Donnerstag, 12. Februar 2009

Budget Gap Grows to $589 Billion

700 Merill Executives Received Bonuses

ft.com — Nearly 700 Merrill Lynch executives had cash bonuses of more than $1 million each for last year, New York's top law enforcement official disclosed. Andrew Cuomo, New York's attorney-general, called the bank's decision to bring forward nearly $4 billion of pay-outs a "surprising fit of corporate irresponsibility" that raised "serious and disturbing questions." Mr Cuomo said the bonuses for 2008 were "disproportionately distributed to a small number of individuals," with the top four recipients taking in a combined $121 million. Mr Cuomo launched an investigation into the payments at Merrill Lynch after reports that Merrill accelerated its bonus payment schedule in December, even as its losses were approaching record levels. He detailed some of the investigation's findings in a letter to the House financial services committee.

http://ga3.org/ct/1d20pgF1US9a/



Budget Gap Grows to $589 Billion

money.cnn.com — The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the federal budget deficit grew by $83.8 billion in January, bringing the total deficit for the first four months of the fiscal year to $569 billion. By comparison, the Treasury ran a cumulative surplus of $89 billion during the first four months of fiscal 2008. So far this fiscal year, which began in October, the 2009 deficit has already exceeded the $455 billion deficit for all of fiscal 2008. January's deficit was slightly larger than December's $83.6 billion shortfall, and is nearly five times the $17.8 billion deficit recorded in Jan. 2008. The deficit has increased dramatically in recent months as the government has spent billions to shore up the nation's shaky financial system.

http://ga3.org/ct/q120pgF1US9L/



http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=financial+system
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Next Flash Point Over Terror Detainees: Bagram Prison

Warren Richey, The Christian Science Monitor: "At the height of its operation, the terror detention camp at Guantanamo was viewed as a legal black hole, a place where Al Qaeda suspects could be held and questioned beyond the glare of judicial scrutiny. President Obama has made the closing of the detention facility a priority. But as Guantanamo is being drawn down, large-scale construction is under way at a US military prison in Bagram, Afghanistan."

http://www.truthout.org/021209B



http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=Obama
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Concerns rise as antennas smother villages

Malta Today - San Gwann, Malta

The MCA website contains readings of electro magnetic radiation taken from
411 antennas located in nearly every town and village. ...

http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/2009/02/11/t6.html

Change? Obama Follows Bush Lead in Early Records Decisions

Marisa Taylor, McClatchy Newspapers: "The Obama administration, which vowed to usher in a 'new era of openness in our country,' either has delayed action on requests for access to government records or refused to disclose them in three early, high-profile tests of the pledge. This week, Justice Department lawyers announced that they'd continue to assert the state secrets argument made by the Bush administration in a lawsuit alleging that five men were tortured abroad in US-run prisons. In a separate case, the Obama Justice Department has agreed with the Bush administration - at least initially - that the news media shouldn't have immediate access to court records in the ongoing Guantanamo detainee litigation."

http://www.truthout.org/021209O



http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=Obama
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http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=Marisa+Taylor

Campaigners beat Vodafone

PARENTS SHARE FURY AT PHONE MAST MEETING

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald - Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, UK

... representatives and developers at a public meeting opposing the siting of a 15-metre-high mobile phone mast near Stanley Primary School in Ardrossan. ...

http://www.ardrossanherald.com/articles/1/34047



Campaigners beat Vodafone

Maghull & Aintree Star - Maghull, Merseyside, UK

LYDIATE campaigners are celebrating after winning a battle to stop a mobile phone mast being built in a residential area. The Maghull & Aintree Star can...

http://www.maghullstar.co.uk/maghull-aintree-news/maghull-aintree-news/2009/02/12/campaigners-beat-vodafone-104897-22899917/



Mast bid blasted

South Wales Evening Post - Swansea, Wales, UK

A PLAN to build a mobile phone mast near homes has been thrown out by councillors. Vodafone UK had applied to build a 13-metre mast next to the Lidl ...

http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/news/Mast-bid-blasted/article-693801-detail/article.html

Residents' phone mast dismay

Mid Sussex Times - Haywards Heath, England, UK

Mr Mitchell said: "Many concerned residents have contacted me angry that Vodafone, Britain's largest mobile phone operator, has refused to accept the local ...

http://www.midsussextimes.co.uk/horsham-news/Residents-phone-mast-dismay.4973030.jp

Joy at phone mast victory

Highland News - Inverness, Scotland, UK

By Jenny Morrison

RESIDENTS of an Inverness community were breathing a sigh of relief this week after a planning application to put up a mobile phone mast ...

http://www.highland-news.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/5157/Joy_at_phone_mast_victory.html

The electronic bank run

http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/559.html

Klimawandel macht um Deutschland keinen Bogen

12. Februar 2009

Der Klimawandel ist in vollem Gange. Soll er nicht zur Katastrophe führen, sind drastische Maßnahmen in vielen Wirtschaftsbereichen unumgänglich“, sagt Wolfgang Methling, Mitglied des Parteivorstandes aus Anlass der ersten Weltklimakonferenz unter dem Dach der UNO heute vor 30 Jahren. Er erklärt:

Zieht man heute Bilanz, ist festzustellen: Viel weiter sind wir in diesen 30 Jahren nicht gekommen – trotz zahlreicher Konferenzen mit manchen klugen Schlusskommuniques und Absichtserklärungen. Die Verantwortung dafür tragen in erster Linie die internationalen und nationalen Konzerne, die im Interesse von Profitmaximierung ohne Rücksicht auf Verluste einen unermesslichen Raubbau an den natürlichen Ressourcen betreiben, mit ihrer ungeheuren Macht die nationalen Regierungen am Gängelband führen und jeglichen Fortschritt weg von den fossilen Energieträgern, hin zum Schutz der Regenwälder, hin zur weltweiten Nutzung erneuerbarer Energien verzögern oder gar verhindern. Deutschland macht da keine Ausnahme. Mal zeigt sich Frau Merkel als Klimakanzlerin und scheint die ganze Welt allein retten zu wollen, dann kriecht sie vor der heimischen Auto- und Kraftwerkslobby zu Kreuze und blockiert Maßnahmen der Europäischen Union. Der Klimawandel macht um Deutschland oder Westeuropa keinen Bogen. Schmelzende Gletscher, Überschwemmungen, häufigere Extremwetterereignisse, eine sich wandelnde Flora und Fauna - all das sind erst die Vorboten. Die Kosten zur Beherrschung der Folgen werden immer weiter steigen. Die Folgen tragen schon heute die ärmsten Völker, die die wachsende Verwüstung ganzer Landstriche nicht aufhalten können. Kriege um Wasser sind längst nicht mehr nur eine Fiktion. Die Bundesregierung übt sich in Vogel-Strauß-Politik. Leidtragende sind auch in Deutschland die Ärmsten der Gesellschaft. Während auf der einen Seite die Energiekonzerne riesige Gewinne einstreichen, verschlingen auf der anderen Seite Wärme- und Stromkosten immer größere Teile der schmalen Budgets vieler Familien. Soll der Klimawandel nicht zur Katastrophe führen, sind drastische Maßnahmen in vielen Wirtschaftsbereichen notwendig:

Vergesellschaftung der Energiewirtschaft, zumindest aber Preisbindung und Abschöpfung der Gewinne der Konzerne; Priorität für dezentrale, auf erneuerbaren Quellen basierende; Energiekreisläufe, eingebunden in regionale Wertschöpfungsketten keine neuen Kohlekraftwerke; Konzentration von Energieforschung und technologischer Entwicklung auf noch offene Fragen bei erneuerbaren Energien, auf Effizienzsteigerung und Einsparung; Verkehr von der Straße auf die Schiene; emissionsfreie Autos; Schutz der Wälder und Stopp der ungebremsten Versiegelung von Flächen.

In diesem Jahr wird in Kopenhagen die nächste Weltklimakonferenz stattfinden. Es ist völlig offen, ob dabei substantielle Ergebnisse herauskommen werden. Deutschland hat die Wirtschaftskraft, das technische und technologische Know-how, Vorreiter bei erneuerbaren Energien und Klimaschutz zu sein. Die Entschuldigung, die USA seien die Blockierer, wird in Kopenhagen hoffentlich auch nicht mehr gelten. Heute ist es 30 Jahre her, dass sich in Genf zum ersten Mal Wissenschaftler zur ersten Weltklimakonferenz zusammenfanden. Sie diskutierten über den Zuwachs der CO2 – Emissionen, deren Ursachen und mögliche Folgen für das Weltklima. Schon damals wurde angenommen, dass die Abholzung von Wäldern und die Nutzung fossiler Rohstoffe als wichtigste Energiequellen für die wachsenden Konzentrationen von die Ozonschicht schädigenden Gasen in der Atmosphäre verantwortlich sind. War diese Feststellung damals noch weitgehend Hypothese und die möglichen Folgen für das globale Klima mit vielen Fragezeichen behaftet, bezweifelt heute niemand mehr Ursachen und Wirkung. Im Laufe der Jahre haben Wissenschaftler aller Länder auf immer besserer Datengrundlage Modelle entwickelt, die eindeutig belegen: Ja, die Menschen, insbesondere in den Industrieländern sind für die Klimaerwärmung mit unkalkulierbaren Risiken für das Leben auf der Erde verantwortlich.

http://www.die-linke.de/presse/presseerklaerungen/detail/artikel/klimawandel-macht-um-deutschland-keinen-bogen/

EPPING FOREST: Dozens of phone masts planned for district

This is Local London - UK

By Emily Roberts

NEARLY 30 new mobile phone masts are planned for the district – close to schools, residential areas and busy high streets. ...

http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/4120102.EPPING_FOREST__Dozens_of_phone_masts_planned_for_district/



http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=school+mast

Obama buys time for zombie banks

Christian Science Monitor
by staff

02/12/09

Faced with a choice between spending upwards of $4 trillion to save wobbly banks or doing something else, President Obama has decided to do something else. His bank plan, rolled out Tuesday, almost seems designed to simply buy time in hopes the economy bottoms out soon. Maybe then, hard decisions about who sacrifices — taxpayers or financiers — won’t be needed. That explains why the plan, drafted by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, is vague on details and merely broad in strategy — with the uncertainty over its real impact worrisome to business. Under the plan, government would first send federal regulators into the opaque backrooms of the biggest banks like cave explorers to find the ultimate depth of bad assets, such as mortgage-backed securities. Banks are still trying not to admit those losses on their balance sheets and thus are reluctant to resume lending that could revive the economy...

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0212/p08s01-comv.html



The TARP dog and pony show

The American Prospect
by Dean Baker

02/11/09

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s long-awaited plan for rescuing the banks left people even more confused about the Obama administration’s agenda than they had been before the announcement. This is best demonstrated by the plunge in the market, including bank stocks, that immediately followed. While it is generally foolish to assess the merits of a policy based on the market’s response, it is a safe bet that if the plan were the unambiguous bonanza for the banks that many of us feared, bank stocks would rally based on their good fortune. At this point, we cannot be sure that it is not a giveaway, but apparently the banks do not seem to think that it is. This is one of those cases where everything will depend on the details, which we have not yet seen...

http://tinyurl.com/apod93



Don’t “compromise” on the bogus stimulus bill

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Sheldon Richman

02/11/09

As the misnamed ’stimulus’ bill works its way through Congress, we once again see compromise equated with responsibility. The political ‘leadership’ and establishment media seemed to have a vested interest in portraying anyone who refuses to compromise as recklessly unconcerned with the well-being of the country. The problem with this outlook is that basic principles can’t be compromised. If you catch a burglar in your home, you don’t negotiate over how much silverware he may take...

http://www.fff.org/comment/com0902e.asp



Government “job creation”

Foundation for Economic Education
by Larissa Price

02/11/09

Barack Obama says his roughly $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan could save or create between three and four million American jobs by 2010. Many of these proposed jobs are New Deal-esque, involving the building or repairing of government infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, and buildings. There is a modern twist, of course, with the promise to develop ‘alternative energy sources’ such as wind farms, solar panels, fuel-efficient cars, and the like...

http://tinyurl.com/c6g684


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

--------

To Catch a Thief

by Lynn Stuter

Americans who are watching, learned this week that the American people were lied to back in September when George Bush told the people that the $700 billion bailout bill, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), just had to happen to save the banks and Wall Street. And when Americans learned that banks who received TARP money were paying CEO’s big bonuses, taking executives to lavish spas, ordering jets, vacationing in the Caribbean, and going on hunts in England after “taking” TARP money, they were understandably upset, hammering Congress with angry e-mails........

http://www.newswithviews.com/Stuter/stuter145.htm



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Fear is his friend

Reason
by Jacob Sullum

02/11/09

I flashed back to the fall of 2001 upon reading the subhead over a New York Times story about Monday’s presidential press conference: ‘He Says That Failing to Act Could Lead to Catastrophe.’ To rush a complex, ill-considered piece of legislation through Congress, George W. Bush invoked the specter of another terrorist attack. Barack Obama, bringing the change he promised, invoked the specter of economic collapse. Just as the PATRIOT Act was a grab bag of legal changes that law enforcement and intelligence agencies had been seeking for years, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is a grab bag of expenditures that leftish Democrats have long wanted, repackaged for the crisis du jour. In both cases, instilling fear was the key to suspending skepticism and cutting off debate...

http://www.reason.com/news/show/131612.html



Back to the future

The Weekly Standard

02/12/09

Campaigns are generous forums. They allow politicians to make claims difficult to refute. Only the most coldhearted could oppose more hope, change and bipartisanship. Great. Where do I sign up? President Obama thrived in that environment during the 2008 election. His electoral promises thrilled, energized and inspired millions of Americans, and opened the doors to the White House. But governing is less charitable. In fact, it’s brutal and messy. It requires trade-offs, hard decisions, picking winners and losers. This is the predictable lesson of President Obama’s first few weeks in office. Facing his first governing challenge — passing a large spending stimulus bill — the new president hit some turbulence after takeoff. The bill won no Republican support in the House, and the Senate balked at the House version and changed it. Now the two chambers have hammered out a delicate compromise — mostly among members of the president’s party — and will pass it later this week. With the prospects for broad bipartisan agreement a thing of the past, President Obama fell back into campaign mode to meet these new realities...

http://tinyurl.com/bf257c


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=Obama
http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=economic+collapse
http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=stimulus
http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=bipartisan
http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=Jacob+Sullum

Obama wants a surge of his own

AntiWar.Com
by Charles Pena

02/11/09

On Super Bowl Sunday, President Barack Obama said most U.S. troops in Iraq would be home in time to watch Super Bowl XLIV. Yet a day later he was conferring with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates about plans for adding another 15,000 troops in Afghanistan (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen believes as many as 30,000 additional troops are needed in Afghanistan). Although Obama has previously been critical of the surge strategy in Iraq, he seems to believe that a similar course of action will be successful in Afghanistan …

http://www.antiwar.com/pena/?articleid=14226


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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Obama's Afghan Trap

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/02/11-10



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America’s Predators: Fighting the Afghan War From Las Vegas

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/02/11-4



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Economic Rescue Plan: More Debt, More Dollar Devaluation And More Government

http://www.infowars.net/articles/february2009/110209Rescue.htm



http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=stimulus

No Tough Love for Wall Street

Robert Scheer, Truthdig: "What an insipid anticlimax! Rising to 'a challenge more complex than our financial system has ever faced,' Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner promised on Tuesday to give trillions more to the very folks who profited from that malignant complexity. For all the brave talk about transparency and accountability in the banking bailout, he gave the swindlers who got us into this mess yet another blank check to buy up the 'toxic assets' they gleefully created."

http://www.truthout.org/021109S



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Iraq's Real Future

Apologists for Bush may paint a rosy picture of Iraq's prospects. But the facts tell a different story.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/10/iraq-bush-maliki-elections


From Information Clearing House



http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=Bush+legacy
http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=James+Denselow

Hunger Strikes Continue at Guantánamo

By Robert Mackey

A United States military lawyer representing one of the 242 detainees still imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay told a British newspaper on Sunday that, including her client, "at least 50 people are on hunger strike, with 20 on the critical list" at the detention center.

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article21967.htm



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Timothy Geithner and the Ruling Class

http://www.lewrockwell.com/reynolds/reynolds19.html



http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=Geithner
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Economic Meltdown

http://list.lewrockwell.com/t/1292297/12759198/74320/0/

Government Bonds May Be Last Bubble
http://www.lewrockwell.com/spl/rogers-last-bubble.html

--------

Fixing the Economy: Of Fences and Futures

By Robert Freeman

To attract the money to run the government, the Treasury will have to raise interest rates on government bonds to stratospheric levels. This will kill off any possible recovery, consigning the U.S. economy to a self-reinforcing downward spiral of insufficient demand, inadequate investment, crumbling infrastructure, declining productivity, and competitive obsolescence.

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article21966.htm



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Against Military Slavery

http://www.lewrockwell.com/kwiatkowski/kwiatkowski224.html



http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=com/kwiatkowski

What Wall Street Wants

By Michael Hudson

Tuesday's announcement of the Obama-Geithner recovery plan is basically an extension of the Bush-Paulson plan - yet more giveaways to financial insiders, with a view to concentrating the U.S. banking system into a cartel of just a few large banks.

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article21969.htm



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