LJ planning to target Shia leaders, police

LJ planning to target Shia leaders, police

By Asad Kharal

LAHORE: Intelligence agencies have warned that the banned terror organisation, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ), has reorganised itself and formed two new subgroups – Jhangvi Fidai Force (JFF) and Sunni Fidai Force (SFF) – to target Shia leaders and police officials across the country, sources told Daily Times.

The revelation was made in a report titled “Information Report-104” issued by the National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) of the Interior Ministry and forwarded to the Punjab Home Department, Punjab Police, Punjab Rangers and other law enforcement agencies.

The report says the terrorists had adopted new methods of attack, as was evident from the attacks on April 16, 2010.

On the said day, unidentified men shot dead Arshad Zaidi, a well-known member of the Shia community in Quetta. Once the news of the killing drew hundreds of people, including political and Shia leaders, journalists and police to the Civil Hospital, a suicide bomber exploded himself up in the hospital’s courtyard, killing another 12 people, including two senior police officials, a reporter, and injured 40 others. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the attack. The report said such incidents clearly indicated that sectarian sentiments were on the rise and the LJ was spearheading the violent campaign. These indicators showed that LJ had reorganised itself in collaboration with anti-state elements, the report said. The report recommended that close vigilance be maintained across the country and all suspicious people be dealt with strictly. “It is also recommended that members of union of journalists, press clubs, private TV channels, local religious and political leadership and police stay away from crime scenes, keeping in mind the present security scenario. Increasing incidents of firing at police personnel in Lahore also appeared to speak of changing tactics of the terrorists, the report said, adding that such incidents could be efforts to divert the attention of law enforcement agencies to bring explosives into the provincial capital.

Taliban 101

The Taliban come to Hamid Mir’s aid

This is a press release from the Taliban Media Centre commenting on the fake audio tape issued by some secret agency of Pakistan. We are actively condumn the reliability of this tape since there was no conversatin like that in between us and Mr Hamid Mir. Althoug we have talked with many different persons of media. It is very often and there is no doubt that they are not involved with us. This is seems to be a conspiracy to destroy the reputation of Mujahideen and the brave people of this country who want to bring truth in front while revealing the dark faces of this nation.

Suppose, this audion tape can be accepted as a true one than it is also demanded that the video tapes of Shery Rehman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Salman Taseer should also be treated as the same degree. Since sexy pictures of Salman Taseer’s daughter and sons are on media so can any one tell the nation how a loose characterd person can be a governor of a province. What action should government agencies took? Why they are delaying?

Unfortunately the secret agenceis of Pakistan are directly opposing the nations benefits and try to sabotash the well repudiated personalities and institutions for the greater interst of their own.

(Unedited version )

Zardari used his “discretionary powers” to pardon Malik

Zardari used his “discretionary powers” to pardon Malik

Interior Minister Rehman Malik – APP (File Photo)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday pardoned a key cabinet minister sentenced over corruption to block his possible arrest, threatening to plunge his rule into fresh controversy.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik, one of the closest allies of Pakistan’s head of state and a key member of his ruling party, was sentenced in absentia to three years in jail by an anti-corruption court in January 2004.

Malik, who was abroad at the time of the conviction, appealed against the verdict but a court in the eastern city of Lahore on Monday rejected his plea and cancelled his bail.

The president quickly intervened and within hours invoked his power to protect Malik from a possible detention.

The president used his “discretionary powers” to pardon Malik, Zardari’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said early Tuesday.

Referring to the hasty decision, Babar said the pardon was granted under article 45 of the constitution on the advice of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who formally took over constitutional powers from Zardari last month.

“Mr Rehman Malik has all along maintained that he has been victimised due to political reasons in his absence from the country,” Babar said.

Under pressure to hold elections and end eight years of military rule, military ruler Pervez Musharraf passed a so-called National Reconciliation Ordinance in 2007, allowing political opponents to return home.

“Zardari’s move to protect Malik will raise new controversy,” retired supreme court judge Tariq Mahmood told AFP.

“The president enjoys the authority to grant clemency but the question is can he pardon a crime and whether Malik can retain his seat in parliament.”

Pak Govt. Claims 768 of the “Disappeared” In Foreign Jails

Missing persons

SC summons three secretaries on Thursday

By Sohail Khan

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday directed the foreign, interior and finance secretaries to submit by Thursday a report on measures so far taken for the repatriation of Pakistani nationals languishing in various foreign countries’ jails.

The three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Javed Iqbal, gave these directions while hearing the petitions of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and Pakistan People’s Party’s former senator Farhatullah Babar.

The missing people are allegedly said to have been taken by intelligence agencies for interrogation over alleged links to militant groups in the country. Their relatives claimed they were picked up by intelligence agencies but never brought before any court.

During the course of proceedings, the apex court asked the additional attorney general (AAG) as to what necessary plan had been chalked out for the repatriation of Pakistani nationals from foreign countries.

AAG KK Agha presented a Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ report on Pakistanis detained in foreign jails. According to the report, there are at least 143 Pakistanis detained in Afghanistan, 425 in Malaysia and over 200 in Thailand.

The AAG, however, told the court that there were some financial issues among other difficulties in repatriating these Pakistanis. The court expressed satisfaction with the details and data, submitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; however, it observed that no serious measures were taken, so far, for the repatriation of Pakistani nationals, languishing in foreign jails.

The court issued notices to the federal secretaries of the ministries of foreign affairs, interior and finance to appear before it on Thursday and submit reports on the steps they had taken, so far, for bringing back the Pakistani nationals. The court also directed the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances to also take up pending cases of missing persons, besides, taking into consideration new cases.

The additional attorney general told the apex court that the commission held its meeting recently in Islamabad and took into confidence all the stakeholders while dealing with the cases. He further informed the court that the commission also recorded statements of the relatives of missing persons on oath, besides taking up the cases of people who went missing during the Lal Masjid operation.

He further informed the court that the commission would hold its next meeting in Karachi soon. Amna Masood Janjua, the Chairperson, Defence of Human Rights, and spouse of missing Masood Janjua, and Muhammad Ikram Chaudhry advocate also appeared before the court in the case. They expressed satisfaction with the smooth course of work of the commission and expressed the hope that soon it would be able to resolve the issue of missing persons. The court adjourned the hearing till Thursday.

Watching Idly, While They Cannabalize the Global Economy

Unhinged: When Concrete Reality No Longer Matters to the Market (and What to Do About It)

Written by Zeus Yiamouyiannis
Something profound has happened, obscured by all the concerns about economic details and speculation about whether we are in a “deep recession” or a “depression,” a “nascent recovery” or a “W shaped” downturn. We no longer have a global economic system that is tethered to concrete reality. Parasitic, amoral, slight-of-hand value-shuffling (what I would call the “unreal economy”) has effectively trumped the “real economy,” the production and exchange of meaningful goods and services.

Worse, we’ve let it happen with our acquiescence, our hope that we can just ride this one out, and our denial of what we sense intuitively to be true—pervasive fraud in the conduct of global financial business and massive counterfeiting in the establishment of value.

We’ve allowed big banks and affiliated institutions to simply concoct fake wealth out of thin air, and we have legitimized and rewarded these concoctions with a massive transfer of real wealth to a very small but powerful oligarchy through unregulated private bets backed by public taxpayer money, stratospheric fees siphoned from transactions, predatory lending, and private equity cannibalization of once-productive firms.

A global economy mediated by an acceptance of a standardized, reality-based rule of law and value between nations has given way to the shrouded anarchy of transnational banks as overriding powers driven by their own brand of anti-public “interest.”

What constitutes value has migrated from actual value, based in something you earn and related to something you can actually concretely use, to “references to value,” some number merely assigned to some financial instrument attached to some good or service somewhere several degrees removed from its source. (Think “mortgage backed securities” where the actual deeds to properties are no longer even in the picture after extensive “packaging” and repackaging.)

This is all a fancy way of playing the age old game, externalize liabilities, internalize gains, but on an unprecedented and potentially cataclysmic scale. Just as with political coverage that largely deals with the “horse race,” personalities, gaffes, and likeability of candidates over actual policy, financial coverage has concerned itself with a relentless boosterism, tea leaf reading, and a host of other trivialities while the structural rot goes unreported.

Abstractions like the “velocity of money,” along with whitewashing indicators like trading volume are used to gauge the health of an economy without sorting out whether such indicators are attached to some productive, underlying activity or asset. This all serves to create a convenient smoke screen for moneyed interests, and progressively makes the “new normal” one that thrusts citizens deeper into debt servitude.

Post Mortem and Review

A post mortem is in order. The elements of this worldwide con game are remarkably simple, not complex at all. Apparently you only need a few things to make a mockery of the entire global economic system, and big banks garnered these few important things through “regulatory capture”:

1) Unregulated, unenforced rules (particularly for derivatives)
2) license to “mark to model” (assign your own values to your assets)
3) ability to peg present value to irrational expected future returns (based on unlimited, exponential growth)
4) infinite leverage (no effective requirements for reserve capital in unregulated “shadow” markets)
5) massive size, so that the bank is “too big to fail”
6) non-transparency and non-accountability.

This combined with the moral, social, personal, and cultural approval of maximizing profit at any cost, incentivizes massive fraud and counterfeiting. How could this be otherwise, given the premises?

So here we have a system where you can 1) make up your own rules, 2) establish any value for any asset you choose, 3) inflate that value a hundred fold based on ostensible future value and returns, 4) leverage that inflated value another thousand or a million fold simply on your say-so, enough to buy up multi-billion dollar firms if you choose, 5) lean on taxpayer bailouts when you get into trouble, and 6) do this without any disclosure or accountability, all based upon a self-interested formula you concoct to enrich yourself. This is less sin or malfeasance than just plain lunacy. Yet, this is what we have and what we have allowed to gain the upper hand.

Literally, following the same formula with a little “solid reputation” sprinkled on, I can value my cat’s litter box at a million dollars, trade on its ostensible increased future value to skim myself a tidy sum in profit and transaction fees, leverage my “marked to model” value of that litter box, a million fold to buy up Chrysler. I can then loot Chrysler, stripping it of its real wealth and infrastructure, gut jobs, etc. for short term boosts to profits, and then walk away a billionaire.

I can give any reason or no reason at all for what I’m doing. I don’t have to tell anyone a thing, and no one is going to come after me. If they do “come after me” it will be to lard me with hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money to keep the national or global economy from collapsing.

Talk about throwing good money after bad. The most I can lose is my litter box and now that everyone has a stake in the con, they have every incentive to cover it up and make me whole, both to protect against their anxiety and their feelings they’ve been conned, and to maintain a functioning dysfunctional system.

The Historical Proof

Let me stress again: This is not mere “moral hazard;” this is sheer lunacy of the highest order. Moral hazard assumes a rational framework where the “good” (productivity, efficiency, etc.) is rewarded. We have currently already established and incentivized as “rational” an irrational framework where outright, willful lying, theft, fraud, and counterfeiting are rewarded. The more parasitic and more inefficient I am in this framework, the more I make. The more I trade an asset back and forth, the more fees I get.

Even if those fees eclipse the entire value of the asset in question, I am “rationally” compelled to continue trading as long as someone else is paying. If I can inflate the value of my asset at will and pay Moody’s or Standard and Poor’s to give me a AAA rating who’s going to know?

It is sobering to contemplate that the market for unregulated derivatives alone, has exceeded the global GDP at a total volume exceeding 600 trillion dollars and possibly more than a quadrillion dollars (1,000,000,000,000,000 or a million billion dollars).

Exhibit 1: The Private Equity Tax Loophole Scam:

Joshua Kosman, author of The Buyout of America: How Private Equity Will Cause the Next Great Credit Crisis  does a pretty good run-down on this scam on NPR’s November 16, 2009 “Fresh Air” .

According to the transcript, private equity firms (the new name for “leveraged buyout firms”) like the notorious Carlyle Group have purchased companies in a variety of industries and are now set to default on about a trillion dollars of their debts, close to the amount of default for the entire sub-prime mortgage market. Taking advantage of cheap money and lax lending, private equity firms will likely bankrupt about half of the 3,100 companies they bought, which currently employ one in ten American workers. Kosman estimates about 1.9 million jobs would be lost as a result.

By squeezing out workers, cutting research and development, private equity firms sell to each other at a massive short-term profit that devastates long-term viability. With the mattress industry, private equity firms bought Sealy, Simmons, and Serta. They then proceeded to essentially fix prices between themselves raising prices while lowering quality and durability. This worked short term, until competitors like Tempur-pedic gained market share and left the overpriced junk offered by their hollowed-out leveraged companies on the shelves. Market share and profitability for Serta dropped below pre-takeover levels.

The same formula is used with hospitals and other industries. Take a productive company with some reputation and loyalty, trash it, counting on lag time for people to depart, and make off with loot when it crashes.

Incredibly, going back to our theme of the market being “unhinged” from concrete reality, these private equity firms purchase companies with debt. Literally they put their fractional “money” down, and get the firm they are buying to take on the remainder of the debt! Ostensibly, since interest is tax-deductible, the reasoning goes, tax savings for the company accepting the debt will outweigh the disadvantages of paying down the interest and taking on the risks.

Of course, unsurprisingly, reality intercedes in a different direction. The scam is exposed. The equity firm walks away, and the company goes bankrupt. Many jobs are lost, and the whole country pays.

Exhibit 2: Fabricated Supply and Demand Scam: The Speculative Run-Up in Oil

Remember in the mid-2000’s when the media kept falling over itself to explain why gas prices were unhinged from oil supply and unrelated to any impinging world and seasonal events. Back then it was all explained away by mumbo-jumbo about the price of refining, and how certain refineries were off line. By 2007, the U.S. had begun a serious inquiry, with some settlements won for price fixing by retailers (the “bad apple strategy” that always leaves the big boys untouched), and, soon after, the prices settled down.

Now we have news of a new unexplained buoyancy in gas prices. This time commentators aren’t even bothering to pretend it has any rational connection with present supply and demand. Oil supplies are abundant, demand is down due to unemployed people staying home, and the summer driving season has yet to arrive. Instead prices are being “expectation driven” by speculators betting future upticks in the world economy, particularly China’s, will increase demand for oil.

The bitter irony of all this future possible value being more important than the present actual value is that this speculation could actually drive prices beyond the reach of people with less money now due to the poor economy and squash the very recovery that would give rise to legitimately higher prices in the future.

Again, a certain kind of twisted, counterproductive logic is allowed to run the market without correction from present, concrete conditions.

Exhibit 3: The Double Whammy Scam: Profiting from Designed Failure and Placing Bets Backed by Counterfeit Value

A recent government suit alleges that Goldman Sachs colluded with a billionaire short seller, John Paulson, to defraud investors and “construct a package of mortgage linked derivatives designed to blow up” so Paulson could make a fortune.

Continuing from AP reporter, Bernard Condon’s, article in the Washington Post, (Does Goldman Case Tarnish Cassandras of the Crash? April 21, 2010):

So-called short sellers, like Paulson, profit when stocks, mortgages or other assets they bet against lose value. In other words, the game of guessing which way prices would go was allegedly rigged in this case. That sounds bad enough. But some Wall Street veterans say the real tarnish on our erstwhile housing heroes is the package itself – regardless of whether it was designed to fail. By just linking to mortgages but not actually containing any, the Paulson package and others marketed by banks upped bets on housing to more than even the mortgages in existence, making the overall losses much bigger now that boom has turned to bust.

“Normally short sellers add rationality to a runaway marketplace,” says Charles Smith, who oversees $1 billion at Fort Pitt Capital Group. “But in this case they were adding rocket fuel to the fire.” The fuel here is devilishly difficult to understand. Called synthetic collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), these packages contained a series of wagers on whether thousands of homeowners would continue to pay their loans.

The key thing to grasp about them, and the part that explains how they magnified housing losses, is that they don’t actually own any mortgages and so aren’t limited by the number of such loans. Instead, these investments merely make “reference” to real mortgages to determine which side of the wager wins. (my emphases)

Did you catch that? This language confirms the divorce of concrete reality and the market: 1) “Linking to” mortgages but not containing any, 2) not actually owning any mortgages but being able to bet on them, 3) making “reference” to real mortgages to determine which side of the wager wins, 4) wagering bets not “limited” by material assets. The last point could theoretically involve an infinite number of bets and infinite returns on those bets.

This is well analyzed except for one point: The core of this dealing is deceptively simple, even if the instruments themselves are deliberately complex. Industry bettors simply concoct counterfeit value by leveraging their own abstract, self-assigned-value assets between themselves in a ping-pong ascending scale beyond the value of the underlying concrete assets.

The bet has both replaced and exceeded the thing it refers to. There is no “there” there. Real money is siphoned in fees from the “marks,” the pension funds who are told they are investing in highly rated, stable instruments, and then the U.S. taxpayer is asked to take up trillions of dollars of real debt in order to cover a counterfeit, undisclosed bidding/betting war.

Should I be able to make a “reference” to the Bank of England, or food, or oil, simply collect billions of real money if I bet right, and lose my never-there-to-begin-with counterfeit wealth if I don’t?

Who is the “house” in this casino in which someone can wage a series of bets on assets that actually exceed the value of the assets themselves? It’s always going to be the American taxpayer, the public, bailing out an unregulated, morally and financially reprehensible private market. Usually when someone says, “You really hate America,” it’s a disgruntled conservative with a chip on his shoulder.

Well, these profiteers actually make huge sums of money by destroying America, robbing it blind, and then sticking the American citizen with the check for any downside bets. Now let’s see why very little is currently being done to correct this.

One Nasty Hangover: Cultural Capture, Complicity, Rage, and Wondering When the Perps Will Walk

As with any successful “mark” in a con, the initial reaction by the abused is shame and efforts to pretend a scam did not happen. With the American people there is also more than a trace of complicity. People got high on visions of unlimited wealth and got a taste of their skyrocketing wealth, fictional and bubble-driven as it might have been. Some even used their houses as ATM’s.

This stems from a creeping and cleverly warped version of the American Dream, that we all could get wealthy without working if we were lucky or clever enough. In the orgy to get in on a “good thing,” people didn’t ask the serious question about whether this collusion was a morally, socially, and spiritually bad way to live your life, not to mention an abominable way to treat others and future generations.

Turns out the “good thing” is bad for everyone involved, even the crooks. People will begin to wake up to this as more jobs get lost and the fig leaves of fanfare-driven recovery fade into an uncomfortable reality—the United States and the world has been ripped off trillions of dollars, more than can be paid back even on the backs of overworking two-income families.

Rage is beginning to replace shame as the promises of recovery keeping meeting the stubborn reality of high unemployment, frozen lending, plunging commercial and residential real estate, skyrocketing college tuition, and expensive oil. People are beginning to wonder, “Where are the prosecutions; where is the accountability?” Why are citizens being counseled to liquidate their retirements to pay for their upside-down mortgages while corporations walk away from billion dollar real estate busts? Why is public money being used to bail out banks that engaged in purely private, unregulated betting?

Part of the answer is revealed in the case of Bradley Birkenfeld. Birkenfeld was an inside-the-inner-circle employee of the UBS, a Swiss Bank and one of the largest banks in the world. Swiss banks pride themselves on their “discretion” and privacy, a policy that allowed them to hide stolen Nazi wealth for decades.

So it’s clear that we are only talking financial and not moral “discretion.” In fact, Swiss banks continue to be a haven for tax cheats, international arms dealers, and anyone looking to park their ill-gotten gains outside the prying eyes of international law. After counseling clients including American politicians how to divert their money into UBS to avoid taxes, and even acting as a “concierge” to buy expensive objects for clients, Birkenfeld finally blew the whistle on the operation.

In interviews on CBS’s 60 minutes and Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now, Birkenfeld and his lawyer outlined the depth the corruption. From the April 15th, 2010 Democracy Now interview with Stephen Kohn, Birkenfeld’s lawyer:

Nineteen thousand American millionaires and billionaires had these offshore accounts. You had to be very wealthy to set one of these up. The government created an amnesty program, so if you voluntarily turned yourself in, you escaped any prosecution and even public exposure. No one would even know who you were. On the other hand, to Mr. Birkenfeld, who didn’t even have an account, Mr. Birkenfeld, who turned it in, he was sentenced to prison and was not offered immunity. So that’s the dichotomy.

Dichotomy indeed. There existed in UBS tens of billions of dollars of hidden, tax-dodges for the American clients alone, and all those clients got was a slap on the wrist and more “discretion” around their identities from U.S. law enforcement? UBS itself was merely fined 780 million dollars and forced to give over its names, a drop in the bucket for their almost 2 trillion dollar holdings. For all those wanting a progressive resurgence of the level playing field and the rule of law, there is little evidence of accountability to nourish one’s desire for justice. Hopes for real top-down prosecution are fading, but is there another tack the public can take?

Conclusion: A Possible Silver Lining

How can a world-wide economy unhinged from concrete reality perhaps result in positive changes (after, no doubt, a lot of pain)? The answer is fairly brief. Part of the problem involves mooring our own notions of the good life to our material subsistence and/or success. The notion that living luxuriously equals the epitome of the good life, has stunted our development and kept us infantilized, even with the many technological, artistic, social, and cultural advances we have made.

We still spend a vast majority of our time grinding out a living in so-so jobs that do not challenge us intellectually or creatively and that displace quality energy and time we could be spending with family, friends, community, and world.

We can make things, even necessities, cheaper than we ever have, yet we are spending more time working. In the 1990’s and 2000’s, productivity skyrocketed in the U.S., but real wages remained flat or declined. Now we see why. We have become debts serfs to financializers and market manipulators, who don’t even bother having a material stake in the game.

We can see two things from this if we are prepared to mature:

1)  good life, and even the economy itself, do not have to be primarily tied to material existence, and 2) We can do most if not all the things for ourselves that “experts” are being paid to do. We can decide to rent or share housing and watch each other’s kids. We can decide to drastically reduce our consumption, thus saving the environment and de-polluting our daily life. We can move our money to community banks, directly invest into microfinance, or lend to each other through “circle lending,” cutting out the big banks and brokerages.

We can help each other fortify and maintain our health through community programs and “medical tourism”, cutting out health insurance and medical industry parasites. We can set up or join intellectually and socially edifying cultural groups. In short we can exercise civil disobedience, refuse to be stooges, create our own spaces, and and recommit to spend time and energy where our true heart lies, free from the delusional temptations of a corporate-driven reason for life that has shown itself to be both conclusively abusive and unfulfilling.

In the end, they need us, and we don’t need them. This is the only “this life” we are going to have. It’s a lot more adventurous and enhancing to be a cultural creative then a debt slave. So, what are we waiting for?

copyright 2010 Zeus Yiamouyiannis.

Source: Of Two Minds

Short-Term Window for Obama’s Dangerous Restructuring of America

Is Obama Following Europe Down the Economic Rabbit Hole

Written by Christopher C. Horner
The most troubling aspect of the West’s current policy turmoil is not the European meltdown led by Greece and Spain. It is instead President Barack Obama’s unflinching insistence on rushing America headlong into the very mandates, and resulting debt levels, that precipitated that meltdown.

Obama is scripting a repeat of Europe’s disaster, here, by cramming down on the American people the same policy fetishes our Left has obsessed about for decades, and which Europe used to bring this down upon itself: statist management of health care and energy.

Consider the demands of even the European Union, whose billions to bail out Greece’s broken system appear to be only the precursor to the American taxpayer throwing ever more at Greece through the International Monetary Fund. The EU is leaning on Greece to, of all things, reintroduce private market forces into its state-run health care system. It turns out the state cannot afford state-run health care for the very reasons cited to expose Obama’s cost projections as ideological fantasy – the risible vow that offering more people more health care choices while further removing them from the true price of the services would “bend the cost curve downward.”

We also saw the eye-opening development late last month in Spain, flirting with the prospect of following Greece down the rabbit hole of statist bankruptcy. Desperate to avoid the ongoing public unrest which is aimed at intimidating political leaders away from abating Greece’s system of wealth transfers, Spain also seems to be preparing the public for massive reduction in expensive make-work projects.

In an internal report leaked to the media Spain’s socialist government acknowledged long-denied criticisms of its massive intervention to create a “green economy.” This amounts to official recognition that the schemes, specifically touted on eight separate occasions by Obama as his model for “green jobs” and “clean energy” mandates, are unsustainable and threaten the state with bankruptcy. In the face of this evidence, Obama has not stepped back one bit from racing into place his agenda. The imperative, it seems, is that whole “fundamental transformation” thing he vaguely if ominously promised.

Joining him now in this recklessness is the Democrat-controlled Senate, having finally found what it sees as bipartisan political cover for imposing the destructive economic feng shui of organizing society.

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) is lead sponsor of the legislative vehicle to be introduced this week, previously styled as various things, but now as an energy bill. Though it includes a cap-and-trade scheme and carbon dioxide restrictions, Kerry recently acknowledged that the measure “is not an environment bill.” This may sound odd, although it is self-evident to many since no one dares claim a temperature reduction would result that, even accepting all of their assumptions, would be detectable from background noise. The issue isn’t the issue. It must therefore be something else. I suggest it is simply a Power Grab one that threatens to bankrupt America.

In fact, “cap-and-trade” – the “cap” tips you off to the energy rationing – was never about climate. Co-author Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) admitted that when he topped Kerry’s candor late last week with the breathtaking assertion that “It’s not a global warming bill to me. Because global warming as a reason to pass legislation doesn’t exist anymore.”

Both senators also assert that the bill isn’t really “cap-and-trade” for the simple reason that they aren’t going to use that term to describe its cap-and-trade system. Obama poisoned that well with his admission that “under my plan of a cap-and-trade system electricity prices would necessarily skyrocket.”

Now they both admit that their global warming system isn’t about global warming, and Graham winks that this is because the rationale has fallen flat among the public. There’s some reason for this enormous intervention. We just aren’t supposed to learn what it is.

So, now, we’re told it’s about jobs. Except that, also at the end of last week, a Congressional Budget Officereport came out and acknowledged about “cap-and-trade” what others have pointed out for years and Europe has experienced: “In particular, job losses in the industries that shrink would lower employment more than job gains in other industries would increase employment, thereby raising the overall unemployment rate.”

That may be why the House-passed cap-and-trade bill included two years of unemployment assistance for workers who lose their jobs as a result of this “jobs bill.” So the cap-and-trade bill long offered in the name of the environment and specifically somehow gently ministering to the climate isn’t not about cap-and-trade, it’s not about climate, it’s not about the environment. And it’s also not about jobs, as even CBO admits.

Every rationale trotted out for why you must accept this statism has fallen by the wayside, leaving those who seek to dictate your lifestyle through imposing artificial physical and price scarcity on energy to scramble for any excuse they think you’ll buy.

This is not change. It is an aggressive escalation of all that is wrong with Washington. Naturally, “big business” will be on the dais at Wednesday’s press conference unveiling the scheme to grant the scheme economic gravitas. This actually only affirms the worst about the bill. Leaked details about Kerry-Graham-Lieberman indicate that it, like the House bill, includes billions in the increased energy costs directed to industry in return for political cover.

And somehow you are the only ones not “at the table.” But you are also the only ones standing between today’s Greece and Spain being tomorrow’s America.

By. Christopher C. Horner

Source: Energy Tribune

China and Russia Only Competitors In Global Reactor Construction?

NUCLEAR GAMES EAST AND THE WEST

Serbia could serve as a proxy to China went nuclear in financing the construction of Belene in Bulgaria, bringing the Beijing loan to finance the atomic “Skadar on Bojana”
By J. Putnikovic

Instead of the Russians, Serbia will build a nuclear power plant with the Chinese. Will not it be the end of the village of Mladen in Backa or in Kostolac or uu Further, in neighboring Croatia, as well as some unofficially announced, but also the neighboring country of Bulgaria, in Belene.

Serbia will be in a financial partnership with China will be one of the investors in the construction of Belene nuclear plant in Bulgaria. Professor Peter Škundrić and management of the Serbian Electricity these days in China to negotiate on this remote Asian country in addition to loans for several projects in Kostolac approved a loan to Serbia for the Bulgarian nuclear.

Although the past autumn, Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Konuzin, stirred the public saying that Russia is seriously considering building nuclear power plants in Serbia and that “the first conversations about it, at the highest level already done,” the Belgrade authorities have decided to accept the offer of the Bulgarian Prime Minister Borka Borisova and participate in the construction of Belene NO.

After a statement from the Serbian government Konuzin denied any negotiations with the Russians and the argument stated that a moratorium on building nuclear valid until 2015. year, and that the construction of nuclear plants is not provided for the state energy strategy in Serbia. Bulgarian Prime Minister releases offer Serbia needs to resolve these issues because, Belene is not in Serbia.

Two weeks ago, Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic on offer Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borissov responded that the decision will be made following expert analysis.Explaining that Serbia is in effect a moratorium on building nuclear, but that this does not apply to countries in the region Cvetkovic was then told to study the documentation and there is still no decision in which the percentage of Serbia was the financier of the project.
Sofia – Belgrade – Beijing

Last week, this time in Sofia, the atomic-powered partnership to re-Listed by Bulgarian Prime Minister, discovering the Serbian people that the government of Serbia is ready to up to five percent of the value of participating in the construction of Belene nuclear power plant on the Danube. Calculation shows that this is an investment of at least $ 100 million.

“Foreign investors want a complete analysis of the project and why now Bulgaria has the right to choose a consultant who will write a report and show the benefit of building the nuclear plant, for that money,” Borisov told Tanjug said, explaining that he wants this project to be ” Balkan, European, clear, and that if they find investors, “can be made very quickly.”

Peter went to Beijing Škundrić, Minister of Energy and Mines of the Government of Serbia potvrođuje these announcements from Bulgaria. Škundrić call the company from China to participate in the construction of Belene nuclear power plant in Bulgaria, which will transfer to reporters from the Asian countries, Serbian forces to build shared with Bulgaria.

As an echo of the news in Belgrade is, unofficially, I can hear the announcement that China, together with Serbia in the future the consortium for the construction of Belene NOT be owner of five for 15 and maybe even more percent. Details of the arrangement are still undefined.
Russians undesirable by the dictates of Brussels

Construction of Belene nuclear project, in the same named town on the Danube in northern Bulgaria started in 1986. year. Due to financial problems stopped in 1991.and November 2006. in the tender for the main contractor wins Russian company Atomstrojeksport. The signing of the contract in Sofia was attended by Vladimir Putin, then Russian president. Then it was said that the investor will be electricity Bulgaria (NEK). At the end of 2008 NEK is a co-investor chose the German company RWE, with whom he agreed to get a 49% ownership in the name of investment in Belene NO.

It is foreseen that NO Belene has two reactors of the 440 megawatts. Construction, according to estimates, the cost of 3.997 billion euros. It is planned that the first new nuclear reactor to be completed by 2013, and the second by 2014. year.

But it turned out that funding is still not solved. The works were suspended. RWE, one of the key players in the project withdrew last year. Then come back to the scene to Russia in February this year offered a loan of two billion euros for the start of construction. Condition Russians to return funds as a strategic investor. But Bulgarians match that the Russians may be involved in the construction of Belene, but not as a strategic investor. This answer was written by the dictates of Jeffrey van Orden, a former European Parliament rapporteur for Bulgaria, which stated that a strategic partner in building nuklerake must be from the European Union.

Russian opposition to Brussels to join the atomic electric power sector of Bulgaria is not surprising because the project would Atomstrojeksport strengthened position in the world market of building nuclear power plants. Russians, or, and not hide. Hlukhiv Alexander, vice president Atomstrojeksporta in 2006. it was said openly. Then Atomstrojeskport already had fifty years of experience in nuclear construction in 11 countries worldwide. They were, according to the nook, “the only company that also built the five energy facilities overseas, two in China, two in India and one in Iran.” On your list then add the Belene nuclear power plant. The West is that, obviously, is not liked. Among other things, because Atomstrojeksport part of the Russian energy giant Gazprom.

“Bulgaria does not want Russia to finance the construction of Belene NE, but seeks a way to project finance participation of European investors,” said Christ at the end of April, May, Deputy Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism in the government of Bulgaria at a roundtable in Sofia dedicated to the Bulgarian dilemmas regarding security of supply of energy which was attended by politicians and diplomats.

Russia’s representative at the time said that Russia has offered Bulgaria a loan of 2 billion euros for the Belene project NE while it enters a new strategic partner, while Russia would like credit insurance payment could get a share of ownership, which could be transferred to the new strategic partners. However, Christ is denied, claiming that it is not negotiated on the granting of ownership stake in the Belene NOT for the Russian loan. The event involved the American ambassador in Bulgaria, warned that the decision on the development of the energy sector will be far reaching for Bulgaria and other countries in the region, reports the Bulgarian daily “newspapers”.
Serbia as a “Trojan horse”

NE Belne would be the second Bulgarian nukleraka. Its construction is becoming especially topical when the accession of Bulgaria in the European Union (the European Commission’s proposal) from bezbedodnosnih reason closed four power reactors of 440 megawatts by the NE Kozloduy. These are, otherwise, the older Russian production reactors. The Kozloduy in the function of other fifth and sixth reactor newer tanks, from 1,000 MW installed capacity.

Bulgaria has to compensate for these “lost” the capacity to produce electricity. The Chinese, who, unlike many western countries, faced with excess cash, started in investing across the globe. In the case of them, like Russians in Bulgaria as investors do not want Chinese Serbia could be used as intermediaries. For instance in Serbia with EPS would create a company that invested heavily in NE Belene. The money would be a Chinese, at least officially, the Bulgarian nuclear co-investor in Serbia.

According to the Bulgarian prime minister can be assumed that Brussels would not have anything against such arrangements. Now remains only on the Belgrade authorities to an istrguju in the circumvention of the West to East.