Trading places | East and West

AN ENTERPRISING Englishman in the 1850s famously said that if he “could add an inch of material to every Chinaman’s shirt-tail, the mills of Lancashire could be kept busy for a generation.” Sadly, those mills have since turned to rust, but in the years to come selling to China and the world’s other emerging markets are expected to keep many Western firms busy for years to come. In 2012, an important new milestone will be reached when emerging-markets import more goods and services than the rich economies combined.

via World trade: Trading places | The Economist.

This has been a loooong time coming.  One of the network effect of the Information Age is that large groups of people can be educated and do certain types of work muuuch more efficiently than in previous Ages.   Also, as a remnant of the Industrial Age, raw supplies and *shipping* now often trump labor as a cost for most production cycles.   We’ve combined our factories and our machines and linked the whole thing together with trade.

This has the ultimate effect of quickly leveling the playing field economically, so one could expect the political situation to follow suit.  The manner in which it chooses to do so will be a big question for 2012 and beyond.  The Dollar is likely to be one of the first casualties, as the dust settles after the Great Recession and we find the economic tables have completely turned.

 

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Boehner’s office cuts off C-SPAN cameras as GOP takes verbal beating

A strange thing happened Wednesday morning on Capitol Hill.

As Rep. Stenny Hoyer (D-MD) attempted to call for a vote to extend a payroll tax cut to middle class and working Americans, his Republican colleagues adjourned the House and walked out of the chamber. And if that weren’t odd enough, it got even stranger: As Hoyer railed against them for failing to help working Americans, footage from C-SPAN went silent, then cut away.

Moments later, C-SPAN took to the Internet to explain that it wasn’t their doing, but someone working for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).

via Boehner’s office cuts off C-SPAN cameras as GOP takes verbal beating | The Raw Story.

You can see the video here before Boehner had it cut off.

The bill passed the Senate 89-10, after the partisan House version failed.  So now the House refused to vote on the Senate version (Republicans don’t want to be seen voting down a working class tax cut…but they want to vote against it), and instead tries to reconcile the two versions.

What the video shows is the Republicans cutting off debate and refusing to vote on the Senate version…they had to cut off the video or Cantor’s lies about what happened might seem plausible.

UPDATE:

“We regret, Mr. Speaker, that you have walked off the platform without addressing the issue of critical importance to this country, and that is the continuation of the middle class tax cut, the continuation of unemployment benefits for those at risk of losing them, and a continuation of the access to doctors for all those 48 million seniors who rely on them daily for help.”

And that’s when the audio cut out. Seconds later, footage faded to a shot of the capitol from outside.

Moments later, someone at C-SPAN took to Twitter and explained: “C-SPAN has no control over the U.S. House TV cameras – the Speaker of the House does.

House GOP Walks Out Rather Than Vote on Payroll Tax Cut

Take a look….make the pledge…then walk off…ignoring the people’s business.

The Republicans then turned around and immediately started lying about what they did.

All in a fight to give more breaks to Big Oil.

UPDATE: Even the WSJ is calling b.s. on this…even while doing so in a b.s. way.

GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell famously said a year ago that his main task in the 112th Congress was to make sure that President Obama would not be re-elected. Given how he and House Speaker John Boehner have handled the payroll tax debate, we wonder if they might end up re-electing the President before the 2012 campaign even begins in earnest.

The GOP leaders have somehow managed the remarkable feat of being blamed for opposing a one-year extension of a tax holiday that they are surely going to pass. This is no easy double play.

Republicans have also achieved the small miracle of letting Mr. Obama position himself as an election-year tax cutter

Had to cut that off mid-derp, as the WSJ editorial board tends to include utter b.s. even when pointing out the obvious.   Obama is not really an “election-year tax cutter”, as this tax cut went into effect last year as part of the successful stimulus.  It is, in face, because of this success, Republicans are now working to undercut it.

It should also be noted that, unlike the original Bush Tax Cuts, Republican are now insisting this tax cut (which goes to workers) will reduce government revenue and therefore needs to be paid for.  This is a complete 180 from their stance about tax cuts for the wealthy (aka “job creators”), as Republicans claim those pay for themselves.   This is probably the most base and obvious lie in the Republican quiver, and they whip different versions of it out every time the subject comes up.

 

Progress….sexy…sexy…progress

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia (AP) — A Navy tradition caught up with the repeal of the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule on Wednesday when two women sailors became the first to share the coveted “first kiss” on the pier after one of them returned from 80 days at sea.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta of Placerville, California, descended from the USS Oak Hill amphibious landing ship and shared a quick kiss in the rain with her partner, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell of Los Angeles.

Gaeta, 23, wore her Navy dress uniform while Snell, 22, wore a black leather jacket, scarf and blue jeans. The crowd screamed and waved flags around them.

“It’s something new, that’s for sure,” Gaeta told reporters after the kiss. “It’s nice to be able to be myself. It’s been a long time coming.”

via The Associated Press: 2 women share 1st kiss at US Navy ship’s return.

Note: This is an example of one of the freedom’s that will be lost if a Republican is elected in 2012, as all of the Republican candidates have promised to re-instate the policy (DADT) that made these veterans hide their true nature.