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The EU & the USA: Same Day, Different Proposals


The European Union responds to the concern of its citizens over the threat of climate change by announcing plans for what it calls a “post-industrial revolution” of “a low-carbon economy.” In a bold new proposal unveiled today, the EU intends by 2020 to have cut its own greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to 1990 levels, and to have achieved “a 30% cut in greenhouse gas emissions for developed countries in international negotiation.” I am unclear whether India and China qualify as “developed countries” or will continue to be let off the hook as “developing nations”, but kudos to the EU for at least acting on a crisis rather than merely hand-wringing. Can we ask the same of the new Democratic Congress in the United States?
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President Bush responds to his 72% disapproval rating and the recent rout of his Republican Party at the mid-term elections over his conduct of the war in Iraq…. By announcing what is expected to be a call for a 20,000-troop “surge” in the increasingly anarchic country. Details will be unveiled via a nationally-televised address to the nation this evening. “We have yet to see any sign that Mr Bush… even realizes that the Democrats are now in control of Congress,” observed a NY Times editorial on Sunday, but my feeling is that Bush is all too aware of the new shift in power and is spoiling for a fight – here on home soil as well as in Iraq, Somalia and elsewhere. Democrat leaders, including Edward Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi, have threatened to cut funding for the troops, a drastic measure that is one of the only ways they can legally combat what they call Bush’s “troop escalation.” Attempting to do so would likely play right into Presidential hands. And we thought this was a new dawn….

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