03-20-2011 by L. S. Carbonell
President Obama is on a trade mission to South America. So, naturally, the right wing is screaming “where the f–k is Obama?” They are acting like the United States is in crisis and he’s abandoned us.
Excuse me, but what crisis? Japan has a crisis – three of them in fact – and Libya has a crisis, but the United States does not have any crisis that demands our President’s presence. The right wing is acting like President Obama should be at the Fukushima plant with his finger in a hole in the containment wall or personally firing the missiles at Libya. I hate to remind them of this, but Dubya didn’t personally lead the troops invading Afghanistan.
The funny one was Pat Buchanan saying that the President would be “partying in Rio.” Sorry, Pat, Carnivale is over.
The right wing is also spreading their favorite boogey-man stories about the trip to Brazil. It goes like this – the United States taxpayers “gave” a couple billion dollars to Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company. Petrobras is “owned” by George Soros. The oil is “promised” to China. So, what are the facts? Petrobras was approved for a loan of $2 billion from the Export-Import Bank for the specific purpose of purchasing American equipment. They were further approved for a loan of $308 million as part of that $2 billion. They have never taken advantage of the pre-approval. In short – not one dime has gone to Petrobras. Period. End of sentence. Petrobras did get a $10 billion loan from China and has pledged 150,000 barrels a day for one year and 200,000 barrels a day for the next nine to repay the loan. Petrobras has announced the discovery of three massive oil fields off its coast, with enough oil in them to push Petrobras beyond Saudi Arabia as holding the largest reserves in the world.
So, no loan to Brazil, no Soros, no hidden agenda in Brazil. Brazil has a thriving economy. Almost all of South America came through the global recession with very little damage. They would be good trading partners.
Sometimes, dealing with the right wing feels like getting caught in a Kafka novel. It’s just too surreal for comfort.