Saturday, July 26, 2008

Congress approves housing market "welfare" bill

Nation: AS 400,000 homeowners who for the most part deserve to be in the situation they put themselves get their bailout plus more big government.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sam the Cooking guy tells Kathie Lee and Hoda be quiet

Entertainment: Hysterically Awkward.

John Barrowman as Captain America?

Entertainment: Hell no, the guy is barely tolerable along with the rest of the cast of Torchwood with below average acting skills.

Dexter Season 3 trailer is out

Entertainment: Wooo, NSFW clip and I am going to miss Doakes.

Calvin peeing on Obama name? Racist of course.

Politics: The Calvin peeing stickers have alway been idiotic but racist is going too far...unless you are an Obama fan then its okay to be nuts.

SUGAR LAND — In case their Plantation Bend neighbors had any questions about how Doug and Wendy McKain feel about Barack Obama, the bumper sticker on their pickup could be a clue.

But when Chynethia Gragg spotted the sticker — depicting someone urinating on the name "Obama" — Sugar Land police say, she stopped to express her disapproval, and that's when things got ugly.

Gragg, 35, has been charged with making a terroristic threat after confronting the McKains, telling them the sticker was racist, police said.

Gragg declined to comment, and her attorney, Roy Smith, said he would have to review the police report and talk with his client before commenting.

Doug McKain declined to comment.


Ebay Auction of said sticker I believe.

Blogger surprised Comcast reads blogs.

Intrenets!: Any company worth a damn especially dealing with tech has someone monitoring blogs,sites even twitter to see if something is going on that could become a future PR headache. Why would someone writing on their blog about Comcast being shocked Comcast reads posts about them? Talk about stupid paranoia.

Look, I am defending Comcast... that is how irritated I am by the beginning of this article in the NYTIMES. There are perfectly legit angles to take shots at Comcast like the small amount of HD channels*hint hint* being offered at this time compared to say Directv or that whole compression of the signal issue. But this is just stupid.

I am more impressed when companies respond to issues in such a manner because it at least shows an effort. I praised the new Compusa store near me and got a message from them saying thanks. That goes a long way in keeping customer loyalty.

Brandon Dilbeck, 20, a student at the University of Washington, was complaining recently on his blog, Brandon Notices, about Comcast’s practice of posting ads in its on-screen programming guide.

He assumed he was writing for his own benefit. “It feels like nobody ever really reads my blog,” he said. “Nobody has left a comment in months.”

Shortly afterward, he received an e-mail message from Comcast, thanking him for the feedback and adding that it was working on a new interactive guide that might “illuminate the issues that you are currently experiencing.”

Mr. Dilbeck found it all a bit creepy. “The rest of his e-mail may as well have read, ‘Big Brother is watching you,’ ” he said.

But Frank Eliason, digital care manager at Comcast, says he was just trying to help.

From a sparse desk dominated by two computer screens in the new Comcast Center here, Mr. Eliason uses readily available online tools to monitor public comments on blogs, message boards and social networks for any mention of Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company. When he sees a complaint like Mr. Dilbeck’s, he contacts the source to try to defuse the problem.

“When you’re having a two-way conversation, you really get to clear the air,” Mr. Eliason said.

Comcast is not the only company trying to reach out to customers online. Using the social messaging service Twitter, Southwest Airlines answers customer questions about ticket prices and flight delays, Whole Foods Market posts details about discounts, and the chief executive of the online shoe store Zappos shares details of his life with 7,200 “followers.” Many other companies also monitor online discussion groups.

But Comcast is going an extra step by talking back, contacting customers who are discussing the company online.

Odds are they are complaining about Comcast. The company was ranked at the very bottom of the most recent American Customer Satisfaction Index, which tracks consumer opinions of more than 200 companies. Hundreds of customers have filed grievances on a site called ComcastMustDie.com.

Comcast says the online outreach is part of a larger effort to revamp its customer service. In just about five months, Mr. Eliason, whose job redefines customer service, has reached out to well over 1,000 customers online.

Olbermann screws up three times in one minute

Media: This is what happens when you trust/use Daily Kos, Huffy Post and Thinkprogress as your show prep.

Bill O'Reilly made Countdown with Keith Olbermann again last night, this time as the "Worse Person in the World."

But in less than one minute it appears Olbermann made three errors. O'Reilly made the list for his Tuesday night segment on the potential "residential fraud" of Rep. Robert Wexler.

• Olbermann says Wexler was confronted by Griff Jenkins "at his home in Florida," but it was actually at his D.C. Maryland home.

• Olbermann notes the program, "altered a photo of Wexler to make his lips bright red," but an FNC representative tells TVNewser that in no way were his lips altered.

• As far as the substance of the O'Reilly segment, Olbermann says "[Guest John] Fund had to inform him that Florida doesn't have an income tax." As Johnny Dollar reports it was O'Reilly who originally noted that Florida didn't have a state income tax. "So he would pay it in Florida because Florida doesn't have a state tax. And Maryland taxes like crazy," O'Reilly said.

The last part is proof Olbermann and his staff refuses to fact check or just think their audience will lap up like the hungry dogs that they are anything he spews out.

More college cafeterias dump food trays

Nation: Save the enviro and all that. Good way to cut costs and dupethe guilt-ridden college students who believe they are doing a good thing.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gay group get Mr.T Snickers ad pulled for being Homophobic.

Entertainment: Hyper-sensitive professional whine groups at it again.


NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Mars has pulled a U.K. Snickers spot criticized for being homophobic, according to a gay-rights group.

This is the second time the marketer has come under fire for homophobic advertising for Snickers. It was also criticized for a 2007 Super Bowl ad in which two men expressed disgust after accidentally kissing.

According to Human Rights Campaign, Mars announced its decision "following communication between the HRC Workplace Project and Mars."

'Get some nuts'
The ad, created by Omnicom Group's AMV BBDO in London, featured an effeminate speed-walking man who is ridiculed by Mr. T and shot at by a Snickers cannon. The spot closes with Mr. T shouting the campaign tagline: "Get some nuts."

HRC Workplace Director Daryl Herrschaft in a statement said the group "applauds Mars for taking swift and appropriate action" but added that it was "surprised to see the company return to the same practice it had just recently rejected."

Mars could not be immediately reached for comment.



Amy Winehouse scarecrow does the job.

Funny: Finally a use for Amy Winehouse.

Marlon Brooks modelled his scarecrow on singer Amy Winehouse - and says she's scaring off the pigeons that kept attacking his sugar beet.

With her trademark beehive and tattoos, and clutching a cigarette and bottle of booze, Marlon reckons Amy should win another award - for services to the farming industry.

"The pigeons are terrified, they're sitting up on the telephone wires too scared to come into the field which is brilliant. Every farmer needs an Amy scarecrow," he said.

"She's the best scarecrow we've ever had and she's doing a brilliant job. In fact she's doing a better job scaring the birds than she is singing at the moment.

"I'd be happy to offer her a full time job if she needs one when the singing is over".

The 36 year old farmer from Ludham, Norfolk, came up with the idea of using an Amy scarecrow after finding his old traditional scarecrow was failing to keep the wildfowl away.

After discussing it with his mates in the pub, one joked that nothing was as scary as Amy so the idea was born.

Now she's doing such a fine job Marlon is even thinking of making a Pete Doherty and Blake Fielder Civil to go with her.

"They're pretty scary looking too though I'm not sure they'd do as good a job as Amy," he added.

Sweden's legal system needs some tweaking.

Sweden: At least make an effort to find the suspects to bring them to trial.

Greater numbers of trials are being cancelled because the accused fail to show up when called to appear in court.

Between 2005 and 2007, the number of district court proceedings called off because of no-show defendants has risen by 20 percent, reports Sveriges Radio.

Nothing indicates that the increase has leveled off in 2008, according to statistics from National Courts Administration (Domstolsverket).

A total of 15,000 criminal trials have been cancelled in the last three years because the suspects don’t show up.

Part of the explanation is that police only take in people who have been accused of serious crimes.

For the last two years, a father now held on suspicions of having killed his two-year-old son in Huskvarna in central Sweden over the weekend has avoided charges of abusing the woman who is the child’s mother.

Some cases are simply written off if those charged hold out long enough.

Car-Driver Acquitted of Running over a Pigeon

EU: Am I going to have put the Netherlands on the list of not serious countries with the other member Ape right's Spain?

A car-driver has been acquitted of running over a pigeon. A court in Leeuwarden found it not proven that the pigeon was a protected species.

The 20 year old man ran over the pigeon in Drachten village on 10 May 2007. The police who saw the 'collision' concluded it was a wood pigeon. Because this is a protected species, the man was accused of infringing the Flora and Fauna Act.

According to the police, the man had sufficient room to avoid the bird. This meant intention was proven, the public prosecutor argued.

The judge however found that it must first be established whether the bird was indeed a wood pigeon. This conclusion could not be drawn beyond reasonable doubt. The 'victim' was possibly an ordinary pigeon, to which the Fauna Act does not apply, according to the court, thereby pronouncing the acquittal.

The prosecutor had demanded a fine of 150 euros. Technically, a driver can also be prosecuted for running over a Formica rufa; this ant is also on the list of protected animals.

Obama pledges $4 Billion for Detroit automakers.

Business: Along with the housing bill, it seems Obama is determined to turn every industry into a pseudo state run entity. The last thing the automakers need is a bailout. They need to get themselves out of this mess without the safety net. Way too much coddling over the years have led to their mess.

"....With the economy looking worse by the day, lawmakers in Washington have been kicking around the idea of a second economic stimulus package to get people shopping again, and Mowtown's lawmakers want in on the money. Michigan's two Democratic senators are attempting to use the prospect of such a bill to include federally-backed loans to help automakers and suppliers build new factories and engineer new models. The $4B would be used to offset the costs associated with the Treasury Department giving automakers $25B in loans at a discounted rate. Automakers have been against such a loan in the past, but with worsening conditions and tighter lending practices the idea is likely to sound much more exciting this time around.

Presumed Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama told the UAW in a letter that he supports the $4B in federal aid, stating that he would "provide real solutions necessary to help this industry compete and win in the global economy."

If Joe Klein is squealing like a pig over McCain

Politics: It means McCain was on target with his criticism of Black Jesus.

Muslim Brotherhood opposes child protection laws.

Egypt: Opposing the banning of female circumsion seems downright stupid.

Since June, Egypt's government and Islamist opposition parties have been trading barbs over a new law designed to protect the rights of children. Reforms instituted by the law touch on issues ranging from children's legal status to personal health issues.

The law was passed by parliament, which is dominated by President Hosni Mubarak's ruling party. But the measure has spurred a debate over the competing roles of religion, tradition, and the state in the upbringing of children. The controversy is making waves in a country where 32 percent of the population is under the age of 15, according to a 2006 government census.

The Muslim Brotherhood, a banned yet tolerated opposition group that holds 20 percent of the seats in the lower house, argues that the law violates Islamic law and imposes foreign values on Egyptians.

Saad El Katatny, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood bloc in parliament, says his movement is not opposed to the child law as a whole, rather "just those provisions that run counter to the norms, customs, and nature of the Egyptian people."

Aspects of the law that he takes issue with include articles that make it illegal to try children as adults, permit birth certificates for the children of unwed mothers, restrict corporal punishment, raise the marriage age to 18 years, and reinforce a standing ban on female circumcision.

"When you do things like this, for example limiting the age of marriage to 18, it does not reflect the norms of our society, it reflects international norms," Mr. Katatny adds.

F-rated charter school in Lauderdale Lakes won't have to close for now

Edumacation: Say you have a school in your area that just blows, I mean 59 points below the minimum score of reaching a "D". They failed three years in a row with almost zero signs of improvement.

Do you say enough, shut it down and force drastic changes or just blame standardized tests and keep it open because the community likes it? In Broward County, failure means success.

More than 100 students, teachers, administrators and community leaders packed the Broward County School Board meeting, pleading with board members to spare the Lauderdale Lakes charter school. Their request: another year to show they can raise student scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test and raise the school's grade from an F.

"The FCAT is not an indication of one's intellectual ability," said James Jackson, 18, who graduated from Smart School in May. "A number is not reflective of how smart I am."

The strong showing worked. After nearly three hours and impassioned speeches from more than 30 people, board members sided with the school. They opted to defer a vote to put the school on notice that the district will shut it down, the first move in closing a charter school.

State and district officials designated Smart School for closure after it received three F grades in four years on the state's student progress report.

Charter schools are privately run public schools that sign contracts with the school district, giving the district limited oversight and the school some freedom over curriculum. But charter schools that do not do well on the FCAT risk sanctions and closure.

Board members sidestepped Superintendent James Notter's concerns that the school could not significantly boost its performance. Instead, they criticized the test and its weight in factoring grades under Florida's school accountability plan.

"I think this school is embracing their community. I think they're embracing their students, and I applaud them for that," said board member Jennifer Gottlieb. "To me, this is about taking a stand. It's about standing up against the FCAT, against the A-Plus plan and bureaucracy."

Board member Stephanie Kraft said it would be hypocritical of her and other board members to rail against tests like the FCAT but use the standardized test's scores as a basis for shuttering Smart School. "It goes against everything we've been saying for years," Kraft said.


.....There's no guarantee Tuesday's move will save the school. Smart School received a state-required overhaul last year after two failing grades in three years. Under state rules, a third F this year would trigger the school's closure, which school administrators knew at the start of the 2007-08 school year.

Before the vote, Notter said he doubted Smart School could boost its scores enough to raise its state grade. The school earned six more points this year than last year, and would need to boost its score by at least 59 points to receive a D.

Obama: Nuclear Iran is serious business.

Iran: More evolving stances by Black Jesus.

Sen. Barack Obama said Wednesday that a nuclear-armed Iran would be a "game-changing" situation, not just in the Middle East but throughout the world.

Obama said a nuclearized Iran could lead to other countries, including ones with ties to terrorists, feeling the need to obtain nuclear weapons.

That, he said, could lead to terrorists getting their hands on loose nuclear materials.

"That is our single most important threat, both to Israel but also to the United States of America," he said in the southern Israeli town of Sderot.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said that if he's elected, he wants to act quickly to mobilize the international community to "offer a series of big sticks and big carrots to the Iranian regime to stand down on nuclear weapons."

"But what I have also said, though, is that I will take no options off the table in dealing with this potential Iranian threat," he said.

When asked by a reporter, Obama clarified his remarks made during a debate last summer that he would be willing to meet with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea "without precondition."

The Obama campaign has since added nuance to that position, particularly regarding meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Obama said Wednesday that he would be willing to meet with any leader if he thought it would promote the national security interests of the United States, but he said there is a difference between "meeting without preconditions and meeting without preparations."

"That continues to be my position: that if I think that I can get a deal that is going to advance our cause, then I would consider that opportunity," he said.

"My whole goal in terms of having tough, serious direct diplomacy is not because I'm naive about the nature of any of these regimes. I'm not," Obama said. "It is because if we show ourselves willing to talk and to offer carrots and sticks in order to deal with these pressing problems, and if Iran then rejects any overtures of that sort, it puts us in a stronger position to mobilize the international community to ratchet up the pressure on Iran."


The international community including Russia and China have shown zero interesting in ratcheting up the pressure on Iran now and won't change if you are president. As for the preconditions or preparations, on his own website he said he would meet without preconditions. This new stance is just another of trademark Obama middling on the fence while hoping no one actually notices he is being full of it trying to get away from his previous stance.

Oil Survey Says Arctic Has Riches

Nation: Watch the Dems and enviro groups fight like hell to stop America exploration and drilling of said resource while the rest of the world gleefully goes on ahead.

Mayor Orders New York to Expand Language Help

Nation: By expanding translate to more money spent to cater to more languages without emphasis on English.

On Tuesday, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg ordered the city’s more than 100 agencies to provide language assistance in six foreign languages: Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Italian and French Creole. The order requires, for the first time, that the agencies follow the same standard when providing translation and interpretation to New Yorkers who do not speak English.

Immigrant advocates and city officials say it is the most comprehensive order of its kind in the country. The mayor refused to be specific about how much the services will cost, saying only that it was a “relatively small” amount given the size of the city’s budget. He added: “This executive order will make our city more accessible, while helping us become the most inclusive municipal government in the nation.”

“The fundamental basis of government is its interaction with its citizens,” the mayor said before signing the executive order at City Hall on Tuesday. “If people don’t know what we do, don’t know what they should do, what the law requires them to do, don’t know how to get services, all the money that we’re spending providing those services, providing those laws, is meaningless.”

The order requires that agencies translate essential public documents, pamphlets and forms in the six languages. But its reach is broader, as it allows for the use of a telephone-based service that can link immigrants with interpreters who speak Urdu, Hindi, Arabic and dozens of others less-common languages.


This makes it less likely non-English speaking immigrants will want to learn English. Why bother if the government is catering to you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Congress to pass housing bailout giveaway.

Nation: All the irresponsible borrowers and banks have been given a nice taxpayer funded bailout plus the bonus of grants to spruce up houses already abandoned. This will distort the housing market and billions will be wasted on areas that quite frankly deserves to die off before being reborn.

Rescue legislation sailed through the House on Wednesday aimed at helping 400,000 strapped homeowners avoid foreclosure and preventing the collapse of troubled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The 272-152 vote reflected a congressional push to send election-year help to struggling borrowers and to reassure jittery financial markets about the health of two pillars of the mortgage market.

Hours before the vote, President Bush dropped his opposition to the measure, which now is on track to pass the Senate and become law within days.

The White House swallowed its distaste for $3.9 billion in grants for devastated neighborhoods. In return, the administration got both the power to throw Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a lifeline and the legislation Republicans long have advocated to rein in the government-sponsored mortgage companies.

Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson and lawmakers in both parties negotiated the final deal. It accomplishes several Democratic priorities, including aid for homeowners, a permanent affordable housing fund financed by the two mortgage companies and the money for hard-hit neighborhoods. The grants are for buying and fixing up foreclosed properties.


Pathetic.

San Diego wants to be "foreclosure sanctuary."

Business: One of the most retarded ideas to come down the pike in a while and surprisingly its not coming from San Francisco.

San Diego's city attorney said on Wednesday he filed a lawsuit against Bank of America Corp and its Countrywide unit to prevent the mortgage lenders from foreclosing on homes in the city, which he aims to make a "foreclosure sanctuary."

City Attorney Michael Aguirre plans to file similar lawsuits against Washington Mutual Inc, Wells Fargo & Co and Wachovia Corp in an effort to make the lenders negotiate with mortgage borrowers facing foreclosure.

"We would like to see San Diego become a foreclosure sanctuary," Aguirre said.

Housing markets across Southern California, including the city of San Diego and the county of the same name, are seeing steep increases in foreclosure rates because so many homes bought there earlier this decade involved subprime mortgages and other types of risky loans.

.....Aguirre's lawsuit, brought in the name of the people of California, names four current and former Countrywide officers, including former CEO Angelo Mozilo, and alleges they personally profited from selling shares of the lender's stock while knowing its subprime loans did not comply with company policies.

"The Countrywide executives who originated these subprime loans were engaged in a massive fraud on homeowners, borrowers and investors," Aguirre said. "They enriched themselves by over $1 billion."

"We have the big stick of being found in violation of the law and the carrot of taking something that is a nonperforming asset, that all these houses are, and making it a performing asset by keeping the families in it."


Do borrowers bear any part of the responsibility? Its one thing to go after companies that did criminal acts, but to try and stop foreclosures in mass is giving the borrowers who wanted to flip or live beyond their means a way out of their own stupidity. Not to mention this sort of act will screw up any sort of housing correction that is being done naturally.

Tom Joyner promotes Color of Change Fox News petition.

Media: Around 7:20 am he had on James Rucker of the far leftist activist group Color of Change who along with Nas is going to deliver 600,000 leftist sigs to Fox News today as a protest for basically not kissing up to Obama. There is the typical Fox News hates black people talk but that is secondary. It should make for some fun news clips as members of leftist groups like this can't help but act the fool in front of the camera.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Charles Barkley pays for busboy's tuition.

Nation: He can be a dumbass but he is entertaining on TnT and now you hear he is generous with his money towards education. Not as generous as he is to Las Vegas but thats another story.


CHRISTIAN ABATE majored in education at Temple, but put his studies on hold for a few years while having financial hardship.
He's worked as a busboy for eight years at Saloon (750 S. 7th), where he struck up a friendship with one generous regular at the Italian restaurant who volunteered to pay his Temple tuition.

During a visit to Saloon last summer, Charles Barkley asked Abate how he was enjoying teaching, and was disappointed to learn that Abate had still not returned to Temple because of problems securing financial aid. Abate, 28, of South Philly, started at Temple in 1997, months after graduating from St. John Neumann High.

Sir Charles told Abate he would like to help him with his tuition, and Abate wasn't sure how to respond. Barkley didn't give him much time, telling Abate that he had the length of Barkley's meal to decide. Abate wisely accepted.

"He's a nice kid," Barkley said of Abate on Friday. "He was working with kids, I loved that he wanted to be a teacher, and I wanted to help him," Barkley told us by phone between stops on a flight to Reno where he was making a speech.

When we joked to Barkley that people were going to be calling him today asking for money, he said "People always call me asking for money, and Christian never asked, which is why I wanted to help him out."

Abate says he will be forever grateful to Barkley who is "giving me a second shot at doing something with my life." Abate is scheduled to graduate next May.

Detroit mayor accused of texting other women

Nation: Poor Detroit, they got the mayor they deserved, not the mayor they needed.

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was charged with exchanging romantic text messages with additional women in the scandal that has him fighting allegations that he lied under oath about an intimate relationship with his former chief of staff.

The Wayne County prosecutor’s office has determined that Kilpatrick sent and received text messages with "intimate or romantic content" to several women who were not his wife or former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty, an investigator's report said.

The office was able to locate and identify the women, but did not not list their names, the report said.

Andrew Cuomo pulling a Spitzer with his child porn crusade?

Internet: Declan McCullagh seems to think so and its curious to me why Cuomo is wasting time going after access providers instead of actual companies hosting these sites. Spitzer made his political career going after Wall Street Firms and shaking them down for money.

".....Unfortunately, what Cuomo is doing--sources say the attorney general himself is working the phones--is likely prohibited by the First Amendment. Governmental efforts at censorship must be narrowly focused, and censoring 100,000 newsgroups because 88 may have illegal images fails that test. Courts have ruled that if a government official delivers a credible threat of prosecution, the target may ask a judge to clear things up through what's called a declaratory judgment.

Like its rivals, Comcast seems unwilling to publicly confront a state attorney general, who would surely claim to be trying to protect the children. Spokesman Sena Fitzmaurice said Tuesday that Comcast's lawyers are evaluating Cuomo's request and the company may enter into an agreement with New York "substantially similar to the agreements they announced recently with AT&T and AOL."

That might be a good short-term response. But over time, it may encourage more attorneys general to play Net censor, especially if they come to view broadband providers as compliant, off-the-books sources of revenue. This seems to be Cuomo's opinion; his press release said that Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Sprint will pay "$1.125 million to fund additional efforts by the Attorney General's office and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to remove child pornography from the Internet."

"It's a shakedown racket, pure and simple," says Jim Harper, a lawyer who is director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute. "These companies know that the New York attorney general can cause them millions in legal bills and PR damage, and they're paying for protection. 'Nice ISP you've got here. It'd be a shame if anything happened to it.'"

If a private-sector lawyer tried that, he might be prosecuted on extortion charges. But for New York's top prosecutor, it seems to be business as usual."

E&P editor gets column that made fun of liberals spiked.

Media: Greg Mitchell for years has used Editor and Publisher site for his own liberal views and now gleefully explains how he got an article that wasn't nice to the liberal nutroots gathering in an Austin paper taken down. Not surprising at all.

Obama now against genocide in Iraq instead of being indifferent.

Iraq: Reality hits Black Jesus but still tries to finagle his way around his objections to the surge which helped in cutting down the level of violence. Terry Moran actually does a good job of asking him serious questions. The obnoxious arrogance does shine in two different parts.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee met with Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of American troops in Iraq, and the architect of the troop surge strategy that Obama has opposed.

Obama and Petraeus have also staked out opposing positions on whether there should be a timetable for withdrawing American forces.

Obama said that in his meeting with Petraeus, the general discussed his "deep concerns" about "a timetable that doesn't take into account what they anticipate might be a change in conditions."

"My job is to think about the national security interests as a whole and to weigh and balance risks in Afghanistan and Iraq," Obama said. "Their job is just to get the job done here, and I completely understand that.


Uh..No. General Petraeus is the Commander of Centcom which includes Iraq and Afghanistan genius. They have their eyes everywhere.

Speaking about his support for a timetable for troop withdrawal, Obama said he wasn't changing his position by saying he would take into account the assessment of military commanders on the ground.

"What I will refuse to do is to get boxed in into what I consider two false choices," he said. "Either I have a rigid timeline, come hell or high water, and I am blind to anything that happens in the intervening 16 months, or, alternatively, I am completely deferring to whatever the commanders on the ground say, which is what George Bush says he's doing, in which case I'm not doing my job as commander in chief. I'm essentially, simply rubber-stamping decisions that are made on the ground.

The big deal about making decisions based on the facts coming from the ground means you are actually listening to the people who are doing the actual job. If you feel you shouldn't because you are the President, it means all this yapping is just hot air and you don't care about Iraq as you pointed out last year. via The Atlantic.

Obama also told Moran that there were circumstances under which he could revise his instruction to U.S. generals to begin withdrawing combat brigades at the pace of one-to-two per month.

"I've always reserved the right, uh, to say---let's say that ethnic, uh, ethnic fighting broke out once again---I've reserved the right to say---I don't--I'm not going to stand idly by if genocide is occurring. I'm not going to stand idly by if vital United States interests are at stake. Um, so in that sense yes, I retain the flexibility anyone who in the job of commander in chief is constantly reassessing facts, risks, and so forth."

July 20th, 2007:

SUNAPEE, N.H. - Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Thursday the United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there.

“Well, look, if that’s the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now — where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife — which we haven’t done,” Obama said in an interview with The Associated Press.

“We would be deploying unilaterally and occupying the Sudan, which we haven’t done. Those of us who care about Darfur don’t think it would be a good idea,” he said.


Now he is against genocide after he was indifferent to it. He is trying to have it both ways that he wants troop coming home within his timeline but he "reserves the right" to change his mind when he has zero intentions of doing based on his past statements. Hell, he wanted to start yanking troops out starting in March of this year.

I am all for a timetable as long as the positive developments keep happening, it would be morally repugnant to just say fuck it and jet. Now that the surge is worked even though he downplays it in the Nightline interview he has to stick to his narrative.

Monday, July 21, 2008

San Francisco's sanctuary policy leads to murder.

Immigration: Another result of liberal feel good policies leading to tragic consequences. Congrats Mayor Newsome.

via Malkin.

Economic woes catch up with Spain's Zapatero.

EU: Poor Mr.Bean is feeling the heat for a lack of leadership which was always lacking but Spain's economy was exploding, now reality sets in that Zappo is an empty suit.

When Zapatero first swept to power in March 2004, he made global headlines and earned applause at home by swiftly withdrawing Spanish troops from the US-led war in Iraq.

By contrast the first few months of his second term were marked by protests by truckers and fishermen over soaring fuel prices and the first bankruptcy of a major Spanish property developer, Martinsa-Fadesa, following the end of a decade-long property boom.


The more he changes the more he stays the same.

In April the government unveiled an 18 billion euro (28.5 billion dollar) spending plan, which includes income tax rebates and funding for public works, which is aimed at reviving the economy.


It is also seeking to stimulate growth by making it easier for people to start their own businesses, with measures such as cutting the time it takes to complete the paperwork to just 24 hours.

Zapatero however has ruled out cutting public spending as the economy slows as has been demanded by the PP.

"I say no to the proposal from the right to make drastic cuts to public spending as this would come at the expense of spending on social programs," he told a party meeting in Barcelona on Sunday.

Nearly two-thirds, 63 percent, of those surveyed felt the government did not know how to deal with the economic slowdown while 75 percent labeled the state of the economy as "bad" or "very bad", a poll published in daily El Pais earlier this month found.

Europe's governments immune to Obama-fever

EU: Well except for Zappo but publicly already various parties like those on the German left have come out for Obama. The real title should be Europe's government fear Black Jesus may not be the Euro style American president they and their citizens want in power.

Obama's vow to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq and talk with Iran have won him admirers in Europe -- particularly in Germany and France, countries that opposed the Iraq war and where President George W. Bush remains deeply unpopular because of the military adventures of his first term.

Yet politicians and diplomats from Berlin to Brussels say that if Bush's second term is used as a benchmark, neither an Obama nor a McCain presidency is likely to lead to any dramatic shift in U.S. foreign policy.

"One reason Obama is so popular here is that people expect him to break radically with the politics of Bush, without any understanding of what this would involve," said Eckart von Klaeden, a German parliamentarian and foreign policy expert in Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

He likened the huge crowds Obama is expected to draw in Europe to those that cheered on former Chancellor Helmut Kohl during the build-up to German unification. Kohl's fans turned against him when his promises of "flourishing landscapes" in eastern Germany failed to materialize.

"Euphoria in politics is an invitation for disappointment," von Klaeden said.

Trust fund babies protests wars or something.

Nation: Typical BDS, no more wars, probably no blood for oil thrown in for good measure. This is the future of America and we are so screwed.

At 16, Lili Stander barely remembers the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. But five years of war have tainted her teenage years all the same.

"Seeing people die in the Iraq war touches you personally," said Stander, of Southwest Ranches, waving a placard that read "Bush lied, people died" at an anti-war protest Saturday. "Now I'm inspired to speak out and push for change."

She's among a growing number of teenagers who belong to Direct Action Weston, a loose-knit group of students, who held their third rally at the corner of Weston and Griffin roads to protest the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The group plans to demonstrate on the same corner each month until the presidential election in November. Their goal: raise awareness about America's role in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Judging by the cacophony of honks and cheers from passing drivers, many feel anything but apathetic.

"Seeing us here gives people something to think about," said Debbie Rozanski, who at 55 was among the eldest of the protesters. "Such as, why are we still in this war?"

Rozanski, an import specialist for the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, said she was a "child of the '60s and '70s," who felt guilty when she raced past the effervescent, budding protesters one afternoon last month. She turned her car around and took her place among the demonstrators.

Hunter Althschul, 17, of Southwest Ranches, agreed.

"It becomes our duty to let people know that they need to stand up against the government's wrongs," said Althschul, who will be a senior in the fall at Cypress Bay High School. "These wars are costing us tax dollars we don't have, and we're fueling these private contractors with money. We can't afford to keep doing that."

Despite the withering heat, Althschul and the others said they planned to soldier on with chants of "no more war" through the afternoon.

"I'm sweating, but it's worth it," said Stander, who will be a junior in the fall at Pembroke Pines Charter High School. "When I was younger, I wouldn't have had the courage to come out here."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Europeans must hide their orgasmic reaction to Obama.

Politics: The Guardianistas are on alert and warning Euros to be less than hot for Black Jesus.

If Europeans really want to help Barack Obama next week they should repress their enthusiasm for him – and stay home. Ensure those crowds are thin and lethargic; maybe even offer the odd heckle, perhaps while brandishing a hostile placard. Let the travelling US press report that Obama is not so popular with foreigners after all: nothing will endear him more to the American public.

For those non-Americans finding it hard to feign coolness towards the Democratic candidate, let me offer two thoughts. First, as I discussed here, Obama is already tacking towards the centre, away from positions comfortable to Europeans and others.

Second, the Nixon to China syndrome works both ways: just as Republicans can afford to risk looking soft towards those deemed America's enemies, so Democrats have to bend over backwards to seem tough. All the pressure would be on a President Obama to prove he was not some patsy appeaser, perhaps by staging an early demonstration of American muscularity.

If it helps, bear all that in mind when Obama hits your neighbourhood. Remember, if you want him to win in November, do your duty – and do nothing


I like Europeans but honestly having Euros like an American presidential candidate as their choice is a bit like a bunch of burglars happy the potential new owner of the biggest mansion on the block likes to leave the doors unlocked and won't put up a fight in protecting it.

Sagging pants law in effect in lynwood, Illnois.

Nation: Complete with charges of racist overtones.

LYNWOOD, Ill. (AP) - Be careful if you have saggy pants in the south Chicago suburb of Lynwood. Village leaders have passed an ordinance that would levy $25 fines against anyone showing three inches or more of their underwear in public.

Eugene Williams is the mayor of Lynwood. He says young men walk around town half-dressed, keeping major retailers and economic development away. He calls the new law a hot topic.

The American Civil Liberties Union says the ordinance targets young men of color.

Young adults in the village, like 21-year-old Joe Klomes, say the new law infringes on their personal style. He says leaders should instead spend money on making the area look nicer.


They are starting by forcing its youth to dress halfway decent.