Nimitz Class Sitting Ducks

Report: Chinese Develop Special “Kill Weapon” to Destroy U.S. Aircraft Carriers

With tensions already rising due to the Chinese navy becoming more aggressive in asserting its territorial claims in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy seems to have yet another reason to be deeply concerned.

After years of conjecture, details have begun to emerge of a “kill weapon” developed by the Chinese to target and destroy U.S. aircraft carriers.

First posted on a Chinese blog viewed as credible by military analysts and then translated by the naval affairs blog Information Dissemination, a recent report provides a description of an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) that can strike carriers and other U.S. vessels at a range of 2000km.

The range of the modified Dong Feng 21 missile is significant in that it covers the areas that are likely hot zones for future confrontations between U.S. and Chinese surface forces.

The size of the missile enables it to carry a warhead big enough to inflict significant damage on a large vessel, providing the Chinese the capability of destroying a U.S. supercarrier in one strike.

Because the missile employs a complex guidance system, low radar signature and a maneuverability that makes its flight path unpredictable, the odds that it can evade tracking systems to reach its target are increased. It is estimated that the missile can travel at mach 10 and reach its maximum range of 2000km in less than 12 minutes.

Supporting the missile is a network of satellites, radar and unmanned aerial vehicles that can locate U.S. ships and then guide the weapon, enabling it to hit moving targets.

While the ASBM has been a topic of discussion within national defense circles for quite some time, the fact that information is now coming from Chinese sources indicates that the weapon system is operational. The Chinese rarely mention weapons projects unless they are well beyond the test stages.

If operational as is believed, the system marks the first time a ballistic missile has been successfully developed to attack vessels at sea. Ships currently have no defense against a ballistic missile attack.

See also:
Chinese ‘Kill Weapon’ Gives U.S. Navy Cause for Concern
ChiComms Target US Carriers
Latest Chinese Missile To Target US Carriers
DongFeng 21 (CSS-5) Medium-Range Ballistic Missile
DongFeng 21C (CSS-5 Mod-3) Medium-Range Ballistic Missile
DF-21 / CSS-5
DF-21 / CSS-5
China Close to Anti-Ship BM
China develops anti-ship missile
Information Dissemination

This is not good. U.S. carrier groups have multiple layers of defense designed to defeat any over the horizon threat from naval vessels to aircraft to high speed cruise missiles. However, a guided warhead dropping from orbit, traveling at Mach 10, is an entirely different threat, one that, at least based on unclassified information, we’re currently unable to defend against.

/someone had better tell Obama that we can’t afford to cut back on the development and deployment of ballistic missile defense systems, we need them not only to protect American soil, but now our ships at sea as well

Our National Anthem

See also:
The Cactus Cuties
Cactus Cuties have busy schedule ahead

/the oldest one is eight

All The News That’s Fit To Hide

‘New York Times’ Spiked Obama Donor Story

A lawyer involved with legal action against Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) told a House Judiciary subcommittee on March 19 The New York Times had killed a story in October that would have shown a close link between ACORN, Project Vote and the Obama campaign because it would have been a “a game changer.”

Heather Heidelbaugh, who represented the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee in the lawsuit against the group, recounted for the ommittee what she had been told by a former ACORN worker who had worked in the group’s Washington, D.C. office. The former worker, Anita Moncrief, told Ms. Heidelbaugh last October, during the state committee’s litigation against ACORN, she had been a “confidential informant for several months to The New York Times reporter, Stephanie Strom.”

Ms. Moncrief had been providing Ms. Strom with information about ACORN’s election activities. Ms. Strom had written several stories based on information Ms. Moncrief had given her.

During her testimony, Ms. Heidelbaugh said Ms. Moncrief had told her The New York Times articles stopped when she revealed that the Obama presidential campaign had sent its maxed-out donor list to ACORN’s Washington, D.C. office.

Ms. Moncrief told Ms. Heidelbaugh the campaign had asked her and her boss to “reach out to the maxed-out donors and solicit donations from them for Get Out the Vote efforts to be run by ACORN.”

Ms. Heidelbaugh then told the congressional panel:

“Upon learning this information and receiving the list of donors from the Obama campaign, Ms. Strom reported to Ms. Moncrief that her editors at The New York Times wanted her to kill the story because, and I quote, “it was a game changer.”’

Ms. Moncrief made her first overture to Ms. Heidelbaugh after The New York Times allegedly spiked the story — on Oct. 21, 2008. Last fall, she testified under oath about what she had learned about ACORN from her years in its Washington, D.C. office. Although she was present at the congressional hearing, she did not testify.

U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., the ranking Republican on the committee, said the interactions between the Obama campaign and ACORN, as described by Ms. Moncrief, and attested to before the committee by Ms. Heidelbaugh, could possibly violate federal election law, and “ACORN has a pattern of getting in trouble for violating federal election laws.”

See also:
What New York Times Did NOT Report About ACORN, Obama and Itself
Hill panel testimony to accuse ACORN of mob tactics
Exclusive: ACORN’s Illegal Activities and Mafia-Style Tactics in Congress’s Spotlight
ACORN Whistleblowers Produce Shocking Testimony on Capitol Hill
Former ACORN Employee: More Than Half Voter Registrations Invalid
Conyers Urges ACORN Probe
Census Fun For Criminals
Knock Knock . . . Who’s There?
Criminals For Obama

So the Obama campaign was directly involved in possible federal election law violations with an organization known for voter fraud and other crimes.

/gee, that would have been nice to know before the election

Our Civilization In Reverse

Here’s just another example of the unintended consequences in the ongoing quest to roll back human achievement.

Spokane residents smuggle suds over green brands

The quest for squeaky-clean dishes has turned some law-abiding people in Spokane into dishwater-detergent smugglers. They are bringing Cascade or Electrasol in from out of state because the eco-friendly varieties required under Washington state law don’t work as well. Spokane County became the launch pad last July for the nation’s strictest ban on dishwasher detergent made with phosphates, a measure aimed at reducing water pollution. The ban will be expanded statewide in July 2010, the same time similar laws take effect in several other states.

But it’s not easy to get sparkling dishes when you go green.

Many people were shocked to find that products like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Trader Joe’s left their dishes encrusted with food, smeared with grease and too gross to use without rewashing them by hand. The culprit was hard water, which is mineral-rich and resistant to soap.

As a result, there has been a quiet rush of Spokane-area shoppers heading east on Interstate 90 into Idaho in search of old-school suds.

Real estate agent Patti Marcotte of Spokane stocks up on detergent at a Costco in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and doesn’t care who knows it.

“Yes, I am a smuggler,” she said. “I’m taking my chances because dirty dishes I cannot live with.”

See also:
Dish cleanliness is next to lawlessness
It’s not easy being green
Washington Residents Become Dishwasher-Detergent Smugglers
Cascade
Electrasol

Do you think the militant Envirotards ever considered whether any positive environmental impact of forcing people to use inferior dishwashing detergent would be more than offset by wasted water having to wash dishes twice or wasted gas by making people travel across state lines to buy effective dishwashing detergent?

/don’t laugh, it’s only going to get worse, they’re already gunning for your toilet paper too

Oops, She Did It Again!

Fresh off Comrade Clinton’s Comedy Club Cackle Caper, Hillary stuck her foot in her mouth again. And, so far, the MSM is not even reporting on this gaffe.

Hillary Clinton leaves flowers for Our Lady of Guadalupe, asks ‘Who painted it?’

During her recent visit to Mexico, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unexpected stop at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and left a bouquet of white flowers “on behalf of the American people,” after asking who painted the famous image.

The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was miraculously imprinted by Mary on the tilma, or cloak, of St. Juan Diego in 1531. The image has numerous unexplainable phenomena, such as the appearance on Mary’s eyes of those present in the room when the tilma was opened and the image’s lack of decay.

Mrs. Clinton was received on Thursday at 8:15 a.m. by the rector of the Basilica, Msgr. Diego Monroy.

Msgr. Monroy took Mrs. Clinton to the famous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which had been previously lowered from its usual altar for the occasion.

After observing it for a while, Mrs. Clinton asked “who painted it?” to which Msgr. Monroy responded “God!”

See also:
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe
The Basilica of Guadalupe

Now, you may not believe in the miraculous origins of Our Lady of Guadalupe, but that’s not the point. Catholics believe in the divine origin of the image, especially the Catholic clergy curators of the Basilica of Guadalupe. Hillary Clinton was visiting perhaps Mexico’s most Holy Catholic shrine, to view perhaps Mexico’s most Holy religious relic. To ask “Who painted it?” was perhaps the ultimate in dumb and insensitive question. Again, if she’s that ignorant about the history of the places she visits on behalf of the United States, doesn’t the State Department have briefers that prepare her for these appearances in terms of background and protocol?

/you can take Hillary out of Arkansas, but you can’t take the Arkansas out of Hillary

Hacking The Hackers

Vast spy system loots computers in 103 countries

A vast electronic spying operation has infiltrated computers and has stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices around the world, including those of the Dalai Lama, Canadian researchers have concluded.

In a report to be issued this weekend, the researchers said that the system was being controlled from computers based almost exclusively in China, but that they could not say conclusively that the Chinese government was involved.

The researchers, who are based at the Munk Center for International Studies at the University of Toronto, had been asked by the office of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader whom China regularly denounces, to examine its computers for signs of malicious software, or malware.

Their sleuthing opened a window into a broader operation that, in less than two years, has infiltrated at least 1,295 computers in 103 countries, including many belonging to embassies, foreign ministries and other government offices, as well as the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan exile centers in India, Brussels, London, and New York.

The researchers, who have a record of detecting computer espionage, said they believed that in addition to the spying on the Dalai Lama, the system, which they called GhostNet, was focused on the governments of South Asian and Southeast Asian countries.

Intelligence analysts say many governments, including those of China, Russia and the United States, and other parties use sophisticated computer programs to covertly gather information.

The newly reported spying operation is by far the largest to come to light in terms of countries affected.

This is also believed to be the first time researchers have been able to expose the workings of a computer system used in an intrusion of this magnitude.

Still going strong, the operation continues to invade and monitor more than a dozen new computers a week, the researchers said in their report, “Tracking ‘GhostNet': Investigating a Cyber Espionage Network.” They said they had found no evidence that United States government offices had been infiltrated, although a NATO computer was monitored by the spies for half a day and computers of the Indian Embassy in Washington were infiltrated.

The malware is remarkable both for its sweep–in computer jargon, it has not been merely “phishing” for random consumers’ information, but “whaling” for particular important targets–and for its Big Brother-style capacities. It can, for example, turn on the camera and audio-recording functions of an infected computer, enabling monitors to see and hear what goes on in a room. The investigators say they do not know if this facet has been employed.

The researchers were able to monitor the commands given to infected computers and to see the names of documents retrieved by the spies, but in most cases the contents of the stolen files have not been determined. Working with the Tibetans, however, the researchers found that specific correspondence had been stolen and that the intruders had gained control of the electronic mail server computers of the Dalai Lama’s organization.

The electronic spy game has had at least some real-world impact, they said. For example, they said, after an e-mail invitation was sent by the Dalai Lama’s office to a foreign diplomat, the Chinese government made a call to the diplomat discouraging a visit. And a woman working for a group making Internet contacts between Tibetan exiles and Chinese citizens was stopped by Chinese intelligence officers on her way back to Tibet, shown transcripts of her online conversations and warned to stop her political activities.

The Toronto researchers said they had notified international law enforcement agencies of the spying operation, which in their view exposed basic shortcomings in the legal structure of cyberspace. The FBI declined to comment on the operation.

See also:
Canadian researchers uncover vast computer spying operation
China-based spies target computers across globe
Massive Chinese computer espionage network uncovered
GhostNet: Turning Computers into Giant Bugs
International Phishing Operation – GhostNet
Researchers: Cyber spies break into govt computers
Munk Centre for International Studies
Tracking GhostNet: Investigating a Cyber Espionage Network
Ronald J. Deibert
Nart Villeneuve
Rafal Rohozinski
Spear Phishing and Whaling Attacks Reach Record Levels

/yesh, I’m sure the Chinese government has absolutely nothing do do with this

Skin Game

Skin to Stem Cell Breakthrough Promises Health Care Revolution

Jason Burnett and his 10-year-old son Andrew, both born with a genetic defect, have been recruited into an experiment designed to transform bits of their skin into stem cells that may someday hold the key to a cure.

The Burnetts inherited a heart disease that leaves the father exhausted after a short walk. The two are among the first patients working with scientists who are using a new stem-cell technique that may someday revolutionize care for disorders as diverse as diabetes, Alzheimer’s and muscular dystrophy.

Discovered by the Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka, the method creates stem cells without using and destroying human embryos. By studying cells created from people with inherited disorders, scientists are observing, in ways never before possible, how diseases progress and react to treatments, said Doug Melton, a Harvard University researcher.

“This is the breakthrough the stem-cell field has been waiting for,” said Beth Seidenberg, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the Menlo Park, California-based venture-capital firm that helped start Google Inc.

Unlike embryonic cells, the cells created using the Yamanaka method opened a path to test drugs for genetic diseases, Seidenberg said.

The approach used in the Burnett family study, being conducted by researchers at the Gladstone Institute in San Francisco, also is being adopted by labs in the U.S., Europe and Asia and helped persuade GlaxoSmithKline Plc to invest $25 million in a joint venture with the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

Since human embryonic stem cells were first isolated in a laboratory in 1998, they have fired the imagination of doctors, scientists and patients, who envision a day when new tissues or body parts might be grown to replace diseased ones. The cells are pluripotent, meaning they can be turned into any other type of cell, such as those that make up skin, nerves or neurons.

Novel way to turn skin cells into stem cells

American scientists have made a significant advance in finding a way to endow human skin cells with embryonic stem cell-like properties without inserting potentially problematic new genes into their DNA.

Dr James A Thomson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, whose team was supported in part by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, claims that this is the first time that any research group has endowed skin cells with the capacity to develop into any of the roughly 220 types of cells in the body – a process known as induced pluripotency – without using viruses.

He says that this work attains significance considering the fact that viruses can insert potentially harmful genes into the cells’ genetic material and trigger cancer. Thomson’s new method imports the necessary genes on a small circle of DNA known as a plasmid.

Over time, the plasmid disappears naturally from the cell population, avoiding the danger posed by using viruses. Pluripotent cells are viewed as invaluable to studies of normal and disease processes and to understanding the effects of certain drugs.

Thomson says that such cells may come to be used therapeutically in future, and replace the cells affected by diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s or lost to traumatic injuries.

Pentagon Plans to Regrow Human Body Parts

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has just given Massachusetts’ Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) a $570,000, one-year contract to get a mammal, preferably a human, to regenerate a large body part such as a finger or even a limb.

That’s Phase II of DARPA’s “Restorative Injury Repair” project, which according to the DARPA Web page “will culminate in the restoration of a functional multi-tissue structure in a mammal.”

WPI’s CellThera for-profit unit has already achieved Phase I, which according to the school’s press release “succeeded in reprogramming mouse and human skin cells to act more like stem cells, able to form the early structures needed to begin the process of re-growing lost tissues.”

“The goal is to genuinely replace a muscle that’s lost,” WPI bioengineering researcher Raymond Page told Wired News. “I appreciate that’s a very aggressive goal.”

Some salamanders can regrow lost limbs, and some lizards lost tails. But humans can generally regrow only their livers, and have to have at least one-quarter of the previous one still intact for it to happen.

See also:
Scientists find safer way to make human stem cells
Breakthrough in ‘stem cells from skin’ study
Skin Cells Converted to Stem Cells
Turning Skin Cells to Stem Cells, Without Cancer
Stem Cells: Skin Deep
DARPA funds Phase 2 of human limb regeneration study
DARPA grant supports research toward realizing tissue regeneration
DARPA Funds Bold Research on Limb Regeneration
USA: PENTAGON MAKES PROGRESS IN LIMB REGENERATION RESEARCH
DARPA project to regrow human tissue enters next phase
Shinya Yamanaka, M.D., Ph.D
Shinya Yamanaka
Douglas A. Melton, Ph.D.
Douglas A. Melton
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
J. David Gladstone Institutes
GlaxoSmithKline plc
Harvard Stem Cell Institute
James Thomson (cell biologist)
University of Wisconsin Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
DARPA
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Stem Cell Basics
Stem cell
Induced pluripotent stem cell
Stem Cells: A new path to pluripotency
NIH Fact Sheet on Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Guidelines

So, here we have a type of stem cells that, unlike embryonic stem cells, is safe, doesn’t cause cancer, and is actually producing real world results. Also, unlike harvesting embryonic stem cells, producing stem cells from skin is completely ethical and doesn’t require the destruction of a human embryo.

/who needs embryonic stem cells anyway?

Spending Like A Drunken Sailor On Crack

So, Obama keeps saying that he’s going to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. Oh really?

Deficit Projected To Swell Beyond Earlier Estimates

President Obama’s ambitious plans to cut middle-class taxes, overhaul health care and expand access to college would require massive borrowing over the next decade, leaving the nation mired far deeper in debt than the White House previously estimated, congressional budget analysts said yesterday.

In the first independent analysis of Obama’s budget proposal, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concluded that Obama’s policies would cause government spending to swell above historic levels even after costly programs to ease the recession and stabilize the nation’s financial system have ended.

Tax collections, meanwhile, would lag well behind spending, producing huge annual budget deficits that would force the nation to borrow nearly $9.3 trillion over the next decade — $2.3 trillion more than the president predicted when he unveiled his budget request just one month ago.

Although Obama would come close to meeting his goal of cutting in half the deficit he inherited by the end of his first term, the CBO predicts that deficits under his policies would exceed 4 percent of the overall economy over the next 10 years, a level White House budget director Peter R. Orszag yesterday acknowledged would “not be sustainable.”

The result, according to the CBO, would be an ever-expanding national debt that would exceed 82 percent of the overall economy by 2019 — double last year’s level — and threaten the nation’s financial stability.

Bush Deficit vs. Obama Deficit in Pictures

President Barack Obama has repeatedly claimed that his budget would cut the deficit by half by the end of his term. But as Heritage analyst Brian Riedl has pointed out, given that Obama has already helped quadruple the deficit with his stimulus package, pledging to halve it by 2013 is hardly ambitious. The Washington Post has a great graphic which helps put President Obama’s budget deficits in context of President Bush’s.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words:

Projected Deficit

In the first independent analysis, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concluded that President Obama’s budget would rack up massive deficits even after the economy recovers, forcing the nation to borrow nearly $9.3 trillion over the next decade.

gr2009032100104

Now, does that look like Obama is going to cut the deficit in half or like he’s planning to spend like a drunken sailor on crack with someone else’s stolen American Express Gold card?

See also:
A New Era of Responsibility
Renewing America’s Promise

Obama Seeks Congressional Support for $3.55 Trillion Budget
Obama budget projected at $9.3 trillion in next 10 years
CBO: U.S. budget deficit to hit 1.8 trillion dollars this year
Deficit Projected To Swell Beyond Earlier Estimates
Great Obama bankruptcy?
Obama plan may ‘bankrupt’ US
Federal Budget Spending, National Debt, Deficit
U.S. NATIONAL DEBT CLOCK
Maxing Out the National Debt Clock

/how long before China and the rest of the world just say no and stop funding our insane deficit spending addiction?

War By Euphemism

I [expletive deleted] you not.

‘Global War On Terror’ Is Given New Name

The Obama administration appears to be backing away from the phrase “global war on terror,” a signature rhetorical legacy of its predecessor.

In a memo e-mailed this week to Pentagon staff members, the Defense Department’s office of security review noted that “this administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror’ [GWOT.] Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’ ”

The memo said the direction came from the Office of Management and Budget, the executive-branch agency that reviews the public testimony of administration officials before it is delivered.

Not so, said Kenneth Baer, an OMB spokesman.

“There was no memo, no guidance,” Baer said yesterday. “This is the opinion of a career civil servant.”

Coincidentally or not, senior administration officials had been publicly using the phrase “overseas contingency operations” in a war context for roughly a month before the e-mail was sent.

Peter Orszag, the OMB director, turned to it Feb. 26 when discussing Obama’s budget proposal at a news conference: “The budget shows the combined cost of operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and any other overseas contingency operations that may be necessary.”

And in congressional testimony last week, Craig W. Duehring, assistant secretary of the Air Force for manpower, said, “Key battlefield monetary incentives has allowed the Air Force to meet the demands of overseas contingency operations even as requirements continue to grow.”

Monday’s Pentagon e-mail was prompted by congressional testimony that Lt. Gen. John W. Bergman, head of the Marine Forces Reserve, intends to give today. The memo advised Pentagon personnel to “please pass this onto your speechwriters and try to catch this change before statements make it to OMB.”

See also:
The war on terror, RIP
Obama Renames the War on Terror
The ‘War on Terror’ is Over! Well, Sorta…
It’s not a War On Terror, it’s an “Overseas Contingency Operation”
Overseas Contingency Operation Is The New Global War on Terror
Children In Charge

What a novel war strategy, winning by redefining the conflict and recasting it as something benign. WTF?

/henceforth, al Qaeda and the Taliban shall be known as overly playful Jihad kittens

Tuesday Trifecta

Today was a good day for common sense, truth, justice, and the American way.

House bonus bill is buried by the Senate

President Obama and Senate Democrats have buried a bill passed last week by the House that would have heavily taxed executive bonuses at bailed-out firms.

Despite the public outcry over $165 million in bonuses awarded at troubled insurer AIG, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) showed little inclination Monday to bring the explosive issue to the floor this week or next. Instead, Reid is likely to delay action on executive compensation until late April, after the Senate returns from a two-week recess starting April 4.

The lack of enthusiasm to expedite the bonus legislation comes after Obama said over the weekend that he didn’t think it was a good idea for Congress to target individuals with tax proposals.

“As a general proposition, I think you certainly don’t want to use the tax code … to punish people,” Obama said in the interview with “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday.

Reacting to a frenzy of media coverage, the House last week passed a measure that would levy a 90 percent tax on bonuses received this year by executives at AIG and other companies collecting more than $5 billion in federal aid.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) last week introduced a less stringent proposal that would impose a 35 percent tax on bonuses. Both employers giving bonuses and executives who receive them would pay.

But even this modified proposal is being placed on the backburner.

So much for that overreaching travesty.

Specter delivers death blow to ‘card check’

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) announced Tuesday he will oppose card check, giving an apparent death blow to the most important congressional issue to organized labor.

Specter made the dramatic announcement in a floor speech. His opposition means Democrats can count on a maximum of 59 votes to move the bill forward, one short of the 60 required to clear Senate rules.

Winning 59 votes would require Democrat Al Franken to beat Republican Norm Coleman in the still-contested Minnesota Senate race. Democrats also would have to count on holding the rest of their votes, and several centrists have raised doubts about the bill.

In his floor speech, Specter noted that Franken’s likely win could give him the 60th vote required to make the bill law.

“If so, the decisive vote would be mine,” said Specter, who told The Hill last week in an interview that his would be the decisive vote.

“It is an anguishing position but we play the cards we’re dealt,” Specter said Tuesday on the floor.

Hmm, I wonder what the Republican leadership is blackmailing Specter with to keep him on the reservation and get him to double cross his union buddies?

Democrats Take Knife To Obama’s Budget

Key Democratic leaders were performing major surgery yesterday on President Obama’s first budget plan in an effort to bring skyrocketing annual deficits under control, while preserving the option of enacting some of the president’s most significant and costly domestic priorities.

In the budget blueprints they are scheduled to formally unveil today, Democrats in the House and Senate said they plan to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Obama’s spending request over the next five years. They also are scrapping Obama’s plan to devote more cash to the financial sector bailout. And they are restoring some of the money-saving budget gimmicks the president said he eliminated last month when he unveiled his $3.6 trillion request for the fiscal year that begins in October.

The moves come as Republicans are pounding Obama for proposing a rapid increase in government spending and taxpayers are voicing anxiety and outrage about the gargantuan sums that Washington is already pouring into the economy and banking system.

In the Senate, the result is a leaner package that would drive the annual deficit to $1.2 trillion next year, compared with $1.4 trillion under Obama’s policies. By 2014, the deficit would plummet to just over $500 billion under the Senate’s plan, requiring the nation to borrow $3.8 trillion over the next five years, compared with about $4.4 trillion under Obama’s proposal.

To meet those goals, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said he would leave out new spending for Obama’s proposed expansion of health care coverage, a program likely to cost in excess of $1 trillion over the next 10 years, as well as the president’s proposal to make permanent an $800 tax credit for working families.

Hey, every little bit cost trimming helps and it’s encouraging to see that even the Democrats realize that Obama’s budget, as is, would create unsustainable deficits and national debt. Of course the cuts don’t go far enough but, considering the precarious political position Republicans find themselves in, it’s a good start.

See also:
Drive to Tax AIG Bonuses Slows
Is That 90% Tax On AIG Bonuses Dead?
The 90% Bonus Tax Looks Dead
Tax May Not Be Needed If Bonuses Returned, Hoyer Says
Hoyer Signals AIG Tax Bill May Have Achieved Its Purpose
Specter shifts stance to oppose card check
Specter Says He Won’t Back Unions’ ‘Card-Check’ Bill
SPECTER DEALS BLOW TO CARD CHECK
Key G.O.P. Senator Reverses Course on Union Organizing Bill
A Specter of Hope on Card Check
Senate Dems propose cutting Obama budget by billions
Conrad carves up Obama’s budget
Democrats in Congress Are Ready to Pare Budget
Deficits spook Dems, spur budget whittling
Sen. Gregg says Obama budget will bankrupt US
Gregg continues budget-blasting of Obama

So, 90% punative, retroactive, unconstitutional tax on lawful bonus payments, dead! Card check, daed! Obama’s budget . . . not dead, but seriously wounded. All in all, not bad for a day’s work if you care about the future of America.

/now it’s on to cap and trade and universal health care and let’s kill those!

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