Change Can Happen?

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Barack Obama, Change we can believe in?

Security and the Falling Dollar

dollar_anvil.jpg Every year, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is
briefed by the chief of U.S. intelligence on potential threats
to the nation. The list is sobering, but usually predictable
and typically includes global terrorism, nuclear proliferation
and regional conflicts.

But this year, there was a surprising potential foe: the falling
dollar. In his report to Congress last week, Director of National
Intelligence Michael McConnell went beyond the conventional
world of spycraft.

Mr. McConnell specifically acknowledged “concerns about the financial capabilities of Russia, China, and OPEC countries and the potential use of their market access to exert financial leverage to achieve political ends.” He noted, in particular, the impact a weak dollar can have on national security: “As the dollar has weakened this year, some oil producers — such as Syria, Iran, and Libya — have asked to be paid in currencies other than the dollar while others — such as Kuwait — are delinking their currency pegs to the dollar.”

Full story:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120303537586270097.html

60% of officers feel military is weaker now than five years ago

army_in_iraq.jpgToday, the U.S. military is engaged in a campaign that is
more demanding and intense than anything it has
witnessed in a generation. Ongoing wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan, now entering their fifth and seventh years
respectively, have lasted longer than any U.S. military
engagements of the past century, with the exception of
Vietnam.

More than 25,000 American servicemen and women have been wounded and over 4,000 killed. Additional deployments in the Balkans, on the Korean Peninsula, and elsewhere are putting further pressure on the military’s finite resources. And, at any time, U.S. forces could be called into action in one of the world’s many simmering hot spots—from Iran or Syria, to North Korea or the Taiwan Strait.

Yet, even as the U.S. military is being asked to sustain an unprecedented pace of operations across the globe, many Americans continue to know shockingly little about the forces responsible for protecting them. Nearly 70 percent of Americans report that they have a high level of confidence in the military, yet fewer than 1 in 10 has ever served. Politicians often speak favorably about people in uniform, but less than one quarter of the U.S. Congress has donned a uniform. It is not clear whether the speeches and sound bites we hear from politicians and experts actually reflect the concerns of those who protect our nation.

Full story:
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4198

George Bush Has Saved The Day, Recession Avoided!

israel_flag-copy-ii.jpgPresident George W. Bush signed into law on Wednesday
a $170bn (£87bn) fiscal stimulus package designed to jolt
the US economy back into health in the second half of
this year.

He said that US economic growth had “clearly slowed”,
but added: “The genius of our system is that it can
absorb such shocks and emerge even stronger.”

The plan marks a bet by the White House and Congress that consumers will rapidly spend at least 40 per cent of the $300 to $1,200 tax rebates to be handed to them in May as the mainstay of the stimulus package.

Full story:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d6d34358-da3d-11dc-9bb9-0000779fd2ac.html

Bush Regime Refuses To Show Martial Law Plan To Congressional Committee on Homeland Security

Congress passes stimulus bill and sends to Bush

100-final.jpg

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Congress passed a nearly $152 billion plan on Thursday to stave off an election-year recession by sending government rebate checks to millions of Americans and providing business tax incentives to boost spending.

Moving quickly to get the economic package to President George W. Bush, the House of Representatives passed the bill by 380-34, just hours after the Senate cleared the measure on a vote of 81-16. Bush is expected to sign the bill next week.

The legislation will provide one-time rebates of up to $600 for individuals or $1,200 for couples, plus $300 for each child. Low-income people, including retirees on Social Security and disabled veterans who pay no income taxes, would receive checks of $300. The rebates would start to phase out for people with taxable incomes of more than $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples.

Full story:
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN0631744820080208