EP-106: 9 out of 23 nominees confirmed; US to rejoin UNHRC, India’s $130B defence budget draws many

EP-106: Neera Tandon still not confirmed, WH stands firm. 9 of 23 done. India's $130B Defence budget draws suppliers from Worldwide. All this & more!

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Sree Iyer: Namaskar, Hello and welcome to episode number 106 of Daily Global Insights. Today is the 25th of February, as always I have with me Sridhar Chityala. Sridharji, Namaskar and welcome to PGurus channel.

Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar and good morning and hope you all have a wonderful day today.

Sree Iyer: Yes, sir. And the main points for today’s bulletin are 9 out of 23 nominees have been confirmed by the Senate with the 14 to follow. Sridharji will give the details.

And the US will be seeking to re-enter UN Human Rights Council after Trump had pulled out of it. You might remember that because of the UNHRC membership under the Obama Administration between 50,000 to 150,000 people got direct citizenship. And this is under the refugee status. It’s a very interesting procedure. If you become a member of UNHRC and Sridharji will give you the details.

The third thing is the FED system shut down for about 40 to 50 minutes today, calling it an operational error. Luckily, the damage was contained and we’ll have a little bit more details shortly

And markets rise to record levels after Schumer’s assurances on the stimulus and Powell on the economy.

So back to the main News of the day, Senate has confirmed 9 out of 23 candidates for you know, the current cabinet of Biden and Kamala Devi Harris. Sridharji, can you list the names of the people who have been confirmed so far and the ones that are waiting to confirm, if there are some surprises that we may expect.

Sridhar Chityala:  Great. Klain is confirmed as the chief of staff. Linda Thomas, who is the United Nations Ambassador, there was some dispute and discussions around approximately to China Etc and her decisions around that. McDonough as Veterans Affairs will sack as the agricultural secretary. People forget Biden and Harris have to be still formally confirmed. This was the day on January 6th, when all the results came in and when the counting kind of began and the initial debate started around, you know, this is the Republicans objecting and seeking some kind of an audience in terms of communicating what exactly transpired not to overturn the elections but, to make their case in terms of alleged infringement, fraud and such types of activities and what needs to happen in future. And then the riots broke out and then they came back after the riots and quickly sat and confirm. So Biden and Harris are confirmed President and Vice President, Haines is confirmed as the Homeland secretary and Antony Blinken is confirmed as the Secretary of State, Austin is confirmed as the Defense secretary. Buttigieg is confirmed as the department of telecommunications and Mayorkas as Homeland Security.

And then you have three things which are going on currently one is Holland, she is there as the interior secretary as an interior pick for the Senate. The Senate is going through its due process and she was asked the question of whether you know, she supports Keystone Pipeline. She basically said she believes in shutting down the Keystone Pipeline. So, there are some because she’s interior. There are lots of such little controversial issues that are kind of propped up. And so there’s been a delay in her confirmation.

The most controversial is Neera Tanden, she is being viewed political both on the Democratic side as well as on the Republican side. The questions have been raised on her nomination as the Office and Management and Budgets but, the White House is standing firm so, you know, the count may be delayed. Whether she’ll get through remains to be seen but, right now the White House is holding firm that’s the second.

The third is so Merrick Garland the attorney general which is another important announcement. I think we have covered that, that’s also correctly at the process. So those are the three things that are currently under process in terms of the cabinet or the ministry of Biden and Harris to be completed. It’s quite slow, it’s January 20th today end of February, the administration is not yet in place.

Sree Iyer:  The House Democrats want Biden to give up being the sole authority to launch nuclear weapons. So, which sections of the House Democrats are demanding this, sir?

Sridhar Chityala: From your state, California. So, therefore the three of the people, I mean I carefully wanted to study to know where this thing would come from.  It starts right at the top Nancy Pelosi, not an average Democrats from California, just four of them. I think Jim I forget his name and then you can remember, all four are from the state of California. I would have expected from Texas, or somewhere, well, never mind it is from California and Nancy Pelosi rushed to while President Trump was in transition. She rushed to the head of armed forces and the defence secretary and so on, to say please make sure that you don’t press the nuclear button. This is on the threshold of the dispute with Iran and there was an imminent kind of action perceived and Israel basically had threatened and prepared the nation’s in case you guys don’t act, we will do.

Sree Iyer:  Well surprises never cease, do they? I mean, you saw Mitch McConnell, he was very aptly cartooned as a tortoise with two heads one saying yes and one saying no. And Nancy Pelosi, what 40 years of experience in the House as a congresswoman and suddenly she feels that the President should not be the sole authority to launch nuclear weapons. So, where would you characterize her, Sir? Is she a progressive or liberal or a moderate?

Sridhar Chityala: She stands between Progressive and liberal. She does not stand as someone between Centrist and liberal, I mean this is a known fact. Historically, everybody generally with the non-conservative discipline tender to move towards the Centrist mindset. The last time we had Centrist in the Democratic Party was Bill Clinton. After Bill Clinton, we have lost the agenda. In fact, I think the Democrats have lost the plot after Bill Clinton, a great intellectual, a person who had control of the world affairs and is a great manager of the economy, notwithstanding that there was both oppositions, Republican party in Senate and House, you know, he worked quite well to get things down. So, I think after that, you know, I think Obama years is the period of decay, but he’s being revved up. Anyway just to kind of not to deviate and loose piece of time here.  What you’re witnessing is an agenda of dismantling the idea of a nation-state and the government, that’s the agenda that you are seeing. First, the President should not be the sole person controlling nuclear weapons number one.  Today, we had Madame Cortez saying Immigration and Customs Enforcement should be dismantled and it should not be treated as a crime so, you can have drug traffickers. You can have criminals, everybody can come in no enforcement. Number three, Decriminalize the borders and make the borders forest for anybody to come, so these two. Then, she and along with Ilhan Omar were behind this defunding the police moment in defunding police moment. So, then you have the issue around the whole human rights, so, therefore, human rights should be taken up and they decide in the House. Who is violating human rights? Who is not violating? For example to them, China is not violating human rights. Though, they said sanctions should be imposed and this and that and so on you will find that China will not be. Then, they say India is a violator of Human Rights, but, Pakistan is not a violation of human rights in Balochistan. So, you have this kind of pattern that is emerging. And illegal alien should be given aid; felons should be given small business. So you have a systematic pattern that is evolving which is around, you know, the deconstruction of the state i.e., that would be the best characterization. In fact, I have seen some of the Washington Post articles which talks about one should not have a nationalist agenda. So, you are even had to kneel down before you know for the national anthem is not mandated, bowing to the flag and swearing allegiance to the flag and flag hoisting is not required. So you are beginning to see the concept of, I do not want to sound repetitive. This concept of decay, they call this non-nationalism, deconstruction very much reminds you of a communist-socialist State that’s where they want to push it too. So these are all the kind of actions that you are seeing evolves.

By the way, the Supreme Court just to kind of wrap up that whole discussion would have on hold on Biden’s actions. Biden had requested no deportation should occur during these 100 days the court have said, no, that will continue.

Sree Iyer: Thank you, sir. And House demands answers on Biden’s test pilot teams Iran talks during from Trump term. We talked about this and this is interesting that I am taking the hint here, that is probably all the Republicans in the House who are demanding this and I will give you a chance to respond to that. So just give me one more time because we’re running a little bit late. I just want to make sure that we cover more than one topic House Republicans also asked the FBI for a briefing on rep Swalwell’s ties with the CCP spy Fang Fang. We have written, we’ve talked about it a lot. So, both these things I think the House Republicans are also getting energized.

Sridhar Chityala: They are getting energized because all these things are coming out because of the reporting of the press, you know, if the Press doesn’t remind them, the media doesn’t remind them then, it tends to lose focus. So, these things are coming up along with Stefanix voting, to defund universities and schools which have connections and funding from CCP links. So that’s also kind of coming down the pipe. One of the big people who raised this was Mike Pompeo. Mike Pompeo raised a huge hue and cry on the amount of funding etc, etc. Then there was a global report that said that 1.95 million people are embedded into various kinds of things, mostly Britain and the United States and other parts of the world. So you are beginning to see the unravelling of some of these things on the contra-side of the fence.

Sree Iyer: Now, we are also seeing that some of the contenders for the 2024 presidential nomination of these are Republicans are beginning to fall in line. Mike Pence said that he supports, he praised Trump in a meeting and Mitt Romney also thinks that Trump’s nomination is a shoo-in. So we can see that there was a brief power struggle. Perhaps, Mitt Romney had fought even more than Mike Pence did, because we should remember that Liz Cheney; is the same small group that did whatever they did during the impeachment time. Now, there’s also news coming down the wire that Dominion and Smartmatic have a serious shot at victory in the election defamation suits. So this is according to an expert. What can you tell us about this? Why does this expert think that they have a good chance at winning these lawsuits?

Sridhar Chityala: It is a Yale law professor who has given his opinion. These days the viewers are saying we are covering only the right side of the fence. We’re not covering the left side of the fence. This is an example of the left side of the fence, which is ‘hey, they have a very good shot.’ So this means that Rudy Giuliani and Sydney Howell and Linwood, are all going to be liable. It is very clear that this particular lawyer staying away from Fox News. He says Fox News is news, they are only reporting, they’re not expressing an opinion. This is the news that came out they are reporting. So, therefore, that’s out of the window, and then he goes on in his press statement that, ‘Well, however, there is still a big hill to climb to prove and make the case that it deserves.’ Then he also gives another contradiction which is, ‘Well, they may not get billion dollars. They may just get a reprimand and a small kind of contribution.’ So the whole purpose of this headline is to again catch the imagination of the people and force people to read and give this sensationalism to the companies. So, I think the whole thing is a smog wash as we can say, and also to remind people United States justice system very much runs on political lines as much as any other place in the world, especially political matters. On other matters, it may be different but on political matters, for example, Stacey Abrams and her sister who is the Supreme Court judge in Georgia. Basically, when you file a case, she’s good. She gets a favourable outcome in that election issue around extending the deadlines for certain communities and certain neighbourhoods. Then you go to Pennsylvania. You have a very similar, you go to Wisconsin, it is very similar. So what you’re seeing is the same thing. People can argue on the Democratic side, what about the abortion pill? If you are a conservative, you support you basically say yes about pro-life. If you are a democratic dominated Supreme Court, it will be pro-choice. So, here on the political and sensitive matters very much runs the course in the United States along the way who has the presiding power? That’s why occupying these positions and winning the elections and at the right point having the opportunity to fill up the seats, makes or kills the futuristic action of the way that Justice is going to be dispensed.

Sree Iyer: In Global News, the United States is going to seek a seat at the Human Rights Council of the United Nations undoing what Trump had done and this is going to have some consequences. So in order, not only people going to be welcomed at our borders, the illegals, there’s also going to be another way for them to gain entry into the United States, which is through UNHRC. Sridharji. I’d like you to spend about a minute on this because we are running a little bit behind and then I’ll start catching up with other news.

Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think that the Human Rights Council has two essential elements. One is a refugee program and it just mandates them to take a specific number of people who are displaced in a crisis situation in their respective nations. So that’s one mandated or mandatory obligation. And as Sree Iyerji pointed out, quite a few people came in during that particular phase, especially you saw that Arab Spring that displaced so many in Syria and Iraq and Mosul and so on and so forth. The second point is, this allows the socialists to run their agenda. One of the countries’ that needs to be worried about it is India. The US sitting in the United Nations Human Rights with many other members who are typically hostile, it was the United States, which actually used its exercise a veto or it just kind of said, United Nations is redundant and we couldn’t be bothered. So you will find that China which has clearly run its riot act just as a Hong Kong, Uygur, Tibet, Taiwan, out of question, don’t even bring it to the table. So these are the two things that one has to be careful of being as to what comes out of it with a present regime for making it to the Human Rights Council.

Sree Iyer: And in other news, the United States says that it supports Japan’s sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands.

Germany prepared a way for its troops to stay in Afghanistan. Boris Johnson indicates that the UK will not pull out of the Olympic Games in Beijing despite their abuse over Muslims of the Uygur region.

Now, Facebook is going to invest 1 billion dollars in the news industry after the Australian row.

India’s 130 billion defence update sparks interest from arms makers such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SAAB, Israel Rafael Advanced systems and France. Everyone is now throwing their hat into the ring.

And lastly, Indonesian and Myanmar’s foreign ministers meet to discuss an ASEAN based resolution for Myanmar.

Would you like to add on what is happening with Facebook’s resolution, sir?

Sridhar Chityala: Facebook is basically an Australian government force that they have to pay money to news services and there’s the only way they will be allowed to broadcast the news content via the social channels. They agreed to it. Otherwise, they were ready to be banned. Because of these questions around, where do they sit; if it’s a platform, it is this, it is that and so on. But surreptitiously a lot of the news content was being pushed through the social channels and nothing was being paid. So I think that this is one way by which enforcement can be brought and they can be brought under a specific purview. Are you quoting Epoch times? Are you quoting NewsMax? And your quoting Fox news? Are you quoting Channel 7 News, Channel 10 news, SBS news, ABC News etc in Australia? in the United States it is different. So the story is that now they are forcing them to comply within a box.

Sree Iyer: On global covid news. There is a rush now for the covid vaccines as more and more positive news is coming from various countries. In fact, Moderna is going to commence trials for covid booster shots for even the variants that have been reported from South Africa and so on. Australia commences mass vaccinations. Thailand and Vietnam took their first deliveries on Wednesday. I am assuming this is from India, sir, which country did Thailand and Vietnam get their first deliveries?

Sridhar Chityala: Vietnam is from Sinovac and Thailand is from Pfizer. AstraZeneca was South Korea and then they have taken Pfizer as well.

Sree Iyer: South Asian Nations assisted by India have also kicked off their programs. We’ve been telling you about various countries where India has been carrying out its vaccine diplomacy. We will be updating you more in the days and weeks to come.

As far as markets are concerned, markets rise to record levels after Schumer assurances on stimulus, Powell on the economy. Schumer went on to say that the stimulus bill will be passed by Friday and will be on President’s desk by March 14th. I’ll let you answer on this one, sir. after I finish the next line. FED chair Powell, ‘inflation and employment levels are well within the field objectives and, therefore, the rates are going to stay low. What’s your take on it, sir? What do you expect for the United States for 2021? Are we going to have a record growth year; 6%, 7%? What are your thoughts?

Sridhar Chityala: I think that we have already reported. The current growth rates are going to be somewhere between 5 and 6 – 6.5%. The FED had put 4.3%, then that was matched by Goldman Sachs with 5, now, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have revised their estimates to somewhere greater than 6%. So, I don’t think I’ll say that it’s 7% or 8% but it is somewhere definitely greater than 6%, definitely within the band of 5% to 6% because of so much cash. You will see in the ticker, the 120 billion-dollars asset purchase program continues. this is a 1.9 trillion-dollar stimulus, there is another 1 trillion-dollar from the previous rescue and relief that has not been spent. They also are contemplating another stimulus program. So it’s going to be plenty plenty plenty of cash. If you are not in the stock market, I think this is the best year to be in the stock market based on all the numbers that one is seeing at least in the US context.

Sree Iyer: That’s all for today, folks and we’ll be back tomorrow same time same websites. We urge you to subscribe to our channel and also become a member of our YouTube channel, it’ll give you a lot of benefits, and these benefits will be revealed with time as we go along. And also, please donate to PGurus. Thank you very much for watching and we’ll be back, see you tomorrow. Namaskar Sridharji.

Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar and have a wonderful day.




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