World View: Taliban Murders of Pakistan Health Workers Brings Measles Surge

This morning's key headlines from
  • German press criticizes the 'fiscal cliff' bill as 'tiresome farce'
  • Pakistan has measles surge as health workers are murdered
  • West Bank Palestinians riot over electricity bills
  • More left wing violence, this time over gun control

German press criticizes the 'fiscal cliff' bill as 'tiresome farce'

The German press, normally slavishly admiring of President Barack Obama, are hailing the fiscal cliff bill as a big "victory" for the President, because he got the tax increases and spending increases he wanted, despite Republican opposition.

The conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine called the negotiation "a tiresome farce that no one is interested in seeing any longer." The left-leaning Die Tageszeitung writes:

Precious little has been gained, particularly when it comes to implementing the platforms for which Barack Obama was re-elected in November -- even if the Republicans don't want to believe it. ... In Washington today, the main mission of politics is obstruction. All sides are acting as though the only conceivable form of politics is constantly relying on emergency measures in a panic...

It will be a small political miracle if other means were used to resolve the next stage over the next two months, the deferred budget cuts and increase in the debt ceiling. Perhaps falling over the cliff could have helped matters there. But politicians knew to prevent that from happening.

The left-leaning Berliner Zeitung writes:

Sure, Obama managed to save unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed and avoided cuts to social and health benefits for the time being with the fiscal cliff compromise. But the ultimate decision over the cuts is far from being made. A year of endless negotiations over the debt ceiling and the unresolved budget issues awaits. The still fiscally conservative and resolute Republicans remain pitted against the still hesitant president, who remains hopeful of bipartisan cooperation. But even if Obama is now finally determined to fight their obsession with spending cuts, he'll still have to adjust to governing with less money soon.

Other commentators have pointed out that the bill will:

  • Substantially raise taxes for every working American, through the payroll tax.
  • Raise $600 billion revenue in new taxes.
  • Add $4 trillion to the debt (over 10 years), thanks to increases in spending programs, and massive amounts of "pork" in the new bill.

However, there's no need for concern, since the bill won't have much effect on the million-dollar bonuses that bankers awarded themselves. 

The bill is 154 pages long, and senators were given three minutes to read it before they voted on it. Der Spiegel and CNS News

Pakistan has measles surge as health workers are murdered

A Pakistan charity organization, Support With Working Solution, has suspended its operations in Pakistan after seven members of its staff, six women and one man, were ambushed and shot dead on Tuesday after leaving a local community center. Taliban and other al-Qaeda-linked militant terrorist groups have been critical of the activities of such organizations because they provide education for girls, and because they provide polio and measles immunization vaccinations, which the Taliban claims is a secret plot to sterilize Muslims and prevent more Muslim children. This comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) is reporting that Pakistan had a record high number of measles cases in 2012, and a record number of deaths from measles. Most of the children who died from measles were from the districts affected by the massive floods of the last three years. Pakistan Tribune and Daily Times (Pakistan)

West Bank Palestinians riot over electricity bills

More than 50 Palestinians were hospitalized after hundreds of angry Palestinians demonstrated and threw stones and empty glass bottles at Palestinian security forces, who responded by firing live bullets in the air and throwing tear gas bombs. The riots were triggered because the Palestinian government forgave the electricity debts of the Palestinians living in refugee camps, but did not do the same for Palestinians living in municipalities. "All Palestinian residents should be treated equally and fairly — this is a social must," said one municipality mayor. The demonstrations are spreading city by city and village by village, and thousands of Palestinians are expected to take part. Gulf News

More left wing violence, this time over gun control

As we've been reporting left-wing violence and threats of war, especially by union thugs acting on behalf of President Obama, has been increasing, and President Obama has silently supported it. (See "26-Dec-12 World View -- Andrew Sullivan and the Gun Control Fantasy"

Now we have a new threat of violence from left-wing columnist Donald Kaul, who retired last year, but has now returned in order to threaten more violence against people he dislikes:

"Then I would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control."

Des Moines Register

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