January 8, 2009 archive

Follow the money


President-elect Barack Obama’s adminstration will inherit a $1.2 trillion budget deficit for 2009 according to the forecast by the Congressional Budget Office.

Unfortunately for the United States, despite owning more than $1 trillion of American debt, China has hinted that enough is enough. Rather than continuing to spend “as much as one-seventh of its entire economic output buying foreign debt”, Beijing now plans to pay for its own $600 billion economic stimulus plan.

China’s timing is unfortunate for the American economy, since the federal budget deficit is likely to swell past $2 trillion in 2009 when Congress passes a further economic stimulus measure. The CBO forecast also does not include the ongoing spending for the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Where is Obama going to find the money to restart the U.S. economy?

Four at Four

  1. The Associated Press reports on the Widespread lack of attention on Department of Defense nukes. “The nation’s nuclear mission is suffering from a widespread, distressing lack of attention and interest from the Defense Department, a failing that worries allies who depend on America’s nuclear protection, an independent panel has concluded.”

    The report, “Phase II: Review of the DoD Nuclear Mission“, written by a task force led by James Schlesinger, a former defense secretary.

    Schlesinger said the panel noted that many of the gaps found in the Air Force oversight of its nuclear arsenal were also evident across the Defense Department. He said there has been a downgrading in the personnel, a dilution of authority, a lack of training and a failure to understand the unique role deterrence must play in the world.

    Maybe because the Air Force is too busy trying to convert airmen into evangelical Christians?

  2. The NY Times reports China is losing its taste for U.S. debt. Despite owning more than $1 trillion of American debt, China has hinted that enough is enough. Rather than continuing to spend “as much as one-seventh of its entire economic output buying foreign debt”, Beijing now plans to pay for its own $600 billion economic stimulus plan.

    That means there likely will be a reduced demand for dollars and U.S. Treasury bonds in 2009 and following years, which may mean, among other things, interest rate increases to attract buyers.

  3. The bubble is closing in around the president-elect, but Obama is trying to hold on to his last independent lifeline to the outside world.

    “I’m still clinging to my BlackBerry,” Mr. Obama said Wednesday. “They’re going to pry it out of my hands.”

    Obama’s email is “his last form of direct communication with friends and other advisers”. He “is being advised for security reasons and his own legal protection to refrain from sending e-mail during his presidency.”

    “I don’t know that I’ll win,” Mr. Obama said. But, he added, “I’m still fighting it.”

    If they succeed in cutting off the outside world from Obama, then they effectively will succeed in controlling him.

  4. The LA Times reports Black holes sprout galaxies. “New research suggests that black holes grow the galaxies surrounding them,” according to astronomers who presented their findings at the American Astronomical Society. The problem is that “nobody has come up with an explanation for how a black hole could sprout a galaxy.” Maybe they don’t sprout galaxies, but concentrates (forms) them?

A Place to Visit for ‘PEACE’ while in DC for Inauguration

While those of you attending the Inauguration may be staying over for a few days, either before or after, you may find this a restful and enlightening venue to stop in and visit.

1/1-31 Georgetown: The Peace Mural, the unbelievable 2,000 paintings exhibition of art on war, peace, and torture that the Vietnamese-American artist Huong has on display in a 10,000 square foot gallery on M Street in Georgetown: Peace Mural Foundation

Next Phase in Supporting the Petition

With less than two weeks until the inauguration, it is time for the next batch of work in support of The Citizens Petition. One that will take a fair amount of ‘grunt work’ and toil. But of course, many hands make light work!

The next phase, as I see it, is assembling ‘the case.’ What I have in mind is along the lines of a timeline of the major Bushco crimes, for presentation along with the petition…..and to use as a platform for promoting the petition on the blogs. Spelling out in as plain and concise….and frankly in as shocking a fashion, as we can.

From Cheney’s “Energy Commission” on…the truth is out there! Let’s do the best job we can in getting it all in one place in an easy to digest form.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to dump links here and in the essays to come. News stories, congressional reports, even anecdotes that document the crimes of Dick and George and their merry minions. I (and any one who wishes to volunteer!) will then go through them and try to assemble them in some kind of order and presentation that will be damning enough to get attention. The results will then be open to changes etc. just like the petition.

This will be in effect the appendix that we talked about when we were working on the petition proper. So search your memories, your bookmarks and teh google and see what you can come up with. And of course ALL ideas and input are welcome, both on this phase and any other ways to support and circulate the petition. We have given folks time for a breather so as not to become annoying spammers in support of the petition, but now it is time for the next Big Push, just before the inauguration frenzy. Once that has died down…and Holder has been confirmed (we might want to work a bit on supporting that as well, lol, considering that the Repubs seem to be shaking in their boots at the thought of accountability) we can make a fuss about presenting the petition.

Thanks in advance for the effort!

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Obama prepares sweeping cuts in social programs

Original article, by Patrick Martin, via World Socialist Web Site:

Barack Obama took the occasion of his first press appearance in Washington as president-elect to declare his determination to impose policies of budgetary austerity, including the elimination of entire federal programs and cost-cutting in the entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that are of vital importance to tens of millions of elderly and poor people.

Hitting Bottom


It’s clear to this unbiased observer that Hell froze over as the hand-basket arrived.

It’s clear the October Surprise was to saddle the in-his-heart progressive, Obama, with a fucking millennial nightmare to thwart any meaningful change which might have occurred under a regime with a human heart.

Open Thread


A thread is known by the company it keeps.

Industry CEO’s Tell Country To Get F*cked, Demand Gov’t Bailout

Waving a little evidence of a limp economy in the faces of lawmakers and the country two more on top corptocracy industrialists yesterday demanded 5 billion dollars from Washington that they say is needed to stiffen their industry and their market penetration, while telling Congress that “if you don’t give us the money thousands of the little f*ckers will be out of jobs” and the only way to save their businesses from blowing their loads and collapsing with a groan is to tell the whole country and their entire customer base to, in the words of both of them, “Get fu*cked! And like it.

House Madam Nancy Pelosi and Senate Fluffer Harry Reid issued a joint statement in response, saying “Ooooooooh! We’re easy and we’ll probably do anything you ask, but we both need our share of the 5 billion.

Both industry CEO’s, at that point knowing they had managed to move beyond any debate over what they were now dealing with to only the price of what they were dealing with, then lit cigarettes, sat back, smiled, and sighed with obvious pleasure on their faces in anticipation of another round of intercourse on the floor of the house that would bring negotiations to a climax and every expectation of Congressional lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and both sexes getting down on their knees, or bending over, or both, to satisfy the industrialists every demand. For free.

AFP via RawStory:

Wednesday January 7, 2009

Docudharma Times Thursday January 8

Will Peace Ever Come To


No One Seems In A Hurry To Provide Such An Outcome  

Thursday’s Headlines:

Melting Causes Heavy Flooding in Washington

Medical teams find ‘unbelievable’ horror amid rubble

Bombs rain down as peace deal accepted ‘in principle’

Europe’s heating goes off

Anti-Semitic attack on teenage girl in Paris

‘Kill them’: transcripts of Mumbai terrorist calls emerge

Pakistan sacks security adviser

Senegal court jails nine gay men

Ghana’s new president: Africa’s symbol of a working democracy

Narcotraffickers attack Televisa, Mexico’s top TV network

Rockets fired from Lebanon hit northern Israel

Israeli forces return fire after four rockets land near Nahariya, raising fears Gaza conflict could spread

Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 8 January 2009 07.54 GMT

At least four rockets were fired from Lebanon into northern Israel today, leading the Israeli army to return fire and raising fears that the conflict in Gaza could spread.

The exchanges came as Israeli air strikes destroyed several houses in the town of Rafah, on Gaza’s southern border, today after what Palestinians said was one of the heaviest nights of bombing since the conflict began 13 days ago.

Intense artillery strikes and waves of aerial bombardment, were reported across the Gaza Strip.

China’s dairy industry took deadly shortcuts to growth

Milk was an unpopular product only a generation ago, and then business executives and the government pushed its consumption. Some couldn’t compete and cheated.

By Barbara Demick

January 8, 2009

Reporting from Xingtang, China — Like many Chinese peasants of his generation, 53-year-old Wang Zhengnian had never seen a cow until he reached adulthood. He certainly never drank a glass of milk.

The fact that Wang now spends his days tending 400 cows on a farm near Beijing says a lot about the way China created a dairy industry out of thin air. But in their haste, the Chinese made mistakes that left six babies dead and hundreds of thousands ill from tainted milk.

Milk is not part of the traditional Chinese diet. Most Chinese adults are lactose-intolerant and many are repelled by the smell of dairy products.

But in the 1990s, economic planners decided that dairy cows were a quick way to improve rural incomes, particularly in northern provinces such as Hebei, Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang with cool climate, flat terrain and lack of other economic prospects. To encourage consumption, the propaganda machine spread the word that children needed to drink milk to grow as strong and tall as Westerners.



Lawmakers and Financial Experts Question Obama’s Tax Cuts

By Shailagh Murray

Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, January 8, 2009; Page A02

At least two tax cuts that are part of Barack Obama’s stimulus package have been criticized by lawmakers, tax experts and economists for being potentially too expensive and ineffective, signaling that they are likely to face resistance on Capitol Hill as congressional leaders begin direct negotiations with the president-elect’s team.

Both Democrats and Republicans have questioned a provision that would provide a $3,000 tax credit to companies for every job created and, possibly, for every job spared. They contend that the idea would be ripe for abuse and difficult to administer.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Breaking Dawn

Songs that voices seldom share

Does it matter

if you hear me

When the morning comes

I’ll be there by your side

–Harry Nilsson

Can you hear me?

Does it matter

if words adapt

to three-part harmony?

Are you waking?

Will you stop here

to share yourself

so everyone can see?

And in the morning

when I am here

I may be spreading

a good thought

And sometime later

when you stop by

will anything of substance

have been taught?

Can you hear me?

Does it matter?

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–March 18, 2008

You may have seen this… but do you know what happened?

The “this” I speak of is the shooting of the subway passenger by a BART cop.

Late Night Karaoke

Nikai Thursday

Berlin – Sex (I’m A….)

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