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Senators not Interested in Europe?

In 2008 I wrote that "Senator Obama is criticized for failing to convene a single policy meeting of the Senate European subcommittee, of which he is chairman."

These days, this subcommittee is having meetings, but apparently nobody has attended the testimony by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip H. Gordon except the committee's current chairwoman Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

Or is every senator just late? The screenshot is from the State Department's blog Dipnote with the embedded video playing for seven seconds. The senators missed the Philip Gordon's praise: "We have no better partner than Europe."

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Pat Patterson on :

Was this statement before or after the US officially moved the 1st Armored Division from Wiesbaden to the sprawling Ft Bliss. Sort of like the guy giving his wife a kiss then going out the door for cigarettes and not coming back?

David on :

No surprise at the poor attendance at the senate subcommittee. One of the committee members is Jim DeMint, hero of the Tea Party who view Europe as Satan's domain. Basically the Republican senate members are too busy trying to phase out Medicare to care about our relations with Europe.

Pat Patterson on :

Would it be too much to ask where a major Tea Party figure said anything remotely like that? And how is DeMint connected? Guilt by association or willful misrepresentation?

David on :

Actually your hero DeMint has stated that Democrats are especially evil since "they are left of Europe." Sorry, Pat, but your white nationalist Tea Party is losing steam quickly.

Anonymous on :

The full and correct quote was they' "...are to the left of Europe." And nowhere in the comment did he say anything about the Democrats or the Europeans being evil. His comment was to hope that the Republicans would stick to their principals which would stand in stark contrast to the meandering lack of principals the Democrats and their supporters espouse. David can you at least check your bon mots before spewing them out as your version of repartee. And calling anyone you disagree with a racist or white nationalist says more about your lack of seriousness then your missed target. But then if you had checked the quote you would have found that DeMint saved most of his condemnation for the Republican leadership. Now I wouldn't say that Democrats are evil but considering the lack of interest in the truth I would say that some of their supporters and volunteers are stupid.

David on :

Missed target? Where ever the confederate flag - emblem of slavery - is flying over the state house, that is where you will find a robust Tea Party.

Pat Patterson on :

Which particular Confederate Flag are you referring to as there were at least a dozen different ones? BTW, California has a red star in its flag so I guess that makes us all communists. Don't you ever get tired of calling anybody who disagrees with you a racist?

Pat Patterson on :

So I assume that the Democrats were all busy not working on federal budget for the 780+ days since the slowdown began. Or were they all simply giving press conferences on how those evil Republicans were trying to change how Medicare is funded rather than simply sticking their heads in the sand. But I suppose it wouldn't be fair to point out to David that the Senate is still run by the Democrats and poorly attended sub-committee hearings couldn't possibly be the fault of Sen Reid.

Pat Patterson on :

After some research it turns out that the shot above only represents that portion of the Hon Philip Gordon's swearing in and then the reading of his prepared remarks. Unfortunately the question period that followed had many of the sub-committee members coming in when advised who then made brief statements themselves and they or their staff lawyer asked a series of questions. The 'unfortunately' above is the result of the transcript being available via Federal News by subscription only and the Congressional Record hasn't published the remarks or questions yet. DeMint did appear and I found that out by simply emailing his Senate office and got an answer back within 15 minutes that didn't smell of brimstone. Sen Kerry, the next senior Democrat did not attend but it appears that he had some questions asked by staff counsel.

John in Michigan, US on :

David wants to pretent the Republicans control the Senate European subcommittee, when in fact Democrats control the Sentate, and therefore, the subcommittee. It is Democrats, not Republicans, who are responsible for the agenda of the subcomittee. In the minoritiy, Republicans have very little control over the procedings, they can only ask a few questions. Well, Republicans could have made the subcommittee more interesting, by asking for example why the US shouldn't have a headscafe or minaret ban like in Europe! I think that would make some headlines, but not the kind Joerg (nor I) want. I think in that case it is, perhaps, better that Republicans don't take this subcommittee seriously. The problem Joerg is talking about rest mostly with the Democratic leadership for not putting serious issues on the table (such as Libya, international financial standards, etc.). Dems decided to make this into an empty hearing. When Republicans control the Sentate, then David can blame them for inattention to Europe. DeMint, which whom I disagree on many issues, is (to paraphrase) simply pointing out that Europe in general is moving to the center or even the right, so why on earth is the US left seeming to embrance the unpopular, somewhat discredited Euro left policies that even the Euros themselves are no longer excited about?

Anonymous on :

Obama doesn't care of europeans friendship ! he wants that we pull more money on american designed defense objectives, supposed to help us from abroad attacks ! yeah, he was the best friend of ivribodi in his european trip, what a joke ! America is broke, and ivri plot is good to hide it !

Marie claude on :

Les Americains, vous faites chier ! you'd better care for your 20% of unemployed, cuz they are your near "war" objectives !

Pat Patterson on :

Since the real unemployment rate, which includes those that have stopped looking for work, is actually slightly higher in France, 16.4% to 16.5% perhaps the French should save the fingerpointing for themselves.

Marie claude on :

our's are far more objective than yours, cuz they are EU controlled !

Kevin Sampson on :

That anything like the 'EU controlled' debt limits?

Pat Patterson on :

Both countries have essentially the same methadology for determing the numbers, such as age, seasonal occupation and when they stop trying to find work, and then vetted by the ILO. So if the US numbers have been massaged then the ones the EU have have also been manipulated at the source.

Marie Claude on :

US unemployment figures. "As most economists well know but most Americans do not, Clinton changed the mode of reporting the main figure" so it's 9% x2

Pat Patterson on :

The why does the ILO certify the figures?

Pat Patterson on :

Could you provide the link to the source of the quote?

Marie Claude on :

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts "Up until the Clinton administration, a discouraged worker was one who was willing, able and ready to work but had given up looking because there were no jobs to be had. The Clinton administration dismissed to the non-reporting netherworld about five million discouraged workers who had been so categorized for more than a year. As of July 2004, the less-than-a-year discouraged workers total 504,000. Adding in the netherworld takes the unemployment rate up to about 12.5%. The Clinton administration also reduced monthly household sampling from 60,000 to about 50,000, eliminating significant surveying in the inner cities. Despite claims of corrective statistical adjustments, reported unemployment among people of color declined sharply, and the piggybacked poverty survey showed a remarkable reversal in decades of worsening poverty trends." http://www.shadowstats.com/article/employment http://www.shadowstats.com/

Pat Patterson on :

But in 1995 once the new system was in place the number of samplers working for the BLS was back to 60,000. The US and the EU use, for the most part the same methadology, counting those as unemployed if they have looked for work at any time in the previous four weeks. And both groups have dropped those out of work for one year. That's not to say the statistics represent the actual number of people without work but under the circumstances the US and the EU have to establish some form of measurement.

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