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If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to – Dorothy Parker

January 8, 2009

Obama to warn it may soon be too late to save economy

Good morning. If you’re coming to The Oval for the first time, welcome. There’s a post here that explains this blog’s mission.

Now, let’s get right to it.

President-elect Barack Obama this morning will warn that unless “dramatic action” is taken quickly, it may be too late to pull the economy out of a recession that could last for years.

His staff just released excerpts from a speech the president-elect is due to give at 11 a.m. ET. Among those excerpts:

• “I don’t believe it’s too late to change course, but it will be if we don’t take dramatic action as soon as possible. If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years. The unemployment rate could reach double digits. Our economy could fall $1 trillion short of its full capacity, which translates into more than $12,000 in lost income for a family of four. We could lose a generation of potential and promise, as more young Americans are forced to forgo dreams of college or the chance to train for the jobs of the future. And our nation could lose the competitive edge that has served as a foundation for our strength and standing in the world.

“In short, a bad situation could become dramatically worse.”

• “There is no doubt that the cost of this plan will be considerable. It will certainly add to the budget deficit in the short-term. But equally certain are the consequences of doing too little or nothing at all, for that will lead to an even greater deficit of jobs, incomes, and confidence in our economy. It is true that we cannot depend on government alone to create jobs or long-term growth, but at this particular moment, only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe. Only government can break the vicious cycles that are crippling our economy –- where a lack of spending leads to lost jobs which leads to even less spending; where an inability to lend and borrow stops growth and leads to even less credit.”

• “It is time to set a new course for this economy, and that change must begin now. We should have an open and honest discussion about this recovery plan in the days ahead, but I urge Congress to move as quickly as possible on behalf of the American people. For every day we wait or point fingers or drag our feet, more Americans will lose their jobs. More families will lose their savings. More dreams will be deferred and denied. And our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.”

We’re planning to live-blog the president-elect’s speech, which he’ll give at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Check back here at The Oval as 11 a.m. ET approaches.

Speaking of the economy and unemployment in particular, USA TODAY’s Barbara Hagenbaugh and Sue Kirchhoff write this morning that some experts believe that employment news could get “truly gruesome” in coming months.

Arrested woman fakes giving birth

Pregnant woman

You must be at least this pregnant to fake labour pains

A woman in America has discovered the hard way that faking going into labour doesn’t help you escape arrest for shoplifting.

The woman was arrested in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, after police were called to a mall over a report of a woman stealing a keychain. They also found pain medication without a prescription in her purse, and so also arrested her on drug charges.

But while being arrested, the woman complained of birth pains and said she was going into labour. She was taken to a local hospital by ambulance.


But when doctors examined her at the hospital, they found that she wasn’t going into labour at all. In fact, in what might have a been a slight flaw in her otherwise perfect scheme, it turned out she wasn’t even pregnant.

Not only did she remain under arrest, but she’s now facing a bill for the ambulance ride and hospital visit.

George Washington’s handwritten notes for the first State of the Union Address, January 8, 1790.

1835 – The United States national debt is 0 for the only time.

The United States has had public debt since its inception. Debts incurred during the American Revolutionary War and under the Articles of Confederation led to the first yearly reported value of $75,463,476.52 on January 1, 1791. Over the following 45 years, the debt grew, briefly contracted to zero on January 8, 1835 under President Andrew Jackson but then quickly grew into the millions again

1877Crazy Horse and his warriors fight their last battle with the United States Cavalry at Wolf Mountain (Montana Territory).

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Crazy Horse (Lakota: Thašuŋka Witko, literally “His-Horse-is-Crazy”) (ca. 1840 – September 5, 1877) was a respected war leader of the Oglala Lakota, who fought against the U.S. federal government in an effort to preserve the traditions and values of the Lakota way of life. He is most generally known for his participation in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in June, 1876.

Go to fullsize imageThe Battle of Wolf Mountain (also known the Battle of the Wolf Mountains, Miles’s Battle on the Tongue River, and the Battle of the Butte) occurred January 8, 1877 in the Montana Territory between the United States Army and a force of Lakota Native Americans and Northern Cheyennes during the Great Sioux War of 1876-77. The Northern Cheyennes called it the Battle of Belly Butte.


Following the defeat of George Armstrong Custer in the 1876 Battle of Little Bighorn, by autumn, only a few bands of the warring Sioux and Cheyenne tribes had begun filtering back into their reservations and agencies to acquire food and annuity goods in preparation for winter. The United States Congress had angered many Indians by demanding that they cede the Black Hills to the government in exchange for these promised goods. The army had replaced civilian contractors in charge of the agencies, further convincing many war bands to stay away from them. General Nelson Miles led a mixed force of infantry, artillery and cavalry after Sitting Bull‘s band, and had effectively defeated them by December. Ranald S. Mackenzie had similarly defeated Dull Knife‘s Cheyennes, who trekked through snow and icy conditions to join up with the camp of Crazy Horse in the Tongue River Valley. Concerned with the approaching winter and the destitute condition of Dull Knife’s band, Crazy Horse decided to negotiate peace with the army. However, when a group of U.S. Army Crow scouts murdered Crazy Horse’s delegation, the war chief demanded revenge. He led a series of small raids in an effort to draw out Miles from his post.

The battle

Miles marched out to the foothills of the Wolf Mountains, then set up a defensive perimeter on a ridge line. At 7:00 a.m., on January 8, Crazy Horse and Two Moons began a series of attacks on the U.S. soldiers. Frustrated by army firepower, they regrouped several times and tried again. Attempts to flank Miles’ line also proved to be futile when Miles shifted his reserves to fill critical positions. Finally, Miles ordered an advance, which secured a vital ridge as artillery shells rained among the Indian positions. Crazy Horse withdrew as weather conditions deteriorated.


Although a draw in many aspects, in effect the battle was a strategic victory for the U.S. Army, as it demonstrated that the Indians were not safe from the army even in winter and harsh conditions. Many individuals began slipping away and returning to their reservations. By May, Crazy Horse had led his surviving band into Camp Robinson to surrender.

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Rachel Emily Nichols (born January 8, 1980) is an American actress, currently known for her film work and for her portrayal of CIA officer Rachel Gibson on the ABC television series Alias.

1642 Astronomer Galileo Galilei died in Arcetri, Italy.


1982 American Telephone & Telegraph settled the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against it by agreeing to divest itself of the 22 Bell System companies.

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