The dumbest-ever team of the 'best and brightest' (updated)

We seem to have the stupidest team of "the best and the brightest" ever assembled in any administration. We have a blatantly illegal breaking of the NAFTA agreement as a sop to the Teamsters Union (Obama has stopped Mexican truckers from transporting goods into America, Mexico reacted by slapping tariffs on a wide-range of American goods); we have buy American provisions in the stimulus bill (violating WTO rules); Obama humiliated Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of England (our closest ally),  by  a series of actions that were not just rude but displayed a galling level of incompetency.

Then there is Timothy Geithner, the tax cheat charged with enforcing the letter of the tax law on the rest of us.

Now we have the Energy Secretary piling on: touting the option of using carbon tariffs as a "weapon" against our trading partners. The statement is clearly aimed at China-the largest owner of Treasury securities in the world who we will need to continue buying them to fund Obama's giveaways.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Tuesday advocated adjusting trade duties as a "weapon" to protect U.S. manufacturing, just a day after one of China's top climate envoys warned of a trade war if developed countries impose tariffs on carbon-intensive imports.

Mr. Chu, speaking before a House science panel, said establishing a carbon tariff would help "level the playing field" if other countries haven't imposed greenhouse-gas-reduction mandates similar to the one President Barack Obama plans to implement over the next couple of years. It is the first time the Obama administration has made public its view on the issue.

"If other countries don't impose a cost on carbon, then we will be at a disadvantage...[and] we would look at considering perhaps duties that would offset that cost," Mr. Chu said.

Li Gao, a senior Chinese negotiator from the National Development and Reform Commission, told Dow Jones Newswires Monday that a carbon tariff would be a "disaster," would prompt a trade war and wouldn't be legal under World Trade Organization agreements

"It does not abide by the rule of [the] WTO and, secondly, it's not fair," Mr. Gao said, adding that his delegation would relate China's concerns to U.S. officials.

Barack Obama all but declared himself a citizen of the world; he brought out worshipful crowds in Europe during the campaign. Are they having any doubts about him now?

Update (via Mark Steyn). Our media friends didn't publicize this the way they would have if the Bush White House had done it: when the White House announced a meet-and-greet with Brazil's president Lula Da Silva, they misspelled his name.

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