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Obama Flip-Flops on NAFTA

OK, this is pathetic: Obama now says that his anti-NAFTA rhetoric during the campaign was a bit 'overheated.' He added that NAFTA has indeed been positive for the US in some ways, and that his earlier criticism - while trying to convince white blue collar voters in some states to vote for him - 'overheated and amplified.'

When asked whether his rhetoric was 'overheated and amplified' the new kind of politician answers: "Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don't exempt myself."

He also 'nuanced' his criticism, by implying that he does not 'want to unilaterally reopen negotiations on NAFTA.' Instead he may 'open up a dialogue' with America's main North American trading partners, "and figuring to how we can make this work for all people."

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Irish Reject EU Treaty

It's truly unbelievable but European politicians have not learned anything from the past. Instead of learning from the referendums in France and the Netherlands, in which French and Dutch voters rejected the EU 'Constitution,' they simply decided to change the name of the document (not calling it a 'constitution' anymore), after which they thought they could push it through rather quickly. One problem: although the Netherlands and France won't hold a new referendum, Ireland did have to ask its people permission to sign the new treaty.

Well, the referendum in Ireland was yesterday, and guess what the answer of the Irish is? Hell no.

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Bloggers Go After John McCain's Torture Injuries

The political debate is incredibly passionate, aggressive, and personal in the United States. We all know that, so do I. Even though I know that political operatives do not know shame, I was shocked to read this post at AMERICAblog. It is one of the most insulting blogposts I have read in my three year history of blogging.

Senator John McCain is a veteran of the Vietnam War. In that war, he was captured by the North Vietnamese, who tortured him for years. Ever since, McCain cannot raise one of his arms above his shoulder and he obviously has mental issues to deal with. Being tortured does not merely affect one's body, it affects one's mind.

But McCain has been able to do deal - or so it seems - with the mental side of things, and has become one of the most respected US Senators in US history. Not only that, he has now even become the nominee for one of the big parties.

Although McCain has a history as a veteran, he understands that one should separate emotions from politics, when it comes to governance at least. He opposed a GI Bill introduced by Democrats for a variety of reasons, none of them being that he does not care about veterans. How can he not care about them when he is one of them.

But all of this does not matter to John Aravosis of AMERICAblog. It's irrelevant. After all, the only veterans that deserve respect and appreciation are... Democrats. Republicans who suffered for their country are not merely irrelevant, they are looked down upon. Nor does Aravosis understand that governance, laws, do not necessarily have to be related to one's own life, let alone to one's emotions.

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Erdogan Easily Survives No-Confidence Vote

Turkish Prime-Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (finally I can write his name correctly; in the Dutch alphabet we don't have the soft G) easily survived a no-confidence vote recently. The opposition filed the motion last week after police forces had, in their opinion, used excessive force against left-wing (socialist and communist) protestors who wanted to celebrate 'labor day' (May 1) by virtually destroying Istanbul's inner-city.

One could clearly see what happened in television on that day: left-wing, collectivist, protesters (many students among them) attacked the police and ignored the government (which had said that they could protest, but not in certain areas). Violent communists truly tried to beat up policemen, who were greatly outnumbered, time and again.

The police could not react differently: the protesters were too violent. The decision to use force (water cannons and tear gas canisters) was correct. Although I am not a fan of Erdoğan, it has to be said that he did not make a mistake in this particular case.

Most anti-AKP people I talked to agree with my take on the situation by the way. The motion by the opposition is considered, by many, to be quite ridiculous.

And that once again shows why Turkey's opposition can't achieve anything.

Cross posted at PoliGazette