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Archive for November 24th, 2009

While The GOP/Media Idiots Were Babbling About Bowing…

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 24, 2009

While the GOP/Media clowns were babbling about bowing, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao were hammering out a climate-change deal in advance of the great Copenhagen climate summit.

Because of this deal, President Obama is now able to go to Copenhagen with the following good news:

The news that President Obama will seek a emissions target at global talks in Copenhagen has animated a once-moribund meeting and given hope to environmentalists that something tangible can come from them.

The emissions target is expected to correspond to numbers that have been discussed on Capitol Hill, namely a reduction of 17 to 20% below 2005 emissions levels by the year 2020.

This is a direct result of the meeting with China’s Hu Jintao and was expected by those news outlets that were actually paying attention instead of freaking out over bows. As I mentioned last week, both the US and China have now agreed to stop playing climate-change chicken.

And it’s not just China that’s agreed to join the US in working to curb emissions. Obama has met with the leaders of India as well, and got commitments from them on this.

This may be the most significant news of the last decade.

[UPDATE: And no, it’s not too late. The economic downturn has bought us an extra 21 months in which to retool our economies to lower emissions. That’s 21 extra months for China to retool the older, grossly inefficient and polluting steel factories it has idled because of the downturn. That’s 21 extra months for India to do similar upgrades to its factories. That’s 21 extra months for the US to do the same thing with its factories. Considering that these three nations account for 56% of the world’s CO2 emissions, that’s not a small thing.]

(Crossposted at The Seminal.)

Posted in China, climate change, energy, environment, India, industry, international, President Obama, saving the earth | 6 Comments »

Honduras Coup, Act V, Day 35

Posted by Charles II on November 24, 2009

We’re live on Kos. Please recommend the diary.
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Update:

Al Giordano has a new post. Here’s an excerpt:

Decree PCM-M-029-2009

“Due to growing internal threats,” the Armed Forces will be deployed, in support of the National Police, to guard polling places, the custody and transport of ballots (before and after they are utilized by voters), and 5,000 members of the military reserve were deputized beginning on November 13.

Decree PCM-M-030-2009

This decree declares a “State of Emergency” nationwide, and places the regime’s “Secretary of State” inside the military command to oversee all activities related to the November 29 “elections.” This decree pretty much erases the previous order that the quasi-independent Supreme Electoral Tribunal would exclusively be in command of the Armed Forces in the month prior to the “election.” In other words, not even the window dressing added to give the vote a gloss of pseudo-independence could be tolerated by regime leader Roberto Micheletti, who has now placed a member of his Simian Council at that helm.

Decree PCM-M-031-2009

The November 29 “elections are under threat by groups that try to block their development with threats of all kinds, creating fear and disorder in the general population.” Therefore, says the decree, a nationwide ban on bearing all types of firearms went into effect on Monday, November 23, “until ordered otherwise.” (Memo to self: Make sure to write the National Rifle Association about Senator Jim DeMint’s efforts in Honduras.)

Radio Globo reports 50 more candidates resigning. There’s a shortage of coffee cutters, which might mean the harvest is ok.

The Ian Kelly Muppet Show plays on:

QUESTION: Yes. I was wondering the State Department’s position on the upcoming elections in Honduras.

MR. KELLY: The State Department’s position on the upcoming election in Honduras? Well, that hasn’t changed. We are providing technical assistance to help the Hondurans ensure that this is a free, fair, and transparent election. Of course, it’s going to take place in a number of days. We, of course, have an Embassy on the ground, and the Embassy is closely monitoring the lead-up to the elections themselves, which take place on Sunday.

I think it’s important to understand that these elections are being carried out by the independent Supreme Electoral Tribunal. It’s not being conducted by the de facto regime. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal was selected and installed in a transparent, democratic process before the coup. The candidates for the election – I think there were six – were nominated well before the coup. So this whole process has been in train for quite a while. I think one of the six candidates have – he was an independent – has dropped out of the race.

And we support this process. We think it’s important that the people of Honduras have the opportunity to express their votes in a free and transparent way.

QUESTION: So if I can follow up with that, the candidate that did drop out cited human rights abuses, which were also noted in the Amnesty International report, as well as Human Rights Watch. So under that climate which is still ongoing in Honduras right now, you will support the outcome of the elections under that climate?

MR. KELLY: Well, I mean, we can’t say until November 29th how this will come out, so we can’t say we’re going to support something – support an outcome which hasn’t happened yet. However, we will say that while we had some concerns about a number of decrees restricting civil liberties and some restrictions on the media were in place, they have now – they have since then been rescinded. And we particularly welcome the news that opposition television Channel 36 is now able to broadcast free of interference. So we did have some concerns, but many of those concerns have been already addressed.

Yeah.

QUESTION: To Brazil —

QUESTION: If I could just —

QUESTION: This is following up on this.

QUESTION: Yeah. And I just want to say one last thing on this.

MR. KELLY: Yeah. Go ahead. That’s —

QUESTION: The OAS and the Union of South American Nations has – they’ve pulled out all their observers and they have condemned these elections because of a lot of the things I mentioned, as well as four of the officials who will be part of that cabinet overseeing the elections are former affiliates of the Micheletti government, which means he does have some people who will be overseeing this election in that cabinet.

So what kind of message do you think that’s sending to South and Central America that despite the fact that the OAS and the Union of South American Nations refuse to acknowledge this election, but the United States is supporting it?

MR. KELLY: Well, I – first of all, I’d have to see exactly what the OAS and this other organization has said about the elections. I’m not aware that they have condemned the elections. I mean, we see the running of these elections as a – assuming that they’re run in a fair and transparent way, we see them as an essential part of the solution of this crisis. Now, again, it’s important that these elections be seen as free, fair, and transparent, and are monitored by a credible international monitoring process. And this is exactly what we’re supporting. But we can’t judge the outcome of something that hasn’t happened yet. But the process that we see in place is a process that we are supporting.

Having said that, we’re watching this very closely to ensure that the elections are as free, transparent, and open as possible, and that includes this – the run-up to the elections, this period of time right now. So I just think that we – our position is, is that after the elections take place on November 29, we will make a judgment then. We will consult with the international observers who are in place. And after consulting with them and with our friends and allies in the region, we’ll make our determination.

Yeah, Indira.

QUESTION: Brazil this morning criticized the U.S. for not agreeing to delay the election, and specifically said that they were, quote, “disappointed and frustrated with the United States, they hope the U.S. would change its position, and that the U.S. stance on refusing to delay the Honduran elections would hinder regional ties.” What’s your response to that – the largest country —

MR. KELLY: Well – yeah.

QUESTION: — in Latin America taking a very strong leadership stand, and saying that the —

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: — U.S. is alone on this basically with Panama?

MR. KELLY: Yeah. I don’t know that we’re alone.

QUESTION: It’s just – I think it’s just the U.S. and Panama.

QUESTION: And Colombia.

QUESTION: And Colombia, she’s saying.

MR. KELLY: Yeah. Well, again, I’ll have – we’ll have to look at what the OAS has said and what other organizations have said and what Brazil has said. But I – and I’ve just stated what our position is, is that –

QUESTION: What’s your specific response to Brazil? Because I submitted that earlier, so I know you guys had that.

MR. KELLY: I don’t have a significant – I don’t have a specific response to a press report. But our position on the elections hasn’t changed. I’ve just laid it out to you. We see it as a – as one way for Honduras to come up with a solution to the crisis. This is one part of it. Another part of it is the – is, of course, the implementation of the rest of the San Jose-Tegucigalpa Accord, and that’s the formation of the government of national unity. We’re still urging both sides to establish that. But I mean, as I said before, we’re not going to judge the outcome of elections that haven’t taken place yet.

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On Radio Globo, the UD program is playing “El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido.” (A united people will never be defeated). This is ironic, since the central UD (Unificación Democrática) has broken ranks with the rest of the resistance to participate in the elections. The UD spokeslady is saying that they could not get enough people to agree to vote to be able to defeat the coupistas.

Five more candidates, three congressional, two mayoral withdrew from the race, according to Tiempo. Gustavo Matute, congressional candidate from Atlantida for Partido Innovación y Unidad Social Demócrata (PUNU-SD), Oscar Rafael Flores Cruz, Unificación Democrática (UD) for congress in Yoro, Ulises Aguilar, congressional candidate of the UD from Atlántida, mayoral candidate from San Pedro Sula of the UD Samuel Madrid and mayoral candidate Teodoro Santos Carvajal (party not stated) of Atlántida have withdrawn.

Tiempo reports that a prosecutor for the Human Rights commission has issued warrants for the military who closed Channel 36 on June 28. Infantry Colonel José Arnulfo Jiménez and fellow officer Darwin Ismael Ardón Valerio were served.

RAJ of HondurasCoup2009 reads the coup press so that you don’t have to and reports on the militarization of the election. The elections are always run by the military, but this represents an election under martial law.

In TeleSur, Chancellor Patricia Rodas criticized the US and Panama for having supported the elections.

(Via HondurasOye),COFADEH alleges that there has been a:

“new wave of death threats, political persecution, illegal detention, torture, militarization of some areas of the main cities and incursion of cars without license plates with tinted windows driven by heavily armed people with their faces covered by masks into neighborhoods identified with the Resistance Against the Coup”

Posted in Honduras, Latin America | 4 Comments »

Dean Baker Makes Sense

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 24, 2009

Which is why you won’t see anything like this on your evening TV news anytime soon.

Posted in economy | Comments Off on Dean Baker Makes Sense

 
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