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Russia allows transit of US military supplies
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
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Page 5: Local News
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-Obits-
USN Guided Missile Cruiser Runs Aground Near Honolulu
Navy officials say an attempt to pull free a 9,600-ton warship that ran aground off the coast of Honolulu has been unsuccessful.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet says Navy tugboats and salvage ship USS Salvor tried to tow the USS Port Royal early Saturday but the guided missile cruiser remained stuck. The Navy says it plans to try again after extracting fuel and water from the $1 billion vessel.
"Water and cannons over the side!"
"But sir, how will we fight the French?"
"Damn it man, if we don't get off this reef the French will have us!"
The 9,600-ton ship, while carrying guests that included a rear admiral, ran aground Thursday night on a sandy, rocky bottom. The cause of the grounding, as well the extent of the damage to the ship, remains under investigation.

"We're certainly working on bringing to bear the resources we have to move her off the current position. We're still putting that plan together," said Capt. W. Scott Gureck, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Fleet. "Obviously, the high tide gives us an opportunity to do that."

The Port Royal left Pearl Harbor on Thursday for sea trials after being dry-docked for routine maintenance. The ship ran aground while shore-based officials were being transferred to shore by small boat, the Navy said.

An oil recovery vessel, the Clean Islands, was positioned behind the warship as a precaution as the U.S. Coast Guard monitored the situation. "We know that there is no oil spill at this point, and we're confident the Navy is doing everything it can," Coast Guard Lt. John Titchen said.
Whilst the Coasties sit on their ship and make rude jokes ...
Commissioned in 1994, the Port Royal has a crew of about 360. The crew stayed aboard the ship, along with Navy officials such as Rear Adm. Dixon R. Smith, commander Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.
The 'Obit' tag is for the Captain's career.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/07/2009 14:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6506 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I have to say it.

He grounds the warship he walks on.
Posted by: Penguin || 02/07/2009 15:06 Comments || Top||

#2  An Unguided Missile Cruiser?
Reminds me of the party sub crashing the Japanese fishing boat.
Guest steering tickets?
Ain't alcohol wonderful!
Posted by: Skidmark || 02/07/2009 15:42 Comments || Top||

#3  LOL Penguin. Now go to your room. ;-)
Posted by: lotp || 02/07/2009 15:46 Comments || Top||

#4  Man, Penguin, you must've been holding that one for a while ;-)
Posted by: Frank G || 02/07/2009 16:52 Comments || Top||

#5  The picture says it all - notice the list.
Posted by: Halliburton - Mysterious Conspiracy Division || 02/07/2009 18:15 Comments || Top||

#6  She is NOT an LST. Damn those beauties on the beach! They are a hazard to navigation. They were not noted on the charts. Who was watching the depth sounder?
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/07/2009 18:22 Comments || Top||

#7  AP, A list means tilt, in other words she's NOT sitting square upright but leans to one side.

List has absolutely nothing to do with LST which means "Landing Ship Tank" I'm afraid you've misread the word.
Posted by: Rednek Jim || 02/07/2009 22:19 Comments || Top||

#8  The only thing the captain can hope for is if his navigation charts were out of date, and even that may not save him. He's really screwed if he has to pay for the repairs...
Posted by: Old Patriot || 02/07/2009 22:23 Comments || Top||


-Short Attention Span Theater-
USA Swimming suspends Phelps for 3 months
Michael Phelps has been suspended from competition for three months by USA Swimming, the latest fallout from a photo that showed the Olympic great with a marijuana pipe.
Posted by: Fred || 02/07/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Boohoo.
Posted by: gorb || 02/07/2009 2:44 Comments || Top||

#2  Note lowered bar. Not surprising at all when the most powerful man in the world is an admitted cocain user.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/07/2009 3:12 Comments || Top||


Africa North
African Union issues sanctions against Mauritanian junta members
The African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council decided Thursday (February 5th) in Addis Ababa to impose sanctions on members of Mauritania's ruling military junta, local and international press reported. Measures include restricting travel by military and civilian members of the junta, refusing visas and exercising control over junta members' bank accounts, AFP quoted council chairman Manuel Domingos Augusto as saying. The AU decision will be passed on to the UN Security Council, he added, noting, however, that despite the sanctions, the AU will maintain a dialogue with the junta to restore constitutional order to Mauritania.

In related news, junta leader General Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz announced his candidacy for president at a weekly government meeting on Thursday, APA reported. Speaking at a press conference this week, opposition Rally of Democratic Forces (RFD) leader Ahmed Ould Daddah said military officers should be ineligible to run in the country's June 6th presidential elections.
Posted by: Fred || 02/07/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ION AFRICA, WORLD MIL FORUM > IIRC/IIUC CHINA GIVES ANGOLA US$1.0BILYUHN ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE LOAN [Artic- Angola has recvd US$5.0BILYUHN in Loans from CHINA since 2002]???

BEIJING missed CNN's segment on China's, Japan's, and ASIA's serious econ troubles ala US-GLOBAL RECESSION, didn't we!?
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/07/2009 0:14 Comments || Top||

#2  Why? Didn't kill off enough of the local population?
Posted by: ed || 02/07/2009 14:33 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
What got cut from the stimulus bill
A coalition of Democrats and some Republicans reached a compromise that trimmed billions in spending from an earlier version of the Senate economic stimulus bill.

Senators worked late into the night to trim billions from the original stimulus bill.

CNN obtained, from a Democratic leadership aide, a list of some programs that have been cut, either entirely or partially:

Partially cut:

• $3.5 billion for energy-efficient federal buildings (original bill $7 billion)

• $75 million from Smithsonian (original bill $150 million)

• $200 million from Environmental Protection Agency Superfund (original bill $800 million)

• $100 million from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (original bill $427 million)

• $100 million from law enforcement wireless (original bill $200 million)

• $300 million from federal fleet of hybrid vehicles (original bill $600 million)

• $100 million from FBI construction (original bill $400 million)

Fully eliminated

• $55 million for historic preservation

• $122 million for Coast Guard polar icebreaker/cutters

• $100 million for Farm Service Agency modernization

• $50 million for Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service

• $65 million for watershed rehabilitation

• $100 million for distance learning

• $98 million for school nutrition

• $50 million for aquaculture

• $2 billion for broadband

• $100 million for National Institute of Standards and Technology

• $50 million for detention trustee

• $25 million for Marshalls Construction

• $300 million for federal prisons

• $300 million for BYRNE Formula grant program

• $140 million for BYRNE Competitive grant program

• $10 million state and local law enforcement

• $50 million for NASA

• $50 million for aeronautics

• $50 million for exploration

• $50 million for Cross Agency Support

• $200 million for National Science Foundation

• $100 million for science

• $1 billion for Energy Loan Guarantees

• $4.5 billion for General Services Administration

• $89 million General Services Administration operations

• $50 million from Department of Homeland Security

• $200 million Transportation Security Administration

• $122 million for Coast Guard Cutters, modifies use

• $25 million for Fish and Wildlife

• $55 million for historic preservation

• $20 million for working capital fund

• $165 million for Forest Service capital improvement

• $90 million for State and Private Wildlife Fire Management

• $1 billion for Head Start/Early Start

• $5.8 billion for Health Prevention Activity

• $2 billion for Health Information Technology Grants

• $600 million for Title I (No Child Left Behind)

• $16 billion for school construction

• $3.5 billion for higher education construction

• $1.25 billion for project based rental

• $2.25 billion for Neighborhood Stabilization

• $1.2 billion for retrofitting Project 8 housing

• $40 billion for state fiscal stabilization (includes $7.5 billion of state incentive grants)
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 02/07/2009 18:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:


Mom of Cole Victim Refused to Meet with Obama
Get through the commercial and watch this interview -- she's now "sorry I voted for him." One upset Mom.

Posted by: Sherry || 02/07/2009 12:17 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6480 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Now that's what I call speaking truth to power.
Posted by: regular joe || 02/07/2009 12:27 Comments || Top||

#2  I LIKE her. Giving a stiff middle finger to super Zero takes guts.
Posted by: Rednek Jim || 02/07/2009 12:28 Comments || Top||

#3  Good for her - the meeting would be protrayed as an endorsement of Zero's policies.

You didn't actually think Zero was going to meet with the families to actually _listen_ to their concerns did you?

Its a photo-op to take some of the heat off - nothing more.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/07/2009 12:48 Comments || Top||

#4  She could have brought extra shoes.
Posted by: ed || 02/07/2009 12:54 Comments || Top||

#5  it would have been a real good photo op too give him the finger in the photo and tell him how big an ass he is too his face
Posted by: rabid whitetail || 02/07/2009 14:10 Comments || Top||

#6  If she did that (flip him off and tell him what an ass he is) it would never be reported by the MSM - except perhaps as an incident of RIGHT-WING HATRED!!!!! and RACISM!!!!!
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/07/2009 14:56 Comments || Top||

#7  Get through the commercial and watch this interview -- she's now "sorry I voted for him." One upset Mom.

How stupid did she have to be? Voting for Obama because you hate Bush is called cutting off your nose to spite your face.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 02/07/2009 15:06 Comments || Top||

#8  and just what did she expect from him? It's not like he wasn't showing his true colors all the way through the campaign.
Posted by: Hupomogum Prince of the French9957 || 02/07/2009 15:51 Comments || Top||

#9  except perhaps as an incident of RIGHT-WING HATRED!!!!! and RACISM!!!!!

She's Black, as was her son.
Posted by: lotp || 02/07/2009 16:02 Comments || Top||

#10  Sure she isn't and Oreo to Obama fans?
Posted by: ed || 02/07/2009 16:06 Comments || Top||

#11  If I were a relative of one of the Cole sailors, and had I been invited, I would have gone, and I would have hoped to ask the President this question:

"Sir, I know you have some background in constitutional law based on your teaching days at the University of Chicago. I do not understand why we should provide the perpetrators of the attack on the Cole the same basic rights that you and I enjoy under American law. I remind you, sir, that these individuals are not US nationals and consider themselves to be at war with America. So would you please explain this to me?"

And I would have insisted, gently, on an answer.

And I would talk publicly about his response.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/07/2009 16:46 Comments || Top||


Steele's Campaign Spending Questioned
Michael S. Steele, the newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee, arranged for his 2006 Senate campaign to pay a defunct company run by his sister for services that were never performed, his finance chairman from that campaign has told federal prosecutors.
Ahhhh, but -
Fabian offered the information last March as he was seeking leniency for himself during plea negotiations on unrelated fraud charges. It is unclear how extensively his claims have been pursued. Prosecutors gave him no credit for cooperation when he was sentenced in October.

Steele spokesman Curt Anderson said he did not know what information the federal agents were seeking, but he dismissed Fabian's allegations as patently false. "It's from, what, a convicted felon?"
Front-Page QaPo stuff, this is. Oh look, I misspelled WaPo. Freudian slip?
Posted by: Bobby || 02/07/2009 07:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They will try to smear all good Republicans when they can. Keep their kind, ala McCain around for when they need "Republican" votes to push a bill through.
Posted by: DarthVader || 02/07/2009 8:51 Comments || Top||

#2  Darth, are there good politicians anymore? Republican or Democrat? I'm having trouble finding them.
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/07/2009 10:27 Comments || Top||

#3  Ok, less than completely corrupt with a marginal care for the voters politician.

Happy?

No... I'm not either. But we gotta do the best with what we have.
Posted by: DarthVader || 02/07/2009 11:43 Comments || Top||


Steele Cleans House at RNC HQ
Michael Steele, the new chairman of the Republican National Committee, has asked the entire staff to resign, FOX News has confirmed. The move signals Steele's plan to reshape the party, which was trounced at the polls in 2006 and 2008. As a black man from Maryland, a traditionally Democratic state, Steele has already brought a new face to the party.

The RNC has about 100 staff members, many of whom have been told that their last day on the job will be Feb. 15, a Republican source told Politico, which reported the story Thursday morning. Some aides may stay on, the source said, but several senior aides who were expecting the changes voluntarily submitted their resignations soon after Steele's election last week.

President Obama's new team made a similar request at the Democratic National Committee.

Steele, a former Maryland lieutenant governor, won the chairmanship last Friday. In his first speech as chairman, he pledged to bring change in an effort to re-establish the GOP presence in the Northeast and win elections in regions across the country. "It's time for something completely different, and we're gonna bring it to them," he said in his acceptance speech. "Get ready, baby. It's time to turn it on."
Posted by: Steve White || 02/07/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under:

#1  GOOD!

Kick ass, Michael.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/07/2009 0:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Give him a metaphoric Canadian Ronson WW2 flamethrower and clean house.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/07/2009 0:31 Comments || Top||

#3  I concur with Barb and Paul, Pour it on Mr. Steele, Wipe out those fires and infections Sir!! HIT 'EM WITH ALL The Heat and the Disinfectant You Can Muster Mr. Steele!!

SIR, We need you and 10 times your number in Gubmint Today!!

Let's Pray for a miracle,... America and Americans need a long list of miracles again!!
Posted by: Red Dawg || 02/07/2009 0:57 Comments || Top||

#4  Hope. And Change.
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/07/2009 1:03 Comments || Top||

#5  I recommend he hires The Office Linebacker, Terrible Terry Tate.
Posted by: Mike N. || 02/07/2009 1:43 Comments || Top||

#6  Oustanding! Now go meet with Senator Mitch McConnell and Congressman John Boehner. Ask McConnell why he couldn't do the job Boehner did in holding the Republican camp (RINO's Specter and Collins) together against the bailout! FIX IT!

What is it about these people? Why don't they just declare themselves bonifide dems and be done with it?
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/07/2009 4:30 Comments || Top||

#7  I think I'll post the WaPo hit piece on Mr. Steele...
Posted by: Bobby || 02/07/2009 7:15 Comments || Top||

#8  Yup - they realize he's a real threat to the One.
Posted by: lotp || 02/07/2009 7:26 Comments || Top||

#9  If the RNC give any of those RINOs one penny next election they won't get one penny from me.
Posted by: Hellfish || 02/07/2009 10:35 Comments || Top||

#10  How about finding some real, small govt Trunks to run against Spectre, Snowe, and Collins? RNC should stop supporting them. And if the Dems win the general election, so be it. Support real Republicans, not RINOs.
Posted by: KBK || 02/07/2009 10:36 Comments || Top||

#11  I bet there are few, if any, small government trunks around. They got killed off int he greedfest the GOP had in Congress under Tom Delay, et al.
Posted by: OldSpook || 02/07/2009 11:54 Comments || Top||

#12  But all in all a good fresh start. Now if we cna start cleanign out the state parties, and getting back to grass roots instead of the Country Club types.
Posted by: OldSpook || 02/07/2009 11:57 Comments || Top||

#13  A Big, Big step in the right direction. WooHoo.
Posted by: Woozle Elmeter 2700 || 02/07/2009 12:22 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
What drives the Rohingya to sea?
The dramatic testimony from survivors of a draconian Thai military policy of towing Rohingya boat people out to sea and leaving them there has drawn international attention to the plight of one of the world's most oppressed people.

So what is it that is driving so many Rohingya, a Muslim minority from the western-most part of Burma, to flee in rickety boats in the hope of finding refuge elsewhere?

The term Rohingya refers to a distinct, Muslim ethnic group living in northern Rakhine state, along the border with Bangladesh. Northern Rakhine state is one of the poorest and most isolated in Burma. They are thought to be descended from Arab and other Muslim traders who travelled and settled there more than 1,000 years ago. They speak a dialect of Bengali similar to that spoken in the Cox's Bazaar region of Bangladesh.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Steve White || 02/07/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

#1  For a start, the Rohingya are denied citizenship under Burma's 1982 citizenship law, which leaves them out of the 135 ethnic groups officially recognised by the state. The official view of the Burmese military is that they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh or their descendants.

Envy.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/07/2009 7:58 Comments || Top||


Sri Lanka
Sri Lankans Ponder Life After Wartime
With the 25-year civil war in Sri Lanka apparently coming to an end, many in this Indian Ocean island are starting to ponder what's next.

In the busy seaside capital of Colombo, the local newspapers are focused on the latest news from the front lines. But more and more the headlines are about plans for reconstruction and development projects in Sri Lanka. But still the tourists who once filled the country's five-star hotels, sushi restaurants and high-end shops for jewelry and clothes are no longer coming. Most people here blame the war that, they say, has dragged on way too long. Most people are eager for it to end.

Winning the war in one thing, analysts say, but bringing unity to Sri Lanka is another. Unity in Sri Lanka means closing the divide between the country's Sinhalese majority, which are mainly Buddhist, and its minority ethnic Tamil communities, which are mainly Hindu.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Steve White || 02/07/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front: Culture Wars
CSM Jeffrey Mellinger, The Last Draftee
Who would have thought Time mag would publish such an article?
America's generals love to brag about their all-volunteer Army. That's because they tend to overlook Jeffrey Mellinger. He donned his Army uniform for the first time on April 18, 1972, about the time the Nixon Administration was seeking "peace with honor" in Vietnam and The Godfather was opening on the silver screen. Nearly 37 years later, he's still wearing Army green. Mellinger is, by all accounts, the last active-duty draftee serving in the U.S. Army.

"I'm a relic," Mellinger concedes with a self-deprecating laugh. But the last of the nearly 2 million men ordered to serve in the Vietnam-era military before conscription ended in 1973 still impresses 19-year-old soldiers. "Most of them are surprised I'm still breathing, because in their minds I'm older than dirt," the fit 55-year-old says. "But they're even more surprised when they find out this dinosaur can still move around pretty darn quick."

Mellinger was working as a 19-year-old drywall hanger in Eugene, Oregon, when he came home to find a draft notice waiting for him. He started his military career as a clerk in what was then called West Germany, and was looking forward hanging up his uniform after two years of service. "I was dead-set on getting out," he says. "We had a lot of racial problems, drug problems, leadership problems." But his company commander talked him into re-enlisting. The lure: the chance to join the Rangers, the elite warrior corps that Mellinger came to love (his 3,700 parachute jumps add up to more than 33 hours in freefall). Re-enlisting "was the best decision of my career," Mellinger says.

The Army sent him all over the world, including tours in Japan and Iraq. General David Petraeus, who served as Mellinger's boss during the draftee's final three months in Iraq in 2007, calls him "a national asset" who kept the top generals' aware of the peaks and valleys in battlefield morale. "We lost count of how many times his personal convoy was hit," Petraeus says. "Yet he never stopped driving the roads, walking patrols, and going on missions with our troopers." (Mellinger's 33-month Iraq tour was punctuated by 27 roadside bombings, including two that destroyed his vehicle, although he managed to escape injury.)

His proudest moments are watching those he trained climb the military hierarchy themselves. "I can think of several soldiers who went on to become command sergeants major who were privates when I was either their squad leader or their drill sergeant," Mellinger says. But such memories also trigger his lone regret. "I wish I were as smart as I thought I was when I was moving into those duty positions."

Mellinger has told his wife, Kim, that this is his final Army posting, meaning he's likely to retire sometime next year. The couple has no children, although Mellinger has three grown kids from a prior marriage. The last draftee then plans to move to Alaska, where he spent much of his career, and spend his days reading history and running with his two Dobermans. "When I tell my wife it's my last assignment, she just rolls her eyes," he concedes. "This is my sixth 'last assignment'."
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/07/2009 19:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6503 views] Top|| File under:

#1  God bless you SgtMaj.
Posted by: Enver Snease aka Broadhead6 || 02/07/2009 21:01 Comments || Top||

#2  This is the man -- that finally let Michael Yon travel Iraq with him.... and then, invited him into his house.... for the Army ball upon returning to the States.

Just know the story from Yon's point..... never knew he was the "Last Draftee."

WOW
Posted by: Sherry || 02/07/2009 21:13 Comments || Top||

#3  "I wish I were as smart as I thought I was

I've fallen in love with the man based on his grammar alone. What a wonderful story of fortuitous career happiness.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/07/2009 21:31 Comments || Top||


Home Front Economy
$67B Treasury Auction - Ouroboros Begins To Eat Own Tail
Following yesterday's quarterly refunding announcement by the U.S. Treasury, investment banks will be working the telephones hard to find clients to buy the record $67 billion worth of new Treasury securities scheduled to be auctioned, starting next week.

Just over half the total amount ($36.3 billion) is needed to repay existing notes and bonds that are set to mature; the remainder ($30.7 billion) is new borrowing needed to cover the cost of bank rescues, fiscal stimulus and the deficit in the regular budget.

The refunding portion should be relatively simple, since the money that needs to be raised is matched by the amount of funds investors will be receiving back from the government as old debts mature and are repaid. Refunding involves persuading investors to re-invest maturing funds into new securities. Only the price/yield is an issue, albeit a thorny one.

New borrowing will be more challenging because it involves attracting additional funds into the Treasury market. The risk/return characteristics of Treasury debt are not particularly attractive at present. The interest rate cycle is close to the trough, yields are at multi-decade lows, and risks to investors from both the rate cycle and inflation are probably concentrated on the upside.

The Fed has talked about buying longer-dated Treasury securities in an attempt to create a "buyer of last resort" to guarantee investors a floor under the market.

But buying an instrument that has limited upside capital potential, and where mitigation of downside capital risk depends on the Fed's uncertain willingness and ability to buy unlimited quantities if the price falls too far, is probably not attractive for most investors.

Some commentators have suggested that the normal role of benchmark U.S. Treasury bonds providing "riskless returns" has been inverted and they now provide returnless risks.

So the investment banks may find it hard to find customers for the new issues.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/07/2009 18:57 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6525 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I'm sorry, I just don't get it, they're selling money to raise more money?
Posted by: Rednek Jim || 02/07/2009 19:19 Comments || Top||

#2  No, printing inflation to hide negative returns, i.e. loses.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles the flatulent || 02/07/2009 19:53 Comments || Top||

#3  I'm sorry, I just don't get it, they're selling money to raise more money?

No, they're selling the labor, the sweat and skills and enterprise, of us, our children and grandchildren to be turned over to the highest bidder who'll buy a bond, as in bondage. We are being sold literally into bondage to raise money so that those who have attained power can reward their backers and themselves. Done without the facade of government, at the least its embezzlement, at worst its slaving. All of course done in the name of whatever self rationalization the snake oil salesmen think they can get away with which usually involves scaring people into dumbness.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/07/2009 21:11 Comments || Top||

#4  It is my understanding that recent Treasury sales have been oversubscribed at a ratio of 4:1, that is (if I understand correctly), there are four who want to buy for every one offered. Given that money flows to comparatively more reward or comparatively less risk, it is understandable that US Treasuries would be desirable: the U.S. government is considerably less likely in the near future to default than Iceland, Venezuela, or Britain. Japanese debt is perhaps a safer option, but they aren't capable of making available nearly as much to investors, I think.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/07/2009 21:49 Comments || Top||

#5  So this is something like a savings bond, ten bucks now will get you 15 in ten years?
(Or whatever)
That, I can understand.
Posted by: Rednek Jim || 02/07/2009 22:31 Comments || Top||


What Got Cut in the Compromise?
Mark Hemingway -- the list of "cuts" made to the the stimulus bill as part of the grand compromise:

  • $100 million FSA modernization

  • $50 million CSERES Research

  • $65 million Watershed Rehab

  • $30 million SD Salaries

  • $100 Distance Learning

  • $98 million School Nutrition

  • $50 million aquaculture

  • $2 billion broadband

  • $100 million NIST

  • $100 million NOAA

  • $100 million Law Enforcement Wireless

  • $50 million Detention Trustee

  • $25 million Marshalls Construction

  • $100 million FBI Construction

  • $300 million Federal Prisons

  • $300 million BYRNE Formula

  • $140 million BYRNE Competitive

  • $10 million State and Local Law Enforcement

  • $50 million NASA

  • $50 million Aeronautics

  • $50 million Exploration

  • $50 million Cross Agency Support

  • $200 million NSF

  • $100 million Science

  • $1 billion Energy Loan Guarantees

  • $4.5 billion GSA

  • $3.5 billion Federal Bldgs Greening

  • $89 million GSA Operations

  • $300 million Fed Hybrid Vehicles

  • $50 million from DHS

  • $200 million TSA

  • $122 million for Coast Guard Cutters, modifies use

  • $25 million Fish and Wildlife

  • $55 million Historic Preservation

  • $20 million working capital fund

  • $200 million Superfund

  • $165 million Forest Svc Capital Improvement $90 million State & Private Wildlife Fire Management

  • $75 million Smithsonian

  • $1 billion Head Start/Early Start

  • $5.8 billion Health Prevention Activity

  • $2 billion HIT Grants

  • $600 million Title I (NCLB)

  • $16 billion School Construction

  • $3.5 billion Higher Ed Construction (Eliminated

  • $1.25 billion project based rental

  • $2.25 Neighborhood Stabilization (Eliminate)

  • $1.2 billion in Retrofiting Project 8 Housing
    • $40 billion State Fiscal Stabiization

    • $7.5 billion of State Incentive Grants
    Posted by: Sherry || 02/07/2009 14:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6481 views] Top|| File under:


    The Stimulus: More Than a Million a Day Since Jesus Christ's Birth
    Twice today, CNN has done short segments on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's declaration that

    To give the proposed economic stimulus plan some perspective, "if you started the day Jesus Christ was born and spent $1 million every day since then, you still wouldn’t have spent $1 trillion."

    Both times they said the claim checked out, the second time with a famous mathematician (although I think they just needed a calculator).

    Christ's birth in year zero one, times 365, times 2009, gets you 733,285,000,000, or a bit over $733 billion. (Yes, I'm leaving out leap years.) You're not even three-quarters of the way there. (Politifact calculates from 4 B.C.)

    Yes, the stimulus is less than a trillion—$819 billion in the version passed by the House. But that's still a bigger total than a million a day since the first Christmas.

    That's a soundbite that is going to resonate.
    Posted by: tipper || 02/07/2009 01:55 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6495 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  Interesting trivia I suppose, but I'd rather he spend his time holding Republicans (Collins and Spector) together in the Senate as John Boehner did in the House.
    Posted by: Besoeker || 02/07/2009 4:41 Comments || Top||

    #2  Any chance of a borrow ?
    Posted by: Dave UK || 02/07/2009 5:57 Comments || Top||

    #3  I thought Jesus saved, not spent.
    Posted by: GORT || 02/07/2009 8:40 Comments || Top||

    #4  GORT: You'll notice its we that are spending not saving.
    Posted by: OldSpook || 02/07/2009 10:05 Comments || Top||

    #5  Recently, I saw a short piece about the New Hampshire legislature debating a bill that would back hand the federal government in the face (see here). Now, there appears to be some others and I am not sure what all this means...but there is something bubbling under the surface. Perhaps one of these states has 'heard' something disconcerting or seen language in some proposed federal bailout of the states. Whatever it is, it is significant enough for them to fire a warning shot directly across the bow of the USS Obama.

    This is from the NH legislation:

    "....That any Act by the Congress of the United States, Executive Order of the President of the United States of America or Judicial Order by the Judicatories of the United States of America which assumes a power not delegated to the government of United States of America by the Constitution for the United States of America and which serves to diminish the liberty of the any of the several States or their citizens shall constitute a nullification of the Constitution for the United States of America by the government of the United States of America."[emphasis added]

    Ouch! That's gonna leave a mark.

    And this is from a trusted website I use to keep informed:

    This week, various state legislatures introduced bills intended to revive one of the most important gifts left to us by our forefathers…state sovereignty.

    No, you won’t hear about this on CNBC or Fox News. In fact, we just got word of it a few hours ago. All the way from Hawaii to New Hampshire…Georgia and California, nine states have so far introduced bills that would reaffirm state sovereignty as laid out in the ninth and tenth amendments to the constitution.

    Now – like I said – we just heard about this news ourselves. And we haven’t had enough time to really decide what it all means…but there is some strong wording in a few of these bills, to say the very least…

    From Arizona’s bill, “…if the President or any other federal entity attempts to institute martial law or its equivalent without an official declaration in one or more of the states without the consent of that state … individual members of the military return to their respective states and report to the Governor until a new President is elected…” [emphasis added]
    Posted by: Besoeker || 02/07/2009 13:48 Comments || Top||

    #6  Sorry Dave, the UK used up your allotment via the AIG bailout.
    Posted by: ed || 02/07/2009 14:31 Comments || Top||

    #7  How about a mass secession of the great majority of states?
    Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/07/2009 18:25 Comments || Top||

    #8  To What AP, CSA has been used, think up anothr name? the reunited states of america, TRUSA?
    Posted by: Rednek Jim || 02/07/2009 19:24 Comments || Top||

    #9  Hows about The United States of the Soverign States?
    Posted by: Deacon Blues || 02/07/2009 21:10 Comments || Top||

    #10  The United Republic of American States.

    Put REPUBLIC right in the title.
    Posted by: OldSpook || 02/07/2009 21:47 Comments || Top||

    #11  Of the above I favor "The Sovereign Republican States"
    We could exclude "Messituchets" the "District of Cowardace" and Very Ill Inois"

    any others?
    Posted by: Rednek Jim || 02/07/2009 22:41 Comments || Top||

    #12  This is beginning to sound, like, it's getting really serious.... and The One has only been office for two weeks! Whoa
    Posted by: Sherry || 02/07/2009 22:41 Comments || Top||


    Deal on economic stimulus bill - cut to $780 billion
    With job losses soaring nationwide, Senate Democrats agreed with key Republicans Friday night on an economic stimulus measure at the heart of President Barack Obama's plan for reviving the economy.
    Posted by: Fred || 02/07/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  A total rip-off at any price.
    Posted by: badanov || 02/07/2009 0:10 Comments || Top||

    #2  God DAMN Congress and God Help us now.
    Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 02/07/2009 0:12 Comments || Top||

    #3  This is a pork and power grab. Plain and simple. This country will lose its freedoms and go bankrupt. I echo cyber sarge's sentiments:

    Damn them all to hell. See Dante's version.
    Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/07/2009 0:29 Comments || Top||

    #4  Yet Hell is from where they hail from.
    Posted by: newc || 02/07/2009 1:00 Comments || Top||

    #5  They still must work out a reconciliation bill with the House, and then get that passed, unmodified, by both the House and the Senate. Dear Nancy Pelosi is going to have a fit 'cause her beneficiaries aren't going to get what she promised.
    Posted by: trailing wife || 02/07/2009 1:26 Comments || Top||

    #6  The republicans should have hung together and all voted no.

    Let the donks act unilaterally.
    Posted by: Mike N. || 02/07/2009 1:28 Comments || Top||

    #7  What a nice legacy we leave our children with the TARP and this piece of shameless garbage. Don't they understand that when the private sector competes with the gov't for loan dollars the gov't always wins and interest rates go up? They destroy the very thing they claim to be attempting to repair. We're very rapidly headed toward a one party, socialist system. The financing will soon be in place.
    Posted by: Besoeker || 02/07/2009 4:47 Comments || Top||

    #8  This situation calls for shared sacrifice and we're just passing along our share to the kids and grandkids.
    Posted by: regular joe || 02/07/2009 9:42 Comments || Top||

    #9  We're very rapidly headed toward a one party, socialist system.

    That is, one suspects, the intent. Especially since Obama has now put the hyper-partisan Rahm in charge of the upcoming census which in turn will control redistricting.
    Posted by: lotp || 02/07/2009 9:46 Comments || Top||

    #10  hyper-partisan Rahm in charge of the upcoming census which in turn will control redistricting.

    Maybe. Remember the phrase - all politics is local.

    You mess with reapportionment and even the parties back home will turn on you. It only takes 2/3rd of small states to call a Constitutional convention to 'adjust' anything the handful of big state pols want to shove down their throat. Fiddle with those numbers will create a problem that will make the economy look like small stuff in comparison.
    Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/07/2009 9:55 Comments || Top||

    #11  Yes lotp, I saw the Rahm and census thing yesterday, very troubling. Like Rahm's public appearances of late, not much press given to it. The One made some snarky comment at the Dems Williamsburg retreat about the Rahm going to some underprivileged school to teach cursing. Appears The One is angered by the media and press negatives his little ballet dancer is receiving. Difficult to believe these bastards have only been at it for a few short weeks.
    Posted by: Besoeker || 02/07/2009 9:55 Comments || Top||

    #12  KEY Republicans? Collins, Snowe and Specter? They are hardly "key" and are scarecely Republican anymore.
    Posted by: OldSpook || 02/07/2009 10:06 Comments || Top||

    #13  Not the senate's finest hour.
    Posted by: DarthVader || 02/07/2009 10:23 Comments || Top||

    #14  There is no reason they cannot take 2 weeks to properly discuss this bill.

    The ONLY reason they are hurrying is that people are starting to wise up and oppose it - more oppose it than support it.
    Posted by: OldSpook || 02/07/2009 11:47 Comments || Top||

    #15  It is interesting that, after claiming that pork only made up 1% of the bill, it turns out they had to cut 1/6 of the money in order to get waste & corruption down to acceptable levels.

    The real test will be in the conferrence committe. I expect the Dems to slip the pork back in. Then it will be up to the Repubs to slap them around again.
    Posted by: Frozen Al || 02/07/2009 13:20 Comments || Top||

    #16  Heard a comment the other day that the US is following Argentina's lead.
    Posted by: ed || 02/07/2009 14:37 Comments || Top||

    #17  I thanked my kids.
    Posted by: DoDo || 02/07/2009 14:38 Comments || Top||

    #18  Communist plan:

    bankrupt economy

    nationalize banks

    nationalize major industry prodution

    give large government handouts to ensure loyalty

    develop a federal civil police force for enforcement

    control all buying and selling

    control property ownership

    eliminate political dissent


    Hmmm. Sounds like we're on our way all right.
    Posted by: ex-lib || 02/07/2009 15:02 Comments || Top||

    #19  @#18: You forgot disarm the populace.

    An attempt at that is coming as well.I think they are going to over step and get their heads handed to them. Literally.
    Posted by: Trader_DFW at work. || 02/07/2009 17:21 Comments || Top||

    #20  Oh, yes - disarming us is high on their list of things to slip in quietly, 'reasonably' and permanently.
    Posted by: lotp || 02/07/2009 17:48 Comments || Top||


    Oil falls below $41 as recession batters US
    Oil prices fell below $41 a barrel Friday in Asia as soaring U.S. unemployment and bleak corporate results kept investors pessimistic about demand for crude.
    But price at the pump is acting more like it's $60 a barrel...
    Posted by: Fred || 02/07/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  WORLD MILITARY FORUM > WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM[WEF-Davos]: WORLD FACES "WATER BANKRUPTCY/INSOLVENCY" IN 20 YEARS [Year 2029-30]/70 OF WORLD'S MAJOR RIVER SYSTEMS ARE NEARLY EXHAUSTED???

    D *** NG IT, MAYBE THE FUTURE OWG-NWO WANTS TO MAKE ANTI-SPACE ROCK GMD-SPACE DEFENSE CALC ERRORS AND HAVE COMET APOPHIS SLAM INTO THE MOON ANYWAYS!

    * AIRPLANE Comedy Movie > POINT COUNTERPOINT > GUEST = "THEY BOUGHT THEIR PLANE/FLIGHT TICKETS FAIR AND SQUARE - I SAY, LET 'EM CRASH"!
    Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/07/2009 0:22 Comments || Top||

    #2  OOOOPSIES, forgot to add that WEF believes that, besdies geopol and environ chaos and anarchies, THE MARKET PRICE OF WATER = PRICE OF WATER-BASED INVESTMENTS WILL BEOME MORE SIGNIFICANT OR IMPORTANT THAN THE MARKET PRICE OF OIL???
    Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/07/2009 0:25 Comments || Top||

    #3  I use the McDonald's inflation standard. When it was 15 cents for a hamburger, or fries, or a small drink (total 45 cents), gas was running about 40 cents a gallon were I was [not counting 'gas wars' that occasionally broke out dropping it to the low 30s]. Today the 'All American' meal is over $2, a gallon of gas is back to about the same [and that's with a heck of a lot of local/state/fed tax that wasn't there so long ago].
    Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/07/2009 9:50 Comments || Top||

    #4  Just tanked up, price $1.73 not good, but not too bad.
    Posted by: Rednek Jim || 02/07/2009 19:29 Comments || Top||



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