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by Fran on Thu Aug 14th, 2008 at 03:07:33 PM EST
McCain's Top Foreign Policy Advisor Got Money From Georgia

WASHINGTON -- John McCain's chief foreign policy adviser and his business partner lobbied the senator or his staff on 49 occasions in a 3 1/2-year span while being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the government of the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

The payments raise ethical questions about the intersection of Randy Scheunemann's personal financial interests and his advice to the Republican presidential candidate who is seizing on Russian aggression in Georgia as a campaign issue.

McCain warned Russian leaders Tuesday that their assault in Georgia risks "the benefits they enjoy from being part of the civilized world."

by Fran on Thu Aug 14th, 2008 at 03:09:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
American whites 'will be minority by 2042' - Americas, World - The Independent

White people will no longer make up a majority of Americans by 2042, according to new US government projections. That's eight years sooner than previous estimates, made in 2004.

The United States has been growing more diverse for decades, but the process has sped up through immigration and higher birth rates among minority residents, especially Hispanics.

It is also growing older.

"The white population is older and very much centered around the aging baby boomers who are well past their high fertility years," said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

"The future of America is epitomised by the young people today. They are basically the melting pot we are going to see in the future."

by Fran on Thu Aug 14th, 2008 at 03:14:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Could somebody explain what they mean by "white people"? As far as I know, many Latin-Americans are whites, as well as Arabs. What is the definition of "white people"? What are the criteria?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Thu Aug 14th, 2008 at 04:12:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They're probably referring to "non-Hispanic whites".

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Aug 14th, 2008 at 04:23:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If so, they should say non-Hispanic, non-Arab, non-... white people.

I was not asking what they are referring to, but questioning the use of highly questionable categories.  

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Thu Aug 14th, 2008 at 04:42:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For most people white equals everyone minus the darkies.

If you have to ask who the darkies are, you're probably one of them.

</snark>

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Aug 14th, 2008 at 08:09:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If they are going by the census, people themselves choose what category they fall into.  No one decides you are "white" for you.  You have to pick.  That said, rather than be annoyed by the language, I find it annoying anyone cares who is white and who is colored.  They're made up categories few people completely fall into anyway.  Weird racial "science" nonsense.  I get the need for demographics, but the whole system of "I'm going to invent something called race, based on heritage (skin color), and now you have to choose when one best described your heritage (skin color), and then we'll see who has the most in their race.  Sound like fun?" is a product of white European hegemony.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Aug 14th, 2008 at 04:57:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I find it annoying anyone cares who is white and who is colored. They're made up categories few people completely fall into anyway. Weird racial "science" nonsense.

That was exactly my point.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Thu Aug 14th, 2008 at 05:04:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Census didn't make it up, society did. To a certain extent census categories solidify those definitions, on the other hand they exist and matter, so if we want to understand our society, we need to have data about them.
by MarekNYC on Thu Aug 14th, 2008 at 07:05:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only when I came here in Australia I found out that not even all "white" people are REALLY white. There are different "complexions".
I suppose just Anglo-Saxons are really white, the rest of us whites are "olive"...what a mess. And there are totally new "colors" made lately especially in a melting pot like USA...
So when they say white I suppose they are thinking about Aryans...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 14th, 2008 at 08:31:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has anyone told Mark steyn ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Aug 15th, 2008 at 03:31:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just think, in another life Mark Steyn could have been Blot Tarnish.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Aug 15th, 2008 at 03:33:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greenspan sees house price bottom in 2009: report - Boston.com

NEW YORK/BANGALORE (Reuters) - Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan predicts U.S. house prices will begin to stabilize in the first half of next year, even as he faulted the government's rescue of mortgage market giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

"They should have wiped out the shareholders, nationalized the institutions with legislation that they are to be reconstituted... as five or 10 individual privately held units," which the government would eventually auction off to private investors, Greenspan said in an interview with the Journal.

In a high-profile rescue orchestrated in mid-July, the federal government offered to buttress Freddie and Fannie, the two largest providers of U.S. home mortgage funding, with billions of dollars of capital if the companies were on the verge of collapse.

Greenspan acknowledged that a government backstop for the shareholder-owned government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, was unavoidable, the paper said.

by Fran on Thu Aug 14th, 2008 at 03:19:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / World / US & Canada - Concern as US inflation jumps
Thursday's news of a 0.8 per cent jump in the US consumer price index in July, coupled with a 0.3 per cent increase in the same measure excluding food and energy, could damage - or at least delay - the emerging optimism on inflation.

The recent drop in the price of oil had stoked hopes that inflationary forces could abate more rapidly than previously expected.

This would potentially remove one of the two main threats to economic stability that the Federal Reserve has been trying to balance, along with growth risks, and reduce the pressure from more hawkish members within the US central bank to begin raising interest rates from their current level of 2 per cent.

However, the July data on US consumer prices - which were worse than expected on both the headline and the core measures - suggest inflation will remain a significant source of concern for the foreseeable future.



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Thu Aug 14th, 2008 at 07:56:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Paul Krugman - Op-Ed Columnist - New York Times Blog

Basically, what we're seeing is pure commodity price inflation, with not a hint of a wage-price spiral.



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Aug 15th, 2008 at 07:55:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
RGE - The Decline of the American Empire
Recent economic, financial and geopolitical events suggest that the decline of the American Empire has started. After the collapse of the Soviet Union there was a brief period where the world switched from a bipolar balance of two superpowers to a unipolar world with one economic, financial, geostrategic superpower, or better, hyperpower, i.e the United States. But by now three factors suggest that the US has squandered its unipolar moment and that the decline of the American Empire - as the US was in effect a global empire - has started.

Let us explain how and why...First, the US squandered its power by relying excessively on its hard military power in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan and in its unilateralist foreign policy - including economic issues such as global warming - rather than relying more on its soft power of diplomacy and multilateralist approaches to global policy issues.

Second, regardless of mistaken US policies the rise of other economic and financial powers - the rise of China, the recent resurgence of Russia, the process of economic and political integration in the European Union, the emergence of India, and the rise of other regional powers such as Brazil, South Africa and Iran - implies that the relative economic, financial and geopolitical power of the US will be reduced over time. We are indeed slowly moving towards a multipolar world where there will be a balance of Great Powers rather than the hegemony of a single hyperpower.

(snip)

Third, and more important, the US squandered its economic and financial power by running reckless economic policies, especially its twin fiscal and current account deficits.

(snip)

And while the weak dollar is now inducing a modest improvement of the external deficit the looming sharp increase in fiscal deficits - that the current recession and financial crisis is inducing - will cause a return of twin deficits in the coming years. By now the US is the biggest net borrower in the world - running current account deficits still in the 700 billion dollars range - and the biggest net debtor in the world with its foreign liabilities now over 2.5 trillion dollars.

The trouble with these twin deficits is multi-fold. First, superpowers and empires - like the British Empire at its peak - tend to be net lenders - i.e run current account surpluses - and be net creditors, not net debtors; The decline of the British Empire started in World War II when the British fiscal deficits in the war and the current account deficits turned that empire into a net borrower and a net debtor both in its public debt and external debt. That financial switch into an external debtor and borrower position was also the reason for the decline of the British pound as the leading reserve currency.

(snip)

Second... the economic powers financing the US twin deficits are the strategic rivals of the US - China and Russia - and unstable petro-states

(snip)

Third,... the foreign financing of the US current account deficits has also become more risky: less FDI and equity, more debt, more short term debt, more debt held by official political actors - central banks and sovereign wealth funds - , less debt held by foreign private investors, and more debt held by politicals rivals rather than allies of the US.

(snip)

Fourth, the foreign creditors of the US are getting tired of financing the US in the form of low-yielding US Treasuries. Thus the switch of such reserve holdings to SWFs that are planning to make large equity investments possibly with actual control of corporate firms and financial institutions that are desperate for capital to recapitalize themselves.

(snip)

The ensuing decline of the US dollar as the main reserve currency will take time and will not occur overnight; but it is inexorable given the relative fall in US economic, financial and geopolitical power.

(snip)

But the trend is clear: the brief period of unipolar power of the American hyperpower is now over and a new age of balance of great powers is starting in the world. Also, the rise of non governmental actors - multinational corporations, NGOs, terrorist groups, non-nation state powers, failed and unstable states, non-traditional global players - will radically change the traditional balance of power as the power of nation states will shrink relative to that of other global players.

(snip)

But it is certain that the decline of the American Empire has started.

And because NATO has mainly become a tool for maintaining Europe under US control, I think the decline of NATO has started, too...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Fri Aug 15th, 2008 at 10:27:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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