let me say in 1983 I was wrong, and I believe that my advocacy for the recognition of Dr. King's birthday in Arizona was something that I'm proud of.

The issue in the early '90s was a little more complicated. I've never believed in quotas, and I don't. There's no doubt about my view on that issue. And that was the implication, at least, of that other vote.

But I was wrong in '83, and all of us make mistakes, and I think nobody recognized that more than Dr. King.

What about the quagmire in Iraq:
WALLACE: Let's turn to foreign policy. You acknowledge you were surprised by the recent Iraqi offensive in Basra. In the end, the Iraqi government failed to oust those Shiite militias.

Doesn't that raise serious questions about the continued weakness of the central government in Baghdad?

MCCAIN: Well, actually, when I say I was surprised, our authorities in Iraq were surprised, the State Department — it was about a 48-hour...

WALLACE: Right. The whole government was surprised.

MCCAIN: Yes, about a 48-hour window. It's interesting. We have asked the government time after time to act effectively, that we want this government to act. They acted.

Now, obviously, the results were mixed. Obviously, there were problems. And Maliki, in my view, should have waited until we had concluded the battle of Mosul which is going on as we speak.

They do have control of the port of Basra now. That's one of the major economic areas of Iraq because of the oil that goes through there. It was al-Sadr that declared a cease-fire, not Maliki, and they continue...

WALLACE: It was brokered by the Iranians, who actually may have more clout with both al-Sadr — I mean, let me just ask you the question from this point of view.

General Petraeus is coming to testify in the next couple of days. A lot of talk about the surge and how that's helped damp down the violence — some would say because there was a spike of violence during this Basra battle, maybe al-Sadr's decision to hold the cease- fire is as responsible as the surge is, and if he changes his mind, we're back in the frying pan.

MCCAIN: Well, in respect, I don't think Sadr would have declared the cease-fire if he thought he was winning. Most times in history of military engagements, the winning side doesn't declare the cease-fire.

The second point is that overall, the Iraqi military performed pretty well. Six months ago, it would have — or eight or nine months ago, it would have been unthinkable for Maliki to act this way.

WALLACE: We heard this week that 1,000 soldiers refused to fight or deserted.

MCCAIN: And there were many, many thousands who are fighting there. Compare that with two years ago when the army was basically unable to function in any way effectively.

Look, I didn't particularly like the outcome of this thing, but I am convinced that we now have a government that is governing with some effect and a military that is functioning very effectively. Up in Mosul where some of the best units are, they're functioning well.

I've always said, Chris, this is long and hard and tough. We're paying a huge penalty for four years of a failed strategy that I fought hard against, and I believe this strategy has succeeded and will succeed and can succeed. But it's long and hard and tough.

Meet The Press Transcript 4-6-08: Casey vs. Rendell

Supporters of Barack Obama (Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey) and Hillary Clinton (Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell) debate on Meet The Press. Read the complete transcript:

MR. RUSSERT: Senator Casey, less than a month ago this is what you said, you "won't take sides before his state voters head to the polls. `I said I'd be neutral throughout our primary, which I will maintain. ... The winner of this nomination will be the president. So, when that much is at stake ... we need people in the middle to bring people together.'" You changed your mind.

SEN. CASEY: I did, Tim. And the reason was because I was, when I said that, an undecided voter. I became a decided voter. And at that point, you have to make a decision when, when a competition is going on in your state. Do you sit on the sidelines as a public official when you have a strong feeling? And I'll tell you, I have never been more inspired by a candidate for president in my life. This is a candidate, in Barack Obama, who can bring about the change that we need in this country. He's someone who's inspired people of all ages. And I think the people of Pennsylvania are getting to know him now. I think we can make progress. It's certainly an uphill fight, but I'm very excited about his candidacy. I think he can win in November, and I also think he can become a great president.

[...]MR. RUSSERT: And Reverend Wright's comments have not hurt him in parts of Pennsylvania?

SEN. CASEY: Oh, I'm sure they, they might've, but I think what you saw there was a leadership test, and, in my judgment he got an A plus because he was honest about it, he was honest about his own, his own feelings. He was honest about the debate, and he lifted the debate on a very difficult issue. And I think it was a, it was a real demonstration of the new kind of leadership, the new kind of politics he brings even to tough issues.

Senator Rendell believes he knows better than the public:
MR. RUSSERT: Governor Rendell, The New York Times asked Democrats all across the country last week who will be the strongest Democrat, the "best chance at beating John McCain?" Look at this: Obama, 56%, Clinton, 32%. Those are Democrats across the country.

GOV. RENDELL: Well, Tim, I don't think they're doing the electoral math very well. We elect a president of the United States, as we learned in 2000, by the electoral college. And no Democrat can win the electoral college without carrying three of the four big states--Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and Michigan. Assuming Senator Clinton wins in Pennsylvania, she will have demonstrated, and she's running way ahead of Obama against McCain in all four of those states, and those are crucial and that's why she's the strongest candidate in the fall, without question.

It looks like Mr.Rendell caught himself in a contradiction:
MR. RUSSERT: The, the Obama people counter, Governor, that they have a chance to win Virginia, they have a chance to win Colorado, they have a chance to win--they have a chance to win states, broaden the electoral college map, that Senator Clinton can't do.

GOV. RENDELL: Yeah, but I don't get that because some of those states are Arizona and New Mexico, and Senator Clinton won Arizona and New Mexico. She won Arizona pretty handily. So I don't understand that, that math that they're saying that they're the best candidate to carry those states. They didn't carry half of them in the primaries.

MR. RUSSERT: So Senator Clinton could not win, then, Missouri and Connecticut and Colorado and the 28 contests that Obama won in the fall?

GOV. RENDELL: Oh, Tim, don't, don't misunderstand me. I have disagreed with people who said that Senator Obama can't win Pennsylvania. He can, and if he's the nominee, Bob Casey and I will be working together with every ounce of energy we have. But Senator Clinton is more likely to carry Pennsylvania. She's more likely to carry Michigan and Ohio and Florida and the key states that we have to win. Senator Obama was losing, just 10 days ago, was losing New Jersey to Senator McCain and even in Massachusetts. No Democrat can survive with making those two states toss-ups.

The More Desperate Hillary Clinton Gets the Bigger the Lies

Under duress, the true Hillary is coming out. This one just yesterday:

[...]she reminded voters that Obama’s voting record on the war is not very different than hers.

“When you want to compare, compare decisions so when Senator Obama came to the Senate, he and I voted exactly the same except for one vote and that happens to be the facts.”

Obama has been credited with foreseeing a troublesome war in Iraq primarily due to a speech he gave in 2002 while he was a state senator, where he spoke out against the war. Clinton said, “I started criticizing the war in Iraq before he did. So, I’m well aware that his entire campaign is premised on a speech he gave in 2002 and I give him credit for making that speech. But that was not a decision.”

This is another "story" from Hillary that offended the family of the supposed victim:
Hillary Rodham Clinton "misspoke" again on the campaign trail - and a distraught Ohio family is furious about it.

Several times in recent months while talking about her plan for universal health care, Clinton told a tale of woe about a young pregnant woman who sought medical care at a local hospital and was turned away for lack of insurance - and both she and the baby died.

But the family of the 35-year-old woman - Trina Bachtel - says the story is simply not true.

"Trina had good insurance. She was a good girl, and she worked hard. That story made her look like she was a welfare bum," her 80-year-old grandmother May Mayle told The Post yesterday.

Mayle confirmed that Bachtel died last August from complications related to a late-pregnancy miscarriage, but said she was never turned away from a hospital.

"The family is real torn up about it. I can't understand why they'd make her out to look like she was so unstable," said Mayle.

As Clinton told the story during campaign rallies, the young, pregnant woman in difficulty was turned down for treatment because she was uninsured and couldn't pay $100 up front.

She didn't name Bachtel or the hospital involved, but after the Washington Post ran a story identifying her and where she worked - a Pizza Hut in Pomeroy, Ohio - local papers made it front-page news, horrifying her still-grieving family.

...But the public has caught on to her lies:
Ever since she stepped onto the national stage when her husband ran for president in 1992, she's found her honesty challenged along with his _ sometimes thanks to her failure to tell the truth and sometimes thanks to the eagerness of her critics to portray innocent misstatements as lies.

Either way, the issue has helped to define her and put a drag on her political standing.

"This is a real difficulty for her," said independent pollster John Zogby. "With Bill Clinton, there was always an honesty problem. But he always was able to overcome it through charm and brilliance. ... It doesn't look like she is able to transcend those fundamental problems that she has with the truth."

A recent Gallup Poll found that 53 percent of Americans think Clinton isn't "honest and trustworthy." Just 29 percent said the same of her Democratic rival Barack Obama, and 27 percent said it of Republican John McCain.

Gallup analyst Jeffrey Jones called the credibility gap between Clinton and McCain "the largest between any two candidates for any dimension tested."

Another recent poll, this one conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center before Clinton had to back down from her account of her Bosnia trip, found that 29 percent of white Democrats considered her a "phony," almost twice as many as the 15 percent who described Obama that way.

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