Tag Archives: Matt

Guest Blogger Matt C.: Obama’s Rookie Mistakes

Here is an article that Matt sent to me right before the G20 Summit.  I thought I had already posted this, but I just realized I didn’t.  Thanks to Matt for sending in this great piece!  And remember, if you want to send in articles as a guest blogger, please send all work to theconservativejournal@gmail.com!

In 1933, a month long economic summit in London failed to bring the world out of an economic disaster through international cooperation.  The result was a cascade of increased protectionism, devaluations and full-scale war. On April 2nd, eight leading industrialized nations – U.S., Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Canada and Russia (the G-8) and Eleven emerging market and smaller industrialized countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, plus the EU (the G20), are coming together, in London, for an emergency economic summit.  The goals and importance are similar to 1933 and the potential to end in failure has become a cause for concern in recent months. An increase in Transatlantic tensions caused, in large part, by Obama’s rookie mistakes and inexperience, are a majority stakeholder in the blame.

There is a universal belief that a severe outbreak of protectionism was a primary cause of the great depression in the 1930’s. Obama’s “Buy American Vote Obama” theme and protectionist campaign rhetoric, concerned world leaders, long before his inauguration.  A memo from a Canadian embassy official claiming that Obama’s top campaign economic advisor, Austan Goolsby, assured him that Obama’s anti-NAFTA remarks “should not be taken out of context and should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans.” It was apparent that foreign leaders were wondering if Obama planned to bring the US back to protectionism.

In a matter of weeks, Obama’s transition team showed signs that Obama’s campaign rhetoric was more than just political positioning.  On January 2nd , Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the Obama transition team, was quoted as saying, “We are reviewing the buy American proposal and we are committed to a plan that will save or create 3 million jobs, including jobs in manufacturing,”.  Psaki also told Bloomberg that the proposal could boost the goal to “save or create 3 million jobs, including jobs in manufacturing.”  On January 3rd, The Boston Globe reported that President Elect Obama’s advisors were considering a “buy American” requirement to be included in any stimulus legislation, which is expected to include a significant amount of public works and infrastructure projects. This prompted German Chancellor, Angela Merkle, to publicly warn Obama against the temptation to fall back on protectionist trade policies when faced with a worldwide economic crisis. Even the British Prime minister, Gordon Brown warned him about the dangers of protectionism.

Obama’s final stimulus proposal could not include the provision without confirming his true protectionist ideals and damaging our trade relationships.  So Congress attempted to sneak the provision into the stimulus bill hoping it would go unnoticed.  Their “Buy American” provision dramatically expanded an already robust “Buy American” policy.  The provision stated: “None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for a project for the construction, alteration, maintenance or repair of a public building or public work unless all of the iron, steel and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States” unless it increases the project’s overall cost by 25 percent.  Obama signed the bill in spite of harsh rebuke from the EU, NAFTA, BRIC & WTO members and a G20 agreement to refrain from enacting protectionist policy for one year.  After countless threats of litigation and trade wars, Obama urged the Senate to soften the provision instead of removing it entirely.  The new wording is vague and only appears to exempt Japan, Canada and the European Union but ignores China, Brazil, India and Russia (BRIC).  Obama is sending a message that he is more concerned about furthering his agenda than with the success of the coming G20 summit.

Alienating the BRIC will only foster bitterness and rivalry and start an untimely trade war.  Which is the least of our worries after Prime Minister Wen expressed some unusually blunt concerns during a news conference at the end of the Chinese Parliament’s annual session.  He said he was “worried” about China’s holdings of United States Treasury bonds and other debt, and that China was watching economic developments in the United States closely. He urged the Obama administration to provide assurances that its investment would keep its value in the face of a global financial crisis.  The Chinese Government has already said it will be looking for more aggressive ways to invest sizable portions of its massive $1 trillion currency reserves.  China’s response was not with threats of a trade war, but a reminder that a mass sell off of US bonds will devalue the dollar and cause a complete market collapse.

In February, China’s National Energy Administration announced a possible fund for China’s three state-owned energy giants PetroChina, Sinopec and the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) to purchase oil and gas companies overseas. They recently finalized an oil supply deal totaling $41 billion with Russia, Brazil and Venezuela & Xi Jinping signed a deal to lend $10 billion to Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras. These deals secured 20 years of oil for a bargain price of $20 a barrel & now they have their sites set on Australian natural gas and coal.  Looking for more aggressive ways?  The question is “How aggressive?”

About two weeks after a US Military Command ship was accosted by five Chinese vessels, the Pentagon released it’s an annual report on China’s military power.  It concluded that China continues to spend large amounts of money to upgrade its forces and give them high-technology capabilities.  It also says that China has increased the quality and quantity of it’s strategic nuclear missiles.  The report goes on to suggest that China is working to deter any US intervention that would follow a Chinese attack on Taiwan.  Press Secretary Geoff Morrell’s response was one of confustion. He said “The fact that the Chinese continue to build up their arsenal across the Straits is somewhat confounding, given the fact there has been a lessening in tensions between the two governments, post the elections in Taiwan”.  Maybe Morrell was unaware of the recent announcement that the United States government struck a major arms deal worth $6.5 billion with Taiwan.  Nor was he informed about China deploying three Jin-class (Type 094) ballistic missile submarines to it’s new base near Yulin on Hainan Island on the South China Sea. Could Taiwan be the Ferdinand of WWII?

To say that the future of the Worlds economy hinges on the success of the G20 summit would be an understatement.  One would assume that assembling a strong Treasury Department would be a top priority, after igniting outrage from the world’s top economic producers in the midst of a worldwide financial crisis. Yet not one Deputy, Undersecretary or Secretary Assistant has been confirmed, leaving the Treasury Secretary to fly solo.  Inadequate senior leadership to make decisions and represent the government in crucial conversations with banks and others, makes managing the disbursement of stimulus funds overwhelming at best.  Britain’s most senior civil servant was quoted as saying that the shortage of staff in Barack Obama’s two-month-old Treasury was making preparations for the summit “unbelievably difficult”.  Transatlantic tensions are directly related to the worry that Obama isnt prepared to address the financial crisis & work with other leaders to prevent an economic disaster.

The first two months of the Obama presidency are riddled with rookie mistakes that have annoyed the WTO and NAFTA, alienated the BRIC and created an atmosphere of mistrust.  It’s unclear to the world whether our anemic Treasury Department can deliver and negotiate a viable proposal by April 2nd and rumors about Obama’s inability to lead us out of a financial crisis are circulating.  A negative outcome to the G20 summit could mark a domino affect that has the potential to cause a worldwide depression &/or WWIII.  Yet Obama feels that it is more important to campaign in California than it is to adequately equip his Treasury Department to prevent a global catastrophe.  Only one day is slated for the upcoming G20 summit, which leaves very little time for more than presentations and speeches.  Maybe the Obama administration is counting on yet another magical speech to bail them out.

What do you think?  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  If you’d like to contact Matt, send an e-mail with his name in the subject area of the message to our main address, theconservativejournal@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading!

Rick

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Filed under Barack Obama, Guest Blogger

American Idol Top 8 Recap

Thanks for joining us for “No Politics Tuesday” at The Conservative Journal!  The play-by-play for American Idol’s Top 8 Recap starts right here!

Alright, so the theme is songs from the year the contestant was born.  Ryan says that’s a fan favorite?  I can think of many others I prefer to this one.  Some pictures of the judges as children are flashed across the screen, and then it’s capped off with a picture of Ryan, who was a funny looking little kid.  Then it’s right off to the start of the show with…

Danny Gokey singing “Stand By Me” by Mickey Gilley.  Well, as someone who does not Danny at all, I will admit this is good.  He isn’t yelling or anything and his esophagus doesn’t sound like it’s going to fly out of his mouth.  Sometimes when he sings I get this strange feeling he is in extreme pain.  There are a few parts in the middle that are weird and field with some bizarre kind of scatting or something.  Good performance even though I don’t like him at all.  Randy and Kara think the arrangement was weird, but thought it was great; Paula loved it; and Simon thought it was great. Next up is…

Kris Allen singing “All She Wants To Do Is Dance” by Don Henley.  I’ve said this many times, but I’ll say it again: Kris is the only guy on this show that I can stand (generally).  He wanted to be a taxi driver as a kid?  That’s hilarious.  Kris is singing with his guitar in the middle of the crowd, and the beginning is weird.  The words sound kind of jumbled or something?  But overall it’s good.  It definitely improves as it goes on.  Not his best, and I think he is better suited on slower songs, but it’s still good.  Kara thought it was “jazz/funk homework”?  What does that mean?  Paula thought it was good, Simon thought it was indulgent, boring, forgettable, etc, and Randy didn’t like the arrangement.  Next up is…

Lil Rounds singing “What’s Love Got To Do With It” by Tina Turner.  Lil’s mom reminds us several times that her name is really Lil.  Okay?  No one was arguing with you about it woman.  Lil has that “diva” package that is always present on Idol, but she’s just not as good as the one’s in the past.  The opening was extremely shakyl; almost like she was nervous.  It got a little better as it went on, but I just don’t think she’s ever going to be REALLY good.  She doesn’t have the “chops”.  Paula rattles on something but ultimately means Lil didn’t make it her own and it was karaoke; Simon says they aren’t looking for second or third rate Tina Turners; Randy reminds everyone Lil is good; and Kara says she needs to become an artist.  I’m sick of the judges saying “Alright everyone, Lil is awesome, buuuuut she sucked tonight.”  If you suck every week you are not awesome.  Next up is…

Anoop Desai singing “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper.  Anoop apologizes for being a cocky jerk last week.  Oh gosh, the lats time this song was on American Idol was when Haley Scarnato butchered it a few years ago.  It’s odd that I remember that.  Anoop does a nice job on this one.  He has this pattern of being horrible and then coming back with something that’s actually pretty good.  The judges loved it, and didn’t really say anyting important.  Though Simon did agree with me and call me him a “yo-yo”.  Good job Anoop.  Next up is…

Scott MacIntyre singing “The Search Is Over” by Survivor.  Scott is singing with his guitar this week, which is nice change for him.  Scott is just not a great a singer, nor is he relevant to today’s music scene.  It sounds really pitchy to me throughout the whole song, then he goes for this big note and it’s just a big screech.  I’m not a fan of Scott as a singer, though he has a great personality.  Kara nicely tells him it was terrible; Paula gives him credit for leaving the piano; Simon tells him it was bad, Scott says it wasn’t THAT bad, Simon says “Yes, it was THAT bad.”  Next up is…

Allison Iraheta singing “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt.  With Megan gone (I’m still upset), Allison is by far my favorite.  She starts out really strong.  Man, she is a great singer!  I love her voice, the whole rock thing.  It really suits her.  Wow, I really like this.  That big note near the end was really strong.  One of Allison’s best so far, and my favorite of the night by a mile!  Paula thought it was “Allison” and great; Simon thought it was very good but doesn’t think she’s likeable?  What the heck Simon, Allison is awesome.; Randy thought she reminded her of Kelly Clarkson, but needs to fix her personality; and Kara thought it was great.  Next up is…

Matt Giraud singing “Part Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder.  Matt starts out really strongly, but then after he gets into the more upbeat part he pulls a goat vibrato/singing-on-the-washing-machine note.  If he could just make it through one song without doing that.  It get’s better after that (until this weird high-pitch-growly nonsense), but then get’s better after that.  In all seriousness though, the performance was quite good.  Only two goaty notes during the whole song; very impressive.  The judges loved it, though they are clearly being rushed.  Next up is…

Adam Lambert singing “Mad World” by Tears for Fears.  Calmer Adam is back this week (thankfully), so hopefully there won’t be any screeching or wailing.  Adam is doing a really good job.  A really really good job.  Technically speaking, he has one of the best voice I’ve ever heard.  It’s just not my thing, generally.  But this performance is really good.  I think he’s probably going to go all the way.  They’re pushed for time so all they can do it let Simon give him a standing “O”.  That’s quite an accomplishment.

Scoreboard- Top 8

  • Adam Lambert- A
  • Allison Iraheta- A
  • Danny Gokey- B+
  • Matt Giraud- B
  • Kris Allen- B-
  • Anoop Desai- B-
  • Lil Rounds- C
  • Scott MacIntyre- D

What did you think of tonight’s show?  Who was your favorite?  Who do you think will go home?  Leave your comments below and don’t forget to return to The Conservative Journal later for the American Idol poll and videos.

Thanks for visiting!

Rick

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Filed under American Idol, Entertainment, No Politics Tuesday, Television

Poll of the Day: Who Was Your Favorite On American Idol?

If you missed the show, you can read the recap here.  Who did you enjoy the most on American Idol’s top 9 episode?  Don’t worry those that don’t watch, there’s a choice for you too.

Thanks for participating!

Rick

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Filed under American Idol, Entertainment, No Politics Tuesday, Television

American Idol Top 9 Recap

Welcome everyone to No Politics Tuesday at The Conservative Journal!  Glad you’re hear.  Tonight, as I did last week, I’m going to recap American Idol as the performances are aired.  Feel to comment on the performances and check out other articles at The Conservative Journal in between performances.  Once again, thanks for stopping by!

Any song, as long as it was popular on iTunes.  Is that a theme?

Any song, as long as it was popular on iTunes. Is that a theme?

It’s time!  American Idol Top 9 performance show starts now!  What’s tonight theme you ask?  Well, there has been much debate over this week’s theme which Ryan describes as “any song as long as it is a popular download”.  Huh?  That’s not a theme.  They’re running out of ideas.  Anyway, starting off tonight is…

Anoop Desai singing Usher’s “Caught Up”.  He did okay, though most of the song was either one extreme or another.  I think this was a weird song choice for Anoop.  I’m not a fan of Anoop really ever, but he is better suited with slower songs.  Randy thought it was a good performance, bad song choice.  Simon said the whole thing gave him a headache.  That’s kind of harsh; it wasn’t that bad.  This is going to be a night, I can already tell.  Next up is…

Megan Joy singing “Turn Your Lights Down Low” by Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill.  Wow, the little clip of her practicing sounds really good!  I really like this performance from Megan.  She sounds really good, and she looks great.  The song suits her voice really well.  She has the Duffy/Amy Winehouse sans drugs sound, which is really big now.  I liked this a lot.  Kara thinks she is in trouble because she doesn’t like the song choice?  I thought this song fit her so well.  I guess I’m crazy.  Paula thinks she’s not surprising enough, Simon thinks the song was boring and indulgent.  Well, hopefully the voters pull through for Megan.  She pulls some weird faces during the number call which make me love her more.  Vote for Megan at 1-866-436-5702!  Next up is…

Danny Gokey singing “What Hurts the Most” by Rascal Flatts.  Danny thinks everyone likes Rascal Flatts.  Wrong, I don’t.  Yet another reason I don’ t like Danny.  Kidding, only kidding.  Here’s my issue with Danny:  Once again, he is a good singer, but he’s not like able.  At all.  I get so annoyed by him every time he walks on stage.  But he sounds really good tonight, I’ll give him that.  As much as I hate to admit it, he’s going to be on my t.v. until the top 3 at the very least, most likely until the finale.  Paula said she’d hit repeat, Simon thought it was his best performance and he was miles ahead of the first two tonight (not Megan), Randy thinks the show starts here.  Next up is…

Allison Iraheta singing “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt.  Wow, Allison is bringing her guitar out!  Hopefully she nails

Allison Iraheta was one of the best once again!

Allison Iraheta was one of the best once again!

that.  I think this song suits Allison!  She sounds good as usual.  I think this song will probably sound even better in the studio.  She added some extra stuff into that song and I liked it.  Not as good as last week, but I’ll be her download tomorrow I’m sure.  Randy doesn’t like the clothes, Kara doesn’t like the clothes, Paula likes the clothes, Simon doesn’t like the clothes.  The judges conversation is all about her clothes and a little “Oh you sing great” discreetly thrown in.  That is frustrating.  Everyone vote for Allison too, 1-866-436-5704!  Next up is..

Scott MacIntyre singing “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel.  Scott is going to perform with just the piano tonight.  Scott is just never going to be a great singer, and at this point I’d say he’s definitely the weakest link.  I think it’s WONDERFUL that he has managed to overcome adversity and be a talented pianist and an okay singer, but American Idol is not the platform for that.  America’s Got Talent is much better suited for him.  Having said that, this performance is much better than we’ve seen him.  Good job Scott.  Still probably second worst, but good for Scott!  The judges liked his risk and thought it was his best.  Next up is…

Matt Giraud singing “You Found Me” by The Fray.  I have to say, that’s quite a risk picking a song that’s currently popular, though that could potentially pay off big time.  I can tell he’s really nervous, but I think it’s ok.  The goat vibrato/I’m-singing-on-a-washing-machine voice is kind of back, though.  Not really loving this arrangement of the song.  It’s not horrible, but it’s just okay.  Paula thinks he didn’t display what they loved and that it was bad like the Coldplay in the Semi-finals, Simon didn’t like it, Randy thought he should have done One Republic, Kara doesn’t think he should go home.  Next up is…

Lil Rounds singing “Surrender” by Celine Dion.  Big song, Lil!  This could be really bad or really good.  It’s just kind of meh.  She has a good voice, she’s just not original.  This whole diva R&B soul jam has been done SOOO many times before on American Idol, and everywhere else.  The performance was good though.  The judges thought it was good vocals, wrong song choice.  Simon thought it sounded like a wedding singer.  I don’t think Lil has anything to worry about, but we’ll see.  They just showed her kids so that will earn several hundred thousand votes.  Dang producers meddling in the vote.  Next up is…

Unfortunately, Adam was back to his screaming self.

Unfortunately, Adam was back to his screaming self.

Adam Lambert singing “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry.  Oh man, I can already tell this is going to be absurd.  Just when Adam was beginning to be bearable!  Maybe I’m wrong.  Nope, I’m right.  More of that shreiking such.  The old Adam is back in full force.  Blah.  Several seconds go by at a time with nothing but incoherent banshee caterwauling.  Everyone’s going to love it though.  Paula thinks he’s got staying power, Simon thought it was original and great, Randy thought he “worked it out”, and Kara loved it.  He’s probably going to win, unfortunately.  Last tonight is…

Kris Allen singing “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers.  Kris seems like a nice guy and he’s got a good voice.  I don’t think I’m going to remember this performance, but it’s good!  Not anything ground breaking, but he did take an old song and make it modern, which was his goal.  Actually, this is quite good.  Probably one of the best of the night.  Randy loved and thought it was one of the best, Paula loved it, Kara thought it was “artistry” (I thought Simon said that was forbidden?), Simon thought he showed confidence and he liked the arrangement.

I personally think Scott, Anoop, maybe Matt, and(unfortunately) Megan are all at risk.  I could be completely wrong, but that is my prediction.

Alright that’s it for tonight’s episode of American Idol.  Who do you think is in troube tonight?  Who did you really like?  Look for the American Idol in a few minutes, and leave your comments below or e-mail us at theconservativejournal@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading!

Rick

  • *Tomorrow night I won’t be able to recap the results show, but I should be able to post somthine when I watch it on Thursday.

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