Wen Leaves India Worried- Kashmir Crisis

With just one line Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has transfixed India on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and rendered irrelevant the boundary question, stapled visas and a lot more. By stating that the boundary dispute covers just 2000 kms he has excised nearly 1600 km in Jammu and Kashmir from the purview of the border talks and rendered the whole State open to bite-sized morsels and wholesale gobbling. The first signs of a major shift in Chinese negotiating position on the boundary question was made available to the National Democratic Alliance Government when China refused to exchange maps showing claim lines in the Western sector encompassing North-east Jammu and Kashmir segments of Aksai Chin. It was followed up more recently with Chinese claims to the whole of Arunachal Pradesh. The raising of two new Mountain Divisions by India could prove to be too little too late.Ten thousand Chinese troops are already in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir broadening the Karakoram Highway and laying the foundations of a rail link and pipelines to Gwadar on the Balochistan coastline. In hindsight it could well be that Pakistan's former Army Chief General Pervez Musharraf was instigated by Beijing into launching of the intrusion into the Kargil sector in 1999 to test India's reactions. Musharraf, after all, was in Beijing when it happened and was directing operations from there. Pakistan's "all-weather friend" was taken aback by India's ferocious defence of Kargil. Jammu and Kashmir has become a fait accompli and if India does not read the signs correctly Arunachal too will follow suit. The potential for trouble for India through Nepal has not yet dawned on the Indian consciousness.

One is already seeing the fringes of future Chinese foreign policy in the manner it has reacted to joint military operations in areas off the Chinese coastline.Its instigation of its proxy North Korea has brought the two Koreas to the brink of war. By comparison India's riposte on Tibet and the breakaway Chinese province of Taiwan are mere pinpricks that will not halt the tide of Beijing's aggressive designs all around its periphery. The joint communique issued at the end of Wen Jiabao's visit tells its own story in the absence of a condemnation of the terrorist attack on Mumbai where the Pakistan hand is redolent in blood. Talking about containing terrorism without concrete steps to curb it in realpolitik means tacit abetment. If Chinese leaders find it difficult to pinpoint the cause of the malaise, the reasons are obvious that Beijing sees in these tactics by its friends a fulfillment of its options on what it calls "core issues".China says that it is not stoking insurgencies in the north-east of India but it is still host to ULFA cadres and intelligence from captured appear to point to the possibility that China is also the banker where UL:FA is stashing away the money extorted from the people of Asom and adjoining States of the North-east. In contrast India's response to continuing Chinese intrusions across the Line of Actual Control is tepid and it is obvious that huge tracts are left unattended or anyone to talk in and take possession as happened in Kargil.

New Delhi allowed itself to be talked into "downsizing" its military manpower to the point that it now finds itself scrambling to raise new Divisions to take care of a threat that is larger than is perceived. The trade links are being held out as an improvement of bilateral relations.International commerce is usually seen as a harmonizer and mutual inter-dependence leading to peace and stability. However, an uncontrollable trade imbalance carries with it its own dangers of undercutting one's own economy in the long run as the American overdependence on Chinese financial instruments is showing itself. Trade could well be a lollypop to suck on and become complacent and Taiwan appears to be reacting to Chinese investment. The Taiwan card in India's hand could well be suborned by other considerations in Taipeh. India needs also to remember that creating a linkage between the Tibet issue and the J and K stapled visas does not quite have an equal weightage. Only if it is willing to do in Tibet what China is doing through Pakistan will there be something concrete to go by. China is in no hurry to resolve the border issue. Wen made it clear that there is no solution on the horizon when he said that it will take a long time to resolve the border dispute.

Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojna

Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojna (RGMVP) was initiated in 2002-03 in collaboration with the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust to facilitate the formation of SHGs in two districts of -UP: Sultanpur and Raebareli. In the last seven years, RGMVP's reach has extended to 55 blocks spread across 14 backward districts of the state. The programme now reaches out to over 2,33,594 families, 19,228 women's SHGs, 531 village level SHG federations and 15 Block level federations across the project area. The savings generated have been leveraged through borrowings from banks and invested in a diversified portfolio of income generating activities.Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojna is also accociated with Baiga community in Chhattisgarh largely depends on forest and natural resources for its livelihood and is one of the poorest tribal groups in the country. RGF has partnered with Samarth to initiate SHGs in the area. The SHG members are gradually being trained on various livelihood options based on natural resources such as bamboo product making, grass products, organic farming, vermin compost making, etc. Currently, 200 women are a part of the project. We have made attempts to reach out to the community by conducting the Padyatra Programme (rally on foot) highlighting issues such as non-availability of government schemes and benefits. They community is also encouraged to develop micro plans which are presented at theNatural Resource Management is the flagship livelihood promotion programme of the Foundation directly implemented in the remote villages of Rajasthan.

The programme is implemented on the principle that because of water scarcity and growing competition large swathes of rural communities are pushed towards impoverishment and could threaten equitable and sustainable development, ecological balance and political stability. The increasing gap between the water availability and demand highlights the need to conserve, utilize and manage this important resource in a sustainable manner.Foundation started its NRM interventions in the remote areas of the Rajasthan state covering backward villages of Jaipur, Pali and Karoli district. The project area was selected on the basis of the poor conditions of the natural resources and willingness of the partner community to participate in the programme. The extreme economic backwardness of the region may be attributed in some measure directly to environmental degradation arising from lack of appropriate planning and poor developmental interventions. The natural resources in the region are in poor conditions because the geographic location does not support the abundant rainfall, poor quality and excessive depth of ground water, absence of Perennial River, open scrub forests and huge withdrawal from limited ground waterWater harvesting Programme is RGF's only directly implemented initiative under its livelihood promotion portfolio.

Livelihood options are generated through creation of water harvesting structures, initiating watershed activities, adopting and inculcating improved agriculture practices. At present the work is spread over in 115 villages, where 208 water harvesting structures have been constructed. The most pronounced benefit from the water harvesting structures has been in agriculture productivity. Because of water availability in wells and tube wells farmers have therefore been able to provide more irrigation to their crops which has led to increase in productivity, switch to more remunerative crops and increased net area under cultivation. To ensure that the communities have an ongoing stake in the assets being created, it is ensured that a minimum of 33 percent of the total expenditure would be borne by the community for works carried out on common lands whereas for individual and small user groups the contribution has been fixed at 50 percent or more.

Rajiv Gandhi Was Likely to be The Prime Minister Again in 1991.

21 May 1991Sri Perumbudur was rocked by a blast. Suicide attacker had succeeded in their evil motives. They snatched away Rajivji from us and the progressive movement of a developing nation was brought to a screeching halt. This was an international conspiracy, that many top world leaders were afraid about. The then Palestinian President Yasir Arafat had serious concerns about such an attack on Rajiv Gandhi and so he had also warned him.Satish Jacob , Senior JournalistWe had got the information from Election Commission that Rajiv and Sonia would come there to cast their votes. There was an election booth in Nirman bhawan so a lot of journalists were also present there to cast their votes. I saw him coming with a broad smile on his face. I asked him "You look very happy, last year when you were coming out after voting you looked concerned". He replied, "Why shouldn't I be happy, we are winning."During Rajiv Gandhi's Prime Minister rule , the neighboring country Sri Lanka was burning with isolation and violence. To maintain the regional harmony and the sovereignty of its neighbour Rajiv Gandhi's government acted promptly.Rajiv Gandhi after signing a treaty with Sri lanka"The agreement holds out the promise of a strong, united, peaceful Sri Lanka which is as much in our interest as it is in is the unity of hearts that guarantees the unity of Nations. India and Sri Lanka have been the joint founders of the non alignment movement.

Our commitment to non-alignment grows out of our traditions and ethos of our freedom struggle. Peace in our region depends crucially on all of remaining non aligned."No body could've imagined that it would be so life threatening for him to desire peace. The 'Shaanti Sena' sent by India had destroyed the hopes of LTTE , that was set out to divide Sri Lanka. This was a big jolt for LTTE chief Prabhakaran and he started planning the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. He was also perturbed by the possibility of Rajiv Gandhi returning to power after Indian elections. From the beginning of year 1991, LTTE terrorists had laid the foundation of Rajiv ji's assassination.After the two dress rehearsals in local rallies , the attackers finally succeeded on 21 May 1991 in Perumbudur."You know its an irony that Rajiv's assassin appeared before him in the same way as Mahatma Gandhi's assassin had appeared before him. to pay respect and to show their devotion to the leadership."21 May 1991 became a black day in the history of India. The Sun had set even before rising. His dreams also died with him, unfulfilled.Wish his dream had not died, Wish he had not died.Rajiv Gandhi was born in a politically active family yet he was an apolitical person.His entry to politics was circumstantial but when he took over the control, his every move was of a mature statesman

BJP All Set to Win Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is serving from last 10 years in Madhya Pradesh and the state has gained the recognition from bimaru to jujharu in this period. It's the magic of Developmental Work done under BJP that has made MP the fastest growing state in the nation. There is no doubt in the leadership skill & planning strategy of Chief Minister of MP, Mr. Shivraj Singh Chouhan and credit also goes to his team of ministers that has made his vision a reality. In agriculture sector MP is consistently topping the production and growth rate. This year MP has ousted Haryana from number 3 position and secured its place after Punjab and Uttar Pradesh in per hectare production. Along with agriculture, MP has registered tremendous growth in IT Sector, Industrial Sector, Rural Development, Infrastructure Development, Women & Child Welfare, Science and Technology and Urban Development. When nation was facing recession, MP government has provided jobs to more than 1 lakh youth. From lower class to middle and upper class, everyone is witnessing a growth at various levels.

No state has seen such a revolutionary growth in past 10 years. Honourable Chief Minister, also introduced a beneficiary scheme 'Mukhyamantri Annapurna Yojana' for people below poverty line, so that, they can get the grains and salt at minimum subsidized rate. Commerce Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Mr. Kailash Vijayvargiya has invested his interest in development of MSMEs and thus, many new policies are being introduced to boost the micro small medium enterprises in state. Being Science & Technology Minister of the state, Mr. Vijayvargiya is also putting his efforts in encouraging research & development work in state. Recently, state has got its first Ultra Modern Planetarium which is amongst the top Planetariums in the country. With all these developments, BJP has surely won hearts in Madhya Pradesh and it is set to win the elections of 2014 too. At present many issues are boiling at the centre, lots of expert discussions are happening to forecast election 2014 but with the command of Election 2014 in Narendra Modi's hand, BJP is sure to win at the Centre too.

India is the nation of youth and leaders like Narendra Modi, Shivraj Singh Chauhan & Kailash Vijayvargiya, very well know how to attract them. Where Congress is playing caste politics, BJP is playing developmental politics. With the effective use of Social Media, BJP is keeping transparency in its policies, strategies and work model. People are being informed about every move and thus, youth is inspired for sure. Keeping in mind the present political moves of BJP, it is clear that 'BJP is all set to win Election 2014'.

Can Our Military Continue to Keep Terrorism Away From Our Borders?

I had hoped not to see the beginning of this new shift in the war on terror but itcertainly seems to be here to stay.. I have noticed that al Qaeda seems to be initiating the recruiting and sending of terrorists to the United States to conduct attacks on American soil. This trend is troubling because at some timer they might be able to slip solitary terrorists or small groups of terrorists through. If we don't want this to happen we will have to keep our eyes open. I first create this article with the attempted Christmas bombing, the botched scheme to bomb the subway in New York City and the botched attempt to bomb Times Square recently.

Since then there have been even more developments with the latest being the capture of the two terrorist wannabes in New Jersey. They were not aware that they had been under surveillance for a few years. Federal authorities had watched them long enough to determine that they had no real contacts in al-Qaeda so they were virtually insignificant.We as citizens of this nation's control have been so well protected that we are living in a sort of lala land. We are not acutely aware of the grave danger that we could suddenly find ourselves in because of terrorists. We can't depend on our government to shield us we are to remain free from terrorist attacks we be obliged to stay vigilant. Each one of these lone attempts to kill Americans were luckily averted but luck doesn't last forever. We might possibly not be so lucky again. We be obliged to stay vigilant and help our government to shield us. We must be obliged to remain alert to all things just so we can catch the one minor thing which would tip us off to terrorist activity. The beauty of the war on terror so far in this country is that all of the incidents of war have been in other countries.

American citizens have not had to witness the horrors and atrocities of this war except in a few incidents. This war has not been very costly in the loss of the lives of our wives and children. Enemy combatants have been mostly limited to Iraq, and Afghanistan where they have had to use small arms to fight with well trained and well armed UA ans NATO troops. Enemy combatants are even leaving this nation to operate overseas and fight with the insurgents there rather than to attempt to conduct attacks here in the United States.Errant bombs have not been destroying our homes and businesses as they have in the countries where the battles are being fought. American servicemen and women can tell you of the conditions in many of the countries in which they are average American civilian lives a much better lifestyle than the average civilian of most other nations. Al-Qaeda seems to be actively recruiting more operatives to transmit to the United States to conduct terror operations here. Our troops serving overseas are doing a wonderful job of keeping the actual danger away from the innocent men, women, and children of this country. We can't take our relaxed life life style for granted. There are many other countries where the population knows nothing other than war. We must continue to give every bit of the support that we can to our military and our government as they attempt to keep terrorism away from our borders.

Not Born on the 4th of July

This year's 4th of July was a most memorable one for me. My wife and I had the honor of attending the Citizenship Ceremony for new Americans at the William Paca [pronounced PayKa] House & Gardens in Annapolis, Maryland. What struck me most about the event was that these 38 new Americans understand better than many native born Americans what being an American really means. Each of them left a life, a family, and a cultural heritage to join us in "the land of the free and the home of the brave."For we Americans, there is nothing very unusual about that. Every human being in North America is either an immigrant, or descended directly from someone who was. This is true of even so-called "native Americans," since there were no human beings at all in North or South America before 13,000 years ago, a virtual blink in human existence.I often ask my fellow Americans what one factor above all others is the reason for the strength and success of the United States of America. Few have a clear-cut answer. I believe our strength is our Diversity, which I see as the Glory of God.Unlike monolithic societies, where one person or group dominates everyone in various nefarious ways, in the United States we have hundreds of groups of very different national origin, religions, races, and points of view. Whenever one of these groups has a good idea, everyone adopts it.

I use Starbucks as my example of a good idea, which is now adopted globally. Whenever a bad idea emerges, the other groups pound it out of the system by vigorous debate. It is a tempering process, like that used in making steel. Slavery is my example of a bad idea.The day was made more special for me by sharing it with our guest, Lama Phurbu Tashi Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist monk and a refugee, who plans to be another new American in a couple of years. Watching him interact with the period costumed actors representing the 1st Maryland Regiment and the Colonial Ladies was a particular treat. Because of his saffron and purple robes, many at the event, including the news media, thought he was one of the day's honorees, so he was interviewed several times.The Director of the Baltimore office of the Immigration Service told us that they create new citizens every day-18,000 or so in Maryland each year. But this event on the 4th of July is a particularly meaningful occasion.

The venue in the William Paca House & Gardens is within a block of the 1st Capitol building of the United States, the Maryland State House.William Paca was one of 4 signers of the Declaration of Independence from Maryland. Whenever I give visitors tours of Annapolis, I always point out the magnificent mansions of these courageous men, to show what they were putting at risk when they signed the document. They were committing treason against the British Crown, and, as Benjamin Franklin put it succinctly, "We either hang together or we will hang separately!"After the ceremony, I mentioned to one of the new Americans that, as an American, I am very proud of them, because they know the meaning of being an American better than many of our native born countrymen. I told one, "You know what it means to be an American, so if we forget, you remind us!"

Are You Fed up of Anna Hazare And Team Anna?

Are you fed up of Anna Hazare and Team Anna? I am Mental fatigue has set in because of two reasons. The first is media overkill. Newspapers, having limited space, at least exercise some restraint, but television, which has 24 hours to fill, just drones on and on, showing the self-appointed guardians of civil society enjoying their 15 weeks in the sun. The second reason why many of us have had enough of the Lokpal Bill agitation is that Anna Hazare and his team don't know when to stop. The role of members of civil society is clearly defined: whatever it may be, it is not to legislate.That is the role of the legislature, which is why it is called that. The role of civil society - which means people like us - is to act as catalysts and pressure groups which force politicians and parliament to act, and to bring in laws which will be for the general we know, the Lokpal Bill has been hanging around in parliamentary recesses for years and years.

For obvious reasons, politicians of all political parties have tried to scuttle it, and done so successfully for a long time (That's why it is amusing to see the BJP take the moral high ground: why didn't the NDA government bring in the bill in its two terms?)In that scenario, someone had to take the initiative. When Anna Hazare and company did so, we all applauded. But having forced the government to act, they should have stopped and allowed parliament to fulfill its role of bringing in the new legislation.Obviously, the form the new bill takes will not please everyone. No bill can. But the pulls and pressures of opposing political parties in parliament generally ensures that a reasonable compromise is reached.Should the Prime Minister be under the Lokpal's preview? There are two valid, but opposing, views on that. Should the Chief Justice and Supreme Court judges be under the purview? Again there are two valid, but opposing, views. Now isn't it arrogance on the part of Hazare and Co that only their view is correct?Anna Hazare's threat of a fast is nothing but blackmail.

When Mahatma Gandhi went on his fasts, it was as a part of Satyagraha against an occupying imperial power. The situation changed in 1947; we became a democracy and have been a functional democracy for all this time. That is why a fast of the kind that is now being threatened is nothing short of coercion to get your own members of civil society we need to tell Anna Hazare that. We need to tell him too that the Bhushan duo isn't necessarily the best legal brains in the country even if they think so: the job of drafting the bill isn't their business anyway. We also need to convey as gently as possible that Anna Hazare himself is a good man, but a good man of limited vision and intellectual ability. This may sound harsh but you just have to listen to his speeches. Ideally, neither the government, nor Team Hazare should have had a hand in the bill.What Team Hazare should have asked for is to pick a three-member team of the best independent legal experts of impeccable reputation to work on it and then present it to parliament. But then, Anna Hazare and his team wouldn't be on television all the time, would they?

An Encounter With Occupy Wall Street Protestors in Asheville NC

I am doing a little bit of traveling this week and my trip started with a business stop in Asheville, North Carolina. I stayed there one night and the next afternoon went downtown and got some lunch. They got some of those Occupy Wall Street people there next to city hall and I decided to walk over and see what they are about for myself.You may have seen some news stories about them. If you live in New York you know about it, because they had big demonstrations and clashes with police in the Wall Street area this last Fall. After that they sprouted up in other cities in public areas.They aren't in my area yet. In fact where I live almost no one knows about them, because the media doesn't really report on them too much. But the times they do they usually do so in a very sensational manner just like they report on everything else.The TV news likes to provoke you and make you angry and scared all of them time so that you will sit there and keep watching and the powers that be want you to be like that too because then you can be easily controlled and manipulated into believing anything they want. Couch potatoes are a docile and obedient bunch.I really didn't know much about the occupy people, but I was curious. This is a big thing that has been going on and I want to know what is really happening to this country for myself.

So I went over and talked with them.I wanted to know who they were, what they believed, and what they were trying to do for myself. And I made this video to share with you what I found.The media paints the occupy people with one big brush and gives them one big label. They say they are radical and dangerous. That they are a bunch of hippies and communists. They say they are the enemy and they must be I found is that the Occupy Asheville group is made up of all kinds of different people from different walks of life for their for different reasons. Some are there to express their ideological views. Others are there because they found it to be a safe haven in a time of economic hardship.It made me think of scenes at the start of the movie They Live.In that movie a character played by Roddy Piper loses his job and comes across a shanty town camp for the dispossessed and hangs out and gets help. Then he stumbles upon a pair of glasses that reveal to him that the advertising and media messages are all subconsciously programming everyone to obey and consume.If the economy does not get better and the trend of the shrinking middle class continues then more occupy type Wall Street tent areas will sprout up across the country much like the Hoovervilles of the Great Depression and in fact there may one day be something like a bonus army march that the fella I talked with in the video, Preston, mentioned.You know we have more in common with each other than we do with Ben Bernanke and the international bankers on Wall Street that wrecked the economy and caused the real estate bubble and 2008 stock market collapse.Obama got in office but he never removed the people responsible for the collapse. They are still at charge at the Treasury and the Fed and in the banking sector most of those responsible at the mismanagement level got rewarded with corporate parachutes.

And of course the country is now saddled with trillions of dollars in government debt that threaten to bring us down the road of Greece thanks in part to socialism for the rich policies of bailout for the banks.They said they had to do it because the banks were too big too fail. But this was a lie. The government could have paid the depositors with FDIC and let the big banks go bankrupt. Then the regional banks that weren't bankrupt would have taken their police. But those bankers had plenty of Congressmen bought and paid for that did their bidding and scared the rest of them into thinking they were indispensable.The politicians have done nothing to fix the situation or bring any real change for the better. In my view most of things Obama has done the past four years have been for the worse and I really don't think we can expect Mitt Romney, who is completely owned by Wall Street, to do any better.That's why I told Preston we have to stand up for ourselves. We have to turn off our televisions and leave our homes and go out talk with your friends and other people and do stuff. Voting isn't enough.You have to let your own voice be heard. Go to meetings in your local community and let your local politicians and Congressmen know what you think. Make demands. Play your own part. Don't be afraid of people but talk to them. We all have more in common with each other than with the elites that ruined the country. They need to be removed, but they maintain their power by dividing us up into Republicans and Democrats or whatever. But this isn't a football game. It's our lives and none of these politicians are going to do anything anyway. Stand up for yourself.Copyright ?? 2012 Mike Swanson

It’s Official. There Is Finally A Real GOP Candidate For 2012. Ex-Governor Tim Pawlenty.

by Dr. Jeffrey LantLet me tell you something about presidential candidates: the day they announce for the highest office in the land, they figure they'll be the top story… their mug on the front page of America's great dailies, their story featured on the three major commercial networks… and, of course, the object of endless glib commentary on Fox News and CNN.For Pawlenty, the first announced Republican candidate, it just didn't happen.To be sure, there were really major stories being covered March 21, 2011. Can you say nuclear reactors in Japan? That military dust-up in Libya? But even so, you would have thought Pawlenty would have gotten something.And what's got to irk Pawlenty good and plenty is that he has at least some credibility, not least that he was a moderately conservative governor (twice!) of a reliably Democratic state. When Pawlenty looks in the mirror, mirror on the wall… who's the one he sees most of all? Can you say Ronald Reagan?But Pawlenty got skunked… his Hollywood style introduction video ignored… his message to America undelivered.

What a revoltin' development this is. If it had been Tim's predecessor in the Minnesota governor's office -- colorful ex-wrestler and mouth man Jesse Ventura -- you can bet there would have been coverage, lots of coverage.Tim's gotta wonder…"Gentlemen prefer blondes" (1926), Anita Loos said. In the sequel, she told us "But Gentlemen marry brunettes" (1928). Tim can only hope that he's seen as the man America wants to marry. If only he can figure out how to get a date to strut his (good boy) stuff…Minnesota… always the bridesmaid, never the bride.Pity the state of Minnesota. It has had a respectable number of presidential candidates… but nary even a one-term president amongst them.Harold Stassen was the hot stuff in 1938 when he was America's youngest governor. He got a really bad case of Potomac Fever right away (1944) and never did get rid of it. He became a national joke running for president over and over again, a (bad) joke. Minnesota cringed.Then there was Hubert Horatio Humphrey Jr., who actually got the Democrat's nomination in 1968… and came within a hair of winning the presidency. "Tricky Dick" Nixon's most important trick was getting the presidency that year. A profoundly decent man, Humphrey learned the hard way that loyalty (to Lyndon Johnson and his Vietnam policy) isn't what gets you elected; hard headed realism is. Nixon had it… Hubert didn't.The next presidential candidate from Minnesota, Jimmy Carter's vice president Walter Mondale had this fundamental decency and honesty, too, and it killed him.Right out of the box Mondale, the very essence of the Minnesota boy next door, you know, the one who carries in your groceries with a smile and declines the tip, slaughtered himself. He told America the truth -- that the deficit was unsustainable and there would have to be new taxes. (Deja vu all over again….)I had to admire the man's guts… but you knew, right then, he was a goner.

Ronald Reagan crushed him… and went on to GOP sainthood, the prototype of how to finesse the truth and become the Big Winner.Get the picture?Now there's Timmy Pawlenty, and here's what you need to know about him. His original career choice was… dentist. I kid you not… and once you know it you can see him in white coat, dazzling smile, personable, confiding manner; the man who says "open wide", "little pinch", "spit here."He'd have been a cinch for president of the Minnesota Dental Association… and a lifetime achievement award from the Kiwanis.What's he bring to the table?The problem with those Boy Scout types, the nice guys, is that nice is what they've got, all they've got. Timmie's got likability all right but anything else?His ascent.He was born November 17, 1960, of German and Polish ancestry. You'll hear about his teamster father; his mother who died of cancer when he was 15. And about his meat packing neighborhood with that all-pervasive dead meat smell. (Don't mention that bit too much, Tim; it definitely puts people off. Ask not for whom the smell tolls… it tolls for thee.)Born Roman Catholic, Pawlenty became an evangelical Christian… a fact he will leverage to the max, to get those all important conservative Republican and Tea Party supporters. Powerful, they'll demand a hefty price.Pawlenty's political career shows what nice guys are capable of achieving. He was elected to the Egan, Minnesota city council in 1989, age 28. Elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1992, he was re-elected five times and was chosen House Majority Leader when Republicans became the majority party in the State Legislature in 1998.He won a hard fought victory in the Republican gubernatorial primary in 2002… then beat aggressive candidates from the Minnesota Democratic- Farmer-Labor Party and the Independence Party. He was re-elected in 2006. Impressive yes. Memorable no! And the high point of his rhetoric was: "We need to be a party of Sam's Club, not just the country club." Churchillian, he isn't. And America likes its presidents to be masters of soaring speech.Now the nicest guy aims at the highest office. Everyone will like him. Almost no one with think him the Great White Hope of America, and his poll numbers will always be anemic. Just as they are now.You see Tim suffers from Minnesotitis… the disease that takes boys next door and turns them into likable cogs in the wheel… always on the team, hardly ever the captain and never ever champion. Leo Durocher summed up their plight in 1939 with his immortal line, "Nice guys finish last." Tim Pawlenty is about to discover just how deflatingly true that is, as he joins the list of nice guys from Minnesota who couldn't wow America.???

Obamas Tax Plan to Reduce The Debt And How it Might Affect Small Business

On Monday, President Obama revealed a new tax plan that represents not only a change in his economic policy, but also a shift in how he conducts his political strategy. Whereas Obama has become notorious for a strategy of offering substantial concessions to Republicans when it comes to economic issues, his new tax plan shows that he is less willing to compromise when it comes to taxation and debt reduction. Obama's plan includes plans to reduce the national deficit by "more than $3 trillion over 10 years" by increasing taxes on the wealthiest fraction of American citizens. The announcement comes days after a speech made by Speaker John Boehner, which essentially stated the opposite: Republicans would not support any economic bill intended to increase taxes on any sect of the population.

However, to demonstrate how serious he was about his approach, Obama claimed that he would use his veto power on any bill that proposed spending cuts without a simultaneous increase in taxes.According to??several analysts, Obama's statement on reducing the national debt comes at a crucial point in his presidency because it represents a much more combative approach to negotiating with Republicans on economic issues than what he has demonstrated so far. Because Obama has developed a reputation for being too flexible when it comes to negotiating on issues with significant implications for the nation and the economy, his recent move could be interpreted as a way of getting back in touch with his party base before the 2012 election.As for how Obama's new strategy might affect small businesses, what matters first is to what extent Obama's ideas will be implemented. With Republicans seemingly unwilling to negotiate about taxation, Obama might not be successful in getting any legislation through that succeeds in increasing taxes on the rich.

Furthermore, a policy of increasing taxation could have the effect of increasing employment through government spending on investment on projects that promote job creation, but these expenditures might not be seen for months or years. While some may argue that cutting taxes on the wealthiest Americans will reduce investments in big businesses and therefore hurt job creation, others may see it as a more fair approach to distributing the tax burden across the American population.What is your take on Obama's new stance? Do you think it will be successful, and what do you think the repercussions may be? Share your thoughts!