Sunday, January 31, 2010
President Barack Obama’s new budget, to be released Monday, forecasts two consecutive years of near $160 billion in war funding, far more than he hoped when elected and only modestly less than the last years of the Bush Administration.
In 2011 alone, the revised numbers are triple what the president included in his spending plan a year ago. And the strain shows itself in new deficit projections, already hobbled by lagging revenues due to the weak economy.
Obama has responded with a three-year domestic spending freeze impacting about $447 billion in annual appropriations. This leaves him less money to sustain the very rapid growth seen last year in clean water programs or the Great Lakes restoration initiative. The Environmental Protection Agency budget would be cut modestly, and to stretch his dollars, Obama wants to dramatically ramp up the Energy Department’s credit budget, a low-cost way to extend tens of billions in loan guarantees to the nuclear power industry.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/32272.html#ixzz0eDv2jncF
War spending surges in President Obama's budget - David Rogers - POLITICO.com
China vaulted past competitors in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the United States last year to become the world’s largest maker of wind turbines, and is poised to expand even further this year.
China has also leapfrogged the West in the last two years to emerge as the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels. And the country is pushing equally hard to build nuclear reactors and the most efficient types of coal power plants.
These efforts to dominate renewable energy technologies raise the prospect that the West may someday trade its dependence on oil from the Mideast for a reliance on solar panels, wind turbines and other gear manufactured in China.
“Most of the energy equipment will carry a brass plate, ‘Made in China,’ ” said K. K. Chan, the chief executive of Nature Elements Capital, a private equity fund in Beijing that focuses on renewable energy.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
The U.S. economy grew at a breakneck rate of 5.7 percent at the end of 2009, the government said Friday, providing the strongest evidence yet that the nation will avoid a dip back into recession.
The growth spurt in gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, was the largest in six years. But economists cautioned that such a pace will probably not persist and that the economy will grow at a more measured rate in the coming months.
"We can now say that this is a sustainable recovery," said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo. "It's certainly not a boom, but it is a slow, steady recovery."
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Conservative Filmmaker now somebody's prison hoe!
Anti-ACORN filmmaker arrested - Manu Raju and Erika Lovley - POLITICO.com
Federal authorities have arrested four men on felony charges for attempting to infiltrate Sen. Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans office, including one filmmaker who targeted the community group ACORN last year in damaging undercover videos.
Among those arrested was 25-year-old James O’Keefe, the conservative filmmaker, along with Joseph Basel, Robert Flanagan and Stan Dai, all 24. They were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses and attempting to gain access to the Democrat’s office by posing as telephone repairmen, according to a copy of an FBI affidavit unsealed Tuesday.
The complaint said that O’Keefe was waiting in the office when Flanagan and Basel each entered the premises, wearing light green fluorescent vests, denim paints and blue work shirts, tool belts and hard-hats. They informed a member of Landrieu’s staff that they were telephone repairmen and requested access to the main telephone at the reception desk.
At that point, the two men allegedly attempted to manipulate telephones and accessed the telephone closet, saying they needed to work on the entire system. The men, who said they left their credentials in their vehicles, and were later arrested by the U.S. Marshal’s Service soon afterward. O’Keefe was allegedly involved with planning, coordination, and preparation of the operation, according to an FBI news release.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/32035.html#ixzz0dlgapFR8
Monday, January 25, 2010
President Obama plans to announce a three-year freeze on discretionary, “non-security” spending in the lead-up to Wednesday's State of the Union address, Hill Democratic sources familiar with the plan tell POLITICO.
The move, intended to blunt the populist backlash against Obama's $787 billion stimulus and an era of trillion-dollar deficits — and to quell Democratic anxiety over last Tuesday's Massachusetts Senate election — is projected to save $250 billion, the Democrats said.
The freeze would not apply to defense or foreign aid or spending on intelligence, homeland security or veterans.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/31989.html#ixzz0dgEwQClU
Friday, January 22, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
People watched as American soldiers from the 82nd Airborne landed with Sea Hawk helicopters at the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday.
Helicopters carrying dozens of American troops landed on the lawn of Haiti’s destroyed National Palace on Tuesday morning, a potent symbol of the United States’ escalating military presence in Haiti since the earthquake that struck a week ago.
With hundreds of Haitians watching and cheering from outside the white-and-green palace gates, troops in combat fatigues bounded out of the helicopters, carrying food rations, bottled water and other gear across the grass, according to photographs and news reports from the scene.
The troops, who appeared to be establishing a position at the palace, were among the roughly 5,000 United States military personnel already in Haiti; thousands more are expected.
American troops took control of the airport in the immediate aftermath of the devastating earthquake, and have been distributing food and water and providing security for the relief effort. But they have, for the most part, not been a major presence on the streets.
Rescue efforts continue in Haiti after a major earthquake hit the country last week, CNN reports (1/18). While teams still search for survivors under the rubble, the priority is shifting to relief for those who survived the quake, according to Nicholas Reader, spokesperson for the U.N. Offices for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, TIME reports (Newton-Small, 1/18).
According to USA Today, the U.S. military on Monday was able to "dramatically" increase "the amount of troops and aid coming into Haiti … raising hopes that the rapid increase in help and people would be able to meet the most pressing needs …" (Michaels et al., 1/18).
Access to clean water is a significant issue, the Wall Street Journal reports. "The newly homeless have wandered the streets in the scorching heat since then, their throats parched. The injured have been unable to safely cleanse cuts and wounds of dust and dirt, risking infection," the newspaper writes (Esterl/McKay, 1/16).
The Obama administration extended a special immigration status on Friday to Haitians living illegally in the United States that protects them from deportation for 18 months and allows them to work here.
Calling the aftermath of the earthquake “a disaster of historic proportions,” the secretary of homeland security, Janet Napolitano, said she was granting the designation, known as temporary protected status, for Haitian immigrants because their safety would be at risk if they were deported.
Administration officials said the special status would cover at least 100,000 Haitians believed to be living in the United States illegally, as well as about 30,000 Haitians who had been ordered deported. Haitians who receive the temporary status will be able to obtain documents allowing them to live here and work legally.
The administration’s decision followed a rising chorus of calls for the temporary status after the earthquake on Tuesday. On Friday, 80 representatives and 18 senators, including Democrats and Republicans, sent appeals to the administration to grant the status, as did the conference of Roman Catholic bishops.
The Faith Comes By Hearing organisation says its Bible, called the Proclaimer, delivers "digital quality" and is designed for "poor and illiterate people".
It says 600 of the devices are already on their way to Haiti.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The federal government stepped up Canada’s role in relief efforts for Haiti on Sunday, announcing this country will send another 1,000 troops to protect and help earthquake survivors and will host an international meeting in Montreal on reconstructing the shattered nation.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay said about 1,000 troops from Canadian Forces Base Valcartier in Quebec will be heading to Haiti this week to help secure order in what he described as a “volatile” and “deteriorating” situation as thousands of people desperately await food, water, and medical help in the capital city, Port-au-Prince, that collapsed in an earthquake last Tuesday.
MacKay told a news conference in Ottawa the additional troops would boost to nearly 2,000 the Canadian Forces personnel in Haiti who will be under the command of Canadian Brig.-Gen. Guy Laroche.
Monday, January 18, 2010
At least twenty Americans have been killed in Tuesday’s devastating earthquake that destroyed much of Haiti’s capital, the U.S. government said on Sunday.
As of 2.30 p.m. EST on Sunday, nineteen private American citizens were confirmed dead following the earthquake, the U.S. State Department said. A U.S. government worker has also been killed.
More at : Twenty Americans, including government worker, confirmed dead in Haiti quake http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/world/twenty-americans-including-government-worker-confirmed-dead-in-haiti-quake_100305440.html#ixzz0cya3WmQ6
The European Union has pledged more than 400 million euros ($575 million) to help the needy in Haiti and help rebuild the country from the rubble of last week’s earthquake.
The European Union Commission said Monday it would contribute 330 million euros in emergency and long-term aid to Haiti. EU member states also poured 92 million euros into emergency aid alone.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Haitian earthquake relief: Obama taps Bush, Clinton for help
Bush to Co-Chair U.S. Haiti Efforts Posted using ShareThis
Maybe President Obama is doing former President George W. Bush a favor.
Mr. Obama plans to announce that his immediate predecessor will team up with former President Clinton to help on humanitarian relief efforts and fund-raising for Haiti. Obama called Mr. Bush Wednesday night, and he accepted, according to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.
For both ex-presidents, the role seems logical. Mr. Clinton was already the UN special envoy for Haiti when a massive earthquake struck Tuesday. And he served in a similar capacity along with the first President Bush five years ago after the Asian tsunami – at the behest of the 43rd president, the second Bush.
The junior Bush had signaled a year ago, as he was leaving office, that he would serve if asked. But there’s an awkward aspect to Bush’s new assignment.
“The thing about ‘43’ is that of course he was the acrimonious target of the Democrats who replaced him, and was perceived as discredited, and now he’s being offered a little bit of redemption by those former opponents,” says Bruce Buchanan, a political scientist at the University of Texas at Austin. “That makes this interesting.”
One episode that particularly damaged Bush’s image was the federal government’s response to hurricane Katrina in 2005. Though local and state governments also fell short, Bush never recovered politically.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The earthquake hit 10 miles (about 15 kilometers) southwest of Port-Au-Prince, a city of about 2 million inhabitants, at 4:53 p.m. New York time, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its Web site. Two aftershocks of 5.9 and 5.5 struck within the next 20 minutes, according to USGS.
As much of the world struggles to clamber out of a serious recession, a gradual flow of economic power from West to East has turned into a flood.
New high points, it seems, are reached daily. China surged past the United States to become the world’s largest automobile market — in units, if not in dollars, figures released Monday show. It also toppled Germany as the biggest exporter of manufactured goods, according to year-end trade data. World Bank estimates suggest that China — the world’s fifth-largest economy four years ago — will shortly overtake Japan to claim the No. 2 spot.
The shift of economic gravity to China has occurred partly because growth here remained robust even as the world’s developed economies suffered the steepest drop in trade and economic output in decades.
Federal Reserve Had Record Profit From Fighting Financial Crisis - CNBC
Federal Reserve banks paid a record $46.1 billion to the US Treasury in 2009 as aggressive bond purchases and lending to fight the financial crisis swelled its net income by nearly 47 percent to a record $52.1 billion.
The Fed's payment to the Treasury represents an increase of $14.4 billion over its 2008 contribution and was the largest since the U.S. central bank was created in 1914.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Voters will compair and remember this in November!
Republicans attacked Reid in force Sunday, with RNC Chairman Michael Steele, who is black, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) all calling on Reid to step down and comparing his remarks to those that led to the downfall of Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) in 2002.
But since Republicans have no power to remove Reid from his position, the majority leader remain in place unless he decides to step down voluntarily or Democratic senators turn against him. Neither seems likely.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/31331.html#ixzz0cFWFToNH
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Terror 2.0 by Yemen|
Senate Republicans are determined to prevent the creation of an independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency because they consider it as threatening as their current arch-nemesis regulator: the Environmental Protection Agency.
Consumer advocates, meanwhile, say the CFPA must have strong, independent authority to craft and enforce rules. Anything less, they argue, would be too much of a concession to banks that have gotten enough already.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
PolitiFact | Cheney says Obama won't admit the U.S. at war against terrorists
Cheney's comments echo a frequent criticism by conservatives that President Obama does not use the phrase "war on terror." We rated that True when it was made by talk show host Sean Hannity in November 2009. We noted in our ruling that Obama had said he didn't use the more general phrase "war on terror" because he viewed the conflict as a war against "some terrorist organizations."
With his statement to Politico, Cheney is going farther than Hannity did, directly alleging that Obama will not "admit we're at war."
But a review of Obama's statements of the past year makes it clear he has often said the United States is at war against terrorist organizations.
The fifth paragraph of his inaugural address: "Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred."
In a February 2009 CNN interview: "I think it is very important for us to recognize that we have a battle or a war against some terrorist organizations."
In a March 2009 speech: He said that people might ask why the United States is at war and said, "Al-Qaida and its allies, the terrorists who planned and supported the 9/11 attacks, are in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Multiple intelligence estimates have warned that al-Qaida is actively planning attacks on the United States homeland from its safe haven in Pakistan."
In his December 2009 speech at West Point on his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan: He repeatedly called it a war and said, "I make this decision because I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is the epicenter of violent extremism practiced by al-Qaida."
In his speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize: He said that "we are at war" and noted that "the world rallied around America after the 9/11 attacks, and continues to support our efforts in Afghanistan, because of the horror of those senseless attacks and the recognized principle of self-defense."
Cheney has offered lots of criticism of Obama in the past year (of the claims we've rated, Cheney has earned a True and a Mostly True). His remarks here go beyond opinion because he repeatedly says that Obama won't acknowledge that the United States is at war. But even a cursory examination of Obama's statements shows this one is preposterous. Obama has often said the United States is at war against terrorist organizations -- and has ordered a massive increase in U.S. troops in Afghanistan to fight that war. So Cheney's comment isn't just False, it's ridiculously so. Pants on Fire!
Posted using ShareThis
The US and Britain closed their embassies in Yemen Sunday, citing threats from Al Qaeda. Coming one day after President Obama publicly linked the Al Qaeda branch in Yemen to the failed airline bomb plot on Christmas Day, the move signals that the US is now taking the growing Al Qaeda threat in Yemen more seriously.
BBC News reports that it is unclear how long both embassies will remain closed. The US embassy released a statement saying that it would be closed Sunday, but did not specify when the mission would reopen. Agence France-Presse also reports that the US embassy sent a message to US citizens in Yemen Thursday reminding them of the terrorist threat.
The US embassy in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, has been attacked before: In 2008, a car bomb attack killed 19 people, including one American. And in 2000, the attack on the USS Cole killed 17 American sailors, as The Christian Science Monitor reported recently in a review of Al Qaeda-linked attacks that have involved Yemen.