How long will it be before California comes to Washington, hat in hand, for a bailout?
Even the NY Times can’t sugar coat this one.
LOS ANGELES — The state budget shortfall in California has increased dramatically in the last six months, forcing state officials to assemble a series of new spending cuts that are likely to mean further reductions to schools, health care and other social programs already battered by nearly five years of budget retrenchment, state officials announced on Saturday.
Gov. Gerry Brown, disclosing the development in a video posted on YouTube, said that California’s shortfall was now projected to be $16 billion, up from $9.2 billion in January. Mr. Brown said that he would propose a revised budget on Monday to deal with it.
“We are now facing a $16 billion hole, not the $9 billion we thought in January,” Mr. Brown said. “This means we will have to go much further and make cuts far greater than I asked for at the beginning of the year.”
Mr. Brown disclosed the news in a video that had all the trappings of a campaign announcement. In it, he aggressively accounted for the steps he said he had taken to try to scale back a $26 billion deficit he found upon taking office. And he urged viewers to back an initiative he is putting on the November ballot that would increase sales taxes by 0.25 percent and impose an income tax surcharge on wealthy Californians to try to stave off more cuts.
State officials said Mr. Brown’s proposal would include a package of immediate cuts, as well as others that would be triggered only if voters failed to approve his tax plan. The sales tax increase would expire after four years, while the income tax surcharge would last for seven years.
State officials said the shortfall was a result of disappointing revenue collections in April as California continued to struggle to pull out of the recession. “We are still recovering from the worst recession since the 1930s,” Mr. Brown said.
Still, the state controller reported that the state had exceeded spending by $2.1 billion as well, though Mr. Brown said court rulings and other actions that restricted California from making the cuts were at least partly to blame.
At the same time, the deficit projections — which have been increasing since Mr. Brown and the Democratic-controlled Legislature approved a budget last summer — suggest that the state may have been overly optimistic in estimating what kind of revenue it would take in. That has been a repeated problem in Sacramento as officials have struggled over the past five years with the state’s worst financial crisis since the Depression. Mr. Brown, in taking office last year, pledged to end what he said were the tricks lawmakers regularly used to paper over budget shortfalls.
Attgribution: NY Times
He was hundreds of miles from civilization, lost in the burning heat of the desert.
From that day in June 1942 the mystery of what happened to the dentist’s son from Southend was lost, in every sense, in the sands of time.
But 70 years later, the ghostly remains of his battered but almost perfectly preserved plane has been discovered.
Like a time capsule that could provide the key to his disappearance, it has laid intact alongside a makeshift shelter Dennis appears to have made as he waited, hopelessly, for rescue.
The chance find was made by an oil worker exploring a remote region of the Western Desert in Egypt. It is more than 200 miles from the nearest town in a vast expanse of largely featureless terrain.
Flight Sergeant Copping, part of a fighter unit based in Egypt during the North Africa campaign against Rommel, is believed to have lost his bearings while flying the damaged Kittyhawk to another airbase for repair. All that is known is that he went off course and was never seen again.
Remarkably, the plane remained almost untouched for the next seven decades – right down to the guns and ammunition found with it. Most of the cockpit instruments are intact, and the twisted propeller lies a few feet from the fuselage.
Crucially, the P-40’s identification plates are untouched – allowing researchers to track its provenance and service history.
There is flak damage in the fuselage, which is consistent with documents on the aircraft. Historian Andy Saunders said: ‘It is a quite incredible time capsule. It’s the aviation equivalent of Tutankhamun’s tomb. This plane has been lying in the same spot where it crashed 70 years ago. It hasn’t been hidden in the sand, it has just sat there.’
‘He must have survived the crash because one photo shows a parachute around the frame of the plane and my guess is the poor bloke used it to shelter from the sun. The radio and batteries were out of the plane and it looks like he tried to get it working.’
‘If he died at the side of the plane his remains would have been found. Once he had crashed there, nobody was going to come and get him. It is more likely he tried to walk out of the desert but ended up walking to his death. It is too hideous to contemplate.’
The RAF Museum in Hendon, North London, has been made aware of the find and plans are already under way to recover it before anyone tries to strip it for scrap or souvenirs. Efforts have also been made to trace any immediate members of Flight Sergeant Copping’s family in the UK, but it is believed that there are none.
Captain Paul Collins, British defense attaché to Egypt, confirmed a search would be mounted for the airman’s remains but admitted it was ‘extremely unlikely’ it would be successful. The spot could be marked as a war grave after the aircraft is recovered.
Captain Collins added: ‘The scene is close to a smuggling line from Sudan and Libya.
‘We will need to go there with the Egyptian army because it is a dangerous area.’
Ian Thirsk, of the RAF Museum, confirmed staff are working with the MoD to recover the plane.
The P-40 was a US-made fighter and ground attack aircraft. It was outclassed by later German fighters and saw little combat in Europe but performed a key role in North Africa and Asia where high-altitude performance was less critical. Around 20 are still airworthy.
Attribution: Mail Online
They exchange brief hellos and he noticed she is reading a manual about sexual statistics. He asks her about it and she replied, “This is a very interesting book about sexual statistics.
Intrigued, the businessman asked her to cite a few examples.
The woman says that the book identifies that American Indians are the most passionate lovers and Polish men have the most stamina in bed. “By the way, my name is Jill. What’s yours?”
The businessman said, “Tonto Kowalski, nice to meet you.”
When sermons of Obama’s Chicago pastor, Jeremiah Wright, surfaced during the Iowa primaries, it threatened to derail Obama’s campaign. ABC aired one where Wright screamed, “Goddamn America!” Edward Klein interviewed Wright, who told him Obama’s team tried to buy his silence.
‘Man, the media ate me alive,” Wright told me when we met in his office at Chicago’s Kwame Nkrumah Academy. “After the media went ballistic on me, I received an e-mail offering me money not to preach at all until the November presidential election
President Obama’s onetime pastor Jeremiah Wright says he was offered money not to preach.” President Obama’s onetime pastor Jeremiah Wright says he was offered money not to preach.“Who sent the e-mail?” I asked Wright.
“It was from one of Barack’s closest friends.”
“He offered you money?”
“How much money did he offer you?”
“One hundred and fifty thousand dollars,” Wright said.
“Did Obama himself ever make an effort to see you?”
“Yes,” Wright said. “Barack said he wanted to meet me in secret, in a secure place. And I said, ‘You’re used to coming to my home, you’ve been here countless times, so what’s wrong with coming to my home?’ So we met in the living room of the parsonage of Trinity United Church of Christ, at South Pleasant Avenue right off 95th Street, just Barack and me. I don’t know if he had a wire on him. His security was outside somewhere.
“And one of the first things Barack said was, ‘I really wish you wouldn’t do any more public speaking until after the November election.’ He knew I had some speaking engagements lined up, and he said, ‘I wish you wouldn’t speak. It’s gonna hurt the campaign if you do that.’
“And what did you say?” I asked. “I said, ‘I don’t see it that way. And anyway, how am I supposed to support my family?’ And he said, ‘Well, I wish you wouldn’t speak in public. The press is gonna eat you alive.’
“Barack said, ‘I’m sorry you don’t see it the way I do. Do you know what your problem is?’ And I said, ‘No, what’s my problem?’ And he said, ‘You have to tell the truth.’ I said, ‘That’s a good problem to have. That’s a good problem for all preachers to have. That’s why I could never be a politician.’
“And he said, ‘It’s going to get worse if you go out there and speak. It’s really going to get worse.’
“And he was so right.”
Attribution: NY Post
So bad it’s funny!
A frog walks into a bank. He goes to the only open teller, and sees that her name is Paddy Whack. “Hey, listen” says the frog. “I really need a loan! I’m out of work, and my wife and tadpoles are at home starving! I need money so I can feed them and provide for them!”
Paddy is a little surprised by this, and quite unsure, but she feels so sorry for the the poor frog that she takes the elephant to her manager.
“Mr. Manager, sir,” Paddy begins “there is a frog out there who deperately needs a loan. He’s out of work and he has a wife and tadpoles who are at home starving. He needs some money so he can provide for them! But all he has for collateral is this little glass elephant. What should I do?”
Well, Mr. Manager takes a good hard look at that elephant, thinks about it a little, and then replies, “It’s a knick-knack, Paddy Whack, give the frog a loan!”
From: Tim Brown at FrontPorch Politics
According to former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who appeared on Fox News’ ‘Hannity’ on Friday, Barack Obama drafted a memo to protect himself from blame if the mission to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden would have failed. This would have allowed Obama to then place the blame of the failure of the mission on General William H. McRaven.
Mukasey wrote about this in the Wall Street Journal this week.
He told Sean Hannity,
“That was a highly lawyered memo (designed to protect the president politically)… I think there’s going to be more that’s going to be tumbling out about that escapade but so far that memo is enough.“
Michael Mukasey then went on to contrast Barack Obama’s “blame game” with Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower. In doing so he contrasted the way Barack Obama calculates to take credit for himself and place blame on others.
When it came to Lincoln and the failures attributed to General George McClellan and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, Lincoln took the blame stating, “I stand here, as justice requires me to do, to take upon myself what has been charged upon the Secretary of War.”
Dwight Eisenhower was very similar. In the famous statement penned before the Normandy invasion, in anticipation of failure, Eisenhower wrote, “My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”
Once the invasion had been successful, Eisenhower didn’t take credit, but rather gave credit where it was due. “One week ago this morning there was established through your coordinated efforts our first foothold in northwestern Europe. High as was my preinvasion confidence in your courage, skill and effectiveness . . . your accomplishments . . . have exceeded my brightest hopes. I truly congratulate you upon a brilliantly successful beginning. . . . Liberty loving people everywhere would today like to join me in saying to you, ‘I am proud of you.”
Look how far we have come from the days when a man took responsibility for his decisions instead of blaming others.
A unbelievably large sunspot has appeared in the past few days, which could mean the Earth is about to be blasted by powerful solar storms.
Its diameter of 60,000 miles is many times that of the Earth, which measures just under 8,000 miles across.
The sunspot is so enormous that it’s possible to view with home telescopes – though experts warn that these must be fitted with sun filters to prevent permanent eye damage.
In a tweet, the SDO mission described the sunspot as a ‘monster’ and predicted that a huge solar flare – or coronal mass ejection – could erupt as a result, meaning the Earth would be hosed by radiation travelling at up to 5million mph.
Sunspots often travel in pairs and are darker than the surrounding area because they are slightly cooler, which makes them less luminous. They are caused by the sun’s magnetic field becoming twisted – and it’s this twisting dynamic that can produce coronal mass ejections. These contain billions of tons of gases bursting with X-rays and ultraviolet radiation. They are mind-bogglingly hot – around 100,000,0000C.
The Earth is occasionally hit by these ejections, leading to amazing shimmering light shows. They are the result of ionized solar particles becoming imprisoned by Earth’s magnetic field, exciting the gases in the atmosphere and emitting bursts of energy in the form of light.
However, these particles can also cause magnetic storms, which in extreme cases have been known to disrupt satellites and electrical grids. In 1989, a CME was responsible for leaving six million people in Quebec, Canada, without power.
Dr Matthew Penn, of the National Solar Observatory in Arizona, said recently, ‘Because the sun is becoming more active, it will have an impact on millions of people. Sunspots can cause the biggest and most damaging space storms that occur.
He added, ‘During the next two years, we are expecting the number of sunspots visible on the sun to reach a maximum. We know that sunspots are the source of a lot of space weather and solar storms, so we expect a larger number of solar storms here at the Earth.’