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Female Tamil Tiger bomber kills 28 after hiding among refugees
Today's Headlines
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Afghanistan
Planning Victory in Afghanistan - Nine principles the Obama administration should follow.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 02/09/2009 11:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6484 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front: Politix
We Are All Socialists Now
Posted by: tipper || 02/09/2009 09:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Newsweak may be socialist, but the rest of us can make up our own minds. The European model is totally refuted by the problems that model created for Europe - high unemployment, huge social welfare costs, unlimited, unassimilated immigration, a weak military, and a governing class that has nothing but disdain for the "people". It CAN happen here, and Obambi is trying hard to make sure it happens here, but I don't see him succeeding. All he's going to do is make such a mess it'll take decades to clean it all up. Since we're going to have to clean up HIS mess, we need to clean up Woodrow Wilson's, FD Roosevelt's, and JB Johnson's messes at the same time - it'll be easier to clean it all up at once than to try to do it piecemeal. To do it, we're going to have to trumpet every failure of the Democratic Party, establish a strong CONSERVATIVE party that actually believes that the smaller the government, the better the government, and that the Constitution means what it says.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 02/09/2009 15:22 Comments || Top||

#2  Then we all better get used to stagnation and double digit unemployment.
Posted by: DMFD || 02/09/2009 18:03 Comments || Top||

#3  IIRC WND COMMENTARY > WILL/CAN THE US ACCEPT GLOBAL SOCIALISM [Also SSSSSSHHHHHHH read - NATIONAL, NOT JUST "GLOBAL"]???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/09/2009 20:34 Comments || Top||


Mark Steyn: Obama can't walk on water after all
...A president doesn’t have to be able to walk on water. But he does have to choose the right crew for the ship, especially if he’s planning on spending most of his time at the captain’s table schmoozing the celebrity guests with a lot of deep thoughts about “hope” and “change.” Far worse than his cabinet picks was President Obama’s decision to make the “stimulus” racket the all-but-sole priority of his first month, and then outsource the project to Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, and Harry Reid. Appearing on The Rush Limbaugh Show last week, I got a little muddled over two adjoining newspaper clippings—one on the stimulus, the other on those octuplets in California—and for a brief moment the two stories converged. Everyone’s hammering that mom—she’s divorced, unemployed, living in a small house with parents who have a million bucks’ worth of debt, and she’s already got six kids. So she has in vitro fertilization to have eight more. But isn’t that exactly what the Feds have done? Last fall, they gave birth to an $850 billion bailout they couldn’t afford and didn’t have enough time to keep an eye on, and now four months later they’re going to do it all over again, but this time they want trillionuplets. Barney and Nancy represent the in vitro fertilization of the federal budget. And it’s the taxpayers who’ll get stuck with the diapers....

Go read it all
Posted by: Mike || 02/09/2009 09:36 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:


From ‘Hope and Change’ to ‘Fear and Loathing’
Posted by: tipper || 02/09/2009 08:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6477 views] Top|| File under:


Prof. Althouse: "Get up to speed, people!"
How long does it take people to get something through their skulls? The Prez is black. I've been used to it since months before it happened. (And it seemed normal to me back when he was a long shot.) Are people really still going around dumbfounded, marveling that this — this! — happened in America? What is wrong with you? Get up to speed, people.

And yes, I'm very interested in the first big press conference. But that's because the country seems to be going to hell, and I want to see some competence and accountability. If Obama's people think they are "staging" some feel-good diversity show — it's "the first African American president ... talking on television"! — they must be crazy.
Posted by: Mike || 02/09/2009 08:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6487 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Just like the revival crowd that gathered celebrating the return of the 60s anti-war movement to promote 'Defeat in Iraq'(tm), there's a large segment of the society that is fixated upon those 60s and have never paid attention to changes in society as a whole since then. For them their perspective is anchored to some event back then and they are oblivious to the changes that have evolved around them. Unfortunately, they're still making policy and voting as though it still was the 60s.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/09/2009 9:55 Comments || Top||

#2 
Some people think of the 60's and early 70's as the 'Glory Days' of their lives and never really left. Take Bill Ayers (Please!) or John "I've served in Vietnam and have re-enacted home-videos to prove it" Kerry. To them nothing has changed since.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/09/2009 11:10 Comments || Top||

#3  The Prez is black

Oh dear! I just kinda sorta assumed he was an unusually swarthy Puerto Rican with lots of socialist friends.
Posted by: SteveS || 02/09/2009 13:06 Comments || Top||

#4  Gee, you think the good prefesser is finally waking up to the fact that O-blah-blah sold her a bill of goods?

(Yeah, me neither.)
Posted by: Cornsilk Blondie || 02/09/2009 14:26 Comments || Top||

#5  Back in September I was at the reenactment of the Battle of Chickamauga Creek in North Georgia when a German TV crew asked if they could talk to me. They were un-interested in the Battle but wanted to talk politics. After a few minutes I was asked if I really thought a Black man could be elected President. I said Yes. Yhen I asked him if a Black man could ever be elected to lead Germany and he and his crew almost rolled on the ground laughing. I took that for a no.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 02/09/2009 15:22 Comments || Top||

#6  She's quite late (though no dummy, I found her stuff so banal and often worse that I stopped looking at her stuff a long time ago). Way back in the summer and fall, I'd mock the silly people so impressed with the skin color of the ridiculous Dem front-runner/candidate with "get out much?", making the same point. I've never been horrified and ashamed of the country as I have been, and remain, since the hysteria of '06, culminating in the insanity of the election and today.
Posted by: Verlaine || 02/09/2009 23:51 Comments || Top||


Bush passed the ultimate test of a president
Posted by: tipper || 02/09/2009 08:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:


SNL on the "stimulus package"


h/t Instapundit. Spot-on portrayal of Pelosi.
Posted by: Mike || 02/09/2009 07:55 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:


Obama's 'Extreme Team' On Energy
One of them wanted to see Americans paying $8 a gallon for gasoline. Another tried to block access to domestic oil reserves that could one day exceed those in Saudi Arabia. Another thinks global warming is a dire crisis justifying a massive crackdown on energy -- decades after saying the same thing about global cooling. Yet another had a position in the one of the world's top socialist organizations.

Meet the Obama administration's energy team.

Forget everything you've heard about the president's moderate picks on the economy, national security and other issues. When it comes to energy policy and related environmental concerns, this group is off-the-charts extreme. Too bad the issue will be a critical one over the next few years.

Consider Obama's choice for energy secretary, Nobel prize-winning physicist Steven Chu. "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe," The Wall Street Journal quoted him as saying last September. In most Western European nations, gas taxes alone come to around $4 a gallon and are designed to make the pump price so high that people are forced to drive a lot less. At the time of Chu's comment, the "levels in Europe" were near $8 a gallon.

Chu has also said that electricity prices are "anomalously low," though he neglected to indicate how much higher he wants them to go. Instead of a secretary of energy, it sounds like America is getting its first secretary against energy. Chu backed off such rhetoric after being nominated, but his true feelings seem obvious.

Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) is Obama's choice to head the Department of the Interior, the agency that handles energy leasing on federal lands and most offshore areas. As a senator, Salazar has opposed much of this leasing, based on overblown environmental fears. It looks like "drill, baby, drill" isn't going to survive to adulthood.

In addition to opposing domestic drilling for conventional oil, Salazar was also responsible for legislation blocking the development of oil shale. America has vast amounts of this oil-containing rock, mostly beneath federal lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. The process of efficiently extracting this oil is still being improved; oil shale is a long-term project with uncertain prospects at this time. But if successful, it could provide literally hundreds of billions of barrels, exceeding the reserves in Saudi Arabia and providing enough oil to supply the United States for many decades.

As secretary of the interior, Salazar will have even more chances to stop cold any progress on oil shale, and with it our best hope for a dramatic increase in domestic oil production.

As with Chu, Obama's choice for science adviser, John Holdren, has impressive academic credentials but some very strange energy and environmental policy views. Even Al Gore can't match Holdren's global warming gloom-and-doom rhetoric, including the claim that it could kill as many as 1 billion people by 2020. Holdren's a veteran at making such alarming predictions, but back in the 1970s he worried more about whether man would survive the "threat of making the planet too cold."

But whether it's warming or cooling, Holdren has consistently advocated the same heavy-handed crackdowns on the economy and energy use, including the need for a "massive campaign ... to de-develop the United States." Good thing he's not in charge of the stimulus package.

Rob Bradley, chairman of the Institute for Energy Research, has compiled an amazing list of Holdren's favorite policy prescriptions, including the "limitation of material consumption," "redistribution of the wealth," and even "movement toward some kind of world government."

Apparently, Holdren isn't alone on the world government stuff. In the position of the president's top assistant on energy and climate policy is former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Carol Browner, whose picture and biography were, until quite recently, on the Web site of Socialist International. She was listed as a member of its Commission For a Sustainable World Society. The old joke that environmental activists are like watermelons -- green on the outside but red on the inside -- isn't so funny anymore.

She's not quite as opinionated as Holdren, but Browner does have a long record of placing environmental concerns, real or exaggerated, well above affordable energy and economic growth. Conspicuously absent from the incoming energy policy team is any real understanding that high energy prices are a bad thing that hurts the American people. Instead of a pro-energy team, Obama has assembled an extreme green team.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 02/09/2009 03:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6492 views] Top|| File under:

#1  That "Wingnuts" picture is entirely correct.
(You youngsters have probably never seen or heard of a wingnut,it's shorthand for "KOOK".)
Posted by: Rednek Jim || 02/09/2009 10:10 Comments || Top||

#2  Oh, I've seen it lots of times. It's what the Daily POS and DU use to refer to sites such as rantburg.

-----------

ION, I had a disturbing thought about energy policy last night. Specifically, wosshisname's reported advocacy of nuclear power as a solution.

Nuclear power comes in two flavors. Fission and Fusion.

Fission, we've gotten to work as a power source, but it's been strangled by NIMBY stuff, lots of bureaucratic red tape, the typical two-faced tactics, "We'll be glad to use nuclear power as soon as there's a Permanent Solution to the waste problem!" before doing everything they can to monkeywrench any solution to the waste problem. Nuclear waste dumps are pretty much persona au gratin in the modern political system, and the experimental reactor designs to destroy nuclear waste were canceled back in the Clinton Administration.

It's easy for the Mandarin Class, for lack of a better term, to say they want nuclear plants but make sure new ones are never completed.

And then there's fusion. Which I'll get to later, I have to run some errands now. Work, the curse of the blogging class...
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 02/09/2009 10:31 Comments || Top||

#3  (You youngsters have probably never seen or heard of a wingnut,it's shorthand for "KOOK".)

and here i was thinking it was a reference to the President's ears.
Posted by: classer || 02/09/2009 18:02 Comments || Top||

#4  A year ago I told one of my kids that Obama was smart but not experienced. I was wrong. He's not smart either.
Posted by: Darrell || 02/09/2009 19:26 Comments || Top||

#5  classer, the things on each side of the President's head are called Cranium Fins. I think they are supposed to dissipate excess logic.
Posted by: Victor Emmanuel Thrusolet4397 || 02/09/2009 19:36 Comments || Top||

#6  Something ate my cookie! Victor Emanuel wuz me.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 02/09/2009 19:40 Comments || Top||

#7  WORLD MIL FORUM > ITS THE SUN, STUPID! The same Earth-Sun orbital relationship that is inducing a so-called "Global Coooling/Ice Age" on the Nortehrn Hemisphere is causing the Southern hemisphere to heat up. ITS OKAY BECUZ THATS HOW ITS SUPPOSSED TO BE - WHAT EARTH REALLY HAS TO BE MINDFUL OR AWARE OF IS WHEN ANY GLACIAL EFFECT BEGINS AS THIS WILL REQUIRE THE DEV OF MAINLY NUCLEAR + OTHER ADVANCED [ANTI-COLD/GLACIATION]POWER GENERATION SYSTEMS, NOT THOSE KINDS OF POWER GENER SYSTEMS HEAVILY OR WHOLLY DEPENDENT ON BIOFUELS.

Unless Mankind can learn to grow UNDERGROUND overwhelmingly massive, land/space-expending amounts of natural commodities for bio-fueled Power Gener IN ORDER TO SURVIVE AND LIVE A "NORMAL QUALITY-OF-LIFE" DESPITE THE COMING ABOVE-GROUND "COOLING/ICE AGE"!?
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/09/2009 23:51 Comments || Top||


Stumbling out the gate: Barack Obama flubs his first big test
by Michael Goodwin

The first days of President Barack Obama have not been easy ones.

It's not easy to waste a mandate and a honeymoon at the same time, but President Obama seems determined to try. You know he's off to a lousy start when his most favorable reviews came after he said, "I screwed up."

Did he ever, and not just once. If he keeps going this way, America will be saying, "We screwed up."

He's our President, it's a horribly dangerous time at home and abroad and we desperately need him to succeed. But he can't be successful unless he builds a broad swath of public trust in his leadership. So far, he's going backward.

It's very early, but it's worrisome that Obama has stumbled almost since he took the oath. His inauguration speech was uninspired and next to nothing has gone right for him. Already he looks like he needs a vacation.

The historic young President with the political wind at his back has quickly turned testy toward those who disagree with him. Despite promises to the contrary, he's been so rigid that the defeated Republicans are relevant again.

Obama's fumbled rollout is surprising, given a smooth and skillful transition. He appointed key players early, talked repeatedly of being ready "to hit the ground running" and was eager to get off to a fast start.

Maybe too fast. His vetting of top aides was shockingly sloppy, and he has been concerned primarily with the speed of the stimulus bill, not its contents. The failed vetting produced a string of embarrassments over tax dodgers and influence peddlers, and his embrace of the flawed stimulus has put him on the wrong side of the American public, with only about 1 in 3 voters with him.

Even more surprising, his famously cool temperament is AWOL. He has been visibly frustrated at what he calls needless delay, despite a rapid timetable given the whopping price tag of the stimulus legislation and the uncertainty of its impact.

He should genuinely welcome those who want to make the bill better. After all, there's never been much doubt he would get a huge package passed, so he doesn't need to make enemies over it. The only real question is whether it will succeed.

But unable to get his way quickly, he pulled rank with a snippy, "I won." When the Senate insisted on debate, he turned to harsh attacks and campaign-style rhetoric. Some insiders already are grumbling about disarray and arrogance.

So much for a change in Washington.

What happened to the gracious uniter, the man who held a dinner to honor opponent John McCain and embraced the concept of a team of rivals? That seems like ancient history as he and McCain now are sniping at each other.

It's also disappointing that, instead of appealing to our hopes, Obama has resorted to fear-mongering, a tactic he often accused former President George Bush of using. Our new President sounds like the old one, warning that failing to do what he wants would be a "catastrophe," a word he used twice in one day.

The real catastrophe would be to borrow a trillion dollars for no lasting result except the liberal pet projects that have turned the bill into a porkfest.

A friend, in a clever reference to JFK's first big mistake, calls it Bambi's Bay of Pork. Obama's touting the bill marks him as careless with taxpayer dollars, and it's a reputation he will not find easy to shake, especially if the legislation fails to boost the economy and add jobs.

Nor will it be easy to persuade anyone he is nonideological after his turn to hard partisanship on just his 16th day in office. In a political hot-house atmosphere, he called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "our rock" and "an extraordinary leader," oblivious to her 18% approval rating. He claimed the stimulus she produced reflected "discipline," meaning he's either cynical or didn't bother to read the turkey before embracing it.

He accused critics of pushing "tired arguments and worn ideas," but there is nothing more tired than Washington's wasteful spending. He wants to "name and shame" corporate fat cats who abuse taxpayer bailouts, but cheers his Dem mates for an outrageous tab that knows no precedent in our nation's history.

Who is this guy? Where is the Barack Obama who charmed the country and challenged it to greatness?

That's the guy we elected. That's the President we need.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/09/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6492 views] Top|| File under:

#1  No surprises here, all very predictable. While it was originally not supposed to have been covered by the media, the President used last week's Democratic get-away in Williamsburg to lash out and vent his spleen... not to the assembled Dems, but to the American viewing public. He's major league butt hurt over the stimulous package hold up, and the declining lack of support by Americans as presented each evening on Fox News. His townhall meetings this week will attempt to repair the perception problem. I'm sure the attendees will be very carefully screened. It should be very interesting.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/09/2009 7:19 Comments || Top||

#2  especially if when the legislation fails to boost the economy and add jobs.


There, fixed it for ya.

By and large, the people this is designed to benefit aren't people without jobs who need them. No it's people who already have jobs or businesses that receive public sector checks - who are getting raises and increased income stream security.
Posted by: no mo uro || 02/09/2009 9:08 Comments || Top||

#3  The Republicans need to stand firm against this porkfest. The ones that vote for it most likely will not have a seat the next election cycle since the economy will still be in the toilet.
Posted by: DarthVader || 02/09/2009 10:13 Comments || Top||

#4  Seems to me he's got the job title confused, he's been elected "President" NOT GOD.
Posted by: Rednek Jim || 02/09/2009 10:14 Comments || Top||

#5  "Who is this guy? Where is the Barack Obama who charmed the country and challenged it to greatness?

That's the guy we elected. That's the President we need. "


I hope to hell this is rhetorical, cause otherwise Mr. Goodwin is an ass. The "charmer" was a media packaged empty suit from day one.

Anyone who didn't see this was either brain dead, had a mortal case of BDS or just not looking.

"Let me eat my waffle!" "That's not the Rev. I knew" "typical white person" etc. etc. etc.

I just hope that we can survive the nightmare. Our best hope is a 2010 equal to 1994.
Posted by: AlanC || 02/09/2009 12:01 Comments || Top||

#6  CNN NEWS this AM > 2-WEEK PERFORMANCE SURVEY/ POLLS = generally, it strongly appears that POTUS OBAMA is still the OBAMESSIAH, i.e. OVERHWELMING MAJORITY OR THOSE POLLED BY CNN BELIEVE THE BAM-MAN IS DOING A GOOD OR GREAT JOB AS POTUS.

* OTOH, WORLD MILITARY FORUM [GOOGLE Chinglish translation] > DISCOVERED: OBAMA's ABSOLUTE PERSONAL IQ IS RATED AT 50 POINTS [as per POTUS Obama's affect and new Policy decisions on DUBYA-ERA[PRE-ELEX] + POST-JAN 2009 US Econ policies]??
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/09/2009 23:38 Comments || Top||


Home Front: WoT
Foreign Spies Are Serious. Are We?
Posted by: tipper || 02/09/2009 09:54 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6486 views] Top|| File under:

#1  No we are not.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 02/09/2009 11:58 Comments || Top||

#2  Most contractors are, since they can lose their livelyhood if the government finds them in non-compliance.

The government side.... not really.
Posted by: DarthVader || 02/09/2009 13:13 Comments || Top||

#3  The USA has not been serious about counterintelligence since the 1940's. The next devastating spy case is just around the bend. I fear that when it comes, we will all ask ourselves why we didn't stop it. I suspect I already know the answer. No, we will not all be asking ourselves why we didn't stop it. We will collectively say, "D'oh!"
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 02/09/2009 14:06 Comments || Top||

#4  Is it really spying if these folks are the same ones the US relies on to develop the the gen technology and products?
Posted by: ed || 02/09/2009 14:28 Comments || Top||

#5  IIRC, the BRITISH GOVT? claimed the other day or so that it was being assailed by approximately 20 FOREIGN INTEL SERVICES, in activities ranging from Covert Deep Opers to "benign" routine computer hacking???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/09/2009 18:00 Comments || Top||

#6  You saw it here yesterday, JosephM. The Brits have good reason to be thankful the CIA is spying on their bad guys, since they can't keep track of them.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/09/2009 22:04 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
UNRWA: Lords of Misery
Saw this posted somewhere the other day and thought it was interesting insight into UNRA...

Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/09/2009 08:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:


One on One: 'With no likelihood of US use of force, that leaves Israel'
John Bolton makes no bones about his bleak forecasts. Rather than leaving his listener in a state of despair, however, his straight talk is surprisingly comforting, especially under the circumstances.
Long, long interview at the link.
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 02/09/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

#1  IIUC, Israel did not use bunker-buster bombs to try and damage the gzan-egypt tunnels complex, leading to a less-than-expected, only partial shutdown. Meaning they are saving those bombs for more important targets?
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/09/2009 6:42 Comments || Top||

#2  Excellent post, thanks UP. Certainly confirms my thinking with regard to Rice. It is tragic that we cannot take further advantage of Bolton's knowledge and expertise?
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/09/2009 7:08 Comments || Top||

#3  Not bad but he shows he is unable to think (or at least talk, he has not the same freedom of saying what he thinks that an average person) out of the box.

1) The UN must go. It is an intrinsic failure because its fundamentals: one state, one vote no matter how unimportant the state, how unrepresentative or corrupt, finacially or morally the government. That, could perhaps havbe been acceptable if UN's role had beeeen limited to the one of honest broker and place for warring states to meet. It is not when it gets power to vote sanctions and tries to pass as the representative of humankind and aspires to world government.


2) There will no be peace in Middle East as long as Palestinians can spend their money and time on war (and tell 3i want a lot of children in order to make them suicde bombres") because we pay to feed them and their children. The day, every child, every weapon means tightening another notch, ten notches more if a Kassam hits anything (they pay for damages), the day they are too busy earning their food for thinking in terrorism then there will be peace. All international aid to Palestinans should be cut off and the only question should be if it is reduced by 20% every year or if, like I favor, we cut it right now. Also Ifind deeply immoral that so muvh aid is squandered on the Palestians when there are populations who are much worse and recive much less.
Posted by: JFM || 02/09/2009 8:33 Comments || Top||


Home Front Economy
U.S. Taxpayers Risk $9.7 Trillion on Bailout Programs
The stimulus package the U.S. Congress is completing would raise the government’s commitment to solving the financial crisis to $9.7 trillion, enough to pay off more than 90 percent of the nation’s home mortgages.

The Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation have lent or spent almost $3 trillion over the past two years and pledged up to $5.7 trillion more. The Senate is to vote this week on an economic-stimulus measure of at least $780 billion. It would need to be reconciled with an $819 billion plan the House approved last month.

Only the stimulus bill to be approved this week, the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program passed four months ago and $168 billion in tax cuts and rebates enacted in 2008 have been voted on by lawmakers. The remaining $8 trillion is in lending programs and guarantees, almost all under the Fed and FDIC. Recipients’ names have not been disclosed.

“We’ve seen money go out the back door of this government unlike any time in the history of our country,” Senator Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, said on the Senate floor Feb. 3. “Nobody knows what went out of the Federal Reserve Board, to whom and for what purpose. How much from the FDIC? How much from TARP? When? Why?”

Financial Rescue

The pledges, amounting to almost two-thirds of the value of everything produced in the U.S. last year, are intended to rescue the financial system after the credit markets seized up about 18 months ago. The promises are composed of about $1 trillion in stimulus packages, around $3 trillion in lending and spending and $5.7 trillion in agreements to provide aid. The total already tapped has decreased about 1 percent since November, mostly because foreign central banks are using fewer dollars in currency-exchange agreements called swaps.

Federal Reserve lending to banks peaked at a record $2.3 trillion in December, dropping to $1.83 trillion by last week. The Fed balance sheet is still more than double the $880 billion it was in the week before Sept. 17 when it agreed to accept lower-quality collateral.

The worst financial crisis in two generations has erased $14.5 trillion, or 33 percent, of the value of the world’s companies since Sept. 15; brought down Bear Stearns Cos. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.; and led to the takeover of Merrill Lynch & Co. by Bank of America Corp.

The $9.7 trillion in pledges would be enough to send a $1,430 check to every man, woman and child alive in the world. It’s 13 times what the U.S. has spent so far on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Congressional Budget Office data, and is almost enough to pay off every home mortgage loan in the U.S., calculated at $10.5 trillion by the Federal Reserve.

‘All the Stops’

“The Fed, Treasury and FDIC are pulling out all the stops to stop any widespread systemic damage to the economy,” said Dana Johnson, chief economist for Comerica Inc. in Dallas and a former senior economist at the central bank. “The federal government is on the hook for an awful lot of money but I think it’s needed to help the financial system recover.”

Bloomberg News tabulated data from the Fed, Treasury and FDIC and interviewed regulators, economists and academic researchers to gauge the full extent of the government’s rescue effort.

Commitments may expand again soon. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner postponed until tomorrow an announcement that may invite private investment as a way to clear toxic debt from bank balance sheets. Measures that have been settled include a new round of injections of taxpayer funds into banks, targeted at those identified by regulators as most in need of additional capital, people briefed on the matter said.

Program Delay

The government is already backing $301 billion of Citigroup Inc. securities and another $118 billion from Bank of America. The government hasn’t yet paid out on any of the guarantees.

The Fed said Friday that it is delaying the start a $200 billion program called the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF, to revive the market for securities based on consumer loans such as credit-card, auto and student borrowings.

Most of the spending programs are run out of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where Geithner served as president. He was sworn in as Treasury secretary on Jan. 26.

When Congress approved the TARP on Oct. 3, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and then Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson acknowledged the need for transparency and oversight. The Federal Reserve so far is refusing to disclose loan recipients or reveal the collateral they are taking in return. Collateral is an asset pledged by a borrower in the event a loan payment isn’t made.

Fed Sued

Bloomberg requested details of Fed lending under the Freedom of Information Act and filed a federal lawsuit against the central bank Nov. 7 seeking to force disclosure of borrower banks and their collateral. Arguments in the suit may be heard as soon as this month, according to the court docket. Bloomberg asked the Treasury in an FOIA request Jan. 28 for a detailed list of the securities it planned to guarantee for Citigroup and Bank of America. Bloomberg hasn’t received a response to the request.

The Bloomberg lawsuit is Bloomberg LP v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 08-CV-9595, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
Posted by: tipper || 02/09/2009 14:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:


Stimulis: Because all economies have performance issues
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/09/2009 13:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6482 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front: Culture Wars
Dalrymple: The Persistence of Ideology
Posted by: tipper || 02/09/2009 10:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6474 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The continuance of ideology more than anything else points to social Darwinism on one extreme and Hegelianism on the other extreme.

That is, in the former example, the superior system survives and the inferior system fails and dies out. In the latter, that the two systems combine to produce a hybrid system with the best elements of both.

Criticisms of both exist as well. Archaic and bad ides, say Nazism, still exist in some form, so have not utterly died out, disputes a natural selection of ideas; as well as bad ideas that emerge in every generation, without any direct links to the past.

But Hegelianism can be criticized as well, because often it is not the best of ideas, but the worst of ideas, that are blended together over time.

This means that in the long run, ideology must be destructive enough to wipe out its competitors, which has led us to the state we find ourselves in today. Civilization vs. Barbarism.

The two can no longer coexist--one of them must die out, or be reduced so much that its end is inevitable.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/09/2009 15:09 Comments || Top||


Back on Uncle Sam's Plantation
Six years ago I wrote a book called "Uncle Sam's Plantation." I wrote the book to tell my own story of what I saw living inside the welfare state and my own transformation out of it.

I said in that book that indeed there are two Americas. A poor America on socialism and a wealthy America on capitalism.

I talked about government programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS), Emergency Assistance to Needy Families with Children (EANF), Section 8 Housing, and Food Stamps.

A vast sea of perhaps well intentioned government programs, all initially set into motion in the 1960's, that were going to lift the nation's poor out of poverty.

A benevolent Uncle Sam welcomed mostly poor black Americans onto the government plantation. Those who accepted the invitation switched mindsets from "How do I take care of myself?" to "What do I have to do to stay on the plantation?"

Instead of solving economic problems, government welfare socialism created monstrous moral and spiritual problems. The kind of problems that are inevitable when individuals turn responsibility for their lives over to others.

The legacy of American socialism is our blighted inner cities, dysfunctional inner city schools, and broken black families.

Through God's grace, I found my way out. It was then that I understood what freedom meant and how great this country is.

I had the privilege of working on welfare reform in 1996, passed by a Republican congress and signed into law by a Democrat president. A few years after enactment, welfare roles were down fifty percent.

I thought we were on the road to moving socialism out of our poor black communities and replacing it with wealth producing American capitalism.

But, incredibly, we are going in the opposite direction.

Instead of poor America on socialism becoming more like rich American on capitalism, rich America on capitalism is becoming like poor America on socialism.

Uncle Sam has welcomed our banks onto the plantation and they have said, "Thank you, Suh."

Now, instead of thinking about what creative things need to be done to serve customers, they are thinking about what they have to tell Massah in order to get their cash.

There is some kind of irony that this is all happening under our first black president on the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.

Worse, socialism seems to be the element of our new young president. And maybe even more troubling, our corporate executives seem happy to move onto the plantation.

In an op-ed on the opinion page of the Washington Post, Mr. Obama is clear that the goal of his trillion dollar spending plan is much more than short term economic stimulus.

"This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending-it's a strategy for America's long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, health care, and education."

Perhaps more incredibly, Obama seems to think that government taking over an economy is a new idea. Or that massive growth in government can take place "with unprecedented transparency and accountability."

Yes, sir, we heard it from Jimmy Carter when he created the Department of Energy, the Synfuels Corporation, and the Department of Education.

Or how about the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 -- The War on Poverty -- which President Johnson said "...does not merely expand old programs or improve what is already being done. It charts a new course. It strikes at the causes, not just the consequences of poverty."

Trillions of dollars later, black poverty is the same. But black families are not, with triple the incidence of single parent homes and out of wedlock births.

It's not complicated. Americans can accept Barack Obama's invitation to move onto the plantation. Or they can choose personal responsibility and freedom.

Does anyone really need to think about what the choice should be?
Posted by: Beavis || 02/09/2009 07:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:

#1  " Americans can accept Barack Obama's invitation to move onto the plantation. Or they can choose personal responsibility and freedom. "

Does anyone here actually think that this will have anything to do with choice? As Maobama proceeds everyone will be treated as a fugitive slave and rounded up to be returned to the plantation. Alternately, the plantation will expand to the point where there is no alternative.

Freedom is not a word in the Democrat vocabulary.
Posted by: AlanC || 02/09/2009 11:28 Comments || Top||

#2  either it's gonna be or the word Target will be.
Posted by: Hellfish || 02/09/2009 12:25 Comments || Top||

#3  Unfortunately, there are far too many people willing to sell themselves - cheap. The rest of us are going to be a minority. It's going to take a tremendous amount of coordination to pull together to fight the encroaching socialism. Too many people have accepted that a government stipend is their RIGHT, regardless of whether they've done anything to actually EARN it. Things are going to be a royal mess for many, many years.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 02/09/2009 15:16 Comments || Top||

#4  "Instead of POOR AMERICAN ON SOCIALISM BECOMING MORE LIKE A RICH AMERICAN ON CAPITALISM,RICH AMERICA ON CAPITALISM IS BECOMING MORE LIKE A POOR AMERICA ON SOCIALISM" > aka 1980's GORBACHEVISM [vv Glasnost-Perestroika], i.e. INSTEAD OF RAISING THE [econ bankrupt]SOVIET UNION + COMMUNIST WORLD-EAST TO THE LEVELS OF THE US-WEST + DEMOCAPITALISM, BRING THE SUCCESSFUL LATTER DOWN TO THE FAILED OR FAILING/WEAK LEVELS OF THE FORMER.

But hey, what does a Madonna fan = Guy-from-Guam know, espec 30 BATTLESTAR GALACTICA BABE YARNS ago ago ago.

* 1960's = 1980's MADONNA MTV ROCKUMENTARY > BBBUUUUUUUUUURRRRRPPPPPP - HI, I'm MADONNA, but I digress ....

* ION PAKISTANI DEFENCE FORUM > THE NEWS.PK - CHIEF NWFP MINISTER HOTI: ANP PARTY PREDICTED NWFP UNREST DECADES AGO [30 years ago - AFGHAN WAR was bwtn the US-USSR, + Pakistan should NOT had become involved. PK Leadership ignored warnings].
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/09/2009 20:51 Comments || Top||



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Two weeks of WOT
Mon 2009-02-09
  Female Tamil Tiger bomber kills 28 after hiding among refugees
Sun 2009-02-08
  India wants Pak declared terrorist state
Sat 2009-02-07
  Russia allows transit of US military supplies
Fri 2009-02-06
  Islamabad High Court frees AQ Khan
Thu 2009-02-05
  Thirty dead in Pakistan blast: hospital
Wed 2009-02-04
  Bridge Attack Severs Afghan Supply Route
Tue 2009-02-03
  Somalia orders recapture of Baidoa
Mon 2009-02-02
  Bomber in police uniform kills 21 Afghan policemen
Sun 2009-02-01
  Sheikh Sharif elected as Somalia's president
Sat 2009-01-31
  Polls Close in Iraq Elections, No Major Violence
Fri 2009-01-30
  'Incompetent' Hamid Karzai's political future in doubt
Thu 2009-01-29
  Pakistan busts suicide bomb gang
Wed 2009-01-28
  Yar! French navy nabs 9 Somali pirates
Tue 2009-01-27
  Al-Shabaab fighters seize Somali parliament headquarters
Mon 2009-01-26
  GSPC founder calls for al-Qaeda surrender in Algeria

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