Saturday, December 05, 2009

Comment on The Belmont Club

Let me attempt a little fisking for fun of the LA Times article Wretchard quotes.

Increasingly optimistic that decisions by China and India will yield a breakthrough
Based on what exactly? India has announced that they cannot be bought, only rented. While they are graciously willing to accept several billions worth of technology transfers to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of their factories they will do nothing that reduces the future growth of their GDP. China is an even simpler problem to dismiss. They may promise anything but there is absolutely no reason to believe them. They will do as they please and sell you pretty pieces of paper labeled "Carbon Credits" but they might as well say "Blue Sky Developments." When they get tired of the charade they will be publicly rude, as they were to Obama on this last trip.

Obama will push back his visit to the conference to its final scheduled day, putting him in a better position to help broker an agreement
This is nonsense on stilts. The media flacks are still acting as if Audacity will allow them to slide a howler past unchallenged. Arriving after the negotiations are concluded means that you have to accept what everyone else has already agreed to. If he was truly going to "broker an agreement" then he would hole up in a room for two days with Brown, Merkel, Hu and whoever India sends. If they did get together they should have something a lot more important to talk about than Al Gore's magic money machine. Maybe the possibility of nuclear war around the Himalayas would seem more important.

Woody Wilson sailed to Paris and discovered that he wasn't the global mom showing up to tell the kids to get back to bed. Wilson had to accept the Versailles Treaty that the adults had agreed to while he was busy shredding the Constitution and defending quaint traditions like the KKK necktie party. Fortunately for America Henry Cabot Lodge refused to be stampeded and the Senate rejected the contraption. With the current United States Senate we may not be so lucky. Obama will fare no better than Wilson in dealing with foreign politicians. Wilson's peers felt that they had no need to sit for his lectures, as they had paid the price in blood for four years to reach their own conclusions. As Prime Minister Clemenceau said "Mr. Wilson bores me with his Fourteen Points; why, God Almighty has only Ten!" Audacity divorced from Reality fares no better than l'audace did against machine guns in WW-I. That lead to the Nivelle mutinies.

the United States would pay “its fair share” of a $10-billion-a-year, short-term financing package
What stands out about this is how small the sum being pushed for the US to swallow is. An enormous regulatory and legal regime is being proposed that will fundamentally shift the management of the world economy in the direction of Socialism and the United States is expected to cough up a fraction of $10 billion to make the world safe? This is chump change that is clearly already allocated to bank accounts in Switzerland, the Cayman Islands and China. Dubai is probably off the list this week. One way to look at this is to think of the plan like it was a development project in Chicago and divide by 1,000. If a $10 million plan to beautify the South Side was coughed up by Congress it would be natural to find in the fine print that several millions would vanish in Springfield and City Hall with maybe a quarter million going to someone like Tony Rezco for services rendered. Only a chump would expect anything meaningful to get built. In Copenhagen they are just adding more zeros.