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Climate bill won’t pass – the bill is dead

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Climate bill won’t pass – the bill is dead

Klien 7 – 19 [Ezra, “Cap-and-trade is dead”]

You can't pass what you can't say: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid played dumb last week when a reporter asked him if the energy and climate bill headed to the floor would come with a “cap” on greenhouse gas emissions. “I don’t use that,” the Nevada Democrat replied. “Those words are not in my vocabulary. We’re going to work on pollution.” One of my rules in politics is that whichever side is resorting to framing devices is losing. In 2004, when Democrats became obsessed with George Lakoff, it's because they felt unpopular and looking for a quick fix. And in 2006, when they took the Congress back, it wasn't because they found a new slogan. It was because the Iraq War and Jack Abramoff had made the Republicans toxic. In 2008, it was exhaustion with George W. Bush and a cratering economy. Post-9/11 frame theory wouldn't have said run the black guy with the name "Hussein." If cap-and-trade is so unpopular that its primary legislative advocates can't mention it, then it's dead. The BP oil spill offered a chance to change the fundamentals on the issue and Democrats decided against trying to use the disaster as a galvanizing moment for climate legislation. Word games don't offer a similar opportunity.

Won’t pass

Climate won’t pass – GOP, Energy coalitions and even democrats will block

Murray 7 - 16 [James is chief editor at business green, "Senate clears path for run at climate legislation"]
However, many Republican senators remain fiercely opposed to a bill that they believe will raise energy prices for businesses and consumers. Their hand was strengthened this week when the National Rural Electric Co-operative Association and the American Chemistry Council briefed the press voicing concerns about the impact of the proposed utility-first approach on energy bills. There were also reports that the influential Edison Electric Institute, which represents around 70 per cent of the US electricity generation industry, remains uncertain on whether to support the bill. Moreover, a number of Democrat senators have signalled they could vote against the bill and are pushing for the party leadership to adopt alternative legislation that scraps emissions trading plans altogether. Speaking on a conference call with reporters this week, West Virginia Democrat senator Jay Rockefeller said the cap-and-trade proposals currently being considered cannot get 60 votes, adding that it was common knowledge on Capitol Hill that the Kerry-Lieberman bill will not pass this year. Senator Rockefeller was speaking at the launch of a new bi-partisan energy bill that he has crafted alongside Republican senator George Voinovich, which would aim to raise $20bn over 10 years to support the installation of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies .Meanwhile, the Kerry-Lieberman bill can also expect to face opposition from some green groups after a new analysis from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change suggested that the latest watered-down version of the bill falls short of the emission cuts originally promised by president Barack Obama at last year's Copenhagen summit.

Climate Bill won't pass - democrats don't want to risk midterms

SAMUELSOHN 7 - 16 [Darren is the senior energy and environmental writer for politico, "'Brown Dogs' complicate climate plan"]

President Barack Obama’s next big legislative priority — a comprehensive energy and climate bill — sits in limbo in no small part because of wavering senators from his own party. About a dozen Democrats — from the Great Plains, Midwest, Appalachia and the South — continue to resist the idea of putting a cap on greenhouse gas emissions. And despite months of legwork by the president’s Senate allies, few of these so-called Brown Dogs are biting. Election-year concerns, fueled by GOP labels of a “national energy tax” and public angst over expansive government, have many moderate Democrats holding tightly to the fence, unwilling to commit to the White House agenda when it comes to tackling global warming. “I think it’s still a work in progress,” said Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, who worries that a cap would be a loser for Democrats in November. “You know, it took 50 years on health care.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is spending the next week working through various proposals on energy and climate change with a goal of starting floor debate as early as the week of July 26. But garnering 60 votes on a plan that caps emissions is a major challenge as long as Democrats such as McCaskill fear the electoral consequences. Several swing-vote Democratic senators are concerned about the implications that a carbon cap would have on electricity prices, especially for their low-income residents. They also don’t want to vote for legislation that would diminish demand for coal. McCaskill, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, Virginia’s Jim Webb and West Virginia’s John Rockefeller all have taken vocal stands on these issues. But even with attempts to find compromise, some Democrats are flat-out opposed to any climate bill with mandatory caps on emissions. “I don’t see it,” said Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska. “You never say never here because somebody may change their mind. But I won’t be one of those people changing my mind.” Given the moderate Democrats’ complaints, even some historic supporters of a climate bill say they are doubtful the issue can pass off the floor. “It’s not only politically touchy, it’s jobs-touchy,” said Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin), who said he could vote for the legislation but still wants to see changes to address coal-fired utilities in his state. “In a recessionary period that we’re in, boy, we can’t afford to lose any more jobs.” Interestingly, none of the Senate Democrats whom POLITICO has identified as fence-sitters on a climate bill are running for reelection this year, a fact that undercuts some of the conventional wisdom that senators are staying away from the issue because of concerns about their jobs come November. Still, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a longtime advocate of climate legislation, said Thursday that raw politics have convinced her that the votes won’t be there this year.

Won’t pass

Won’t pass – APA will NEVER see a vote

Sorensen 7 – 7 [Adam, “How Much Would Cap and Trade Cost?”]
Fred Krupp—the president of the Environmental Defense Fund and a fierce warrior for a carbon cap—told reporters last week that Kerry-Lieberman as it stands now is unlikely to ever reach a vote, and that green groups need to be open to a less ambitious bill, such as one that only caps emissions from power utilities. How much will that cost? The CBO hasn't done an analysis—because there's been no bill written—but on his blog Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations has written that a utility-only cap could have fewer sources of revenue because the carbon market itself would be much smaller than with an economy-wide

Won’t Pass – Republicans will never get on board

Khan 6 – 29 [Huma is a writer for ABC News, “Energy Bill: Can Senators Reach Agreement?”]
Even as the sense of urgency to address the energy issue grows, momentum on the energy and climate bill is still stalled. The idea of a cap on carbon has become a central point of contention between Democrats and Republicans. The death of Sen. Robert Byrd, who, despite hailing from coal-producing West Virginia, became a proponent of fostering clean energy and passing a comprehensive bill, has also cast doubt on whether there will be enough Democratic votes to pass a partisan bill. Spencer Abraham, former energy secretary under President George W. Bush and a senator from Michigan for six years, said the current divisions are consistent with the history of energy politics. A similar outcry for energy reform erupted in 2003, when a power outage caused a massive blackout in the northeastern U.S. and parts of Canada, becoming, at the time, the second most widespread blackout in world history. But lawmakers still couldn't come together on energy legislation and even the "Energy Policy Act" that passed two years later was considerably watered down, said Abraham, whose new book "Lights Out!: Ten Myths about (And Real Solutions to) America's Energy Crisis" will be released next week. "It's not going to be easy because even with the oil spill and the pressure that's created, it reminds me a lot of 2003 where even though there's desire to do something, there's still very sharp divisions about what that something ought to be," Abraham told ABC News. "When companies pollute, they should be responsible for the costs to the environment and their contribution to climate change ," the White House said in a statement. That, Republicans say, is not going to happen. "A cap and trade proposal, a national energy tax will not sell in this country at this time," Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska , the ranking member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said after the meeting today.

Doesn’t solve warming

NO U.S Climate bill will solve warming - fails to meet copenhagen expectations

Cowan 7 - 15 [Richard is an editor for Reuters, "US Senate climate bill falls short of Copenhagen aim"]

A scaled-back climate change bill Senate Democrats are considering would achieve far less than President Barack Obama promised at a U.N. global warming conference last year -- but even this may be too much for Congress. With little time left in a short, crowded legislative schedule this year, Senate Democratic leaders are weighing a final attempt to begin reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Instead of the kind of economy-wide scheme the House of Representatives approved last year, senators are trying to rally support for a narrower plan that would set pollution caps only on the electric power sector -- covering about one-third of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. It would do so by allowing an ever-dwindling number of pollution permits to be traded. By signing onto the Copenhagen Accord last December, the United States accepted the goal of cutting 2005 domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by 2020. Many countries already were criticizing the U.S. promise of a 17 percent reduction, noting that it amounts only to a 4 percent cut from a benchmark 1990 pollution level. The EU has pledged a 20 percent reduction by 2020, from 1990, and 30 percent if a global deal on tackling global warming is reached. This week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid heartened environmentalists by saying he was focusing on the utility sector for pollution reduction -- a sign that a carbon pricing mechanism could be inserted into a bill to encourage more alternative energy use and clamp down on offshore oil drilling practices after BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill. But it is very much in doubt whether any firm cap on U.S. emissions will become law this year.

No modeling

Countries won’t follow – doesn’t meet Obama’s promise for copenhagen

Murray 7 - 16 [James is chief editor at business green, "Senate clears path for run at climate legislation"]
However, many Republican senators remain fiercely opposed to a bill that they believe will raise energy prices for businesses and consumers. Their hand was strengthened this week when the National Rural Electric Co-operative Association and the American Chemistry Council briefed the press voicing concerns about the impact of the proposed utility-first approach on energy bills. There were also reports that the influential Edison Electric Institute, which represents around 70 per cent of the US electricity generation industry, remains uncertain on whether to support the bill. Moreover, a number of Democrat senators have signalled they could vote against the bill and are pushing for the party leadership to adopt alternative legislation that scraps emissions trading plans altogether. Speaking on a conference call with reporters this week, West Virginia Democrat senator Jay Rockefeller said the cap-and-trade proposals currently being considered cannot get 60 votes, adding that it was common knowledge on Capitol Hill that the Kerry-Lieberman bill will not pass this year. Senator Rockefeller was speaking at the launch of a new bi-partisan energy bill that he has crafted alongside Republican senator George Voinovich, which would aim to raise $20bn over 10 years to support the installation of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies .Meanwhile, the Kerry-Lieberman bill can also expect to face opposition from some green groups after a new analysis from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change suggested that the latest watered-down version of the bill falls short of the emission cuts originally promised by president Barack Obama at last year's Copenhagen summit.

Economy turn

Climate bill kills job growth and the economy

Laffer 7 – 16 [Arthur is an American economist who was a contributor to the “Regaonimics” theory, “Gulf Oil Spill 'Crisis' May Revive Growth-Killing Cap-And-Trade Bill”]
As White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel expressed in the midst of the financial crisis, this administration follows the rule "Never allow a crisis to go to waste." And following President Obama's Oval Office address, it is apparent that many in Washington are doing their best not to let the oil spill crisis in the Gulf "go to waste." Prior to the Gulf disaster, the American Power Act (the Senate version of cap-and- trade) seemed all but dead. This is as it should be. But with the Senate back from the July 4 recess, either the American Power Act will be explicitly taken up or another clean energy bill will be proffered to which the key provisions of the American Power Act will be attached. The problem is that there is no real link between cap-and-trade regulations and the crisis in the Gulf. As President Obama himself admitted in a speech at Andrews Air Force Base in March of this year: All that would change if cap-and-trade legislation were passed is that President Obama and Congress would have chosen the worst possible time to impose job-killing legislation on the economy. The U.S. economy has been growing thus far in 2010, but not at the robust pace one would expect at this phase of an economic recovery, and the joblessness rate remains unacceptably high. Additionally, the looming tax boundary and other policy mistakes the administration has already made have set the economy up for a major economic downturn in 2011. Piling cap-and-trade regulations on top of all of this will only make a terrible economic situation even worse. There have been many economic studies that have assessed the economic damage created by cap-and-trade regulations, including an analysis performed by two of the authors. Depending on how the regulations are implemented, most studies find cap-and-trade regulations will cause a significant reduction in our rate of economic growth.

Climate legislation kills the economy

Environmental Leader 7 – 19 [“EIA Finds Senate Climate Bill Could Cut GDP by $452B”]

The Senate climate bill, which aims to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 17 percent from the 2005 level by 2020, could cut U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by $452 billion or 0.2 percent, and cost the average household $206 annually from 2013 to 2035, according to new analysis from the Energy Information Administration, reports Bloomberg Businessweek. EIA’s estimates are close to numbers released last year by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which projected that the U.S. cap-and-trade program under the House bill would cost $22 billion annually, or about $175 per household, by 2020. However, the EIA says the impact on consumers could be mitigated by using 12 percent of the allowance revenues to help low-income households and offering a refundable tax credit that would be paid out with unused revenues from the bill, reports the New York Times. The report, “Energy Market and Economic Impacts the American Power Act of 2010,” provides an analysis of the American Power Act of 2010 (APA) that was released by Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) on May 12, 2010. The report covers six analysis cases — APA Basic case, APA Zero Bank case, APA High Natural Gas Resource case, APA High Cost case, APA No International case, and APA Limited/No International case. As an example, in the APA Basic case, EIA analysts assume that passage of the bill will generate new innovations adopted on a large scale such as carbon capture and storage, and that the use of domestic and international offsets is not significantly constrained by cost, regulation or problems negotiating agreements with other countries, reports the New York Times.


Will pass

Start will pass – Lugar is pushing

Lugar 7 - 17 [Richard, US Senator—Indiana + fmr Chairman @ Senate Foreign Relations Committee , "Lugar: Pass New START Now: Longtime arms-control expert says pending treaty is in the short- and long-term interests of the U.S."]
Lugar: I think its prospects are good. The Foreign Relations Committee is likely to have the last of the New START hearings soon, and all of the relevant intelligence information is now available to senators and their staffs. Senator John Kerry has indicated he hopes to move the treaty out of committee in this four-week session, and then it's up to [Majority Leader Harry] Reid to schedule a floor vote in the post-Labor Day period. That's not a slam dunk, however, because there will be a lot of pressure on Senator Reid to wind things up so members can go home to defend their seats in the November elections. So it will depend on his priorities. NJ: Do you worry that New START will be caught up in the partisan currents of an election season? Lugar: Well, I have some concerns. I'm about to go to a Republican lunch where I fully expect to hear for an hour and a half how everything the administration proposes might be blocked. If you're a Republican leader, that makes this a difficult task. There are some in our caucus who just don't trust the Russians, and others who believe that every day that goes by before the election with nothing happening is a victory, but I'm not one of them. Even though these are partisan times, there are also a good many Republicans who really don't want to pick a fight on this treaty. NJ: So you predict passage? Lugar: Yes, I think it will pass. I go back to my basic theme. I admire the Obama administration for taking this complex issue on, and it has offered a modest treaty that sets the stage for an ongoing relationship with the Russians that will allow us to work together on issues of common interest. That may prove especially important as we move forward in confronting the issue of Iran's suspected nuclear program.

START won’t get caught up in midterms—Republicans will ultimately support

Lugar 7 - 17 [Richard, US Senator—Indiana + fmr Chairman @ Senate Foreign Relations Committee , "Lugar: Pass New START Now: Longtime arms-control expert says pending treaty is in the short- and long-term interests of the U.S."]
NJ: Do you worry that New START will be caught up in the partisan currents of an election season? Lugar: Well, I have some concerns. I'm about to go to a Republican lunch where I fully expect to hear for an hour and a half how everything the administration proposes might be blocked. If you're a Republican leader, that makes this a difficult task. There are some in our caucus who just don't trust the Russians, and others who believe that every day that goes by before the election with nothing happening is a victory, but I'm not one of them. Even though these are partisan times, there are also a good many Republicans who really don't want to pick a fight on this treaty.

Start Good – Russian Relations k2 North Korea

Start is key to US-Russian Relations

Lugar 7 – 17 [James is presently the national security and foreign affairs correspondent for National Journal magazine, "Lugar: Pass New START Now: Longtime arms-control expert says pending treaty is in the short- and long-term interests of the U.S."]

Lugar: Essentially because I believe New START is vitally important in terms of our relationship with the Russians at this point in history. People can say this debate is just another one of these normal arguments that we have every day in Congress, just more grist for the political mill. But I was saying in that statement that New START is important. It's a pretty modest treaty, but the fact is, we are back at the table talking to the Russians again, and the U.S.-Russian relationship has been strengthened as a result in ways that could prove very important to us in the future. So I wasn't willing to sit back while the treaty was deprecated. When someone writes an op-ed under the headline, "Obama's Worst Foreign Policy Mistake," well, I do consider that hyperbolic. Maybe that's a tough word, but nevertheless I felt it was an accurate description of the op-ed.
US-Russian cooperation is key to stop North Korea prolif

Moltz 05 [Moltz is the Deputy Director and Professor at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies “U.S.-Russian Relations and the North Korean Crisis: A Role for the Russian Far East?” Asian Survey, Vol. 45, No. 5, ebsco]

Since 2002, the U.S. government has been hesitant to closely embrace regional actors in any future Korean settlement. While it has generally welcomed the assistance of Moscow, the U.S. has not yet agreed to spell out a clear plan to engage its participation in a comprehensive, step-by-step process. Such cooperation would clearly require that the United States accept Russia and other regional actors as equal players. It would also mean that the United States would have to provide partial funding for efforts over which it had less-than-total control. But the benefit could be the creation of a regionally based security and economic development framework that could help wean Pyongyang off its nuclear weapons program, thus improving U.S. security and increasing the likelihood of a sustainable solution. But with skillful diplomacy and greater cooperation, the United States might be able to achieve its objectives and attract active assistance from Russia – as well as other relevant partners – to help bring about lasting economic and political changes in the region.

Start Good – Russian Relations Extension

Start key to Russian Relations

Kerry 7 - 7 [John is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, "How New-START will improve our nation's security"]

No threat to our national security is greater than the danger from nuclear weapons. Responsible political figures across the spectrum need to support every step possible to control the spread of nuclear weapons. New START is one of those steps. This view is shared by most who have taken the time to understand the treaty and the international context in which it was negotiated. Rather than pander to politics, we need to ratify this agreement quickly. Every day without its verification regime is a day without a clear view of Russia's nuclear arsenal. Romney's claim that Russia can mount an unlimited number of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) on bombers is a strategic concept that was rejected in the 1960s because submarine-launched missiles were deemed far more effective. If Russia were foolish enough to pursue this path, we could either get the new weapons incorporated in the treaty or withdraw. His argument that the treaty abandons limits on multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles, known as MIRVs, is equally flawed; the Bush administration decided it did not care what missiles Russia retained when it negotiated the 2002 Moscow Treaty. Similarly, concerns about restrictions on converting launchers for ICBMs and those launched from submarines for missile defense purposes are misplaced because those conversions would be more expensive and less effective than alternatives and thus unnecessary. New START will not constrain our ability to defend ourselves. On the contrary, it will improve our national security by reducing the number of nuclear weapons held by the United States and Russia, and by improving relations with our old adversary. Ratification will also show the international community that we are honoring our commitments on nonproliferation.

Start – A2: Start Bad

START cuts Russian arsenals and prevents nuclear buildup – no risk start bad impacts

Heilbrunn 7 – 12 [Jacob is senior editor at The National Interest, “The New START treaty deserves to be ratified]

It's not a mistake. The treaty would not eviscerate American national security. It would enhance it, which is why it enjoys the bipartisan support of the Foreign Relations Committee leaders, Sens. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts and Richard G. Lugar of Indiana. It's also why GOP foreign policy eminences such as Henry Kissinger, George P. Shultz and Richard Burt endorse the treaty. By capping each side's deployed warheads at 1,550, the New START treaty would cut Russia's and America's arsenals by about 30%. It would also restore verification procedures that lapsed with the expiration of the START I treaty. Each Russian missile would be given a unique serial number, and onsite inspections would take place. Tracking nuclear weapons and materials safeguards U.S. security. And the more concerned conservatives are about Russian intentions, the more they should welcome the verification procedures contained in the New START treaty. But its opponents are not about to let facts stand in their way. They never have. As J. Peter Scoblic shows in his valuable book, "U.S. Versus Them," the right has a long, misguided history of fulminating against nuclear arms control. Richard Nixon and Kissinger were labeled as appeasers for the 1972 strategic arms limitation talks with Moscow. Jimmy Carter was attacked for his efforts to reduce nuclear weapons. Ronald Reagan, who entered office denouncing arms control efforts but ended up signing sweeping agreements, was accused by his more overheated followers of being a "useful idiot" and committing "nuclear suicide." Instead, Reagan's readiness to reach out to Mikhail Gorbachev helped bring about the dissolution of the Soviet empire. Obama's critics are intent on portraying him as bent on nuclear suicide as well. To derail the New START treaty, they are advancing a welter of objections, many related to missile defense. Never mind that after decades of research, there is no such system in sight, or that Lt. Gen. Patrick J. O'Reilly, head of the Missile Defense Agency, has testified that he sees no constraints on missile defense in the treaty.

Won’t pass

Start won't pass - too tall of an order

Murphy 7 - 12 [Patricia, "Capitol Hill Bureau Chief"]
Nearly six months are left in 2010, but lawmakers on Capitol Hill have only a handful of work weeks left until they head home to their states and districts for an extended August recess, and then wrap up the year early in the fall to focus full time on defending their seats in Congress in the midterm elections. The compressed work schedule means that Democrats in Washington are duking it out over which issues get attention this year and which ones will have to wait for another day. The first leg of Congress' summer sprint starts Tuesday morning, when the House and Senate both return from a July 4 recess. Here's what's in and out on Congress' to do list. Out: Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). Although President Obama has urged the Senate to ratify the latest treaty to reduce nuclear weapons arsenals in Russia and the United States, he'll need 67 votes in the Senate to do it, a benchmark that Democratic Senate aides call "too tall of an order." A recent op-ed from Sen. Jon Kyl in The Wall Street Journal lays out the Republican arguments against ratifying it, calling the president's arms reduction policies "dangerous and impractical."Looming over the entire agenda will be the 2010 midterm elections, whose outcomes could be determined by the votes members of Congress take between now and then

Start Bad – North Korea

Start kills the US NMD capabilities

Romney 7 – 6 [Mitt was governor of Massachusetts and held positions on foreign policy, “Obama's worst foreign-policy mistake”]

Despite all of this, the president's New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New-START) with Russia could be his worst foreign policy mistake yet. The treaty as submitted to the Senate should not be ratified. New-START impedes missile defense, our protection from nuclear-proliferating rogue states such as Iran and North Korea. Its preamble links strategic defense with strategic arsenal. It explicitly forbids the United States from converting intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) silos into missile defense sites. And Russia has expressly reserved the right to walk away from the treaty if it believes that the United States has significantly increased its missile defense capability. Hence, to preserve the treaty's restrictions on Russia, America must effectively get Russia's permission for any missile defense expansion. Moscow's vehemence over our modest plans in Eastern Europe demonstrate that such permission would be extremely unlikely.
NMD key to checking North Korea

SPRING 99 – [Baker is a fellow at National Security Policy, “Maintaining Momentum for Missle Defense”]
Authorize the development and deployment of theater missile defenses that are capable of meeting the threat from North Korea. In August 1998, North Korea launched a Taepo Dong-1 rocket over Japan. The launch, which demonstrated North Korea's capacity to hit U.S. territory with a ballistic missile in the very near future, helped prompt Congress to adopt legislation establishing a policy of deploying a national missile defense (NMD) system. In its understandable and appropriate rush to address the rapidly emerging threat to American territory posed by this launch, however, Congress paid less attention to the fact that the Taepo Dong-1 also poses a threat to U.S. forces deployed in Guam or Japan. 4 A missile defense deployed in the United States for the protection of the homeland would not provide protection to U.S. forces stationed in Guam and Japan in the event of war with North Korea. Congress needs to ensure that the theater missile defense systems in development are capable of providing defense against the Taepo Dong-1 missile in circumstances in which American lives are at stake.
North Korean aggression triggers nuclear war.

Chol 99[Kim Myong is the Executive Director for Korean American Peace’’

US-DPRK Will End Up in Shotgun Marriage,” 10-22,]

Three facts may suggest the extent of the North Korean readiness for nuclear exchange. A North Korean official said, "One top-class nuclear scientist and one missile expert are on the Central Committee of the ruling Workers Party of Korea. They are always among the suite accompanying Kim Jong Il on his criss-crossing on-the-spot guidance tour. Most of the population of the nation can be evacuated into deep hardened underground shelters in less than twenty minutes with little panic or confusion. The whole nation can live safely in underground facilities for many months. Fortress North Korea has been designed to withstand a nuclear saturation strike and retaliate in kind. However, it is not the case either with South Korea or Japan or the U.S. The three countries are most vulnerable to North Korean missile attacks. Any military strike initiated against North Korea will promptly explode into a thermonuclear exchange between a tiny nuclear-armed North Korea and the world's superpower, America. The most densely populated Metropolitan U.S.A., Japan and South Korea will certainly evaporate in The Day After scenario-type nightmare. The New York Times warned in its August 27, 2002 comment: "North Korea runs a more advanced biological, chemical and nuclear weapons program, targets American military bases and is developing missiles that could reach the lower 48 states. Yet there's good reason President Bush is not talking about taking out Dear Leader Kim Jong Il. If we tried, the Dear Leader would bombard South Korea and Japan with never gas or even nuclear warheads, and (according to one Pentagon study) kill up to a million people." [continued…] The first two options should be sobering nightmare scenarios for a wise Bush and his policy planners. If they should opt for either of the scenarios, that would be their decision, which the North Koreans are in no position to take issue with. The Americans would realize too late that the North Korean mean what they say. The North Koreans will use all their resources in their arsenal to fight a full-scale nuclear exchange with the Americans in the last war of [hu]mankind. A nuclear-armed North Korea would be most destabilizing in the region and the rest of the world in the eyes of the Americans. They would end up finding themselves reduced to a second-class nuclear power.

Start Bad – Russian War

START would allow Russia to kill us in any war

NPR 7 – 12 [“National Review: Romney Had It Right At The START”]

Romney pointed out that the linkage in the preamble of the treaty between strategic offensive weapons and missile defenses could limit our defenses. His critics scoff, It's just a meaningless preamble. They should tell that to the Russians. The Russians believe that if we increase our strategic defenses, we are in violation of the treaty and that they will be justified in withdrawing from it. Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said, "Linkage to missile defense is clearly spelled out in the accord and is legally binding." Members of the Duma have said the same thing. The Obama administration and the Russians have vastly different interpretations of what the treaty does on this score, or at least that's what the Obama team says now. There's every reason to believe that once the treaty is ratified by the Senate, the administration will implicitly accede to the Russian view and will, in fact, have traded away our ability to develop missile defenses for this pitiful piece of parchment. (President Obama's recess appointment of fierce missile-defense critic Philip Coyle to a slot at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is another sign of just how little use he has for missile defense.) The body of the treaty, by the way, explicitly crimps missile defense. It contains a prohibition on the conversion of ICBM silos for missile interceptors and also rules out using submarine launchers for this purpose. The treaty's defenders say this doesn't matter, because there are no current plans to put more ICBM silos or submarine launchers to this use. Of course, this may be something we'd want to do in the future, and, in fact, a director of the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative Organization and senior Navy officers expressed interest in such plans in the past. Romney argues that the Russians get a better deal on the treaty's force limits than we do. Can't Romney read? his critics wonder: The same limit on deployed launchers (700) and warheads (1,550) applies to each side. But these limits have different consequences for each side. The Russians already have fewer than 700 launchers, and the number is inevitably going lower — probably as far down as the low hundreds, according to congressional testimony of arms-control expert Keith Payne of Missouri State University. We have about 850 launchers, so, as a practical matter, this limit affects only us.Similarly, as Romney wrote, the new treaty counts a bomber as one weapon no matter how many warheads are loaded onto it. The Russians, unlike us, have decided to start a new heavy-bomber program — once again, the treaty is laxest in just the area most convenient to the Russians. Notably, the Russian press has been reporting that Moscow will game the treaty to retain 2,100 deployed strategic nuclear weapons.

Only war between the US and Russia threatens extinction

Bostrom 02 [Dr. Nick is a Professor of Philosophy and Global Studies at Yale, “Existential Risks: Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios and Related Hazards,”]
With the exception of a species-destroying comet or asteroid impact (an extremely rare occurrence), there were probably no significant existential risks in human history until the mid-twentieth century, and certainly none that it was within our power to do something about. The first manmade existential risk was the inaugural detonation of an atomic bomb. At the time, there was some concern that the explosion might start a runaway chain-reaction by “igniting” the atmosphere. Although we now know that such an outcome was physically impossible, it qualifies as an existential risk that was present at the time. For there to be a risk, given the knowledge and understanding available, it suffices that there is some subjective probability of an adverse outcome, even if it later turns out that objectively there was no chance of something bad happening. If we don’t know whether something is objectively risky or not, then it is risky in the subjective sense. The subjective sense is of course what we must base our decisions on.At any given time we must use our best current subjective estimate of what the objective risk factors are. A much greater existential risk emerged with the build-up of nuclear arsenals in the US and the USSR. An all-out nuclear war was a possibility with both a substantial probability and with consequences that might have been persistent enough to qualify as global and terminal. There was a real worry among those best acquainted with the information available at the time that a nuclear Armageddon would occur and that it might annihilate our species or permanently destroy human civilization. Russia and the US retain large nuclear arsenals that could be used in a future confrontation, either accidentally or deliberately. There is also a risk that other states may one day build up large nuclear arsenals. Note however that a smaller nuclear exchange, between India and Pakistan for instance, is not an existential risk, since it would not destroy or thwart humankind’s potential permanently. Such a war might however be a local terminal risk for the cities most likely to be targeted. Unfortunately, we shall see that nuclear Armageddon and comet or asteroid strikes are mere preludes to the existential risks that we will encounter in the 21st century.

**immigration reform**

Bipart key

Bi-part key to Immigration reform

Dallas morning news 7 – 8 [“Reform, Not Posturing” L/N]

The White House's sudden interest in immigration issues would be laudable if it didn't smack so much of political posturing ahead of the November elections. Having largely avoided the politically radioactive topic of immigration reform since taking office 18 months ago, President Barack Obama now seems to recognize it as a valuable wedge issue for his party to woo Hispanic voters and avoid losing control of Congress. Immigration reform should have had administration and congressional priority from the beginning. This new focus doesn't excuse the years of neglect and political cowardice by both parties that has fueled the nation's current immigration frustrations and pushed states such as Arizona to take matters into their own hands. By intervening now, with court arguments based on speculation, the administration serves only to galvanize the opposition and undermine the bigger goal of winning bipartisan support for comprehensive reform. Obama conceded in his July 1 immigration speech that approval cannot be won without bipartisan support, so every move he makes must be geared toward enticing Republican partners.


Polcap high

Obama is generating capital among Democrats before the midterms via active support on the campaign trail

Werner and Elliot 7 – 15 [Erica and Phillip, “Obama promises to help House Dems”]
WASHINGTON — Facing criticism from House Democrats, President Barack Obama promised their leaders Wednesday night that he'll actively support their agenda and Democratic lawmakers as they head into tough midterm elections this fall, according to a congressional leadership aide .The meeting came as congressional Democrats, fearing disaster in the fall elections, have expressed frustration with the Obama team and its efforts to help Democrats. They also were angered when White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said over the weekend that enough seats were in play for Democrats to lose the House. Obama was told of the concerns of rank-and-file lawmakers, some of whom think the president hasn't been doing enough to use his bully pulpit on their behalf, considering that they are all up for re-election in November, the aide said. Obama won't face voters again until 2012. Obama said that he understood the criticism and promised full engagement and support on substance and message through the fall, the aide said. With high unemployment dragging down incumbents, a key focus will be on jobs and how individual congressional districts are helped by Democrats' policies. Congressional Democrats have pushed Obama's circle to do more. Many fret that the White House is ineffective in using the heft of the presidency to help elect Democrats to statehouses, the House and Senate. In private, several Democrats said they worry Obama's team is more focused on its own 2012 re-election bid than the midterm elections that would shape the final two years of the president's first term. Hoping to stem losses, Obama's inner circle reviewed their schedules and have escalated their political travel. White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has appeared at fundraisers for candidates such as Reps. Baron Hill of Indiana and Tim Bishop of New York. Emanuel's deputy, Jim Messina, spoke at a fundraiser for Senate hopeful Alexi Giannoulias in Illinois. And Education Secretary Arne Duncan has campaigned for Sen. Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat who faces a tough primary challenge.

Obama pressuring BP makes him look strong – increasing PC

ALTER NET 6 – 28 [“Obama Making BP Pay Is Good Government, and That’s Why Republicans Are Freaking Out”]

What President Obama is doing here – by forcing BP to get in there and clean up their own mess, even if it’s messy and takes a long time and costs BP a lot of money – is the right thing to do. We can debate whether everyone jumped on the problem fast enough (and I think that’s a good debate to have, not necessarily in a finger-pointing way, but definitely in a “do we really want this risk in our energy profile, what can we do to make sure it doesn’t happen again” kind of way) till we’re blue in the face, but it doesn’t stop the oil from gushing and it won’t pay back the people whose lives and livelihoods have been lost because of the spill. And the fact that President Obama is doing what’s right for the situation is what terrifies Republicans so much – he’s managing this crisis the best way any American President possibly could – and while that doesn’t mean that he or anyone else can just slip underwater and plug up the leak, he is taking BP to task for their mistakes, dedicating resources to the cleanup effort (no matter how much Bobby Jindall whines) and he’s riding BP every day until they get this taken care of and start paying claims to the people who need the money. The fund is about the equivalent of a year of BP’s profits — the Associated Press called the sum “a drop in a very large bucket” for the company, and reported that BP could raise the cash “without batting an eye.” It will be administered by an independent third party — the same administrator who handled billions of dollars worth of claims stemming from the attacks of 9/11. And President Obama secured it using little more than his bully pulpit and the pressure it allowed him to put on BP execs.

Polcap high

Obama still has P.C – Financial Reform proves

The Guardian 7 – 16 [“Leading Article: Wall Street: The banks are still boss” L/N]

Then there is the US reform bill, which last night passed its final hurdle. Indeed, for Mr Obama to pull off another big bill (following on from healthcare and the $787bn economic stimulus), let alone one that has not been eviscerated by the Republicans, is a triumph. The coming mid-term elections may be bloody for the Democrats, but Mr Obama is using his political capital rather than hoarding it. The bill has plenty of sensible (albeit vaguely worded) proposals: a single Financial Stability Oversight Council to monitor markets more closely, more derivatives to be traded in clear sight of the regulators, and financial firms to be quickly wound up. All this is so practical that it simply shows up how bad financial regulation was before Lehman Brothers. Depending on which American papers you read, this is either "another landmark legislative victory" for Barack Obama or simply a "stunning success" for the president.

P.C high – Obama will regain it back

Corn 7 – 19 [David is an editor for politics weekly, “Elizabeth Warren vs. Timothy Geithner: A Big Decision for Obama”]

Presently, Obama's economic policies are made and sold by people like Geithner and Lawrence Summers, Obama's chief economic adviser. How many Americans really believe these guys are looking out for them? The president's economic team is short on non-Wall Streeters who can connect with folks at home. Placing Warren in a high-profile position would show that Obama recognizes that protecting American consumers is as important as bailing out big banks and auto companies. He would be adding a vital and clear voice to his administration. And in an election season -- when Obama cannot do much to create 8 million jobs to make up for the ones lost before and after he became president -- waging a fight against the banks and GOPers on behalf of a passionate consumer advocate would have political benefits. Though Treasury has tried to downplay the Warren drama, this is an important moment for Obama. Progressive reformers are already defining a potential rejection of Warren as a White House betrayal. Simon Johnson, the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, writes, 1. Elizabeth Warren gets the job. Bridges are mended and the White House regains some political capital. Secretary Geithner is weakened slightly but he'll recover.

Obama Popular – International polls

Obama popular internationally

AFP 7/11 (7/11/10, " US on better terms with everyone thanks to Obama: spokesman ",

WASHINGTON — The United States has better relations with almost every nation on the planet thanks to President Barack Obama's foreign policy "outreach," his spokesman said Sunday. The bullish claim came in an interview in which White House spokesman Robert Gibbs fiercely defended Obama against accusations he has failed to reform US foreign policy from the damaging era of his predecessor George W. Bush. "We have better relationships with virtually every country in the world as a result of the president's foreign policy outreach," Gibbs hit back. "There's no doubt that we have taken foreign policy in a different direction." NBC interviewer David Gregory listed: the failure to close Guantanamo, the Afghan war escalation, an expected U-turn on plans to give chief 9/11 suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed a civilian trial, and the same old sanctions strategy on Iran and North Korea, as examples of Obama's stalled foreign policy reforms. Gibbs said this was "oversimplified" logic, particularly when you considered how Obama managed to win backing from Russia and China for tougher sanctions against Iran. "He said to the world I'm happy to discuss Iran with Iran if it will come to the table and live up to its obligations. That's what brought the Chinese and Russians to the table at the United Nations," he said. "I think you greatly oversimplified sort of what the president was trying to do, because the things that he's instituted couldn't have been done in the last administration." A survey of 24,000 people in 22 nations published last month showed a largely favorable view of the United States for a second year, in sharp contrast to perceptions of America under former president George W. Bush. When asked whether the US president would "do the right thing" in world affairs, 87 percent in France, 90 percent in Germany and 84 percent in Britain expressed confidence in Obama. Those figures were down slightly from last year, but compared with Bush's rating of 13, 14 and 16 percent respectively in the European nations. The Pew poll did show Obama's popularity slipping in several Muslim countries. In Pakistan, for example only eight percent said he would "do the right thing" in world affairs, down from 13 percent a year earlier.

are warming up to the health care bill. 40% of voters favor it while 53% are opposed, numbers actually representing a regression since a poll right before the final vote found 45% support and 49% opposition. That shift may be more reflective of the President's declining popularity than anything having to do with the bill itself, but nevertheless it seems clear Democrats continue to lose the public opinion battle on the issue.

Small increase in Obama's ratings but mostly split on issues

FOXNews 7/1 (Dana Blanton, Polling Director for Fox News, 7/1/10, " Fox News Poll: Obama?s Approval Steady; Most Support Action in Afghanistan ",

Even as most American voters support the U.S. military action in Afghanistan, a majority thinks bringing stability to the region is unattainable. In addition, more voters than not think President Obama is unprepared to do whatever it takes to win there, according to a Fox News poll released Thursday. The president received bipartisan praise for replacing Gen. McChrystal over critical remarks he and his staff made about the administration, yet his overall job performance rating is mostly unchanged. The poll finds 47 percent of voters approve of the job President Obama is doing, compared to 46 percent two weeks ago (8-9 June 2010). Disapproval held steady at 45 percent. The president’s average ratings for the year are 46 percent approve and 46 percent disapprove. Similarly, views are split on whether Obama has been an "effective" president so far: 50 percent of voters think he has been, while 47 percent disagree. Most Democrats -- 86 percent -- describe Obama as an effective president. To varying degrees, majorities of Republicans (78 percent) and independents (56 percent) think he has not been effective so far. By a 62-31 percent margin, voters support the military’s efforts in Afghanistan. Previously, 64 percent supported the action and 27 percent opposed it (September 2009).Click here to see the raw data Despite this significant support for the action, many American voters are uncertain the U.S. can succeed in Afghanistan. Thirty-three percent think it is possible to achieve stability in the region. A 58 percent majority disagrees. Among those supporting the military efforts, 44 percent think it's possible to achieve success and 45 percent don’t. By 49-40 percent, more voters think Obama is not prepared to do "whatever it takes" to win in Afghanistan. Views are mixed on Obama’s handling of the situation in Afghanistan: 46 percent approve and 41 percent disapprove. In April, 49 percent approved and 36 percent disapproved. About a third -- 34 percent -- would stick with the president’s announced July 2011 withdrawal date regardless of conditions in Afghanistan. A majority of voters though -- 58 percent -- would start removing troops next summer only if conditions on the ground permit it. The number believing the efforts in Afghanistan are important to homeland security has declined. Three-quarters (76 percent) believe what happens in Afghanistan matters to their security here at home. That’s down from 83 percent in December. On a list of top issues, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan rank fourth as being the most important for the president to be working on right now. The top issue by a wide margin is the economy/jobs, followed by the oil spill, the federal deficit and then Iraq/Afghanistan, which ties with the issue of health care. By a 6 percentage point margin, more people think McChrystal deserved to be fired (42 percent) than think he didn’t (36 percent). About one voter in five has no opinion or was unaware of the firing. President Obama relieved Gen. McChrystal of his duties on June 23 after Rolling Stone magazine published an article quoting the military commander and his staff making critical remarks about the administration and others. McChrystal was replaced by Gen. David Petraeus, who was serving as commander of U.S. Central Command and was previously the commander of coalition forces in Iraq. The Senate confirmed Gen. Petraeus as the top commander in Afghanistan on Wednesday. Most American voters have "a great deal" (29 percent) or "some" (36 percent) confidence in Gen. Petraeus. For comparison, 26 percent of voters have "a great deal" and 31 percent have "some" confidence in Obama. One in four voters says they have no confidence at all in the president (26 percent). That’s about four times as many as say they have no confidence in Petraeus (6 percent). It’s important to note that one in five voters (21 percent) is unable to offer an opinion on Petraeus. The national telephone poll was conducted for Fox News by Opinion Dynamics Corp. among 900 registered voters from June 29 to June 30. For the total sample, the poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Obama Popular – Domestic Polls

Obama remains popular among the American public—job approval and favorability ratings remain above 50%

Bloomberg News 7/12/10 ("Bloomberg National Poll,"
Do you approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as president?

(Follow with:) Do you approve or disapprove of the job he is doing: (Rotate all but first option.)

Approve Disapprove Not Sure

As president 52 44 4

With the economy 44 52 4

With health care 46 51 3

With the budget deficit 37 59 4

With managing the situation with BP in the Gulf of

Mexico 46 49 5

With managing the war in Afghanistan 46 47 7

With addressing problems in the financial industry on

Wall Street 42 50 8

With creating jobs 46 50 4

Now, I'd like to mention some major economic and political figures and groups. For each, please tell me if

your feelings are very favorable, mostly favorable, mostly unfavorable, or very unfavorable. If you don’t

know enough to answer, just say so. (Record “don’t know” as “not sure.” Rotate list.)

Net Favorable Net Unfavorable Very Favorable Mostly Favorable Mostly Unfavorable Very Unfavorable Not Sure Barack Obama, President of the United States 55 40 24 31 17 23 5

Margin for Error = 3.1%

Polcap low

Obama can’t generate capital – not even Healthcare or Financial Reform could save him

AFP 7 – 16 [“Buffet warns Obama: US economy only '40, 50 pct back'”]
US President Barack Obama said he received a warning from billionaire investor Warren Buffet, who told him the United States is only 40 to 50 percent recovered from its withering recession. While the president acknowledged the slow recovery and the challenge of regaining millions of lost jobs, he stressed to NBC News that the economy has stabilized and that Americans were ready to seize on "enormous opportunities."Obama was handed a major political victory Thursday when the US Senate approved the most sweeping overhaul of Wall Street rules since the Great Depression, but a day earlier he huddled with Buffet in a low-key meeting at the White House, where he heard the investor's somber assessment. The reform bill is the latest in a series of major victories for Obama, which has included the massive stimulus plan to pull the country out of recession and a new health care bill. But when asked why that has not translated to substantial political capital going into crucial congressional elections in November, Obama appeared unconcerned.

P.C low - Obama is tied to Blagojevich controversy

Horowitz 7 - 7 [Carl is Carl F. Horowitz is director of the Organized Labor Accountability Project of the National Legal and Policy Center, "Blagojevich Trial Puts Obama Closer to Senate Seat Deal"]
Another potentially damaging link to President Obama is coming from one of his own subpoenaed top advisers, Valerie Jarrett. Jarrett, 53, even more than Rezko symbolizes the Chicago-White House connection. A lawyer by training, her official White House title [8] is Senior Adviser and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement. But she's much more than that. As the Washington Post described her last June [9]:Like Tony Rezko, however, Jarrett has some baggage in her real estate operations she'd rather not have the public see. The most serious problems have occurred at a Habitat-run, federally-subsidized complex inside Obama's old State Senate district, Grove Parc Plaza. A special investigation by the Boston Globe [10] in 2008 revealed that about 100 of the development's 504 units were vacant and uninhabitable. Some of the buildings had collapsed roofs and fire damage. At various locations, one could see mice, battered mailboxes and kitchen-sink sewage backups .Like Rezko as well, Jarrett is connected to Obama by way of Rod Blagojevich. She was the "Advisor B" named in the FBI affidavit against the former governor. Blagojevich's chief of staff, John Harris [11], had pleaded guilty in federal court to wire fraud based on a November 2008 phone conversation in which he discussed the possibility of appointing Jarrett to the Senate with help from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). In his guilty plea, Harris described a scheme by which Jarrett would get the Senate seat and the governor would be appointed to a major position at the Change to Win labor federation of which the SEIU, a major backer of Obama's 2008 presidential run, is the most dominant individual union. The SEIU has denied all wrongdoing. Balanoff apparently played a role in persuading Blagojevich to pick Obama's replacement. In testimony at Blago's trial, Balanoff stated that in early November 2008, the night before the election, Obama called him and said [13], "Tom, I want to talk to you with regard to the Senate seat." Balanoff noted that Obama spelled his successor had to be both good for Illinois and electable in 2010. Valerie Jarrett, Obama emphasized, met those criteria. Balanoff in turn assured Obama that he would "reach out to Blagojevich." The future president played his hand well. He parsed his words and he assigned an emissary to talk with the governor. If Balanoff's testimony doesn't damage President Obama's political capital, testimony about another mutual ally, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill. [14], might. The son of radical civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, the Chicago-area congressman was one of the persons to whom Blagojevich allegedly offered Obama's soon-to-be-vacated U.S. Senate seat for a price. Jackson the Younger won office in a 1995 special election to fill the vacancy left by Mel Reynolds [15], who had announced his resignation that September amid criminal allegations of a sexual nature. Jackson hasn't been charged with any offense in the Blagojevich scandal. And he's denied involvement, writing days after Blagojevich's arrest: "I never sent a message or an emissary to the governor to make an offer, plead my case, or propose a deal about a U.S. Senate seat, period."Let's put the pieces together. The worlds of Rod Blagojevich and Barack Obama strongly overlap in numerous shady and possibly illegal ways. And given that Blago and the president have never been on close terms, this stands to hurt Obama. Most of the subpoenas in this case originated from the defense, and that's no coincidence. The defense has crafted a deliberate strategy of convincing the jury that Blagojevich's actions were circumscribed by a patronage system whose rules appear illegal to non-Chicagoans. Indeed, the defense team at one point attempted to serve Obama with a subpoena, despite his presidential immunity.

Polcap low

Obama’s losing PC over Arizona immigration

Brown 7 – 7 [Peter is an assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, is a former White House correspondent with two decades of experience covering Washington government and politics, “Taking On Arizona: Will Obama Gain or Lose Support?”]
The question isn’t whether President Barack Obama’s decision to file a lawsuit to block Arizona’s new immigration law is a political risk. There’s little doubt of that. What’s unclear is whether taking on public opinion on this emotionally charged issue will cost him more votes among the overall electorate than he will gain among the vocal minority who find the law abhorrent. The American people like what Arizona has done to combat illegal immigration, polls show. They are comfortable with the law-enforcement-only approach that the president disdains. The political unknown about the Arizona lawsuit – the state’s law has become the symbol of the fight over illegal immigration — and its electoral repercussions involves the question of comparative salience: Your third-grade social studies teacher may have told you that majority opinion rules in the U.S., but that is not always the case. Favoring the Arizona law ranked sixth on the list of 18, ahead of an endorsement from Mr. Obama but behind supporting a cut in federal spending, being a woman and being a first-time candidate. A Washington Post/ABC News poll in June found that Americans disapprove of the president’s handing of immigration 51%-39%, a lower rating than he gets overall and on most issues. There is very little doubt that in filing the lawsuit Mr. Obama is taking on public opinion. The unknown is whether his party will pay the price for it come November and in his own re-election in 2012.

Polcap low (Climate Specific)

Obama doesn’t have PC for another far-reaching bill like climate regulation

Newsweek 7 – 19 [“A Green Retreat; Why the environment is no longer a surefire political winner. L/N]

What has turned the fight against global warming from vote getter to political hot potato in so many places at once? Each country has its own brute politics at play. Rudd was just as much a victim of infighting between factions in Australia's Labor Party as of shifting public attitudes on global warming. Coming off a battle to push through landmark health-care-reform legislation through Congress, Obama has likely exhausted his political capital for another controversial and far-reaching bill. In Europe, bailouts first of banks and now entire countries have sucked up decision-making bandwidth and given an opening to those who argue that climate legislation is an unaffordable economic burden. Cynics (and some frustrated environmentalists) say this is all just the usual cycle in media and politics, with the public tiring of the issue and moving on. Yet above all, it is climate politics itself that has turned murky and double-edged. No longer does it lend itself to the easy categories of good and bad that Rudd so successfully exploited in 2007. And controlling the global climate turned out to be a lot more complicated than the advocates of fierce and fast CO2 cuts would have us believe. Back in 2007, it was easy and popular--and cost nothing--to announce ever-tougher but faraway targets. The snag was that once in place, those lofty goals would require countries to get on with the harsh and costly business of reengineering entire economies, without which the numbers could never be reached.

A2: Financial Reform boosts capital

Financial Reform doesn’t affect political capital

Yakabuski 6 – 30 [Konrad, “Brown puts a kink in Obama's done deal; U.S. President's exultant response to an apparent agreement on financial reform proves premature” L/N]

Has Barack Obama never heard of Aesop? Since a team of negotiators from the House of Representatives and Senate worked through the night to reach a deal on a historic overhaul of financial regulations in advance of the G20 summit, the U.S. President has been precipitously counting his chickens. Just before hopping on Air Force One for Toronto, a visibly buoyed Mr. Obama hailed the House-Senate agreement reached at 5:40 Friday morning as "the toughest financial reform since the ones we created in aftermath of the Great Depression." At the summit, the President gloated. Despite signs of trouble on Tuesday morning, Mr. Obama was still gloating. After a meeting with Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, the President talked about financial reform as a done deal, insisting it would finally "provide some certainty to the markets" after months of confusion. But if ever there was a political capital where Aesop's poultry-numbering fable should be internalized, it's Washington. By Tuesday afternoon, the compromise reached in the wee hours Friday was unravelling. In American sausage-making, the chickens are indeed unquantifiable until the bitter end.

Bipart – Low

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