90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
A Global Summit In Asia (Without The United States)

The president of the United States is missing from a big summit of Asia-Pacific nations this week. China is happy to step in. We look at how the U.S. is doing in its pivot to Asia.

Photographers are reflected on the glass, background, as leaders of the Asia-Pacific region stand for a group photo session during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Bali, Indonesia, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013 (AP)

Photographers are reflected on the glass, background, as leaders of the Asia-Pacific region stand for a group photo session during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Bali, Indonesia, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013 (AP)

The government shutdown is reverberating across the globe. Especially in Bali. 21 national leaders are meeting for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit – or APEC –and President Obama is absent – missing the summit in a country where he lived as a boy. John Kerry is there instead, but there are questions. The pivot to Asia that President Obama kicked off years ago is losing ground in the face of distractions at home and abroad. Up next, On Point: Obama’s APEC absence and the economic implications.

Guests

Indira Lakshmanan, senior correspondent for Bloomberg News covering foreign policy, former Asia Bureau Chief for The Boston Globe. (@Indira_L)

Susan Shirk, chair of the 21st Century China Program at the University of California-San Diego. She teaches at the UC-San Diego School of International Relations and Pacific Studies. (@IRPS)

Endy Bayuni, senior editor of The Jakarta Post.

From The Reading List

New York Times: Obama’s Absence Leaves China As Dominant Force At APEC – “The partnership, a major element of Mr. Obama’s pivot toward Asia, is intended to achieve open market access among the 12 participants, with the United States, Japan, Mexico and Canada as the major economies. The administration was hoping that the leader of South Korea, Park Geun-hye, would announce at the meeting that South Korea was ready to join the negotiations. But South Korean officials said Ms. Park would not make that declaration in Bali.”

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Seeks to Reassure Trade Partners After Obama Cancels Trip – “Mr. Obama has canceled major overseas visits to Asia in the past. In 2010 he called off trips to Indonesia and Australia amid a debate over health care at home and also the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Last year, he skipped APEC in Russia because it clashed with the closing stages of the presidential election campaign.But his administration has repeatedly affirmed the U.S.’s commitment to building stronger ties in the region, often referring to America as a Pacific power.Mr. Kerry said scrapping the trip upended an opportunity to build Mr. Obama’s dialogues with President Vladimir Putin of Russia and China’s President Xi Jinping.”

AP: With Obama Out, Others Take APEC Stage, Sort Of – “For Obama, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit was meant to be an opportunity to underline renewed U.S. attention to Asia as a counterbalance to China’s increased economic and military clout. But that message was undermined by the U.S. budget impasse and government shutdown forcing Obama to cancel his trip to Indonesia and three other countries. His absence was perhaps felt most by Indonesians who consider him one of their own after he spent part of his childhood growing up in the capital, Jakarta.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    This article puts the Chinese as 3rd in line behind the Social Security Trust Fund and The Fed as ‘the holders’ of US debt. I am guessing that Japan isn’t too far down, on the complete list. We can be sure that the Asians will be talking about the dysfunctional US economic system. I have been wondering for sometime, now, why they (the Asians) have not been trying to ease out of our debt markets and pushing into actual business ownership, as the Japanese recently did with the Missouri company, “Zoltek”, a producer of carbon fiber products. ( I am also guessing that there was a military component to the decision to purchase Zoltek.) The Chinese have been pushing hard in computing technology, space technology, and the like, and of course spying on the US, etc… . There will probably be a bunch of world maps pulled out at this summit and a lot of arguing about how to divide up all of the worlds territories and the spoils that are to come !

    Look at the “brightside“, I may get my own Autobot yet!

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/deutsche-bank-debt-ceiling-crisis-180035258.html;_ylt=A2KJ3CUSsVNSvxsAMzfQtDMD

    • jefe68

      Plenty of information here.
      http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/jul/15/us-debt-how-big-who-owns

      The breakout of foreign-held debt shows that China was the largest holder, at $1.276 trillion (as of June 2013). Japan came in second, at $1.108 trillion.

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        Your article is from July 2012, mine is as of Oct. 7, 2013.

    • Don_B1

      A little off the main subject, but connected to your first sentence, is this report of analysts at Goldman Sachs, saying that prioritizing the governments payments to pay bondholders first and then other contractual bills when the money is available could well be worse than not paying all the debts equally:

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304441404579121803490367042.html

      and

      http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/10/07/no-way-u-s-would-allow-debt-default-dont-bet-on-it/?_r=0

      The Tea/Republicans are really treading on dangerous territory and so far getting more traction with an ignorant public than they deserve. That public is going to educate the entire populace tragically as we all pay for it.

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        Don,

        I hate debt ! However, I will say that Social Security should NOT be considered part of the debt controversy. Soc. Sec. payouts are transfer payments, created and packaged by a prepaid insurance program. As far as the article’s comment about the Fed’s debt ownership: if you think about it, why would you want to “stiff” the very banking system you are using to run your economy ? Doesn’t make sense !

        • Don_B1

          Few people “like” debt, at least not just for the feeling of being in debt. But right now, the problem can be viewed as the people entering the swamp to drain it (reduce the debt) but have to fight off a horde of alligators (the huge number of unemployed and underemployed who are a drag on the recovery from the financial crisis), which must be dealt with first in order to reach the final goal. Putting the un- and under-employed to work will greatly help building a strong economy and make it much easier to deal with reducing the debt.

          In the Tea/Republicans’ minds, apparently, they have decided that the only government worth anything is a tiny government that has an army and a police force and intermediates arguments between the states. In the modern world, this is just not going to work for the 99%, although a lot of the 99% have been led to think it will.

          That is why the Tea/Republicans are trying to discount the effects of a debt default, and an approach of paying only some bills, like those of bondholders, which the big bankers are clearly saying will be a worse disaster than an even-handed payment system.

          I posted two articles from Sunday’s TNYT on the history of the planning for this crisis, which is basically to strip off all of the social safety net, from SS and Medicare, Medicaid to Unemployment Insurance and mortgage refinancing.

          They are:

          http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/us/a-federal-budget-crisis-months-in-the-planning.html?pagewanted=all

          and

          http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/sunday-review/the-benefits-of-intransigence.html?ref=us&pagewanted=all

          I think these are required reading for anyone who has any doubts (or maybe more so if they think this process will benefit them) that the Tea/Republicans are working to make the economy work for everyone. With their agenda, it will only work for the 1% or maybe only the 0.1%.

          Thank you for your response.

    • Shark2007

      You can thank the Teapublicans for blocking infrastructure spending and making student loans more expensive, in addition to shutting down the government and threatening to default on the debt for undermining the U.S. position in the world.

  • Shag_Wevera

    I just hope I don’t live long enough to see the Chinese to be the boss of everyone.

    • HonestDebate1

      Somebody has to be the boss and Obama sure doesn’t want it to be America.

      • Don_B1

        Ridiculous snark!

        • HonestDebate1

          It’s neither.

          • Ray in VT

            Your position can obviously be shown from Obama’s quotes like “I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother’s race”.

            Why would someone vote for a guy who would write that and then go around talking about how America has problems and continues to struggle with some of the legacies of past mistakes?

          • HonestDebate1

            He didn’t write that. It was an informed opinion of someone else who summed up the obvious truth.

            “In reality, Obama provides a disturbing test of the best-case scenario of whether America can indeed move beyond race. He inherited his father’s penetrating intelligence; was raised mostly by his loving liberal white grandparents in multiracial, laid-back Hawaii, where America’s normal race rules never applied; and received a superb private school education. And yet, at least through age 33 when he wrote Dreams from My Father, he found solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against his mother’s race.

            http://web.archive.org/web/20070317192834/http://www.amconmag.com/2007/2007_03_12/feature.html

            What Obama wrote was:

            “I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to
            suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.”

            But what does that have to do with the Chinese or American Exceptionalism Mr. pinball?

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, you had previously cited it as a direct quote from the President, so, given your thorough research and unquestionable honestly, I figured that it must be correct. Also, then read the rest of the page from which that actual quote is from, where he talks about thinking the people are prejudging him based upon his mixed race ancestry.

          • HonestDebate1

            Look Ray, seriously, if you want to just be a jerk then fine but this constant assault on my character is way off base.

            When I posted that quote along with several others I did not know it was someone else who said it about him. If your conclusion is it was all a dishonest ploy to spread hate then you are an idiot. A nasty, shallow idiot. But I don’t think you are an idiot so IMO you’re just being a jerk, fine.

            I agree with the assessment of the person who wrote it. 20 years in Trinity alone tell you Obama has an animosity towards whites. The totality of the book (both of them) and the numerous other quotes I gave are clear. Believe what you want.

          • Ray in VT

            I am merely seeking honest debate, which does not include some of the tactics that you employ. I think that many of those tactics do far worse for your character than anything that I might say, should someone take the time to take a good long look at the 10-20 comments that you drop on the average day, and do it over a period of time.

            I was actually looking to see if you would stand by an incorrect statement, as you have on other matters, and I’m actually quite pleased that you did not.

            Agreed. Believe what you want. If you think that Obama is against “whitey”, as I believe you have phrased it in the past, then fine. I don’t think that it is really a supportable position, although I think that you stand by a number of unsupportable positions.

          • HonestDebate1

            Then debate honestly.

            There you go again, it saddens me how our friendly debates have devolved. You seem to be saying I use dishonest tactics which is absurd. I still refuse to believe you are an idiot but I’m hedging on nasty and shallow. The fact remains, I always appreciate being corrected. I don’t want to wrong Ray. I hate being wrong. If you are the one who pointed out that particular quote was not in the book then I thank you with all my heart. I don’t stand by statements I know to be incorrect despite your accusation.

            I can certainly support my claim and did. Originally you had to ignore several other quotes and focus on the one that was a reporter’s summation of them and not in the book. You did it again here. I gave another quote in the comment above; I cited 20 years with Rev. Wright. In the past I’ve cited Cambridge, the NBP dismissal and policy surrounding it and many other things. You didn’t debate the substance, you went off on a tangent. I can support the position alright but you don’t like my conclusion and cannot deal with it on the merits. You can parse every quote in the book away; you can torture the logic to death regarding Trinity. You can even argue my case doesn’t prove this or that. You can say my premise is flawed. But you can’t say the notion that Obama has an animosity towards whites is not supportable.

            So you deliberately confuse your inability to convince me as my refusing to acknowledge my mistake and then stir it up into a conspiratorial dishonest tactic. I don’t have time for that nonsense.

            And to be clear, I don’t want to argue the point. I’m just pointing out the shallow nature of your attacks. I’m not the one hounding you, playing games and setting silly traps.

          • Ray in VT

            Honest debate is not possible when one’s counterpart is engaging in the sort of dishonest tactics which you have employed. If you are really interested in honest debate, which you claim to be, but for which I see little evidence, then you could go along way by merely ceasing to b.s. me on a number of issues. I find your intransigence on a number of issues to be a main driver of the tenor of my response, as well as your proclivity towards hyperbole.

            Ah, the specter of the New Black Panther Party. Another faux scandal that has been beaten to death. Also, I believe that in the past when I have asked you to cite how Trinity was racist you said that you didn’t want to get into it or something. On both of those issues I don’t think that it is possible to deal with your position on substance, as there is no there there.

            You seem to be confusing your inability to recognize facts and valid sources when it comes to certain issues with holding a valid position that is capable of being changed. “Don’t bother me with facts; I’ve already made up my mind” is a quote that comes to mind. I find “playing games and setting silly traps”, as you put it, to be a useful tool when attempting to nail down people’s positions and to expose logical errors, fallacies and outright lies. I find it to be a bit like chess, and sometimes it works quite well and in very predictable ways.

            One conclusion that I have reached is that there is a certain segment of the population that will continually repeat that which is questionable or untrue despite available evidence. I believe that you throw around the term ideologue to sometimes describe people with whom you disagree, however it is a term which would often seem to fit you quite well, and I think that one can very easily attribute terms such as shallow and dishonest to describe the very nature of a good number of your comments and positions.

          • Don_B1

            Well said, Ray. But there is also another aspect that everyone should consider when dealing with the likes of Gregg:

            The classic Dunning-Kruger Effect, which is nicely described in Psychology Today, is where an otherwise intelligent person can be incompetent (here likely for ideological reasons) to the extent that they cannot even recognize their incompetence. See:

            http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolved-primate/201006/when-ignorance-begets-confidence-the-classic-dunning-kruger-effect

            I am sure that Gregg will just love being called incompetent, and if he thinks that he is winning the argument for the destruction of the 99% (which he will not admit is his goal) with even a few readers of this blog, then he will continue his trolling.

          • Ray in VT

            Yet another reason that I sort of wish that I had taken up German. I really do enjoy that language in a peculiar sort of way.

          • HonestDebate1

            Dude, I made a comment about China, the topic. Ray is the one who changed the subject and began to hurl insults looking for a fight. Not me. Who is the troll?

          • Ray in VT

            Huh, that’s bizarre. I read an out of the blue attack on the President. It’s totally in line with your general run of comments, but it’s not exactly on topic. I also merely cited something that has been attributed to the President and gave my own take on one of the more moronic criticisms of the President, namely the so called “apology tour”.

          • HonestDebate1

            If you think the rise of China and the fall of America is an accident then I can’t help you.

          • Ray in VT

            It is certainly not an accident. Politics has much to do with the rise and fall of nations, it’s just that I don’t think that it is Obama’s fault, unless you want to blame the massive changes to China’s internal economics and politics over the past 30 years and the willingness of American business to deindustrialize our country, starting decades ago, that has done so much to damage the prospects for American blue collar workers, on Obama, then go ahead. Have at it.

          • Ray in VT

            Here is, in part, where I took your comment from, so you can thank your favorite school marm:

            Gregg Smith – [[I don't post anything without verifying.]]
            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/0

            Gregg Smith – [[Here's Barrack Obama from 'Dreams From My Father':

            “It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names."

            “I found solace in nurturing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race”.]]

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/0

            hennorama (to Smith) – [[WRONG. (again, but adding "again" just seems superfluous at this point.)

            As you have been in discussions with [jefe68] and [1Brett1], I’ll send this to them directly as well.

            From Politifact.com,
            The Truth-O-Meter Says, regarding your claim that in “Dreams From My
            Father,” Barack Obama wrote “I found a solace in nursing a pervasive
            sense of grievance and animosity against my mother’s race.”:

            “Obama didn’t write that”

            “The quote is actually lifted from an article in the American
            Conservative. Author Steve Sailer wrote a detailed analysis of Dreams
            from My Father, describing the narrator as “a humor-impaired Holden
            Caulfield whose preppie angst is fueled by racial regret” but also
            praising it as “an impressive book” with an “elegant, carefully wrought
            prose style.”

            “The ‘grievance’ quote comes from the following passage:

            “In reality, Obama provides a disturbing test of the best-case
            scenario of whether America can indeed move beyond race. He inherited
            his father’s penetrating intelligence; was raised mostly by his loving
            liberal white grandparents in multiracial, laid-back Hawaii, where
            America’s normal race rules never applied; and received a superb private
            school education. And yet, at least through age 33 when he wrote Dreams
            from My Father , he found solace in nursing a pervasive sense of
            grievance and animosity against his mother’s race.”

            See:
            http://www.politifact.com/trut…]]

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/0

            Poor, poor Gregg Smith. He’s obviously misunderstood.

            [PS]: Smith’s response to the above, and I’m NOT making this up, was:

            Gregg Smith – [[If the one quote was made up, fine. It's believable
            because of the others. It's entirely plausible because of his history
            ...]]

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/0

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/07/05/week-egypt-firefighters-delay

            I find that last comment from you to be very much like Rush’ comments upon discovering that he had been duped by a fake Obama thesis.

          • Don_B1

            Congratulations for a tour de force put down.

            The only thing I have seen that beats you is a British journalist’s put down of Wolfgang Schäuble, the finance minister of Germany:

            http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ambroseevans-pritchard/100025568/my-grovelling-apology-to-herr-schauble/

            If you get a chance, this is one to print out and put on the refrigerator door to admire each day.

            And “MisHonestDebate” is not important enough to go to the work required to equal the one taking Herr Schäuble down.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, you can thank Hennorama for compiling that little list. I am merely reporting what she researched in this case.

          • nj_v2

            [[ "…I don't want to wrong Ray. I hate being wrong.…" ]]

            Utterly hilarious!

          • HonestDebate1

            Then I would be like you, no one wants that.

          • Don_B1

            Ad hominem and strawman arguments may win some but unlikely here.

            But Ray apparently caught you napping in your argument and your are striking out blindly.

            A great example showing that adding “Dis” to “HonestDebate” is appropriate.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m not the one being nasty.

            Are you really clinging to the fantasy that Obama does not hold an animosity towards whites? Throw out the one quote, what about all the others? His books are full of them. What about his actions? What about his constant whining about skin color?

            “It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names.”

            “I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.”

            Or how is it possible to sit in that hateful church for 20 years and a claim you don’t hold an animosity towards whites? It’s not.

            Look at the astonishing circling of the wagons going on here to ignore the reality of Obama’s hate. It’s amazing.

          • Ray in VT

            Way to take a bit of a comment, ignore any context and decide what the speaker means. You certainly can build that.

            Yeah, you know no one’s got it easier in ‘Merica than minorities, but you wouldn’t know it from all of their whining. We really should weep for the poor white conservative male. Truly the most oppressed group in Obama’s America. This must be a part of his revenge. Cracking down on whitey.

            Considering the blind eye that you turn towards the racist and prejudiced language that comes from outlets that you seem to adore, you are hardly one to speak of another as blind.

          • HonestDebate1

            Now you’re just making stuff up. Have at it.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that my comments are well represented in your comment history. Denial isn’t just a river in Italy.

          • nj_v2

            You’re so full of crap, it’s astounding.

      • jimino

        Neither does Rand Paul or anyone in the Tea Party leadership.

        • HonestDebate1

          The tea partiers don’t really take a stand on foreign policy. They are about more freedom and smaller government.

          Rand Paul represent the Libertarian wing of the Republican Party so you may be right about him. He’s no Ron though. If not for the Libertarian’s whacked out foreign policy stance, I’d be one.

    • alsordi

      Well if you are a US pig-farmer, you just got another Chinese boss…. Smithfield foods. Oooooheeeeee !!!!

      • Don_B1

        Even worse for chicken nugget eaters here, the FDA has allowed the Chinese to buy chickens raised here, ship them to China, process them and then ship them back here. The 14,000 mile trip is highly likely to make the processed chicken more expensive than chicken raised and processed here, so why is China going to do it?

        China has for a long time wanted to export its chicken products, which are raised under unregulated conditions, leading to the heavy metal and other pollution products being found in their chicken and the prohibition against the import of Chinese chicken to the U.S.

        What this action will allow is for China to mix its chicken in with the chicken from the U.S. It will mostly be in products like chicken nuggets.

        So enjoy your chicken nuggets in the near future!

        • John Cedar

          I like chicken with Chinese vegetables.

          • Don_B1

            So don’t we all. But in the future, thanks to the FDA, that chicken may well have all kinds of pollution and heavy metals to poison those who partake of it, particularly devastating to children.

          • Shark2007

            Buy locally from local producers.

          • StilllHere

            I don’t eat chicken, just chicken nuggets, usually with sweet ‘n sour, so I should be ok right?

          • Don_B1

            If your fantasy world gives you immunity from poisons, etc., then you will be just fine. Just don’t expect much sympathy for whatever happens.

        • Wm_James_from_Missouri

          I can’t prove “this”, but I suspect that China is looking at the burgeoning world population and sees the trend toward higher food prices. They are positioning themselves against future price increases for/in, food.

          • Don_B1

            Actually your suspicion is not new and is well-founded. For at least 5 years, I think, China has been buying or leasing land throughout Africa or contracting for the crops raised on it so that they can get the food they expect to need in the future.

            What the Africans are going to do as their population grows almost exponentially, it would appear the Chinese don’t care.

    • rich4321

      Well, the way it goes, it will come before your life time.

    • Shark2007

      You can bet if that happens the tea baggers will blame it in Obama or who ever the most recent Democratic President is.

      • StilllHere

        Whereas Democruds will blame Bush or whoever is the most recent Republican President. Why should this be any different, right?

        • Shark2007

          Lets see, the economy crashes under Bush and the Republicans do everything they can to keep the economy in the dumps for their political benefit. Fortunately, it failed and Obama was re-elected, and the Democrats gained seats in both the Senate and the House. With out the Republican biased gerrymandering, the Democrats would have won control of the house.

  • alsordi

    Although some Americans still retain the illusion that their country is the beaming light of democracy and goodness, most countries around the world to see through the corporate controlled cabal of opportunists that ruthlessly wage war to further their interests. The Japanese will never forget how they were pushed into war, and nuked. The Chinese will never forget the Opium wars. The Vietnamese will never forget 3 million lives lost, land mines and agent orange. Most Afghans know that Osama Bin Laden was a US agent all along and that 9-11 was an inside job. The absence of the US at the Asian summit, just shows that hypocrisy and bullying by a superpower has its limits.

    • Ray in VT

      Whereas I think that your last sentence has some merit, I could certainly do without the 9/11 trutherism. I also look at a statement regarding Japan having been “pushed into war” rather critically, given that they seemed quite motivated to wage war in East Asia regardless of whether or not the U.S. was going to oppose or acquiesce to their moves.

      • alsordi

        The factual data disproving 9-11 “trutherism” is weak and miniscule, compared to the overwhelmingly abundant amount of factual information proving that 9-11 was an inside job, from the 1980s onwards. One need only has to read. And to be sure, this whole 9-11 scam, and its subsequent wars and oil grab, along with US debt, is a major reason why the US is not showing its face at APEC.

      • fionnmaccumhailus

        9/11 aside (I really don’t think there’s enough onfo there), there’s more info regarding the Japanese and WWII. There was quite a bit of US, French, and British blocking of peaceful Japanese access to markets, particularly oil, before they went on their foreign invasions. It’s part of what may have pushed the Japanese militarists to the fore in their politics.

        • Ray in VT

          I’m not sure how much or to what degree any actions blocking Japan from access to markets contributed to Japanese aggression. Did you have a particular source or instance in mind?

          I was responding to what I saw as the idea that FDR provoked war with Japan (which I have seen some seem to contend that without provocation they basically would have left us alone, and I do not think that that would have been the case). I look to imperialistic actions by Japan such as the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese Wars and their opportunistic (I think) seizure of German holdings in the Far East during World War I as an indication that they had a national interest/policy of expansion in their “sphere of influence”. They were after resources to be sure, but I am not sure if they would have been content merely to have access, as opposed to control, of those resources, perhaps most crucially oil.

          • fionnmaccumhailus

            There’s some indications that the US adventures in the Philippines in the 19th century were designed to set up an economic outpost and that, once established, US companies were pushed to the fore in replacement for more regionally established companies. It was basic empire building that we learned from the European powers that were playing that game in Asia.

            I do agree that, once we got to the point of the Japanese invasion of China, it was too late to go back and anything FDR did or didn’t do was probably not going to change the inertia that was pushing all parties towards conflict.

            It’s pretty normal that one has to look further back than a decade in order to see the roots of conflicts. So, even for the Russo-Japanese conflicts, I think one has to start back in the middle of the 19th century to see trends that could have been avoided.

          • Ray in VT

            There was certainly a desire to get in on the empire game in the U.S. in the late 19th century. Was that a major factor in the Spanish American War, maybe. I think that it played a role, especially given our history of attempting to carve out our own sphere in the Western hemisphere. It has been my understanding that we, at least for a while, attempted an open trade policy in the Far East, but that other colonial powers were not willing to play that game, and perhaps a failure of that policy to gain a foothold led us to get in on the act while there was still something to be had.

            I think that the idea has been that seeing that isolation was no longer a valid policy in the 1850s, the Japanese pursued a policy of modernization and westernization so as to not suffer the same fate that mainland China was facing throughout the 19th century in terms losing sovereignty within its own borders. Expansion and empire was a path to power, resources, respect (maybe) and territorial integrity. Would Japan have pursued an expansionist policy in the absence of the actions of the West in the Far East? I don’t know. I find historical what ifs to be very fun intellectual and academic exercises, but I think that an informed answer on this hypothetical would require a more thorough understanding of Japanese history and culture than I possess.

      • Don_B1

        The U.S. is absent from the Asian summit is due to the Tea/Republican manufactured government shutdown fiasco, not any “hypocrisy” or past “bullying.”

        It is yet another example of how the Tea/Republican full-court opposition to anything the President does costs every American today and in the future as the solution to international problems presses forward without the kind of input that a presidential visit can provide.

    • Shark2007

      You might want to join stillhere on your own private blog where you can exchange nonsense with each other.

  • Wahoo_wa

    That’s OK…Putin’s there. He’s a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. It’s all good.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      He’s also into martial arts.

      • Wahoo_wa

        And he chops wood AND rides horses shirtless in Siberia!!!!

  • rich4321

    APEC, from now on look to China for leadership!

  • Guest

    nO MATTE

  • fionnmaccumhailus

    No matter what anyone says about TPP, it’s a corporate trojan horse designed to allow corporations to override national laws and policies. Anything that keeps it from being signed is a good.

    • Shark2007

      Closing the government and not paying our debts will not slow down the TPP.

      • fionnmaccumhailus

        I was just being snarky about reporters parroting the corporate and gov’t line that TPP is good for everyone. The only thing stopping it will be the end of corporatism.

        • Shark2007

          A start would be a constitutional amendment saying corporations do not have the same rights as people.

  • creaker

    And the US goes down the path to irrelevancy. Once the consumer market here dries up, we will return to our previous role as a poorer, primary agrarian nation – but one that does not need workers on the farms anymore.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    The Republicans will continue to deny the reality of all the effects of their budget tantrum – this is one more effect, added to the rest of domestic effects like the NTSB, NIH, FEMA, the federal courts, and many, many people and communities that are devastated with their loss of pay.

    If we are going to give them back pay after this is over – what the heck is the purpose of stopping them from doing their jobs and earning their pay?

    The cost of this shutdown is big and it grows, the longer it continues.

    • creaker

      I’ve heard the shutdown is costing $50 billion/month – I didn’t hear anyone ask how will we pay for it?

      • Don_B1

        How about a wealth tax on those who promulgated the shutdown?

        The New York Times laid out how over some 30 radical right groups planned for the fiscal crisis since January:

        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/us/a-federal-budget-crisis-months-in-the-planning.html

        so a tax on them might just be justice for the huge damages they are causing.

      • StilllHere

        I heard the shutdown is saving us $150 billion/month, so the net-net looks pretty good! #livingwithinourmeans

        • Ray in VT
          • jefe68

            That’s a load of conservative crap. It’s costing the US millions a day in losses and services. Think of how much is going to be spent doing catch up when the GOP shutdown ends.

            The nihilist (GOP) don’t care and want government to fail, that’s the agenda.

          • anamaria23

            The shutdown has been planned for months egged on by 30 inside beltway monied groups. Ted Cruz was recruited by Jim DeMint of Heritage Foundation. It is about power, not so much the ACA.
            See nytimes.com. “A Crisis Months in the Planning”.

          • StilllHere

            That’s impossible. No one knew when the fiscal year was going to end or at what time the debt ceiling limit was going to be reached. Certainly no one could have planned for this! It makes no sense.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, people knew when the fiscal year would end.

          • StilllHere

            Democrats?

          • Ray in VT

            I was under the impression that knowledge of the beginning and ending of the federal fiscal year was pretty non-partisan.

          • StilllHere

            So you’re saying Democrats would not have been surprised that the fiscal year was ending and that a budget was necessary for the following year? Interesting.
            Anamaria? Looks like Democrats may have been in on the conspiracy.

          • Don_B1

            The Democrats (and Republicans) in the Senate passed a budget in the SPRING, and Speaker JOHN BOEHNER refused to assign members to the joint committee which would have negotiated a compromise between the House and Senate versions for some SIX MONTHS!

            What kind of ignorance should we ascribe to you? Deliberate ignorance or fake ignorance?

            Or should you be checking out the Dunning-Kruger Syndrome?

          • anamaria23

            In the end, the Democrats came down to just what the Repubs asked for and the Speaker still would not call to conference.

          • Don_B1

            Just for the elucidation of others, I am adding to emphasize your post, since the full reality of John Boehner’s deceptive “negotiation via the press” is even worse than your short post would imply:

            1) Senate Democrats have requested the House appoint members to a conference committee on the budget 19 times, and repeated the request just this afternoon.

            2) John Boehner refused each request.

            3) The budget the Senate agreed to in a CR it passed is incredibly low, as President Obama emphasized this afternoon. But you have to actually see the chart of the various spending levels to understand just how much the Republicans “won” and are refusing to accept.

            [It reminds me of the possibly impolitic cliché about the Palestinians being "able to turn a win into defeat."]

            See:

            http://thinkprogress.org/progress-report/gop-rejects-own-plan-to-keep-government-open/

            and, look there for a chart:

          • Shark2007

            Ignore still here, he is just a right wing nut troll trying to distract from the conversation.

          • StilllHere

            What budget did the Senate pass? Please cite the specific bill. Or are you lying?

            You may want to see Don on a professional basis. He plays a shrink on blogs.

          • Ray in VT

            Are you really being serious, or are you just trying to irk people?

          • StilllHere

            Please cite the Senate budget bill that passed. I can’t find it.

            Are you making this up? Based on my reading of mental disorders it maybe a bad case of Dunning-Kruger Syndrome?

          • anamaria23

            WHAT are you talking about?? Do you know?.

          • StilllHere

            Yeah, sounds like Democrats knew what was happening. Totally blows this whole conspiracy thing up. It’s crazy huge.

          • anamaria23

            Did you read the article?

          • StilllHere

            Alas I’m not a subscriber and have reached my free threshold.

          • Don_B1

            Then spring for a subscription or just buy the article.

            If that isn’t so small a dent in your income that it won’t even matter, then you don’t know what you are doing to your future!

          • StilllHere

            You’re asking me to take on more debt. No wonder we’re in such a poor fiscal condition.

          • Don_B1

            Right! No one knows when the next eclipse will happen! That’s why the “priest,” who could observe the heavens and knew a bit of elementary mathematics could gain all kinds of power over the rest of the ignorants in his group by knowing when that would occur.

            Just what kind of crap are you trying to sell here, and to whom?

          • Don_B1

            Exactly!

            The radical right, which really wants to just cut government into the bone, ending the social safety net (SS, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance), mortgage repurchasing, Food safety, disease fighting, etc., settled on “Obamacare” for the emotional reaction they knew they could arouse in their base.

          • StilllHere

            I thought the government served the 1%, allowing them to take resources from the 99%. Doesn’t seem like they would want a shutdown. In fact, seems like the 99% would. You guys need to get your story straight.

        • HonestDebate1

          I don’t know, it takes a lot of money to barricade open areas, arrest all those veterans, put all those cones up to keep people from the overlooks, armed rangers to force folks at yellowstone to stay in their hotel rooms, clearing out the campers and their horse trailers from campgrounds, thwart all the efforts of states and local municipalities who want to fund and keep open their assets and we haven’t even talked about the tarp they want to cover the grand canyon with. It’s pricey.

          • Don_B1

            I just know you will make a generous contribution to cover the costs that you just made up. Fantasies do have an advantage; they are usually quite cheap.

          • HonestDebate1

            Everything I wrote is true Don, it really is… okay, I made up the part about the tarp…. but the rest is gospel.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        I don’t think we actually have a hard number – it certainly costs a lot to shut down, and it costs during the shutdown, and it costs more to restart everything. Contracts that were signed go into limbo, and this means more costs all around.

        That is just the direct costs. All the business that depend on the economic activity surrounding all the various the government does – will add a HUGE amount of knock on losses.

  • creaker

    US wealth has gone global – and if they can get better returns by making Asia the economic powerhouse of the world, and the US some 3rd world economy, they will do it.

  • alsordi

    Quite a lame attempt by Ms. Shirk to blame a US president’s absence on the two-party charade of disfunctional US politiics.

    To be sure Ms. Shirk, kabooke theater is an Asian creation.

  • StilllHere

    The heads of state are only there for the obligatory photo-op in native dress.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2449072/APEC-Vladimir-Putin-US-Secretary-State-John-Kerry-continue-silly-shirts-tradition.html

    That box has been checked.

  • creaker

    It’s sad snappy, inaccurate headlines trump reality.

    Although Obama is not there, Kerry is. So the US is there and represented, headline not withstanding.

    • StilllHere

      No way, On Point playing fast and loose with the facts! I never. Just hope this sort of editorialism hasn’t invaded the host’s viewpoints or the producers’ choice of guests. I’m sure not.

  • truegangsteroflove

    World War II was a big deal. This “summit” isn’t. The planet will continue to rotate on its axis quite well with or without the presence of Barack Obama at an international meeting.

    As for “U.S.” dominance or influence being diminished, not likely. At least not likely over this. More important is the growing independence of countries worldwide since the end of the Vietnam war and the fall of the Soviet Union.

    All these countries, and the “U.S.” as well, are determined to increase their economic output FOREVER, no matter that the planetary resource base will not support it. All these countries are also determined to grow forever using the cheapest energy possible, which for the foreseeable future will be fossil fuels.

    The presence or absence of one Barack Obama will not change this one bit. Far more important than his presence or absence is how the planet’s climate system will respond to human society’s collective will to keep on doing what it is doing FOREVER.

  • creaker

    The “danger” here is the assumption that US money will act in the interest of the US people. In fact they could do the opposite, if they see a better return there.

  • nj_v2

    Ha ha!

    “The administration is going to have to be as transparent as possible…” (Ms. Lakshaman, as part of a lame response to the caller calling corporatism on yet another “free trade” kabuki performance)

    At least the caller got through to make the point.

  • Mattyster

    “One call per perspective”?? False equivalence is alive and well in Jane Clayson’s ‘On Point’ show. The Republicans are refusing to do the basic work of governing and trying to blame it on President Obama. It’s about time the President stands up to them – he’s made plenty of concessions in the past and it’s never enough for them. I’m sick of their talking points.

    • brettearle

      I agree.

      But if what if they don’t budge?

      Do you want to pay 400 dollars a month (exaggerating to make a point) interest rate, on your credit card?

      Is that better than Obama’s own refusal, under such circumstances?

      Is it principal….ego….ethics….self-righteousness….or, ultimately,

      Utter Implosion?

      • Shark2007

        The Republicans are threatening to shoot the U.S. economy in the head if they don’t get what they want. If they succeed this time they will use it again and again to get what they want dismantling SS, Medicare, unemployment insurance, clean air and water legislation etc. They have even said they want high interest rates on U.S. debt as a way to wage their holy war on the government. So they actually see causing a default on the debt as a way of advancing their agenda. It also feeds into their narrative that the government can’t do anything useful. The worse things get, the better they like it.

        • brettearle

          Your point is understandable.

          But you’re exaggerating their motives.

          Boehner isn’t stupid.

          Their position is untenable.

          The ECONOMY is GOING TO IMPLODE on October 17th–if something isn’t done.

          Except for the Tea Partiers, the others will lose their jobs.

          And the Radical Right will be twisting in the wind:

          In 2014, the House may go back to the Democrats.

          At that point, if there IS an Economy to work with, it’ll be controlled by the Democrats.

    • Don_B1

      Thank you for joining the side of the rational arguments here!

      It appears that Jane has joined the “false equivalence” group in the MSM, at least on certain subjects. That really is a shame.

  • Sy2502

    So the title says the US will not be at the summit, but the article says John Kerry will be there. Misleading much?

    • StilllHere

      He’s representing France.

      • nj_v2

        Whereas StlllHere represents Jackassistan.

        • ExcellentNews

          No, StillHere represents Mitt Romney, the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch, and the rest of the global oligarchs who brought US to the current sorry state.

    • Don_B1

      I am sure that Secretary Kerry is making the same points that President Obama would make, but the title of President does make a difference even though in a perfect world it might not.

      For a comparison, when the Pope says that the current emphasis on harassing homosexuals needs to stop, it has a much bigger impact than if another Cardinal made the statement, even if that Cardinal was the head of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office.

      And as one of the guests today pointed out, President Obama was not there to have the one-on-one meetings that give the other person the extra emphasis on his opinions about various issues. Seeing the intensity of commitment matters in communication and negotiations.

  • ExcellentNews

    What an INSULT! They should have had George W Bush the Third front and center of that picture. Is this how these ungrateful #$@% recognize the President who Presided over the export of 12,000,000 high-wage manufacturing jobs to Asia ??? Is this how they recognize the President who connected slave labor to our billionaire industrialists, marketeers, and bankers??? It is not too late though. Pass the pictures to Kim Jong and he will photoshop Bush in for you.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 22, 2014
In this Dec. 17, 2012 file photo, then New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks a news conference in New York where he and dozens of shooting survivors and victims' relatives called on Congress and President Obama to tighten gun laws and enforcement. The former New York mayor, a billionaire and advocate of firearms regulation, plans to spend $50 million this year setting up a new group that will mix campaign contributions with field operations aimed at pulling gun-control supporters to the polls. (AP)

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s new $50 million dollar push for gun control. We’ll look at the plan to take on Washington and the gun lobby.

Apr 21, 2014
In this 2003 photo released by the Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, left, is seen in Monterrey, Mexico. Behind is Colombian journalist Jose Salgar. Garcia Marquez died on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at his home in Mexico City. (AP)

Gabriel García Márquez and his spell of magical realism. We’ll cast it again, in remembrance.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 18, 2014
This undated photo provided by NASA on April 2, 2014 shows Saturn's moon Enceladus. The "tiger stripes" are long fractures from which water vapor jets are emitted. Scientists have uncovered a vast ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon, they announced Thursday, April 3, 2014. Italian and American researchers made the discovery using Cassini, a NASA-European spacecraft still exploring Saturn and its rings 17 years after its launch from Cape Canaveral. (AP)

Oceans in Space. The new discovery on a moon of Saturn, and the possibility of life there.

 
Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

Deadly clashes in Eastern Ukraine. A white supremacist rocks Kansas City. The Marathon bombing anniversary. And Bloomberg on guns. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

More »
Comment
 
Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

More »
Comment