Friday, February 5, 2010

NBC Cafeteria fried chicken debacle.

This is beyond stupid and once again just making black people look stupid and overly sensitive. I rather talk about the fact you can get that much food for $7.50. Mediaite as they are quick to do huffs and puffs about this serious racial incident.

So who at NBC thought it would be a good idea for the special today to be, among other things, fried chicken, “in honor of Black History Month”?

Because, spoiler alert – it wasn’t a good idea at all. And now NBCU employee Questlove is bringing it to the attention of his 1 million plus Twitter followers.

Questlove, the band leader and drummer for The Roots (the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) tweeted this picture from the NBC Commissary at 30 Rock, with the comment: “Hmm HR?”

The black chef who came up with the menu is upset.

One person who doesn't understand how offense could be taken: Chef Leslie Calhoun. It was her decision to select the menu items and create the sign. TheGrio caught up with her minutes after the tweet fiasco erupted and she seemed genuinely upset by the whole thing. Calhoun is an African-American and employee of Flick, a catering service that runs the NBC commissary. She said that for the last eight years she's been seeking approval from Flick management for a special Black History Month menu, and had finally been told that every Thursday for the month of February, she could serve whatever she chose.

Geert Wilders kangaroo court case continues.

If the court wanted to give off the impression they are going to railroad Wilders they are doing a fine job of it.

Wilders to get three witnesses
Today's papers report the latest twist in the trial of populist right-wing MP Geert Wilders on charges of insulting Muslims and incitement to religious hatred. The Freedom Party PVV leader wanted to call 18 witnesses to give evidence in his defence but, in a pre-trial session, the court has whittled the number down to just three.

The AD says the judge also ruled that their evidence will be heard by an examining magistrate in private and not in open court. The paper explains that the move is probably intended to stop Mr Wilders maximising publicity around the case.

He wanted to call witnesses to show that his negative comments, about for instance the Qur'an, were true. These included Mohammed Bouyeri, the militant Muslim who murdered Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh in 2004.

The judge however argued it was well known that some people use the Qur'an to justify violence and that evidence to prove the point was not needed. An angry Mr Wilders told journalists: "This court is obviously not interested in the truth". The trial proper, which will take around a week, will begin towards the end of this year.

The 800,000 job losses correction.

How are you off by close to 800,000? That seems to be a blatant incompetence or deliberate manipulation of the numbers.

Job losses during the Great Recession have been huge and they're about to get bigger.

When the Labor Department releases the January unemployment report Friday, it will also update its estimate of jobs lost in the year that ended in March 2009. The number is expected to rise by roughly 800,000, raising the number of jobs shed during the recession to around 8 million.

The new data will help illustrate the scope of the jobs crisis. Analysts think the economy might generate 1 million to 2 million jobs this year. And they say it will take at least three to four years for the job market to return to anything like normal.

"It's going to take a long time to dig out of this hole," said Julia Coronado, senior U.S. economist at BNP Paribas.

Wall Street economists expect the January report will show a tiny increase of 5,000 jobs. That would be only the second monthly gain since the recession began. But it probably wouldn't be enough to hold down the unemployment rate, which is forecast to rise to 10.1 percent. That would match October's 26-year high. And it would be the fourth-straight month of double-digit joblessness.

Uh Oh... Fears Rise of Euro Government Default

Hey look, out of control spending seems to have consequences even if you are selling an angle that it is a good thing for the economy.

Financial markets swooned Thursday amid rising fears of a government debt default in Europe, highlighting the seriousness of the challenges facing the euro currency as fiscally challenged countries like Greece, Portugal and Spain dig themselves out of debt.

After a brief respite early this week, the cost of insuring against default the debt of euro-zone members with large budget deficits jumped late Wednesday and rattled investors more broadly on Thursday.

While Greece and Portugal have felt investors' fire in recent days, now even larger economies like Spain are starting to come under pressure from worries about their weakened public finances.

The global economic downturn, and extensive government spending to fight it, have led to major fiscal problems in Europe, especially for less-dynamic economies like Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain. Such countries took advantage of their membership in the 16-nation euro bloc during the boom by borrowing at unusually low interest rates. But now, investors are worried about how they will reduce yawning budget deficits that exceed 12% of their economic output in the case of Greece and Ireland.

Apple kills off the $9.99 e-book price point.

Amazon tried to fight the good fight though a DOJ investigation in seeing if the major book publishers and Apple aren't getting together on this would be nice.

Amazon's ebook pricing structure has crumbled. Hachette's the third major publisher to push for the agency model, following MacMillan and HarperCollins: They'll set the ebook prices (higher, natch) and the bookseller takes a cut. The $9.99 ebook? Poof.

It looks the pricing model reportedly first proposed by Apple to publishers—from $12.99 to $14.99 as a suggested price for harcover bestsellers, though the publisher will set whatever price they want—is the way things are indeed going to shape up, so Steve Jobs wasn't idly riffing when he said the price difference between Kindle and iBooks would go away. MacMillan CEO John Sargent has specifically mentioned those same pricepoints as their baseline, so you can expect every other publisher will hew to that.

Congress OKs $1.9 trillion boost in debt limit

The spending continues as Rome burns.

The House on Thursday approved a record $1.9 trillion increase in the cap on how much the government can borrow.

The House also approved a measure that imposes tougher budget rules on lawmakers.

The votes, which broke down largely along party lines, come one week after the Senate approved both measures.

The legislation, which is expected to be signed by President Obama, will raise the debt ceiling to $14.294 trillion.

The debt limit hike is expected to cover the Treasury's borrowing needs past the November mid-term elections and into 2011. That means lawmakers up for re-election won't need to take another politically sensitive vote before the polls open.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Apple co-founder The Woz says his Prius has acceleration flaw.

Toyota is now in a bigger hole than before because of their lackluster response to the pedal problem. Having Woz come out and complain about the Prius is going to make things worse on another front because he has the cache with that segment of the driving population to make them worried.

Count Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak among Toyota Motor Corp. car owners who say their vehicles accelerate unintentionally.

Wozniak’s 2010 Toyota Prius can unintentionally accelerate to as much as 97 miles (156 kilometers) per hour when he uses cruise control to increase his speed, he said in an interview yesterday. Toyota and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration haven’t responded to his complaints in the past two months on what may be a software-related glitch, he said.

“It’s scary when it happens,” Wozniak, 59, said from San Jose, California. “I’ve had trouble getting both the government safety agency and getting Toyota to listen to me.”

People's Republic of Broward gets its courthouse, screw the voters.

Just a tiny peek on how local politics are run down here in South Florida, Miami-Dade is even worse.

Despite the fact that voters had already rejected the idea, Broward County commissioners decided Tuesday to tax property owners – without their approval – to help replace the aging main courthouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

County commissioners voted 6-3 to spend $328 million to replace a an aging courthouse plagued by rats, mold and flooding. Supporters said it would only cost taxpayers about $8 a year, but dissenters argued it was simply wrong not to take the issue before voters.

The commission faced intense pressure from the legal community to move ahead immediately rather than risk a repeat of 2006 when voters rejected a tax increase to pay for construction. Judges and lawyers complained of dismal and dangerous conditions in a building used by thousands of people a day.

“This has been a long time coming,” Chief Judge Victor Tobin said after the vote. “The county took a bold step. I know these are difficult times, but this is important for this community.”

Mayor Ken Keechl joined commissioners Stacy Ritter, Ilene Lieberman, Kristin Jacobs, Al Jones and Diana Wasserman-Rubin in voting to use the commission’s own authority to levy taxes, while commissioners Lois Wexler, Suzanne Gunzburger and John Rodstrom favored holding a referendum.

That $328 million price tag will skyrocket, nothing is built down here on taxpayers money on time or on budget.

Chavez turns to Cubans for help with energy crisis

Its like a blind man turning to another blind man to help cross a busy 6 lane highway. It won't end well.

President Hugo Chavez has turned to his friends in Cuba for help in tackling Venezuela's energy crisis, drawing criticism for seeking advice from the communist-led island that has struggled with its own electricity woes.

Chavez gave few details on Wednesday about what is expected of Cuba, but insisted that "it's valuable experience that's serving us well." He said that he spoke for hours Tuesday with Cuban Vice President Ramiro Valdes after his arrival in Venezuela to lead the consulting team.

The decision to seek help from Cuba bewildered Venezuelans coping with the nation's power shortage.

"It's laughable that he's looking for help from Cuba," said Aixa Lopez, director of the Committee for People Affected by Power Outages, which monitors the extent of current energy shortages and rationing in Venezuela.

Spy agencies can kill Americans involved in Terrorism.

I would have hoped this rule would have been in place for a while now.

In unusually frank comments, the top U.S. intelligence official acknowledged on Wednesday that spy agencies can target for killing Americans who are involved in terrorism.

"We take direct action against terrorists, in the intelligence community," Dennis Blair, director of national intelligence, said.

"If ... we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that," he told the House (of Representatives) intelligence committee.

Blair did not mention where the permission came from.

The Washington Post reported last week that President Barack Obama approved a December 24 strike against a compound in Yemen where a U.S. citizen, Anwar al-Aulaqi, was believed to be meeting with regional al Qaeda leaders.

He was not the focus of the strike and was not killed, but is now on a list of targets, the newspaper said. The American advisers in Yemen do not participate in raids but help plan missions and provide weapons, the newspaper report said.

Government public Health programs now 50% of all health care.

We are so screwed.

For the first time, government programs next year will account for more than half of all U.S. health-care spending, federal actuaries predict, as the weak economy sends more people into Medicaid and slows growth of private insurance.

Government health programs are a growing burden on the federal budget, which is running annual deficits of more than $1 trillion, and rising health costs continue to batter private industry.

By 2020, according to the new projections, about one in five dollars spent in the U.S. will go to health care, a proportion far beyond any other industrialized nation.

"It's going to be a desperate issue five to 10 years out," said Gail Wilensky, the former top Medicare official in the George H.W. Bush administration. She said the U.S. will have to decide soon between raising revenue to pay for Medicare or reducing benefits.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Rickshaw driver has to chain son to go to work.

Honestly, this is the type of article that make me feel horrible for bitching about things in my life that in comparison is very unimportant.

At first sight it seems the ultimate in child cruelty - a two-year-old boy chained to a lamp post to stop him getting away.

Yet his parents say this is the only way they can guarantee not to lose him.

His father Chen Chuanliu works as an unlicensed rickshaw cyclist in Beijing, taking fares all over the city, while the boy's disabled mother collects rubbish at the roadside.

They say they secured their son, Lao Lu, with a padlock around his ankle because his four-year-old sister Ling was 'stolen' from them last month.

Child snatching is rife in China, where strict laws govern the size of families.

Concerned passers-by spotted the shackled toddler outside Huaguan Shopping Mall in Liangxiang.

They reported his father to the authorities, who yesterday ordered him to remove the chain although it was not clear what arrangements he would make in future.

There is no nursery place for Lao Lu because his 42-year-old father is a migrant worker from another province, Szechuan, and therefore does not qualify for state help. The family live in one room, 9ft by 8ft.

Chen said he could not afford to pay for childcare on his earnings of £4.50 a day and had refused offers of 'a lot of money' to give his son up for adoption.

'My wife cannot take care of him and I have to work to support my family. So I chain him to a pole when I have a fare.

'I don't even have a picture of my daughter to use for a missing-person poster. I cannot lose my son as well.

Good news is someone stepped to give him a free nursery spot for a couple of years.

The migrant worker's son who was shackled by his father to a lamppost with a chain is looking forward to a free nursery place in a Fangshan district kindergarten.

The Global Times reported Wednesday that the two-year-old boy, nicknamed Jindan, was shackled to a lamppost in the street because his father, an illegal taxi driver, has no time to look after him while he is working.

Fortunately, after the report, a private kindergarten in Fangshan district called Aibei Kindergarten is willing to accept him and give him a free nursery place.

"The three years' nursery fees will be paid by me, which amounts to about 40,000 yuan ($5,873.72)," said the president of the kindergarten surnamed Pi.

"I just want to show him some compassion and never thought about so-called social responsibility," he said, "because nursery for migrant workers' children is a universal problem."

Europe Feels Snubbed as Obama Cancels Trip

Grow up Europe. Are the leaders over there still at a stage that an EU meeting means less to them because the President is not coming over to "validate" it. But it ticks off Zapatero, so there is a silver lining.

President Obama’s decision to skip a United States-European Union summit meeting scheduled for Madrid in May has predictably upset European officials, who suggested Tuesday that the summit meeting itself would now be postponed, possibly to the autumn.

In addition to the palpable sense of insult among European officials, there is a growing concern that Europe is being taken for granted and losing importance in American eyes compared with the rise of a newly truculent China.

European Union officials found out about the decision through the news media late on Monday, senior European officials said Tuesday morning. The decision was first reported on the Web site of The Wall Street Journal.

The Spanish prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who is scheduled to arrive in Washington this week on a visit, was described as angry and embarrassed, and European officials said there was a set of high-level diplomatic exchanges overnight.

The White House explained the decision as a matter of scheduling, insisting that the May visit to Europe was never on the president’s agenda, so it could not be said to have been canceled.

European officials said that two senior American officials — the under secretary of state for political affairs, William J. Burns, and the assistant secretary of state for European affairs, Philip H. Gordon — had attended a preparatory meeting for the summit meeting two weeks ago in Madrid, and that there was no hint then that Mr. Obama would decide not to attend.

Obama to meet Dalai Lama despite China

The fact we are even having this conversation about China demanding a sitting President not to meet with the Dalai Lama ticks me off. What do they think of Obama to even come out with such a statement.

– President Barack Obama still plans to meet the Dalai Lama, the White House said on Tuesday, despite China's warning that such a meeting would hurt ties already strained by U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan.

Digging in on two points of discord with the United States, China vowed to impose unspecified sanctions against U.S. firms selling arms to Taiwan and said any meeting between Obama and the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader would hurt bilateral ties.

The White House shrugged off Beijing's warning.

"The president told China's leaders during his trip last year that he would meet with the Dalai Lama and he intends to do so," White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters.

"We expect that our relationship with China is mature enough where we can work on areas of mutual concern such as climate, the global economy and non-proliferation and discuss frankly and candidly those areas where we disagree," he told reporters traveling with Obama to New Hampshire.

Rangel: Obamacare not dead, writing compromise health bill

They are just too close to let it drop now and to hell with the public opinion. Reconciliation is coming.

Leading lawmakers hoping to revive President Barack Obama's stalled health care overhaul have started writing a compromise bill, but it's unclear when the legislation will be ready for votes, a top House Democrat said Tuesday.

The measure would change the massive Senate-approved health bill to what bargainers from the White House, Senate and House agreed to last month, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said in a brief interview.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

(Guardian) Climate Scientist hid data flaws.

Phil Jones is not long for his post if the Guardian of all places is coming after him.

Phil Jones, the beleaguered British climate scientist at the centre of the leaked emails controversy, is facing fresh claims that he sought to hide problems in key temperature data on which some of his work was based.

A Guardian investigation of thousands of emails and documents apparently hacked from the University of East Anglia's climatic research unit has found evidence that a series of measurements from Chinese weather stations were seriously flawed and that documents relating to them could not be produced.

Money woes could threaten high-speed rail's future

Yet another project started without thinking of how to pay for it.

A proposed $500 billion, six-year federal transportation reauthorization bill includes $50 billion for high-speed rail. But that generous sum was included before Obama began talking about belt tightening, and it seems unlikely to win approval in its current form.

"This is all pork barrel stuff from House transportation committee leaders who threw everything and the kitchen sink in there," said Randal O'Toole, a researcher at the free-market Cato Institute and a critic of the rail plans. "This bill is dead in the water."

Even if it came through, that money hardly covers the proposed price tag of the 13 high-speed rail corridors, which are estimated to cost at least $60 billion and possibly more than $100 billion over the next decade or two. Those cost estimates also don't include the hundreds of million of dollars it could cost each year to operate the networks - costs that states typically pick up.

"States have to be very, very careful, and realize that it might be hard for the feds to kick in the money for high-speed rail," said Scott Pattison, executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers.

South Australian Government gags internet debate

This is McCain/Feingold gone horribly wrong and dragged to the Internet. What is happening to Australia where the population doesn't outcry over this invasion of privacy. Its not even a law that regulates all comments just those on elections. This is government sponsored suppression of speech.

SOUTH Australia has become one of the few states in the world to censor the internet.

The new law, which came into force on January 6, requires anyone making an online comment about next month's state election to publish their real name and postcode.

The law will affect anyone posting a comment on an election story on The Advertiser's AdelaideNow website, as well as other Australian news sites.

It could also apply to election comment made on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The law, which was pushed through last year as part of a raft of amendments to the Electoral Act and supported by the Liberal Party, also requires media organisations to keep a person's real name and full address on file for six months, and they face fines of $5000 if they do not hand over this information to the Electoral Commissioner.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Nobel laureate slams England as cesspit of extremism.

How long till he gets his fatwa?

Wole Soyinka, the first African winner of the prize, claimed the Nigerian student who tried to blow himself up over Detroit on Christmas Day, was radicalised during his time at University College London.

But Mr Soyinka, 76, who was born in Nigeria and studied at Leeds University in the 1950s, said: “England is a cesspit. England is the breeding ground of fundamentalist Muslims.”

He added: “Its social logic is to allow all religions to preach openly. But this is illogic, because none of the other religions preach apocalyptic violence. And yet England allows it.

“Remember, that country was the breeding ground for communism, too. Karl Marx did all his work in libraries there."

Mr Soyinka said Britain took pride in its “openness” and added: "I doubt you can have the kind of indoctrination schools in America as you do in the UK…The Muslims there are open Muslims, whereas in Europe they tend to go into ghetto schools.”

During a lecture at the Jaipur Literature Festival in India, he told the audience: “We should assemble all those who are pure and cannot abide other faiths, put them all in rockets, and fire them into space."

Watchdog: Bailouts created more risk in system

The second you went on the path that companies are too big to fail, the risk was never going to go away and now the companies have gotten even bigger to fail down the road.

The government's response to the financial meltdown has made it more likely the United States will face a deeper crisis in the future, an independent watchdog at the Treasury Department warned.

The problems that led to the last crisis have not yet been addressed, and in some cases have grown worse, says Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the trouble asset relief program, or TARP. The quarterly report to Congress was released Sunday.

"Even if TARP saved our financial system from driving off a cliff back in 2008, absent meaningful reform, we are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car," Barofsky wrote.

Since Congress passed $700 billion financial bailout, the remaining institutions considered "too big to fail" have grown larger and failed to restrain the lavish pay for their executives, Barofsky wrote. He said the banks still have an incentive to take on risk because they know the government will save them rather than bring down the financial system.

Barofsky also said his office is investigating 77 cases of possible criminal and civil fraud, including crimes of tax evasion, insider trading, mortgage lending and payment collection, false statements and public corruption.

IPCC chair has driver for his one mile journey to work.

But it is in a Toyota Corolla so its not all bad for the environment.

He is the climate change chief whose research body produced a report warning that the glaciers in the Himalayas might melt by 2035 and earned a Nobel Prize for his work – so you might expect Dr Rajendra Pachauri to be doing everything he can to reduce his own carbon footprint.

But as controversy continued to simmer last week over the bogus ‘Glaciergate’ claims in a report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – which he heads – Dr Pachauri showed no apparent inclination to cut global warming in his own back yard.

On Friday, for the one-mile journey from home to his Delhi office, Dr Pachauri could have walked, or cycled, or used the eco-friendly electric car provided for him, known in the UK as G-Wiz.

But instead, he had his personal chauffeur collect him from his £4.5million home – in a 1.8-litre Toyota Corolla.

Hours later, the chauffeur picked up Dr Pachauri from the office of the environmental charity where he is director-general – The Energy and Resources Institute – blatantly ignoring the institute’s own literature, which gives visitors tips on how to reduce pollution by using buses.

Dr Pachauri – who as IPCC chairman once told people to eat less meat to cut greenhouse gas emissions – was driven to an upmarket restaurant popular with expatriates and well-off tourists just half a mile from his luxurious family home.

UK doesn't back IPCC chair over 'unsubstantiated' climate report claims

The cracks are getting bigger and I give it about 2 months before this guy is thrown to the wolves.

Rajendra Pachauri, who has faced criticism as chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change following allegations of inaccurate statements in panel reports, suffered a fresh blow last night when he failed to get the backing of the British government.

A senior government official reiterated Pachauri's position but stopped short of expressing confidence in him. "The position is that he is the chair and he has indicated that mistakes were made," the climate change official said. "There is no vacancy at this stage, so there is no issue at this stage."

The IPCC is required by governments to assess the science and imapct of climate change and its thousands of scientists produce major reports and summaries for policymakers. Its last report in 2007 concluded that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities were 90% certain to be causing observed global warming and was accepted by all governments.

Obama's mentor say Rahm Emanuel failing Obama.

For all the talk about how fearsome Rahm is Obama has fallen into certain situations you figure a competant Chief of Staff would stop him such as making Pelosi and Reid lead the charge on his policies.

President Obama’s self-confidence borders on complacency. He is ill served by senior staff, especially his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. He does not appear to be learning on the job as he did when campaigning for the White House. His Administration is too deferential to Congress, too reliant on the President’s personal charm, and as a result is regarded by its enemies as weak and ineffectual.

As Mr Obama prepared to release his $3.8 trillion (£2.4 trillion) budget today, this assessment of his first year in office came not from one of his established critics on the Right, but from one of his most respected mentors — his former professor at Harvard Law School, Chris Edley.

“What I fear is that having made history, having won a Nobel prize, having been celebrated around the world, a measure of complacency may have set in,” Professor Edley told The Times. “I don’t mean that the effort is not there, but that the discipline of self-criticism has perhaps faded.”

Dems changing Obamacare focus to insurance reform.

Basically instead of shoving 10 pounds of crap down a 5 pound bag they are going to try just 2 pounds for now.

Democratic efforts to pass a health care bill have stalled a bit, and the immediate focus may be shifting toward health insurance reform instead of quickly trying to pass a comprehensive bill, White House officials signaled Sunday.

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, told CNN's "State of the Union" that passing a health care bill was "still inside the five-yard line." His comment pulled back the assessment several weeks ago by David Axelrod, the senior adviser to President Obama, that the bill was on the one-yard line, which in football would mean it was close to passing.

Obama's Budget: $1.6 trillion record deficit

But he found $20 Billion in savings somewhere so everything is going to be alright.

In its budget proposal to be released on Monday, the White House predicts a record $1.6 trillion budget deficit for the fiscal year that ends September 30, the Capitol Hill source said.

According to the estimate, deficits will narrow to $700 billion by fiscal 2013 before gradually rising back to $1.0 trillion by the end of the decade, the source said.

President Barack Obama will seek to strike a balance between reducing the deficit over the long term and stimulating the economy in the short term to ease the pain of double-digit unemployment.

Criticized by Republicans as a big spender, Obama used his State of the Union address last week to tell Americans he would dig the country out of a "massive fiscal hole."

That hole is even deeper than previously believed, according to the estimate by the White House's Office of Management and Budget.

The estimate for the current fiscal year is significantly higher than the $1.35 trillion figure forecast by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office last week.

Despite the difference, both estimates indicate that the deficit will continue to hover at a level not seen since World War Two, when measured as a percentage of the economy. Last year the government posted a $1.4 trillion deficit.

Update: $2 Trillion in tax increases against Americans and businesses.

Even with tax hikes and spending cuts, Mr. Obama's budget foresees a record budget deficit of $1.6 trillion this fiscal year, sliding down to $706 billion in red ink by 2014, only to begin rising again as the baby-boom generation drives up the costs of Medicare and Social Security. By 2020, the federal debt will have risen from $7.5 trillion—or 53% of gross domestic product—last year to $18.6 trillion, 77% of GDP.

Kenneth Rogoff, a Harvard University economist who has studied other countries' experiences, says debt levels already forecast would push the U.S. toward a tipping point where interest rates could soar, the dollar could plunge and the economy could face a crisis. "We will hit a point where it comes on us very quickly, and you don't want to edge up to that point," Mr. Rogoff said. "Going beyond 80% you're taking a real chance."

AP Fact checks bring up a good point about Obama's spending freeze and program cutting, Congress doesn't have to do as he says.

BUDGET: Save some $20 billion by cutting programs.

THE FACTS: Congress typically disregards most items on a president's budget-cutting wish list and puts money into the programs anyway. Several dozen of the programs Obama proposes cutting in the new budget were marked for elimination in his budget a year ago.

Obama actually got more than usual on this front in 2009, persuading Congress to go along with more than $6 billion in cuts out of the $17 billion he sought. But he achieved those savings from just a few big-ticket defense and related programs, such as canceling production of the F-22 fighter.

This time, there are fewer massively expensive programs on the list, and it will be an uphill battle trying to get lawmakers to back off on nickel-and-dime spending important to their states.

This is Obama driving America right off the cliff to fulfill his worldview of spreading the wealth but not cutting back on spending. He is smart enough to realize it which make his budget which is more optimistic in terms of what future growth is going to be more astonishing.

BTW, There is a second stimulus in the budget which they don't want to call a stimulus.

The rest of the world is going to do some pushback because there is nothing in this budget that would suggest Obama cares to actually fix the deficit.

Financial markets largely ignored the budget numbers, which had been extensively previewed, but analysts were not assured.

"We're playing with fire. Foreign countries are noticing our governance failures," said Bill Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think-tank.

"The dollar's standing as the world's reserve currency and our economy's standing as the world's leader are both in jeopardy," he said.

The deficit's rise in 2010 was partly due to the $787 billion stimulus package Obama pushed through Congress early last year to fight the recession.