'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Okey-Doke Presidency (Part 2) 

The embrace of expediency by the Obama administration continues unabated. Just announced:

President Barack Obama declared Friday a "meaningful and unprecedented breakthrough" had been reached among the U.S., China and three other countries on a global effort to curb climate change but said much work was still be needed to reach a legally binding treaty.

"It is going to be very hard, and it's going to take some time," he said near the conclusion of a 193-nation global warming summit. "We have come a long way, but we have much further to go."

The president said there was a "fundamental deadlock in perspectives" between big, industrially developed countries like the United States and poorer, though sometimes large, developing nations. Still he said this week's efforts "will help us begin to meet our responsibilities to leave our children and grandchildren a cleaner planet."

The deal as described by Obama reflects some progress helping poor nations cope with climate change and getting China to disclose its actions to address the warming problem.

But it falls far short of committing any nation to pollution reductions beyond a general acknowledgment that the effort should contain global temperatures along the lines agreed to at a conference of the leading economic nations last July.

Meanwhile, cue the music, the AFL-CIO is against the evolving Senate health care bill . . . well . . . sort of. As is Andy Stern of SEIU. Given that both the AFL-CIO and Change to Win are now singing from the same songbook, all the way down to self-serving press releases about ongoing faux resistance, while the White House, the Congress and industry lobbyists decide the provisions of the health care reform bill in secret, one wonders why the split in the union movement persists. The only plausible explanation is that it would require SEIU to stop raiding the members of AFL-CIO affiliated uinons.

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