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Many of the areas hit by the storm had also been hit by Irene. In New Jersey’s Hamilton Township, Tom Jacobsen also recalled heavy spring flooding and a particularly heavy winter before that.

“I’m starting to think we really ticked off Mother Nature somehow, because we’ve been getting spanked by her for about a year now,” he said while grabbing some coffee at a convenience store…..


London is ablaze. Rioting.


Cuts to their budget, just like the ones we are about to do to ours….

The only reason Americans haven’t rioted so far, is because of Obama and the Democrats insistence that Federal money is being spent as part of the stimulus plan…

In Greece, Israel, and now London, Liverpool, and Birmingham, people have been without…

Which as I said above, is exactly where we soon will be…

Not to sound callous, but perhaps one must consider the British deserve it? Likewise so will we if we too follow through with austerity cuts as did all these countries that have been rioting…

In every case, austerity cuts are the instigator….

Now austerity cuts, are really a stupid way out of a budget mess.

When you get to where your expenses are greater than your revenue stream, there are two ways to solve it… One, lower expenses so they match the revenue stream; two, raise the revenue stream so it matches the expenses… Best if you do both…

Where they failed in these nations, was to tax the wealthiest to pay for these necessary programs… Just in the numbers alone it makes so much more sense if you have to piss off someone to piss of the one percent at the top,…. than piss of the 99 percent on the bottom…..

“Hey, lets give whatever the “one-percenter” asks for.. just give it to him, and what ever it is he wants, we will take it out of the little the 99% have to fight over on the bottom…. ”

So Britain did that, and now they’ve got 99% of the population mad enough to riot, and there is only 1% with any resolve to stop them…

On the other hand, if they had taxed the wealthiest one percent (just for the sake of illustration) everything he had…. he’d be pissed. But 99% percent of the population would have jobs, would buy cars again, pay rent on time, would go out to eat, would shop to refurnish their house… 99% of the population would have jobs…..

So when the one wealthy per center, strode into the poor sections of town, and began throwing firebombs at the 5 And 10 Cent Store… 99% of the populations would descend on him, and nip his riot in the bud… “Uhh, no, you ain’t doing that here…”

So from hell it appears this notion came from, that we have to cater to the top 1% …. no, we don’t; we should be catering to the 99% of those on the bottom…. What they need, and therefore, what we need, … is to raise taxes just a tiny bit, up to 40% on the top marginal rate… and re tax capital gains, up to 40%…

Pretty soon, everyone will be too busy working to even think about throwing a firebomb through a store front window…..

I’m printing this article in full: tell me, where in America can you find journalism this “fair and balanced”?

Another crisis in the horizon?

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Winarno Zain, Jakarta | Tue, 07/19/2011 7:00 AM A | A | A |

It seems the world economy has faced endless threats preventing it from sailing smoothly into a strong recovery this year.

First there was the Greek debt crisis that jolted several major banks, and then a political uprising in the Middle East that pushed up oil prices, and then a tsunami in Japan that disrupted manufacturing activities in many countries.

The world economy has not fully dusted off the adverse impacts of these three events. Yet another headwind is looming large on the horizon. This time it is the possible default of the US government of its debt on Aug. 2, if the US Congress fails to approve an increase to its debt ceiling as requested by President Barack Obama. By that date, the US government debt would have reached its maximum allocated limit of US$14.3 trillion.

The current negotiation between representatives of Democratic and Republican parties on the US budget deficit has run into a deadlock, and so the possibility is real that there won’t be any substantial agreements reached, since the dateline is nearing. Major rating agencies such as Standard and Poor, and Moody’s have warned they are ready to downgrade the US government debt rating from top grade AAA.

This would be the first time in 90 years that the US government debt has been downgraded.

It is not hard to imagine what will happen if by Aug. 2 the US government has exhausted its credit ceiling and can not get additional debt to pay for its spending needs.

The US government would have to curb its spending, and because some of these relate to payments to government employees, pensioners and other social benefits, this would strike a severe blow to the consumer spending that is so essential to the US economic recovery.

With debt default and credit rating downgrades, it would be difficult for the US government to get loans. Faced with increasing risk, investors would ask for higher returns for US government bonds. This would push interest rate higher, further depressing the economic recovery.

The US dollar would plunge, triggering a surge in commodity prices and another round of inflation around the world. A deadly combination of inflation and economic stagnation could spin the world economy into a tailspin as happened in the early 1970’s.

How would this worst case scenario affect the Indonesian economy? As capital flows out of the US, investors have tended to seek safe havens elsewhere. Commodities, especially gold and oil, would be their first targets. Emerging markets could be the next destination of this capital flight, depending on the assessment of investors on the strength of its economy and their vulnerability and exposure to the US economic fallout.

But financial crises always result in a loss of confidence and produce negative sentiments in the financial markets. They put financial markets into disarray, and as investors panic, capital starts flowing out of emerging economies.

During the global financial crisis in 2008-2009, capital moved out from emerging economies back to the advanced economies. At that time, the US government bonds and commodities like gold were considered safe havens.

If the US government defaults on its debt payment this time, the question is will the situation change? Will the US government bonds still be considered a safe haven for investors? If not, then where else will they put their money? Or maybe they would prefer to keep their money in the same place and not move it anywhere. If so, the Indonesian economy could get some benefit and may not have to face another shock.

In the longer term, however, the situation may change. No country is immune to the negative ripples of a US economic crisis. As US imports plunge from weakening domestic demand, exports from emerging countries will also suffer. The extent to which these negative impacts affect each country will depend on their trading and banking exposure to the US economy.

What is disturbing about this debt talk is the use of this debate as a political game. This is especially apparent in the Republican stance.

Economist, market analyst and CEOs of financial institutions and even the IMF itself have warned that if Congress fails to raise the ceiling of the US government debt, the world economy would slip into deep recession.

The Republicans did not fully accept Obama’s proposal to raise the debt ceiling. They only agree on a smaller number, but even it was given with some conditions. The Republicans asked Obama not to raise taxes, especially for the wealthy, and Obama should cut social spending, a sacred cow for the Democrats.

By using tit for tat tactics in the negotiation and by seemingly ignoring the impending consequences and dangers, the Republicans were trying to push Obama into an intricate political dilemma.

If the US economy slip into another crisis, economic contraction would be inevitable. Corporate bankruptcies would spread, and jobless rate would surge.

A presidential election is still slightly more than one year away, and Obama’s reelection prospects are solid. But his popularity rating is highly dependent on the unemployment rate. That is why the Republicans think the only way for them to erode Obama’s popularity now is by pushing the US economy into crisis.

As the stakes are high, the two political parties should temporarily set aside their ideologies and adopt a pragmatic stance for the interests of saving the world economy from another catastrophe.

President Obama demonstrated his willingness to compromise his political ideology during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. Being a Democrat, Obama’s political inclination is generally anti-big business.

Obama realized that it was reckless lending by some big banks on Wall Street that triggered the financial crisis. But he also realized that saving these banks from bankruptcy was key to saving the world economy from further disaster.

His decision to pour $800 billion of taxpayer’s money to bail out these banks was hard to swallow by his fellow party members, but it worked. Now it is expected that the Republicans will be willing to do likewise.

The writer is an economist.

Courtesy of

Recently there seems to be an effort put on by Republicans to show the world just how bipartisan they truly are…..I have had the fortune to see some amazing video footage, of Harry Reid speaking in Louisville at a function sponsored by Mitch McConnell, and lately see the pairing of Trent Lot and Tom Daschle on stage together at UMiss.

Seeing these pairings together has the similar effect of one seeing Dick Cheney and Hillary on the floor of a closet pounding shots of Jose Cuervo…..One looks twice and mutters “it can’t be…”

In both cases the subject of the talk was the same; we need to work together to get things done……One gets the feeling that these adversaries actually like each other, but something always pops up to keep them apart……

All of them talked about the “air of partisanship” that permeates the inner beltway of Washington… Now I don’t know about you, but the “air of partisanship” is some sort of vague term that does not translate well into a person, place, or thing…. Where’s the target? How can we, the citizen find the source of this bad “air of partisanship”, and pluck it out from the ground, like one would a skunk cabbage…….

And then, the answer came from Trent Lott, of all places….. Like a searchlight on top of stockade tower that scans the surrounding ground, he picked out the enemy…. and locked on.

Paraphrased, here is what he said… a response to a question that a guest posed to Tom Daschle….

The amount of partisanship in Washington! My Goodness! A case in point is this immigration bill. Now early on, I never gave it (immigration) much mind, since we do not have an immigration problem in Mississippi, I stayed low and worked other issues. But then as I was listening to it go on, it came to mind that I was elected to the Senate to fix America’s problems, not just Mississippi’s and that perhaps I could provide some balance to the discussion since, not being personally concerned with the issue, I could rationalize with both sides……

So we worked that bill up and down both aisles, and hammered out an agreement where no one got everything they wanted , but everyone got something out of it…..It was a classic compromise. We had enough votes put together, and with a weekend coming up, we scheduled the vote sometime the following week and went home and forgot about it…….

But we made a mistake. We forgot about the talk shows. The talk shows! Man alive! They ate us up…..They pummeled me, of all people…..And I consider myself on the same side as Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingram, and Newt Gingrich, but boy, did they beat me up…..And they’re my friends…..But this radio talk show circuit got on the air, and where we had a twelve point plan that outlined the bullet points, they had on their side one word: amnesty! They got on the air and said this bill was amnesty, and by the time we got back on Monday, my phone lines were jammed all day….Mail flooded the office dominated by one word: amnesty…

And we worked hard to make sure amnesty was not in the bill. But where we did a great job on crafting the bill, and I should say, in all my years in the Senate, this bill is the closest one I’ve worked on where all the participants put aside their politics and tried to do what was best for the country as a whole. We did a great job on creating a great bill….but in the end we did a lousy job on marketing it……

While we were gone, the conservative talk show hosts killed us and stopped this bill, which could have begun to solve this great problem we have now. The bill was dead on arrival…….

What struck me first was that a conservative, one of the most conservative of the conservatives, was dising the conservative talk show network in his conservative home state……Either Trent Lott has become a liberal, (not very likely)_ or the conservative radio circuit has dropped off all charts that measure human sanity……”

As you can see Trent Lott, in a nice way, holds these hosts responsible for driving an impossible wedge between both parties…..Because of fearing this group, it is impossible for any Republican to confer with the “enemy” on a bipartisan agreement, without being called out publicly for “appeasement” by these freaks, especially if ones constituents happen to live where these fools are the only source of entertainment; ie, no cable, no TV, no FM radio.

Officially these hosts have every right to say whatever they want. The are protected by the Constitution….But no is allowed to yell “fire” in a crowded theater. And in a sense, that is what these talk show hosts do…….

Many of you are unfamiliar with Tokyo Rose, or Lord Ha Ha. But during WWII these two talked nightly to troops huddled in foxholes and chided them for fighting idealistically for the wrong side…….The troops never took them seriously, but by listening to them, they heard music and learned news of our own nations operations in other areas, and so the US military kept the stations unjammed……So the issue we face today, is not really with either the programming or the hosts; they are just entertaining us…..The true problem lies with those Americans who haven’t got a clue……and are incapable of separating fact from fiction…..

But those few are a tiny inconsequential flames. The problem is that the talk show hosts keep throwing gasoline on them…………………………

So it stands to reason, that if we contain these flairs, and isolate them so they flash without secondary burning, we can ignore the talk show radio as did our GI’s ignore the Axis propaganda in WWII……….

Bottom line, is that we, the American people, must realize that these talk show celebrities, are just that, celebrities……they might as well be Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton……

Either one of those two would make more relevance to simple life than either Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity…….

But as for now, that old guard of talk show hosts, the very ones who destroyed this bipartisan bill that was crafted and achieved with the support of both parties, still continue to drive this nation apart, and in doing so, screw all of America in the process.