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Predictions Based on the 2015 Federal Budget – An Analysis

By Lawrence Davidson | To the Point Analyses | December 28, 2014

Part I – Predictions

I can make high-probability predictions for 2015 and the near-beyond without the benefit of a crystal ball, tarot cards or tea leaves. The only thing that I need is a list of items from the new 2015 federal budget. Here are some of my forecasts and the budget items that make them so highly probable:

1. There will be more deadly truck-related accidents than necessary on the nation’s highways in 2015. That means more deaths, injuries, highway delays, stress and frustration. How do I know? Because the 2015 budget rolls back the safety requirement that truckers need to get more rest between driving assignments. The regulation that was rolled back was itself barely adequate. It restricted drivers to a 70-hour week with mandated rest times between long periods behind the wheel. Nonetheless, despite obviously being in the public interest, this regulation could not survive the pressure of the lobbies representing the trucking industry and its corporate customers. Now we are back to truckers working 85-hour weeks with hardly any mandated rest at all.

2. Either in 2015 or soon thereafter there will be another major banking crisis requiring the outlay of enormous sums of public money to avert economic meltdown. How do I know? Because the 2015 federal budget rolls back the requirement, put in place after the last financial crisis, that forced the trading of derivatives to be done by corporate entities separated from the banks and not covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company. In other words, if the banks wanted to devise unreasonably risky investment strategies for their more gullible customers, they had to insulate these strategies from their main banking operations that are crucial to the national economy. In addition the government was not required to insure such undue risks through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Although obviously in the public interest, these regulations could not survive the pressure coming from the banking lobbies and so, once more, we all must be prepared to pay the price of this version of insufficiently regulated capitalism.

3. The political influence of the nation’s wealthiest individuals will increase by a factor of ten in 2015, making the United States more of a plutocracy and less of a democracy than at any time since the 1920s. How do I know? Because the new federal budget emasculates what little was left of the 2002 McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act by increasing tenfold the amount of money individuals can give to political parties. This is the result of conservatives’ demanding that political campaigns be underwritten wholly by private funds. Common sense tells us that such an arrangement can only confirm political power in the hands of those who are already economically dominant. By the way, most countries claiming to be democracies regulate against just this dominance of private money because it is recognized as politically corrupting.

4. Environmental protection will deteriorate in 2015. If you live in a rural area where there are large farms, your water supply will become more suspect. How do I know all this? Because the 2015 federal budget slashes funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by $60 million and forbids the same agency from applying the Clean Water Act to farm ponds and irrigation ditches. In the public interest? Of course not. However this move pleases agribusiness concerns and other industries.

5. Israel, the economically developed nation that has violated just about every human rights regulation listed under international law, and also has repeatedly broken U.S. law forbidding the use of U.S.-supplied weapons for offensive actions against civilian populations, will continue to be both economically and militarily subsidized by the American taxpayer in 2015. How do I know this? Because the 2015 federal budget follows in the footsteps of so many past budgets by setting aside huge sums of money – in the present case $3.1 billion in total aid – for the Zionist state. Of that aid package, $619.8 million is military related.

I could not get exact gross figures for how much money the federal government gives back per year to U.S. states for various programs, but certainly Israel gets more of your federal tax dollar than any single state does, and maybe more than all fifty states put together.

On the same topic of foreign aid to undeserving governments, the 2015 budget will help insure the survival of the brutal military dictatorship in Egypt. That bunch of gangsters will be getting $1.3 billion in military aid.

These dubious expenditures are also not in the U.S. public interest for they will undermine democracy in Egypt and uphold dictatorship. In the case of Israel the money will help uphold racist authoritarianism, ethnic cleansing and religious bigotry. All of which (including the aid to Egypt) has been successfully encouraged by the financial power of the Zionist lobby.

Part II – John Boehner’s Bipartisanism

According to House Speaker John Boehner, the 2015 federal budget is a product of bipartisan compromise: “Understand all these provisions … were worked out in a bi-partisan, bi-cameral fashion.” However, this can hardly be the whole story. Boehner’s statement implies that there were only Republicans and Democrats in the proverbial back room where the budget was worked out and that everyone was practicing sweet reason so as to come to a compromise that benefits the nation. In truth, looking over the shoulders of those representing both parties were numerous lobbyists who had given a lot of money to all these politicians and now wanted something back for their investment. As a result, we as a nation, as a community, were thoroughly outbid by the trucking industry, the bankers, agribusiness, and a good number of conservative ideologues who want the right to gut the federal government (particularly the Environmental Protection Agency and the Internal Revenue Service) while monopolizing funding of our two major political parties. They want to do this so that, among other things, they don’t have worry about regulations or pay even a reasonable amount of taxes.

Part III – Conclusion

The ultimate conclusion we can draw from this “bipartisan” process is that there is no sense of national interest, and damn little sense of community, in the American political system. Both concepts have been superseded by the particular parochial goals and sense of solidarity of groups and subgroups with the deep pockets necessary to buy legislators and legislation. This is what happens when democracy allows itself to be captured by an increasingly unregulated capitalist ethic – an erosion of any politically based sense of a need to work for the common good.

The really depressing part is that for most of our national history it has not been very different. In the mid nineteenth century President James Polk, himself a man of questionable integrity, observed, “There is more selfishness and less principle among members of Congress than I had any conception of, before I became President of the United States.” Well, the problem persists, and given our political way of doing things, it may never be fully overcome

December 27, 2014 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Environmentalism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

2014: Another tough year for Palestine


December 27, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Molten metal under Trade Center rubble could NOT have come from jet fuel

By Craig McKee | Truth and Shadows | October 24, 2010

When they can’t explain it, they do the next best thing.

They ignore it.

The U.S. government, the 9/11 Commission, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, FEMA and the mainstream media all do the same thing.  When they can’t explain something that contradicts the official version of events on 9/11, they simply pretend the questions don’t exist.

Among the most crucial examples of this are the large pools of molten metal found under the rubble of the two twin towers of the World Trade Center and Building 7. The molten metal burned under the rubble for weeks, with the final fires not being extinguished until December of 2001, three months after the disaster.

The official story can’t explain this; it doesn’t even try. That’s because the molten metal points to a controlled demolition – explosive charges combined with a material that causes a chemical reaction creating extreme heat to cut through steel beams.

According to Brigham Young University physics professor Steven Jones, who has questioned the science of the official story, the most likely material to have been used to melt through the beams is thermite.

Thermite devices could have been wrapped around the steel girders diagonally to cut through them. They could have contributed, along with the explosives, to bringing the structure down. When ignited, thermite can reach temperatures of 4,500F in less than two seconds.

One of the by-products of the use of thermite is molten steel. Another is aluminum oxide, which shows itself as a fine white smoke. What did we have in the wake of the towers’ collapse? Molten steel and fine white “smoke.” There was so much of this smoke that it could be seen from the International Space Station.

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, stated in its report that most of the jet fuel from the planes would have burned up in the initial impact or in the first minutes after impact.

So what was all that smoke coming from the towers and later the wreckage of the towers? Smoke poured out of the rubble for weeks as emergency workers attempted to extinguish the molten metal fires underneath.

The melting point for steel is about 2,800F while the maximum temperature that jet fuel can burn at is about 1,800F. Experts like Jones have pointed out that the black smoke coming from the towers indicates that the fire was oxygen starved and therefore was burning at a much lower temperature even than 1,800F.


How do we know the molten metal didn’t come from some underground source? We know this because there are photographs that clearly show molten metal flowing from the 81st floor of the South Tower BEFORE collapse. Some have tried to explain this by saying that it is molten aluminum from the planes.

Aluminum may glow at a high enough temperature but it’s ridiculous to suggest that aluminum burned underground for three months. Molten metal was found under Building 7, which was not hit by a plane. Those of you who refuse to consider the “demolition” possibility might want to try and explain where this molten metal came from.

By the way, the existence of these “hot spots” under all three buildings was confirmed by aerial thermal images taken by NASA in the first two weeks after 9/11.

As for proving that the molten steel was actually there, photographs show it, and even then New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani talked about it publicly. He talked about how the boots of emergency workers would melt after a few hours of clearing rubble.

Many other witnesses reported the presence of the molten pools under the building rubble. Leslie Robertson, one of the designers of the World Trade Center, reported molten metal running under the buildings 21 days after 9/11.

Public health adviser Ron Burger likened the pools to a volcano. Other workers say it looked like a foundry or that the metal “looked like lava.” Witnesses say they saw molten steel “dripping from beams and walls” in the basement of the towers. New York firefighters referred to “rivers of molten metal” under the rubble.


The FEMA report also mentions sulfur residue on the steel beams of the towers after collapse. This also supports the controlled demolition theory because sulfur is used to lower the melting point of the steel. Sulfur combined with thermite creates thermate. This dramatically speeds up the melting of the steel.

If there’s a reasonable explanation for all of this, why haven’t we heard it? And if you’re wondering if the whole controlled demolition case might all rest on this, you can be assured it does not.

It’s just the beginning.

December 27, 2014 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 8 Comments

Cold logic on climate change policy

By Judith Curry | Climate Etc. | December 26, 2014

Politically correct climate change orthodoxy has completely destroyed our ability to think rationally about the environment. – Richard Tol

Richard Tol as an essay at The American Interest entitled Hot Stuff, Cold Logic. This is probably the most sensible overview on climate policy that I’ve encountered. I encourage you to read the entire article, here are some excerpts:

Change, after all, can be for the better or the worse, and at any rate it is inevitable; there has never been a lengthy period of climate stasis.

Just as there is no logical or scientific basis for thinking that climate change is new, there is no self-evident reason to assume that the climate of the past is “better” than the climate of the future.

Others argue that the impacts of climate change are largely unknown but may be catastrophic. The precautionary principle thus enjoins that we should work hard, if not do our utmost, to avoid even the slim possibility of catastrophe. This logic works fine for one-sided risks. Climate policy is about balancing risks, and there are risks to climate policies as well as risks caused by climate change. So there is a cost to human well-being in constraining fossil fuel use.

What this means is that, instead of assuming the worst, we should study the impacts of climate change and seek to balance them against the negative effects of climate policy. It is especially important to maintain an objective attitude toward the tradeoff between possible dangers and the costs of policy, because estimating the impacts of climate change has proven to be remarkably hard.

Besides, the faint signal of past climate change is drowned out by all the other things that have changed. Many things are changing, often much faster than the climate, and in ways that confound all unifactoral explanations potentially relevant to policy.

Studies, assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its latest report, that have used such methods find that the initial, net impacts of climate change are small (about 1 percent of income) and may even be positive.

In the long run, however, negative impacts may surge ahead of positive ones. The long-run impacts are what matter most for policy. The climate responds only slowly to changes in emissions, and emissions respond only slowly to changes in policy. The climate of the next few decades is therefore largely beyond our control. It is only in the longer term that our choices affect climate change, and by then its impacts are likely to be negative on net. This implies that climate change is an economic problem, and that if economics could be rid of politics, greenhouse gas emissions should be taxed.

The question is therefore not whether there is an economic case for climate policy; it’s how much emission reduction can be justified at given losses to social welfare. To answer that question, we need to understand the size of the impacts of climate change. The current evidence, weak and incomplete as it may be, as summarized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, suggests that a century worth of climate change is about as bad as losing a year of economic growth.

But even if we take this into account [worst case scenario], a century of climate change is not worse than losing a decade of growth. So if, as Bjørn Lomborg has been at pains to point out, we “spend” the equivalent of a decade of growth or more trying to mitigate climate change, we will not have spent wisely.

Climate change is a problem, but at least as an economics problem, it is certainly not the biggest problem humankind faces.

The best course of action is to slowly but surely move away from fossil fuels. Many disagree with this plan of action, of course, calling for a rapid retirement of fossil fuel use. Economically, their justification rests on assuming that we should care more about the future than we do in contexts other than climate change, that we should care more about small risks than we do, or that we should care more about poor people than we do.

If our resources were unlimited, we could do all things worthwhile. With a limited budget, we should focus on those investments with the greatest return.

These three examples—of coastal protection, agriculture, and malaria—show that development and vulnerability to climate change are closely intertwined. Slowing economic growth to reduce climate change may therefore do more harm than good. Concentrating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in rich countries will not solve the climate problem. And slower growth in rich countries means less export from and investment in poor countries.

A fifth of official development aid is now diverted to climate policy. Money that used to be spent on strengthening the rule of law, better education for girls, and improved health care, for instance, is now used to plug methane leaks and destroy hydrofluorocarbons.

In sum, while climate change is a problem that must be tackled, we should not lose our sense of proportion or advocate solutions that would do more harm than good. Unfortunately, common sense is sometimes hard to find in the climate debate. Desmond Tutu recently compared climate change to apartheid. Climate experts Michael Mann and Daniel Kammen compared it to the “gathering storm” of Nazism in Europe before World War II. That sort of nonsense just gets in the way of a rational discussion about what climate policy we should pursue, and how vigorously we should pursue it.

JC comments

The American Interest is one of my favorite sources for policy analysis, and I follow Walter Russell Mead on Twitter.

Richard Tol is IMO one of the most interesting thinkers on the economics of climate change.

For my previous posts on climate change policy, see the policy tag.

December 27, 2014 Posted by | Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science | 2 Comments

Palestinians stress their right to respond to Israeli escalation

MEMO | December 26, 2014

All Palestinian factions hold Israel responsible for the latest escalation in Gaza and regard it as a violation of the Egypt-brokered ceasefire agreement. The groups met on Thursday to discuss the latest Israeli aggression against the enclave, which led to the killing of Tayseer Al-Semari, a member of the military wing of Hamas.

Speaking on behalf of all factions, Shaikh Khaled Al-Batsh, a senior official of Islamic Jihad, said that they reject the notion that Palestinian blood is a price to be paid by electioneering Israeli politicians. “We will not stand idle in front of this repeated escalation so that Netanyahu can be re-elected,” he stressed.

Al-Batsh called on Egypt to resume talks with Israel and put pressure on the Israeli government to stop its latest aggression. He also urged the international community to assume its responsibilities and stop Israel’s repeated attacks on the Gaza Strip in particular and the Palestinian people in general. The blockade should be lifted, the crossings opened and reconstruction materials allowed in, he insisted.

The Islamic Jihad official added that the Palestinian unity government must also assume its responsibility for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.

December 27, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | 1 Comment

Haniyeh says Hamas committed to ceasefire as long as Israel is

Ma’an – December 26, 2014

310116_345x230GAZA CITY – Deputy head of the Hamas political bureau Ismail Haniyeh said on Friday that the group is committed to the ceasefire with Israel but called for international attention to ensure Israel abide by its terms.

“We are committed to what was agreed on in Cairo as long as the occupation is,” he said in a statement to the press.

He said that Hamas was contacting Egypt and other outside parties to ensure Israel uphold its side of the bargain, which includes a partial lifting of the seven-year-old siege of Gaza that has not come to pass.

Haniyeh also called on Egypt to permanently open the Rafah crossing, assuring the country’s authorities that “the security and stability of Egypt is our priority.”

Egypt has closed Rafah, the principal connection between Gaza and the outside world due to the Israeli siege, for the majority of the past two months, only opening it for a few days at a time for limited passage.

Egyptian authorities blame Hamas for supporting the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and anti-government militants in the Sinai Peninsula, charges Hamas strenuously denies.

December 27, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russia to host Syrian opposition talks next month

MEMO | December 26, 2014

Russia intends to host a meeting of Syrian opposition groups in late January, possibly followed by talks between opposition figures and representatives of the regime, the Russian foreign ministry said on Thursday. Members of the Syrian opposition are expected to arrive in Moscow after 20 January, ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters.

“We expect this group to include representatives of both the internal and external opposition,” said Lukashevich. “It will be a compact group that will meet to work out a position.” He did not reveal the names of the expected participants, although he did explain that the intention was then to invite representatives of the Bashar Al-Assad regime to meet the group. “Both sides will be given the chance to try to express, in an informal atmosphere, their vision and ways of regulating the conflict,” he added.

Lukashevich did not rule out inviting the UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, to participate in the talks.

December 27, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment