As first reported in the Houston Chronicle, Obama's reference to a windfall profits tax, which he articulated during the campaign at a time of skyrocketing gas prices, had been removed from the transition team's Website, change.gov:
President-elect Barack Obama has quietly shelved a proposal to slap oil and natural gas companies with a new windfall profits tax.
An aide for the transition team acknowledged the policy shift Tuesday, after a small-business group discovered the proposal -- touted throughout much of the campaign -- had been dropped from the incoming administration's Web site.
"President-elect Obama announced the policy during the campaign because oil prices were above $80 per barrel," the aide said. "They are below that now and expected to stay below that."
Obama estudia desplegar cascos blaus a Cisjordània
Israelis have traditionally scorned the idea of international peacekeepers intruding in their region. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion once famously dismissed the U.N.—pronounced "Oom" in Hebrew—as "Oom, schmoom." Arab leaders have also shown disdain: on the eve of the 1967 Six Day War, for example, Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser peremptorily expelled 1,300 blue helmets from Sinai before rolling through. And Palestinians have feared that allowing an armed international force into their territory would infringe on the sovereignty of their incipient state.
It's therefore striking that a recent proposal to deploy NATO forces in the West Bank as part of any Obama-era peace deal is quickly gaining advocates in both Washington and the Levant. Former U.S. national-security advisers Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski both recently endorsed the idea. The president-elect's nominee to head the National Security Council, Gen. James Jones—a former NATO supreme commander—is also said to favor such a force. Israelis and Palestinians have raised tepid protests, but even they seem to be realizing increasingly that a strong international presence will be critical if any deal is to be struck—and if it's to stick. "A principle that appeared to be out of bounds I think is now in bounds," says Tony Blair, the Mideast envoy of the Quartet (made up of the United States, the EU, the U.N. and Russia).