Mittwoch, 3. Februar 2010

How will the U.S. Service its Debt?

Global Insolvency

By: Bob Chapman

How can the US conceivably extricate itself from debt? That is $1 to $2 trillion deficits annually as far as the eye can see. It is already bogged down in an occupation in Iraq and a war in Afghanistan that stretches into Pakistan. That is all off budget, but it stretches already to more than $1 trillion. Then there is the phony, phantom war on terror the cost of which is unknown.

The Crisis Is Not Over

By Paul Craig Roberts

Readers ask if the financial crisis is over, if the recovery is for real and, if not, what are Americans' prospects. The short answer is that the financial crisis is not over, the recovery is not real, and the U.S. faces a far worse crisis than the financial one.

FHA Defaults Foreshadow A Crush Of Foreclosures

By Dina ElBoghdady and Dan Keating

February 02, 2010 "Washington Post" -- The share of borrowers who are falling seriously behind on loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration jumped by more than a third in the past year, foreshadowing a crush of foreclosures that could further buffet an agency vital to the housing market's recovery.

Study: Hunger in America Jumps 'Unprecedented' 46 Percent

By Daniel Tencer

The study, Hunger in America 2010, found that 37 million people, or roughly one in eight US residents, received food aid in 2009. That's a 46 percent jump from a similar survey carried out in 2006.


The Obama Budget and the Horse You Rode In On


Deficit deja vu

Heartland Institute
by Steve Stanek


President Barack Obama Tuesday (Feb. 2, 2010) introduced his budget for next fiscal year. To put it into perspective, consider this: The estimated budget deficit — just the deficit — almost matches the entire federal budget when George W. Bush became president in 2001. A strong case could be made that Bush and Obama represent the most fiscally irresponsible back-to-back presidencies in national history...

How government (mostly) created financial crisis

Orange Punch
by Alan Bock


Of course, there are reasons that the narrative survives and, in fact, dominates most conventional discourse — not surprising given that the president has the biggest megaphone in the country, and most of the media simply parrot him: The financial crisis was caused by private greed and unwarranted risk-taking, even ‘predatory lending.’ People in government want you to believe they saved us from all that and have the formula to prevent it ever happening again, if we’ll just cede them the power. So the role of government policies and institutions in creating the crisis is an inconvenient aspect that we don’t need to mention in polite society. That’s why a book like Johan Norberg’s ‘Financial Fiasco’ is so essential to understanding the recent past and charting a course for the future...

The wrong manhood test

Cato Institute
by Christopher Preble and Heather Hurlburt


In last week’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama declared that he would freeze government spending for three years, excepting Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and ’spending related to our national security.’ This week, we can see what that blanket exemption for the Pentagon will cost us. The base budget (which excludes war costs) weighs in at a whopping $548.9 billion, the largest since the end of World War II. Military spending advocates might note that this represents just a 3.4 percent increase over last year, but inflation-adjusted spending on national defense has ballooned by 60 percent over the past 10 years...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


The Budget Deficit Crisis Puzzle

Dean Baker, Truthout: "The country faces a serious crisis in the form of a manufactured crisis over the budget deficit. This is a crisis because concerns over the size of the budget deficit are preventing the government from taking the steps needed to reduce the unemployment rate. This creates the absurd situation where we have millions of people who are unemployed, not because of their own lack of skills or unwillingness to work, but because people like Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke mismanaged the economy."

The Corporate Takeover of U.S. Democracy

By Noam Chomsky

Now corporate managers can in effect buy elections directly, bypassing more complex indirect means.

Hyping the terror threat one more time


Amid Media Blackout

Congressional hearing reveals US intelligence agencies shielded Flight 253 bomber

By Alex Lantier

The revelation that US intelligence agencies made a deliberate decision to allow Abdulmutallab to board the commercial flight, without any special airport screening, has been buried in the media. As of this writing, nearly a week after the hearing, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times have published no articles on the subject. Nor have the broadcast or cable media reported on it.

UK: Army may patrol streets to confront "terror threat"

Britain's armed forces could be used on a regular basis on the streets of Britain to confront the threat of terrorism, under the terms of a strategic defence review announced yesterday.

From Information Clearing House

100 Tage Streit, Chaos und soziale Kälte

3. Februar 2010

Die schwarz-gelbe Bundesregierung ist 100 Tage im Amt. Der Bundesgeschäftsführer der Partei DIE LINKE, Dietmar Bartsch resümiert:

Jedem war klar, dass mit Schwarz-Gelb an der Regierung kein soziales Paradies zu erwarten ist. Was die Regierung Merkel dann wirklich abgelieferte, ist auf nahezu allen Gebieten eine denkbar schlechte Vorstellung. In die ersten 100 Tage der Amtszeit fallen 100 Tage Streit und Chaos in der Steuerpolitik, fast 100 Tage Debatten um Gesundheitspolitik und Kopfpauschale, ein haushaltspolitischer Blindflug ohnegleichen. Steuergeschenke an Unternehmen und Besserverdienende, undurchsichtiges Spendengebaren und pure Klientelpolitik. Dazu ein gefeuerter Verteidigungsminister, der Unterlagen unterschlagen und die Öffentlichkeit getäuscht hat. Außenpolitisch verfolgt die Regierung einen Kurs, der Krieg als Mittel der Politik festschreibt. Und immer wieder Streit, Zerwürfnis und Chaos. Auf der anderen Seite stehen 100 Tage ohne konkrete arbeitsmarktpolitische Maßnahmen gegen die Folgen der Krise, stehen 100 Tage ohne Maßnahmen für eine verantwortungsvolle, friedliche Außenpolitik, ohne Ansätze für eine sozial gerechtere Politik, ohne dringend notwendigen Mindestlohn. 100 Tage Raubbau an Bürgerrechten, hin zum gläsernen, nacktgescannten Bürger und eine Energiepolitik, die auf Atomtechnik setzt und Energieunternehmen reich macht. Das waren die ersten 100 Tage. Das Problem: Es folgen noch 13 weitere 100 Tage.

24. Februar 2010

Gesundheitskommission ist eine Farce

Der stellvertretende Vorsitzende der LINKEN, Klaus Ernst, kritisiert die Regierungskommission zur Gesundheitsreform als "Farce". Die CSU müsse jetzt den Worten Taten folgen lassen und die Koalition mit der FDP beenden, wenn sie die Kopfpauschale wirklich verhindern wolle. Er erklärt:

Diese Kommission ist eine Farce. Die Regierung macht sich lächerlich. Da sitzen jetzt acht Minister zusammen und verhandeln den Koalitionsvertrag neu. Scheinbar haben Merkel und Seehofer bei der Unterschrift geschlafen und nicht gemerkt, dass die FDP ihnen da die Kopfpauschale untergejubelt hat. Vor allem die CSU muss jetzt endlich den Worten Taten folgen lassen. Wenn sie die Kopfpauschale beerdigen will, dann muss sie diese Regierung beerdigen. Man kann nicht heute gegen den Kahlschlag im Gesundheitswesen polemisieren und sich morgen mit den Sozialstaatshassern von der FDP an einen Kabinettstisch setzen. Die Kopfpauschale ist unsozial. Wenn sie zu niedrig ist, reicht das Geld nicht für eine ordentliche Gesundheitsversorgung aus. Wenn sie zu hoch ist, können sich viele Gesundheit nicht mehr leisten. Der angebliche Sozialausgleich macht Millionen ohne Schuld zu Sozialfällen. Das ist Hartz im Gesundheitswesen. Es gibt nur eine echte Alternative. Wir brauchen eine Bürgerversicherung. Alle zahlen entsprechend ihrer Leistungsfähigkeit ein. Alle sind versichert. Dann wäre Gesundheit bezahlbar und gerecht finanziert.

17 Cases Of Swine Flu Vaccine Damage Probed

Next-up News Nr 1240

- Publication étude scientifique Gouv. US : NCBI Publications Médicales "Effets qualitatifs des dommages issus des irradiations des téléphones mobiles sur les ARN messagers des protéines chez les nerfs faciaux du rat."

Emanuel to meet with disabled activists after calling liberal activists “retarded”

ABC News


The Special Olympics announced Tuesday evening that members of the disabilities rights community will meet Wednesday afternoon with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, after the fiery Chicagoan admitted to having referred to some liberal activists as ‘f—ing retarded.’ Emanuel was quoted in the Wall Street Journal last week making the comment in an August meeting with some liberal activists who were threatening to run TV ads against conservative Democrats hesitant to embrace President Obama’s approach to health care reform...

The Rahm problem

The American Prospect
by Matthew Yglesias


Barack Obama’s presidential campaign had few leaks and little infighting, earning it the reputation of ‘no drama.’ The same spirit has mostly carried through into Obama’s governing phase — we’ve heard very little about whatever fights have occurred inside the White House. But that’s changed lately, most notably with two salvos in The Washington Post — one nominally an opinion column from Dana Milbank and the other nominally a news piece from Jason Horowitz — both arguing that Obama wouldn’t have so many political problems if he had only listened to Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s advice...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

US-Wachstum: Ein gigantischer "Bull-whip"-Effekt

Das berauschende Wachstum der US-Wirtschaft im 4. Quartal war fast ausschließlich auf den Lageraufbau zurückzuführen.

Die Wall-Street-Nebenjobs von CIA-Mitarbeitern

Um Mitarbeiter zu halten, lässt der US-Geheimdienst zur üppigen Aufstockung des Gehalts Mitarbeiter auch bei Investmentbanken oder Hedge-Fonds arbeiten.

Obama and the Fading of Hope


Obama and the CIA: What Must Be Done

Melvin A. Goodman, Truthout: "New presidents (and President Barack Obama is no exception) fall in love with three Washington institutions: the Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency and Camp David. The Camp David love affair makes sense; it contributes to the president's physical and mental health. The infatuation with the military and intelligence communities, however, can create serious problems for both the administration and the nation."

Our Incredible Shrinking Democracy

Robert Reich, "I wish conservatives would stop complaining about big government and start worrying about the real problem - small democracy. I wish we'd all worry more about our incredible shrinking democracy."

"If You Can Think Differently, You Can Act Differently"

Leslie Thatcher, Truthout: On Wednesday, January 27, 2010, Leslie Thatcher spoke over the phone with Henry Armand Giroux about his book, "Youth in a Suspect Society." Public pedagogy and the war on democracy were also discussed. He declared, "No category seems to me more central to democratic life - and the ethical and moral underpinnings required to support it. What kind of society will young people inherit? What are we doing to them now? How are we betraying them?"


What are the consequences of Obama’s $3.8 billion budget?

by BPeck

Instead of choosing to abandon the Keynesian tax, borrow, and spend philosophy for which he has become notorious, Obama will continue to raise taxes for hard working Americans, increase discretionary spending faster than the tax dollars come in, and therefore create more debt for the current and future taxpayers of America. I’m not exactly sure how this approach exemplifies fiscal responsibility; a priority that Obama emphasized the importance of achieving during last week’s State of the Union Address...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Budgets, War and Blind Ambition: The Limited Minds of the American Elite

Neat, Painless, Perpetual War

Informant: Kev Hall


The Limited Minds of the American Elite

War, Budgets and Blind Ambition

By Chris Floyd

The ending of the imperial wars and the dismantling of America's global military empire -- and its global gulag -- would save trillions of dollars in the coming years.


Deathbed of Keynesian Economics Will Be in U.K.

Pentagon’s Black Budget Tops $56 Billion

Last year, that budget grew to more than $50 billion - "the largest-ever sum," according to Aviation Week's Bill Sweetman, a longtime black-budget seer. A few more billion were added for wartime operations, for a total of $54 billion. This year'total would be $2 billion higher, a 3.7 percent increase.

New Defence Strategy Envisions Multiple Conflicts

A report and budget request from the U.S. Defence Department released Monday reveal both new and old priorities for President Barack Obama's Pentagon.

The Pentagon Runs Amok

Obama is letting the generals and contractors roll over him

By Dan Simpson

The budget line for defense stands at $708 billion, 53 percent of discretionary spending, eight times more than the next largest item, health and human services. Does that reflect America's priorities? Is that who we are?

From Information Clearing House


No defense for this budget

The Nation
by Katrina vanden Heuvel


Who would know from all of the whining about budget deficits that military spending is the largest discretionary item in the federal government? Exempting all security-related expenditures from common sense cuts will have serious consequences for almost everything the government does - -from job creation, poverty reduction and alternative energy development, to aid for cash-strapped state and local governments. In fact, the Economic Policy Institute reports that non-security-related discretionary spending is already at near-historic lows as a share of GDP...

Obama’s “jobs” plan

John Stossel's Take
by John Stossel


At the State of the Union, Obama said the federal government ’should tighten its belt,’ but today’s Wall Street Journal points out how unlikely that is, given that the number of federal employees has surged …. After eight years of war, it’s natural to assume the growing federal job count is a result of the military. But the real boom is in the federal agencies …

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

We Should Not Give Up the Game Before All the Cards Have Been Played

By Howard Zinn

In this world of war and injustice, how does a person manage to stay socially engaged, committed to the struggle, and remain healthy without burning out or becoming resigned or cynical?

Howard Zinn: Myths of the Good Wars

Three 'Holy' Wars



Howard Zinn: The People's Historian

Why Are Americans Passive As Millions Lose Their Homes, Jobs, Families and the American Dream?

By Harriet Fraad

Society-wide depression has struck America. Why it's happened and what we can do about it.

US Army Imprisons Iraq War Veteran Over Song

By Dahr Jamail

The military is claiming that he "communicated a threat" with his song. Hall mailed a copy of the song to the Pentagon after the Army unilaterally extended his contract for a second Iraq deployment.

Deficits May Alter U.S. Politics and Global Power


In a federal budget filled with mind-boggling statistics, two numbers stand out as particularly stunning, for the way they may change American politics and American power.

Strengthening US 'Defense' In Gulf A Step To War

By Stephen Sniegoski

Since there is about a zero chance that Iran would dare to launch a first strike on the US or its Arab allies, the US would only need to strengthen its missile defenses in order to deal with an Iranian counterattack after the US had first bombed Iran.

Biggest US drone attack ever in Pakistan's N. Waziristan


US Kills 17 In New Pakistan Attack

"Seventeen people have been reported killed. However, there is mounting fear that the death toll could be at least over two dozen or even cross 30." Locals were digging dead and wounded out of the debris.

Obama proposes $1.2 bln to aid Pakistani military

U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday proposed $1.2 billion in funding next year to help train and equip Pakistani security forces to fight Taliban militants.

US attack kills five in Pakistan

A US drone missile attack has killed at least five "suspected militants" at an alleged training compound in Pakistan's North Waziristan region.

From Information Clearing House


Washington's Refusal to Talk about Drone Strikes in Pakistan Meets Growing Opposition

Pentagon to Increase Stock of High-Altitude Drones


Obama Administration's Budget Calls for Billions of Dollars in New Spending for Drones

Jason Leopold, Truthout: "This is how major US defense contractors reacted to the Obama administration's unveiling of its fiscal year 2011 spending plan for the Pentagon, part of the president's overall $3.8 trillion budget proposal."

A Pitiless, Punitive Giant and the Death of Empire

Fran Schor, Truthout: "In the aftermath of the December 30 suicide bombing in Afghanistan that killed seven CIA employees, US drone assaults in Pakistan's northwest border region have increased in number with the resultant 'collateral damage.' Seventeen such missile launchings occurred on February 2, the largest number in a single day."


Pakistan: Drone strikes kill 29



Several suspected U.S. drone strikes killed at least 29 people in Pakistan on Tuesday, Pakistani intelligence sources said. … The reported strikes were unusual for the relatively high number of missiles fired — at least 17, intelligence sources said — and for the high death toll. … The missiles hit targets Tuesday morning in at least four villages in North Waziristan, a region rife with Islamic extremists, the Pakistani intelligence sources said...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Bring Our Marines Home


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