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Health Care & Environment

04.21 Trump and impeachment: where Democrats stand after Mueller

04.21 Trump's moral squalor, not impeachment, will remove him from power

04.21 Dutch engineers build world's biggest sun-seeking solar farm [A replacement of lost Arctic ice?]

04.21 We’re altering the climate so severely that we’ll soon face apocalyptic consequences. Here are 9 last-ditch ways we could hack the planet to reverse that trend.[Hail Mary pass ideas]

04.18 'We Can Be Whatever We Have the Courage to See': New Video From AOC Envisions a #GreenNewDeal Future [7:35 video]

04.18 'Decades of denial': major report finds New Zealand's environment is in serious trouble

04.17 Thawing Permafrost Emitting Higher Levels of Potent Greenhouse Gas Than Previously Thought: Study

04.16 'That Backfired': Watch Bernie Sanders Counter Right-Wing Talking Point, Make Case for Medicare for All on Fox News

04.16 Cause of cancer is written into DNA of tumours, scientists find, creating a 'black box' for origin of disease

04.16 Scientists Unveil World's First Human Heart 3D-Printed From Patients' Own Cells

04.15 What It Was Like to Have a Baby in Sweden

04.14 'Shut the country down': British climate group Extinction Rebellion heads to US

04.13 With Youth Climate Actions Backed by Leading Experts, Latest Round of Protests Highlights Call for Bold and Urgent Action

04.11 Will You Rise Up for Climate Justice Next Week? Don’t Let Fatalism and Cynicism Hold You Back

04.11 300+ Groups to Congress: #GreenNewDeal 'Must Transform Our Food System and Revitalize Rural America'

04.10 Glaciers and arctic ice are vanishing. Time to get radical before it's too late [Willfully ignorant "conservatives" and corporately-bribed liberals diddle self-obsessively while life on earth dies]

04.10 Is there a beautiful, briny solution to the world’s clean water crisis?

04.08 'The perfect storm': hydrogen gains ground on LNG as alternative fuel [Good!]

04.08 Himalayan glaciers on the eve of destruction

04.08 Russia moves to free nearly 100 captive whales after outcry [Good!]

News Media Matters

04.12 DOJ Charging Docs: Julian Assange Committed Journalism

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

04.21 Pentagon Spending Set to Hit Near-Record Levels, But 'Establishment Says We Can't Afford' Progressive Policies

04.19 14 Must-Read Moments From the Mueller Report

04.19 No One Listens to the President

04.19 'Whimsical, uninformed': French ambassador's parting verdict on Trump

04.19 Mueller report: press secretary Sarah Sanders admitted to lying to reporters

04.19 Videos appear to show armed militia detaining migrants at US-Mexico border

04.19 Mueller report unable to clear Trump of obstruction of justice [PDF]

04.19 Nadler says Mueller report shows 'disturbing evidence' of obstruction of justice – video [2:41 video]

04.18 Top Democrats Accuse Barr of 'Acting to Protect Donald Trump' Ahead of Mueller Report Rollout

04.18 Bernie Sanders 'Raises the Bar Even Further' on Climate With Vow to Ban Fracking, All New Fossil Fuel Projects [Mindlessly killing ourselves must stop]

Justice Matters

04.21 In Ruling on Coal Mining, Federal Judge Issues Latest Rebuke of Trump's Attack on Public Lands

04.19 The Mueller Report Is Clear: Donald Trump Repeatedly Tried to Obstruct Justice

High Crimes

04.17 'Shameful': With Millions on Brink of Famine in Yemen, Trump Vetoes Resolution to End US Complicity

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

04.21 Progressive Capitalism Is Not an Oxymoron [For the good of the public and healthier economic growth, can we make government and financial markets behave morally?]

04.19 The Pentagon’s Bottomless Money Pit [pdf; Until the Pentagon can pass audits, use their allocated budget to fight causes of global warming]

04.19 The Public Banking Revolution Is Upon Us

04.18 Mark Carney tells global banks they cannot ignore climate change dangers

04.17 A Path to Democratic Socialism Means a Path To Climate Justice

International & Futurism

04.21 Frustration grows among migrants in Mexico as support fades

04.21 Decrying 'Toxic Alliance' of Macron and Polluters, Climate Campaigners Stage One of France's Largest Ever Acts of Civil Disobedience

04.21 Yellow Vests Demonstrate in Paris as Notre Dame Donations Highlight Wealth Inequality

04.21 The Observer view on the Mueller report: Trump is a disgrace not welcome in Britain

04.21 The Government Is Still Massively Complacent About Climate Change

04.19 Ways to Save the World

04.18 Half of England is owned by less than 1% of the population

04.18 Britain will have its second referendum – at the EU elections on 23 May

04.18 Hypocrisy without borders: the pomposity of Ivanka Trump’s trip to Africa

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  Thinking about Buying
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Thinking about Buying

by Fred Cederholm

I fear that the foreign lending largess is soon about to end; and then, we as a nation will slip into a much more serious economic downturn.

I’ve been thinking about buying. Actually I’ve been thinking about trade deficits (the quick deficit), international trade, dollars, oil, and Christmas. The trade statistical recaps of our imports and exports for the month of September 2009 were just made public last week. We are told we are (or rather were in a recession/depression and have been for some time now). One might presume that such economic retrenchment would mean that we as a nation have cut back on our spending. Not so...

You see the US need to buy things (and energy) from the rest of the world has not diminished. The “just out” figures for September raise much for consideration. September exports of goods ($91.1 billion) were the highest since November 2008 ($98.5 billion). September exports of automotive vehicles and parts ($7.5 billion) were the highest since December 2008 ($8.1 billion). September exports of petroleum products ($5.0 billion) were the highest since August 2008 ($8.1 billion). September exports of non-petroleum products ($86.2 billion) were the highest since December 2008 ($86.4 billion). These increases in our exports would seem to be great news. That is... until one considers our imports!

We, the people... did some “serious” shopping from abroad. September imports of goods ($137.6 billion) were the highest since December 2008 ($141.9 billion). September imports of automotive vehicles and parts ($16.4 billion) were the highest since November 2008 ($16.7 billion). September imports of petroleum products ($25.5 billion) were the highest since October 2008 ($38.7 billion). September imports of non-petroleum products ($112.1 billion) were the highest since December 2008 ($119.4 billion). In every breakdown category we bought more from abroad than we sold. This was nothing new and has continued on a month by month basis since the late 1970’s. What is a significantly different now is the fact we are borrowing form the rest of the world to maintain our standard of living and our conspicuous consumption.

During these past 25 to 30 years, we have seen our trade deficits grow. We have seen an outflow of our manufacturing jobs to the rest of the world. We have seen our national debt balloon to almost $12 TRILLION dollars. And... we have seen foreign holders of that debt – the Chinese, the Japanese the UK/EURO zone, and the Arab OPEC’s – rose to “owning” roughly half of our debt. It must be noted that roughly a quarter of our debt is owed to the almost 40 years of Social Security surpluses! The money is gone so when the payments to retirees come due, the public will be “re-taxed.” This fowl kettle of fish goes back to the trade deficits which are increasingly financed from abroad! I fear that the foreign lending largess is soon about to end; and then, we as a nation will slip into a real economic downturn.

Our largest single trade surplus was the $1.189 BILLION ($12.503 BILLION Year to Date) which we had with Hong Kong. Our largest single trade deficit was the $22.101 BILLION ($165.801 BILLION YTD) which we had with Red China. Still... our largest trading partner - combining imports and exports of $38.370 BILLION for September and $311.000 BILLION Year to Date – is Canada. The hands down largest grouping of imports for the US is energy. The September 2009 figures will not be available for approximately 2 more weeks so I’ll fill in with August numbers here.

Our largest August 2009 imports of crude oil came from Canada (2.007 million BPD), Mexico (1.057 million BPD), Venezuela (1.007 million BPD), Nigeria (877 million BPD), and Saudi Arabia (745 million BPD). Our five largest suppliers of August 2009 total petroleum -crude oil and distillates- were Canada (2.524 million BPD), Mexico (1.159 million BPD), Venezuela (1.070 million BPD), Nigeria (917 million BPD), and Saudi Arabia (766 million BPD). One must take into consideration that such energy consumption occurred during a time of diminished economic activity within the US!

It should also be noted that a goodly portion of these above noted increases in dollar denominated purchases and sales, reflect the ongoing decline in the purchasing power of the US Dollar relative to the other major currencies of the world – EURO, Pound, Yen, and Renminbi. The erosion of the dollar impacts the global selling price for oil, distillates, gold, equity stocks, and anything we must buy from abroad – simply because the needed goods are no longer manufactured her. This will not be an easy problem to fix. As we approach the coming Thanksgiving week filled with the Christmas sales and brouhaha, we need to take a moment to TH*NK about what our foreign made goods purchases are doing to this nation. Try being American, by buying American --- that is... if you can!!!

I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.

Copyright 2009 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at

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This story was published on November 16, 2009.


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