schadenfreude

It’s really hard not to read something into the fact that, much as I might want to actually link something to Xinhua, China’s state news agency, I can’t – or rather I won’t – because every time I roll onto that website, my antivirus software flips over like Julius Caesar watching Pokemon. Which is a pity because I think China’s comments regarding the US human rights record would at least be some funny shit. The U.S. yesterday released a report on the global state of human rights, (yes, I laughed too). China of course has it’s knickers in a wad over what this report says about China.

China is rejecting criticism of its human rights record in the State Department’s latest annual report on human rights around the world. Meanwhile, China says people in Tibet – one area highlighted in the report – are happily celebrating their new year.
China responded quickly to U.S. State Department criticism of it human rights record.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told reporters Thursday China is ready to discuss human rights with any country, but only on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
Ma says the Chinese government urges the American side to reflect on its own human rights problems, stop acting as a human-rights guardian and stop using human rights as an excuse to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs.

You know, it’s situations like this which make the word rhetoric synonymous (for me) with “political leaders shoveling horse shit”. Because the beautiful irony is that as long as the U.S. and China have been sloughing these words at each other, it hasn’t ever changed the way we treat each other. (Correction: we continue trading with China no matter how many times they poke us in the eyes or, as it happens, steal our missile technology.)
Let the record show that I’m already prepared to dismiss Hilary Clinton as a complete collect call from the secretary of state’s office. Not unlike the warp nacelles on space craft from the Star Trek franchise (GNDN – Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing).

Obama says the costs of the wars we’re involved with will no longer be kept ‘off the books’ – which is funny as I don’t recall those funds being secret so much as not talked about in Washington (by, um, either side).

We can rest easy – the department of Homeland Security (better known as the SS) is apparently entering a phase of ‘quiet government agency that does nothing and sucks up billions of dollars’ (which is to say, a classic Democratic institution) as they’ve stopped communicating entirely in six second blipverts of buzzwords. A House GOP Blowhard comes down on Homeland Security for not using the word Terrorism more because apparently he can’t get wood unless the word terrorism is in use 24/7 like it’s December 2001 (You know when state and social mandate dictated that terrorism be inserted into every other sentence like some deranged variation of the way drummers from Metal bands speak in concert “How the Terrorist is Dallas Terrorist Texas doing tonight God damnit??”)
The blowhard (and aficionado of Fox’s 24) in question is House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Peter King.

Electioneering now officially underway in Pakistan – though it’s not like this is new. (Coup and counter coup. Remember those?)

Opposition lawmakers in Pakistan have scuffled with police during a demonstration against court rulings that barred two of their leaders from elected office.
Police detained at least 20 lawmakers outside the Punjab provincial assembly in Lahore Thursday, as supporters of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gathered in protest.
Other supporters of Mr. Sharif’s main opposition party, Pakistan Muslim League-N, took to the streets across the country and burned pictures of President Asif Ali Zardari.

I’m sure continued manhandling by the U.S. will ensure further calm in that region.

GM would be in bankruptcy were it not for government hand outs

GM lost $9.6 billion in the fourth quarter and, perhaps more important, burned through $5.3 billion in operating cash as a global recession pummeled car sales. For the year, GM lost $31 billion including special items for restructuring and other one-time costs. It’s the second-biggest loss in the company’s history.

Take a deep breath and try to work out how much this is the effect of the recession. I mean, it’s not like the notion of American auto manufacturers losing money is a new one – perhaps there’s maybe a …. reason for that?
No, that’s clearly just crazy talk.

GM has about $62 billion in debt, including $20 billion in cash owed to a union-led trust fund that will pay for health care for United Auto Workers employees and retirees starting in 2010. GM has been trying to negotiate a deal to give the UAW $10 billion in cash and the rest in stock. Ford Motor (F) got a similar deal on Feb. 23, so GM may be able to reduce that debt.
GM is also trying to shrink its $27.5 billion in unsecured debt to about $9 billion. The company is negotiating with bondholders. The bondholders may accept a deal, but they may end up with no more than 30¢ on the dollar in cash and the rest in stock, according to a source close to negotiations.

Who runs a business like this? If this wasn’t a monolithic company, it’d have been recycled already.

Jobless claims again up – to record levels supposedly. Do keep in mind – all this is counting is people who have successfully filed for unemployment and I don’t think I need to tell you that state government agencies will do anything they can to *not* pay.
For the administration’s part, there is finally some dawning acknowledgment that the money has to come from somewhere and now the speculation begins on where the cuts are going to come from.

“Having inherited a trillion-dollar deficit that will take a long time for us to close, we need to focus on what we need to move the economy forward, not on what’s nice to have,” Mr. Obama said.

This does not, of course, include what you’re stacking on top of it.
This is the part where the Great And Noble Party gets divided I think. It should prove………interesting, in a schadenfreude sort of way. Of course, it might suck if you’re a democrat.

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~ by Auntie Ranty on February 26, 2009.

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