Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – The line in the sand cannot be more clearly drawn, especially by the President on a visit overseas this week.
In remarks during a twenty-minute visit to a CEO business round table in this east African capital, President Obama filled the air with the typical bromides about American investment and African exports.
“The entire GDP of sub-Saharan Africa is still less than $2 trillion --which is about the same as Italy. Our entire trade with Africa is about the same as our trade with Brazil or South Korea --countries with a fraction of Africa’s population. Of all our exports to the world, only about two percent goes to Africa.”
Why is it so hard to start a new business or to complete international transactions on the Dark Continent?
It's because of government regulations, documentation, and other red tape, Barack Obama told the audience at a dinner meeting for corporate executives held Monday, July 1, at the Kilimanjaro Hyatt.
“We know that it has to become easier to do business in Africa. This is something that we had extensive conversations about, and all of you know this better than anyone -- you've figured out how to work around the constraints, but we need to tear down these constraints. It still takes way too long -- too many documents, too much bureaucracy -- just to start a business, to build a new facility, to start exporting. And one of the useful comments that came during our discussion is, if we're going to, for example, build a lot of power around Africa, we can't have a seven-year timeframe for building a power plant. We've got to move. Things have to go faster. And government can have an impact on that -- for good or for ill.”
And then, a woman in the audience asked about the friction he experiences with conservatives in Congress, particularly members of the Tea Party.
The president compared many conservatives to the government's profile of domestic terrorists. He started by saying that the era of American conservatism is over and done with.
“The conservative era of the U.S. has ended. There is a new wind of change and hope for all Americans as we work to build a strong economy and a stronger nation. Americans want this change, Americans want what’s best for the country and my administration has been very receptive to listening to their ideas and needs,” the President said.
When AP reporter Ramona Darlington asked President Obama to explain what the profile of an American domestic terrorist is, Obama responded by saying, “Typically domestic terrorists in the U.S. are people who cling to obsolete beliefs from the time of the American Revolution.They are conservative Christians, reactionary Republicans and conspiracy theorists, many of whom belong to racist hate groups.” (click)
And then he lowered the boom on members of the Tea Party.
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“Tea Partiers commonly own guns and stock up ammunition and food in anticipation of starting another civil war to overthrow the will of the governing body who represent all of the American people. We are prepared for any contingency and don’t expect to see any kind of large insurrection. Americans are capitalists who are much more interested in seeing America move forward. These terrorists groups are small in size and really present little danger,” the President added.
According to a White House briefing on the event, “Though the President’s comments generated some excitement with reporters, the President refused to take further questions and was ushered out of the Hyatt Kilimanjaro to his awaiting motorcade.”