WH: Biden finds China one-child policy ‘repugnant’

WH: Biden finds China one-child policy ‘repugnant’

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The White House today addressed Vice President Biden’s controversial comments concerning China’s one-child policy.

From a spokesman:

“The Obama Administration strongly opposes all aspects of China’s coercive birth limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization.”

The spokesman added that Biden found the policy ‘repugnant’ and was trying to point out to the Chinese that the one-child policy was economically unsustainable.

GOP presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney together with Speaker of the House John Boehner previously issued statements criticizing the Vice-President remarks.

Jon Huntsman also released a statement prior to the Vice President’s remarks:

“As an adoptive father, whose daughter was abandoned by her parents in China, Gov. Huntsman is intimately familiar with the impact of China’s ‘one-child’ policy. As someone who is firmly pro-life, he feels the policy runs counter to the fundamental value of human life and is heartbroken by the destructive nature of the policy that has cost millions of lives.”

GOP critic calls Joe Biden’s $53 billion high-speed rail plan ‘insanity’

GOP critic calls Joe Biden’s $53 billion high-speed rail plan ‘insanity’

By Daniel B. Wood                    Daniel B. WoodTue Feb 8, 8:39 pm ET

Los Angeles – Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday proposed that the US government infuse $53 billion into a national high-speed rail network. The announcement was met immediately by deep skepticism from two House Republicans that could be crucial to the plan’s success, raising questions about whether it can clear Capitol Hill.

House Transportation Committee Chair Rep. John Mica (R) of Florida said previous administration grants to high-speed rail projects were a failure, producing “snail speed trains to nowhere.” He called Amtrak a “Soviet-style train system” and said it “hijacked” nearly all the administration’s rail projects.

Meanwhile, Railroads Subcommittee Chair Rep. Bill Shuster (R) of Pennsylvania said Mr. Biden’s plan was “insanity,” adding: “Rail projects that are not economically sound will not ‘win the future’ ” – coopting the slogan President Obama coined in his State of the Union address.

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With Republicans controlling the House and dedicating themselves to deep budget cuts, any new spending proposed by the White House will face stiff scrutiny. But Congressman Shuster offers some hope of compromise. On Jan. 28 in Hartford, Conn., he proclaimed his support for expanding high-speed rail in the Northeast, backing a network that could stretch from Montreal to Washington, D.C.

“This is the most congested region in the country. High-speed rail here could be profitable,” he said.

Biden’s planAccording to the plan laid out Tuesday by Biden, the first step of the six-year plan would be to invest $8 billion to develop or improve three types of interconnected corridors:

Core express corridors would form the backbone of the national high-speed rail system, with electrified trains traveling on dedicated tracks at speeds of 125 to 250 m.p.h or higher.

Regional corridors would lay the foundation for future high-speed service, with trains traveling between 90 to 125 m.p.h.

Emerging corridors would provide travelers with access to the larger national high-speed network and travel at as much as 90 m.p.h.

To backers, the benefits of the plan are twofold. First, it would give a much-needed boost to America’s spending on infrastructure. And second, it would provide jobs for the economic recovery.

“If you look at the last 100 years, it has been large public-works projects which have pulled our nation out of every recession,” says Barry LePatner, author of “Too Big to Fall: America’s Failing Infrastructure and the Way Forward.”

Mr. LePatner notes that the building of the Erie Canal opened the Northeast in 1819, the transcontinental railroad connected the populated East to the developing West, and the interstate highway system built under Eisenhower “all opened up vast reservoirs of trade and economic investment.â€

He suggests that studies show $1 billion spent on infrastructure remediation produces between 18,000 and 34,000 jobs. “Twenty-five to 35 percent of that then comes back in taxes, and the other multiplies in geometric ratios as spending on food, clothing, shelter, and other goods,â€

Big projects, big delaysBut building high-speed rail is no easy process, says Leslie McCarthy, a high-speed rail expert at Villanova University’s College of Engineering. “Whether or not a bill would or should pass is the easiest part of all this,” she says. “The bigger part of the question is purchasing the land, getting right of ways, zoning issues, environmental impact assessments, laying dedicated tracks in a reasonable amount of time.”

She says the typical US highway project can be held up anywhere from three to five years at the low end to 12 to 20 years at the high end. “Legislators and the public aren’t aware of the number of federal, state, and local laws that agencies have to comply with that can’t be gotten around,” she adds.

In fact, the very thing that makes the Northeast so attractive for high-speed rail – its population density – could also make it the most difficult place to build. “There is so much population in the Northeast corridor that I don’t know if there is even enough room for the dedicated tracks needed for high-speed rail,” says Professor McCarthy. “And if the distances you are going are not sufficient to make efficient use of the high speeds, what’s the point?”

Wise investment or money pit?Critics agree. Only two rail corridors in the world – France’s Paris to Lyon line and Japan’s Tokyo to Osaka line – cover their costs, says Ken Button, director of the Center for Transportation Policy at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

“Both of these are the perfect distance for high-speed rail, connect cities over flat terrain with huge populations that have great public transportation to get riders to the railway,” he says, dismissing French claims that other lines make money. He says they calculate costs in ways which ignore capital costs.

To supporters of high-speed rail expansion, however, US transportation must move beyond its reliance on oil. High-speed rail is the only form of intercity transportation that has a 45-year record of moving people without oil, says Anthony Perl, professor of political science at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, and a fellow at the Post Carbon Institute.

“That’s why 30 countries around the world have done this and the US and Canada are just laggards,” he says. “If people want to get where they are going between cities they are going to need high-speed rail because flying and driving will only become more and more costly.”

FEC Likely to Allow Obama Bailout for Biden

FEC Likely to
Allow Obama Bailout for Biden

By Alex Knott

In a flashback to the campaigns of
yesterday, the Federal Election Commission released a draft opinion to allow
President Barack Obama’s campaign committee to transfer money to pay for
campaign finance penalties left over from Vice President Joseph Biden’s 2008
White House run.

While a majority vote by the
six-person FEC will be required for passage, the agency’s single draft bodes
well for the former six-term Democratic Senator from Delaware.

Biden’s presidential campaign was
fined $133,000 earlier this year after an FEC audit found minor violations,
including stale-dated checks.

But his campaign does not have enough
money in reserve, reporting just $82,000 in available cash on hand as of the
end of September and nearly $8,000 in other debts.

So the president’s 2008 campaign,
which has nearly $3.2 million in the bank, formally asked the FEC whether Obama
for America could pay the outstanding fees to the Treasury Department on behalf
of the vice president. The FEC is slated to vote on the measure at this week’s
regular Thursday meeting.

Biden: We Can’t Recover All the Jobs Lost

Biden: We Can’t Recover All the Jobs Lost

Vice President Joe Biden gave a stark assessment of the economy today, telling an audience of supporters, “there’s no possibility to restore 8 million jobs lost in the Great Recession.”

Appearing at a fundraiser with Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) in Milwaukee, the vice president remarked that by the time he and President Obama took office in 2008, the gross domestic product had shrunk and hundreds of thousands of jobs had been lost.

“We inherited a godawful mess,” he said, adding there was “no way to regenerate $3 trillion that was lost. Not misplaced, lost.”

 Claims for jobless benefits fell by the largest number in two months last week, but were still high enough to signal weak job growth. Meanwhile, the Senate on Thursday failed to pass an extension of unemployment benefits.

Biden said today the economy is improving and noted that in the past four quarters, there has been 4 percent growth in the economy. Over the last five months, more than 500,000 private sector jobs were created.

 “We know that’s not enough,” the vice president said.

 Last week the White House put out a Recovery and Reinvestment Act update claiming that between 2.2 million and 2.8 million jobs were either saved or created because of the stimulus as of March 2010. In signing the Recovery Act into law on Feb 17, 2009, Mr. Obama said the measure “will create or save 3-and-a-half million jobs over the next two years.”

The Runaway General

The Runaway General

Stanley McChrystal, Obama's top commander in Afghanistan, has seized control of the war by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, works on board a Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft between Battlefield Circulation missions. 

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Mark O’Donald/NATO

By  Michael Hastings

Jun 22, 2010 10:00 AM EDT

This article appears in RS 1108/1109 from July 8-22, 2010, on newsstands Friday, June 25.
‘How’d I get screwed into going to this dinner?” demands Gen. Stanley McChrystal. It’s a Thursday night in mid-April, and the commander of all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan is sitting in a four-star suite at the Hôtel Westminster in Paris. He’s in France to sell his new war strategy to our NATO allies – to keep up the fiction, in essence, that we actually have allies. Since McChrystal took over a year ago, the Afghan war has become the exclusive property of the United States. Opposition to the war has already toppled the Dutch government, forced the resignation of Germany’s president and sparked both Canada and the Netherlands to announce the withdrawal of their 4,500 troops. McChrystal is in Paris to keep the French, who have lost more than 40 soldiers in Afghanistan, from going all wobbly on him. 

“The dinner comes with the position, sir,” says his chief of staff, Col. Charlie Flynn. 

McChrystal turns sharply in his chair.

“Hey, Charlie,” he asks, “does this come with the position?”

McChrystal gives him the middle finger.

More on General McChrystal

1 ⁄ 3

Hastings on Replacing McChrystal: Can Petraeus Win the War?

Photos: On the Ground with the Runaway General

Revolt of the Troops: Hastings Reports In From Afghanistan

The general stands and looks around the suite that his traveling staff of 10 has converted into a full-scale operations center. The tables are crowded with silver Panasonic Toughbooks, and blue cables crisscross the hotel’s thick carpet, hooked up to satellite dishes to provide encrypted phone and e-mail communications. Dressed in off-the-rack civilian casual – blue tie, button-down shirt, dress slacks – McChrystal is way out of his comfort zone. Paris, as one of his advisers says, is the “most anti-McChrystal city you can imagine.” The general hates fancy restaurants, rejecting any place with candles on the tables as too “Gucci.” He prefers Bud Light Lime (his favorite beer) to Bordeaux, Talladega Nights (his favorite movie) to Jean-Luc Godard. Besides, the public eye has never been a place where McChrystal felt comfortable: Before President Obama put him in charge of the war in Afghanistan, he spent five years running the Pentagon’s most secretive black ops.

 “What’s the update on the Kandahar bombing?” McChrystal asks Flynn. The city has been rocked by two massive car bombs in the past day alone, calling into question the general’s assurances that he can wrest it from the Taliban.

“We have two KIAs, but that hasn’t been confirmed,” Flynn says.

McChrystal takes a final look around the suite. At 55, he is gaunt and lean, not unlike an older version of Christian Bale in Rescue Dawn. His slate-blue eyes have the unsettling ability to drill down when they lock on you. If you’ve fucked up or disappointed him, they can destroy your soul without the need for him to raise his voice. 

“I’d rather have my ass kicked by a roomful of people than go out to this dinner,” McChrystal says.

He pauses a beat.

“Unfortunately,” he adds, “no one in this room could do it.”

With that, he’s out the door.

“Who’s he going to dinner with?” I ask one of his aides. 

“Some French minister,” the aide tells me. “It’s fucking gay.”

The next morning, McChrystal and his team gather to prepare for a speech he is giving at the École Militaire, a French military academy. The general prides himself on being sharper and ballsier than anyone else, but his brashness comes with a price: Although McChrystal has been in charge of the war for only a year, in that short time he has managed to piss off almost everyone with a stake in the conflict. Last fall, during the question-and-answer session following a speech he gave in London, McChrystal dismissed the counterterrorism strategy being advocated by Vice President Joe Biden as “shortsighted,” saying it would lead to a state of “Chaos-istan.” The remarks earned him a smackdown from the president himself, who summoned the general to a terse private meeting aboard Air Force One. The message to McChrystal seemed clear: Shut the fuck up, and keep a lower profile

Now, flipping through printout cards of his speech in Paris, McChrystal wonders aloud what Biden question he might get today, and how he should respond. “I never know what’s going to pop out until I’m up there, that’s the problem,” he says. Then, unable to help themselves, he and his staff imagine the general dismissing the vice president with a good one-liner. 

“Are you asking about Vice President Biden?” McChrystal says with a laugh. “Who’s that?”

“Biden?” suggests a top adviser. “Did you say: Bite Me?”

When Barack Obama entered the Oval Office, he immediately set out to deliver on his most important campaign promise on foreign policy: to refocus the war in Afghanistan on what led us to invade in the first place. “I want the American people to understand,” he announced in March 2009. “We have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan.” He ordered another 21,000 troops to Kabul, the largest increase since the war began in 2001. Taking the advice of both the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he also fired Gen. David McKiernan – then the U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan – and replaced him with a man he didn’t know and had met only briefly: Gen. Stanley McChrystal. It was the first time a top general had been relieved from duty during wartime in more than 50 years, since Harry Truman fired Gen. Douglas MacArthur at the height of the Korean War.

Even though he had voted for Obama, McChrystal and his new commander in chief failed from the outset to connect. The general first encountered Obama a week after he took office, when the president met with a dozen senior military officials in a room at the Pentagon known as the Tank. According to sources familiar with the meeting, McChrystal thought Obama looked “uncomfortable and intimidated” by the roomful of military brass. Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after McChrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn’t go much better. “It was a 10-minute photo op,” says an adviser to McChrystal. “Obama clearly didn’t know anything about him, who he was. Here’s the guy who’s going to run his fucking war, but he didn’t seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed.”

read full

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/119236

Morning Bell: Slouching Towards Irrelevance — Obama-Biden Anti-American

Morning Bell: Slouching Towards Irrelevance

Posted By Conn Carroll On May 25, 2010 @ 9:33 am In American Leadership, Protect America | No Comments

Earlier this month while in Brussels, Vice President Joe Biden told [1] the European Parliament that while “some American politicians and American journalists refer to Washington, DC as the ‘capital of the free world’ … it seems to me that this great city, which boasts 1,000 years of history and which serves as the capital of Belgium, the home of the European Union, and the headquarters for NATO, this city has its own legitimate claim to that title.” How revealing.

The European Union is a profoundly anti-democratic institution, created and forced on member states by internationalist leftist elites despite widespread public disapproval [2]. It should be no surprise that the same administration that can’t bring itself to enforce our laws and protect our borders [3] would give such strong support to an institution that has so undermined national sovereignty in Europe [4]. And given that the EU’s unelected and unaccountable bureaucracy [5] employs more people than the entire British Army [6] it is no wonder that NATO member nations have been unwilling/unable [7] to pull their weight [8] in the Long War.

One might hope that the Obama administration would look at the path Europe has gone down (a bloated welfare state [9] that saps economic growth [10] and bleeds military spending [11]) and decide to change course. But President Barack Obama’s speech at West Point [12] on Sunday quashed any such hopes. Speaking to graduating Cadets, President Obama laid out the increasingly identifiable pillars of the Obama Doctrine [13]: greater reliance on international institutions; substituting soft power for hard power; and a more subdued and less self-reliant America – a scheme designed more to manage American decline than to ensure its people remain safe, free and prosperous.

Last Friday Charles Krauthammer gave us a whirlwind tour [14] of what the Obama Doctrine has looked like in action: failed engagement with Iran, surrender to Russia on missile defense, appeasement of Syria, support for pro-Chavez leftists in Honduras, and a gratuitous slap at Britain over the Falkland Islands. And what has it secured? A completely fake deal between Turkey, Brazil and Iran that will do nothing to slow Iran’s nuclear weapons program but has already made new meaningful sanctions next to impossible [15].

Instead of cutting domestic spending and reining in entitlements, President Obama passed a $862 billion failed stimulus and created a brand new health care entitlement all while laying the ground work for future cuts to our nation’s defenses [16]. As Krauthammer wrote Friday: “This is retreat by design and, indeed, on principle.”

Perhaps, the worst thing [13] about the speech was that the President made it in front of the men and women who will have to live with the immediate consequences of his actions. The Obama Doctrine will put them in harm’s way without the modern equipment they will need; with allies who will increasingly doubt our resolve; and at the mercy of an international order that will value their lives for less than the power which the White House wants to put in their hands.

Quick Hits:

  • As part of out Protect America Month [17] campaign, Former NSA Director and Former CIA Director the Honorable Michael Hayden will make a special address in New York, New York, Wednesday night at 7 PM EDT.
  • According to a new study by the National Center for Policy Analysis, the structure of the tax credits in Obamacare discourages small businesses from hiring [18] new workers.
  • According to Rasmussen Reports [19], support for the repeal of Obamacare has jumped to its highest lever ever with 63% of voters now in support of repeal.
  • According to a new analysis by USA TODAY [20], during the first quarter of this year, paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history while government-provided benefits — from Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs — rose to a record high.
  • Big labor ally Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) is introducing a $165 billion bailout [21] for troubled union pension funds.