Exporters are finding it increasingly difficult to find importers. The upside years delivered impressive growth but it's now equally bad on the downside. It would be interesting to follow what the real numbers are in China as opposed to the governments manipulated export figures because if they are anything like neighbors in the region, they have to bad.
Singapore issued revised 2008 GDP estimates on Thursday showing the export-reliant economy contracted by 16.4 percent in the fourth quarter, and reiterated its forecast that it will shrink by 2-5 percent this year.
"The economy is likely to continue to perform weakly in the first half of 2009," the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a 130-page detailed survey of the Singapore economy in 2008.
The manufacturing sector will be weighed down by declines in global demand for electronic products, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, the ministry said, while financial services are likely to slow as volatile markets keep many investors on the sidelines.
Singapore's economy shrank 16.4 percent on an annualized, seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis but grew 1.1 percent for the whole of 2008, the ministry said in a statement.
Here are the Obama Cabinet and non-cabinet confirmation hearing dates coming up. Shown are date, nominee, department, and Senate committee.
Our full list of Presidential Appointments requiring Senate confirmation is here. Our list of Presidential Appointments not requiring Senate confirmation is here. The latest updates can always be found on our Presidential Appointment Updates post.
Committee votes scheduled:
Feb 26: David W. Ogden to be Deputy Attorney General, Elena Kagan, to be Solicitor General of the United States, and Thomas John Perrelli, to be Associate Attorney General, all of the Department of Justice.
Upcoming Full Senate votes scheduled:
Still to be scheduled:
TBD - Health & Human Services - HEL&P and Finance
Gary Locke - Commerce - Commerce, Science & Transportation
See below for previously held hearings
Jan 8, 10 AM - Tom Daschle - Secretary of Health and Human Services - Health, Education, Labor & Pension (Also Finance)
Jan 9, 9:30 AM - Hilda Solis - Labor - Health, Education, Labor & Pension
Jan 13, 9:30 AM - Hillary Clinton - Secretary of State - Foreign Relations
Jan 13, 10 AM - Arne Duncan - Education - Health, Education, Labor & Pension
Jan 13, 10 AM - Steve Chu - Energy - Energy & Natural Resources
Jan 13, 10 AM - Shaun Donovan - Housing and Urban Development - Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
Jan 13,- Peter R. Orszag, Director, Office of Management and Budget, and Robert L. Nabors II, Deputy Director, Office of Management and Budget, Budget
Jan 14, 10 AM - Lisa Jackson, EPA; Nancy Sutley, Chairman, Council on Environmental Quality - Envronment & Public Works
Jan 14, 10 AM - Eric Shinseki - Veteran Affairs - Veteran's Affairs
Jan 14, 10 AM - Tom Vilsack - Agriculture - Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry
Jan 14, 2 PM - Peter R. Orszag, Director, Office of Management and Budget, and Robert L. Nabors II, Deputy Director, Office of Management and Budget, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Jan 15, 9:30 - Eric Holder - Justice - Judiciary
Jan 15, 9:30 - Ken Salazar - Interior - Energy & Natural Resources
Jan 15, 10 AM - Janet Napolitano - Secretary of Homeland Security - Homeland Security & Government Affairs
Jan 15, 9:30 AM - Susan Rice - UN Ambassador - Foreign Relations
Jan 15, 9:30 AM - William Lynn, Deputy Secretary of Defense; Robert Hale, Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer; Michèle Flournoy, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; and Jeh Charles Johnson, General Counsel, Department of Defense - Armed Services
Jan 15, 10 AM - Honorable Mary Schapiro , Chairma, The Securities and Exchange Commission, Dr. Christina Romer , Chairman, Council of Economic Advisors, Dr. Austan Goolsbee , Member, Council of Economic Advisors, Dr. Cecilia Rouse , Member, Council of Economic Advisors, Mr. Daniel Tarullo , Member, The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System - Banking
Jan 21, 10 AM - Tim Geithner - Treasury - Finance
Jan 21, 2 PM - Ray LaHood - Transportation - Commerce, Science & Transportation (postponed from 1/14)
Jan 22, 9:30 AM - James Steinberg, Jacob Lew - State - Foreign Relations
Jan 22, 10 AM - Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence - Intelligence
Feb 5, David Odgen, Deputy Attorney General, Judiciary
Feb 5-6, Leon Panetta, CIA, Intelligence
Feb 10, Elena Kagan, to be Solicitor General of the United States, and Thomas John Perrelli, to be Associate Attorney General, both of the Department of Justice.
Feb 12, Jane Lubchenco to be Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, and John P. Holdren to be Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, both of the Department of Commerce.
Feb 25: Gary Gensler, to be Chairman and Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Feb 25: Dawn Johnsen, and David Kris, Assistant Attorney General.
Rush discovered, to his shock evidently, that he’s got a listener gender gap. The man who coined “feminazi” and “info-babe” didn’t have a clue. His rationalization was that if he came out and changed his pro life stance all would be fixed. To help he had a “women’s summit.” I listened to it. Think Progress has a partial transcript and audio:
But I want some of these women to start telling me what it is I must do to close the gender gap ? or, if not what it is I must do to close the gender gap, what it is I?ve done that has caused the gender gap; assuming the gender gap is true and that the poll is true. [?]
I own the men, and what must I do now to own women?
Then you have Sean Hannity who became unhinged talking to Rep. Joe Sestak, a retired admiral, yesterday on his show, using the imaginary marsh mouse and high-speed rail from Vegas to Disneyland to do it. Sestak did all he could to keep from laughing in his face (over satellite feed). Today Sean tried to rescue Bobby Jindal with an interview that was one for the books. When not comparing Jindal’s treatment by the media to what Sarah Palin experienced, Hannity was begging and pleading his audience to not throw Jindal overboard.
Gov. Sanford went around the bend, but ended up implying that Rush is an idiot, when asked about Rush’s comments that he wants Obama to fail. Via Real Clear Politics:
I don’t want him to fail. Anybody who wants him to fail is an idiot, because it means we’re all in trouble.
The new RNC chair, Michael Steele, when asked by Neil Cavuto if he’d withhold funds from Senators Specter, Snowe or Collins because of their support for the stimulus, basically said everything is on the table, “baby.”
Jim Bunning is threatening to sue the RNC.
The pressure is just too much these days.
President Obama’s cool has caused the wingnuts to blow their collective gasket. They don’t know where to turn or what to do.
But please, oh, please; oh, please; oh, please. Let the Republicans follow Bill Kristol, who’s got ideas about how Republicans can become relevant again. Evidently, channeling Jindal’s pessimism that government can’t solve any problems at all is catching. Emphasis added:
Perhaps — if they can find reasons to obstruct and delay. They should do their best not to permit Obama to rush his agenda through this year. They can’t allow Obama to make of 2009 what Franklin Roosevelt made of 1933 or Johnson of 1965. Slow down the policy train. Insist on a real and lengthy debate. Conservatives can’t win politically right now. But they can raise doubts, they can point out other issues that we can’t ignore (especially in national security and foreign policy), they can pick other fights — and they can try in any way possible to break Obama’s momentum. Only if this happens will conservatives be able to get a hearing for their (compelling, in my view) arguments against big-government, liberal-nanny-state social engineering — and for their preferred alternatives.
Kristol wants to change the subject from the economy to foreign policy. From the economy to “the war on terror.” From the economy to, well, anything having to do with blowing crap up in other countries, which neocons like Kristol label “foreign policy.”
The Republicans are desperate, but they don’t know what to do. They sure don’t want the subject to stay on domestic, and their business clients want health care, but they can’t afford to give Obama that win, but they don’t dare stop it. They don’t do domestic. Hell, they don’t do foreign policy well either. Because they don’t solve problems. They create them. And they’ve created a big problem for themselves now, which with every effort they’re making worse. That’s what they do.
Do you see a president hiding here?
Yesterday Ken, who, unlike me, watches TV and knows about popular shows like 30 Rock and has opinions on characters like Kenneth the Page, was mortified that people were comparing Page to Jindal. (I'm friends with Stephen Page of Barenaked Ladies-- but I had never heard of Kevin Page until Gov. Jindal did his dumbed down impersonation of him after Obama's speech Tuesday night.) This morning I was reading the L.A. Times' report on how mortified the Republican Party was over Jindal's atrocious performance:
The reviews were swift and scathing: Off-putting. Amateurish. Disastrous.
And those were fellow Republicans reacting to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who delivered the nationally broadcast follow-up to President Obama's speech to Congress on Tuesday night. (Not surprisingly, Democrats echoed the criticism.)
...Fellow conservatives criticized Jindal's mannerisms, his sing-song delivery, the backdrop for his 10-minute speech (a spiral staircase in the governor's mansion in Baton Rouge).
"You can't go on TV and counter Obama with that," said radio host Laura Ingraham.
Philip Klein of the American Spectator said Jindal seemed more like a high school student delivering his valedictory speech than a prospective new GOP leader.
Attorney General Eric Holder today said the Obama administration will seek to reinstate the assault weapons ban and a ban on "cop killer" bullets.
"As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons," Holder told reporters."
Just a few?
Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the arrest of 52 people in a continuation of a Bush Administration drug investigation of the Mexican cartels. The operation began 21 months ago. The total number of arrests (a number of whom are low level traffickers) is 750.
The military may get involved in the effort:
The Homeland Security Department has developed a plan to send more agents and other resources, and possibly U.S. military support, to the U.S. side of the border if the drug violence continues to spill over and overwhelm the agents stationed there, a DHS official confirmed.
The Pentagon is looking into a larger role in bolstering counter-narcotics efforts. Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the director of national intelligence, told Congress Wednesday that the corruptive influence and increasing violence of the cartels has undermined Mexico City's ability to govern parts of its own country.
Another Holder plan that should be no surprise: He wants to bring back the assault weapons ban.
Just last month, the former head of Mexico's special organized crime bureau was charged with selling information to the Sinaloa cartel.
As part of the new cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico, Miguel Caro Quintero was turned over to the U.S. for prosecution. The crimes he was indicted for occurred between 1985 and 1993. We're going to try someone for crimes committed 20 - 25 years ago? Why him? My guess:
He is the brother of Rafael Caro Quintero, a kingpin who was convicted and sentenced in Mexico for the 1985 killing of a U.S. drug agent, Enrique Camarena.
Here's why Plan Mexico will crash and burn.
Plan Mexico, the US military and police aid package to the Mexican government, is based on a failed “war on drugs” model. This model prioritizes criminalizing the drug trade at the expense of focusing on the harmful effects of drug abuse and addiction as a public health problem. The result has been a blood-soaked disaster.
As you watch that bubblehead Katie Couric here, please keep in mind this from K.O. last June...
...yes, I know I supported TARP, but I keep hoping that the designated financial geniuses in either party will somehow revive the original version that will only take the toxic assets off the books of these soon-to-be-nationalized banks and NOT reward people like Ken Lewis of Bank of America instead, who should be strung up by his thumbs and left as food for the buzzards...
..."Worst Persons" (back to Olbermann...Michael Calderone of Drudgico thinks K.O. said 'Oh, God' before Bobby (Don't Call Me Piyush) Jindal gave his "response" - tee hee - to Obama's address before Congress last night; Bill Orally repeats the one about UAW workers making $70 an hour...may be awfully hard to kill this "zombie lie"; and Sean Inanity goes on about the supposed mouse relief or whatever in the stimulus, as well as the supposed rail line between LA and Las Vegas, neither of which are in fact IN the stimulus - kudos to Admiral Joe for giving it back to him)...
Yesterday, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 28 illegal immigrants in a raid in Bellingham, Washington. It was the first such raid since the Obama Administration took office and the raid was greeted with concern and consternation among[...]
Read The Full Article:
Tonight's rescue rangers are vcmvo2, jennyjem, shayera, ybruti, jlms qkw, joyful and Got a Grip.
Without further ado, here are this evening's offerings.
jotter has today's High Impact Diaries: February 24, 2009.
cskendrick has Top Comments - Songs of Submission Edition.
Please remember to offer your appreciation to the diarists, and use this open thread to promote your own favorites.
Title: Paper BagArtist: Fiona Apple and Jon Brion
video details and more
A performance of "Paper Bag" from Fiona Apple's masterful second record When the Pawn..., accompanied by producer Jon Brion on guitar.