Thursday, April 2, 2009

“A Turning Point”

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 at 3:18 pm
“A Turning Point”
After a series of intensive meetings and discussions at the G-20 Summit in London, the President today held a press conference to discuss the fruits of that labor. Discussing how slowly the world has come together to act in previous global crises and the dire consequences that resulted, he noted the contrast with the past two days:

Today, we've learned the lessons of history. I know that in the days leading up to the summit, some of you in the press, some commentators, confused honest and open debate with irreconcilable differences. But after weeks of preparation, and two days of careful negotiation, we have agreed on a series of unprecedented steps to restore growth and prevent a crisis like this from happening again.

The President announced that the nations attending would form a united international front to create jobs and stimulate the global economy, to help emerging economies stay afloat, and to encourage trade that would benefit all involved. He then went on to discuss one of the central topics of the Summit, namely coordinated and fundamental reform of the financial regulatory systems:

To prevent future crises, we agreed to increased transparency and capital protections for financial institutions. We're extending supervision to all systemically important institutions, markets and products, including hedge funds. We'll identify jurisdictions that fail to cooperate, including tax havens, and take action to defend our financial system. We will reestablish the Financial Stability Forum with a stronger mandate. And we will reform and expand the IMF and World Bank so they are more efficient, effective and representative.

During the question-and-answer section, the President answered a concern on the minds of many:

Q What concrete items that you got out of this G20 can you tell the American people back home who are hurting, the family struggling, seeing their retirement go down, or worrying about losing their job -- what happened here today that helps that family back home in the heartland?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, as I said before, we've got a global economy, and if we're taking actions in isolation in the United States, but those actions are contradicted overseas, then we're only going to be halfway effective -- maybe not even half.

You've seen, for example, a drastic decline in U.S. exports over the last several months. You look at a company like Caterpillar, in my home state of Illinois, which up until last year was doing extraordinarily well; in fact, export growth was what had sustained it even after the recession had begun. As a consequence of the world recession, as a consequence of the contagion from the financial markets debilitating the economies elsewhere, Caterpillar is now in very bad shape. So if we want to get Caterpillar back on its feet, if we want to get all those export companies back on their feet, so that they are hiring, putting people back to work, putting money in people's pockets, we've got to make sure that the global economy as a whole is successful.


  1. One person in a room - unanimous agreement. Two people in a room - two opinions.
    Three people in a room - a discussion
    Four people in a room - a debate.
    A jury - long discussion and all too often a hung jury outcome.

    G20 agreement - not in my terms of office!

  2. First off, let us collectively congratulate Spain on its investigation into the war crimes of the past U.S. administration. There are so many things going on with the Obama Administration that I can cheer about; I almost hate to pen this letter.

    However, I am not impressed with the Justice Department under this administration one bit. I will not bring up Ted Stevens, guilty of so many corrupt actions, being left off on a technicality. This is probably a good thing in the name of blind justice and the system, but hey, it sucks rocks regarding true justice. Another issue I will not dwell upon, medical marijuana, Eric H. Holder announced that raids on medical marijuana distributers would end. Then about a week after this a San Francisco distributor, who has had no problem for more than ten years, was raided and shut down. These are regrettably the minor issues facing our Justice Department.

    Flashback, on a cold and blustery night upon the wind swept river valleys and plains of Iowa, during the Presidential campaign, I had a brief conversation with the wonder boy, “David Axelrod.” My concern was the use of signing statements, a run-a-way practice that is steam rolling over the America system of checks and balances. Leading us collectively to executive dictatorship if this practice is not put into check. The response I was given paraphrased is this. The Senator if elected is not planning on using signing statements as a means of governing, after all he is a constitutional lawyer. We plan on, if elected, starting a review process within the Justice Department of all the signing statements of George W. Bush, to investigate the constitutional legality of these statements, blah, blah, blah.

    Well, that turned out to be empty rhetoric. Quite sadly, this is not the worst thing we are experiencing. President Obama is rightly concerned with the image of America in the world. The greatest crimes are the perceived war crimes of the past administration. It is mournful that Spain is pursuing this and that we have not launched our own investigation. This would send a clear signal to the rest of the world that we have changed, that we are once again seeking the moral high ground, standing upon the precepts of our founding creation. Failing to launch such an investigation simply leaves the door open for future administrations to devastate the very concepts of “balance of powers,” and use the executive office for dictatorial rule. The days of U.S. global hegemony and the intrusion into America civil liberties must end.

    We must demand of this administration a just review of the actions of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. We must admit to ourselves that surrendering our rights for protection are the surest way to victory for the terrorists of the world.