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US foreign policy stalled on many fronts
Nov 15th, 2013 by Warren Swil

American initiatives

threatened by domestic

and foreign opposition

Secretary of State John Kerry is seeing US foreign policy crumble on many fronts.

IT MUST BE a miserable time to be the U.S. Secretary of State.
Top of the agenda American foreign policy initiatives are, at best, stalled. At worst, they are threatened by opposition both at home and abroad.
Talks with Iran over its nuclear weapons ambitions are coming apart amidst acrimonious charges of who is to blame and resolute opposition from Israel.
Attempts to get a peace process started in Syria are stymied by reluctant opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are threatened by new settlement plans and a vicious killing of an Israeli solder.
Further, a new trade agreement with 11 Asian-Pacific partners suffered two blows this week with opposition emerging in the U.S. Congress and publication of the secret text of a crucial part of the treaty by WikiLeaks.
John Kerry has more than a few headaches.


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CIVIL WAR: Battle erupts for soul of Republican party

GOP’S INTERNAL STRUGGLE IS GOOD NEWS FOR 2014
The news over the weekend for those who want to see the U.S. government actually work, was nothing short of stunning.
Headline after headline told of an outbreak of internecine warfare within the Republican Party – which brought the government to its knees for the first two weeks of October.
“Civil war” was the term most commonly used.
If the GOP suffers a crushing defeat in 2014, it will be because of its reckless behavior the past three weeks. And, it will be historic in another way: the out-of-power party usually wins mid-term elections; that’s what happened in 2010.
It seems 2014 might just be an historic exception


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CRISIS AVERTED: But serious damage has already been done

GOP INSANITY DOES LASTING HARM TO ‘FULL FAITH & CREDIT’ OF US
A last-minute cave-in by the Republicans has, temporarily, delayed a disaster, but not before serious and lasting harm has been done to the United States.
In the eyes of the world – and some Americans – the US is looking increasingly like an ungovernable banana republic.
Perception is reality.
The US government has lurched from one crisis to the next – and the next is just three months hence, when we face a possible re-run of the one just concluded.
That is not the way to run a country – or a world.


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As debt ceiling cliff nears, global fallout under way

CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS LIKELY TO FOLLOW DEFAULT
As the United States stumbles through the government shutdown towards the debt-ceiling crisis, the potential catastrophic effects are already causing ripples – political and economic – around the globe.
But House Republicans are not watching the oncoming light of the speeding train heading down the tracks towards all of us.
If they don’t pay attention to reopening the government so they can move past it to derail the debt ceiling crisis, all bets are off. The consequences are almost too terrible to contemplate.


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Showdown over shutdown could split Republican Party

DISSENT GROWS WITHIN GOP AS PUBLIC ANGER MOUNTS
Signs are emerging in a number of quarters that the radial fringe group of Republicans in the House of Representatives that deliberately caused all the unnecessary suffering is itself beginning to feel the heat.
With each passing day that the U.S. government remains shuttered, the internal pressures straining the Republican Party will mount as the American public grows increasingly disenchanted with its performance.
As long as the president and his party stay firm and refuse to negotiate such a fundamental issue as running the country properly, the chances of a split in the GOP will rise.
And that is good news for everyone.


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GROSS MISMANAGEMENT: World’s only superpower lurches from crisis to crisis

US GOVERNMENT – AND PEOPLE – HELD HOSTAGE BY LUNATIC FRINGE
Few people on the planet can be unaware that the American federal government is on track to shut down in a few hours.
It’s all the fault of a crazy radical fringe group that has seized control of Congress.
What an embarrassment. Even worse, what an unnecessary calamity for the entire country, all its 330 million people, and the global community.
It is beyond pathetic. It is gross mismanagement on a massive scale.


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EYEWITNESS TO HISTORY: The view of Syria from Jerusalem

ISRAEL CALM ON EVE OF MOMENTOUS DEBATE IN CONGRESS
JERUSALEM – It is a balmy summer’s night in this biblical city, steeped in history both ancient and modern.
There is not a hint of tension in the air, even though in a few hours, a momentous debate begins in the U.S. Congress that could have serious personal repercussions for all the 800,000 residents of this city, founded 3,000 BC.
“It’s very complicated,” my host told me minutes after my arrival.
That’s not an understatement. There is no simple solution to anything concerning the Middle East, crucible of history and cradle of Western civilization.

Blogger’s note: This is the first of an ongoing series “Eyewitness to history” in which we will bring to readers views from across the Atlantic where the debate raging in America will play out in real time with real consequences.


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The plight of labor: American Dream becomes a nightmare

CAMPAIGN FINANCE ‘BRIBERY’ AT ROOT OF WEALTH INEQUALITY
The inflation adjusted minimum wage is today the same as it was in 1960.
This is clearly the result of the waning political clout of the working classes. It is a political – rather than economic – problem.
A proposal to allow strictly political unions to form at workplaces in The New York Times on Monday is fatally flawed: it would take legislation, and Congress couldn’t give a hoot about “workers” – except those who write million-dollar checks to fund their campaigns.
It’s legalized bribery


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President fights back as Obamacare battle intensifies (with video)

HHS SECRETARY SIBELIUS TOUTS BENEFITS BEING IMPLEMENTED
The battle over the Affordable Care Act – aka Obamcare ¬– threatens to intensify just after Labor Day when Tea Party radicals plan a rally at the House Speaker’s office.
Meanwhile, the Obama Administration is fighting back with a public relations blitz.
And a poll released Wednesday found a huge majority of Americans oppose defunding the program.
This is the GOP’s worst nightmare come true, as we reported here Aug. 20.

Due to the Labor Day weekend in the U.S. posting will be light over the next few days. We deserve a break from our labors! Don’t you?


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‘Sequester’ disaster arrives – just as predicted

ALL THE BLAME GOES TO THE GOP IN CONGRESS
As many have predicted, a disaster of gargantuan proportions is unfolding before our eyes as the effects of the so-called budget “sequester” ripple across America.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says it is increasing unemployment and lowering GDP.
The lunatics responsible are ALL the Republican members of both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
The numbskulls in Congress that allowed the sequester to happen, and keep doing nothing about it must be as blind as bats.


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