What is the point of hammering heads to get a House bill that’s got no chance in the Senate? What is the twisted logic of dooming a House bill to death in the Senate before it has even arrived? So this increasingly unmanaged chaos can play out a little longer? So that we can watch big clocks tick down the days, hours and minutes until Aug. 2, or 4, as the stock market surges and dips?
Like most American spectators watching this slow-motion train wreck of a budget disaster, I have assumed that at the last minute the damsel would be pulled off the track of the oncoming train. Somehow, the Republicans would appreciate the stakes, a compromise (albeit on sickeningly Republican terms) would be reached, and the nation would be spared the catastrophe of default—a gratuitous deepening of an already dire economic mess.Now I am not so sure.
"Members of Congress are juggling with hydrogen bombs."
The US had previously deemed Iceland and other whaling nations (primarily Norway and Japan) to be illegally conducting whaling operations in defiance of the IWC ban. However, if Obama was to take action, this would be the first time trade sanctions would be imposed on another nation for this reason, setting a conservation precedent that nearly every conservation society would heartily welcome.Controversially, under current IWC rules, three nations (Japan, Iceland, Norway) are “allowed” a yearly quota of whale captures (though, non-endangered ones), as, historically, these nations have been heavily invested — commercially and culturally — in whaling. However, said quotas are supposed to decrease each year (as the goal is to phase out the industry) according to a specific, agreed upon system. The system, however, has many loopholes[...]The NRDC further asserts that as of late 2010, Iceland’s quotas and exports of whale products reach “record levels.” As a result, 19 U.S.-based NGO’s filed a “Pelly petition” asking the Secretary to certify Iceland’s violation of the whaling ban (pursuant to the Pelly Amendment) and to urge the imposition of trade sanctions. The petition specifically advocated targeting Iceland’s “fisheries-related businesses linked to its whaling industry”.