Saturday, October 25, 2008

Republican Ambassador to Netherlands: "Elections are over"

Politics: I guess don't bother voting then.

The US ambassador to the Netherlands, James B. Culbertson, is a Republican, but considers Democratic candidate Barack Obama virtually certain to win the race for the White House. "The elections are over," he said at a debating evening organised by Algemeen Dagblad newspaper.

Three hundred of the newspaper's readers could put their questions to the ambassador. Asked whether the US is ready for a black president, Culbertson replied: "Without doubt. Skin colour is not an important factor any more in the elections. It is true there is still something of racism in our country, but you probably also have that here in the Netherlands. (...) Probably there are more Americans who are against (Republican candidate John) McCain because he is already old than there are against Obama because he is black," Algemeen Dagblad quoted him as saying.

"If I had to make a bet, I would not put my money on John McCain," said Culbertson. "The elections are over," he let slip. Algemeen Dagblad also quoted him as saying: "So I have my own favourite in this race, but very likely this will be a very good year for you." According to the paper, he was referring to the strong preference of the Dutch electorate for Obama.

"Culbertson's comment that 'the elections are over' is remarkable for a diplomat, not normally expected to venture such predictions. And as a Republican, he is deserting his fellow-party member McCain," Algemeen Dagblad concludes. The ambassador acted as an important fund-raiser for outgoing US president George W. Bush. He only recently became ambassador to the Netherlands; he was sworn in last July in the US.

The ambassador expects "little" change in US policy towards the EU. "The Democrats are a bit more protectionist on trade than the Republicans, but that is about it. Additionally, a great deal is already laid down in accords and treaties and policy-making proceeds slowly. As far as the whole gamut of foreign policy, it will make little difference whether McCain or Obama wins."

NFL's dumb Rooney rule

Nation: The Rooney rule as with all feel good rules made up to "help" minorities keeps getting in the way of business.

The St. Louis Rams had hoped to hire interim coach Jim Haslett as their full-time coach if he won six games, but that won't happen since the league office has stepped in and voided the contract, according to league sources.

The NFL office has notified the Rams that the contract that would have made Haslett the full-time coach after this season if he won six games was not in accordance with the Rooney Rule that the league has in place for hiring practices.

The Rooney Rule is aimed at getting more minorities interviewed for jobs, which everybody thinks is a good thing.

But the question here is this: How can the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts name their successors without adhering to the Rooney Rule, while Haslett and the Rams are being subject to it?

Haslett has won his first two games as coach of the Rams, both big upsets of Washington and Dallas, which is why the Rams are believed to be leaning toward hiring him no matter what happens the rest of the way.

The clause regarding winning six games was put in before the two upsets. With Haslett four victories away from it, the league notified the Rams this week that the contract was voided.

According to sources, the contention by the league is that the decisions to name Jim Caldwell the successor in Indianapolis and Jim Mora the successor in Seattle were done in the offseason. That makes them different situations.

The league said since the Colts and Seahawks jobs were not open at the time, then everything is okay. That is idiotic way to apply this rule which is about teams interviewing minorities for head coaching jobs. Haslett has basically a probation period where he has to win to get hired. If he wins out then you are wasting other people's time with bogus interviews. Fix the rule or get rid of it.

Detroit: Home of the $1000 homes.

Nation: and the star of subprime mortgages for the poor going out of control.

"....Laden with thousands of vacant Detroit homes, banks have become desperate to sell, accepting a pittance to avoid bills for maintenance and security. These homes are the root cause of billions of dollars of write-offs for banks on Wall Street and in the City of London, crippling institutions such as Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns.

"It's sad - it's sad to see what's happening here," says Tracie Peltier, who runs another local estate agency, 3 Tier Realty, with her husband, Jay. "The longer they keep a house on their books, the higher the chances of vandalism, the chances of somebody going in and burning it up, of someone going in and stripping all the copper out."

America's 11th biggest city has been bleeding people for years. Its population, which peaked at 1.85 million in 1950, has halved to 917,000 and a third of its residents live below the poverty line.

The local economy revolves around America's "big three" car manufacturers - General Motors, Ford and Chrysler - which are in dire straits. Between them, they have cut more than 100,000 jobs in five years and a real prospect of bankruptcy looms as they struggle to cope with high fuel prices and an economic slowdown.

Robin Boyle, professor of urban planning at Detroit's Wayne State University, says the city was at the forefront of ill-fated efforts to encourage home ownership among the poor. "The subprime mortgage industry was in full flag in Detroit," he says. "There was an enormous emphasis, for many years, in trying to assist people with access to home ownership."

According to research firm RealtyTrac, banks have filed foreclosure proceedings on 37,370 Detroit properties in the year to September. Half of the city's home sales in 2008 have been for less than $10,000. Even Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul", faced a fight to stave off foreclosure on her Detroit mansion because of unpaid taxes back in March."

Limbaugh: Good riddance, GOP moderates

Politics: I agree and disagree with Limbaugh on GOP moderates.

We’re going to rebuild it even if McCain wins. We’re going to have to. These people, these moderates who wanted the big tent, they have taken the party exactly where they said they wanted it to be — and when it got there, these little cowards jumped the ship! I have lost all respect for these people.

And, folks, when I said at the beginning of this that I wanted to turn around and pat myself on the back, it’s because I (and so many like me) knew this exact thing was going to happen and tried to warn people about it during the primaries and so forth. I am not happy it’s happened except for one reason. We flushed ‘em out. We found out they’re not really Republicans and they’re by no means conservatives, and now they’re gone. Now the trick is to keep ‘em out…

The essence of innocence is a child in the womb who has no choice over what happens to it. Sorry. If we don’t stand up for that person, if the government doesn’t, then nobody will. And if we allow ourselves to get watered down by a bunch of people who are embarrassed over that position, they’re not conservatives. Now, I’m not saying, “If you’re not this, don’t vote for us.” We’ll be happy for you to vote for us. I’m happy. Go ahead and vote for us. This is what got us into trouble that we’re in today.

The reason that we’re in this mess today is because we had to start making this tent big, watering down what conservatism is. There’s a blueprint out there, Justin, for how to win landslides! There’s a blueprint for how you do it, and it does not include expanding the tent. Reagan got Reagan Democrats, but he moved them to the Republican Party, moved them to the right. He didn’t go get them by pretending to be one of them.

It is simple, you cannot outlib a liberal or outdem a Dem. All the pointyhead conservatives pundits and now "respectable" Republicans in the eyes of the media who are jumping ship are just showing their true values. They think of themselves as the leaders of the conservative movement but in fact they are nothing of the sort.

Any Republican that is going to vote for Obama and gives as an answer that they hope he doesn't govern from the left is a fool. There is nothing on his resume going back to his state career that shows him remotely even center much less left of center.

It has been amusing to point out exactly where the conservative pundit intelligentsia true values and intentions lie. As long as everyone was paying attention to them, fine. First signs of them being the middle squishy who refuses to fight for conservatism they jump to the other side to get media cred. The Dems had their purge and now its time we had ours.

Italian left protest education cuts and

Italy: By all accounts the Italian education system is the Detroit of the EU lagging behind almost everyone. "DA MAN!" Berlusconi wants to reform and do some funding cuts to a system that is just horrible in some areas.

On October 30th the opposition she has aroused will culminate in a one-day teachers’ strike. The union’s main complaint is a programme of cuts aimed at saving almost €8 billion ($11 billion). It includes the loss by natural wastage of 87,000 teachers’ jobs over the three academic years to 2012 and the return to a system in which just one teacher is allotted to each year of elementary school.

If this is all the reforms do, they could prove as disastrous as union and opposition leaders predict (international studies find primary schools are the only part of Italy’s education that does well). But it is also planned that 30% of the money saved will be reinvested in schools. Ms Gelmini’s supporters hope that she will use it to redress the crippling imbalances in education, which is one of Italy’s biggest structural economic weaknesses.

One problem is “lots of badly paid teachers”, says Roger Abravanel, author of a recent book on meritocracy*. “The number of teachers per 100 students is one of the highest in the OECD.” Education, particularly in the south, has often been used by politicians for patronage and job creation. This may explain why, despite studying for longer and in smaller classes, Italian secondary pupils do badly in international comparisons.

“The north is around the OECD average, but the south is on a par with Uruguay and Thailand,” says Mr Abravanel. Giacomo Vaciago, an economics professor at the Catholic University of Milan, says that “although for the time being the debate is about cuts, the big problem is quality, which is random.”

AP has a different take with a goofy complaint.

In recent weeks, there have been nearly daily protests in cities nationwide by students angered by Berlusconi's planned education reforms, which would cut university spending and flunk students for poor conduct.

I can understand about the cuts but protesting students who have no business in college over poor conduct is just stupid. But as it is with leftist, an education is an entitlement that should not be taken away just because you suck at it.

NJ Star-Ledger and Gannett looking at more job cuts.

Media: Burn baby burn! I feel zero sympathy for an industry that has gone off the rails.

Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, said that its third-quarter profit fell 32 percent as advertising revenue declined, and new job cuts were likely as a result. The third-quarter earnings are largely in line with Wall Street expectations. The company’s net income was $158 million on revenue of $1.64 billion. A year ago, net income was $234 million. Ad revenue at Gannett’s publishing business fell 17.7 percent during the quarter compared with the period last year


The Star-Ledger in New Jersey, the 15th largest U.S. newspaper by circulation, will lose about 40 percent of its newsroom staff in a buyout, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Friday.

The Star-Ledger, one of the two largest daily newspapers serving the densely populated regions of northern New Jersey outside New York City, has seen its paid circulation decline.

The paper could not be immediately reached for comment.

Editor Jim Willse told staff 151 buyout offers had been accepted in a newsroom of about 330, the Journal reported.

Buyouts in other departments of the paper, which recently had about 1,400 employees, will be announced in the coming week, it said.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Australian government tried to gag web censor critics

Australia: Okay I joked that Kevin Rudd and his love for all things China was taking it too far with allowing this censoring of the internet. Now we find out they are actively crushing critics.

The Federal Government is attempting to silence critics of its controversial plan to censor the internet, which experts say will break the internet while doing little to stop people from accessing illegal material such as child pornography.

Internet providers and the government's own tests have found that presently available filters are not capable of adequately distinguishing between legal and illegal content and can degrade internet speeds by up to 86 per cent.

Documents obtained by us show the office of the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, tried to bully ISP staff into suppressing their criticisms of the plan.

Senator Conroy has since last year's election victory remained tight-lipped on the specifics of his $44.2 million policy but, grilled by a Senate Estimates committee this week, he said the Government was looking at forcing ISPs to implement a two-tiered filtering system.

The first tier, which internet users would not be able to opt out of, would block all "illegal material". Senator Conroy has previously said Australians would be able to opt out of any filters to obtain "uncensored access to the internet".

The second tier, which is optional, would filter out content deemed inappropriate for children, such as pornography.

But neither filter tier will be capable of censoring content obtained over peer-to-peer file sharing networks, which account for an estimated 60 per cent of internet traffic.

Senator Conroy said Britain, Sweden, Canada and New Zealand had all implemented similar filtering systems. However, in all cases, participation by ISPs was optional and the filtering was limited in scope to predominantly child pornography.

Colin Jacobs, chair of the online users' lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia said: "I'm not exaggerating when I say that this model involves more technical interference in the internet infrastructure than what is attempted in Iran, one of the most repressive and regressive censorship regimes in the world."

Obama Wants Social Security to Be Welfare.

Politics: It was already pointed out that almost half of America under his plan will pay little or no income taxes but getting back rebate or welfare checks.

Now he wants to screw up SS even more by not even having people pay into the system but benefit from the rest of us that by law will have to pay into it.

Imagine this: Barack Obama proposes a Social Security payroll tax cut for low earners. Workers earning up to $8,000 per year would receive back the full 6.2% employee share of the 12.4% total payroll tax, up to $500 per year. Workers earning over $8,000 would receive $500 each, with this credit phasing out for individuals earning between $75,000 and $85,000.

.....Now, you haven't heard Mr. Obama describe anything like this plan. If you had, it's likely you wouldn't support it. But it's almost exactly what his headline "tax cut" would do. The Obama campaign took the idea described above and made it much more complicated.

Under the plan, which he claims would cut taxes for 95% of Americans, provides an income tax credit worth 6.2% of earnings up to $8,000, for a maximum credit of $500 per worker or $1,000 per couple. The 6.2% figure is important, because it matches the employee share of the Social Security payroll tax. Because around a third of Americans currently pay no income taxes -- a fraction that would rise to almost half under Mr. Obama's plan, according to the Tax Policy Center -- Mr. Obama's tax credits would be refundable, meaning you could collect the credit even if you paid no income taxes.

While Mr. Obama calls his plan "Making Work Pay," under standard economic assumptions his plan would actually discourage work for anyone earning over $8,000 per year. The tax credit itself would increase workers' take-home pay, an "income effect" that reduces incentives to work. Moreover, for workers in the $75,000 to $85,000 income range, where the tax credit is phased out at five cents for each dollar of additional income, this would add five percentage points to their marginal tax rate.

So Mr. Obama has in essence proposed cutting Social Security taxes for low earners, which would shift the system toward a "welfare" approach and sharply increase its long-term deficit. To fill the funding gap, he will raise taxes on high earners and funnel the money into Social Security, making the system even more progressive and breaking a long tradition against funding Social Security with income taxes.

All this talk of 95% will get tax cuts is nothing than a shell game by Obama. The only result he cares about is making people more dependent on mommy government while playing a slick class warfare game. He wins then America becomes half parasites and half hosts.

The recession has reached Europe.

EU: Not for nothing but a month ago Europe was laughing at America now its stuck in a mess of its own making. HAW!

From London to Warsaw, an economic thunderclap has sounded across the continent, serving notice that the looming recession everyone was worried about is making its entrance.

The pain was acute on stock exchanges. Germany's DAX index slid as much as 10 percent at one point Friday, its lowest level since October 1989, although it recovered somewhat to close down 5 percent. In London, the FTSE 100 index of leading British stocks was as low as 8 percent before finishing down 5 percent, while France's CAC 40 was off 3.5 percent.

And that won't be the end of it. The European Union said its monthly purchasing manager's index slid to 44.6 in October, its lowest since the benchmark was created in 1998, and indicating recession. It was down from 46.9 in September.

"It could be big steps down now, and very ugly in the next days," said analyst Dirk Mueller, of MWB Fairtrade in Frankfurt.

"The euro zone economy now looks clearly set into recession territory," said Gilles Moec, an analyst with Bank of America in London.

Although a decline was expected, given financial markets' wild oscillation recently, the purchasing managers index decline "went beyond the already pessimistic market consensus" about falling economic activity, he said.

Aurelio Maccario, the chief euro zone economist at UniCredit in Milan, said the index showed just how devastating the fallout from the crisis has been. "The manufacturing sector is now in a deep recession, having reached the lowest level in at least 11 years," he said.

The EU also set the rules for airlines to buy emissions permit while they most of the big names are in trouble. Another smart move.

Tim Mahoney thinks he is Dolemite.

Politics: This man was pimping.

Current and former members of the staff of Congressman Tim Mahoney (D-Fla) say he has yet to come completely clean about his multiple affairs, abusive behavior and alleged ethical lapses.

Last week, following a series of reports on The Blotter, Mahoney confirmed that he had hired one of his mistresses for his Congressional staff and that he was also carrying on an affair with a Florida county official who sought his help with a federal grant.

But a document obtained by ABC News reveals new allegations of threatening behavior and sexual harassment toward a female staffer, that go far beyond Mahoney's public confession, including claims that he urged one of his mistresses to serve as a "tease" for big donors.

The former Congressional staff member, Patricia Allen, was paid $121,000 by Mahoney after she was fired and threatened to sue.

Click here to hear the tape of Mahoney firing Allen.

The settlement was reached after Allen hired a lawyer who sent the Congressman a "demand" letter, listing specific examples of Mahoney's alleged "gross misconduct" and "stalking" including:

"a) Calling Allen late in the evenings and demanding "phone sex;"

b) Demanding that Allen answer his calls or face termination;

c) Demanding that Allen attend fundraisers and "tease c-ck" to bring in more donations from the male members of the public;

d) Demanding that Allen engage in sexual conduct with another woman for his enjoyment."

Current and former staffers told ABC News the allegations contained in the "demand letter" sent to Mahoney were backed up by tape recordings of phone calls between the Congressman and Allen.

Barney Frank can't wait to cut the military and raise taxes.

Nation: Frank is just giddy at slashing away at the military and raising taxes to afford his welfare America.

After the November election, Democrats will push for a second economic stimulus package that includes money for the states’ stalled infrastructure projects, along with help paying for healthcare expenses, food stamps and extended unemployment benefits, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said Thursday.

In a meeting with the editorial board of The Standard-Times, Rep. Frank, D-Mass., also called for a 25 percent cut in military spending, saying the Pentagon has to start choosing from its many weapons programs, and that upper-income taxpayers are going to see an increase in what they are asked to pay.

The military cuts also mean getting out of Iraq sooner, he said.

“The people of Iraq want us out, and we want to stay over their objection,” he said. “It’s extraordinary.” The Maliki government in Iraq “can’t sell (the withdrawal deal with the U.S.) because it sounds like we’re going to stay too long.”

“I was teasing (U.S. Rep.) Jack Murtha (a key supporter of military budgets) and I said to him, ‘For the first time, somebody else has got a bill that’s almost as big as yours.’ We don’t need all these fancy new weapons. I think there needs to be additional review.”

Of course not, why would the US Military need to continue R&D on new weapons. Just give them tommy guns. Those still work.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich: The pariah politician.

Politics: When you have lower numbers than President Bush in the Dem led corrupted state of Illinois, you have serious problems.

Democrats and Republicans don't agree on much in Illinois, but they're united when it comes to distancing themselves from Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose latest 13 percent job-approval rating undercuts even President Bush's record lows.

The second-term Democrat isn't up for re-election until 2010, but you might not know it because of how often his name has surfaced this election season.

While Republicans are hoping they can use Blagojevich to stop a Democratic tidal wave in this blue state — home to Barack Obama — on Nov. 4, even the governor's own party is getting in on the action.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has taken the unusual step of running attack ads in a tight suburban Chicago congressional race that highlight the Republican candidate's past contributions to Blagojevich.

"He's an easy target because he's that damaged," said former state Sen. Steve Rauschenberger, now volunteer president of a group that raises money for GOP legislative candidates in Illinois.

UK police forces did not count certain crimes.

UK: As a result correct numbers show crime shot up 22% this year.

Some police forces have been failing to properly record serious violent crime, the Home Office said, as it reported an increase of 22% this year.

The category includes serious assault, murder, attempted murder and manslaughter.

Officials said 13 forces were asked to re-examine their figures after they discovered some serious assaults were being recorded in a lower category of offence.

They admitted the under-counting could have been going on for more than 10 years.

Two of the most serious categories of knife crime also shot up after the miscounting was revealed.

Attempted murders in England and Wales involving a knife between April and June this year were 28% up on last year. Assaults causing grievous bodily harm with intent rose by 29%.

The forces involved had been putting more serious crimes in to a lower category of offence, officials said.

The Home Office refused to name the forces involved. Police Minister Vernon Coaker said the "clarification" did not mean the government had lost faith in crime statistics.

Oh okay then. Disregard the fact certain forces fudged up numbers.

Smallville and Supernatural needs to be watched on Thursdays.

Entertainment: I dunno who the new producing team on Smallville is but they have not tripped up yet with Season 8. Now that Clark is in Metropolis they can come up with new and so far better storylines. The pacing and dialogue is much better.

Supernatural was one of those shows I watched if nothing else was one but this season with the introduction of Angels and war against Hell it has been great. Again the dialogue,pacing and storylines seem to have picked up to another level.

Watch them people

Hugo Chavez got some problems with the price of oil.

South America: A little more bloviating about America ought to see him get by the crisis created from his economic plans.

"....The “diesel” trio did gloat at first over the West’s meltdown. But they overlooked one of its effects: a plunge in oil prices, and hence their own revenues. This unwelcome news is likely to sharpen distinctions between them. Fyodor Lukyanov, a Russian foreign-policy pundit, says his country will have to prioritise. “Trying to achieve everything won’t fly any more.” The focus, he thinks, will be more on nearby countries and less on Latin America, not least because Venezuela will have less cash to buy Russian weaponry.

Indeed, the end of the oil boom may spell doom for that country’s populist leader, Hugo Chávez. Oil has been his political oxygen. When he took office in 1998 the price was $11 a barrel. It peaked in July at $147. Since then it has halved. Oil accounts for 90% of exports and more than half of government revenues. At home it has paid for what he calls “21st century socialism”: chiefly a torrent of central government spending, up from 22% of GDP in 2001 to 32% now. Mr Chávez also spends freely from the off-budget National Development Fund (Fonden), while Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the state oil company, has been required to divert part of its investment budget to social spending.

Oil has also financed an anti-American alliance. More than a dozen countries in Central America and the Caribbean receive a total of some 300,000 barrels per day (b/d) of Venezuelan oil on easy terms (of which 93,000 b/d go to Cuba). Venezuela has spent heavily to support Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega and the opposition FMLN in El Salvador.

The price of cold turkey

For each $10 drop in the oil price, the government gets $5 billion (1.4% of GDP) less in revenue, according to LatinSource, a consultancy. Mr Chávez said this month that an oil price no lower than $80 was “sufficient”. But the economy is already deteriorating. Oil-dependency has risen; nationalisation, bullying and meddling have deterred private investment; a fixed and overvalued exchange rate has stoked imports.

In 2006 growth was 10.3% and inflation 17%; the latest growth figure is a 7.1%; inflation is 36%. Foreign debt is up from $30 billion to $44 billion. The cost of credit has risen. Opaque statistics make it hard to gauge Mr Chávez’s room for manoeuvre. Fonden may contain some $15 billion; central bank reserves are about $27 billion. But the underlying trend is clear.

A devaluation risks setting off a downward spiral of inflation and rising poverty. As Mr Chávez scales back spending he will have to choose between losing influence abroad or losing popularity at home. Already he has quietly cancelled a promise to build an oil refinery in Nicaragua."

Argentina's pension grab looking more idiotic.

South America: The "beautiful idiot" Cristina Fernandez nationalized the private pension funds as a way to keep Argentina from defaulting yet again. As the good little socialist, she and her husband before her have gone on a spending spree and now short of money.

"Ideological hostility to the private funds played a part in Ms Fernández’s decision to scrap rather than reform the scheme. Her husband reversed several of Mr Menem’s privatisations. But fiscal need may have been a bigger motive. “It looks like they want to use the workers’ money for non-pension spending,” says Gregorio Badeni, a professor at the University of Buenos Aires. “The reason private pensions were instituted in the first place was to stop the government from doing that.”

Ahead of last year’s presidential election Mr Kirchner stepped up public spending, especially on public-sector wages and pensions. Now the government is strapped for cash. It has relied on taxes on farm exports. But the world price of soyabeans has fallen by 44% in three months, cutting tax revenues by $2.7 billion. And over the next two years $23 billion of public debt falls due.

Argentina has not been able to roll over this debt because investors’ lack of trust in the government has led them to demand astronomical interest rates. The main foreign buyer of Argentine bonds recently has been Venezuela, but Hugo Chávez demands a hefty yield and anyway now has his own fiscal problems (see article).

In an attempt to charm foreign investors in September Ms Fernández said she would pay off $7 billion owed to creditor governments, using the Central Bank’s reserves. She has also said that she will “analyse” a plan to pay off those bondholders who refused the tough terms offered by Mr Kirchner in 2005, when he restructured the defaulted debt. But these moves have failed to reduce interest rates on Argentine debt.

By taking over the private pension system, Ms Fernández could solve her cashflow problem for the remaining three years of her term at a swoop. It would put assets worth 10% of GDP at the government’s disposal, and allow it to channel an additional $400m a year of workers’ contributions into public debt.

The government could also force the pension system to roll over the 10% of public debt held by the private funds on terms of its own choosing. Of course, all this money belongs to Argentines, not to Ms Fernández. But under the bill, it would be administered by government officials, overseen by a congressional committee. They are likely to give priority to the short-term claims of the public finances at the expense of impoverishing Argentines and their children in the future."

Lawmakers are trying to make sure its not used for anything but retirees.

The Argentine government's plans to nationalize US$30 billion in private pension fund assets ran into stiff opposition Thursday from lawmakers who want to make sure the money is spent exclusively on retirees — not public works projects or debt payments.

President Cristina Fernandez said her surprise plan to take over 10 private pension funds is meant only to protect retirement money from global financial crisis. But investors drove stock prices down 20 percent in two days, fearing that state managers would dump equities, buy bonds and limit access to cash for publicly traded companies.

Critics also see the plan as proof that the Argentine government is running short on cash and looking for new ways of avoiding defaulting on US$28 billion in debt that matures over the next three years.

"What has been outlined by the government has little to do with a solid, strong state system," said opposition Senator Ernesto Sanz. "It smells a lot more like what we've all suspected from the beginning, which is a swipe at the cash register."

Dems to Kill 401(k) Plans?

Politics: Well hell, let the government plan my retirement as well as the lowest rate possible.

House Democrats recently invited Teresa Ghilarducci, a professor at the New School of Social Research, to testify before a subcommittee on her idea to eliminate the preferential tax treatment of the popular retirement plans. In place of 401(k) plans, she would have workers transfer their dough into government-created "guaranteed retirement accounts" for every worker. The government would deposit $600 (inflation indexed) every year into the GRAs. Each worker would also have to save 5 percent of pay into the accounts, to which the government would pay a measly 3 percent return.

Rep. Jim McDermott, a Democrat from Washington and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, said that since "the savings rate isn't going up for the investment of $80 billion [in 401(k) tax breaks], we have to start to think about whether or not we want to continue to invest that $80 billion for a policy that's not generating what we now say it should."

4) Ghilarducci would offer a lousy 3 percent return. The long-run return of the stock market, adjusted for inflation, is more like 7 percent. Look at it this way: Ten thousand dollars growing at 3 percent a year for 40 years leaves you with roughly $22,000.

But $10,000 growing at 7 percent a year for 40 years leaves you with $150,000. That is a high price to pay for what Ghilarducci describes as the removal of "a source of financial anxiety and...fruitless discussions with brokers and financial sales agents, who are also desperate for more fees and are often wrong about markets." Please, I'll take a bit of worry for an additional $128,000.

I don't mind my heart racing either for the extra $128,000. This idea is nothing more than a more benign way to grab people's cash for government use. No thanks

Obama and the Tax Tipping Point

Nation: On one hand it does make me angry that under Obama almost 50% which includes me at this point will pay zero income taxes but get back "refundable tax credits."

What happens when the voter in the exact middle of the earnings spectrum receives more in benefits from Washington than he pays in taxes? Economists Allan Meltzer and Scott Richard posed this question 27 years ago. We may soon enough know the answer.

Barack Obama is offering voters strong incentives to support higher taxes and bigger government. This could be the magic income-redistribution formula Democrats have long sought.

Sen. Obama is promising $500 and $1,000 gift-wrapped packets of money in the form of refundable tax credits. These will shift the tax demographics to the tipping point where half of all voters will receive a cash windfall from Washington and an overwhelming majority will gain from tax hikes and more government spending.

In 2006, the latest year for which we have Census data, 220 million Americans were eligible to vote and 89 million -- 40% -- paid no income taxes. According to the Tax Policy Center (a joint venture of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute), this will jump to 49% when Mr. Obama's cash credits remove 18 million more voters from the tax rolls. What's more, there are an additional 24 million taxpayers (11% of the electorate) who will pay a minimal amount of income taxes -- less than 5% of their income and less than $1,000 annually.

In all, three out of every five voters will pay little or nothing in income taxes under Mr. Obama's plans and gain when taxes rise on the 40% that already pays 95% of income tax revenues.

The plunder that the Democrats plan to extract from the "very rich" -- the 5% that earn more than $250,000 and who already pay 60% of the federal income tax bill -- will never stretch to cover the expansive programs Mr. Obama promises.

Its one thing to pay into the system and get it back. But right now when you got people who don't pay but get back gracious amounts of Earned Income Credit(once a year welfare check) and more will pay nothing or next to it while trying to have a minority amount to pay taxes you are setting yourself up to fail.

What Obama has proposed in universal health care while tax and spending his way out of this recession will never be covered by this small amount of taxpayers. This is classic liberal tactics to get people dependent on government by being their parents giving out money.

NYTimes profits slide, do the happy dance.

Media: Burn baby burn.

The New York Times Co. reported a steep drop in third-quarter profits on Thursday, the latest gloomy earnings report in an industry battered by online competition and falling print advertising revenue.

The New York Times Co. said net profit fell by 51.4 percent in the third quarter to 6.5 million dollars, or five cents per share, from 13.4 million dollars, or nine cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

The company, which owns, The Boston Globe, International Herald Tribune and 16 other daily newspapers besides the flagship The New York Times, said overall advertising revenue fell by 14.4 percent during the quarter.

Shortly after the release of its results, Standard & Poors said it was lowering the Times's credit rating to "BB-," or junk status, while Moody's Investors Service said it was placing it on review for possible downgrade.

Moody's changed the rating outlook for the company to negative from stable in July. A further downgrade would reduce it to junk status. Both companies said the moves were based on the uncertain outlook for newspaper advertising.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I have 'non-filer syndrome' as well.

Nation: If a top-aide gets away(maybe) with this then so should I because I am depressed my hard earnings will be given to welfare parasites and nanny state government programs. If that doesn't depress you then nothing will at this point.

A top aide to N.Y. Gov. David Paterson didn't pay his taxes for five years because of "non-filer syndrome," his lawyer says.

"These are very high-functioning people who otherwise can complete all of the ordinary tasks in their lives," Richard Kestenbaum, a lawyer who's representing Charles O'Byrne, tells the Daily News. "But there is something that they can't do, and many times that causes them not to be able to file their tax returns."

The New York Times says it couldn't find any sign of this condition in the diagnostic manual. Paterson, a Democrat, tells the News he doesn't believe "non-filer syndrome" exists.

All told, The Buffalo News says, O'Byrne had to pay $293,000 in outstanding taxes to the state and federal governments. "O’Byrne’s lawyers confirmed what has been suspected from information on his financial disclosure forms: that high-powered Democratic supporters helped pay off his tax bills," the paper says.

Comedy Central exits Germany

Germany: Germans don't have a sense of humor, what were they thinking trying to open this over there?
The media firm's MTV Networks Germany unit is shutting down a local version of Comedy Central just two years after its launch. Comedy Central Germany will be folded together with kids channel NICK, starting next year.

Hit Nickelodeon shows including "Dora the Explorer" and "SpongeBob SquarePants" will be shown during the day, with more mature programing including "Futurama" and "Dharma and Greg" as well as Comedy Central's own "The Daily Show" and "South Park" filling up the evening slots.

Comedy Central has been struggling in Germany since its much-ballyhooed debut in 2006. Instead of branding itself as cutting edge, the German channel aired reruns of decidedly mainstream sitcoms like "The Golden Girls."

The channel also killed the jokes, in the opinion of many local TV critics, by dubbing such cult shows "Seinfeld" as "The Sarah Silverman Program" into German.

On the other hand I can see why they failed.

Anger over parade dropping "Christmas"

Nation: Yeah baby! War on Christmas is starting earlier and earlier.

A famed fireworks company is pulling out of a holiday boat parade because "Christmas" was dropped from the event's name.

Fireworks by Grucci won't lend its sparkle to Patchogue's Nov. 23 parade — decorated yachts on the Patchogue River — because the organizers have renamed it the Patchogue Holiday Boat Parade. It was the Patchogue Christmas Boat Parade last year, when the Grucci company donated $5,000 worth of fireworks.

The company's vice president, Philip Butler, who has criticized the secularization of Christmas in the past, said parade organizers were "using all the themes of Christmas and plagiarizing all those themes."

Organizers in the Long Island town said the parade has had several names over its roughly 15-year existence. The name was changed again this year after complaints that the use of "Christmas" seemed to make the parade less inclusive.

"When I think about fireworks, I don't think about Christmas anyway," Mayor Paul Pontieri said. "I think about the Fourth of July."

Is Christmas the only holiday in the world where its not inclusive? It is made to be inclusive without damaging anyone's fragile ego. The whiners and complainers wouldn't think of bitching like this for any other holiday because then it would be discrimination and/or religious bashing. Just another set of multicults pushing their weight around with a weak willed Mayor along to enable them.

Some whine after Locking In Price for Oil

Nation: Sure the heating oil companies can work for their customers but unless they had no clue they knew what they were doing on gambling that prices would stay high or higher.

After the rapid run-up in oil and gas prices over the past two years, many consumers have been happy to see them subside in recent weeks.

But then there are those who tried to outsmart the market by signing contracts this summer — when prices peaked — locking in rates for delivering home heating oil through the winter. They will most likely end up paying more than their neighbors to heat their homes and apartments this winter.

Barbara Daley, who is 76 and lives on Long Island, signed up in September at $4.22 a gallon. Now, with prices around $3.10, she is looking for a little sympathy. Mrs. Daley said her heating oil company, which she did not want to antagonize by naming, told her it would cost $599 to terminate the contract — about what she paid to fill up her 250-gallon tank one time last winter.

“They said it might go up to $6, so I locked in a fixed price,” Mrs. Daley said. “I’ve been with this company 30, 35 years. You would think you would get some consideration. I’m not asking for the world.”

There are no accurate figures on how many people across the nation are stuck in unfavorable contracts. But in one indication of how widespread the problem may be locally, the New York Public Interest Research Group, which negotiates with oil companies on behalf of consumers, said 8,000 of the 20,000 members of its buyers group signed contracts this summer to deliver fuel at fixed rates, at prices between $3.80 and $4.20.

“Customers who signed fixed contracts have a major problem,” said Larry Faria of Nypirg’s fuel-buyers group. “They’ll be hurting because prices are coming down.”

The degree of their pain depends on when the contracts were signed. The most acute is for those who signed deals in July, when home heating oil prices peaked at $4.78 a gallon.

An additional 8,000 of Nypirg’s buyers signed deals that cap the maximum price they can pay, but allow them to pay less if prices drop. Given the recent slide in prices, these people have made out better than those who signed fixed-price deals. But in many cases, oil companies have been charging customers in capped-price plans 10 to 20 cents more per gallon than the going rate to protect against a rapid fall in prices in the future.

They choosed poorly which means politicians like good ole Senator Chuck will be right along to make sure personal responsibilty is a thing of the past.

But Senator Charles E. Schumer complained that large oil companies have not cut their prices as rapidly as the price of oil has declined on commodity markets, and he has called on the Federal Trade Commission to pressure them to do so.

“It’s simply baffling,” Mr. Schumer said in a statement. “When oil prices go up, gas and home heating oil prices go up, but when oil goes down, mysteriously nothing really happens.”

On Wednesday, Andrew J. Spano, the county executive in Westchester, echoed Mr. Schumer’s complaint, sending a letter to local heating oil companies asking them to consider their customers’ plights. He suggested that they consider, for instance, lowering delivery fees to soften the blow.

“Some customers, particularly seniors who were worried that there was no end in sight to the cost of oil, locked in rates over the summer when they were at their peak — about $4.50 a gallon,” Mr. Spano wrote. “These consumers are now locked into sky-high prices, even though much lower-priced heating oil is available.”

South Africa disbands their own FBI unit

Africa: They were too successful going after government officials.

The South African Parliament voted overwhelmingly last night to disband the Scorpions, the elite crime-busting unit whose corruption investigations targeted several prominent figures of the ruling party, including Jacob Zuma, chairman of the African National Congress.

Among those who voted to close down the Scorpions as an independent unit were 40 MPs of the ANC under investigation for defrauding taxpayers of about £1.5 million with falsified travel expenses.

The Scorpions, formally known as the Directorate of Special Operations, were like the FBI and operated in close co-operation with Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO). They have been one of the big successes of post-apartheid South Africa. Independent from the slipshod and widely corrupt police service, into which they will now be amalgamated, they enjoyed strong public support, and their demise has sparked widespread anger.

Critics of the move say that the Scorpions are the victims of their own success. The ANC Government never anticipated that the crack crime-busters would take their constitutional independence so seriously and investigate the top ranks of the former liberation movement itself.

“The Scorpions are being killed off because they investigate too much corruption that involves ANC leaders. It is as simple and ugly as that,” Peter Bruce, editor of the influential Business Day newspaper, wrote in his weekly column.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Toy factories going bankrupt in China.

China: Canary in the Chinese Economy?

A toy factory in southern China has gone bankrupt leaving 900 workers jobless, a report said Wednesday, just days after a major toy maker went under as a result of the financial crisis.

Hong Kong-owned Chong Yik Toy Company, has shut down its factory in Shenzhen, in Guangdong province, the South China Morning Post reported, citing local officials who had paid the workers from emergency funds.

The closure comes days after Hong Kong-listed Smart Union closed its factory doors in Dongguan, also in Guangdong province, and went into liquidation leaving up to 7,000 people jobless.

Southern China has enjoyed an export-driven boom in recent years supplying the world's cheap toys, gadgets and clothes.

But a combination of rising labour costs, expensive raw materials and the appreciation of the Chinese currency, coupled with the recent downturn in demand� from the US have all put the area's factories under pressure.

A total of 3,631 mainly small enterprises that made toys for export, or 52.7 percent of all such companies, had gone out of business in the first seven months of the year, Xinhua news agency reported earlier.

San Francisco to vote on decriminalizing prostitution

Nation: Even Amsterdam who has tried to regulate the trade has basically given up. This is a fantasy for the law supporters. You take away the law enforcement everything you associate with prostitution will get 10 times worse. The exploitation of women would escalate.

In this live-and-let-live town, where medical marijuana clubs do business next to grocery stores and an annual fair celebrates sadomasochism, prostitutes could soon walk the streets without fear of arrest.

San Francisco would become the first major U.S. city to decriminalize prostitution if voters next month approve Proposition K—a measure that forbids local authorities from investigating, arresting or prosecuting anyone for selling sex.

The ballot question technically would not legalize prostitution since state law still prohibits it, but the measure would eliminate the power of local law enforcement officials to go after prostitutes.

Proponents say the measure will free up $11 million the police spend each year arresting prostitutes and allow them to form collectives.

"It will allow workers to organize for our rights and for our safety," said Patricia West, 22, who said she has been selling sex for about a year by placing ads on the Internet. She moved to San Francisco in May from Texas to work on Proposition K.

Even in tolerant San Francisco—where the sadomasochism fair draws thousands of tourists and a pornographic video company is housed in a former armory—the measure faces an uphill battle, with much of the political establishment opposing it.

.... Proposition K has been endorsed by the local Democratic Party. But the mayor, district attorney, police department and much of the business community oppose the idea, contending it would increase street prostitution, allow pimps the run of neighborhoods and hamper the fight against sex trafficking, which would remain illegal because it involves forcing people into the sex trade.

The San Francisco Chronicle editorialized against the measure, saying it could make the city a magnet for prostitution.

If the proposal passes, "we wouldn't be able to investigate prostitution, and it's going to be pretty difficult for us to locate these folks who are victims of trafficking otherwise," said Capt. Al Pardini, head of the police department's vice unit. "It's pretty rare that we get a call that says: 'I'm a victim of human trafficking' or 'I suspect human trafficking in my neighborhood.'"

The proposition would also prohibit police from accepting federal or state funds for sex trafficking investigations that involve racial profiling. Such investigations often arise from raids on brothels that advertise as Asian massage parlors.

"We feel that repressive policies don't help trafficking victims, and that human rights-based approaches, including decriminalization, are actually more effective," said Carol Leigh, co-founder of the Bay Area Sex Workers Advocacy Network and a longtime advocate for prostitutes' rights.

Argentina Default after Pension Funds Seizure?

South America: One angle is the Argentina Hillary Clinton did this to bolster her sagging political standing after the fight with taxing the farmers. The other is a way to not pay off debt payments that are coming in 2009. Either way, everyone thinks Argentina is screwed.

Argentina's planned seizure of $29 billion of private pension funds stoked concern the nation is headed for its second default in a decade.

Investors say President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's decision may further hurt markets already reeling from slumping commodity prices and slower growth. The retirement system, set up in 1994 to help bolster capital markets, owns about 5 percent of companies listed on the Buenos Aires stock exchange and 27 percent of shares available for public trading, data compiled by pension funds show.

Argentine bond yields soared above 24 percent before the announcement late yesterday, and the Merval tumbled 11 percent. The last time the government sought to tap workers' savings to help finance debt payments was in 2001, just before it stopped servicing $95 billion of obligations.

``It's the final of many nails in the coffin from an institutional investor perspective,'' Bill Rudman, who helps manage $3 billion of emerging-market equity at WestLB Mellon Asset Management in London. Argentina is ``disappearing into irrelevance.''

....Investment Mix

Amado Boudou, the head of Argentina's social security administration, said yesterday the government will keep the same investment mix for the funds, with 60 percent in bonds and 10 percent in stocks. He called the privately run system an ``enormous error.''

Currently, about 55 percent of the 94.4 billion pesos ($29.3 billion) held by the private pension funds is invested in government debt, according to the pension regulator's Web site. A takeover would allow the Fernandez administration to write off the sovereign bonds held by the funds, said Javier Salvucci, an analyst with Buenos Aires-based Silver Cloud Advisors.

``It's a short-term fix that may cause more fiscal and macro pain in the long haul, which has been typical of the last two administrations,'' said Will Landers, who manages $5 billion in Latin American equities at BlackRock Inc.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Saying Obama is a Socialist? RACIST!

Politics: Lewis Diuguid of the KC Star flays around defending Obama from the Socialist label by claiming it is of course..RACIST!!!

Shame on McCain and Palin for using an old code word for black

By Lewis Diuguid, Kansas City Star Editorial Page columnist

The "socialist" label that Sen. John McCain and his GOP presidential running mate Sarah Palin are trying to attach to Sen. Barack Obama actually has long and very ugly historical roots.

J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI from 1924 to 1972, used the term liberally to describe African Americans who spent their lives fighting for equality.

Those freedom fighters included the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who led the Civil Rights Movement; W.E.B. Du Bois, who in 1909 helped found the NAACP which is still the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization; Paul Robeson, a famous singer, actor and political activist who in the 1930s became involved in national and international movements for better labor relations, peace and racial justice; and A. Philip Randolph, who founded and was the longtime head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and a leading advocate for civil rights for African Americans.

McCain and Palin have simply reached back in history to use an old code word for black. It set whites apart from those deemed unAmerican and those who could not be trusted during the communism scare.

Shame on McCain and Palin.

Mr. Diuguid I would like you to meet Commissioner John Wiley Price from Dallas who became famous for saying the term Black Hole was racist.

It seems both of you are on the same ignorant wavelength that is designed to be an embarrassment to not only blacks but the human race in general.

(AUDIO) Obama argues against giving treatment to aborted babies

Politics: This is just part of the audio where Obama was speaking out against assessing if an aborted baby is alive. Redstate got the transcript earlier in the year which was covered here.

Via Jill Stanek, Breitbart has part of the audio.

Yes. There are liberals who hate America

Politics: and there are more pro-America areas. See San Francisco or Berkley with people who dislike America and blame it for everything that is wrong in the world.

It is politically expedient for Gov.Palin and Robin Hayes of North Carolina to apologize but you can point to any country with a left/right population and you will find a segment on the left that hates where they are living and paraphasing the Yes Minister clip to the left wish it was ruled by another country.

Take for example Jon Stewart. He is not a liberal who hates America but loves to take shots at middle America as any liberal would do because he cannot understand Americans who take pride in having morals and values. But for Stewart if you slam his area then it must be an attack on homosexuals. That is how the liberal mind works.

"He (McCain) made an interesting vice presidential choice.

I like the woods...I just don't know if I would pull my vice president out of the woods randomly.

She came out again today. She was talking to a small town, she said that small towns, that's the part of the country she really likes going to because that's the pro-America part of the country.

You know, I just want to say to her, just very quickly...[expletive] you.

I've never seen someone with a greater disparity between how cute they sound when they're saying something and how terrible what they're saying is.

Don't ya know, Obama, by golly, he just is a terrorist? What? Oh, you know, he just, gosh, kills babies, you know.

I'm so over the idea that only small-town America is the heart and soul. Small-town America is fine, but it's the same as cities. Cities are just a lot of towns piled on top of each other in one place.

They have this whole thing that somehow we can write off entire swaths of the country, that we are somehow...I get it. You know, New York City wasn't good enough for [expletive] Osama bin Laden, it better be good enough for you.

I can't take it anymore. After eight years of this divisiveness, we're back to this idea that only small-town America is the real America.

I get it. I'm from New York. We have a lot of gay people. But homosexuals don't have sodomy on Russian flags."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Boston Globe getting small and Media feels sorry for their behavior?

Media: Via Instapundit. Interesting quote by Time's Mark Halperin.

On media coverage of money raised during the campaign

KURTZ: Mark Halperin, we learned this morning that Barack Obama in the month of September raised $150 million, the early estimates had been about $100 million. They always kind of leak a lower figure so they can exceed it.

If a Republican had not taken public financing and had raised all that money, and the Democrat was struggling financially, wouldn't we see a lot of stories about one candidate essentially trying to buy the election?

HALPERIN: We would. We'd also see a lot of stories about his going back on his word saying that he would accept the public money and would reach out to Senator McCain to try to work out a deal. So I think this is a case of a clear, unambiguous double standard, and any reporter who doesn't ask themselves, why is that, why would it be different if it's a Republican? I think is doing themselves and our profession and our democracy a disservice.

Insta implies the press rediscovers a conscience and a reader says this is all bunk to cover their behind. I agree with the reader. Halperin may be one of the few with a conscience and journalistic ethics left but the other than him I have yet to see anyone else even come close to saying what he said. The press did its job protecting Obama and if he wins the press will protect him unlike any other politician you have seen in modern history.

In Black Jesus they see the next Kennedy and they are determined to lionize him.

Another note is the Boston Globe is combining and contracting itself to save money.

The Boston Globe is consolidating its daily paper into four sections as part of a redesign that will launch Friday, Oct. 24. The paper will no longer publish a free-standing business section — it will be folded into the a newly named “Metro” section — except on Sundays.

The Globe, which has seen its revenue and circulation plummet in recent years, says it will save about 24 pages per week in printing costs.

Another reader emails that the celebration by some is unseemly because of the newspaper industry decline. Yes it is and I am at the front of the line cheering its destruction.

There is some good storytelling that will be missed at first but as in any void something will take its place. Until then I will cheer every job loss and company closing for its betrayal across the board of journalistic standards. I mean at least be honest in what you are as you sink down the whirlpool.

In the end, Burn Bitches Burn.

Papers cutting out AP wire service.

Media: Associated Press which has run amok this election season especially is getting cancelled by papers for being too expensive and accused of stealing work claiming it as their own.

For most of its 137-year history, The Columbus Dispatch has carried articles and images from The Associated Press. Like most big American newspapers, it supplements the work of its own staff with dozens of items daily from The A.P.

That may end soon.

Unhappy with both the A.P. service and its price — more than $800,000 a year at a time when The Dispatch’s finances are severely pinched — the paper on Friday took the once-unthinkable step of saying it would drop the service.

What had been a minor newspaper rebellion against The A.P. suddenly grew much more serious last week, when the Tribune Company, one of the largest newspaper chains, said on Thursday that it would drop out of the association, followed by The Dispatch’s announcement. A handful of papers have made the same move over the last few months, but with the exception of The Star Tribune of Minneapolis, they were relatively small.

Tribune, in disclosing the plan to sever its ties with The A.P., voiced no complaints about the service, saying only that it needed to cut costs. The move raised the prospect of major Tribune papers like The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune publishing without the aid of a wire service that has been an essential part of American journalism since the cooperative was established more than a century and a half ago.

But editors and publishers at some other papers have become vocal critics of the way The A.P. operates, saying that it charges more than they can afford, delivers too little of what they need and — particularly galling to them — is sometimes acting as their competitor on the Internet.

“They seem to have forgotten that they are there to serve us,” said Benjamin J. Marrison, editor of The Dispatch.

This summer, dissatisfied with the way The A.P. handles local news, eight papers in Ohio formed a cooperative to share articles, and some of those papers say they might drop the wire service. Newspapers in Pennsylvania are exploring a similar arrangement.

“We’re facing terrible economic challenges, so naturally we’re looking at one of our biggest costs,” said David Shribman, executive editor of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The editors in Ohio, in particular, say The A.P. has retreated from one of its traditional roles: producing a lot of routine, breaking-news articles.

Why don't more papers do that on a regional/national scale by combining their articles and then either pay by article or a fee to cover costs. I am sure Google would be happy to run that database and then you can cut AP out all together.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Anti-Muslim attack faked by student.

Crime: Whenever you read about some college student/professor getting attacked due to race or religion, it seems to end up being faked.

A Muslim student who said a masked gunman assaulted her after he wrote anti-Islamic slurs in a women's restroom at Elmhurst College was arrested Friday after an investigation concluded the attack never happened.

A week after the case roiled the small college, Elmhurst Police Chief Steven Neubauer said Safia Jilani, 19, of Oak Brook had been booked on a felony charge of filing a false police report, which is punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison.

Jilani reported Oct. 9 that the man beat her with the gun in the college's science center, authorities said. Anti-Muslim graffiti was written on the wall, similar to a threat written on the same student's locker the previous week.

...On campus Friday, Rocio Zapata, 26, a senior business administration major, said she had been fearful after the report.

"I'm appalled," Zapata said. "I don't understand why someone would make such a horrible accusation like that."

Richie Palys, 18, a freshman jazz studies major, said he could not make sense of Jilani's arrest.

"We had a rally," he said. "People cried over what happened, and her best friends gave speeches for her. I don't even know what to believe anymore."

She was a quick celeb cause for CAIR and others which as usual blows up in their face.

Confirmed: Under 30 age group money grubbing parasites.

Nation: It looks like Generation X is the last great work hard group in American history as Generation Y have come around to loving taking money from people who are successful to spread around the wealth.

John McCain now says it's socialism, but Barack Obama insists, "When you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

Forty-four percent (44%) of voters agree with Obama’s statement while 42% disagree in a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Democrats think their candidate is right, but 78% of Republicans disagree.

While Obama was campaigning recently, a plumber’s assistant named Joe Wurzelbacher asked the Democratic presidential nominee a critical question about his tax policy. Obama defended the policy, saying in part, "When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” McCain brought the incident up in the final presidential debate last Wednesday, and "Joe the Plumber" suddenly was a central figure in the closing days of the presidential campaign.

A majority of those who earn less than $40,000 a year agree with Obama about spreading the wealth around, while most of those who earn more than that disagree. Entrepreneurs are strongly opposed while a slight plurality of government employees agree.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters under 30 agree with Obama’s statement while 33% disagree. A plurality of those over 30 take the opposite view.

So under 30 and a majority who earn less than $40,000 a year have come around to the class warfare gimmick of liberals. I say it right now, this is the year that America collapses into just an average nation. The future generations of this country do not have the ability to be self-sufficient or think of being exceptional in the world because they have been taught that is bad/evil/wrong. Now they shown they want to be given other people success because its just not fair.

Stone's "W" disappoints white liberals/Bush haters.

Entertainment: Via Finke. White liberals came out and did not get what they wanted from the film.

EXCLUSIVE: *I've learned that the exit polling showed that among W. filmgoers, 89% disapprove of Bush. In addition, 78% are voting for Obama, 6% are voting for McCain, and 6% don't know. Moviergoers were 52%/48% male vs female. And a whopping 47% were over age 40. The audience was overwhelmingly liberal at 55%, followed by moderates at 31%, conservatives at 10%, and those who don't care about politics 5%. The audience was primarily white at 66%, with African Americans at 10% and all other ethnic groups less than 10%.

Most attended because of the prospect of making fun of Bush (42%), or because of Oliver Stone as director (41%), or because the preview looked good (39%), or because of the prospect of humor (33%). In terms of expectations, only 27% felt the movie was better than expected, with 38% feeling it was not as good as expected (this was consistent across all groups, especially liberals), and 35% felt it was as good as expected. Those who disapprove of Bush felt very strongly that the movie was not as good as expected.*

The incredible shrinking Episcopal Church.

Religion: Only in America as liberal doctrine has taken over with dioceses looking to leave this nonsense.

The shrinking Episcopal Church (2.4 million members, down from 3.5 million at its peak in 1965) is a small sliver of the worldwide Anglican communion (at least 77 million and expanding rapidly). Its travails are, Duncan says, yet another lingering echo of the 1960s.

"....Today, the typical Anglican is a middle-aged African woman. The burgeoning Nigerian church says that it has 20 million members; Duncan believes it may have 25 million but perhaps chooses to underreport so as not to exacerbate tensions with Nigerian Muslims.

In London, more Muslims attend Friday prayers than Anglicans attend Sunday services. Last December, on the Sunday after former prime minister Tony Blair was received into the Catholic Church, more Catholics than Anglicans attended services in England, an increasingly common occurrence now, five centuries after the Reformation.

"I think," Duncan says, "the 21st century will be for the archbishop of Canterbury what the 20th century was for the royal family." That is, an era of diminution.

Because Protestantism has no structure of authority comparable to the Vatican and because it does not merely tolerate but enjoins individual judgments by "the priesthood of all believers" concerning beliefs and obligations, all Protestants are potential Luthers. Hence it is evidence of spiritual vigor that Episcopalians in Quincy, Ill., and Fort Worth will vote on disassociation from the U.S. communion on Nov. 7 and Nov. 14, respectively.

The Episcopal Church once was America's upper crust at prayer. Today it is "progressive" politics cloaked -- very thinly -- in piety. Episcopalians' discontents tell a cautionary tale for political as well as religious associations. As the church's doctrines have become more elastic, the church has contracted. It celebrates an "inclusiveness" that includes fewer and fewer members. "

All you need to know about how far the Church leadership in America has fallen is the delayed reaction to the goof in Seattle that declared she was an Episcopal Priest and also a Muslim. That is just one of the signs you have lost your way and now just a place for liberals to get a religious tag.

So...Colin Powell still a house negro?

Politics: Before the endorsement of Obama the black intelligentsia of America and liberals were not happy with him or Condi.

This video was shot by WKRN Video Journalist Beau Fleenor at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Question: "Rev. Al Sharpton, Do you believe that political leaders such as Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell are viewed as "house negroes" by other African Americans, by going along with the President against their beliefs?"

Black Commentator:

Harry Belafonte is an icon in Black America, especially among those who remember his deep involvement in our struggles over the decades. When he called Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell "house Negroes," only a minority of Black people were upset. And George Bush's name is anathema to the vast bulk of African Americans, especially after Katrina. Belafonte can say anything he wants about Bush, and most of us will applaud.

Just asking the question I need to have an updated list of who has the "Ghetto Pass" or not.

UK: Human tissue to be taken without consent

UK: This is what happens when you have officials who live in a moral void. That this is even considered shows the UK going towards a world they help defeat decades ago.

The passage through Parliament of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill has been dogged by controversy. Failed attempts to outlaw late abortion have dominated the debate, while scientists, medical ethics experts and religious leaders have clashed over the hybrid embryo issue.

Defenders of the bill have repeatedly stressed the importance of gaining consent from anyone whose tissue is taken for the creation of human/animal hybrid embryos.

It can now be revealed that a Government amendment, agreed after the main parliamentary debates, would allow tissue to be used from people who lack the "mental capacity" to give consent, children whose parents give permission, and anyone who has previously donated samples to hospitals for medical research but can no longer be traced.

Medical ethics experts and religious leaders are furious that the provisions, which they say ride roughshod over basic human rights, have already been agreed by an all-party committee of 17 MPs charged with scrutinising the bill, without any public debate or discussion in the main chambers of Parliament.

Prof David Jones, director of the Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies at St Mary's University College, London, said: "In May we had a public debate about whether or not it is a good thing to create hybrid embryos.

"Now it transpires that just weeks later, with no public debate at all, the Government inserted these amendments which cross a fundamental line in medical ethics by presuming consent in many cases. I think it is totally objectionable, and I really worry that this will create a backlash against medical research."

Colin Powell/Smerconish love them some Obama.

Politics: That will be the only time in net history those two names will be in the same header but the problem with both is there is the same dreamy hope and pray especially with Smerconish condescending endorsment of Obama that defines reality.

Powell I am not surprised(Malkin has the roundup of why ) with since he is a moderate Republican and at least he has come out now with his disdain for conservatism which has been known for a while if you followed his public statements on matters such as affirmative action. This will help Obama among centrists so expect 48 hours of Powell mania among the press and some damage control.

Obama fanatic not charged with threat over Calvin peeing on Obama.

Politics: A follow up on this story where Chynethia Gragg "accosted " a man with an anti-Obama sticker.

Fort Bend County authorities said Thursday they have dropped criminal charges against a woman who confronted a pickup driver about a bumper sticker that depicted a little boy urinating on the name "Obama."

Angry words, maybe, but no immediate threat to do serious bodily harm. That was the conclusion of the District Attorney's Office in dismissing a terroristic threat charge that grew out of the July dispute.

Chynethia Gragg was arrested after Sugar Land police said she accosted Plantation Bend resident Doug McKain, who had the anti-Obama sticker on his truck.

District Attorney John Healey said the misdemeanor charge against Gragg has been dropped. In court documents, McKain said Gragg confronted him, pledging she would "get someone to take care of him later" if he didn't remove the sticker.

Some Muslims get upset over insults to Allah and Mohammed.

Obama supporters are moving up that ladder of fanatism at breakneck speed.