Friday, March 26, 2010

March 26 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Robert Gates, The 'Cold War', And The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty

"All The News You Never Knew You Needed To Know ...Until Now."

Cabale News ServiceMarch 26 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Robert Gates, The 'Cold War', And The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty

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In The News:
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Due to time constraints there will be no text news synopsis this morning...

However, there are a few news items of note:

Don't call it a 'depression'...DON'T Call it a DEPRESSION!
Personal income falls 2.5% in California
Tom Abate, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, March 26, 2010

Personal income in California fell last year for the first time since the Great Depression, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

State income plunged even more sharply in 2009 than the similar, historic drop that occurred on a national basis, a notable reversal given that California generally has beaten the national averages throughout the 80-year history of this report.

Personal income includes wages and salaries, health and pension benefits, rents, dividends and interest, federal payments such as unemployment and Social Security, and just about every form of wealth except stock sales and other capital gains.[emphasis mine // Razer] The 2.5 percent drop in statewide personal income works out to $1,527 fewer dollars for every man, woman and child in California.

The accompanying nationwide drop of 1.7 percent works out to a $1,028 decline in per capita income for all Americans.

Prior to last year's drop, personal income in California had fallen only five times since 1929, when such record keeping began. All five of those occurrences were during the Depression... [In Full]

At least your representatives in Washington have good health insurance if anything truly stupid happens
Threats against lawmakers spread after health vote

By LAURIE KELLMAN and JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writers
Thursday, March 25, 2010

Democrats and a few Republicans revealed mounting numbers and unsettling details of threats against them Thursday in the emotional aftermath of the passage of the health care overhaul.

Lawmakers uniformly condemned the harassment, but that's where the agreement ended. Democrats said Republicans were slow to condemn the vigilantism, while Republicans said Democrats were playing politics with the threats.

"By ratcheting up the rhetoric, some will only inflame these situations to dangerous levels," said House Republican Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia. "Enough is enough. It has to stop."

At least 10 Democrats now have reported harassment, including incidents involving at least four of their offices in New York, Arizona and Kansas. More frequent have been obscenity-laced, sometime-threatening phone messages. An undisclosed number of lawmakers have been given increased police protection.

"It is unfortunate that a small but vocal group of people are using insults to convey their opinions and alarming that anyone would make threats against me or my family," said Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, D-Pa.

On Thursday, two Republicans said they, too, had been menaced.

No arrests have been reported. A threat to assault a member of Congress in retaliation for the performance of official duties is punishable by up to a year in prison.

House historian Fred Beuttler said there have been few acts of violence against lawmakers over legislation. The worst occurred in 1954 when four Puerto Rican nationalists shot up the House chamber, wounding five members. A cross was burned on Speaker Sam Rayburn's front lawn in Texas during debate on civil rights legislation in the 1960s.

This week, hate-filled rants have been showing up in voice mails, e-mail boxes and on fax machines of lawmakers since the House approved the health care bill 219-212 Sunday night. [In Full]

Regarding the commentary, not EVERYONE is so sure that signing a treaty allowing the US greater leeway in placing alleged anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe is such a great deal:
But Russia's foreign policy community appears far more divided over the usefulness of the new START accord for Russia's long-term security, and some wonder what compromises the Kremlin might have made on Russia's insistence that a strong mechanism be embedded in the text to link the need for controls on defensive antimissile weapons with the treaty's cuts to offensive arsenals.

"It's always wonderful to see friendly handshakes all around," says Pyotr Roman, an expert with the official RIA-Novosti news agency. "But for those of us who remember the late cold-war era, when (Soviet leader Mikhail) Gorbachev made concessions to meet American interests, in order to break the ice, there's a wait-and-see feeling about this." [In Full]
Here's an 'alt' view from a European citizen
Having served in both Administrations, U.S. Secretary of Defence Robert Gates related to The New York Times the unfolding of events. It was Gates who, in December 2006, had recommended that the United States deploy 10 interceptors in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic. It was again Gates who, in September 2009, prompted President Obama to scrap the plan in favour of a "more suitable" one. His conclusion is that "We are in the process of enhancing, not abandoning, our missile defense programme in Europe".

In the initial stage which will be completed by 2011, the United States will deploy SM-3 missile interceptors aboard war ships. In the following stage, to become operational around 2015, it will field an upgraded land-based version of these missiles in Central and Southern Europe. Romania and Bulgaria have already agreed to play host. In Poland, the deployment of a Patriot missile battery is already underway. It is operated by a crew of 100 GI’s in the Baltic town of Morag, roughly 50 km away from the Russian border. Next will be the arrival of the SM-3s aboard US vessels for deployment in the Baltic Sea, followed by the more powerful land-based missiles. The fixed radar, previously slated to be set up in the Czeck Republic, will be replaced by an upgraded system combining planes, satellites and ground sensors. Italy, too, will most probably host missiles and other components of the U.S. "shield". This was directly confirmed by Gates himself when he alluded to their deployment in Southern Europe. It should be recalled that Italy acceded to the "shield" plan through an agreement signed in February 2007 by the government of Romano Prodi.

Is the anti-ballistic missile "shield" system, that the United States intends to deploy in Europe, defensive or offensive? [In Full]


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