Friday, May 2, 2008

Democrats rushing to Fox News, nutters are unhappy.

Politics: Three stories all hit on Friday as the nutters are realizing they were used and abused for the early part of the candidates campaign and the candidates realizes not showing up on the highest rated news channel is downright stupid.


The nation’s top Democrats are suddenly rushing to appear on the Fox News Channel, which they once had shunned as enemy territory as the nemesis of liberal bloggers.

The detente with Fox has provoked a backlash from progressive bloggers, who contend the party’s leaders are turning their backs on the base — and lending credibility and legitimacy to the network liberals love to hate — in a quest for a few swing votes. In a span of eight days, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY.) and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean are all taking their seats with the network that calls itself “fair and balanced” but is widely viewed as skewing conservative.

With the party’s presidential contest reduced to hand-to-hand combat, Democrats are turning to the ratings leader among cable news channels in a clear rebuff to the liberal activists known as the Netroots. Markos Moulitsas, founder of the leading liberal site Daily Kos, told Politico’s Michael Calderone: "Democrats are being idiotic by going on that network.”

Ari Melber, the Net movement correspondent for The Nation, told Politico by phone that progressive activists and the Netroots are “not happy about it.”
“I don’t think that it is tenable to completely neglect or ignore what your base wants,” Melber said.


All of a sudden, the once-frosty relationship between Fox News and the Democratic candidates seems to have grown warmer. Mrs. Clinton and Barack Obama, who steadfastly refused to attend Fox-sponsored debates last year, are now giving plenty of interviews as they court Fox’s viewers, who are largely white, conservative and undecided.

“It’s probably true that we appeal to white working-class voters,” said Brit Hume, the network’s Washington managing editor and the host of “Special Report.” “The candidates are going where the voters are.”

Conversely, Fox seems to have softened its stance toward the Democrats, mindful of the intense viewer interest in the prolonged primary season. Although Fox News remains firmly in first place among news channels, CNN has crept up in the ratings on primary nights. So Fox wants to appeal to people who might otherwise flip the channel in search of more time with the Democrats.

In short, Fox News and the Democrats abruptly find each other useful.


Last year at this time, liberal activists pressured Democrats to stay off the news channel, which they termed a "Republican mouthpiece," successfully scuttling plans for two Fox-hosted debates. Obama and Clinton, wary of offending the party's base, largely steered clear of Fox News interviews.

These days, the candidates are not so standoffish.

"Fox has given Hillary Clinton better coverage than all the other cables," Clinton campaign Chairman Terry McAuliffe said during a radio interview last week with Fox News' John Gibson.

In recent months, both Democratic contenders have stepped up their appearances on the channel. In the first four months of 2008, Clinton did 10 interviews on Fox News, compared with just three in 2007. Obama has done eight interviews this year after appearing only twice last year.

"Both senators are very smart people," said John Moody, the channel's executive vice president of news editorial. "They're locked in a very tight battle, and they're realizing that coming on Fox News is a way to get themselves exposed to the greatest number of people who watch cable news."

Islamic group offers truce if it gets its say in Maclean's magazine

Media: Maclean's should tell them to go get bent. They have lost and now want to save face in this situation against the magazine and Mark Steyn. Any agreement to give them space to have their say is an affront to having a free press.

"If Maclean's is ready to consider an opportunity for the Muslim population to have its say, we are ready for reasonable conciliation," said Faisal Joseph, lawyer for the CIC. "One way or another it's going to be dealt with, either by agreement or by an imposed decision."

At a press conference at a plush Toronto hotel, Mr. Joseph lamented that the Rogers media empire, which publishes Maclean's, has been represented in the media as the plucky victim against the unchecked power of human rights commissions and their complainants. "Somehow David and Goliath have been interchanged," he said.

....He was joined by three recent law school graduates who were co-complainants in a similar case at the Ontario Human Rights Commission until three weeks ago, when the complaint was rejected on jurisdictional grounds. A similar complaint is still in the investigation stage at the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Maclean's did not respond to the proposal yesterday, except to say it will be addressed by the editors in a future issue.

Mr. Joseph acknowledged that what he billed as a settlement proposal is not substantially different from what his clients unsuccessfully demanded of the magazine last year, prior to their complaints.

"To us, there isn't much difference, but to [ Maclean's] it might be huge," Mr. Joseph said, explaining that they no longer want to control the art design, and do not expect "unfettered" editorial control over the rebuttal, only that it be "long enough" and "mutually agreeable." He also said the demand that Maclean's make a nominal financial contribution to a race relations charity has been dropped.

Same crap, different configuration. Just say no.

Crackdown leads to drop in illegal immigration

Immigration: My mind is blown away by this observation.

The sandy streets of Sasabe are empty. Migrant smugglers have to hunt for business at border-town shelters. Many deported migrants give up after one try, taking their government up on free bus rides home.

A U.S. crackdown is causing the longest and most significant drop in illegal migration from Mexico since the Sept. 11 attacks. Officials say the U.S. economic downturn, tighter security and a more perilous and expensive journey are persuading many who try to sneak into the U.S. to give up sooner.

Border Patrol arrests are down 17 percent so far this year along the U.S.-Mexico border after falling 20 percent all of last fiscal year and 8 percent the year before that. While it's impossible to know how many people are crossing illegally, the Patrol uses apprehensions to estimate the ebb and flow of traffic.

Wall St. Starts to See Signs of a Turnaround

Business: Maybe, I look at a recession the same way someone gets a mean headache after days of partying it up. You went for the excess and now the body is paying you back by throwing up and feeling wretched for a while before it can get better.

Main Street may be struggling, but Wall Street is on a bit of a roll.

Despite a drumbeat of bad economic news, the stock market is up — almost 11 percent in the last few weeks. Junk bonds, those risky corporate I.O.U.’s, are rallying. The value of financial shares, bank loans, tricky credit derivatives — up, up, up.

Many on Wall Street, the epicenter of the credit mess, seem to think that the worst is over. For the first time in months, analysts and executives sound upbeat again. Many of them see a broad, sustained recovery in both the economy and the financial markets coming in the second half of this year, a prediction some market strategists call hopeful at best.

For now, policy makers are echoing the mood on Wall Street. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Thursday that “we are closer to the end of this problem than we are to the beginning.”

A report from the Bank of England, meantime, concluded that mortgage securities, which have been at the heart of the financial troubles, probably have fallen too far. The central bank said prices of such securities should “improve gradually in the coming months.”

Hints of Change Under New Castro

Cuba: I am curious about the new changes and rules under Raul so far. It looks like a change towards an economy just like China.

Since finally succeeding his ailing 81-year-old brother, Fidel, in February, Mr. Castro, 76, who appeared before hundreds of thousands of Cubans at a May Day rally on Thursday here in the capital, has been busy with a flurry of changes. In the last eight weeks he has also opened access to cellphones, lifted the ban on Cubans using tourist hotels and granted farmers the right to manage unused land for profit.

More is on the horizon, government officials say, like easing restrictions on traveling abroad and the possibility of allowing Cubans to buy and sell their own cars, and perhaps even their homes. Each of these changes may be microscopic in contrast to the outsize problems facing Cuba. But taken together, they are shaking up this stoic, time-warped place.

Just how far Mr. Castro will be willing to tinker with the country his brother left him and what, if anything, he is using as his playbook nobody knows for sure. Mikhail Gorbachev’s attempts to reinvigorate the ailing Soviet system led to its collapse and its abandonment of Cuba. More inspiring is the mix of consumerism and pragmatic authoritarian politics that energized growth and reinforced Communist Party rule in China and Vietnam.

I wouldn't call it inspiring but I am reading a NYTIMES article so it fits the narrative. But surprisingly good article overall.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Immigration rallies results in weak turnout.

Immigration: Some media outlets are trying to put up a brave front but the whole thing was a bust.

Thousands of immigrants marched through cities across the United States on Thursday, but the smaller crowds suggested their cause had lost momentum in this election year.

Immigration-rights activists tried to focus this year's rallies on stopping workplace raids after Washington failed last year to act on reforms that included a path to legal status for illegal immigrants.

In Los Angeles, a few thousand people converged on downtown before a major rally. But numbers were nowhere near the 500,000-strong showing in March 2006 that caught authorities off-guard and prompted activists to hail the start of a new civil rights movement.

Baby snatching by Arlington County, Virginia.

Nation: Baby grabbing by a nanny state government.

WASHINGTON (Map, News) - There’s an empty highchair sitting in the kitchen of the Arlington home of Nancy Hey and Christopher Slitor. It’s their daughter Sabrina’s highchair. But it’s been empty for two years because thieves disguised as Arlington County social workers and judges took her from her parents. She was stolen with no public scrutiny or accountability.

Arlington County social workers used unproven allegations of neglect in April 2005 to justify removing then-3-week-old Sabrina from her parent’s home. Her parents were accused - anonymously - of starving Sabrina. And they were deemed unable to care properly for their daughter, even with the frequent help of Nancy Hey’s mother and a full-time nanny. After more than two years of legal wrangling with the county’s Child Protective Services (CPS), Arlington Circuit Court Judge James Almand terminated the couple’s parental rights in June 2007.

But nine months earlier, Sabrina’s parents were completely exonerated by Virginia CPS hearing officer George Walton, who noted in his official report that, despite the baby’s worrisome 10-ounce weight loss soon after her birth by Caesarian section, nothing in the her medical record indicated she had ever been in danger. There was also no evidence, Walton added, that Sabrina’s “failure to thrive” resulted from parental neglect.

Tavis Smiley has no clue about Pat Buchanan.

Politics: Tavis is on this Pat Buchanan kick about an article he wrote that was racial inflammatory about a month ago.

Posted April 30, 2008 – As Tavis Smiley pointed out on the Bill Maher show recently, while the entire news world is focused on the incendiary language of Sen. Barack Obama’s former pastor, nobody has so much as murmured a peep about the recent racist rant spewed by Pat Buchanan, a media darling and conservative commentator.

It’s not as if the 70-year-old former Nixon press secretary and former Republican presidential candidate hasn’t hurled hate speech before, but the lack of attention afforded his comments, given the current climate of racial tension sparked by recent appearances by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, has made the silence deafening. Following are some of the remarks Buchanan made:

“First, America has been the best country on earth for Black folks. It was here that 600,000 Black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity Blacks have ever known. Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American. Is White America really responsible for the fact that the crime and incarceration rates for African-Americans are seven times those of White America?

Is it really White America’s fault that illegitimacy in the African-American community has hit 70 percent and the Black dropout rate from high schools in some cities has reached 50 percent? Is that the fault of White America or, first and foremost, a failure of the Black community itself?

As for racism, its ugliest manifestation is in interracial crime, and especially interracial crimes of violence.

Is Barack Obama aware that while White criminals choose Black victims 3 percent of the time, Black criminals choose White victims 45 percent of the time? Is Barack aware that Black-on-White rapes are 100 times more common than the reverse, that Black-on-White robberies were 139 times as common in the first three years of this decade as the reverse?

We have all heard ad nauseam from the Rev. Al about Tawana Brawley, the Duke rape case and Jena. And all turned out to be hoaxes. But about the epidemic of Black assaults on Whites that are real, we hear nothing.

Sorry, Barack, some of us have heard it all before, about 40 years and 40 trillion tax dollars ago!”

Tavis Smiley calls Buchanan a “racial arsonist.”

If Tavis would get outside of his circle of friends who are to the left of Karl Marx he would understand that he is whining up the wrong tree. He is complaining that no one on the right is denouncing him like everyone is slamming Rev. Wright. Big difference is one is close to a presidential candidate and the other is just a commentator. The big reason no one on the right is rushing to defend or attack Pat is no one gives a damn what Pat says anymore. He has long been scorned by the majority of people on the right especially on his views about Israel/Jews/Iraq War past and present, his isolationist views are in the distinct minority.

So this play by Tavis to somehow give moral heft between the Pat and Wright is ridiculous and so how out of touch he really is when it comes to politics in general.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Here comes the immigration rallies for illegals.

Immigration: Everyone is expecting a much smaller turnout in various cities since the first ones turned into a backlash. But Chicago may have the most interesting rallies.

Activists in Houston expected about 300 people at a downtown rally. In Miami, marchers will demonstrate through the city's Little Haiti neighborhood to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services headquarters.

Immigrant advocates in Seattle expect between 5,000 and 8,000 people to turn out for a rally and are encouraging Latinos to boycott purchasing major items.

Rallies are also planned in Los Angeles and other cities.

In Chicago, up to 50,000 are expected at a downtown march and rally. Organizers say they have extended their message to include unity among different races and, for the first time, gay rights activists. Representatives from the Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and the Nation of Islam are expected to attend events Thursday.
"In the past, most of the marches you've seen mostly Latino, mostly immigrant or descendants of immigrants," said Emma Lozano, head of the Chicago-based Centro Sin Fronteras. "We want to make an effort (at unity). We need to come together."

Print media fighting to keep public money on legal notices.

Media: Big media types don't care for a bill in Pennsylvania that would let free papers get legal notices since that is yet another revenue stream they have a monopoly on they can't afford to lose now.

The state Senate is poised to consider a bill that would allow local governments to place legal notices in free community papers and end a monopoly long enjoyed by the established newspaper industry.

Advocates say the bill would save tax dollars by offering a cheaper alternative to newspaper ad rates for such announcements as proposed zoning changes, bid contracts, and future public meetings.

But critics, namely daily newspapers and their lobbying arm, argue that allowing legal notices in so-called shoppers, which they say few people read or want, would shortchange the public in the end.

The issue has produced rhetoric on both sides, with newspaper representatives calling free papers "junk mail" and a consultant for free papers labeling dailies as a "cartel" bent on protecting a coveted revenue source.

....Regardless of the amount, the legislation could deal another blow to Pennsylvania's newspaper industry, which, like that in the rest of the nation, has suffered from declining ad revenue and profits, forcing layoffs.

Musselman acknowledged that legislation would hurt the industry financially. And that, she said, would harm everyone.

"If you hurt our revenue, you are hurting our ability to do our job under the First Amendment," Musselman said. "It sounds corny, but that is what we believe."

The industry is also trying to fend off what it views as even more troublesome legislation - a bill that would allow governments to post legal notices on the Internet, avoiding print altogether.

That measure isn't as far along. It is awaiting action in the Communications and Technology Committee, chaired by Wonderling, and he said this week that he had no immediate plans to consider it.

Katie Couric in trouble for illegal immigration report.

Immigration: Pro-illegal groups are mad because of a April 9th report by Couric that showed the burdens of anchor babies and their mothers on the hospital system.

The CBS newscast that carries her name recently aired a one-sided and inaccurate report about illegal immigrant women who give birth to their children in the United States. The news story challenged the broader constitutional law of birthright citizenship and stated — without providing the correct context — that the births cost U.S. taxpayers millions of dollars annually.

The story’s central figure was a woman identified as an illegal immigrant, who was lying in her South Texas hospital bed — her right arm wrapped around her newborn and her left hand punctured by an intravenous needle — while reporter Byron Pitts lectured her that “many Americans who struggle to take care of their own families think it is unfair that they should have to take care” of non-U.S. citizens.

Immigrant advocates found the report so crass, and so far below the network’s journalistic standards set by legends Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, that they accused Couric of sinking to the depths of Lou Dobbs, the CNN broadcaster and contributor to CBS’s “The Early Show” who has inflamed national anti-immigrant sentiment. One Hispanic group posted on its website a photo of Couric that morphs into Dobbs.

...NCLR, MALDEF and the National Hispanic Media Coalition now have websites aimed at correcting “inaccuracies” in the media. The CBS broadcast is serving as the latest example of unbalanced reporting.

In its written complaint to CBS, MALDEF cited a Texas comptroller’s study noting economic benefits due to the presence of undocumented immigrants. MALDEF also maintained the CBS report exposes the woman “and implicitly leads her to believe that she is protected from deportation.” And it portrayed birthright citizenship as “an unfair benefit to immigrants rather than a core principle” of constitutional law.

One gaping hole in the news story involved a hospital administrator’s statement that the facility has “uncompensated care of over $200 million a year,” which the reporter tied to emergency room care for non-citizens. But how is that known if the hospital does not verify citizenship or legal vs. illegal immigration status?

Its one sided to the groups because it stated the facts. Anchor baby births have been going on for years now from various groups in all income levels because of a wretched interpretation of the constitution that was meant for slave children, not every immigrant that comes over here. This is just the beginning of groups wanting to shut down illegal immigration debate unless its on their terms.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Obama finally throws Wright under the bus

Politics: Then reversed back and forth a few times for good measure. The media in their lovefest for Obama tried to change the perception of Rev.Wright to a positive and got sucker punched by his press club appearance. All those weaks of selling Wright and his church as the example of black churches gone as even Eugene Robinson below had to set things straight because their candidate was getting pulled in by the Wright undertow.

I wonder how Soledad O'Brien is feeling right about now as her now legendary suck up fest with Roland Martin about Wright at the NAACP dinner award also got undercut yesterday.

Obama/Wright: Media's chickens coming home to roost.

Politics: That was fast because before Rev. Wright's speech at the press club this morning, the media was in love with the man. Soledad and the rest of CNN was gushing over him. The View hens were clucking with approval as the dumbest member Sherri Shepard compared him to Rosa Parks. Then came the press club speech and well...

Obama backers wince at Wright's remarks.

USATODAY: Wright puts Obama on defensive.

AP: Analysis: Wright does Obama little good.

Obama Camp Rips Wright.

Hot Air/Patterico
Andrew Sullivan finding it sort of hard, suddenly, to defend Wright.

Dana Milbank: For Obama, the Voice of Doom?

Joe Klein: The Reverend Wright (Oy)

and on and on. I told you this when Wright issue first came up this media defensive effort was going to go on but they didn't realize what kind of preacher they were dealing with here. He wasn't the next line from MLK or dishing out harsh truths. The sermons and ideas are tainted with a far left mentality. Its not pure in any sense of the word and it not driven even by a desire of social justice.

He is just a loud bomb thrower that appeals to a subset of people who look at America as just a bad country.

Now that his ego has taken center stage, the media is going to back down because instead of the father figure being redeemed for Obama to their horror they see a preening peacock who needs to be put back into his cage before more harm comes to Black Jesus.

Update# Even Eugene Robinson has had it with Rev.Wright.

I'm sorry, but I've had it with Wright. I would never try to diminish the service he performed as pastor of his Chicago megachurch, and it's obvious that he's a man of great charisma and faith. But this media tour he's conducting is doing a disservice that goes beyond any impact it might have on Obama's presidential campaign.

The problem is that Wright insists on being seen as something he's not: an archetypal representative of the African American church. In fact, he represents one twig of one branch of a very large tree

Monday, April 28, 2008

Universities self-censoring to Chinese students?

Culture: Chinese students upset about the way China looks on the issue of Tibet in Western media. The bigger story in the piece are college and universities with a combo of politically correctness and greed are willing to censor themselves for a buck.

Another factor fueling the zeal of many Chinese demonstrators could be that they, too, intend to return home; the Chinese government is widely believed to be monitoring large e-mail lists.

Universities have often tried to accommodate the anger of their Chinese students. Before the Dalai Lama’s visit to the University of Washington, the campus Chinese Students and Scholars Association wrote to the university president expressing hopes that the visit would focus only on nonpolitical issues and not arouse anti-China sentiments. According to a posting on the group’s Web site, the university president, Mark A. Emmert, told them in a meeting that no political questions would be raised at the Dalai Lama’s speech. A spokesman said the university, which opened an office in Beijing last fall, had prescreened student questions before the Chinese students voiced their concerns.

Some experts say that colleges feel constrained from reining in the more extreme protests through a combination of concerns about cultural sensitivity and a desire to expand their own ties with China.

“I think there tends to be a great deal of self-censorship,” said Peter Gries, director of the Institute for U.S.-China Issues at the University of Oklahoma, “and not just among American China scholars but among the whole web of people who do business with China, including school administrators.”


American Bar Association pushing sucky law students?

Edumacation: In the push for diversity, the not qualified always get in under new rules. The last thing I want in a lawyer is to find out he/she got in because of diversity/AA push and not because he/she showed a willingness to sell their mother's soul to win a case.

GMU's problems began in early 2000, when the American Bar Association visited the law school, which has a somewhat conservative reputation, for its routine reaccreditation inspection. The site evaluation team was unhappy that only 6.5% of entering students were minorities.

...Outreach was not the problem; even the site evaluation report (obtained as a result of Freedom of Information Act requests) conceded that GMU had a "very active effort to recruit minorities." But the school, the report noted, had been "unwilling to engage in any significant preferential affirmative action admissions program."

Since most law schools were willing to admit minority students with dramatically lower entering academic credentials, GMU was at a recruitment disadvantage. The site evaluation report noted its "serious concerns" with the school's policy.

Over the next few years, the ABA repeatedly refused to renew GMU's accreditation, citing its lack of a "significant preferential affirmative action program" and supposed lack of diversity. The school stepped up its already-extensive recruitment efforts, but was forced to back away from its opposition to significant preferential treatment. It was thus able to raise the proportion of minorities in its entering class to 10.98% in 2001 and 16.16% in 2002.

Not good enough. In 2003, the ABA summoned the university's president and law school dean to appear before it personally, threatening to revoke the institution's accreditation.

GMU responded by further lowering minority admissions standards. It also increased spending on outreach, appointed an assistant dean to serve as minority coordinator, and established an outside "Minority Recruitment Council." As a result, 17.3% of its entering students were minority members in 2003 and 19% in 2004.

Not good enough. "Of the 99 minority students in 2003," the ABA complained, "only 23 were African American; of 111 minority students in 2004, the number of African Americans held at 23." It didn't seem to matter that 63 African Americans had been offered admission, or that many students admitted with lower academic credentials would end up incurring heavy debt but never graduate and pass the bar.

This is rotten to the core. Its one thing to expand the talent search to get more students, but lowering standards so the ABA can feel good about themselves by saying this school has this many minority students just defeats the purpose of higher education.

GTA IV getting stolen at UPS depot.

Gaming: This may push me to finally get a PS3 though including this with my World of Warcraft playing I may get only 2 hours worth of sleep. Doable.

After reporting on the hype and controversy surrounding the Tuesday release of Grand Theft Auto IV, I can't believe I'm going to write a "this game causes crime!" story, but here we go. I spoke to an employee of UPS over the weekend, and he told me that a surprising amount of workers were getting busted stealing the game from the shipment boxes. In one 24-hour period, three workers were fired, and more interviews were scheduled for today that would likely end in termination.

I asked if this was common when big-name games were released, and he told me no; the situation was novel, or he wouldn't have brought it up at all. The game was enticing enough for many workers to risk losing their job and, in typical fashion for low-level crimes like this, it has been easy to identify the workers stealing the games.
"When we have a [big name release], we communicate it to operations and security teams. We have security in place at the facilities, and we make sure they understand to keep an eye out for things to exit the building," he explained. How did they find where games were stolen? "We had tips from people inside, and some of them were discovered at intermediate hubs... it's easy to spot: flaps torn, some boxes are re-taped." In most cases, the bust is as easy as finding the last person who scanned the box as full and interviewing them.

"They're not selling them, these people are stealing one copy," he told me—all of the thefts seem to be for personal use. It seems many people think stealing a game a few days before release is worth it, and this is far from the perfect crime.

"As long as the people loading the packages are doing their jobs, it's easy to track down," our source told Ars. "It's kind of funny, isn't it? It's a game about theft, and people are stealing it." His eyes began to shine as he said, "and I get to terminate them."

Democrats Registering In Record Numbers!!!

Politics: What is the typical new Dem?

'I Want to Vote'

Jason Robertson, 29, walked through the voter services door a few minutes after 2 p.m., wearing a stained, long-sleeve T-shirt and a black winter cap. He had extended his lunch break to come here, and he needed to be back at work in an hour. He makes brochures in a small printing shop in a warehouse off the highway. It's a good job, and he intends to keep it.

Work had become hard to find after he picked up a felony drug charge five years ago. His cousin found him the gig at the printing shop, but it can offer him only 30 hours of work each week. Robertson dreams of opening his own shop, or applying for one of those cushy jobs printing for the state. "It's crazy," he said. "They're paying, like, $15 an hour."

Robertson always thought the felony charge disqualified him from voting, until his girlfriend picked up a registration form last month at a hair salon and read the fine print (ex-felons may vote in North Carolina if they complete all terms of their sentence, such as probation or parole). She brought it home to the two-bedroom apartment they share with their four children and told him to fill it out.

"You're always talking about wanting change," Kim Fowler told him. "Now you can help make it."

Fowler, a longtime voter, met Robertson at a post office four years ago, and her interest in politics rubbed off on him. She took him to see "Fahrenheit 9/11," and volunteered at Obama's local office. More cynical than hopeful, Robertson wasn't the volunteering type. "George Bush cheated in both elections, and Congress should all be thrown out," he said. But lately he felt compelled by a new sense of political urgency.

"Damn it, man. I want to vote," he said. "There's no money, no jobs, and I want to feel like my vote is counting for something.

"I want them to answer me, 'What happened to the middle class?' You got rich, you got poor, and everybody is going in one of those directions."

Lately, Robertson has been sliding ever closer to broke. Since he moved in with Fowler, he has supported a household of six, including his 2-year-old son; Fowler's 10- and 8-year-old daughters from a previous relationship; and a baby they share. A few months ago, Robertson paid $632 -- a solid two weeks' wages -- to have the baby circumcised.

Medical bills have devastated their bank account, because Robertson and Fowler lack health insurance. Last year, Robertson's hand was caught in machinery at work, slicing his right index finger to the bone. His trip to the emergency room resulted in nine stitches, and he has been paying for them ever since. Three hundred dollars for anesthesia. Nine hundred for an X-ray. Six hundred for stitches.

Robertson considered asking his boss for help with the medical bills, but the company doesn't offer insurance, and he needs the job.

That is why, on the day he registered to vote, Robertson dropped off the form Fowler had given him a few days earlier and turned right back around, headed for work.

A criminal who wants a cushy public sector job while whining he can't find a job due to his drug felony pass moved by a Michael Moore movie. Yep he is a classic Dem voter.

When did Soledad O'Brien become CNN's black apologist?

Media: I agree with this post by May at NRO Corner. Ever since CNN made Soledad the defacto reporter to do all black news events and stories, she has become a shill on any issue that is seen as an attack on black people even when its not. Someone needs to tap her on the shoulder and say you may want to throttle back a bit.

CNN's Obamarama [Cliff May]

I was watching CNN for a few minutes this morning and all I can say is: Wow, are these guys unabashedly in the tank for Obama!

Soledad O'Brien, who I thought was supposed to be a reporter, was instructing the audience about Wright, telling us how amusing he is and how not-angry, and how much sense he is making. Then there was a CNN "non-scientific poll" showing that most CNN viewers online think it's time to end the controversy over Wright and "move on." Yes, move on.

How about the controversy over Bill Ayers and all the other dubious Obama associates? When does some CNN investigative reporter begin to "connect the dots" and perceive a pattern?

Hey Wolf! C'mon, this has got to be making you uncomfortable, no?

Video of her gushing from last night with Roland Martin who did not expect better from on this issue.

Update# Malkin liveblogging Wright's appearance at the National Press Club and it seems the media is in fine cheerleading form.

9:08am. He just got a massive standing ovation from the crowd, including many journalists sitting at the head table. The title of his address is “The African American Religious Experience; Theology & Practice.”

Wright asserts that the criticism leveled against his diatribes are an “attack on the black church.” Not an attack on “Jeremiah Wright, but an attack on the black church.”


BTW, smooth move by Wright, he is now the face of the black church even though his church is considered to be the most radical in Chi-Town.

9:19am Eastern. Wright repeats his “Different is not deficient” lines from last night’s NAACP banquet.

“Black preaching is not bombastic, it is not controversial, it is just different.”

Applause again.

Wright pauses to note that working journalists in the crowd clapped along with the rest of the audience.

9:31am Eastern. He just delivered a line about whites worshipping on Sunday, then donning KKK robes and killing blacks on Monday morning.

More slave talk, prophetic black lib talk. He wraps up and gets another huge standing o from the audience and from the journalist panel members.

The NPC lady wants to clarify that the applause doesn’t necessarily come from journalists.


You know its bad when you have to clarify in hopes you can save their sorry behinds.

Jeremiah Wright has no standards, anyone realize that point?

Politics: Check out his speech from last night and the points he was trying to make that everyone is a-okay and "special."

The simple message that being different doesn't mean a person is deficient was delivered with passion, anger, even humor Sunday night by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright as the controversial Chicago minister captivated a sell-out crowd at the NAACP's Freedom Fund dinner

Wrong. There is a difference between different and being someone who does not meet certain societal standards. It never hit me until reading this Freep piece when Wright was talking about arbitary standards that he meant no one should judge anyone else on anything at anytime.

"In the past, we were taught to see others who are different as deficient, and that anybody not like us was abnormal," said Wright, former pastor of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. "But a change is coming because we no longer see others who are different as deficient; we just see them as different."

...The rest of the address was geared toward understanding and accepting differences, which are as much about culture as they are about skin color.

Black children are told they don't speak English well, when people from Boston or Texas, like the Kennedys or former president Lyndon Johnson, aren't ridiculed for their accents, he said.

"After Kennedy got killed, Johnson got up to the podium and said, 'My fellow Americans,' " Wright said, imitating Johnson's Texas drawl. "Well how do you spell 'fello.' How do you spell ''Mericans.' Nobody said to Johnson, 'You speak bad English.' "

Bands from the University of Michigan or Michigan State University aren't criticized because they use classical marching band precision while African-American bands from Florida A&M or Grambling State universities strut and dance onto the football field, Wright said while demonstrating the rhythm that have made those bands famous.

"We just do it different, and some of our haters just can't get their heads around that," he said.

There is a huge difference between having an accent and speaking freaking ebonics. Wright by design or stupidity confuses styles and standards. UM marching band has a certain band style, FAMU has a certain band style. But, neither band leader will stand for anyone in their respective band to play the trombone badly and say that is how we play it at this school. Wright is preaching that you should not judge anyone because everyone is just different allows low standards and levels of behavior/results to become the norm.

It also gives him a pass to keep preaching the divisive and hateful speech he has been spouting for decades.

Zimbabwe silence may be Mbeki's demise:

Africa: Another bit of good news. Mbeki docile behavior to Mugabe's destruction of Zimbabwe has been outrageous. If South Africa is supposed to be the beacon of hope for Africa, Mbeki made sure it went dark when it turned to Mugabe.

Once hailed as a leader focused on Africa's democratic and economic revival, Mbeki's silence on Zimbabwe has been blamed either on misplaced loyalty or crippling deference.

A smiling Mbeki was photographed holding hands with Mugabe even as Zimbabweans had been waiting for weeks for the final results of a March 29 election.

He was further slammed for saying there was "no crisis" in Zimbabwe after meeting the 84-year-old Zimbabwean strongman two weeks ago.

"The election was a crisis (...) for everyone to see. He denied that was the case. He went against his own logic," said Ebrahim Fakir, a researcher at the Johannesburg-based Centre for Policy Studies.

Susan Booysen, political analyst at the University of the Witwatersrand, put it bluntly: "One cannot come to any other conclusion than that he has botched (...) his legacy," she said.

"People expected statesmanship. But at the end of the day, he didn't have the guts to stand up to a fellow liberation movement leader," referring to the pair's shared background in anti-colonial politics.

N.Va. Hit With Cost Of School Migration(illegals)

Politics: A crackdown on illegals in one county pushes them into the more liberal sanctuary we are better than you Northern Virginia counties which drive up costs and other community expenses. Its a win-win.

Hundreds of foreign-born families have pulled their children from Prince William County public schools and enrolled them in nearby Fairfax County, Arlington County and Alexandria since the start of the school year, imposing a new financial burden on those inner suburbs in a time of lean budgets.

The school-to-school migration within Northern Virginia started just as Prince William began implementing rules to deny some services to illegal immigrants and require police to check the immigration status of crime suspects thought to be in the country illegally.

Opponents of the rules say they have had a chilling effect on Prince William's once-thriving Latino community, prompting even legal immigrants to flee a hostile environment. Supporters say the rules have done what they were supposed to by primarily pushing illegal immigrants out.

"The resolution is clearly working," said Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large), chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. "It is driving down the non-English-speaking portion of the schools and saving us millions of dollars. They're going to other jurisdictions and costing them money."

....Still, Stewart noted that Prince William's schools expect to save $6 million in education costs as a result of the exodus -- a cost that will be borne by the other communities. Some officials in Fairfax and elsewhere say they expect the numbers to climb in the next academic year.

We now have a new term from opponents of the crackdown. The "mixed-status" families.

Local leaders outside Prince William rejected Stewart's assertion that the exodus will increase political pressure to crack down on illegal immigrants.

Fairfax leaders recently increased funding for the Enhanced Code Enforcement Strike Team, intended to combat property blight and crowding, which some residents have blamed on immigrants. Leaders have been careful to "focus on behavior and not demonize categories of people," said Gerald E. Connolly (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

"It's silly for Mr. Stewart to refer to any jurisdiction as a 'sanctuary county,' " Connolly said. "That's just inflammatory and demagogic."

Immigration advocates also disputed Stewart's claim that those leaving Prince William are primarily illegal immigrants.

"The majority of our families here were mixed-status families," said Nancy Lyall, a volunteer with Mexicans Without Borders. "You're forcing the legal residents to leave the county as well. And, of course, many of the children are legal as well, and they're being forced to leave, too."

Still, the Prince William migration could place further pressure on Fairfax's code enforcement efforts. It is a reversal of the trend of immigrants moving to Prince William to find affordable housing. Their return to the inner suburbs could lead to more instances of the kind of crowding that officials are seeking to halt.

Arlington's Randolph Elementary School, for instance, "has gotten back" some of the very Latino students whose families had moved away, Superintendent Robert G. Smith said. Smith said his schools are able to absorb the students for now, like Fairfax.

But he urged the State Board of Education, which asked the school systems in March to measure the Prince William exodus, to consider helping schools pay for the new students.

"We don't have an offer of help at this point, but I would certainly welcome it," Smith said.

The movement back to these places just started and already they are begging for money. Its all well and good if the cost is spread out over different counties and you proclaim your county is not like that evil Prince William picking on illegals. But now we have evidence their costs are going up while the evil county costs are going down, watch that tone change really fast. Give it a couple of years and they will be calling ICE to come in and do their job.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Official: Laptop reveals FARC ties to Ecuador

Terrorism: More evidence of Ecuador officials and ties to FARC.

New documents a Colombian government official says were retrieved from the computer of slain guerrilla leader Raúl Reyes show FARC's ties in Latin America may be more widespread than previously reported.

Some of the documents, obtained by The Miami Herald, indicate that a leading member of Ecuador's constitutional assembly, charged with reshaping that country's political landscape, may have been a longtime supporter of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

María Augusta Calle -- also the head of Venezuela's Telesur TV network in Ecuador and a supporter of President Hugo Chávez -- let the rebels use her bank account for at least one transaction and helped promote their ideas through another news agency she directs, the Colombian offical said.

In two e-mails dated June and July 2006, a woman who signs as ''Alicia'' corresponds with someone she calls ''friend'' in one of her e-mails and ''Darío'' in the other. She talks about personal matters, current affairs and media strategies.

According to the Colombian official -- who requested anonymity as a condition to discuss the documents -- ''Alicia'' is a code name for Calle and the letters were intended for Reyes, the FARC's spokesman and primary peace negotiator who was killed March 1 in a Colombian military raid of a rebel hideout in Ecuador.

In one of the newly disclosed e-mails, ''Alicia'' talks about her ties to the Venezuelan embassy in Quito. She says she is hopeful she will soon get a job with the Venezuelans and offers to broker communications between the rebels and the embassy.

Calle -- whose résumé says is a sociologist and journalist -- was appointed head of the Ecuadorean division of the Chávez-supported Telesur network sometime in 2007

Church's Chicken owners sue Islamic Investment Bank for Racial Discrimination

Business: Strange lawsuit because why would the bank put itself in a clear cut case of allowing others to sell pork products leaving out the black owners?

A Baltimore couple has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Islamic investment bank that owns the Church's Chicken fast-food chain, alleging their franchise failed because the bank's strict adherence to the religious code of Shari'ah prohibited the couple from selling pork.

Marcus and Denise Beasley, who are black, claimed they were treated differently by the bank, now known as Atlanta-based Arcapita Inc., than non-black franchisees who were allowed to continue serving breakfast dishes containing pork after the chain was acquired by the bank in December 2004.

The couple did not benefit from the grandfather policy allowing the sale of pork even though their contract with the chain's former owners, AFC Enterprises Inc., to open a location in Baltimore/ Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport's new terminal predated the takeover and policy change, according to the suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

In the lawsuit, which seeks $5 million in actual damages, $5 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages, the Beasleys contend the bank's "stated reason" for disallowing the sale of pork in their case -- they had not yet opened for business - - was "pretextual."

"Arcapita permitted all of the other breakfast franchisees, which were approximately 30 Church's Chicken restaurants, to do so, all of which were owned by persons who are non-African American or Caucasian," the complaint states. "Of the Church's Chicken breakfast franchises that existed when Arcapita acquired the chain, plaintiffs are the only ones who are African American."

Shari'ah law

The Beasleys began negotiations with Atlanta-based AFC in May 2004 and inked a franchise agreement Dec. 17, 2004.

Church's Chicken, which serves American Southern comfort food, was founded in San Antonio in 1952 and has approximately 1,500 franchises worldwide, some of which trade as Texas Chicken, according to the company's Web site.

On Dec. 26, Crescent Capital Investments Inc., the U.S. affiliate of Bahrain-based First Islamic Investment Bank BSC, bought Church's, according to the suit. First Islamic changed its name to Arcapita in March 2005, the compliant states.

In April 2005, the Beasleys entered into a sublease with BAA Maryland Inc., the developer of retail and concession space in the airport, to operate their restaurant in the Pier A/B Core Food Court, according to the suit. The franchise's menu, which included pork items, had to be submitted for approval and became part of the sublease, the suit states.

According to the complaint, the Beasleys had been assured they would be receiving the same letter Arcapita had sent to other existing franchisees, which said the parent company would not be collecting royalties on pork products.

But "approximately one week before" the Beasleys' May 18 opening, the suit states, Arcapita informed them that, as new franchisees who had not yet opened, they may not serve pork, which Islam considers unclean.

The restaurant opened on schedule -- but never served pork -- and closed in late July 2006.

Spain pays $1.2 million in ransom to Somali Pirates?

Crime: That will teach them that a life of crime on the high seas doesn't pay...wait..

MADRID, Spain - The Spanish government said Saturday that 26 fishing crew members hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia have been released along with their ship after negotiations.

Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega said the crew and the trawler Playa de Bakio were sailing back home. She would not say whether a ransom had been paid.

"The fishing boat Bakio has been liberated and is now sailing in total freedom, escorted by a Spanish frigate toward safer waters," De la Vega told a news conference.
Reuters reports that a local Somali officials said the pirates were given $1.2 million.

"We have been informed by our intelligence services that the pirates were given $1.2 million, which was brought in a small boat," Abdisalam Khalif Ahmed, chairman of Haradhere port local authority in central Somalia, told Reuters.

"We also understand that the pirates arrived at El-Hud village, where they hired cars that took them away," he said.

...Pirates firing rocket-propelled grenades boarded skipper Amadeo Alvarez Gomez's boat and captured the crew of 13 Spaniards and 13 men from African countries.

De la Vega said the crew was in good health.

"The 26 crew are in perfect condition and we are communicating this to the boat's owners and the families," she said.

De la Vega said the release had been achieved through negotiation in London between the Spanish government, the ship owners and representatives of the hijackers.

She added no details but said the release had been achieved thanks to "cooperation and diplomacy."

Its good to be diplomacy? I also believe the use of the term liberated in this context is highly stretched to its credibility limit.

Mexicans angry over N.C. lawmaker's "pimps/hoes" comments

Politics: Well....technically he is correct. He could have used different criminals but then we wouldn't have a hot story.

Mexican politicians and residents are calling Mecklenburg County commissioner Bill James' statements -- printed Friday in one of Mexico City's leading newspapers -- an example of growing hostility against Latinos in the United States.

James, a Republican, made the comments during an April 15 commissioners meeting while discussing government contracts and whether illegal immigrants pay taxes. Near the end of the talk, Commissioner Norman Mitchell, a Democrat, mentioned a recent Charlotte Observer article reporting that illegal immigrants paid taxes.

James interjected that prostitutes and drug dealers also pay taxes. ''Al Capone paid taxes,'' he said.

James said Thursday his comments were meant to show that immigrants, prostitutes and drug dealers all engage in illegal activity.

''You're breaking the law, you need to get right with the law,'' James said. ``It doesn't have anything to do with whether your hair is blond, brown or black. It doesn't matter what your skin color is, your eyes, whatever.''

....Oscar Avila, a 19-year-old pen salesman in Mexico City, struggled to understand James' feelings. He said he's aware of opposition to undocumented workers in the United States but said he had never heard such ''strong'' comments that compare an entire community to criminals.

''He's just discriminating against the people,'' said Avila. ``He's calling people, who are just trying to make a better life for themselves, narcotraffickers. That's not right.''

The controversy took hold this week in Charlotte's Latino community and has been the focus of most reports and stories on local Spanish language radio and newspapers.

''No one has been talking about anything else but Bill James,'' said Rafael Prieto, editor of Mi Gente Spanish language newspaper in Charlotte. An image of Mi Gente's front-page story on James' comments was reproduced in Mexico City's El Universal Newspaper -- featured prominently next to stories about the U.S. presidential campaign.

German De Castro, chair of the Hispanic Democrats of Mecklenburg County, has demanded that James apologize for making blanket statements that inflame feelings against the immigrant community.

''What if you had two girls, 16 and 19 years old, and he called them prostitutes?'' asked De Castro. ``That's what he did. He said all the women were prostitutes. And all the men were drug dealers. How are you going feel? You're going to be irate.''

James said had no intention of issuing an apology.

''Why would I owe someone an apology for telling the truth?'' James said. ``I think that America needs to get a backbone. We have become a country of wimps. I'm not going to apologize for stating the truth. Period.''