World leaders, meeting at an Economic Summit this weekend in Washington are tempering expectations of any kind of big break through, reports the Financial Times. It seems like such a feeble effort on the part of the Bush administration, another sad remnant of his failed presidency. To quote:
World leaders played down expectations . . . at the start of this weekend’s Group of 20 summit on the economic crisis on Friday, conceding that the political transition in the US made big decisions unlikely.
. . . The Bush administration continued to resist a lurch towards regulation but conceded that there could be discussions on subjects such as hedge funds and derivative markets that it has blocked in the past. . .
The Barack Obama team kept its distance from the talks, even as its representatives met with visiting delegations.
The G20 was expected to pledge to support world growth, without promising any co-ordinated fiscal stimulus; agree to principles for financial regulation; lay out an action plan and commission working groups to report back on issues including regulation of securitised markets, accounting standards, credit ratings and pay schemes in the financial sector.
Transition team leaders are letting it be known that Hillary Clinton could be the new Secretary of State, it is reported from the (11/13/08) Politico.com. Senator John Kerry and Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico are said to be lobbying for the job. Hillary Clinton would make a great Secretary of State, in my opinion. To quote:
Several Obama transition advisers are strongly advocating Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) for secretary of state, a move that would create the ultimate “Team of Rivals” Cabinet, according to officials involved in the discussions.
President-elect Obama has narrowed the possibilities for secretary of state, and Clinton is among those being strongly considered, the officials said. Some even call her the favorite.
Two European leaders appear to have a successful working relationship, Vladimir Putin and Nicolas Sarkozy. Both these men called President-elect Barack Obama shortly after his election, signaling willingness to work together. Regular contributor, "betmo" sent me this very fascinating story that is just now coming out, saying "Palin is out of her element. . . even Putin knows what the Bush doctrine is*." To quote:
Nicolas Sarkozy saved the President of Georgia from being hanged “by the balls” — a threat made last summer by Vladimir Putin, according to an account that emerged yesterday from the Élysée Palace.
. . . With Russian tanks only 30 miles from Tbilisi on August 12, Mr Sarkozy told Mr Putin that the world would not accept the overthrow of Georgia’s Government. According to Mr Levitte, the Russian seemed unconcerned by international reaction. “I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls,” Mr Putin declared.
. . . Mr Sarkozy thought he had misheard. “Hang him?” — he asked. “Why not?” Mr Putin replied. “The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein.”
Mr Sarkozy, using the familiar tu, tried to reason with him: “Yes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?” Mr Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah — you have scored a point there.”
EU and Russian leaders are backing a security summit for this summer, though its fate may hinge on what President-elect Obama thinks about such a meeting, the Financial Times reported Friday. It is the hope of many of us that a President Obama will reconder placing missiles on Russia's front doorstep. To quote:
The European Union and Russia on Friday backed plans for a pan-European security summit next year to ease tensions raised by the Georgia crisis and a dispute over missile systems in eastern Europe.
Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s president, and Dmitry Medvedev, his Russian counterpart, said the summit could take place next June or July and bring together the US, Russia and the EU’s 27member-states under the auspices of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
Leadership will be needed to make the changes needed to strengthen our domestic economy. There will be a great deal of pressure on a President Obama to renegotiate a number of our trade agreements. And it will be high time to do so. "The Nasty Truth: Free trade agreements may scuttle green jobs plans#," was the story sent to me by regular contributor, Jon, from the (10/30/08) AlterNet. To quote:
. . . Barack Obama wins the White House, his administration will face potentially irreconcilable conflicts between his signature proposals -- like transforming the American economy into a 21st century "green-collar" job engine -- and the dictates of the "free trade" regime that both major parties have advanced with unbridled zeal for the past quarter century.
It's a story that's gotten little attention during the campaign. . . . much of what both the Democratic and Republican nominees are promising on the campaign trail would likely be found "illegal" according to the rulings of shadowy trade tribunals that have the power to impose daunting financial penalties against the U.S. government if it were to stray from the economic orthodoxy known as "neoliberalism."
Leadership roles in the United States are undergoing massive change. It is a very good thing, and makes for absolutely fascinating news. I remain optimistic about the new leader we just elected.
View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.
(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)
My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.