jeudi 25 novembre 2010

Barbara Bush espère que Sarah Palin "restera en Alaska

Interrogé sur ces propos jeudi, le vice-président Joe Biden a expliqué en substance sur CNN qu'une éventuelle candidature de Mme Palin, très marquée à droite, serait pain bénit pour le président sortant.

L'ancienne Première dame des Etats-Unis, Barbara Bush, a émis l'espoir que Sarah Palin resterait en Alaska, une façon de jeter de l'eau froide sur les ambitions de la républicaine ultra-conservatrice pour la présidentielle de 2012. Dans un entretien que devait diffuser lundi soir la chaîne de télévision CNN, Mme Bush, 85 ans, raconte qu'elle a été assise une fois à côté de l'ancienne candidate à la vice-présidence des Etats-Unis."Je l'ai trouvée très belle. Et elle est très heureuse en Alaska. J'espère qu'elle y restera", déclare Mme Bush avec un sourire entendu.
Lors d'un entretien accordé à la chaîne ABC mercredi, qui doit être diffusé in extenso le 9 décembre, Mme Palin n'avait pas clairement dit qu'elle comptait briguer l'investiture du parti républicain pour se présenter contre Barack Obama.
Mais lorsqu'on lui avait demandé si elle pensait pouvoir le battre, elle avait répondu : "Je le crois".

SARAH PALIN’S ATTACKS ON OBAMA GET PERSONAL IN NEW BOOK
In America by Heart, Palin tackles race and Obama's former pastor as well as liberals and being unpatriotic
Sarah Palin's new book, America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag, added to indications she will seek the Republican nomination for the 2012 election. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images
Sarah Palin's new book published tomorrow reads like a dress rehearsal for a campaign against Barack Obama for the White House in 2012, making pointed criticism not just of his policies but about his personal life.
In America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag, Palin tackles areas that even Obama's 2008 Republican challenger, John McCain, regarded as off-limits: race and Obama's incendiary former pastor, the Rev Jeremiah Wright.
In a lengthy passage, she questions whether Obama is proud of America . "I think ordinary Americans are tired of Obama's global apology tour and of hearing about what a weak country America is from left-wing professors and journalists," Palin says.
The main thrust of Obama's speeches on the world stage have been that America is "somehow worse than other countries, that it is hypocritical about its ideals, falls short of its responsibilities, and is forever in need of correction".
America yearns, she says, for presidents, whether Democratic or Republican, "who are not embarrassed by America , who see our country's flaws but also its greatness: leaders who are proud to be Americans, and are proud of her every day, not just when their chosen ones are winning elections".
The latter is a reference to a speech by Michelle Obama in February 2008 in which she said that for the first time in her adult life she was proud of America , in response to her husband's victories over Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
Palin's first book, Going Rogue, published last year was autobiographical; America by Heart is more of a political manifesto, setting our her philosophy.
Although Palin has said she is still considering whether to seek the Republican presidential nomination, her book is in the tradition of political treatises by would-be US presidential candidates.
The publisher, HarperCollins, took legal action against the website Gawker to force it to withdraw excerpts from its site, parts of the book are available on sites such as Palingates, which tracks her.
In the book, Palin portrays Obama's legislation to reform healthcare, passed earlier this year, as having been pushed through against popular opinion and pledged to reverse it.
"We don't consider the healthcare vote a done deal, not by a long shot. Instead, it was a clarion call, a spur to action," she says.
In what sounds liked a campaign speech, she adds: "We will not let America sink further into debt caused by government controlling another one sixth of our economy – and mandating its approved health care coverage – without a fight. We will not abandon the American dream to government dependency, fewer freedoms, and less opportunity."
To coincide with the launch, Palin is to embark on a 16-state book tour, beginning in Phoenix , Arizona .
As well as attacking Obama, much of the book is filled with criticism of liberals and the mainstream media, and feminists who support abortion. She writes about her inspirations, such as Dr Charles Stanley's How to Reach Your Full Potential for God, which provides tips for living and making the most of life's opportunities.
One of the most controversial parts of her book deals with race. McCain avoided this during the White House campaign, partly because he did not want to be accused of having fought an election in which he had made Obama's colour an issue. Ignoring the advice of some Republicans, including Palin, his vice-presidential running mate, he also refused to exploit provocative comments made by Wright, Obama's long-time pastor and mentor in Chicago .
"The worst thing you can say about a fellow American in politics today is that he is racist," she writes, adding the accusation is often used as an excuse to stop debate on issues or against groups such as the Tea Party.
"The second reason that the charge of racism is levelled at patriotic Americans so often is that people making the charge actually believe it. They think America – at least America as it currently exists – is a fundamentally unjust and unequal country. Barack Obama seems to believe this, too. Certainly, his wife expressed this view when she said during the 2008 campaign that she had never felt proud of her country until her husband started winning elections.
"In retrospect, I guess this shouldn't surprise us, since both of them spent almost two decades in the pews of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's church listening to his rants against America and white people."

COMMENTAIRE DE DIVERCITY
ILS SONT FOUS CES REPUBLICAINS
L’obamaphobia des républicains n’a d’égal que l’omamamania qui s’empara des Etats-Unis et de la planète au moment de l’élection présidentielle.
C’est incontestable, Obama a déçu. Guy Spitaels avait prévu le coup comme en témoigne son maître livre sur le sujet et une interview datée du 21/11/2008 dans la Libre.
Guy Spitaels s’y réjouit de l’élection du premier Président métisse aux Etats-Unis.
Sur l’homme lui-même, Guy Spitaels ne tarit pas d’éloges. "L’élection de Barack Obama est une magnifique révolution culturelle, une heureuse révolution culturelle", nous disait-il alors avec insistance. "Il n’y a pas de doute que si j’avais été un citoyen américain, j’aurais voté pour lui." Et de louer "le candidat hors pair", à ses yeux "intellectuellement plus fort que Bill Clinton".
Mais il ne s’agit pas de cela, s’empresse-t-il d’expliquer. Il s’agit de "la méprise des Européens et de la gauche" qui, selon lui, se bercent d’illusions à la fois sur la marge de manœuvre d’un Président américain en général et sur les véritables intentions de celui-ci en particulier. Alors que d’aucuns attendent une sorte de messie qui sauvera le multilatéralisme et ménagera la susceptibilité de l’Europe, Guy Spitaels prédit que Barack Obama, tout simplement, "servira les intérêts américains ».
.Guy Spitaels prévoyait, en toute lucidité, que le « président Obama serait "exceptionnaliste et guerrier". Exceptionnaliste parce qu’il fera sien le discours très répandu qui prête aux Etats-Unis "un destin particulier". Guerrier parce qu’il pourra difficilement se sortir des logiques de guerre en Afghanistan et en Irak. »

(cf Guy Spitaels, "Obama Président. La méprise", Bruxelles, Luc Pire, 253 p., 25 €. 2008)
Bravo le Spit. On aimerait qu’il sorte du silence pour nous dire où va la Belgique.
Mais voilà qu’une autre ancienne, la très laconique Barbara Bush mère de « W » s’en prend personnellement à la « challenger » la plus acharnée de Obama, la passionaria Sarah Palin : ."Je l'ai trouvée très belle. Et elle est très heureuse en Alaska. J'espère qu'elle y restera"
On a adoré. Cela dit, voici quelques articles qui montrent que la présidence Obama n’est pas un fleuve tranquille.
Les Républicains complètement déchainés semblent déterminés à lui pourrir la vie. Paul Krugman annonce sans sourciller « there will be a bloodath »
Voyez par vous-même. “Republicans will probably try to blackmail the president into policy concessions by, in effect, holding the government hostage; they’ve done it before”
“Right now, in particular, Republicans are blocking an extension of unemployment benefits — an action that will both cause immense hardship and drain purchasing power from an already sputtering economy”
“if sabotaging the president endangers the nation, so be it. “

(…)”My sense is that most Americans still don’t understand this reality.”
“there will be blood sooner or later. “

Voilà donc une Amérique qui franchement nous fait peur.
MG

THERE WILL BE BLOOD
By PAUL KRUGMAN (NYT)
(…)There’s a legal limit to federal debt, which must be raised periodically if the government keeps running deficits; the limit will be reached again this spring. And since nobody, not even the hawkiest of deficit hawks, thinks the budget can be balanced immediately, the debt limit must be raised to avoid a government shutdown. But Republicans will probably try to blackmail the president into policy concessions by, in effect, holding the government hostage; they’ve done it before.

The fact is that one of our two great political parties has made it clear that it has no interest in making America governable, unless it’s doing the governing. And that party now controls one house of Congress, which means that the country will not, in fact, be governable without that party’s cooperation — cooperation that won’t be forthcoming.

Elite opinion has been slow to recognize this reality. Thus on the same day that Mr. Simpson rejoiced in the prospect of chaos, Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, appealed for help in confronting mass unemployment. He asked for “a fiscal program that combines near-term measures to enhance growth with strong, confidence-inducing steps to reduce longer-term structural deficits.”

(…)Right now, in particular, Republicans are blocking an extension of unemployment benefits — an action that will both cause immense hardship and drain purchasing power from an already sputtering economy. But there’s no point appealing to the better angels of their nature; America just doesn’t work that way anymore.

And opposition for the sake of opposition isn’t limited to economic policy. Politics, they used to tell us, stops at the water’s edge — but that was then.

These days, national security experts are tearing their hair out over the decision of Senate Republicans to block a desperately needed new strategic arms treaty. And everyone knows that these Republicans oppose the treaty, not because of legitimate objections, but simply because it’s an Obama administration initiative; if sabotaging the president endangers the nation, so be it.

(…)My sense is that most Americans still don’t understand this reality. They still imagine that when push comes to shove, our politicians will come together to do what’s necessary. But that was another country.

It’s hard to see how this situation is resolved without a major crisis of some kind. Mr. Simpson may or may not get the blood bath he craves this April, but there will be blood sooner or later. And we can only hope that

A FORECAST THAT OBAMA COULD LOVE
BY JEFF SOMMER(NYT)
In 1992, James Carville, left, used the line “It’s the economy, stupid” to aid Bill Clinton. Can it lift President Obama, too?
Enlarge This Image

Jennifer S. Altman for The New York Times
Ray C. Fair, the Yale professor (and a marathoner), sees better economic conditions in the next two years.

So what is there for Mr. Obama and his supporters to cheer about?

Try this: Based on the facts at hand right now, Mr. Obama is likely to win the 2012 election in a landslide. That, at least, is the prediction of Ray C. Fair, a Yale economist and an expert on econometrics and on the relationship of economics and politics.

What’s the basis of this forecast? In a nutshell: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

That’s the smart-alecky slogan that James Carville, the Democratic strategist, used to focus the 1992 presidential election campaign and propel Bill Clinton to victory. But after many years of study, Professor Fair has found that it embodies a certain truth: The state of the economy — which includes the wealth effect produced by rising and falling asset prices — has a dominant influence on national elections.

In recent columns, I’ve explored how elections — and Wall Street’s beliefs about them — affect the markets and the economy. Professor Fair has studied the flip side: how the economy helps to determine elections.

While updating his 2002 book, “Predicting Presidential Elections and Other Things,” he has calculated his first prediction for the next national election and posted it on his Yale Web site. He says the likely outcome is an Obama victory, regardless of whom he runs against. “If my model’s right, it couldn’t look better for Obama,” he said.

Still, this is hardly a rock-solid judgment. “I don’t want to push this too hard,” said Mr. Fair, 68, a veteran marathoner who has also used statistical techniques to gauge the effects of aging on runners. But there is considerable data behind his election prediction, using his econometric models. One produces a forecast for the overall, or macro, economy, while another uses economic inputs to forecast the national popular vote. At the moment, he says, the data augurs well for the president.

“The model certainly suggests that if the economy is good and improving as an election approaches, it’s very difficult to defeat an incumbent president,” he said. At the root of his conclusion is an economic forecast: he expects a significant improvement in the American economy by 2012.

While growth is relatively weak today, prices in financial markets — even if not the housing market — have already rebounded from their levels at the nadir of the financial crisis. Assuming relative stability over the next year or two, the effect of those rebounds — which ought to induce consumers and businesses to spend and invest more — should be feeding into the overall economy, he said.

Another important factor in his forecast, he said, is the assumption that “stimulative fiscal and monetary policies will continue.”

The first condition, stimulative monetary policy, is clearly in place. The Federal Reserve has said that it will keep short-term interest rates at their current near-zero level for an extended period. And, this month, the Fed embarked on a second bout of quantitative easing, or QE2 — large-scale purchases of longer-term Treasuries and perhaps other instruments, aimed at loosening monetary policy even further. Ben S. Bernanke, the Fed chairman, has confirmed that the central bank’s policies are partly aimed at keeping asset prices high.

What about fiscal policy? Barring another major economic crisis, the Republican election victory might seem to have ruled out another large fiscal stimulus. But Republicans are pushing hard to extend all the Bush-era tax cuts, not just those for lower- and middle-income taxpayers. If they get their way, Professor Fair said, a result may be a short-term budget deficit well above $1 trillion.

“That amounts to a highly stimulative fiscal policy,” he said.

His presidential prediction doesn’t depend on the accuracy of his own macroeconomic projections, which, he says, “look quite optimistic compared to the consensus right now.”

His model forecasts real annualized growth in gross domestic product of 3.69 percent for the first three quarters of 2012. A survey of leading economists by Blue Chip Economic Indicators shows an average forecast of 3.2 percent growth in real G.D.P. in 2012, while the Congressional Budget Office estimates 3.4 percent. Plug either of these estimates into his election algorithm and the result is the same: President Obama wins.

In the quarter that just ended, however, the economy was growing at a rate of just 2 percent. If that sluggish pace continued — or, more ominously, if there were a double-dip recession or a steep plunge in the markets — that forecast would change.

Under those circumstances, regardless of other issues or the identity of President Obama’s opponent, the model shows the president losing.

And there’s another problem. Professor Fair makes no claim to being able to predict “exogenous events,” like a financial crisis — he didn’t predict the 2008 crisis, for example — or a major war or an oil shock, which could radically change the landscape.

EVEN if the data for 2012 were somehow perfectly clear, the presidential prediction model is imperfect. The economy certainly has enormous sway over elections, but as Professor Fair has indicated in a series of academic papers, the model’s statistical accuracy is limited.

It has, however, done a very good job of predicting recent results. In November 2006, for example, long before the 2008 candidates had been chosen or the campaign issues had been clearly formed, Professor Fair ran the numbers for 2008. His prediction? A weak economy, and a Democratic landslide.

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