Friday, September 28, 2012

Press Release - Tammy Baldwin’s Rhetoric vs. Reality: Wisconsin Industries

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Lisa Boothe 608-620-5536 or Lisa@TommyforWisconsin.com

 
 
Tammy Baldwin's Anti-Wisconsin Industries Record


FACT: Tammy Baldwin Has Voted For Job-Killing Cap-And-Trade Bill

Baldwin Voted For Cap And Trade. (H.R. 2454, CQ Vote #477: Passed 219-212: R 8-168; D 211-44, 6/26/09, Baldwin Voted Yea)

 
· Wisconsin Would Lose More Than 26,000 Non-Farm Jobs As A Result Of Increased Energy Costs. (David Kreutzer, Karen Campbell, William Beach, And Ben Lieberman, "A Report Of The Heritage Center For Data Analysis," The Heritage Foundation, 8/6/09)

· Wisconsin's GDP Would Lose $5.3 Billion By 2035 As A Result Of Increased Energy Costs. (David Kreutzer, Karen Campbell, William Beach, And Ben Lieberman, "A Report Of The Heritage Center For Data Analysis," The Heritage Foundation, 8/6/09)

FACT: Tammy Baldwin Supports The EPA'S Job-Killing Regulations

Baldwin Voted Against Eliminating Certain EPA Cement Plant Emission Standards- It Has Been Estimated That Stricter EPA Cement Plant Standards Could Result In The Direct Loss Of 13,000 Jobs And The Closing Of 18 - 100 Cement Plants. "The cement industry is currently warning that as many as 18 of the 100 cement plants currently operating in the United States could close down because of proposed stricter standards for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, resulting in the direct loss of 13,000 jobs." (HR 2681, CQ Vote #764: Passed by a vote of 262-161: R 237-2; D 25-159, 10/6/11, Baldwin Voted Nay; Motoko Rich, "A Debate Arises On Job Creation And Environment," The New York Times, 9/4/11)

· According To The SBA, "Compliance With Environmental Regulations Costs 364 Percent More In Small Firms Than In Large Firms." (The U.S. Small Business Administration Website, www.sba.gov, Accessed 1/20/12)

The Obama Administration Identified 219 New Regulations, A Nearly 15% Increase From 2010, Costing Annually Over $100 Million Each. "This year the Administration's current regulatory agenda identifies 219 planned new regulations that have estimated annual costs in excess of $100 million each. That's almost a 15 percent increase over last year." (Speaker John Boehner, Letter To President Barack Obama, 8/26/11)

· The Proposed Regulations Were Estimated To Cost Companies At Least $35 Billion Annually And Cost Companies Up To $100 Billion In Compliance Costs. "All told, the seven proposed rules on the environment and transportation cited by Mr. Obama would cost U.S. companies at least $38 billion per year and could cost as much as $100 billion annually in compliance costs." (Dave Boyer, "Obama's Proposed Regs Would Cost Billions Annually," The Washington Times, 8/30/2011)

FACT: Tammy Baldwin Has Voted Against The Paper Industry

Baldwin Voted Against Limiting The EPA's Power To Regulate Clean Air Regulations. (HR 1633, CQ Vote #912: Passed by a vote of 268-150: R 235-0; D 33-150, 12/8/11, Baldwin Voted Nay)

The EPA Announced New Air Emission Standards On Boilers As Part Of The Clean Air Act. (The Environmental Protection Agency Website, www.epa.gov, Accessed 5/2/12)

· The Wisconsin Paper Council Said The New Regulations Would Be "Devastating," Costing Wisconsin 7,500 Paper Industry Jobs And Forcing The Closure Of 11 Paper Mills. "A recent study concluded that new air emissions standards could cost Wisconsin 7,500 paper industry jobs and force closure of 11 paper mills, but a noted environmental group said the industry is overreacting. 'This study clearly shows the impact of new air regulations on the paper industry would be devastating,' said Jeff Landin, president of the Appleton-based Wisconsin Paper Council, an industry-lobbying group with about 20 paper company members." (Pete Bach, "Paper Standards Would Cut Mills, Jobs," Green Bay Press-Gazette, 9/12/10)

· The Proposed Regulations Were Estimated To Cost Companies At Least $35 Billion Annually And Cost Companies Up To $100 Billion In Compliance Costs. "All told, the seven proposed rules on the environment and transportation cited by Mr. Obama would cost U.S. companies at least $38 billion per year and could cost as much as $100 billion annually in compliance costs." (Dave Boyer, "Obama's Proposed Regs Would Cost Billions Annually," The Washington Times, 8/30/2011)

· The EPA's New Regulations Would Force Wisconsin Paper Mills To Pay $470 Million In Compliance Costs. "'The capital cost of compliance for Wisconsin paper mills for Boiler MACT (maximum achievable control technology) alone would be $470 million,' Landin said. 'Regulators and industry can and must work together to preserve good-paying jobs and protect the environment.'" (Pete Bach, "Paper Standards Would Cut Mills, Jobs," Green Bay Press-Gazette, 9/12/10)

· EPA Predicted The Regulation Would Cost Up To $90 Billion A Year, Making It One Of The Most Expense Environmental Regulations Ever Imposed On The U.S. "The Proposed Regulations Were Estimated To Cost Companies At Least $35 Billion Annually And Cost Companies Up To $100 Billion In Compliance Costs. "All told, the seven proposed rules on the environment and transportation cited by Mr. Obama would cost U.S. companies at least $38 billion per year and could cost as much as $100 billion annually in compliance costs." (Dave Boyer, "Obama's Proposed Regs Would Cost Billions Annually," The Washington Times, 8/30/2011)



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RIA Novosti - Report: Surge in U.S. Gov’t Electronic Surveillance

RIA NovostiACLU logoReport: Surge in U.S. Gov’t Electronic Surveillance
01:24 29/09/2012 U.S. law enforcement surveillance of emails, text messages and phone calls are at an all-time high, according to government documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union>>

Press Release - Tammy Baldwin’s Rhetoric vs. Reality: Baldwin’s Accomplishments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Lisa Boothe 608-620-5536 or Lisa@TommyforWisconsin.com


Tammy Baldwin's Lackluster Record In Congress

 
FACT: BALDWIN IS A DO-NOTHING CONGRESSWOMAN

Tammy Baldwin Has Sponsored 105 Bills Since Jan 6, 1999 Of Which Only 1 Were Successfully Enacted. (GovTrack Website, www.govtrack.us, Accessed 5/29/12)

Baldwin's Bill Designating The Facility Of The United States Postal Service Located At 215 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard In Madison, Wisconsin, As The "Robert M. La Follette, Sr. Post Office Building Became Law. (H.R. 1760, Introduced 6/17/05)



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NEWS RELEASE: Rep. Shea Earns New Endorsements Leading Up to the General Election

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 28, 2012

Matt Shea
matt@voteshea.com


Rep. Shea Earns New Endorsements Leading Up to the General Election

September 20, 2012 - The Washington State Farm Bureau PAC has endorsed Representative Matt Shea for 4th District Representative. Active at the local, state, and national levels, the Farm Bureau is a voluntary, grassroots advocacy organization representing the social and economic interests of farm and ranch families. Click here for a link to 2012 General Election Endorsements

September 22, 2012 - The Ponderosa Republican Women have officially endorsed Rep. Shea. Ponderosa Republican Women, founded in 1995, is a group of women (and men) with various backgrounds, who believe in government based on conservative principles, and they support candidates who align with the same values. PRW recognize the importance of conservative minded candidates who understand and respect the Constitution, our Founding Fathers, and the rule of just law.

 
For more information, please go to VoteShea.com

Press Release - Tammy Baldwin’s Rhetoric vs. Reality: Taxes



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lisa Boothe 608-620-5536 or Lisa@TommyforWisconsin.com


Tammy Baldwin Has Consistently Voted For
Higher Taxes
Baldwin Believes In Higher Taxes & More Spending

FACT: Baldwin Has Voted 159 Times In Favor Of Higher Taxes

Tammy Baldwin Has Voted 159 Times In Favor Of Higher Taxes. (Congressional Quarterly Vote Study,
www.cq.com, Accessed 8/8/12)

FACT: Baldwin's Individual Mandate Tax Will Cost $1,200 For Middle Class Families

ASSOCIATED PRESS: "Nearly 6 million Americans - most of them in the middle class - will face a tax penalty for not carrying medical coverage once President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law is fully in place, congressional budget analysts said Wednesday. ... And the budget office analysis found that nearly 80 percent of those who'll face the penalty would be making up to or less than five times the federal poverty level. Currently that would work out to $55,850 or less for an individual and $115,250 or less for a family of four." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Tax Penalty To Hit Nearly 6M Uninsured People,
Associated Press, 9/19/12)

FACT: Baldwin Opposed President Obama's Tax Cut Compromise

Baldwin Stood To The Left Of President Obama When She Voted Against The Tax Cut Compromise. "Levin, D-Mich., motion to concur in the Senate amendment to the House amendment to the Senate amendment to the bill that would extend the 2001- and 2003-enacted tax cuts for all taxpayers for two years and revive the lapsed estate tax, setting the tax rate at 35 percent on estates worth more than $5 million for 2011 and 2012. It also would extend unemployment insurance benefits for 13 months and cut the employee portion of the Social Security tax by 2 percentage points." (H.R. 4853, CQ Vote #647: Motion agreed to, thus clearing the bill for the president, 277-148: R 138-36; D 139-112, 12/17/10, Baldwin Voted Nay)
  • President Obama Said That Failure To Pass A Tax Cut Compromise Would Cause Taxes To Go Up By $3,000 For A Typical Family. President Obama: "Make no mistake: Allowing taxes to go up on all Americans would have raised taxes by $3,000 for a typical American family. And that could cost our economy well over a million jobs." ("President Obama: Tax Cut Compromise Is Right Thing To Do," www.thehill.com, 12/7/10)
  • Not Extending All Of The Bush Tax Cuts Would Causes Taxes To Increase By $2,900 On A Typical Household Making $50,000 A Year. "Here's some pressure for lawmakers: If they don't reach agreement on extending soon-to-expire Bush-era tax cuts, nearly all their constituents back home will get big tax increases. A typical family of four with a household income of $50,000 a year would have to pay $2,900 more in taxes in 2011, according to a new analysis by Deloitte Tax, a tax consulting firm. The same family making $100,000 a year would see its taxes rise by $4,500." (Stephen Ohlemacher, "Expiring tax cuts will hit taxpayers at every level," The Associated Press <http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/2010-09-16-expiring-tax-cuts_N.htm> , 9/16/10)
FACT: Failure To Extend These Tax Cuts Will Result In Higher Taxes For Every Working American

"The Standard Percent Rates -- The Baseline Percentage Of Your Income That Goes To The Government -- Will Universally Rise, At An Estimated Cost Of Roughly $157 Billion Annually; From 10 Percent To 15 (For Lowest-Income Earners), From 25 Percent To 28, From 28 Percent To 31, From 33 Percent To 36, And From 35 Percent To 39.6 Percent (For Highest-Income Earners)." (Joshua Rhett Miller, "Expiration of Bush Tax Cuts: How Will It Affect You?" Fox News <
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/10/11/expiration-bush-tax-cuts-affect/> , 10/11/10)

FACT: Baldwin Received A "F" From The National Taxpayers Union

Baldwin Received A "F" From The National Taxpayers Union Every Year Since 2004. (National Taxpayers Union Website,
www.ntu.org, Accessed 5/24/12)

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Press Releases: Thompson Wins First Debate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Lisa Boothe 608-620-5536 or Lisa@TommyforWisconsin.com

 
Tommy Thompson Wins First Debate in Wisconsin Senate Race
Thompson Stands on His Proven Record, Exposes Baldwin as
Too Extreme for Wisconsin


Madison, WI
-
Former Governor Tommy Thompson released the following statement after winning the first Senate debate tonight.

"Tonight's debate couldn't have provided a starker contrast for the future of Wisconsin and America," said Tommy Thompson. "With a $16 trillion debt and more than 23 million Americans either unemployed or underemployed, my opponent wants to double down by taxing middle class families and job creators to advance an extreme agenda far outside the mainstream of Wisconsin.

"I have a proven record in Wisconsin of creating jobs, reforming broken government, cutting taxes and getting the economy back on track. I have a plan to restore America, the country that I love, and provide our children and grandchildren a brighter future than my generation had. I will fight every single day for the people of Wisconsin because too much is at stake to do anything less.


"Unfortunately, my opponent's record clearly demonstrates she favors bigger government over taxpayers and working families. As the 'most liberal' member of the United States House of Representatives, Tammy Baldwin has been a consistent vote to raise taxes and increase government spending, including proposing a reckless second stimulus bill and $3.9 trillion in new taxes. Due to her failed record, she has turned to demagoguery and lies. Wisconsin needs leadership in the United States Senate, and Wisconsinites will not get that from my opponent."





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Thompson Ad: TOO LIBERAL

Work on Russian Mistral Ships Goes on Schedule Naval Today

Work on Russian Mistral Ships Goes on Schedule Naval Today

A Third of Americans Worry About Police Getting Drones

A Third of Americans Worry About Police Getting Drones

Winners of Ratzinger Prize, 'Nobel of Theology' include American priest and French philosopher

British Austerity is a Myth, Despite What the Keynesians Say

British Austerity is a Myth, Despite What the Keynesians Say

STRATFOR: What Lies Ahead for Mexico (Agenda)

Russia: Mistral Crews to Train on First Ship Naval Today

Russia: Mistral Crews to Train on First Ship Naval Today

Governor Nikki Haley speaks at Mauldin Town Hall

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tommy Thompson camp in Wisconsin Senate race: Keep calm, hit hard - POLITICO.com

Tommy Thompson camp in Wisconsin Senate race: Keep calm, hit hard - POLITICO.com

Romney Calls GDP Growth ‘Unacceptable,’ Pledges to Halt Defense Cuts

Romney Calls GDP Growth ‘Unacceptable,’ Pledges to Halt Defense Cuts: SPRINGFIELD, VIRGINIA -Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney called today’s revised GDP numbers showing slower growth “unacceptable.” “Look at the numbers that just came out on the growth of our economy,” Romney said at an American Legion Post in Springfield, Virginia, “1.3% versus Russia at four...

Indian Naval Mariners Leave INS Vikramaditya Naval Today

Indian Naval Mariners Leave INS Vikramaditya Naval Today

Vatileaks and the Pope's butler: Key points to understanding the trial

Pope enjoys an opera based on the life of St. Augustine

USS Bonhomme Richard Arrives in Guam Naval Today

USS Bonhomme Richard Arrives in Guam Naval Today

TSA Agent Found With ABC IPad

TSA Agent Found With ABC IPad: ABCNEWS.COM - TSA says 381 of its officers have been let go for alleged thefts.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Depressing U.S. Prison Story of the Day: Released Innocent Prisoners Get Less Help Than the Guilty

Depressing U.S. Prison Story of the Day: Released Innocent Prisoners Get Less Help Than the Guilty

#RedSox players greet fans @ the gates before final home game of 2012.

#RedSox players greet fans @ the gates before final home game of 2012.: #RedSox players greet fans @ the gates before final home game of 2012.

#RedSox players greet fans @ the gates before final home game... on Twitpic

RIA Novosti: Russian Air Force to Get New Cruise Missile in 2013

RIA NovostiThe large size of the weapon means it can only be carried by Russia's biggest bombers, the Tupolev Tu-95MS and Tu-160 (on the picture)Russian Air Force to Get New Cruise Missile in 2013
10:52 26/09/2012 The Russian Air Force will accept into service in 2013 the new Raduga Kh-101 cruise missile, capable of delivering precision strikes with a conventional warhead at long-distance, an Air Force source told Izvestia on Wednesday.>>

Catholic League: Media Alert


FOR RELIGIOUS AND CIVIL RIGHTS

Media Alert


September 26, 2012


Bill Donohue's latest Newsmax article, "Ryan, Biden, and the Bishops,"
is available here.

Contact our director of communications about Donohue’s remarks:
Jeff Field
Phone: 212-371-3191
E-mail:
cl@catholicleague.org

Pope: How the Liturgy can teach us to pray

'Vatileaks' trial hearing kicks off

STRATFOR: Rebels Attack Syrian Military Headquarters (Dispatch)

UPDATE: Error Still Online Website Error Put Wisconsin Military Ballots At Risk | MacIver Institute

UPDATE: Error Still Online  Website Error Put Wisconsin Military Ballots At Risk | MacIver Institute

Mayor Jim Schmitt And Local Reaction To The NFL's Defrauding Of The Packers

I wanted to give my opinion on the game and some of the responses I have seen. Mayor Jim Schmitt, who I am proud to say I endorsed in the last election, has sent a letter to the NFL expressing the potential economic impact the league's decision could have on the Green Bay area as well as the integrity of the League. Despite some local radio hosts saying the Mayor should not have sent the letter, I think not only is the letter appropriate, but in my opinion was needed. What has happened to our Packers affects the whole area and not just the team.

We do not have a rich owner who can get the Commissioner's attention or funnel money into the organization. Of all the team's that could have been affected by a decision like this, due to the above mentioned reasons, it hurts us the worst. I, for one, will make sure that when I shop I will be picking up some extra Packers merchandise and our family will be taking another trip to the Packer's Hall of Fame to support the team.

I have heard a lot of talk about boycott; that is only going to hurt local businesses and our team. I completely understand where these fans are coming from, in my opinion we were obviously defrauded, but we should use that as a catalyst to bring more support, not less, to the Packers to overcome any potential financial losses; if because of this, we lose home games during the playoffs.

I want to discuss the reaction I have seen on local and state media compared to national. I could not compliment the national media more for understanding how serious the implications of this game really are. As for our local and state media, it has been very hit and miss. While many have expressed their outrage, others have blown it off as not that serious or something just to get over. Talk about sell-outs with no backbone. I don't understand how you wouldn't have local pride and the fortitude to stand up and defend the state's greatest franchise. Ultimately, you just played to the stereotype that national media is more professional and informed. You also played to the NFL's assumption that people would quickly move on.

Another thing I find irritating was when ESPN went for local Green Bay reaction and then flips to some blowhard down in Milwaukee. Milwaukee could not be further from Green Bay, ideologically or geographically. Milwaukee is more like a little brother to Chicago. It is bad enough that we even have to acknowledge they are a part of the state of Wisconsin, let alone having them speak for us. Northeastern Wisconsin is an independent and proud people, we do not need Milwaukee to speak on our behalf.

One local TV station, NBC 26 WGBA-TV, had a hilarious segment with a replacement weatherman, which proves some locals in the media know how to be loyal.

Paul Ryan Goes Local: Vice Presidential Candidate Speeds Past The 100 Local Interview Mark

Paul Ryan Goes Local: Vice Presidential Candidate Speeds Past The 100 Local Interview Mark: ABC News’ Michael Falcone and Shushannah Walshe report: Over the last few days Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan has found his way into the living rooms of voters in Cincinnati, Lima and Dayton, Ohio as well as Miami, Orlando and West Palm Beach, Florida....

First Chinese Aircraft Carrier Named Liaoning Commissioned into Navy Naval Today

First Chinese Aircraft Carrier Named Liaoning Commissioned into Navy Naval Today

Pope talks about the purpose of the Second Vatican Council in transmitting the Liturgy

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

World Maritime News - Indian Navy Gets Its First Catamaran Hydrographic Survey Vessel

World Maritime News - Indian Navy Gets Its First Catamaran Hydrographic Survey Vessel

As GDP growth slows down, so does demand for dry bulk shipping

As GDP growth slows down, so does demand for dry bulk shipping

Jim DeMint PAC considers donating to Todd Akin - Manu Raju - POLITICO.com

Jim DeMint PAC considers donating to Todd Akin - Manu Raju - POLITICO.com

Boob Over Bottle: Mike Bloomberg's Latest Nanny State Dictate

Bertholf: Continuing a legacy of Coast Guard Arctic service

Bertholf: Continuing a legacy of Coast Guard Arctic service

Written by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Tamargo. Excerpts from Commodore Ellsworth P.Bertholf by C. Douglas Kroll and The Overland Expedition: A Coast Guard Triumph by Paul Johnson.

On Aug. 21, 2012, the engines were lit and mooring stations set. There was a cool breeze blowing, but with the warm sun it was easy to forget the ship was moored at Base Kodiak, Alaska. Ship stores were loaded earlier in the day along with fuel and all personnel on the sailing list were accounted for. Once underway, all that was left to do was recover the small boat on the starboard side, land the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, with its crew from Air Station Los Angeles, and prepare the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf to deploy to sea to a destination that no cutter of this class had gone before – the Arctic Ocean.

However, the name Bertholf is not new to the Arctic region, nor is the Coast Guard. Almost 115 years ago, a group of men set out on a mission to save approximately 265 sailors who were icebound in the Arctic Ocean aboard eight whaling ships just off of Point Barrow, Alaska. These men were part of the Revenue Cutter Service, the precursor to the present day Coast Guard, and among them was 2nd Lt. Ellsworth P. Bertholf, later Commandant of the Coast Guard, who were tasked to lead an expedition to rescue the mariners in distress by Treasury Secretary Lyman J. Gage by order of President William McKinley. In command of the overland expedition was 1st Lt. David H. Jarvis with Bertholf as his second in command. The third member of the Cutter Bear’s landing party was Dr. S. J. Call, a familiar figure on Revenue Cutters in Alaska. Call was a ship’s physician whose medical skill would be needed by any survivors at Point Barrow.

More at:
http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2012/09/bertholf-continuing-a-legacy-of-coast-guard-arctic-service/

Russia, India to Talk Over INS Vikramaditya in October, Russian Defense Minister Says Naval Today

Russia, India to Talk Over INS Vikramaditya in October, Russian Defense Minister Says Naval Today

STRATFOR: Understanding the China-Japan Island Conflict

Understanding the China-Japan Island Conflict is republished with permission of Stratfor.

By Rodger Baker
Vice President of East Asia Analysis

Sept. 29 will mark 40 years of normalized diplomatic relations between China and Japan, two countries that spent much of the 20th century in mutual enmity if not at outright war. The anniversary comes at a low point in Sino-Japanese relations amid a dispute over an island chain in the East China Sea known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan and Diaoyu Islands in China.

These islands, which are little more than uninhabited rocks, are not particularly valuable on their own. However, nationalist factions in both countries have used them to enflame old animosities; in China, the government has even helped organize the protests over Japan's plan to purchase and nationalize the islands from their private owner. But China's increased assertiveness is not limited only to this issue. Beijing has undertaken a high-profile expansion and improvement of its navy as a way to help safeguard its maritime interests, which Japan -- an island nation necessarily dependent on access to sea-lanes -- naturally views as a threat. Driven by its economic and political needs, China's expanded military activity may awaken Japan from the pacifist slumber that has characterized it since the end of World War II.

An Old Conflict's New Prominence

The current tensions surrounding the disputed islands began in April. During a visit to the United States, Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, a hard-line nationalist known for his 1989 book The Japan That Can Say No, which advocated for a stronger international role for Japan not tied to U.S. interests or influence, said that the Tokyo municipal government was planning to buy three of the five Senkaku/Diaoyu islands from their private Japanese owner. Ishihara's comments did little to stir up tensions at the time, but subsequent efforts to raise funds and press forward with the plan drew the attention and ultimately the involvement of the Japanese central government. The efforts also gave China a way to distract from its military and political standoff with the Philippines over control of parts of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

For decades, Tokyo and Beijing generally abided by a tacit agreement to keep the islands dispute quiet. Japan agreed not to carry out any new construction or let anyone land on the islands; China agreed to delay assertion of any claim to the islands and not let the dispute interfere with trade and political relations. Although flare-ups occurred, usually triggered by some altercation between the Japanese coast guard and Chinese fishing vessels or by nationalist Japanese or Chinese activists trying to land on the islands, the lingering territorial dispute played only a minor role in bilateral relations.

However, Ishihara's plans for the Tokyo municipal government to take over the islands and eventually build security outposts there forced the Japanese government's hand. Facing domestic political pressure to secure Japan's claim to the islands, the government determined that the "nationalization" of the islands was the least contentious option. By keeping control over construction and landings, the central government would be able to keep up its side of the tacit agreement with China on managing the islands.

China saw Japan's proposed nationalization as an opportunity to exploit. Even as Japan was debating what action to take, China began stirring up anti-Japanese sentiment and Beijing tacitly backed the move by a group of Hong Kong activists in August to sail to and land on the disputed islands. At the same time, Beijing prevented a Chinese-based fishing vessel from attempting the same thing, using Hong Kong's semi-autonomous status as a way to distance itself from the action and retain greater flexibility in dealing with Japan.

As expected, the Japanese coast guard arrested the Hong Kong activists and impounded their ship, but Tokyo also swiftly released them to avoid escalating tensions. Less than a month later, after Japan's final decision to purchase the islands from their private Japanese owner, anti-Japanese protests swept China, in many places devolving into riots and vandalism targeting Japanese products and companies. Although many of these protests were stage-managed by the government, the Chinese began to clamp down when some demonstrations got out of control. While still exploiting the anti-Japanese rhetoric, Chinese state-run media outlets have highlighted local governments' efforts to identify and punish protesters who turned violent and warn that nationalist pride is no excuse for destructive behavior.

Presently, both China and Japan are working to keep the dispute within manageable parameters after a month of heightened tensions. China has shifted to disrupting trade with Japan on a local level, with some Japanese products reportedly taking much longer to clear customs, while Japan has dispatched a deputy foreign minister for discussions with Beijing. Chinese maritime surveillance ships continue to make incursions into the area around the disputed islands, and there are reports of hundreds or even thousands of Chinese fishing vessels in the East China Sea gathered near the waters around the islands, but both Japan and China appear to be controlling their actions. Neither side can publicly give in on its territorial stance, and both are looking for ways to gain politically without allowing the situation to degrade further.

Political Dilemmas in Beijing and Tokyo

The islands dispute is occurring as China and Japan, the world's second- and third-largest economies, are both experiencing political crises at home and facing uncertain economic paths forward. But the dispute also reflects the very different positions of the two countries in their developmental history and in East Asia's balance of power.

China, the emerging power in Asia, has seen decades of rapid economic growth but is now confronted with a systemic crisis, one already experienced by Japan in the early 1990s and by South Korea and the other Asian tigers later in the decade. China is reaching the limits of the debt-financed, export-driven economic model and must now deal with the economic and social consequences of this change. That this comes amid a once-in-a-decade leadership transition only exacerbates China's political unease as it debates options for transitioning to a more sustainable economic model. But while China's economic expansion may have plateaued, its military development is still growing.
The Chinese military is becoming a more modern fighting force, more active in influencing Chinese foreign policy and more assertive of its role regionally. The People's Liberation Army Navy on Sept. 23 accepted the delivery of China's first aircraft carrier, and the ship serves as a symbol of the country's military expansion. While Beijing views the carrier as a tool to assert Chinese interests regionally (and perhaps around the globe over the longer term) in the same manner that the United States uses its carrier fleet, for now China has only one, and the country is new to carrier fleet and aviation operations. Having a single carrier offers perhaps more limitations than opportunities for its use, all while raising the concerns and inviting reaction from neighboring states.

Japan, by contrast, has seen two decades of economic malaise characterized by a general stagnation in growth, though not necessarily a devolution of overall economic power. Still, it took those two decades for the Chinese economy, growing at double-digit rates, to even catch the Japanese economy. Despite the malaise, there is plenty of latent strength in the Japanese economy. Japan's main problem is its lack of economic dynamism, a concern that is beginning to be reflected in Japanese politics, where new forces are rising to challenge the political status quo. The long-dominant Liberal Democratic Party lost power to the opposition Democratic Party of Japan in 2009, and both mainstream parties are facing new challenges from independents, non-traditional candidates and the emerging regionalist parties, which espouse nationalism and call for a more aggressive foreign policy.

Even before the rise of the regionalist parties, Japan had begun moving slowly but inexorably from its post-World War II military constraints. With China's growing military strength, North Korea's nuclear weapons program and even South Korean military expansion, Japan has cautiously watched as the potential threats to its maritime interests have emerged, and it has begun to take action. The United States, in part because it wants to share the burden of maintaining security with its allies, has encouraged Tokyo's efforts to take a more active role in regional and international security, commensurate with Japan's overall economic influence.

Concurrent with Japan's economic stagnation, the past two decades have seen the country quietly reform its Self-Defense Forces, expanding the allowable missions as it re-interprets the country's constitutionally mandated restrictions on offensive activity. For example, Japan has raised the status of the defense agency to the defense ministry, expanded joint training operations within its armed forces and with their civilian counterparts, shifted its views on the joint development and sale of weapons systems, integrated more heavily with U.S. anti-missile systems and begun deploying its own helicopter carriers.

Contest for East Asian Supremacy

China is struggling with the new role of the military in its foreign relations, while Japan is seeing a slow re-emergence of the military as a tool of its foreign relations. China's two-decade-plus surge in economic growth is reaching its logical limit, yet given the sheer size of China's population and its lack of progress switching to a more consumption-based economy, Beijing still has a long way to go before it achieves any sort of equitable distribution of resources and benefits. This leaves China's leaders facing rising social tensions with fewer new resources at their disposal. Japan, after two decades of society effectively agreeing to preserve social stability at the cost of economic restructuring and upheaval, is now reaching the limits of its patience with a bureaucratic system that is best known for its inertia.

Both countries are seeing a rise in the acceptability of nationalism, both are envisioning an increasingly active role for their militaries, and both occupy the same strategic space. With Washington increasing its focus on the Asia-Pacific region, Beijing is worried that a resurgent Japan could assist the United States on constraining China in an echo of the Cold War containment strategy.
We are now seeing the early stage of another shift in Asian power. It is perhaps no coincidence that the 1972 re-establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Japan followed U.S. President Richard Nixon's historic visit to China. The Senkaku/Diaoyu islands were not even an issue at the time, since they were still under U.S. administration. Japan's defense was largely subsumed by the United States, and Japan had long ago traded away its military rights for easy access to U.S. markets and U.S. protection. The shift in U.S.-China relations opened the way for the rapid development of China-Japan relations.

The United States' underlying interest is maintaining a perpetual balance between Asia's two key powers so neither is able to challenging Washington's own primacy in the Pacific. During World War II, this led the United States to lend support to China in its struggle against imperial Japan. The United States' current role backing a Japanese military resurgence against China's growing power falls along the same line. As China lurches into a new economic cycle, one that will very likely force deep shifts in the country's internal political economy, it is not hard to imagine China and Japan's underlying geopolitical balance shifting again. And when that happens, so too could the role of the United States.


Read more: Understanding the China-Japan Island Conflict | Stratfor

Remy: Imagine (There's No YouTube)

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Navy Commissions USS Fort Worth

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Paul Ryan pitches the Ron Paul vote

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THE FLAG IN THE BACKGROUND

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Fort Worth Commissioned in Galveston

Fort Worth Commissioned in Galveston

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Rosalie Garcia
GALVESTON, Texas (NNS) -- USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) commissioned at the Port of Galveston in Galveston, Texas, Saturday, Sept. 22.

The ship was officially placed in service by Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO), Adm. Mark E. Ferguson III.

"To the crew, this day marks the beginning. You have already set the ships' personality and character, and we anxiously await your arrival into the fleet for there is much to be done," said Ferguson. "Our expectations for you and the ship are high. The ship arrives at a time when nearly half of our ships in the U.S. Navy are underway on any given day and we are faced with increasing challenges around the globe. We will be a stronger Navy as Fort Worth takes her place among the ships of the line."

The ship's two commanding officers, Cmdr. Randy Blankenship, blue crew, and Cmdr. Warren Cupps, gold crew, took command, set the first watch, and raised the ensign. An LCS manning structure requires rotating crews.
 
More at:
http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=69749

The Navy Commissions USS Fort Worth; USS Ponce Showcases Capabilities During IMCMEX 12

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USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) Commissioning

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RIA Novosti: Belarus to Boost Air Defense with New Russian Warplanes

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