Open subject, observations etc.
Obama tries to explain open mic comment to medvedev
SEOUL -- President Barack Obama offered an extended explanation here Tuesday of the hot mic moment that caught him asking Russia's president for some "space" and "flexibility" until after November's election.
"The only way I get this stuff done is If I'm consulting with the Pentagon, with Congress, if I've got bipartisan support and frankly, the current environment is not conducive to those kinds of thoughtful consultations," Obama told reporters following a meeting with the presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan. "I think the stories you guys have been writing over the last 24 hours is pretty good evidence of that."
Mr. Khaled Abu-Toameh – Israeli-Arab Journalist –West Bank & Gaza corresponded for the Jerusalem Post & US News & World Report
Khaled Abu Toameh, an Israeli Arab, is the West Bank and Gaza correspondent for the Jerusalem Post and U.S. News and World Report. He previously served as a senior writer for the Jerusalem Report, and a correspondent for Al-Fajr. He has produced several documentaries on the Palestinians for the BBC and many other networks, including ones that exposed the connection between Arafat and payments to the armed wing of Fatah and the financial corruption within the Palestinian Authority. Mr. Abu Toameh received his BA in English Literature from the Hebrew University
Interview on what it is that we can expect from Hamas etc.
Subject Area: Israeli Palestinian conflict
Palestinian authority & Hamas
GAS Prices expected to Rise!
Volokh Conspiracy Blog
Justices Skeptical that Obamacare Mandate is a tax
Today's Supreme Court oral argument transcript suggests that many of the justices, including at least three of the liberals, are skeptical of claims that the individual mandate is a tax. This is important not only for today's argument about the applicability of the Anti-Injunction Act (which probably does not apply if the mandate penalty is not a tax), but to tomorrow's argument about the constitutionality of the mandate. The federal government has argued that the mandate is constitutional because it is an exercise of Congress' power under the Tax Clause. Lower courts have almost uniformly rejected this constitutional tax argument, and today's questioning suggests that the Supreme Court is unlikely to accept it either.
Visiting with IDF Public Affairs Eytan Bachman
Radicals prepare to rush the Israeli Borders
PLO, Hamas Support Land Day Protests
2012-03-26 21:59:47 Xinhua Web Editor: Guo
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Islamic
Hamas movement on Monday voiced support for upcoming demonstrations marking
the Land Day on Israel 's borders with nearby countries.
Israeli stock market up on fears of strike down
Monologue US NEWS
YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING!! From Think Progress
In one of the most significant reversals of Bush-era policy, the Obama administration plans tomorrow to issue greenhouse pollution limits for new power plants, a major step in the fight against global warming. The new rule — which will go into effect in 2013 — confirms the end of the era of dirty coal-fired power plants:
The proposed rule — years in the making and approved by the White House after months of review — will require any new power plant to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt of electricity produced. The average U.S. natural gas plant, which emits between 800 and 850 pounds of CO2 per megawatt, meets that standard; coal plants emit an average of 1,768 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt.
Since the late 1990s, "natural gas has been the fuel of choice for the majority of new generating units," and in the 2000s, wind power generation also grew significantly. With the high cost of its toxic pollution from mine to plant, coal has been losing out to cleaner sources of fuel in the electric utility sector. Although few new coal plants have been built in the last twenty years, aging plants — some built in the 1930s — still produce about 40 percent of U.S. electricity, and about 80 percent of carbon pollution from the power sector.
In March 2001, newly elected President George W. Bush reversed a campaign pledge to limit greenhouse pollution from power plants, the source of 40 percent of United States global warming pollution. In 2008, Bush White House officials refused to open an email sent by its own Environmental Protection Agency which called for action againstman-made climate change.
"This is the third major executive action launched by the Obama administration to reduce carbon pollution," writes Center for American Progress senior fellow Daniel Weiss. "With growing evidence that the serious impacts of climate change are already here, President Obama deserves credit for this new standard. We must urgently adopt and implement these new pollution reduction standards for power plants."
a former Israeli Ambassador to Egypt
Egypt Today The durability of the peace agreement between Israel & Egypt in light of political change in Egypt
Drama inside the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood
CAIRO — With presidential elections set to begin in May, Egypt's most powerful Islamist party is sharply divided over whether the group should field a candidate.
The Muslim Brotherhood had promised for more than a year that it would not enter the race, in an apparent effort to allay fears that the populist group wanted to take advantage of Hosni Mubarak's ouster to seize control of the country.
But Brotherhood officials suggested last week that they might field a candidate, prompting criticism from political opponents as well as some of the Brotherhood's own members, who say that a reversal would deal a major blow to the group's reputation and credibility.
The internal split over the presidential race follows months in which the Brotherhood has tried to tread carefully. While seeking a dominant role in Egypt's government, the Brotherhood has been hesitant to reach for full control, wary of Western and liberal fears of its rise. Members are also keenly aware that the next year will be a difficult period of transition and, with full control of the country's political levers, the Brotherhood could be an easy target for blame.
So far, analysts say, the Brotherhood has worked to garner just enough power to dominate the process while bringing others into the fold to share the responsibility. But holding the presidency would take away that shield and put the burden of responsibility on the Brotherhood's shoulders, analysts said.
Brotherhood officials said they expect the matter to be decided at a meeting of its executive body on Tuesday.
"It's an unprecedented crisis in the Brotherhood," said a prominent member of the group, who asked to speak anonymously so he could speak candidly. "Going back on their word is wrong. Islamists have to have morals."
In a statement Monday, the head of the Brotherhood said the group was only considering fielding a candidate because it was worried that former regime figures backed by the ruling military council would win if it did not. Local newspapers reported Monday that Mubarak-era intelligence chief Omar Suleiman may run for president.
"We certainly do not seek power per se," Mohamed Badie, the supreme guide, said in a statement.
The Brotherhood — which has emerged as a powerful player after decades of repression by Mubarak's secular but autocratic regime — has broken at least one earlier political promise. It said its political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, would only field candidates for about a third of the seats in Egypt's first post-revolution parliament. But, in the end, it fielded many more, and members of the group were elected to just under half of the parliamentary seats.
The Islamist organization ousted a prominent progressive member, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, when he defied the group's leaders and said he would run for president. The candidate the Brotherhood is considering putting forward is its top financier, Khairat el-Shater, who represents more conservative elements of the group.
Last week about 20 young Muslim Brotherhood members went to the group's headquarters to demand that it honor its promise not to field a candidate. They also urged the group's leadership to stop its practice of dismissing people for joining other political parties.
The Brotherhood is an ideological organization, not a political one, said Mohammed al-Hadidi, a Brotherhood member who is Shater's son-in-law and a member of the dissenting group.
"All of the seats we got in the parliament are based on the reputation that we are honest," Hadidi said in an interview. "We just want to keep our reputation. Dismissing people based on political ideology reflects bad behavior of the Muslim Brothers against their own people, so if they go to the government how will they perform? How will they deal with other Egyptians who might take different opinions?"
The Brotherhood had planned to announce its decision on a presidential candidate on Friday, but the storm of criticism appeared to force a postponement. Leading Brotherhood members have denied any infighting over the issue.
"Twelve people outside the Guidance Bureau is not a protest," said Secretary General Mahmoud Hussein.
On Monday, however, dissent appeared to be broadening. Mohammed el-Beltagy, a leading member of the Freedom and Justice Party, urged the Brotherhood on his Facebook page not to proffer its own candidate and to "admit its mistakes."
Hour 2 Segment 3
Israel Law Center.Org
Suing the terrorsts
H2 Seg 4
Culture of Corruption
Hour 3 Seg 1
RESET Israel with Observations
Hour 3 Seg 2 Calls and
Looming Yen Collapse?
Japan is on an unsustainable path of a strong yen and deflation. The unprofitability of Japan's major exporters and emerging trade deficits suggest that the end of this path is in sight. The transition from a strong to weak yen will likely be abrupt, involving a sudden and big devaluation of 30 to 40 percent. It will be a big shock to Japan's neighbors and its distant competitors like Germany. The yen's devaluation in 1996 was a main factor in triggering the Asian Financial Crisis. Japan's neighbors must have a strong banking system to withstand a bigger devaluation of the yen.
Japan's nominal GDP contracted 8 percent in the four years to the third quarter of 2011, and six percentage points of that was due to deflation . Without increased government expenditure, the contraction will be one percentage point more. Japan has not seen this kind of sustained deflation since the 1930s.
Segment 3 Culture of Corruption round up
Segment 4 Recap and previewing tomorrow!