Saturday, October 4, 2008

EU terror chief: Don't be soft on Islam

Terrorism: THis is why you have to keep an eye on Europe because some of them refuse to take Islamic terrorism seriously.

Europe's anti-terror chief has launched a stinging attack on the political correctness that he says is hampering the campaign against militant Islam.

Gilles de Kerchove, the EU counter-terrorism co-ordinator, said last week that concern about stigmatising Muslim populations was hampering policy-making and thus prevention. 'One of the problems ... is that some member states are extremely reluctant to be explicit about the link with religion,' said de Kerchove. 'Religion has been hijacked and distorted for political ends.'

De Kerchove's statement comes against a background of infighting within the EU over counter-terrorism policy. The European Commission has been working for several years on a paper analysing militancy in Europe and outlining policy to combat radicalisation. The Council of Ministers is still waiting for the now long-overdue paper, on which future policy will be based.

EU officials claimed last week the delay was because Jacques Barrot, the French Commissioner for justice, freedom and security, had grave reservations about the definition of terrorism in the commission's policy paper and had delayed signing the policy document as it 'went too far in blaming Muslim communities'.

A spokesman for Barrot refused to comment. 'There is a paper that is being prepared. Our services are working on it and there is no fixed timeframe at the moment,' he said.

Houston refusing to stop latino gang violence.

Crime: A damning indictment about law enforcement and elected officials looking the other way while crime runs rampant. Their sanctuary policy is allowing this to happen.

Report: Houston not doing its part to stop Latino gangs
Immigration study finds that number of arrests trails those in other cities participating in a nationwide crackdown

The federal government's top immigration enforcement officer on Wednesday released a report that showed Houston has fallen short in a nationwide crackdown on violent, predominantly Latino street gangs that draw strength from undocumented immigrants.

Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city, accounted for just 71 of the 1,759 arrests in the roundup in 53 cities over the past four months, according to the report provided by Julie L. Myers, the assistant secretary of homeland security in charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, or ICE.

Myers said the reluctance of police departments in cities such as Houston and Phoenix to fully cooperate had forced federal immigration authorities to negotiate narrow, targeted enforcement efforts.

"We have had certain instances where the cooperation has not been as full as we'd like," Myers told a news conference where she unveiled the latest results of the Bush administration's long-running campaign against transnational street gangs such as MS-13 that operate in the United States, Mexico and Central America.

"It's definitely a problem for us if local law enforcement are encouraged not to cooperate with ICE or not to work with ICE even when we're talking about known gang members who may have committed very, very serious crimes," Myers said. now making stuff up about Ayers/Obama.

Politics: Oh noes, Gov.Palin points to the Ayers/Obama connection and the media is in full defense mode.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Saturday slammed Sen. Barack Obama's political relationship with a former anti-war radical, accusing him of associating "with terrorists who targeted their own country."

Palin's attack delivered on the McCain campaign's announcement that it would step up attacks on the Democratic presidential candidate with just a month left before the November general election.

"We see America as the greatest force for good in this world," Palin said at a fund-raising event in Colorado, adding, "Our opponent though, is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country."

Palin made similar comments later at a rally in Carson, California.

Obama's Chicago, Illinois, home is in the same neighborhood as Bill Ayers, a founder of the radical Weather Underground, which was involved in several bombings in the early 1970s, including the Pentagon and the Capitol, and the two have met several times since Obama's 1995 campaign for a state Senate seat.

Palin cited an article in Saturday's New York Times about Obama's relationship with Ayers, now 63. But that article concluded that "the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called 'somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.' "

Several other publications, including the Washington Post, Time magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times, The New Yorker and The National Review, have debunked the idea that Obama and Ayers had a close relationship.

The National Review has debunked the idea? What? Instapundit has the roundup calling that NYTIMES article a complete whitewash put out on a Saturday no less.

Look at it this way, use the if it was a Republican question how would the media treat it and you realize how in the tank they are for Obama.

Federal probe into S.F. sanctuary city policy

Immigration: While that is happening San Francisco goes after the newspaper that broke the story on how the city was helping illegal felons.

A federal grand jury is investigating whether San Francisco's policy of offering sanctuary to undocumented immigrants violates U.S. laws against harboring people who are in the country illegally, city officials say.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera said his office has hired a criminal defense lawyer to represent employees who might be questioned or asked for documents. He and Mayor Gavin Newsom said they would cooperate with the investigation

...Meanwhile, state Attorney General Jerry Brown's office said it has been asked by the city to investigate leaks to The Chronicle of confidential court filings in juvenile cases. The paper reported on the contents of the filings in articles about youths who were protected from deportation.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi first asked for the investigation after papers filed by one of the office's lawyers were quoted in Chronicle articles. Juvenile court hearings and filings are confidential by law.

Brown's press secretary, Christine Gasparac, said the San Francisco Superior Court had asked the attorney general to look into the leaks. "We are reviewing the request for an investigation," she said.

Europe bails out their own banks..sorta

EU: More like every man for himself.

European leaders pledged to bail out their own nations' banks while stopping short of a regional rescue effort to deal with the global credit crisis.

At a summit in Paris today, leaders of France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, the European Central Bank and the European Commission agreed to ease accounting rules, seek tougher financial regulations and weaken enforcement of competition and budget laws.

``Each government will act according to its own methods and its own means but in a coordinated manner with the other European states,'' French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who called the meeting, told reporters.

The gathering came a day after U.S. lawmakers approved a $700 billion bank-rescue package and as Europe's own initial bailout efforts began to unravel. Germany's Hypo Real Estate Holding AG said a government-backed 35 billion-euro ($49 billion) deal collapsed today when private banks withdrew their support. Belgian authorities scrambled to shore up Fortis after the lender received an 11.2 billion-euro lifeline on Sept. 28.

Europe ``is still a dwarf compared to the U.S.'' in terms of willingness to spend, said Laurence Boone, an economist at Barclays Capital in Paris. The statement on supporting banks ``is not a progress. It's the same as before the summit.''

The failure to forge a consensus approach to shore up banks roiled by soaring borrowing costs reflects the divisions in the 27-nation bloc. Germany criticized a plan floated by French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde to set up a rescue fund. A chorus of opposition greeted Ireland's decision to guarantee its banks' deposits and debts.

Armored truck robber uses Craigslist to make getaway

Crime: Ingenious, seriously.

In an elaborate robbery scheme that's one part The Thomas Crowne Affair and one part Pineapple Express, a crook robbed an armored truck outside a Bank of America branch in Monroe, Wash., by hiring decoys through Craigslist to deter authorities.

It gets better: He then escaped in a creek headed for the Skykomish River in an inner tube, and the cops are still looking for him. "A great amount of money" was taken, Monroe police said, but did not provide a dollar value.

It appears to have unfolded this way, according to a Seattle-based NBC affiliate: around 11:00 a.m. PDT on Tuesday, the robber, wearing a yellow vest, safety goggles, a blue shirt, and a respirator mask went over to a guard who was overseeing the unloading of cash to the bank from the truck. He sprayed the guard with pepper spray, grabbed his bag of money, and fled the scene.

But here's the hilarious twist. The robber had previously put out a Craigslist ad for road maintenance workers, promising wages of $28.50 per hour. Recruits were asked to wait near the Bank of America right around the time of the robbery--wearing yellow vests, safety goggles, a respirator mask, and preferably a blue shirt. At least a dozen of them showed up after responding to the Craigslist ad.

"I came across the ad that was for a prevailing wage job for $28.50 an hour," one of the unwitting decoys, named Mike, said to the NBC station. As it turns out, they were simply placed there to confuse cops who were looking for a guy wearing a virtually identical outfit.

The "gay mafia" controls Doctor Who.

Entertainment: Hee, reading this intro from Mark Steyn.

The other day I was lunching with an actress pal in London and she started going on about the "gay mafia" allegedly in control of "Doctor Who" at the BBC. And I involuntarily rolled my eyes, because showbiz types are always going on about this or that field of endeavor being sewn up by some gay clique.

I read that thinking Russell T Davies went back to the show and kicked out Steven Moffat.

Activists whine about blame for Housing Crisis

Nation: Here comes the "this is racist" meme from liberals and community organizers. This started with Keith Ellison who played the race card on this late last month.

1) Washington Post: Activists Angered By Blame For Crisis

2) Afro News: Conservatives Blame People of Color for Wall Street Meltdown

3) Daily News Tribune Editorial: Don't blame meltdown on the CRA


It all comes down to the same talking points, the CRA wasn't to blame, minorities are not to blame because they didn't take out the bulk, its all about deregulation.

The bottom line is that groups like Fannie Mae, Freddie mac and others gave bad loans out to people who didn't deserve it including low income minorities or otherwise, rich people taking out second/third loans and companies eager to make a buck racing into poor areas for people eager to get a house and thats only the beginning.

As pointed out in this NYTIMES article companies like Fannie Mae due to pressure to making profit and by congress critters who think that housing a given right to make those type of loans.

Fannie, a government-sponsored company, had long helped Americans get cheaper home loans by serving as a powerful middleman, buying mortgages from lenders and banks and then holding or reselling them to Wall Street investors. This allowed banks to make even more loans — expanding the pool of homeowners and permitting Fannie to ring up handsome profits along the way.

But by the time Mr. Mudd became Fannie’s chief executive in 2004, his company was under siege. Competitors were snatching lucrative parts of its business. Congress was demanding that Mr. Mudd help steer more loans to low-income borrowers. Lenders were threatening to sell directly to Wall Street unless Fannie bought a bigger chunk of their riskiest loans.

So Mr. Mudd made a fateful choice. Disregarding warnings from his managers that lenders were making too many loans that would never be repaid, he steered Fannie into more treacherous corners of the mortgage market, according to executives.

For a time, that decision proved profitable. In the end, it nearly destroyed the company and threatened to drag down the housing market and the economy.

There is plenty of blame to pass around but for any activists or community organizers to whine this is racist that people are blaming a large part in part that Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac is not to blame is outright bullshit.

When confronted with the problem liberals like Barney Frank and Maxine Waters denied there was any problem again implying it was racist to pick on these two entities.

If there wasn't pressure to loosen regulations and credit standards by congress and others to have more people get houses, we would not be in the problem we have today. If the standards stayed in place, these same activists would be screaming racism.

Here is the perfect example of liberal logic twisting on itself from Alternet.

. The CRA forced banks to lower their standards and make loans to all low-income families and people with poor credit -- and find banks that refused to comply.

No. The CRA has encouraged banks to lend fairly and responsibly for over 30 years. It does not impose fines. It does periodically examine FDIC-backed banks, and issues them a CRA compliance rating. A highly-rated bank must meet the financing needs of as many community members as possible, and must not discriminate against racial and ethnic groups or certain neighborhoods. However, a bank will not receive a high rating unless it is also maintains "safe and sound banking practices."

In other words, the CRA requires banks to lend to working-class families and people of color -- but only when those people have been deemed as creditworthy as anyone else.

If you live in a crap area with a job that doesn't pay much, you are most likely not be able to afford a house in an even below average area(Ed- Bougie man Bougie.) There is no way in hell you can be as creditworthy as someone else unless you expand the range of what is acceptable. That is part of the housing problem. What was once 90-100 as an A grade became 70-100 as the new A grade.

BTW, this argument that Countrywide since it was not a bank didn't deal with the CRA is bunk as well. For example.

. The housing bubble burst when too many people with home loans mandated by the Community Reinvestment Act failed to make their mortgage payments.

False. The CRA only applies to FDIC member banks and thrifts. Back in the 1970s, these institutions were responsible for most of the country's mortgage lending. But starting in the 80s and on up to the present, we saw a huge boom in lending businesses-- such as finance companies like Countrywide -- that weren't banks, and didn't take deposits that required FDIC insurance. Thus, they didn't have any obligation to the CRA. And they were free to set their own lending standards, which were often far less cautious than those required of FDIC-insured banks.

Countrywide Bank on Tuesday announced the appointment of Mary Salinas Duron, a past member of Hispanic Business magazine's 100 Influentials list, to the position of executive vice president for Community Reinvestment Act [CRA] lending and community development.

According to the federal Comptroller of the Currency, the CRA "provides a framework for depository institutions and community organizations to work together to promote the availability of credit and other banking services to underserved communities. Under its impetus, banks and thrifts have opened new branches, provided expanded services, adopted more flexible credit underwriting standards, and made substantial commitments to state and local governments or community development organizations to increase lending to underserved segments of local economies and populations."

Ms. Duron, who has more than 25 years of banking experience, will be responsible for the management of lending to minority and low- to moderate-income communities. She will also serve as a liaison with nonprofit and for-profit groups "that share the bank's vision of helping people to reach their financial goals," according to a press release.

Countrywide was a group of businesses that included Countrywide bank and due to the encouragement of bad loans to undeserving people they were one of many that went hog wild.

New York to Sue Arbitron over new rating method.

Entertainment: Women and minorities hurt the most as Cuomo's abuse of power continues.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said he will sue Arbitron Inc. for fraudulent business practices over the company's new method of rating radio broadcasting, which he said seem unfair to minority stations.

Cuomo sent a letter dated yesterday to New York-based Arbitron saying its electronic ``portable people'' meter system ``appears to contain design flaws that will disproportionately impact minority communities, broadcasters and businesses.'' He accused the company of violating civil rights and business laws.

Arbitron, a provider of radio-station ratings based on audience size, intends to begin using the meter in New York on Oct. 8, Cuomo wrote. The meters are mobile-phone size devices carried by listeners that pick up information identifying radio stations, according to the company Web site.

The new method may not adequately represent young black and Hispanic listeners, mobile-phone-only households which tend to have young and minority-group people, and non-English-speakers, he said. He also said the company doesn't adequately recruit to represent the diversity of minority listeners.

Arbitron ``denies all such allegations and intends to defend itself and its interests vigorously,'' the company said today in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

This goes back to complaints of discrimination because ratings dropped when it moves from the diary method to this PPM system. So Cuomo trots out the Spitzer S.O.P of trying not only a shakedown of the company but to come up with a method that favors minority groups instead of actually trying to figure out if the system works as advertised.

Cuomo claimed in his letter to Arbitron Chairman Stephen B. Morris and chief legal officer Timothy T. Smith that the company may have violated the state's executive and general business laws by misleading people into thinking the methodology is fair, reliable and accredited.

Cuomo said the Media Ratings Council Inc., the primary accrediting agency for such services in the U.S., hasn't accredited the meter.

Cuomo also claims Arbitron violated the law by making representations to shareholders about the reliability and scheduled launch of the meter, inflating the price of Arbitron common stock, without disclosing adverse information.

Right there is the abuse of power because he wants shareholders to pressure Arbitron to conform to a friendler system.

Fannie, Freddie to drop new mortgage insurance fees

Nation: Lessons are never learned as taxpayers pay the price.

Fannie Mae canceled a planned increase in fees that would have raised costs for home-mortgage borrowers.

The move, announced late Thursday, is the first in what may be a series of concessions to be announced by Fannie and its main rival, Freddie Mac, since their regulator seized control of the government-backed mortgage companies in early September. The companies' regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Treasury have been pressing executives at Fannie and Freddie to find ways to make home loans more affordable in a bid to boost the housing market.

Fannie's new chief executive officer, Herbert Allison, said the company is evaluating its risk management, lending guidelines and pricing. "We will seek to balance our responsibility to provide the most market support possible with our obligation to protect the company and its many stakeholders, including taxpayers," he said.

Fannie is canceling an increase in its "adverse market delivery charge" that had been due to take effect Nov. 1. That increase, announced in August, would have raised the charge to 0.50% of the loan amount from 0.25%. Fannie now will leave the fee at 0.25%.

The canceled increase would have added $750 to the cost of a new $300,000 mortgage. That could have been paid either through higher fees for the borrower or a small increase in the interest rates. These fees are charged to lenders whose home mortgages are bought or guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie. They come on top of the normal fees the companies charge for guaranteeing payments on loans. Such fees normally are passed on to consumers.

Freddie is likely to match Fannie's move, but Freddie officials didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The extra fees were imposed by both Fannie and Freddie late last year as a way to compensate them for what they said was the growing risk of guaranteeing mortgages at a time of falling house prices and surging defaults.

But some lenders and consumer advocates protested that the extra fees were making it harder for Americans to buy homes or refinance their mortgages. The National Association of Home Builders late last year denounced the fees as "a broad tax on homeownership."

So more risky loans to people who don't deserve it. Wonderful

Friday, October 3, 2008

Europe realizes their banks were screwing around.

EU: First blame the Americans only to realize your vaunted banks were eager to loan out money like fools. So suck on it Europe!

As European taxpayers absorbed the rapidly escalating expense of bank bailouts, lawmakers on the continent toned down their criticism of Wall Street as the origin of the problem and started to blame their own lenders for gorging on subprime loans and other risky investments.

"What were they doing screwing around in the United States?" French President Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly asked his aides after he was forced to negotiate a $9.2 billion emergency bailout Monday for Dexia, the troubled Franco-Belgian bank.

He has invited the leaders of Germany, Britain, Italy and Luxembourg for an emergency meeting in Paris this weekend. Feuding is already starting to break out in the 27-nation European Union over the best course to take. British bankers on Wednesday called Ireland's surprise step to guarantee bank deposits an unfair competitive step; signs emerged, too, of German-French disagreements on bailout strategy.

Until recently, officials in many European countries bragged that they were relatively well insulated from the global credit crisis by what they described as superior regulatory oversight. But with a string of banks pleading for rescues in the past week, officials have begun to acknowledge that their rules were insufficient.

In Germany, most of the banks that have teetered on insolvency in recent months have been state-owned regional institutions. Duesseldorf-based WestLB, for instance, received a $7.8 billion bailout in April. On Wednesday, E.U. regulators said they would review that rescue to ensure it did not give the bank unfair competitive advantages.

Although Germany's state-owned banks have suffered for years from other problems, the credit crisis has exposed the degree to which they willingly made risky bets outside the country.

"Regulations on this side of the Atlantic have not been perfect," said Reinhard Buetikofer, co-chairman of the Greens, a German opposition party. "For a while, a large segment of the public considered all this as innocent German banks caught in an American mess. . . . Only recently has the public started to understand how much we are involved, and how much of this has been our doing, too."

Number of Illegal Immigrants to U.S. Is Down

Immigration: Enforcement does work. If it was just a bad economy the numbers would not be so dramatic.

Amid a sluggish economy and stepped-up enforcement of immigration laws, the number of illegal immigrants entering the United States each year has dropped precipitously since the first half of this decade, according to a study released yesterday. The rate of legal immigration remained steady, meanwhile, so that legal arrivals now outnumber illicit ones for the first time in a decade.

The report by the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center offers the most detailed picture of the illegal immigrant population to date, and its findings are in line with trends identified in less comprehensive recent analyses by the Department of Homeland Security and the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington think tank that advocates stricter limits on immigration.

The Pew report found that the number of illegal immigrants entering the United States has declined from an average of 800,000 a year in 2000-04 to 500,000 a year in 2005-08.

By contrast, the flow of immigrants who are legal permanent residents has remained unchanged at 650,000 a year and has exceeded the number of illegal immigrant arrivals since last year.

The study also found a major slowdown in the growth of the illegal immigrant population that reflects additions to that population and subtractions because of people leaving the country, dying or changing to legal status. From 2000 through 2005, the illegal immigrant population rose by an average of 525,000 people a year. Since then, it has averaged increases of 275,000 a year. Over the past year, little to no increase appears to have occurred.

"This was a population that was growing very rapidly and substantially for at least 15 years, and the growth has essentially come to a halt," said Jeffrey S. Passel, co-author of the study.

School axes spelling tests because they are too 'distressing' for pupils

UK: Are people not allowed to fail anymore?

A primary school has axed spelling homework because pupils find learning lists of words 'distressing'.

Children at the Whitminster Church of England Primary, in Gloucestershire, will no longer be given a short list of words to learn each week because staff believe it leaves them feeling like failures.

Parents' groups called the move 'ridiculous' but headmistress Debbie Marklove, whose school has just over 100 pupils aged four to 11, has invited parents to a meeting to explain her reasons.

In a newsletter, Mrs Marklove wrote: 'You will notice that the children will not be given spelling lists to learn over the week.

'We have taken the decision to stop spelling as homework as it is felt that although children may learn them perfectly at home they are often unable to use them in their daily written work.

'Also many children find this activity unnecessarily distressing.'

She added: 'Spelling lists are sometimes just tests of memory. If children get five out of five when practising with mum and dad and then get one out of five at school it can give a sense of failure.

'I would like to emphasise that we are still teaching spellings at school as normal, as is demanded by the literacy curriculum.'

A spokesman for the school said no parents had complained about the policy.

If the kid practices a speech at home and bombs when he tells it in public then will ban that sort of homework activity? Failing at lessons or tests in school is a learning lesson itself for life. You can't keep trying to put a safety net around them and expect them to function in society when they grow up.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

"US and France kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon"

World: When did that happen and what alternate universe? Seriously I can't think of any period where Hezbollah got kicked out of Lebanon.

Obama's youth regiment on the march.

Politics: Via Newsbusters, this was taken last year and the school shut it down but still very creepy.

So we got Sing for Obama, Concert for Obama and this "regiment" that was stopped for Obama. Nice

Update# As pointed out in comments, this is a video from this year and the teacher lied about it.

More singing for Dear Leader Obama

Politics: From the Collegiate Times.

On a dreary Sunday afternoon, more than half of the Haymarket Theatre inside Squires Student Center begins to slowly fill with people who are expecting an afternoon of entertainment. They carry signs and wear T-shirts for a face who won't be in attendance and when the acts perform, they wave his signs and yell his name. This isn't to discourage the groups; in fact, it is in celebration as the Young Democrats' Rally for Change is centered on rallying support for presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

The event was divvied up between acts Bacar Bey, HopeHop, the Enlightened Gospel Choir, and Dubnium. In between these acts, speakers talked about Obama and what they think he offers for the future. The event was conceived by the Young Democrats at Virginia Tech over the previous summer. It was entirely funded by self-made graffiti style T-shirts that feature the face of the presidential candidate.

"The idea was first floated over the summer when none of us were here," said Dan Geroe, president of the Young Democrats at Virginia Tech. "It would be kind of cool to have a Barack-the-vote concert if you will."

Obama's Blueshirts are teaching your kids.

Politics: As the idol worship of Black Jesus continues in the classroom.

1) Teachers union handing out thousands of Obama campaign buttons...

2) VA Teachers union e-mail encouraged members to wear blue...

Tyler Perry fires writers for union activity.

Entertainment: He went Madea on them!

Los Angeles – The Writers Guild of America, West is taking on the fight for justice of writers who were fired when they tried to get a union contract with Tyler Perry’s production company, House of Payne, LLC. The Guild today filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), alleging that House of Payne unlawfully fired four writers in retaliation for their union activity.

The charge also alleges that the company bargained in bad faith with the Guild, which is seeking to negotiate a contract covering the writers on Perry’s cable television series House of Payne and Meet the Browns.

The four writers, Kellie Griffin, Christopher Moore, Teri Brown-Jackson, and Lamont Ferrell, as well as supporters from the Writers Guild and the community, will be picketing during Saturday’s opening of Perry’s new studio and they’re asking invited guests to respect their picket line.

Together, these writers have written over one hundred episodes of House of Payne. Since April of this year they have been involved in a union organizing campaign with the Writers Guild of America, West so that their work on that show and the upcoming Meet the Browns would be covered by a Guild contract. Despite the enormous success of House of Payne, Perry has refused to agree to a contract that would give the writers health care, pensions, and residuals. On Tuesday of this week he fired the writers, after warning them some weeks ago that they should “be careful about pushing the WGA deal or you could be replaced.”

“We’re asking all those who had planned to attend the opening of Tyler Perry’s new studio not to cross our picket line,” said writer Christopher Moore. “It’s very disheartening considering that this is a studio run by African Americans. What Tyler Perry is essentially saying to us is that ‘you’re black and there’s not a lot of opportunities for you so you’ll take what I give you’ – whether it’s fair or not.”

“I feel like I was slapped in the face, like we were used” said writer and WGAW member Teri Brown-Jackson. “We were good enough to create over a hundred episodes, but now when it comes to reaping the benefits of the show being syndicated and having other spin-offs from it, he decides to let us go unless we accept a horrible offer.”

“Disrespected, betrayed, saddened…it’s hard to describe,” said writer and WGAW member Lamont Ferrell. “The actors and a majority of the production crew on the show were working under union contracts and they received the pay and benefits that you need to survive on in this business. But after all those episodes and success when it came time for us to get a fair contract, we’re told on a conference call ‘sorry, you’re fired.’”

The show’s head writer, Kellie Griffin, added, “A lot of people who fought for civil rights and social justice never really saw what eventually came out of their work. While I’d like to see something positive come out of this for us, if this fight helps future black writers get what they deserve, that’s a good thing.”

The writers and their supporters will be picketing at the grand opening of Tyler Perry Studios on Saturday, October 4, starting at 4 pm, and on Sunday, October 5, starting at 9 am.

Keith Ellison: "Fannie and Freddie — I don’t think are failed models. "

Politics: If there was any doubt that Ellison is nothing more than a tool this settles it. This all started with Rep. Michele Bachmann reading this editorial in IBD which went after President Clinton for rewriting the CRA act to force more minority home ownership by basically dropping any sort of standards and wanting to boost numbers.

Well this got Ellison all upset and he defended the program.

personally am not going to just sit by and let people trash programs that helped folks get into housing who have been struggling to get in.

Fannie and Freddie — I don’t think are failed models. CRA certainly isn’t a failed program. These are important and good programs and should be protected. And If you want to find blame somewhere, let’s look at Gramm-Leach-Bliley. Let’s look at the very deregulation that so many people called for and clamor for and now we see what deregulation, lack of corporate responsibility put together with flat declining wages for the American people will bring about. It’s brought about this.

Ellison even got together with the Congressional Black Caucus to try and browbeat House Minority Leader John Boehner over the issue.

Wiki has a nice summary of the changes under Clinton to the CRA.

In early 1993 President Clinton ordered new regulations for the CRA which would increase access to mortgage credit for inner city and distressed rural communities.[6] The new rules went into effect on January 31, 1995 and featured: requiring numerical assessments to get a satisfactory CRA rating; using federal home-loan data broken down by neighborhood, income group, and race; encouraging community groups to complain when banks were not loaning enough to specified neighborhood, income group, and race; allowing community groups that marketed loans to targeted groups to collect a fee from the banks.[5]
According to a United States Department of the Treasury study of lending trends in 305 U.S. cities between 1993 and 1998 467 billion dollars in mortgage credit flowed from CRA-covered lenders to CRA-eligible borrowers. The number of CRA mortgage loans increased by 39 percent. Other loans increased by only 17 percent.[7]

Ellison defense of Fannie/Freddie is laughable considering the evidence already out(Including video) showing that easing of standards did make for bad loans. Even the editorial and Bachmann didn't say that everything happened because of loans to minorities but it contributed to the problem in a big way. But as before the CBC and Ellison will play race card to deflect any criticism with certain papers and sites happy to play along with him.

Colorado Democrats 'Educate the Idiots'

Politics: High praise to the Face the State blog in getting a memo by the Colorado Democracy Alliance who spell out their campaign methods including "educate the idiots." I seriously doubt that groups like these are supposed to be coordinating with elected officials. But you see the language of the elitist liberals on display.

In a confidential internal memorandum obtained by Face The State (PDF), the Colorado Democracy Alliance outlines a roster of "operatives" who worked for Democratic victory in the 2006 general election. The document outlines specific tasks for various members of the state's liberal infrastructure, including a campaign to "educate the idiots," assigned to the state's AFL-CIO union. Among the operation's intended targets: "minorities, GED's, drop-outs."

Individuals named in the document, marked "CONFIDENTIAL," "for internal use only," and "DO NOT DISTRIBUTE," are high-level elected Democrats including House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, former Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald, as well as Gov. Bill Ritter's press aide and former campaign chief Evan Dreyer. All are specially marked as "off-the-record or covert."

Mentioned as a "critical contact" was Dominic DelPapa, a partner at Ikon Public Affairs. DelPapa was at the center of recent controversy stemming from the February leak of a confidential memo he authored detailing a multi-million dollar "foot on throat" attack on Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer, among others.

CoDA is one of 18 state-based versions of the nationally focused Democracy Alliance, a self-described "investment partnership of business and philanthropic leaders" funding liberal infrastructure nationwide. For more information about the Democracy Alliance in Colorado, see day one and two of Face The State's week-long series on the group.

In a podcast released by the DNC Host Committee Tuesday, national Democracy Alliance founder Rob Stein explains the need for large, secretive donor networks. "We do not have the infrastructure that the right has built, yet," he said. "But there has never in the history of progressivedom (sic) been a clearer, more strategic, more focused, more disciplined, better financed group of institutions operating at the state and national level."

Now before anyone goes on about Dems in secret politicking..

1) If you think they were not working together before you are being stupid.

2) Conservatives better have something comparable to this now or in the future or we are going to get steamrolled. When you have left of center people populating certain venues for spreading information out (papers, networks) and educating the masses(schools, colleges) the other side is at a distinct disadvantage.

3) Respect to the blog, how come this was sought out by any Colorado newspapers? I wonder if you were to dig deeper on how is giving money to these groups if you don't see reporters and news makers on the list.

4) Liberals hate having power to the people.

The Bell Policy Center, a liberal think tank that regularly plays host to CoDA board meetings, was praised for its work fighting to dismantle Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights. She characterized Colorado's constitutional requirement for voter approval of tax increases as "arcane."

Young, working class fuelled Austria's far-right surge

EU: Lower the voting age didn't help the left like they thought it would in the end.

Disenchanted young and working class voters fuelled the surge of Austria's far-right parties in the weekend elections, provoking a political earthquake by punishing both the mainstream left and right, analysts said yesterday. The Freedom Party and the Alliance for Austria's Future, seizing on voters angered by the failed coalition of Social Democrats and conservatives, took nearly one-third of the votes in Sunday's general elections.

The Social Democrats (SPOe) and the conservative OeVP, still finished first and second, respectively, but posted the worst results in their histories in an election dubbed the "great shake-up" by the daily Die Presse. "It's very simple: voters protested against the paltry performance of the partners in the former 'grand' coalition," said political analyst Peter Hofer.

The coalition collapsed in July after 18 months of stalemate, leading to the snap elections. "Austrians were furious to a rare extent and they voted full of anger," said a Standard newspaper editorial.

The SPOe fell under the 30 percent mark for the first time ever, with 29.7 percent of the vote, while the OeVP picked up 25.6 percent of the ballots, a nearly nine-point drop from its score in the 2006 elections. The far-right's Freedom Party, led by Heinz-Christian Strache, took third place with 18 percent-
a seven-point rise from 2006 - while the Alliance headed by Jorg Haider nearly tripled its result from two years ago with 11 percent.

The radical right's two leaders are known for their populist rhetoric and anti-immigration stance, both having vowed to defend the rights of "true Austrians." They have warned against the "Islamification" of society, posing as the defenders of low-income families, democratic freedoms and Austrian neutrality.

But for this election, they wooed voters concerned with their wallets by focusing on concerns with the high cost of living and unemployment amid the global financial crisis, analysts said. "They put their xenophobic rhetoric on the back burner to favor social issues, which became the main concern of voters," said University of Vienna political analyst Emmerich Talos.

Ireland’s bank guarantee as devious

EU: First they screwed up on voting the EU Constitution correctly and now they have pissed off their EU brothers for covering people's deposits. Those Irish are a tricky lot.

Ireland's bold decision to guarantee every penny of deposits at Irish-owned banks looks to some like a psychological masterstroke in the banking crisis — an emergency measure that could force countries across Europe and beyond to follow suit.

But European neighbors complained Wednesday that the move, announced Tuesday, has weakened confidence in their more modestly insured banks and encouraged nervous savers to shift money to the new safe haven of Dublin.

They called on European Union competition authorities to force an Irish retreat — even as policy-makers in London, Paris and Washington debated hefty hikes to their own countries' maximum guarantees. The revised U.S. bank bailout before Congress includes an increase in the insured limit from $100,000 to $250,000.

NBC brings crazy Rosie back to prime time.

Entertainment: I am enjoying the crash and burn ratings of NBC so far this season, this will be icing on the cake.

NBC is cooking up one juicy Thanksgiving appetizer for viewers this year: Rosie O'Donnell!

Nearly two months to the day since I brought you news of the Peacock-Ro talks, the polarizing funny lady has inked a deal with NBC to headline an hour-long variety show/backdoor pilot to air live in prime time on Thanksgiving eve, Nov. 26.

Appropriately titled Rosie's Variety Hour, the special will kick off with an incendiary topical monologue and feature celebrity guests, musical acts, comedy skits, and a "giant" giveaway for both the in-studio and home audiences.

Senate passes bailout bill with "sweeteners."

Business: I am resigned to the fact this bill is going to pass and next couple of months I am resigned to the fact we will revisit this nonsense again.

Congressional leaders Wednesday added "sweeteners" to a $700 billion financial bailout plan to attract enough House members, particularly Republicans, to pass the plan, which failed in the House just two days ago.

The measures -- a mix of tax extensions, an increase in federal deposit insurance and other measures -- include many items that are appealing to Republicans.

The Senate approved the modified financial rescue plan in a 74-25 vote late Wednesday.

Democratic leadership aides said the House vote could occur at midday Friday.

Rep. Barney Frank, chief Democratic negotiator of the bill in the House, said the House has a better chance of passing the bill the second time around.

"The reality has hit some members," Frank said late Wednesday, adding, "The main change is reality. It's not possible now to scoff at the predictions of doom if we don't do anything."

Jewel of Medina novel on hold after firebomb attack.

Culture: As the pussification of the West enters the final stage.

Plans for the British publication of a controversial novel about a young wife of the Prophet Mohammed have been postponed following a firebomb attack at the publisher's London office.

Martin Rynja of Gibson Square books intended to publish 'The Jewel Of Medina' by U.S. writer Sherry Jones.
But following the attack on his London home, his plans are now said to be "in suspended animation".

Alan Jessop of Compass, the publisher's sales representative, said: "He (Rynja) is in good spirits, but has put publication in suspended animation while he reflects and takes advice on what the best foot forward is."

Novelist Sherry Jones has urged the British people to stand by the principle of free speech to ensure that her book about the Prophet Mohammed is published here.
She spoke out after learning of the attack on Rynja's home.

'You have to ask whether a thug with a gun or petrol bomb should be allowed to censor the people of Great Britain,' Miss Jones, 47, said at her home in Spokane, Washington state.

'This is about the future of free speech. Is it the case that there are now some books which cannot be published in Britain?

'My publisher cannot fight this all by himself. I hope the people of Britain will support him. He is a courageous man.'
Mr Rynja, 44, was in hiding with an armed police guard following the strike by suspected Muslim extremists at the weekend.

Denise Spellberg who started the uproar over his cry wolf remarks on the book is coming under attack. Highly overdue.

Mexico's "Iraq style" violence forces more security measures.

Mexico: It would be nice for more border security including some fence as this is going to get much worse. This is anarchy in the making.

Mexico’s Congress is to vote on a drastic security plan after another week of Iraq-style violence, including the dumping of 12 partially naked bodies, most with their tongues cut out, next to an elementary school.

Analysts blame the staggering violence and lawlessness over recent months in Mexico on the Government’s crackdown on drug cartels, which has cut off their income and caused rival organisations to wage war against each other.

The problem has been exacerbated by endemic police corruption — in one notorious case, the police were responsible for kidnapping and killing a 14-year-old boy even after his wealthy businessman father paid the ransom — and a rapidly deteriorating economy, which is heavily dependent on so-called “remittances”, or money wired back from illegal Mexican workers in the United States.

The US media, preoccupied by the Wall Street crisis and the presidential election, has shown little interest in Mexico’s troubles, even as the discovery of beheaded corpses becomes a weekly event and the country’s kidnapping rate — three or four a day — is worse than Iraq’s.

Another 24 bodies — all of them killed in execution-style — were discovered outside Mexico City a fortnight ago, while last week three decapitated bodies were found in the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa. Headless bodies have even turned up in the touristy Yucatan state.

The violence now also has a political element, aimed at destabilising the government of President Felipe Calderón — the authority of which is not even recognised by the Mayor of Mexico City after a disputed election two years ago.

During a recent celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day, suspected members of the Zetas cartel threw two military grenades into a crowd, killing eight and injuring 100. The attack took place in Mr Calderón’s home state of Michoacan.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Gwen Ifill pulls the race card to deflect criticism.

Politics: I'm disappointed but not surprised. She is like a female Spike Lee or Tavis Smiley. Say something she doesn't like and she pulls the race card. Something hit a nerve for that ploy to be used so fast.

Although Malkin raised the topic of Ifill's impartiality the day before the debate, the PBS journalist said that Time magazine noted she was writing a book in August, and that it has been available for pre-sale on The book also is mentioned in a Sept. 4 interview she gave the Washington Post.

Ifill questions why people assume that her book will be favorable toward Obama.

"Do you think they made the same assumptions about Lou Cannon (who is white) when he wrote his book about Reagan?" said Ifill, who is black. Asked if there were racial motives at play, she said, "I don't know what it is. I find it curious."

Kids singing about Obama gets pulled.

Politics: People scoffed when I said Black Jesus has followers but the video of the children singing to him like Dear Leader somehow makes even the Black Jesus moniker seem outlandish.

Update# Can't keep the Sing for Dear Leader..Black Jesus down for the count.

That Al Davis press

Sports: Al Davis has reached his expiration date as owner, get him out of there before he totally destroys the team.

UK Homeowners angry upscale homes going section 8.

UK: I know... I must think of my fellow man yadda yadda yadda and his/her moments to live in a nice hosue dirt cheap because they have less money. That concern goes bye if I am shelling out 500,000 pounds.

Homeowners on an upmarket estate could see the value of their £500,000-plus houses cut in half because developers are planning to sell unsold properties as 'council' housing.

Homes on the Dean's Lea estate near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, were at a premium when they went on the market earlier this year.

But Bovis Homes has been unable to sell dozens of one and two bedroom units because first-time buyers and buy-to-let investors have dried up.

It is now negotiating with a number of housing associations to sell them at a knock-down price.

Homeowners who paid a fortune for their dream homes are outraged that nearly half the development could be filled with tenants.

Barbara Luck, 60, paid £535,000 for her five-bedroom home only a few months ago and fears its value will halve if it is surrounded by social and shared-ownership housing.
She said: 'It's outrageous. It was supposed to be an exclusive development with only a small proportion for social housing.

'Now it looks like half of them will be turned into council houses because they can't sell them.

'I'm furious. I was looking forward to my retirement and having a rosy future here.

'If this goes ahead it's a total breach of contract and complete misrepresentation. They can't just change their minds on something like this.

'I understand there's a credit crunch at the moment, but this is a temporary slowdown for Bovis, whereas the consequences will be permanent for those of us already here.'
The Dean's Lea estate opened earlier this year in the Cotswold village of Bishop's Cleeve.

French policeman shot by "youths."

France: I am waiting for the word youths in this context to gets it own ethnic distinction.

A French police officer was shot and wounded during clashes with youths that broke out after a teenager died while fleeing police, authorities said Tuesday.

The officer appeared to have been shot in the leg with a hunting rifle, said the police prefecture in Romans-sur-Isere, a southeastern town located 60 miles from Lyon in the Rhone Valley on the edge of the Alps. The officer's life was not in danger. Dents from bullets and buckshot were also found in police vehicles nearby.

Police used tear gas and rubber pellets to push back some 50 youths during clashes late Monday and early Tuesday. Several cars were burned and about 15 shop windows were smashed.

After nightfall Tuesday, some 300 riot police officers and gendarmes took up positions around the center of town to prevent a second night of clashes. Some teams of officers were brought in from neighboring regions.

The violence broke out after a 16-year-old died by driving a stolen car into a wall while fleeing police. Four other minors in the car were lightly injured.

NJ gov. approves cuts in public worker benefits

Nation: You say cut and I say suspicious shell game.

Public employees in New Jersey will no longer get Lincoln's Birthday as an official holiday and newly hired workers won't be able to retire with full benefits until they're 62, under newly signed legislation.

Gov. Jon Corzine signed the benefit-cutting bill into law Monday, three months after the Legislature approved it. Asked why he delayed signing the measure, Corzine said he wanted to make sure the changes were administered appropriately.

"This legislation is another step in the realignment of the compensation of our public employees," Corzine said. "The reforms over the last two years strike the right balance of being fair to hardworking public employees and at the same time lightening the burden on taxpayers."

The law increases the retirement age from 60 to 62, requires that government workers and teachers earn $7,500 per year to qualify for a pension, eliminates Lincoln's Birthday as a state worker holiday, allows the state to offer incentives not to take health insurance and requires municipal employees work 20 hours per week to get health benefits.

The changes affect mainly new state workers and teachers.

Funding for Mass. Health Plan Extended

Nation: Forcing people and businesses to fund health care for all thru taxes really works! Especially when the rest of the nation helps to fund an expansion of it.

Massachusetts received the Bush administration’s seal of approval for its universal health care plan on Tuesday when it reached agreement with federal officials on financing a three-year continuation of the landmark experiment.

Gov. Deval Patrick announced in Boston that the state and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had negotiated the extension of a waiver that enables federal financial support for the state’s subsidized coverage plan. The agreement will allow the state to spend up to $21.2 billion on the program over the next three years, an increase of $4.3 billion over the initial three-year period.

“This is an exceptional outcome under any circumstances, but especially now,” Mr. Patrick said. “The American economy is in turmoil and the future is uncertain, but even in tough times we cannot afford to abandon our commitment to affordable, accessible, high-quality health care for every man, woman and child in the commonwealth.”

Awesome! How is it funded again?

The Massachusetts plan, which inspired similar proposals by governors in other states and by Democratic presidential candidates, requires all residents to have health insurance or face financial penalties. Among their options is a subsidized state plan, called Commonwealth Care, for low-income residents who make too much to qualify for Medicaid.

The law prohibits insurers from denying coverage because of a consumer’s age or health status, and it requires businesses to either contribute toward their employees’ health benefits or pay penalties into a fund to support the insurance subsidies.

The state reported in August that 439,000 of its estimated 650,000 uninsured had gained coverage. About 44 percent had bought private insurance, while 40 percent had enrolled in the new subsidized public plan and 16 percent had joined the state’s Medicaid program. As more people gained insurance, the state’s payments for uncompensated care dropped by 40 percent.

So the money being spent covers the system?

The plan’s rapid growth has generated fiscal pressures. The legislature and Mr. Patrick filled a health care spending gap that approached $200 million for this fiscal year by increasing the tobacco tax by $1 a pack, levying one-time assessments on insurers and hospitals, and raising more money from businesses that do not contribute to their employees’ insurance. The state expects to spend $869 million on subsidized coverage this year.

Boondoggle has arrived.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bailout Bill is going to pass by end of this week.

Politics: The market went up almost 500 points because they know government will pass this crappy bill since the public bless their hearts and not their minds panicked on schedule.

Lawmakers received a flurry of calls demanding that they revive the U.S. economy after the House's rejection of a $700 billion financial-rescue plan triggered a record drop in stocks, House aides said.

The calls countered an earlier outpouring of opposition to the legislation.

``A lot of people called to complain about losing their shirt,'' said Sean Brown, press secretary for Republican Representative Joe Barton of Texas, who opposed the measure. Calls have gone from overwhelmingly against the bill to about 60- 40 or 70-30 in favor of it, Brown said.

The $700 billion bailout failed by a dozen votes in the House as 40 percent of Democrats and two-thirds of Republicans voted against it.

A poll released today by ABC News and the Washington Post found the vast majority of voters are concerned about Congress's failure to act even as they are divided over what it should do. Eighty-eight percent said they were concerned the House vote could lead to a more severe economic decline.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, said today that some House members who voted down the plan are now having ``second thoughts'' and `want ``another shot at this.''


Dodd, President George W. Bush and Senate leaders vowed to revive the rescue package for another vote, and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky predicted passage this week.

``I think the message from the markets yesterday was clear,'' said McConnell.

Michigan Republican Pete Hoekstra, who voted against the bailout, was among those getting a different message from constituents today. Calls were running about 90 to 95 percent against the bailout before the vote. ``Today it was trending more towards 50-50,'' spokesman Dave Yonkman said.

Chris Jackson, a spokesman for Georgia Republican Phil Gingrey, who voted against the bill, said callers don't necessarily endorse the $700 billion plan but want Congress to pass something.

New Wendy's owners vow to shake up menu

Nation: The owner of Arby's is taking over Wendys. Well it was nice having 99 cent Double Stacks while it lasted.

Kenneth Branagh to direct Marvel's Thor.

Entertainment: I will give it to Marvel, they are bringing in heavy hitters to make their movies instead of treating it like trash. Using your own money to do it is probably incentive enough to do it right the first time.

Kenneth Branagh is reportedly in negotiations to bring his trained Shakespearean touch to Marvel's "Thor."

According to Variety, Branagh would directed the potential tentpole pic, which has a 2010 release date, but no distributor on board.

Matthew Vaughn was the most recent director attached to the long-gestating project, which has been scripted by Mark Protosevich. The script focuses on Donald Blake, a disabled medical student, who doubles as mighty powerful Norse god Thor. The character, who first premiered in comic form in 1962, was unknowingly placed in a human body by his father Odin. The alter ego would eventually become unnecessary in the comic series.

"Thor" will be self-financed by Marvel as part of the same $500 million credit facility through Merrill Lynch that yielded "Iron Man" and "The Incredible Hulk" this past summer.

Obama wants Arbitron to delay PPM rating system.

Media: Already meddling in media business.

Sen. and Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama (Ill.) weighed in on the Arbitron Portable People Meter radio-measurement-system rollout in eight markets, saying that he thinks the rollout should be delayed until the system is accredited by the Media Research Center.

The MRC was created by Congress to vet media-ratings systems, although seeking its accreditation is voluntary, not mandatory.

In a letter to Arbitron president Stephen Morris, Obama and Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) said they were concerned that the meters -- which are replacing paper diaries in radio-audience measurment -- were undercounting minorities.

"We have worked as vocal advocates of media diversity and opportunities for minority broadcasters to ensure that our public discourse includes a wide variety of points of view," they wrote. "We share the concerns expressed by the chairmen of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees with your rollout strategy and its potential effect on media diversity."

Arbitron has always maintained that it would abide by the MRC's voluntary code of conduct and seek accreditation until it got it, but it has also said it is not going to wait for that accreditation.

This goes back to black and hispanic stations especially in NYC complaining that with this new system their ratings dropped like a rock.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating the new Arbitron radio ratings system that some of the city's biggest black and Hispanic stations warn could put them out of business.

He opened his probe on the eve of Wednesday's 10 a.m. City Council hearing into Arbitron's new Portable People Meter, where radio listening is measured electronically rather than recorded in a diary.

Several prominent stations, including urban WBLS (107.5 FM) and Hispanic WSKQ (97.9), have seen their audience share plunge under the new system, which becomes official Oct. 8. Others have held steady, including WRKS (98.7 FM).

Arbitron called its measurement of minority listening accurate.

General manager Frank Flores of WSKQ, disagreed. "While the Hispanic population is growing, PPM says we lost 50% of our quarter-hour share," he said. "That means a loss of ad revenue I don't know if we can survive."

Cuomo warned Arbitron that "a significant and improper decline in ratings under PPM" could cause "irreversible consequences" for minority broadcasters. Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) said the Council has "the same concerns" as Cuomo and looks forward to "listening to all sides."

So basically all things equal because this new system which Arbitron considers more accurate than the old diary book system drops the ratings on some stations it must be wrong. Prediction is they rig the system for fairness sakes.

Monday, September 29, 2008

US publisher of Muslim book closes office

Nation: Where are all the protests against the Jewel of Medina publisher being targeted? You get all these book organizations and librarian groups up in arms about censoring but in this case just really quiet.

NEW YORK - The U.S. publisher of a controversial novel about the prophet Muhammad closed its offices as a "precautionary action," but emphasized that no threats had been received and that "The Jewel of Medina" would be released as planned.

"We were out of the office for a meeting today, and we felt it was unfair for the employees to be back there without management," Eric Kampmann, president of Beaufort Books, said Monday. The publisher took on Sherry Jones' novel after it was dropped by Random House Inc. over security concerns.

In London, police said they arrested three men Saturday on suspicion of terror links, relating to a fire at the home and office of publisher Martin Rynja, whose Gibson Square announced earlier this month that it would issue "The Jewel of Medina," a fictionalized version of Muhammad and his child bride, Aisha.

Media in the tank for Obama and Chris Matthews nepotism.

Media: If it wasn't obvious since the Iowa primary, this is a good reminder.

A READER AT A MAJOR NEWSROOM EMAILS: "Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working." I asked permission to reprint without attribution and it was granted.

UPDATE: The Anchoress hears similar things. And reader Eric Schubert: "The Edwards debacle was proof enough of where the heart of the MSM lies, and lack of curiousity of the press about Edwards probably cost Hillary the nomination. And that shameful episode offers a warning to the MSM. What if Obama does have a skeleton in his closet (such as a shady deal or outright bribe) that is revealed after he wins the election? While the chance of this scenario is remote, imagine the backlash against the MSM if it could be shown that a reasonable investigation by the MSM would have easily revealed this secret to the public prior to the election?"

Always ask the question if a Republican or Conservative pulled a stunt like Chris Matthews did interviewing his daughter without identifying her. What sort of uproar would you be hearing now?

Non-Partisan. Haw.

Pelosi tanked the bailout bill on purpose.

Politics: Look any bad economy helps the Dems and Obama. Why bother pushing a bill that lessens the talk of the economy even if its a horrendous bill like this one that failed today. Pure politics.

I do expect the Dems who had the votes to pass it anyway to come back with the most leftist laden bill in the history of bills with all sorts of stuff for ACORN and other hustlers to get it to pass.

Sweet lord, Deval Patrick as a Supreme Court Justice.

Politics: Putting Deval "Cadillac" Patrick on the Court would basically give liberals a green light to rewrite the Constitution. He makes Thurgood Marshall look like an Arch-Conservative.

Mayor Villaraigosa unveils housing welfare plan.

Nation: Good time to put out this plan where we are going to subsidize housing for people who can't afford it. Nothing will go wrong with this winning plan.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday will unveil a $5-billion, five-year plan to build housing for the poor and middle class. The blueprint, which calls for thousands of new homes along subway and bus lines, and developments with people of all incomes living together, would, according to the mayor's deputies, alter the look and feel of the city forever.

But the plan, which many City Council members and business and housing groups said they had not yet seen, is being released while the housing market is a shambles, the state is facing a massive budget shortfall and the economy is teetering -- challenges that lead some to wonder whether it is feasible.

"I know that budgets are tight . . . credit is almost nonexistent," Villaraigosa said Saturday to a room full of community and labor groups pushing for more affordable housing. "But we're going to reject the cynics . . . and build a brighter future for those kids who are in the corner over there."

The mayor got a standing ovation at the union hall near downtown Los Angeles, and chants of "Si, se puede" ("Yes, we can") from the dozens of people in matching red T-shirts in his audience.

.....On the other hand, community and labor groups, key players in the city's politics, are lobbying hard for the so-called mixed-income plan.

"We need a new solution," Donna Rodriguez said Saturday. The account manager, who lives in Silver Lake, said she makes $42,000 a year and spends half of her take-home pay on the $1,150 rent for her one-bedroom apartment. "Look," she said, waving copies of her paycheck and rent checks to illustrate the problem. She added that she shares a bed with her 8-year-old daughter, Lily.

"I want bunk beds," Lily chimed in as her mother smoothed her hair and told her to tell members of the media that she wanted her own bedroom.

Other elements of the plan, such as preserving existing affordable units and building near transit centers, are things the city already has pledged to do.

How about moving to a cheaper area instead of whining that taxpayer money should give you what demand. This country is being populated by whiners and parasites in a warped version of Atlas Shrugged.

Euro Banks set to fail on Monday.

EU: The pressure is on the EU to come up with their own bailout plan as more banks are thought to fail in the coming weeks.

1) Fortis

2) Bradford & Bingley

3) Germany's Hypo Real Estate:

It looks like Europe is going to be in front of a panic.

TOKYO, Sept 29 (Reuters) - The euro and sterling retreated on Monday on growing concerns about the financial system as the toll from the credit crisis spreads to Europe.

The dollar received a boost from relief that U.S. lawmakers were set to vote on a $700 billion bailout fund to alleviate the credit woes.

The euro fell against the dollar as Belgian-Dutch financial group Fortis was rescued in a state buyout after European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet held emergency talks with Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg officials.

Sterling was hit as authorities prepared to nationalise troubled mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley and were discussing the sale of its savings deposits and branches, people familiar with the matter said.

"The two cases show that the financial crisis is not confined to the United States but is spreading globally," said a senior dealer at a Japanese trust bank.

"As the U.S. moves ahead with the bailout plan, the market focus is shifting to Europe and other regions, weighing on these currencies," he said.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Muslim sues Tesco for carrying crates of alcohol

UK: Don't take a fricking job that you know includes carrying stuff that you wrongly think you cannot carry.

A muslim who claims he did not know Tesco sold alcohol is suing the store for religious discrimination after having to carry crates of drink as part of his job.

Forklift truck driver Mohammed Ahmed, 32, worked in a distribution depot for eight months before quitting 'in protest', an employment tribunal heard.

He claims he was forced to leave because handling beer, spirits and wine is against his strict Islamic beliefs and that he was victimised when he asked the company to give him another role.

Mr Ahmed, who was raised in Saudi Arabia, told the tribunal he had no idea his job entailed handling alcohol when he started work last September at the depot in Lichfield, Staffordshire.

When he realised it did, he asked to be found different work but alleges that one of his supervisors told him: 'You do the job or go home.'

Austria veers to the extreme Right

EU: This is going to be interesting.

Austria stirred up memories of the Nazi era last night when nearly a third of its electorate voted for a far-Right party.

Joerg Haider's Alliance for the Future of Austria Party and the Freedom Party of Heinz-Christian Strache together polled more votes than any mainstream party.

Strache wants to legalise Nazi symbols, has previously organised ceremonies to honour SS veterans and has been pictured holding a gun while wearing a German army uniform and mask.

Success of "Fireproof" stuns Hollywood.

Entertainment: Showing that Hollywood types are myopic and self-centered that they can't understand why a religious film done by people who actually believe in their religion did so well as the Box office.

A big surprise at the box office this weekend was the 4th place opening of Provident/Samuel Goldwyn's Fireproof, the small budget and limited release pic about a firefighter who recommits to his marriage and his faith. The movie is the latest from Sherwood Pictures, a nonprofit ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, that previously put out the popular Facing the Giants and the lesser-known Flywheel. Samuel Goldwyn Films is the theatrical distributor, while Provident Films handled Fireproof's outreach and marketing to Christian audiences. It debuted to a $2.3M Friday and $2.6M Saturday for a $6.5M gross weekend though released into only 839 dates and costing just $500K.

....But what's interesting about the pic's success is that not all Christian-themed movies do well: in fact, most don't, especially those made by the majors trying to cash in on Mel Gibson's blockbuster The Passion Of The Christ. Hollywood still can't figure out what works and what doesn't for faith-based audiences.

Consider the militant secularist and value/moral less nature of people who are in Hollywood from the business side to the directors/producers to the actors. Of course they can't figure out religious movies because you have to have an understanding about religion and the morals/values that majority of people in this country try to live by everyday.

Add to that you actually have to talk and respect the audience of these movies and you see why Hollywood fails miserably when they try to do their own faith-based movies. They are too busy mocking people of conviction to understand them.

It is just that simple.

Netherlands: Taboo on Moroccans Criminals Broken

EU: Always seems to be in a politically correct society that breaking point where you can't ignore the criminal in the room.

"Although this would have been inconceivable a few years ago, almost all the parties in parliament have explicitly expressed their great concern and abhorrence for the crime committed by young Moroccans. In an unscheduled debate, a cross-party majority also admitted that it is not a question of incidents, but that the Netherlands is facing a structural problem.

Why the MPs seem to have abandoned political correctness concerning Moroccan criminals is a matter for conjecture. It may be a reaction to Geert Wilders' Party for Freedom (PVV), which is winning popular support with its tough tone. They may be influenced by the mainstream media, whose dominant sympathy for the Dutch doctrine of multiculturalism is slowly but surely giving way to a more critical attitude. Or it may be the seriousness of the crime problem itself that prompted the MPs to tumble over each other in the debate to express harsh opinions about Moroccan troublemakers.

The analysis of Labour (PvdA), which is often accused of having become a party for immigrants and Muslims, was typical of the atmosphere. "People have had enough," said PvdA MP Attje Kuiken. "We should not be pampering them, but taking a hard line," declared Christian Democrat (CDA) MP Coskun Coruz. "The water is up to our necks," was the opinion of Ed Anker of the socialist Christian party ChristenUnie. And conservative (VVD) MP Letitia Griffith insisted that "The State must reconquer the street."

The PVV was the instigator of the debate, sparked by a recent strike by bus drivers in the municipality of Gouda. The drivers claimed they were continually robbed by Moroccans. According to the PVV, many cities follow a policy of deliberately keeping police out of criminal neighbourhoods."

Brokaw, Olbermann Featured in Obama Ad

Media: So far NBC and MSNBC haven't demanded Obama pull it down unlike other networks when they have been used in campaign ads. I wonder why?

Tom Brokaw anchors a mock election night broadcast and Keith Olbermann's voice can be heard announcing Sen. John McCain as the next President of the United States in a new ad from the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama.

The YouTube video, titled, "Bad News," is a promotion for the site The point of the mock election night special report warns of a McCain victory if voter turnout is low.

Earlier this month, FNC sent a cease-and-desist to the McCain campaign for using a Major Garrett report in a Web ad and CBS had a McCain ad removed from YouTube after Katie Couric's comments were used. The ad is still up on the Obama YouTube channel.

(Audio) Tom Joyner crew mocks McCain's "short arms"

Media: Par for the course for liberal black radio. You get idiots like Sybil Wilkes doing shtick like this which is funny to them.

(AUDIO) Tom Joyner show crew mocks McCain.

or you get the sick vision of Michael Baisden fantasying about white Republican women are only for abortion if their daughters are raped by Latino or Black men.

In between you have delusional nonsense like much of the articles by Rebecca Walker of

Obama hasn't mastered coming off as a moderate.

Politics: He is just smart enough to keep his mouth shut about certain subjects.

JAY NORDLINGER: "Obama has mastered the trick of coming off as perfectly moderate — even when your career and thought have been very different. Listening to Obama last night, you would have taken him to be a Sam Nunn, David Boren type. No ACORN, no Ayers, no Wright, no community-organizin’ radicalism, no nothing. He certainly knows what it takes to appeal to people in a general election. Then, once he’s in — if he gets in — he will govern as far to the left as possible."
posted at 05:19 PM by Glenn Reynolds

Mastering coming off as moderate means that he openly talks about the same leftist positions on guns/abortion/taxes/economy and presenting them in a moderate way. Obama's speech at the Dem convention was pure socialism with government as your mommy and daddy. The trick was he made it sound nice and lets face it, there is a sizable amount of the American public who like the idea of being taken care of like little children.

He has just flat out lied especially on his position on gun control and kept quiet on his support on other issues. The media who is in his pocket and willing to defend him at every turn won't bring any of these subjects to light. Just apply the "If he was a Republican" test with the type of connections he has and ponder for a sec how quiet they would be or how supportive. That is the problem, not Obama coming off as moderate but certain institutions are willing not to call him on it.

Charles Rangel isn't going anywhere.

Politics: If he even gets a slap on the wrist it will be a shock.

Obama using Soldier Bracelet as a prop?

Politics: Against the wishes of the family, nice from this interview earlier in the year. At least remember the name once in a while.

Bailout bill is passed and how to tell we are screwed.

Politics: One pic says everything.

As for all the ACORN money redirecting and union clauses taken out, You get Obama in there or when all this dies down, those clauses will be put right back in under a different bill.

Update# Nice.. NYTIMES realizes such a serious subject needs a pic to reflect it, so they changed the pic.