Friday, January 29, 2010

The Fundamental Transformation of America

The Fundamental Transformation of America

When Obama wrote a book and said he was mentored as a youth by Frank, (Frank Marshall Davis) an avowed Communist, people said it didn't matter.

When it was discovered that his grandparents, were strong socialist, sent Obama's mother to a socialist school, introduced Frank Marshall Davis to young Obama, People said it didn't matter.

When people found out that he was enrolled as a Muslim child in school and his father and step father were both Muslims, people said it didn't matter.

When he wrote in another book he authored “I will stand with them (Muslims) should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” people said it didn't matter..

When he admittedly, in his book, said he chose Marxist friends and professors in college, people said it didn't matter.

When he traveled to Pakistan, after college on an unknown national passport, people said it didn't matter..

When he sought the endorsement of the Marxist party in 1996 as he ran for the Illinois Senate,
people said it doesn't matter.

When he sat in a Chicago Church for twenty years and listened to a preacher spew hatred for America and preach black liberation theology, people said it didn't matter.

When an independent Washington organization, that tracks senate voting records, gave him the distinctive title as the "most liberal senator", people said it didn't matter.

When the Palestinians in Gaza, set up a fund raising telethon to raise money for his election campaign, people said it didn't matter.

When his voting record supported gun control, people said it didn't matter.

When he refused to disclose who donated money to his election campaign, as other candidates had done, people said it didn't matter.

When he received endorsements from people like Louis Farrakhan and Mummar Kadaffi and Hugo Chavez, people said it didn't matter.

When it was pointed out that he was a total, newcomer and had absolutely no experience at anything except community organizing, people said it didn't matter.

When he chose friends and acquaintances such as Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn who were revolutionary radicals, people said it didn't matter.

When his voting record in the Illinois senate and in the U.S. Senate came into question, people said it didn't matter.

When he refused to wear a flag, lapel pin and did so only after a public outcry, people said it didn't matter.

When people started treating him as a Messiah and children in schools were taught to sing his praises, people said it didn't matter.

When he stood with his hands over his groin area for the playing of the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, people said it didn't matter.

When he surrounded himself in the White house with advisors who were pro gun control, pro abortion, pro homosexual marriage and wanting to curtail freedom of speech to silence the opposition people said it didn't matter.

When he aired his views on abortion, homosexuality and a host of other issues, people said it didn't matter.

When he said he favors sex education in Kindergarten, including homosexual indoctrination, people said it didn't matter.

When his background was either scrubbed or hidden and nothing could be found about him,
people said it didn't matter.

When the place of his birth was called into question, and he refused to produce a birth certificate, people said it didn't matter.

When he had an association in Chicago with Tony Rezco, a man of questionable character, who is now in prison and had helped Obama to a sweet deal on the purchase of his home, people said it didn't matter.

When it became known that George Soros, a multi-billionaire Marxist, spent a ton of money to get him elected, people said it didn't matter.

When he started appointing czars that were radicals, revolutionaries, and even avowed Marxist/Communist, people said it didn't matter.

When he stood before the nation and told us that his intentions were to "fundamentally transform this nation" into something else, people said it didn't matter.

When it became known that he had trained ACORN workers in Chicago and served as an attorney for ACORN, people said it didn't matter.

When he appointed a cabinet members and several advisors who were tax cheats and socialist, people said it didn't matter.

When he appointed a science czar, John Holdren, who believes in forced abortions, mass sterilizations and seizing babies from teen mothers, people said it didn't matter.

When he appointed Cass Sunstein as regulatory czar and he believes in "Explicit Consent", harvesting human organs with out family consent, and to allow animals to be represented in court, while banning all hunting, people said it didn't matter.

When he appointed Kevin Jennings, a homosexual, and organizer of a group called gay, lesbian, straight, Education network, as safe school czar and it became known that he had a history of bad advice to teenagers, people said it didn't matter.

When he appointed Mark Lloyd as diversity czar and he believed in curtailing free speech, taking from one and giving to another to spread the wealth and admires Hugo Chavez, people said it didn't matter.

When Valerie Jarrett was selected as Obama's senior White House advisor and she is an avowed Socialist, people said it didn't matter.

When Anita Dunn, White House Communications director said Mao Tse Tung was her favorite philosopher and the person she turned to most for inspiration, people said it didn't matter.

When he appointed Carol Browner as global warming czar, and she is a well known socialist working on Cap and trade as the nations largest tax, people said it doesn't matter.

When he appointed Van Jones, an ex-con and avowed Communist as green energy czar, who since had to resign when this was made known, people said it didn't matter.

When Tom Daschle, Obama's pick for health and human services secretary could not be confirmed, because he was a tax cheat, people said it didn't matter.

When as president of the United States, he bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, people said it didn't matter.

When he traveled around the world criticizing America and never once talking of her greatness, people said it didn't matter.

When his actions concerning the middle-east seemed to support the Palestinians over Israel , our long time friend, People said it doesn't matter.

When he took American tax dollars to resettle thousands of Palestinians from Gaza to the United States , people said it doesn't matter.

When he upset the Europeans by removing plans for a missile defense system against the Russians, People said it doesn't matter.

When he played politics in Afghanistan by not sending troops the Field Commanders said we had to have to win, people said it didn't matter.

When he started spending us into a debt that was so big we could not pay it off, people said it didn't matter.

When he took a huge spending bill under the guise of stimulus and used it to pay off organizations, unions and individuals that got him elected, people said it didn't matter.

When he took over insurance companies, car companies, banks, etc. people said it didn't matter.
When he took away student loans from the banks and put it through the government, people said it didn't matter.

When he designed plans to take over the health care system and put it under government control, people said it didn't matter.

When he set into motion a plan to take over the control of all energy in the United States through Cap and Trade, people said it didn't matter.

When he finally completed his transformation of America into a Socialist State , people finally woke up........ but it was too late.

Any one of these things, in and of themselves does not really matter. But.... when you add them up one by one you get a phenomenal score that points to the fact that our Obama is determined to make America over into a Marxist/Socialist society. All of the items in the preceding paragraphs have been put into place. All can be documented very easily. Before you disavow this, do an internet search. The last paragraph alone is not yet cast in stone. You and I will write that paragraph.. Will it read as above or will it be a more happy ending for most of America ? Personally, I like happy endings.

If you are an Obama Supporter, please do not be angry with me because I think your president is a socialist but there are too many facts supporting this. If you seek the truth you will be richer for it. Don't just belittle the opposition. Search for the truth. I did. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Constitutionalist, Libertarians and what have you, we all need to pull together. We all must pull together or watch the demise of a society that we all love and cherish. If you are a religious person, pray for our nation.

Never before in the history of America have we been confronted with problems so huge that the very existence of our country is in jeopardy. Don't rely on most television news and what you read in the newspapers for the truth. Search the internet.. Yes, there is a lot of bad information, lies and distortions there too but you are smart enough to spot the fallacies. Newspapers are a dying breed. They are currently seeking a bailout from the government. Do you really think they are about to print the truth? Obama praises all the television news networks except Fox who he has waged war against. There must be a reason.. He does not call them down on any specifics, just a general battle against them. If they lie, he should call them out on it but he doesn't. Please, find the truth, it will set you free.

Our biggest enemy is not China , Russia , Iran ; no, our biggest enemy is a contingent of politicians in Washington DC .

The True Danger To America...The People:

“The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the presidency. It will be easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails us. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.”

Socialism Explained In Economics Class

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class.

That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan". All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A...

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Could not be any simpler than that.

Canadian Healthcare panel decides death for 3 month old


Mom appeals to government: Don't pull plug on my baby
'Every day he does something new, so that helps us to fight,' she says

Posted: January 23, 2010
By Drew Zahn

Isaiah James May was born a little after 5 p.m. on Oct. 24, 2009, and was scheduled to die this past week – on Wednesday, Jan. 20 – just short of his three-month birthday.

That was the day chosen by Canada's publicly funded, government health service as the deadline for Isaiah to recover from his traumatic birth or be taken off life-support.

"There is no hope of recovery for Isaiah," reads a letter from Alberta Health Services delivered to Isaiah's parents and dated one week before the health care system intended to pull the plug on the baby it has determined irreparably brain damaged.

"Your treating physicians regretfully have come to the conclusion that withdrawal of active treatment is medically reasonable, ethically responsible and appropriate," the letter states. "We must put the interests of your son foremost, and it is in his best interests to discontinue mechanical ventilation support."

Send Congress a message – no government health care, or you're outta there – through WND's exclusive "Send Congress a Pink Slip" campaign!

Parents Isaac and Rebecka May, however, immediately appealed to the courts for more time, encouraged by signs that their boy was growing and moving, pointing to instance after instance where Isaiah had already proven the doctors wrong.

"He is doing everything they said that he would not do. Every day he does something new. So that helps us to fight," the baby's 23-year-old mother told CBC News. "His eyes dilate. He opens his eyes. He moves his limbs. He's growing. He's gaining weight. He's living. They told us he would never do any of that."

Then, the day before the hospital planned to allow Isaiah to die, a judge granted Isaiah a few more days of life.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Michelle Crighton gave Isaiah's parents one week, until Jan. 27, to find an independent expert – to determine if or when the baby should be taken off life-support.

Isaiah was born after a difficult 40 hours of labor, but the umbilical cord had wrapped itself around the baby's neck and deprived the newborn of oxygen. Isaiah was immediately taken by air ambulance to Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton, where he has survived with the help of a ventilator and feedings through an IV tube.

But through his three months of care, his doctors believe Isaiah has suffered irreversible brain damage and have offered his young parents no hope for the boy's recovery.

After Isaac and Rebecka May received the letter informing them life-support would be terminated on their son, they turned to the courts, seeking a 90-day window for continued observation of the progress they believe their son is making in spite of the doctor's predictions.

According to court documents reported by the Calgary Herald, the baby's mother claims doctors said Isaiah wouldn't live past three days, wouldn't grow, wouldn't be able to urinate or move. May says the doctors told her brain death would cause Isaiah's head to shrink and his brain to turn to "mush."

Instead, she says, not only has Isaiah's head grown, but he has also gained more than three pounds, wets his diaper, moves his hands, feet and arms and opens his eyes every day, according to court documents.

"It's pretty cool seeing little changes every day," his 22-year-old father told the Herald. "Of course, it's not easy, being there watching him on the bed like that, but we're just doing everything we can right now to know we've done everything we can do."

The couple's attorney told Edmonton's CTV News, "The family has asked for 90 days in order to see how the child will develop, if the child will grow, if there's any improvement in the child's condition."

Brent Windwick, the lawyer representing Alberta Health Services and the Stollery Children's Hospital, has asked the court to allow no more than 30 days before making its decision.

Alberta Health Services, in turn, released a statement: "The medical and ethical discussions for this family and care providers are the most difficult imaginable. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family. Our medical, nursing and allied health teams have and will continue to support this family in every way possible. It is appropriate to turn now to the courts for direction."

The court, however, granted the family only seven days to find an independent expert to evaluate their son and determine a future course of action.

Reported friends of the family have established a Facebook page for prayers and support for the May family. The page includes photos and videos of Isaiah, telephone numbers for complaints registered to Alberta Health Services, a mailing address for the Mays, who are currently staying at an Edmonton Ronald McDonald House, and links for financial donations through PayPal.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

GALLUP: Obama's Most Polarized for First-Year President

Obama's Approval Most Polarized for First-Year President
Shows much greater party differences than approval for any prior first-year president

by Jeffrey M. Jones

PRINCETON, NJ -- The 65 percentage-point gap between Democrats' (88%) and Republicans' (23%) average job approval ratings for Barack Obama is easily the largest for any president in his first year in office, greatly exceeding the prior high of 52 points for Bill Clinton.

Overall, Obama averaged 57% job approval among all Americans from his inauguration to the end of his first full year on Jan. 19. He came into office seeking to unite the country, and his initial approval ratings ranked among the best for post-World War II presidents, including an average of 41% approval from Republicans in his first week in office. But he quickly lost most of his Republican support, with his approval rating among Republicans dropping below 30% in mid-February and below 20% in August. Throughout the year, his approval rating among Democrats exceeded 80%, and it showed little decline even as his overall approval rating fell from the mid-60s to roughly 50%.

Thus, the extraordinary level of polarization in Obama's first year in office is a combination of declining support from Republicans coupled with high and sustained approval from Democrats. In fact, his 88% average approval rating from his own party's supporters is exceeded only by George W. Bush's 92% during Bush's first year in office. Obama's 23% approval among supporters of the opposition party matches Bill Clinton's for the lowest for a first-year president. But Clinton was less popular among Democrats than Obama has been to date, making Obama's ratings more polarized.

Obama still has three years left in his first term and possibly seven more as president, so there is much time for the polarization of his approval ratings to subside. However, if the current level of polarization persists through the end of his term, Obama would exceed Bush as the president with the most polarized approval ratings.

Bush's average Republican-Democratic gap for his eight years in office was 61 points. This included the record gap for a single approval rating: 83 points, which occurred twice -- in September 2004 (95% Republican, 12% Democratic) and October 2004 (94% Republican, 11% Democratic).

The political divide in Bush's ratings is to some extent understated, though, given the rally in public support for Bush after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, when he received record-high approval ratings. Even with these approval ratings, he averaged a 55-point gap in approval by party during his first term. During his second term, the average party gap in his ratings was 68 points, higher than Obama's to date.

The accompanying graph makes clear how much the level of political polarization has grown in Americans' evaluations of presidents in recent decades. Prior to Ronald Reagan, no president averaged more than a 40-point gap in approval ratings by party during his term; since then, only the elder George Bush has averaged less than a 50-point gap, including Obama's average 65-point gap to date.

Bottom Line

As a candidate and as president, Obama -- like his immediate predecessor, Bush -- sought to bring Americans together after periods of heightened political polarization in the United States. But despite their best intentions and efforts, both men's approval ratings have been characterized by extreme partisanship -- with high and seemingly unwavering approval from their own party's supporters and very little from the opposition party.

The way Americans view presidents has clearly changed in recent decades, perhaps owing to the growth in variety, sources, and even politicization of news on cable television and the Internet, and the continuing popularity of politically oriented talk radio. The outcome is that Americans evaluate their presidents and other political leaders through increasingly thick partisan lenses.

Poll: Fox most trusted name in news

By: Andy Barr
January 26, 2010 05:35 PM EST

Fox is the most trusted television news network in the country, according to a new poll out Tuesday.

A Public Policy Polling nationwide survey of 1,151 registered voters Jan. 18-19 found that 49 percent of Americans trusted Fox News, 10 percentage points more than any other network.

Thirty-seven percent said they didn’t trust Fox, also the lowest level of distrust that any of the networks recorded.

There was a strong partisan split among those who said they trusted Fox — with 74 percent of Republicans saying they trusted the network, while only 30 percent of Democrats said they did.

CNN was the second-most-trusted network, getting the trust of 39 percent of those polled. Forty-one percent said they didn’t trust CNN.

Each of the three major networks was trusted by less than 40 percent of those surveyed, with NBC ranking highest at 35 percent. Forty-four percent said they did not trust NBC, which was combined with its sister cable station MSNBC.

Thirty-two percent of respondents said they trusted CBS, while 31 percent trusted ABC. Both CBS and ABC were not trusted by 46 percent of those polled.

“A generation ago you would have expected Americans to place their trust in the most neutral and unbiased conveyors of news,” said PPP President Dean Debnam in his analysis of the poll. “But the media landscape has really changed, and now they’re turning more toward the outlets that tell them what they want to hear.”

The telephone poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

Fox News Finishes Week #1 in All of Primetime Cable

By Kevin Allocca
Jan 26, 2010 10:23 AM

Fox News was the top cable network in primetime last week, averaging the most total viewers between January 18th-24th. The last time FNC topped USA and came in first was during the week of the 2008 presidential election.

In a week dominated by coverage of the earthquake in Haiti and the U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts, FNC drew an average of 3.2 million total viewers in primetime (Mon-Sun).

Fox was ranked 3rd in total day. CNN was 22nd in primetime and 19th in total day, and MSNBC was 25th in primetime and 31st in total day.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


From The Times
January 28, 2010

Scientists in stolen e-mail scandal hid climate data

Ben Webster, Environment Editor, and Jonathan Leake

The university at the centre of the climate change row over stolen e-mails broke the law by refusing to hand over its raw data for public scrutiny.

The University of East Anglia breached the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to comply with requests for data concerning claims by its scientists that man-made emissions were causing global warming.

The Information Commissioner’s Office decided that UEA failed in its duties under the Act but said that it could not prosecute those involved because the complaint was made too late, The Times has learnt. The ICO is now seeking to change the law to allow prosecutions if a complaint is made more than six months after a breach.

The stolen e-mails , revealed on the eve of the Copenhagen summit, showed how the university’s Climatic Research Unit attempted to thwart requests for scientific data and other information, and suggest that senior figures at the university were involved in decisions to refuse the requests. It is not known who stole the e-mails.

Professor Phil Jones, the unit’s director, stood down while an inquiry took place. The ICO’s decision could make it difficult for him to resume his post.

Details of the breach emerged the day after John Beddington, the Chief Scientific Adviser, warned that there was an urgent need for more honesty about the uncertainty of some predictions. His intervention followed admissions from scientists that the rate of glacial melt in the Himalayas had been grossly exaggerated.

In one e-mail, Professor Jones asked a colleague to delete e-mails relating to the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

He also told a colleague that he had persuaded the university authorities to ignore information requests under the act from people linked to a website run by climate sceptics.

A spokesman for the ICO said: “The legislation prevents us from taking any action but from looking at the emails it’s clear to us a breach has occurred.” Breaches of the act are punishable by an unlimited fine.

The complaint to the ICO was made by David Holland, a retired engineer from Northampton. He had been seeking information to support his theory that the unit broke the IPCC’s rules to discredit sceptic scientists.

In a statement, Graham Smith, Deputy Commissioner at the ICO, said: “The e-mails which are now public reveal that Mr Holland’s requests under the Freedom of Information Act were not dealt with as they should have been under the legislation. Section 77 of the Act makes it an offence for public authorities to act so as to prevent intentionally the disclosure of requested information.”

He added: “The ICO is gathering evidence from this and other time-barred cases to support the case for a change in the law. We will be advising the university about the importance of effective records management and their legal obligations in respect of future requests for information.”

Mr Holland said: “There is an apparent Catch-22 here. The prosecution has to be initiated within six months but you have to exhaust the university’s complaints procedure before the commission will look at your complaint. That process can take longer than six months.”

The university said: “The way freedom of information requests have been handled is one of the main areas being explored by Sir Muir Russell’s independent review. The findings will be made public and we will act as appropriate on its recommendations.”

Obama pretends he didn't sign off on those shady health care deals

Obama: I didn't sign off on those shady health care deals. Really?
By: John McCormack
Weekly Standard
01/26/10 1:17 PM EST

Mary Katharine Ham notes that President Obama tells ABC:

“Let's just clarify. I didn't make a bunch of deals [on health care]. ... There is a legislative process that is taking place in Congress and I am happy to own up to the fact that I have not changed Congress and how it operates the way I would have liked.”

But the Washington Post reported on December 20 that Obama's top aides were involved in the negotiations with Nelson:

Schumer, who spent more than 13 hours in Reid's office Friday, said the Medicaid issue was settled around lunchtime, and the final eight hours of the talks focused on the abortion language. Boxer estimated she spent seven hours in Reid's offices -- without ever once sitting in the same room, even though they were all of 25 steps apart.

Reid and Schumer kept up the "shuttle negotiation" between the leader's conference room and his top aide's office, Boxer said. Keenly aware how tense the talks were, the White House dispatched two aides who together have decades of experience in the Senate -- Jim Messina and Peter Rouse -- to work with Nelson. They relayed their intelligence to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who monitored the talks from a dinner in Georgetown.

Perhaps Messina and Rouse just showed up to provide the "Christmas cookies" that Reid and Schumer chowed down to sustain themselves during the tense negotiations, but it's hard to believe that Obama's aides didn't sign off on both the abortion and Medicaid backroom deals.

Michelle Malkin sums it up:

The unmitigated chutzpah here is so blinding that I don’t just need sunglasses to protect my eyes. I need blackout curtains. Watch President Obama blame Congress for Demcare bribery and sabotage of transparency. As if Rahm and all the senior goons in the White House weren’t twisting arms and cracking heads to ensure that the deal met their boss’s timeline. As if the Cadillac tax break for unions hadn’t been hashed out at 1600 Pennsylvania.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Obama seen as anti-business by 77% of investors

Heidi Przybyla Heidi Przybyla
Thu Jan 21, 6:25 pm ET

Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. investors overwhelmingly see President Barack Obama as anti-business and question his ability to manage a financial crisis, according to a Bloomberg survey.

The global quarterly poll of investors and analysts who are Bloomberg subscribers finds that 77 percent of U.S. respondents believe Obama is too anti-business and four-out-of-five are only somewhat confident or not confident of his ability to handle a financial emergency.

The poll also finds a decline in Obama’s overall favorability rating one year after taking office. He is viewed favorably by 27 percent of U.S. investors. In an October poll, 32 percent in the U.S. held a positive impression.

“Investors no longer feel they can trust their instincts to take risks,” said poll respondent David Young, a managing director for a broker dealer in New York. Young cited Obama’s efforts to trim bonuses and earnings, make health care his top priority over jobs and plans to tax “the rich or advantaged.”

Carlos Vadillo, a fixed-income analyst at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in San Francisco, said Obama has been in a “constant war” with the banking system, using “fat-cat bankers and other misnomers to describe a business model which supports a large portion of America.”

Europe, Asia

Outside the U.S., Obama continues to get high marks with three-quarters or more of investors in Europe and Asia viewing him favorably. These rankings bring his global favorability rating to 60 percent among all poll respondents.

When it comes to his ability to manage a financial crisis, 55 percent of Europeans say they are either mostly or very confident; Among Asian respondents, 59 percent say they are somewhat confident or not confident; 38 percent expressed confidence.

Unlike other recent presidents, Obama hasn’t selected a leading business executive for his cabinet or a top advisory role. One year after taking office, he is coping with a jobless rate hovering around 10 percent and a federal deficit that rose to $1.4 trillion last year. In response, he has proposed a fee on as many as 50 large financial firms and yesterday called for limiting the size and trading activities of financial institutions as a way to reduce risk-taking.

‘Near Collapse’

“While the financial system is far stronger today than it was one year ago, it’s still operating under the same rules that led to its near collapse,” Obama said yesterday at the White House after meeting with former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who has been an advocate of taking such steps.

The poll was conducted Jan. 19, before Obama unveiled the plan. Yesterday, after the announcement, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 1.9 percent, its biggest loss since Oct. 30. The S&P 500 has risen 39 percent since Obama’s Jan. 20, 2009, inauguration.

The U.S. investors’ perceptions of Obama stand in contrast to those of their European counterparts, most of whom say the president strikes the right balance when it comes to managing business interests. Europeans, however, are more confident in Obama’s leadership on financial matters than Asians.

The quarterly Bloomberg Global Poll of investors, traders and analysts in six continents was conducted by Selzer & Co., a Des Moines, Iowa-based firm. It is based on interviews with a random sample of 873 Bloomberg subscribers, representing decision makers in markets, finance and economics. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

Geithner, Summers

Obama’s 71 percent unfavorable rating among U.S. investors is almost matched by two members of his economic team. Both Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Lawrence Summers, president of the National Economic Council. U.S. respondents give Geithner a 63 percent unfavorable rating and Summers 67 percent. In October, 57 percent held a negative view of Geithner and 66 percent said the same of Summers.

Like Obama, both men do better with Asian and European investors.

One financial figure to find favor among U.S. respondents is Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, who garners a 68 percent approval rating, which is in line with his marks from non-U.S. investors and the rating U.S. investors gave him in the October poll.

There is one other figure U.S. and international investors agree on: former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, a potential candidate for her party’s nomination in 2012.

Palin Rating

With a net favorability rating of 15 percent among all investors, Palin does best in the U.S., where she has the support of 27 percent of respondents. In Asia, it’s 14 percent, and in Europe just 5 percent of investors view her favorably.

“She revealed a complete lack of any global awareness,” said Anthony Gibbs, an agency broker at Vantage Capital Markets in London.

Investors outside the U.S. are more unified about Obama’s approach to business, with 67 percent of Europeans saying he strikes the right balance and 56 percent of Asians who agree.

“He is managing well a position he took over under great uncertainty,” said Sivanesan Muthusamy, senior vice president of funding and investments at Alliance Bank in Kuala Lumpur. “American leadership is again guiding the global financial markets into stability.”

The U.S. investors’ overwhelming characterization of Obama as anti-business stands in sharp contrast to the results of a Bloomberg National Poll in December, when 52 percent of U.S. adults said the president had the right balance in his approach.

Geographic Divide

The January poll shows an especially dramatic divide between U.S. and global investors when it comes to Obama’s overall favorability rating.

In Europe, 81 percent of respondents have a favorable opinion of Obama. In Asia, that number is 73 percent. The polarization is far greater by geography than by occupation, the survey found. Sales executives gave Obama his highest unfavorable rating, at 53 percent, compared with 28 percent of researchers and analysts and 35 percent of traders.

Globally, other central bankers are slightly less popular than Bernanke. Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, has a 60 percent favorable rating globally, with 45 percent in the U.S. and 78 percent in Europe.

Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China, who gets a 42 percent favorable rating overall, gets 39 percent in the U.S. and Europe and 51 percent in Asia.

To see methodology and exact question wording, click on the attachment tab at the top of the story.

To contact the reporter on this story: Heidi Przybyla at

Friday, January 22, 2010

SHOCK: 'Whites only' basketball league announced in Georgia...

I could only support this if it is a publicity stunt aimed at proving how wrong and racist other exclusionary (based upon skin color) organizations are such as BET, UNCF, Jet, Ebony, etc. How hypocritical one would have to be to support Black Entertainment Television but oppose the All American Basketball Alliance?! As for me...I OPPOSE BOTH and ALL!!! I'm support diversity and oppose all aimed at hindering the promotion of diversity! It is the ONLY way to continue to make progress on America's racial issues! When we are divided by other issues other than skin color...then we can say we've began to realize MLK's dream!

‘Whites only' basketball league announced

By Mike Morris
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
8:25 a.m. Thursday, January 21, 2010

Is a new professional basketball league announced this week for real, or is it all just some sort of joke or publicity stunt by former pro wrestling promoter Don "Moose" Lewis?

The Augusta Chronicle reported on Tuesday that the All-American Basketball Alliance plans to kick off its inaugural season in June and hopes that Augusta will be one of 12 cities to host teams.

But here's the kicker: According to a press release the newspaper and other Augusta media outlets received from the new league, "only players that are natural-born United State citizens with both parents of Caucasian race are eligible to play in the league."

That's right. Lewis, who calls himself the commissioner of the AABA, will exclude blacks and all foreigners from his new league, which the newspaper said will be based in Atlanta.

According to the Chronicle, Lewis said he wants to emphasize "fundamental basketball" instead of "street ball" played by "people of color."

"There's nothing hatred about what we're doing," Lewis told the paper. "I don't hate anyone of color."

Lewis pointed out recent incidents in the NBA, including Gilbert Arenas' suspension for bringing a gun into the Washington Wizards locker room, and said, "Would you want to go to the game and worry about a player flipping you off or attacking you in the stands or grabbing their crotch?"

But is Lewis, a former promoter of the International Wrestling Union, serious about his plans for such an exclusionary league, which he hopes will have teams in a dozen southeastern cities such as Augusta, Albany and Chattanooga, Tenn.?

The AABA apparently has no Web site, and efforts early Thursday to reach Lewis through the telephone number listed on the league's press release were unsuccessful.

"I am a sports enthusiast myself, but I just don't think that idea's going to fly in Augusta, Ga.," Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver told WJBF-TV.

UN climate change expert: there could be more errors in report

January 23, 2010
Jeremy Page, South Asia Correspondent

The Indian head of the UN climate change panel defended his position yesterday even as further errors were identified in the panel's assessment of Himalayan glaciers.

Dr Rajendra Pachauri dismissed calls for him to resign over the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change’s retraction of a prediction that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035.

But he admitted that there may have been other errors in the same section of the report, and said that he was considering whether to take action against those responsible.

“I know a lot of climate sceptics are after my blood, but I’m in no mood to oblige them,” he told The Times in an interview. “It was a collective failure by a number of people,” he said. “I need to consider what action to take, but that will take several weeks. It’s best to think with a cool head, rather than shoot from the hip.”

The IPCC’s 2007 report, which won it the Nobel Peace Prize, said that the probability of Himalayan glaciers “disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high”.

But it emerged last week that the forecast was based not on a consensus among climate change experts, but on a media interview with a single Indian glaciologist in 1999.

The IPCC admitted on Thursday that the prediction was “poorly substantiated” in the latest of a series of blows to the panel’s credibility.

Dr Pachauri said that the IPCC’s report was the responsibility of the panel’s Co-Chairs at the time, both of whom have since moved on.

They were Dr Martin Parry, a British scientist now at Imperial College London, and Dr Osvaldo Canziani , an Argentine meteorologist. Neither was immediately available for comment.

“I don’t want to blame them, but typically the working group reports are managed by the Co-Chairs,” Dr Pachauri said. “Of course the Chair is there to facilitate things, but we have substantial amounts of delegation.”

He declined to blame the 25 authors and editors of the erroneous part of the report , who included a Filipino, a Mongolian, a Malaysian, an Indonesian, an Iranian, an Australian and two Vietnamese.

The “co-ordinating lead authors” were Rex Victor Cruz of the Philippines, Hideo Harasawa of Japan, Murari Lal of India and Wu Shaohong of China.

But Syed Hasnain, the Indian glaciologist erroneously quoted as making the 2035 prediction, said that responsibility had to lie with them. “It is the lead authors — blame goes to them,” he told The Times. “There are many mistakes in it. It is a very poorly made report.”

He and other leading glaciologists pointed out at least five glaring errors in the relevant section.

It says the total area of Himalyan glaciers “will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 square kilometers by the year 2035”. There are only 33,000 square kilometers of glaciers in the Himalayas.

A table below says that between 1845 and 1965, the Pindari Glacier shrank by 2,840m — a rate of 135.2m a year. The actual rate is only 23.5m a year.

The section says Himalayan glaciers are “receding faster than in any other part of the world” when many glaciologists say they are melting at about the same rate.

An entire paragraph is also attributed to the World Wildlife Fund, when only one sentence came from it, and the IPCC is not supposed to use such advocacy groups as sources.

Professor Hasnain, who was not involved in drafting the IPCC report, said that he noticed some of the mistakes when he first read the relevant section in 2008.

That was also the year he joined The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in Delhi, which is headed by Dr Pachauri.

He said he realised that the 2035 prediction was based on an interview he gave to the New Scientist magazine in 1999, although he blamed the journalist for assigning the actual date.

He said that he did not tell Dr Pachauri because he was not working for the IPCC and was busy with his own programmes at the time.

“I was keeping quiet as I was working here,” he said. “My job is not to point out mistakes. And you know the might of the IPCC. What about all the other glaciologists around the world who did not speak out?”

Dr Pachauri also said he did not learn about the mistakes until they were reported in the media about 10 days ago, at which time he contacted other IPCC members. He denied keeping quiet about the errors to avoid disrupting the UN summit on climate change in Copenhagen, or discouraging funding for TERI’s own glacier programme.

But he too admitted that it was “really odd” that none of the world’s leading glaciologists had pointed out the mistakes to him earlier. “Frankly, it was a stupid error,” he said. “But no one brought it to my attention.”

Majority of Americans, and Nearly 6 in 10 Young Adults, View Abortion as Morally Wrong

Majority of Americans, and Nearly 6 in 10 Young Adults, View Abortion as Morally Wrong

Poll finds 56% of all Americans and 58% of those 18-29 years old say abortion 'morally wrong'

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the eve of the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion throughout the United States, a new survey shows a strong majority of Americans believe abortion to be "morally wrong."

"Millennials" (those 18-29) consider abortion to be "morally wrong" even more (58%) than Baby Boomers (those 45-64) (51%). Generation X (those 30-44) are similar to Millennials (60% see abortion as "morally wrong"). More than 6 in 10 of the Greatest Generation (those 65+) feel the same.

The most recent Knights of Columbus – Marist survey – conducted in late December and early January – is the latest in a series of such surveys commissioned by the Knights of Columbus and conducted by Marist Institute for Public Opinion. In October of 2008 and July of 2009, the survey has

been tracking an increasing trend toward the pro-life position – a trend confirmed by Gallup and Pew surveys in mid-2009. K of C – Marist surveys are available online at

"Americans of all ages – and younger people in even greater numbers than their parents – see abortion as something morally wrong," said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "America has turned a corner and is embracing life – and in doing so is embracing a future they – and all of us – can be proud of."

He added: "Advances in technology show clearly – and ever more clearly – that an unborn child is completely a human being. That, coupled with the large number of Americans who know one of the many people who has been negatively affected by abortion are certainly two of the reasons that Americans are increasingly uncomfortable with Roe v. Wade's legacy of abortion, and with abortion generally. The majority of Americans now understand that abortion has consequences, and that those consequences are not good."

The question on abortion was part of a larger survey, which will be released in the next several days.

This report presents the findings from a survey of 2,243 Americans -- including an oversample of 1,006 Millennials. Reports for Americans have a margin of error of +/-2% and for Millennials it is +/-3%. Data were collected from December 23, 2009 through January 4, 2010 using an online, probability-based panel from Knowledge Networks, Inc. Additional information is available at Data on the polls commissioned by the Knights of Columbus are available at

SOURCE Knights of Columbus


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Obama to Nationalize Student Lending

Obama to Nationalize Student Lending with Pending Budget Bill

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
By Matt Cover, Staff Writer

( – A bill currently before the Senate would empower the Obama administration to nationalize the student lending industry, eliminating the federally subsidized private loans millions of university students rely on to finance their educations.

The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act – currently being considered by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee – would eliminate the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program. FFEL loans are federally subsidized and make up approximately 80 percent of the student lending industry.

According to the Department of Education, 14.3 million of the 17.5 million student loans were federally subsidized for the 2009-2010 fiscal year. Under Obama’s plan, the government would consume the entirety of this industry – a total of $103 billion in 2009-2010.

Under the current system, the federal government subsidizes private financial institutions in order to entice those institutions to provide low-interest loans to students.

Under this arrangement the government sets the interest rates lenders may charge students. In return, the government reimburses lenders if market interest rates rise above the interest rates on the loans – in essence, the government reimburses private lenders if they begin losing money on the loans.

In return, the lenders agree to return any windfall profits made from the loans to the government. In other words, if market interest rates fall below the interest rates of the loans, the lenders pay the government the difference.

The government also agrees to reimburse the lenders should a student default.

Under the system proposed by Obama, the government would cut private lenders out of the picture entirely, setting the interest rates and collecting payments directly for all student lending.

Whether or not the government saw a profit or a loss from the new, federal loans would depend on the rate at which the government borrows money. For instance, the law currently sets the interest rate for direct loans at a maximum of 6.8 percent.

Under Obama’s proposal, if the government can borrow money at a rate lower than 6.8 percent, it would realize the difference as profit. If the government’s borrowing rate were to fall in the future, its profit on student loans would grow.

The idea to nationalize student lending was first put forth in President Obama’s fiscal-year 2010 budget and marketed as a way to save the government billions of dollars. According to a CBO estimate, the proposal would save the government $87 billion over 10 years.

The savings estimate results from the fact that the government believes it will collect more in interest payments from students than it would otherwise have to pay in fees to lenders.

The plan has met Republican opposition, passing the House on a party-line vote in September – 253-171 – and has stalled in the Senate, where HELP Chairman Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has said he plans to pass the measure using budget reconciliation.

“We've already been instructed by the Budget Committee to do this, so we're going to do it,” Harkin told The Hill Oct. 19 when asked about using the controversial budget maneuver. Reconciliation allows budget-related items to be passed with a 51-vote majority, eliminating the threat of a filibuster.

The government’s savings estimates have also come into question. In a July 27 letter to Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), the Congressional Budget Office admitted that its original figure of $87 billion in savings over 10 years did not include an estimate of losses the government would incur from defaults. When that risk was added in, the estimated savings dropped to $47 billion.

The original estimate “does not include the cost to the government stemming from the risk that cash flows may be less than the amount projected (that is, that defaults could be higher than projected).

CBO found that after accounting for the cost of such risk, as discussed below, the proposal to replace new guaranteed [subsidized] loans with direct loans would lead to estimated savings of about $47 billion over the 2010-2019 period,” CBO reported.

The plan’s fate, however, is determined largely by Obama’s other major initiative – health care reform. Because reconciliation may only be used on one bill per year, Democrats must wait to see if it is needed to pass health care reform. If it is, they will have to combine both the student loan and health care proposals into one bill before using reconciliation to bypass an inevitable Republican filibuster.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Health bill may impose 'marriage penalty'

Both the House and Senate plans have higher premium caps for a married couple than an unmarried pair making the same money.

By The Wall Street Journal

Some married couples would pay thousands of dollars more for the same health insurance coverage as unmarried people living together if the health insurance overhaul plan pending in Congress is passed.

The built-in "marriage penalty" in both House and Senate versions of the health care bill has received scant attention. But for scores of low- and middle-income couples, it could mean a hike of $2,000 or more in annual insurance premiums the moment they say "I do."

The disparity could come about in part because subsidies for purchasing health insurance under the plan from House Democrats are pegged to federal poverty guidelines. That would have the effect of limiting subsidies for married couples with a combined income, compared with if the individuals were single.

People who got their health insurance through an employer wouldn't be affected, but people who bought subsidized insurance through new exchanges set up by the legislation would. About 17 million people would receive such subsidies in 2016 under the House plan, the Congressional Budget Office estimates.

The legislation would cap the annual amount people making less than 400% of the federal poverty level must pay for health insurance premiums, ranging from 1.5% of income for the poorest to 11% at the top end, under the House plan.

How the math works
For an unmarried couple with income of $25,000 per person, combined premiums would be capped at $3,076 per year under the House bill. If the couple got married, with a combined income of $50,000, their annual premium cap would jump to $5,160, a "penalty" of $2,084. Those figures were included in a memo prepared by House Republican staff members.

The disparity is slightly smaller in the Senate version of health care legislation, chiefly because premium subsidies in the House bill are more targeted toward low-wage earners. Negotiations are under way to come up with a compromise bill that is acceptable to a majority in both the House and the Senate.

Under the Senate bill, a couple with $50,000 combined income could pay as much as $3,450 in annual premiums if unmarried and $5,100 if married, a difference of $1,650.

Republicans say the effect on married couples whose combined income made them ineligible for subsidies would be even greater -- up to $5,000 or more -- but that is more difficult to measure because it includes assumptions about the price of insurance policies.

A matter of trade-offs
Democratic staff members confirmed the existence of the penalty but said any remedy would create other inequities.

For instance, they said making the subsidies neutral toward marriage would lead to a married couple with only one breadwinner getting a more generous subsidy than a single parent at the same income level. "The Finance Committee, along with other committees in the Senate, took pains to craft the most equitable overall structure possible, and that's what we have here," said a Democratic Senate Finance Committee aide.

If a health bill passes with a marriage penalty intact, it will be far from the first example of federal and social benefits creating incentives to remain single. Under the law now, marriage can have a negative impact on a person's ability to claim the earned income tax credit and welfare benefits, including food stamps.

Poll: Most Americans Say They Want a Smaller Government

What Washington Post Story Did Not Say about Its Own Poll: Most Americans Say They Want a Smaller Government

Monday, January 18, 2010
By Terence P. Jeffrey, Editor-in-Chief

[Correction: Although the Washington Post’s Sunday story that focused primarily on a new Washington Post-ABC News poll—“Poll Shows Growing Disappointment, Polarization Over Obama’s Performance” by Jon Cohen and Jennifer Agiesta—made no mention of the fact that the poll found that 58 percent of Americans say they favor a smaller government that provides fewer services, another story in Sunday’s Post—“One Year Later Assessing Obama; Testing the Promise of Pragmatism” by Dan Balz--did mention that finding.

The tenth paragraph of Balz’s story said: “The poll also shows how much ground Obama has lost during his first year of trying to convince the public that more government is the answer to the country's problems. By 58 percent to 38 percent, Americans said they prefer smaller government and fewer services to larger government with more services. Since he won the Democratic nomination in June 2008, the margin between those favoring smaller over larger government has moved in Post-ABC polls from five points to 20 points.”]

( - A large majority of Americans say they want a smaller government that provides them with fewer services, according to a new poll from the Washington Post and ABC News. But the Washington Post story about the poll makes no mention of this fact.

The poll asked: “Generally speaking, would you say you favor smaller government with fewer services, or larger government with more services?”

Fifty-eight percent said they favor a smaller government with fewer services, and only 38 percent said they favor a larger government with more services.

The Post did not mention the results from this poll question in its news story about the poll.

The poll surveyed a random sample of 1,083 American adults from Jan. 12-15, 2010.

A by-the-numbers look at Obama's first year

1.7 million more people unemployed (from 13 million to 14.7 million)
2.4% raise in unemployment (from 7.7% to 10.1%)
$1.7 trillion dollar increase in outstanding public debt (from $10.6 trillion to $12.3 trillion)
139 bank failures
$787 billion dollars - cost of economic stimulus bill.

7,100 additional US troops deployed:
More than doubled the amount of US troops in Afghanistan by deploying 35,600 troops.
319 US millitary deaths in Afghanistan.
Brought home 20% of US troops in Iraq (28,500)
152 US millitary deaths in Iraq.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


CARACAS (Dow Jones)--President Hugo Chavez ordered Sunday the seizure of a French-owned retail chain on accusations that it raised prices after Venezuela devalued the currency by half.

"Until when are we going to allow this to happen?" Chavez asked during his Sunday television program in reference to the alleged price hike by Almacenes Exito SA (EXITO.BO), headquartered in Colombia and controlled by French retailer Casino

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

IRS commissioner finds tax code 'complex'; Doesn't file his own returns:

By Bob Cusack - 01/10/10 11:54 PM ET

IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman does not file his own taxes in part because he believes the tax code is complex.

During an interview on C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program that aired on Sunday, Shulman said he uses a tax preparer for his own returns.

"I've used one for years. I find it convenient. I find the tax code complex so I use a preparer," Shulman said.

Pressed on how he would make the tax code simpler, Shulman responded, "I don't write the tax laws. Congress writes the tax laws so that's a whole different discussion."

The IRS this month announced it will be scrutinizing the tax preparer industry. Shulman said the IRS is looking to set "a minimal level of competence in the preparer community."

Later in the C-SPAN interview, Shulman downplayed his use of a tax preparer, saying he has used one for 10 years. He noted that he and President Barack Obama are proponents of simplifying the tax code.

Shulman said about 60 percent of Americans use tax preparers and another 20 percent use software to file their returns.

He added, "So you're over 80 percent of people who aren't just sitting down and filling out the forms themselves."


Monday, January 11, 2010


by P. Patriot

(Jan. 5, 2010) - The Post & Email can publicly confirm that on the first of December, last, U.S. Congressman Nathan Deal (GA-R) challenged the eligibility of Barack Hussein Obama to hold the office of the U.S. presidency.

Todd Smith, Chief of Staff for Representative Nathan Deal of the United States House of Representatives serving Georgia's 9th district, has confirmed today that Deal has sent a letter to Barack Hussein Obama requesting him to prove his eligibility for the office of President of the United States of America. The letter was sent electronically the first of December 2009 in pdf format, and Mr. Smith said that Representative Deal has confirmation from Obama's staff that it has been received. The letter did not have additional signatories. It originated solely from Representative Deal.

Now, what does this mean? This is probably the first time in 233 years of American history that a sitting member of the House of Representatives has officially challenged the legitimacy of a sitting presidentÅ .one full year into his term.

This forever changes the public discourse.

Even if the putative president ignores the challenge, he cannot hide from it, because by doing so he admits his guilt through silence. The question has to be asked near and far, why would a president who has promised greater transparency than any previous administration pay upwards of $2,000,000 of taxpayer money to hide documents that could resolve the matter once and for all time for the cost of $20.00. He has publicly admitted on more than one occasion that his father was NOT an American citizen. This alone disqualifies him from eligibility based on Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 5 of the Constitution, and consequently makes him a usurper.

Representative Deal, understanding full well the magnitude and gravity of the situation and recognizing that it places our country in a national security crisis, has rightfully confronted the issue head-on. The ramifications are so serious that all laws signed by a putative president are null and void, and soldiers sent into war under his command can be tried as war criminals.

Representative Deal is not a "Birther"; rather, he is a "Truther"; one of the millions of others who have been seeking irrefutable proof for over a year and a half!

Not a single lawsuit to date has been decided on the merits of the case, with numerous cases yet to be resolved or dismissed.

To show support for Representative Deal, you may contact him here:

The Honorable Nathan Deal
2133 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-1009
DC Phone: 202-225-5211
DC Fax: 202-225-8272
Email Address:
WWW Homepage:

FEDS LOSE $68 BILLION IN BAILOUTS FROM AIG, Automakers, and Homeowner Bailouts!!!

AIG, autos offset Treasury bank bailout profits

5:16pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. taxpayer profits from bank bailout investments are being offset by estimated losses from American International Group and automakers and mortgage payment cuts for struggling homeowners, a U.S. Treasury report showed on Monday.

The Treasury estimated net losses on its $700 billion bailout program at $68.5 billion for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2009.

The December report for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, showed that the fiscal 2009 net loss included estimated losses of $30.4 billion for AIG and $30.4 billion for automakers, with $27.1 billion in losses from the Home Affordable Modification Program.

These were much larger than a $15 billion profit registered from the Capital Purchase Program for banks and $4.4 billion in profits from other bank investments, asset guarantee and lending programs.

A senior Treasury official said the bank investments will ultimately produce a positive return for taxpayers. But the department was not yet ready to update its estimate of the final taxpayer costs for the bailouts.

The official said the Treasury would update its cost estimates on a quarterly basis as the bailout program shifts its focus toward small business lending and housing relief in its final 10 months of operation.

The Treasury in November said TARP's ultimate cost estimate had been reduced to about $141 billion from $341 billion earlier in the year. Further reductions in the final cost estimate could aid the Obama administration as it faces pressure to produce a new budget that starts to show deficit reductions.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Dan Grebler)

U.S. Nears Point Where Economy Can Contract Or Barely Grow! (Point Of No Return)

Published Monday January 11, 2010

Data raise caution over national debt
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — A new report that reviewed 200 years of economic data from 44 nations has reached an ominous conclusion for the world’s largest economy: Almost without exception, countries that are as highly indebted as the United States is today grow at sub-par rates.

The report was written by two respected academic researchers who recently published a thick book on eight centuries of economic crises.

The study by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff — well-regarded economists from the University of Maryland and Harvard University, respectively — found statistical breaks at different points in the relationship between a country’s national debt and its gross domestic product. GDP is the broadest measure of a country’s trade in goods and services.

When a nation’s debt exceeds 60 percent of its GDP, its growth rate slows precipitously, the study found. When that ratio exceeds 90 percent, nations’ economies barely grow, and can even contract.

The U.S. national debt is at roughly 84 percent of the country’s GDP, and it is projected to cross the authors’ 90 percent threshold late this year or early next year.

The implication is stark: The authors don’t say that the U.S. economy can’t grow briskly despite even higher debt, but if it does, it would be an outlier in roughly 200 years of economic statistics.
“We’re racing toward this (90 percent) limit, and maybe it will prove a soft limit for the United States. But not forever,” Rogoff said. “I think it is certainly a cautionary tale.”

Reinhart and Rogoff last year published the book titled “This Time Is Different,” which examined how countries have repeated mistakes from earlier crises over the past 800 years.

The economists’ new paper, presented this month at a conference to review important economic studies, wasn’t meant to be a diagnosis of the current U.S. debt picture. Rather it seeks answers about the consequences of mounting debt.

“Outsized deficits and epic bank bailouts may be useful in fighting a downturn, but what is the long-run macroeconomic impact of higher levels of government debt, especially against the backdrop of graying populations and rising social insurance costs?” the pair ask in the report.

Most mainstream economists think that what has been dubbed the Great Recession is ending and that the U.S. economy will post strong growth in the first half of this year. Much of that growth is coming from government stimulus spending designed to compensate for the drop in private-sector activity.

By midyear, however, much of the spark from that spending is expected to wear off, and Congress already is debating whether to provide additional stimulus money to sustain the recovery.

Fiscal conservatives say the nation’s deep debt argues against further stimulus spending.

Reinhart doesn’t share that view, saying that the Great Depression taught economists that reducing government spending too soon can plunge the economy back into the doldrums.

“My own view has been that until we are out of this recession and are in recovery, don’t jump the gun in removing stimulus too soon,” she said.

“As soon as we get grounded in our recovery, something really has to give in the fiscal adjustment or you are in a lost decade. High levels of debt and growth don’t go hand in hand.”

She gave the examples of Japan in the 1990s and Latin America in the 1980s, when mounting debt led to roughly a decade of stagnant and sub-par growth.

Could that happen to the United States?

One reason the authors’ data are so troubling is that today’s crisis comes against the backdrop of the pending retirement of 75 million baby boomers, born from 1946 to 1964, the first of whom reach official retirement age at the end of this year.

“Surely when we compare to other episodes in history,” Rogoff said, “this is an unusual period for high debt because we’re adjusting to this aging population.”

Facing higher government burdens for health and retirement spending, the United States may be forced to choose among cutting Medicare and Social Security benefits — which is politically unpalatable, if not impossible — slashing other spending while raising taxes or some combination of both in order to reduce the public debt, which stood at $12.3 trillion last week.

Another option is to continue borrowing. But statistics from the Reinhart and Rogoff study show that higher debt levels historically have equated to slower growth.

It’s also unlikely that China and other nations would continue lending to a sluggishly growing, heavily indebted United States without demanding a premium that would be an additional drag on the U.S. economy.

“If the Chinese would lend us money forever in increasing quantities ... that’s very wishful thinking,” Rogoff said. “The United States is not immune to (debt-rating) downgrades, to having its risk premium go up ... if investors don’t see us as willing to tighten our belt.”

Among the findings by Reinhart and Rogoff:

When external debt reaches 60 percent of GDP, it results in a 2 percentage point decline in the annual growth rate. At higher levels than that, growth rates are cut roughly in half.

At debt-to-GDP ratios above 90 percent, the result is a 1 percentage point drop in the median (midpoint) growth rate, and average growth falls considerably more.

The 90 percent threshold applies similarly to developed and developing nations.

To their surprise, the two economists found little evidence of a link between inflation and public debt levels for developed nations, although the United States has experienced higher inflation during periods of high debt-to-GDP ratios.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Global coolng may set in for 20-30 years!

UN scientist admits 'global warming has paused, and there may well be some cooling'...

The mini ice age starts here

By David Rose
Last updated at 11:17 AM on 10th January 2010

The bitter winter afflicting much of the Northern Hemisphere is only the start of a global trend towards cooler weather that is likely to last for 20 or 30 years, say some of the world’s most eminent climate scientists.

Their predictions – based on an analysis of natural cycles in water temperatures in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans – challenge some of the global warming orthodoxy’s most deeply cherished beliefs, such as the claim that the North Pole will be free of ice in
summer by 2013.

According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado, Arctic summer sea ice has increased by 409,000 square miles, or 26 per cent, since 2007 – and even the most committed global warming activists do not dispute this.

The scientists’ predictions also undermine the standard climate computer models, which assert that the warming of the Earth since 1900 has been driven solely by man-made greenhouse gas emissions and will continue as long as carbon dioxide levels rise.

They say that their research shows that much of the warming was caused by oceanic cycles when they were in a ‘warm mode’ as opposed to the present ‘cold mode’.

This challenge to the widespread view that the planet is on the brink of an irreversible catastrophe is all the greater because the scientists could never be described as global warming ‘deniers’ or sceptics.

However, both main British political parties continue to insist that the world is facing imminent disaster without drastic cuts in CO2.

Last week, as Britain froze, Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband maintained in a parliamentary answer that the science of global warming was ‘settled’.

Among the most prominent of the scientists is Professor Mojib Latif, a leading member of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has been pushing the issue of man-made global warming on to the international political agenda since it was formed 22 years ago.

Prof Latif, who leads a research team at the renowned Leibniz Institute at Germany’s Kiel University, has developed new methods for measuring ocean temperatures 3,000ft beneath the surface, where the cooling and warming cycles start.

He and his colleagues predicted the new cooling trend in a paper published in 2008 and warned of it again at an IPCC conference in Geneva last September.

Last night he told The Mail on Sunday: ‘A significant share of the warming we saw from 1980 to 2000 and at earlier periods in the 20th Century was due to these cycles – perhaps as much as 50 per cent.

'They have now gone into reverse, so winters like this one will become much more likely. Summers will also probably be cooler, and all this may well last two decades or longer.

‘The extreme retreats that we have seen in glaciers and sea ice will come to a halt. For the time being, global warming has paused, and there may well be some cooling.’

As Europe, Asia and North America froze last week, conventional wisdom insisted that this was merely a ‘blip’ of no long-term significance.

Though record lows were experienced as far south as Cuba, where the daily maximum on beaches normally used for winter bathing was just 4.5C, the BBC assured viewers that the big chill was merely short-term ‘weather’ that had nothing to do with ‘climate’, which was still warming.

The work of Prof Latif and the other scientists refutes that view.

On the one hand, it is true that the current freeze is the product of the ‘Arctic oscillation’ – a weather pattern that sees the development of huge ‘blocking’ areas of high pressure in northern latitudes, driving polar winds far to the south.

Meteorologists say that this is at its strongest for at least 60 years.

As a result, the jetstream – the high-altitude wind that circles the globe from west to east and normally pushes a series of wet but mild Atlantic lows across Britain – is currently running not over the English Channel but the Strait of Gibraltar.

However, according to Prof Latif and his colleagues, this in turn relates to much longer-term shifts – what are known as the Pacific and Atlantic ‘multi-decadal oscillations’ (MDOs).

For Europe, the crucial factor here is the temperature of the water in the middle of the North Atlantic, now several degrees below its average when the world was still warming.

But the effects are not confined to the Northern Hemisphere. Prof Anastasios Tsonis, head of the University of Wisconsin Atmospheric Sciences Group, has recently shown that these MDOs move together in a synchronised way across the globe, abruptly flipping the world’s climate from a ‘warm mode’ to a ‘cold mode’ and back again in 20 to 30-year cycles.

'They amount to massive rearrangements in the dominant patterns of the weather,’ he said yesterday, ‘and their shifts explain all the major changes in world temperatures during the 20th and 21st Centuries.

'We have such a change now and can therefore expect 20 or 30 years of cooler temperatures.’

Prof Tsonis said that the period from 1915 to 1940 saw a strong warm mode, reflected in rising temperatures.

But from 1940 until the late Seventies, the last MDO cold-mode era, the world cooled, despite the fact that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continued to rise.

Many of the consequences of the recent warm mode were also observed 90 years ago.

For example, in 1922, the Washington Post reported that Greenland’s glaciers were fast disappearing, while Arctic seals were ‘finding the water too hot’.

It interviewed a Captain Martin Ingebrigsten, who had been sailing the eastern Arctic for 54 years: ‘He says that he first noted warmer conditions in 1918, and since that time it has gotten steadily warmer.

'Where formerly great masses of ice were found, there are now moraines, accumulations of earth and stones. At many points where glaciers formerly extended into the sea they have entirely disappeared.’

As a result, the shoals of fish that used to live in these waters had vanished, while the sea ice beyond the north coast of Spitsbergen in the Arctic Ocean had melted.

Warm Gulf Stream water was still detectable within a few hundred miles of the Pole.
In contrast, Prof Tsonis said, last week 56 per cent of the surface of the United States was covered by snow.

‘That hasn’t happened for several decades,’ he pointed out. ‘It just isn’t true to say this is a blip. We can expect colder winters for quite a while.’

He recalled that towards the end of the last cold mode, the world’s media were preoccupied by fears of freezing.

For example, in 1974, a Time magazine cover story predicted ‘Another Ice Age’, saying: ‘Man may be somewhat responsible – as a result of farming and fuel burning [which is] blocking more and more sunlight from reaching and heating the Earth.’

Prof Tsonis said: ‘Perhaps we will see talk of an ice age again by the early 2030s, just as the MDOs shift once more and temperatures begin to rise.’

Like Prof Latif, Prof Tsonis is not a climate change ‘denier’. There is, he said, a measure of additional ‘background’ warming due to human activity and greenhouse gases that runs across the MDO cycles.

'This isn't just a blip. We can expect colder winters for quite a while'

But he added: ‘I do not believe in catastrophe theories. Man-made warming is balanced by the natural cycles, and I do not trust the computer models which state that if CO2 reaches a particular level then temperatures and sea levels will rise by a given amount.

'These models cannot be trusted to predict the weather for a week, yet they are running them to give readings for 100 years.’

Prof Tsonis said that when he published his work in the highly respected journal Geophysical Research Letters, he was deluged with ‘hate emails’.

He added: ‘People were accusing me of wanting to destroy the climate, yet all I’m interested in is the truth.’

He said he also received hate mail from climate change sceptics, accusing him of not going far enough to attack the theory of man-made warming.

The work of Profs Latif, Tsonis and their teams raises a crucial question: If some of the late 20th Century warming was caused not by carbon dioxide but by MDOs, then how much?

Tsonis did not give a figure; Latif suggested it could be anything between ten and 50 per cent.

Other critics of the warming orthodoxy say the role played by MDOs is even greater.

William Gray, emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Colorado State University, said that while he believed there had been some background rise caused by greenhouse gases, the computer models used by advocates of man-made warming had hugely exaggerated their effect.
According to Prof Gray, these distort the way the atmosphere works. ‘Most of the rise in temperature from the Seventies to the Nineties was natural,’ he said. ‘Very little was down to CO2 – in my view, as little as five to ten per cent.’

But last week, die-hard warming advocates were refusing to admit that MDOs were having any impact.

In March 2000, Dr David Viner, then a member of the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit, the body now being investigated over the notorious ‘Warmergate’ leaked emails, said that within a few years snowfall would become ‘a very rare and exciting event’ in Britain, and that ‘children just aren’t going to know what snow is’.

Now the head of a British Council programme with an annual £10 million budget that raises awareness of global warming among young people abroad, Dr Viner last week said he still stood by that prediction: ‘We’ve had three weeks of relatively cold weather, and that doesn’t change anything.

'This winter is just a little cooler than average, and I still think that snow will become an increasingly rare event.’

The longer the cold spell lasts, the harder it may be to persuade the public of that assertion.

Chavez Orders Currency Devaluation By 50%; Says He'll Seize Businesses That Raise Prices, Nat'l. Guard To Enforce!

Chavez orders currency devaluation by 50% in Venezuela...

Chavez Says He’ll Seize Businesses That Raise Prices

By Daniel Cancel

Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that businesses have no reason to raise prices following the devaluation of the bolivar and that the government will seize any entity that boosts its prices.

Chavez said he’ll create an anti-speculation committee to monitor prices after private businesses said that prices would double and consumers rushed to buy household appliances and televisions. The government is the only authority able to dictate price increases, he said.

“The bourgeois are already talking about how all prices are going to double and they’re closing their businesses to raise prices,” Chavez said in comments on state television during his weekly “Alo Presidente” program. “People, don’t let them rob you, denounce it, and I’m capable of taking over that business.”

Chavez devalued the bolivar as much as 50 percent on Jan. 8 for the first time in almost 5 years, as last year’s decline in oil revenue caused the economy to contract an estimated 2.9 percent, its first recession since 2003. The government set a multi-tiered currency system that Chavez says will stimulate national production by making imports more expensive.

Inflation Outlook

The devaluation may add to inflation by 3 percent to 5 percent this year, Finance Minister Ali Rodriguez said. The government forecast an inflation rate of 20 percent to 22 percent this year, after consumer prices rose 25 percent, according to the National Consumer Price Index.

The government also will “attack” the so-called parallel exchange rate, which Chavez called “illegal.”

Venezuelans turn to the parallel rate when they can’t get government authorization to buy dollars at the official exchange rate. The bolivar traded at 6.25 per dollar on Jan. 8, traders said.

“They put the value of the dollar at more than 6 in an arbitrary and illegal manner,” Chavez said. “We have to organize to reduce and attack that speculative, illegal dollar that hurts the Venezuelan economy so much.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Cancel in Caracas at

Last Updated: January 10, 2010 13:15 EST

Chavez warns business after Venezuela devaluation
3:08pm EST

* Chavez orders National Guard to stop price rises

By Frank Jack Daniel

CARACAS, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Venezuela's Hugo Chavez ordered soldiers to seek out businesses that raise prices after a sharp devaluation of the bolivar currency last week, saying his government will not tolerate price gouging.

"Right now, there is absolutely no reason for anybody to be raising prices of absolutely anything," he said on his weekly TV show, two days after announcing a dual exchange system for the fixed rate bolivar.

"I want the National Guard on the streets with the people to fight against speculation," he said to applause. "Publicly denounce the speculator and we will intervene in any business of any size."

The socialist Chavez believes the state should have a hefty role in managing the economy. During his 11 years in office he has nationalized most heavy industries, while business and finance are tightly regulated.

The former paratrooper says the devaluation will help make Venezuelan companies more competitive but he warned the government would take over shops and give them to their workers if price rises were discovered.

After browbeating firms that might raise prices, Chavez announced a $1 billion fund for credits and subsidies to help diversify the economy and get industry back on its feet. He invited businessmen to round-table talks with the government.

"A billion dollars for the substitution of imports, starting with food," he said.

Venezuela's economy is largely dependent on oil exports and slipped into recession last year as crude prices fell and manufacturing and industry output crashed.


South America's top oil exporter imports most consumer products. Under the new system, food and medicines will be imported at an exchange rate of 2.6 bolivars to the dollar while non-essential goods will be bought at a rate of 4.3 per dollar. Since 2005 the bolivar had been fixed at 2.15.

Venezuelans packed electrical goods stores on Saturday, fearing prices will double as the cost of imports rise.

Some analysts say the price impact of the devaluation will not be so severe, pointing out that in reality much of Venezuela's imports are already paid for with dollars bought on a semi-legal black market, where the bolivar is worth about a third of its official rate. It closed at 6.15 on Friday.

Other top officials have said in recent days that Venezuela's inflation, already the highest in the Americas at 25 percent last year, will be pushed up by the devaluation.

Chavez said the measures would make businesses and farmers more competitive and help wean the country off imported goods.

"This is going to mean more economic and financial strength for the government, for the oil industry, which belongs to us all, and therefore fiscal strength. We are going to have more resources for social investment," Chavez said on Saturday.

Chavez said subsidies introduced by his government, along with the stronger exchange rate for food and medicine would protect the poor from a bump in inflation.

"This government protects and will continue to protect the weakest with investment and with special attention," he said.

The devaluation is a relief for state oil company PDVSA, which has struggled to pay service providers and meet social spending requirements since crude prices dropped last year.

Holders of Venezuela's foreign debt are also pleased, since the devaluation improves government finances and lessens the need to issue more bonds.

Last month, BMO Capital Markets cut ratings on Colgate-Palmolive Co , Avon Products Inc and Kimberly-Clark Corp to "market perform" saying a possible devaluation in Venezuela could hurt the U.S. consumer goods makers' profits. (Additional reporting by Patricia Rondon, Editing by Sandra Maler)

Obama's Green Jobs Program: $135,294 Per Job

By Sean Higgins
Fri., Jan. 08, '10 5:03 PM ET

The White House announced Friday the awarding of $2.3 billion in tax credits — the money comes from last year’s stimulus bill — to companies to create “green jobs.”

The announcement was rather obviously timed to counter the news that the nation lost 85,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate stayed at 10% — bad news for an administration that once promised to hold unemployment to 8% by the end of 2009.

So the administration sought to change the tune by talking about all those green jobs in the pipeline.

“Building a robust clean-energy sector is how we will create the jobs of the future — jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced,” President Obama said Friday.

Yes, but getting these jobs is burning a hole in the national wallet. The problem is that even advocates like Obama concede that these programs are not very cost-effective in creating jobs.

Obama says the grants will create 17,000 cleantech jobs. Well, get out your calculator. $2.3 billion for 17,000 jobs equals $135,294 per job. (And that’s not including the eventual interest on this deficit spending). Those green jobs had better pay well over six figures to justify that expense.

Not to worry, the administration has a plan to solve this, too. It wants Congress to approve another $5 billion for “tens of thousands” more green jobs.

More Good Obama Signs!

God Bless Our Troops...Especially The Snipers!!!