Saturday, November 15, 2008

Obama's slum lord WH senior adviser.

Politics: Chicago is coming to Washington.

President-elect Barack Obama is naming his longtime friend and supporter Valerie Jarrett to be his White House senior adviser.

Jarrett, who hired Michelle Obama for a job in the Chicago mayor's office years ago, is one of the president-elect's closest friends and advisers. Her name has been floated for several top administration jobs. But Obama settled on the senior adviser role, said a person close to the president-elect and willing to speak only on background because the decision has not been officially announced.

A White House senior adviser can handle a range of duties. President George W. Bush's top political aide Karl Rove held the title in the current administration.

Jarrett has a background in real estate and politics in Chicago.

And in the game of what is AP leaving out of the story?

Grim proving ground for Obama's housing policy
The candidate endorsed subsidies for private entrepreneurs to build low-income units. But, while he garnered support from developers, many projects in his former district have fallen into disrepair.

....Grove Parc and several other prominent failures were developed and managed by Obama's close friends and political supporters. Those people profited from the subsidies even as many of Obama's constituents suffered. Tenants lost their homes; surrounding neighborhoods were blighted.

Some of the residents of Grove Parc say they are angry that Obama did not notice their plight. The development straddles the boundary of Obama's state Senate district. Many of the tenants have been his constituents for more than a decade.

"No one should have to live like this, and no one did anything about it," said Cynthia Ashley, who has lived at Grove Parc since 1994.

.....Among those tied to Obama politically, personally, or professionally are:

Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama's presidential campaign and a member of his finance committee. Jarrett is the chief executive of Habitat Co., which managed Grove Parc Plaza from 2001 until this winter and co-managed an even larger subsidized complex in Chicago that was seized by the federal government in 2006, after city inspectors found widespread problems.

Prop 8 opponents not protesting black churches.

Nation: Joking or not, Greg Gutfeld seems to be right, I haven't seen the same amount of anger and effort towards black churches like I have seen against Mormon churches. I wonder why?

So a gaggle of gays hit the streets of L.A., pissed off about Prop 8, which reversed the right to same-sex marriage. They've been venting their rage at white churches, but oddly, not the black ones.

I say "oddly" because 78 percent of blacks are Protestant and most oppose gay marriage. For them, homosexuality is a sin. I don't agree, but then again, I'm a heathen who once bought an adjustable bed for recreational reasons.

The fact is, gays aren't picketing black churches because that would be hard and scary. Any moron who remembers Eddy Murphy's stand-up routine knows that blacks haven't always warmed to gay causes. They probably also don't enjoy comparisons between their civil rights struggle and gays not being allowed to marry. Yeah, I know gays have been treated like crap over the years, but they were never slaves, unless it was requested on Craigslist.

But, maybe instead of marching down Sunset on a Sunday, gays should hit the churches, community meetings and the like to promote their cause. It's what decent folk do to get their point across.

Now this is correct even on the Tom Joyner show with DL Hughley last Thursday they were bitching about gays liking their struggle to the civil rights movement which was always a stupid idea.

Prop 8 opponents continue religious bigotry and terrorist activities.

Nation: It seems tolerance and right to protest means harassing people for their political activities, if this was the other side there would be indignant op-ed peaces about intolerance. But since it is Prop 8 opponents, its a-okay. Religious discrimination and terrorist activites against churches is the in thing.

Employees of the Los Angeles restaurant that came under fire this week after a manager gave $100 to the campaign to ban same-sex marriage in California said they had made a $500 contribution to the advocacy group that is raising money to challenge Proposition 8.

The Thursday online donation to Equality California, an advocacy group for the gay and lesbian community, came at precisely 7:22:03 p.m., about 22 minutes into a planned demonstration outside the restaurant's doors for the second night in a row.

"It will go toward our work, and our work includes working to overturn Proposition 8," said Ali Bay, a spokeswoman for Equality California. "We're working legislatively and through the courts to promote equality for the [lesbian and gay] community."

Over the last week, online social networking sites and blogs have urged people to boycott El Coyote Mexican Cafe on Beverly Boulevard because of the $100 donation by Marjorie Christoffersen, a manager at the restaurant and a daughter of El Coyote's owner, who is Mormon,

Christoffersen, also Mormon, met with protesters Wednesday, and at one point broke down in tears. But some activists said they still faulted her for making the donation.

Theater official quits over anti-gay donation
The Associated Press - Nov 12, 2008

Campbell councilman reports threats of recall about Prop. 8 position

Prop. 8 Anger Spurs Donor Blacklists
CBS News, NY - Nov 13, 2008Supporters of same sex marriage have started posting the names and businesses of those who gave money in support of Proposition 8

Mormon Churches targeted.

Mormon temples are on high alert, after two churches recieve suspicious evelopes containing white powder.

The church has been targeted over thier support on Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage in the state of California.

The FBI is investigating, but so far there are no clues to who is behind the attack.

The evelopes arrived in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. The Mormon Temple in LA was closed as a precaution.

Prop. 8 result energizes gay-rights supporters

Legal experts say the state Supreme Court is not likely to reject Proposition 8 because the measure amended the state Constitution, defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

Conservative blogger Jon Fleischman predicted last week that Supreme Court justices would face a recall drive within days if they throw out Proposition 8. And if an overturning measure qualifies for the 2010 ballot, it would appear alongside the re-election bid of Chief Justice Ronald George, who wrote the majority opinion legalizing same-sex marriage in May.

Much of the anger over Proposition 8 has been directed at the Mormon church, whose members have contributed between $10 million and $20 million to the Yes on 8 campaign, according to various news reports.

Vandalism and chants of “Mormon scum” were reported at some churches. Twice in the past week, the San Diego temple has attracted street protests.

Some activists are using online boycott lists and other means to target individual donors to the Yes on 8 campaign, including San Diego hotel magnate Doug Manchester and Terry Caster, owner of the locally based A-1 Self-Storage chain.

Fred Karger of Californians Against Hate, a San Diego nonprofit that has been organizing protests against Yes on 8 contributors since July, said the election result jump-started what he regarded as a lackadaisical effort by gay-rights supporters.

Eurozone Slips Into Recession for the First Time

Europe: If the Euros want to blame us, fine. If we go down then we are taking a whole bunch of you with us!

Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if America gets out of this recession first since European policies does not lend itself to a flexibilty in economic policies to get out of a recession faster. That said with UK's Gordon Brown demanding a global tax cut while over here we have politicians demanding tax hikes and bailout I could be wrong.

Hey Obama, lets eliminate our nukes for world peace.

World: The problem with intellectuals is they are really dumb people. Joseph Cirincione over at liberal site Wired News shows a complete lack of understanding people.

On nuclear weaponry, the United States must lead by example. Expect President-elect Barack Obama to call for a nuclear summit of leading nations on practical steps that all can take towards a world without nuclear weapons. Their ultimate elimination should be a core principle of his national security strategy. Look for early talks with Russia on mutual reductions to show we are serious. There are dozens of other steps to take, but cleaning out our own nuclear house would be an important early move.

Stopping new nuclear states and preventing nuclear terrorism will also be at the core of Obama's new, more effective nuclear security policy. Fortunately, Obama developed during the campaign the most comprehensive nuclear policy program any candidate has ever detailed. He now must implement it, beginning with a multi-level effort to prevent nuclear terrorism, then quickly pivoting to preventing new nuclear states and eliminating the 26,000 weapons in global arsenals.

The key to is stop terrorists from getting the stuff for the bomb core—highly enriched uranium or plutonium. No material, no bomb, no nuclear terrorism. Obama pledged to lead a global effort to secure all the weapons materials at vulnerable sites within four years, destroying as much as possible. Look for him to appoint a deputy national security advisor to coordinate the work.

The more countries with weapons, the greater the risk, so expect also a quick start on tough, direct diplomacy to roll back the North Korean nuclear program and preventing a nuclear Iran. He will gain leverage by dealing with our weapons. If we cling to our thousands of hydrogen bombs, how can we convince others that they cannot have one?

Yes, America will destroy their weapons and in a goodwill gesture over our magnanimous gesture, everyone else will follow and world peace will be achieved.

Or more than likely nations will say sure we will and just keep on making new nukes and modernizing their weapon stockpile which is what a smart country would do while laughing at Obama for being a naive idiot.

Bailout plans for stupid homeowners.

Nation: While the people who are trying to do the right thing like responsible home owners and renters who are waiting for the correction get screwed.

Meanwhile, the FDIC put forward a proposal that would tap into the $700 million bailout package and use $24 billion to help households avoid foreclosure. The plan would guarantee 2.2 million modified loans — mainly risky loans made to borrowers with weak credit or small down payments — through the end of next year.

Borrowers would get reduced interest rates or longer loan terms to make their payments more affordable and banks would receive government guarantees that supporters say will make them more willing to modify the loans.

There is supposed to be a bailout plan for student loans and credit cards. I am just not going to pay my bills then, why should I suffer when the bastards up above get their bailout welfare program.

Oprah's dogs going to the Four Seasons!

Nation: I dunno why but this amused me greatly.

A wildfire raging through the celebrity enclave of Montecito on Friday hit too close to home for many stars, who if they were not escaping the flames kept close tabs on its progress from afar.

"Back to the Future" actor Christopher Lloyd reportedly lost his Montecito home in the fire. The small Southern California community, in hills with sweeping ocean views, is also home to talk show host Oprah Winfrey, director Steven Spielberg, comedian Steve Martin and actor Rob Lowe.

Comedian Ellen DeGeneres once owned a multimillion dollar home in the area, but sold it to Google executive Eric Schmidt.

For Winfrey, who was in Chicago working on her show as she monitored the fire's spread near her 42-acre estate, a chief concern was her dogs.

"We already had a plan for getting the dogs out and going to the Four Seasons (hotel) because they take dogs," she said on her talk show on Friday.

"When it's in your neighborhood, when it's your friends, when it's your house you feel differently about it. You see it differently," she said.

Nestled at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, Montecito is only about 90 miles from Los Angeles and entertainers happily call the quiet and peaceful community of 10,000 residents home.

But that quiet was shattered by the wildfire, which started on Thursday evening and destroyed more than 100 homes over 2,000 acres overnight.

They are going to get doggy massages from the inconvenience.

500K illegal immigrants defying deportation orders

Immigration: No one enforces these orders on them so why wouldn't illegal aliens give the finger to get out?

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has stepped up efforts to catch fugitive aliens, as they are known, and now has about 100 "fugitive operations teams" around the country. In the past year, the teams have made 34,000 arrests, more than double the number two years ago. But there are still 560,000 such immigrants in the U.S.

Fugitive aliens include people who, like Obama's aunt, sought asylum in the United States but were rejected and ordered to leave the country. Others were caught entering or living in this country illegally, and failed to show at their deportation hearings.

Often, illegal immigrants who have been issued deportation notices are given a certain amount of time to get out of the country on their own. They are not forcibly put aboard a plane; these deportations essentially operate on the honor system.

Generally, if these immigrants stay out of trouble - if they don't get pulled over by police or swept up in a workplace raid, for example - they are in little danger of being thrown out of the country.

That galls many immigration reform advocates, who say the practice breeds disrespect for the law and emboldens immigrants to sneak in and stay.

"We are strong believers of enforcement of our immigration laws, and this is a priority area for getting the message across to this country, that if they've been convicted of committing crimes or if they have been ordered deported, that they will be apprehended if they try to hide and continue to stay in the country," said Jack Martin of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

The upside is Obama will hand out amnesty to them and over 12 million other illegals so this won't be a problem anymore.

Auto Makers bailout bill debate Monday, test vote Tuesday!

Nation: Time to nip this nonsense in the ass, you cannot bailout out the Big 3 in Detroit on the basis they are too big to fail. At most these billions of dollars are just giving them a few months unless they change the way they do business and the unions get their head out of their behinds.


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat, on Friday said the U.S. auto bailout proposal in the Senate is $25 billion now but the final amount is being negotiated.

Stabenow also said the auto bailout proponents need 12 Republican votes in Senate, virtually all Senate Democrats back plan.


Struggling to keep alive a government bailout of the troubled auto industry, key supporters offered concessions Friday — including reducing its $25 billion size. The White House came out firmly against a Democratic plan to carve it out of a $700 billion rescue package for financial companies.

The measure gained important ground among Republicans on Capitol Hill, where at least a dozen to 15 GOP votes in the Senate will be needed to prevent opponents from blocking it in the Senate. The focal vote on that could occur as early as next Wednesday.

Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri became the second Republican to publicly voice support for the idea, joining Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio. Both states have major auto plants. Several other GOP senators signaled they might accept a rescue for Detroit's Big Three if it contained strict conditions for the beleaguered companies, including management and salary changes, concessions from their powerful unions, and a commitment to making more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Alan Reuther, the United Auto Workers union's legislative director, said one option under consideration was a smaller, more targeted amount of funding "that would get the companies through to March." He said the union was "open to discussing various options like that. There's a need for immediate action."

The unions are not serious, they want to get a little something until Obama comes in and then they can shape another bill to really steal from the taxpayers. If they were serious they would have stepped up with hard concessions and change they and management do business. I have yet to see anything like that from them.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Drop Dead Detroit, California, Auto Makers, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Atlanta.

Nation: This is damn ridiculous on many levels.

The Detroit City Council passed a resolution today calling for a $10-billion bailout for the city of Detroit.

Council President Pro Tem JoAnn Watson sponsored the resolution to use the money for public service employment, to fund mass transit plans and to place a moratorium on home foreclosures for two years.

The resolution specifically requests the council meet with Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr., Gov. Jennifer Granholm, the state’s congressional delegation, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and officials from President George W. Bush’s office and President-Elect Barack Obama’s transition team.

Watson said she fully supports mayors from Warren, Sterling Heights, Livonia and Dearborn meeting with representatives from Granholm’s office, the state’s congressional delegation, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments and the Michigan Municipal League, seeking federal redevelopment funding for communities facing huge losses in property tax revenue affected by looming plant closures.

But, she said, “The city of Detroit has got to be leading the way on this.”

Big 3 Automakers:

Doubts about the prospects for a $25-billion rescue of Detroit's automakers grew louder Thursday, as opponents decried yet another bailout and even supporters questioned whether the idea could win enough backing in Congress to pass next week.

The complications developed during a hectic day of meetings among lawmakers weighing not just where the money would come from, but whether the industry deserved help at all. Automakers and the UAW are scheduled to have two chances to make their case before Congress leaves for the year -- once in a Tuesday hearing in the Senate, and again Wednesday in the House.

While Democratic leaders, Michigan lawmakers and senators from states with large auto manufacturing sites back the plan, many Senate Republicans said the proposal raises serious questions about how far the government should go in bailing out failing firms. Even Senate Republicans who supported the financial industry rescue were noncommittal at best about an auto industry bailout Thursday.


Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, a Los Angeles Democrat, has drawn up a partial solution anyway: Federal money.

Use some of those Wall Street taxpayer $700 billion bailout bucks on California!

Bass has urged the federal government to hand over the money to states -- well, her state anyway -- as well as those rich Wall Street banks in another coastal state. Why should New York get it all?

With federal money it won't really cost anything, see? And she won't have to explain voting for more taxes back home come next election. It's the least Americans can do for the sunshiney state they love to hate.

"We think that with the state of California about to go over a cliff," Bass says, "we ought to be part of the bailout as well. Can we have $5 billion or $10 billion?"

Philadelphia, Phoenix and Atlanta:

Three major American cities buffeted by the global financial crisis are requesting at least $50 billion in federal funds to help pay for infrastructure improvements, pensions and short-term borrowing.

Philadelphia, Phoenix and Atlanta are asking U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to release funds from the $700 billion financial bailout authorized by Congress last month.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter will hand-deliver the request to Paulson on Friday, spokesman Luke Butler said. Five or six other cities, including Chicago, may also sign on, Butler added.

Participating cities are asking Paulson to set up a $50 billion fund to rebuild infrastructure.

The fund would consist of $25 billion in grant money for cities that are unwilling or unable to take on debt, and another $25 billion for loans to cities at an interest rate of 50 basis points above that of 30-year Treasury bonds.

In order to fully fund pension obligations, the cities are also seeking loans of an unspecified amount to cover pension liabilities that have become increasingly expensive because of a decline in investments with the slump in global markets.

To all of these people just go screw. I knew this would happen when the bailout bill was first annouced, every screwed fiscally irresponsible city and industry would be whining for some federal money. None of them deserve it. California made its own mess over decades and even now refuses to cut spending while wanting to raise more taxes.

Detroit and the auto makers are tied together in creating their own mess but now want to be bailed out while refusing to fix the conditions that got them here in the first place. Any money for the automakers will just be a band-aid and not a solution.

The same goes for the any other city, when the economy was booming they spent beyond their means and refused to be responsible with their money. Now they want the rest of the nation to cover up their problems like a drunk asking not to get charged with a DUI.

To all of them in the legendary words of the New York Daily News.

Drop Dead.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

China mulls crackdown on lip-synching

Entertainment: I am strangely in favor of this crackdown.

China plans to punish singers who lip-synch for "cheating the public," the ministry of culture said Thursday.
A draft set of rules for commercial performances published on its website stipulates that artistes must not "use pre-recorded songs or music to replace live singing or instrument playing" to "cheat the public."

Those who are caught in the act will be punished, the rules say, without specifying what the penalties will be.

"We're seeking input from the public about this regulation," a spokeswoman for the ministry, who did not want to be named, told AFP.

Obama's car czar and congestion charges plans?

Politics: Via Instapundit.

NOW, A "CAR CZAR"? While I of course back the trend of putting law professors in charge of absolutely everything 100%, I repeat my earlier question: When have we ever solved anything with one of these "czar" positions?

Plus, is the Obama Transition Team looking at implementing "congestion charges" on U.S. roads?

"The new programs would be paid for with massive new tax hikes, including a per-mile driving tax that would begin with 'proof of concept' trials as early as 2010. The tax would initially be one cent per mile to generate an estimated $32.4b a year. An extra one cent per gallon in the federal gasoline tax would generate another $1.8b, and a national sales tax on cars of one percent would generate $7.6b."

Would this offset the promised tax cuts for 95%?

What a liberal giveth, a liberal will taketh away. You may get a tax cut in one place but its basically a shell game to take away from you some place else that you wouldn't notice or think its not that bad an idea.

Maryland group unveils dumb universal health care plan.

Nation: This is a winning plan, raise taxes on everyone and then subsidize the poor. A very compassionate plan that skips over the fact it would run business out of Maryland, raise prices for everyone on the income scale and generally piss people off.

Maryland health advocates unveiled a $15.5 billion proposal yesterday for universal health care that would subsidize insurance coverage for low-income residents with a payroll tax and increases to cigarette and alcohol taxes.

The Maryland Citizens Health Initiative also calls for mandated coverage for those who do not get it through their employer. The group pledged that the policies would be more affordable than they are now.

The coalition of labor groups, churches, businesses and community organizations consulted with health policy experts from the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The plan aims to build on two programs the General Assembly passed last year, an expansion of the federal-state Medicaid program for the poor and subsidies to some small businesses to help them afford insurance.

But lawmakers and even the advocates acknowledged that the plan has no chance for passage soon.

"We don't expect it to pass in 2009," said Vincent DeMarco, president of the nonprofit Baltimore-based group. "This is the beginning of a campaign."

Federal Bailout May Include Credit Card, Loan Companies

Nation: I think we have covered everyone but the actual taxpayers who are funding this locust plague.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said today his priority for the $700 billion bailout program will be to bolster banks and consumer lenders, such as credit card, student loan and car loan companies, rather than supporting other struggling industries.

Paulson said officials are also seeking ways to help the nation's struggling homeowners, but he offered no new plan for how the government money might be used to stem the foreclosure crisis. Some of the existing proposals for homeowners, he warned, amounted to a subsidy or spending program, while Treasury's program involves "investment, not spending."

Notably absent from his list of priorities were the nation's automakers, or any other industry beyond banks and other lenders.

The announcement follows weeks in which representatives of the auto industry and other fields, as well as groups representing homeowners, have made a pitch for aid from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Paulson was given broad authority under the legislation to determine how to spend the money.

U.S. backs away from plan to buy bad assets

Politics: At least one piece of good news though I have a feeling this is going to be done in a back hand sort of way.

The Bush administration on Wednesday largely abandoned its plan to buy up toxic mortgage assets and said it will focus its $700 billion financial bailout fund on making direct investments in financial institutions and shoring up consumer credit markets.

The U.S. Treasury Department initially promoted the financial rescue package approved by Congress last month as a vehicle to buy illiquid mortgage assets from banks and other institutions to spur fresh lending.

However, that plan never got off the ground and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told a news conference asset purchases were not the most effective use of the funds.

"This is not going to be the focus," he said. Paulson added, however, that the Treasury would continue to examine the usefulness of "targeted" purchases.

Treasury has already tapped the fund to inject capital into banks and ailing insurer American International Group. Paulson said he was considering a second round of preferred share purchases in both banks and non-bank institutions which, in a fresh twist, would match privately raised funds.

That is going to be the credit cards and other financial businesses, so money in the left hand goes to the right and we still bailing out everyone who whines.

Auto Makers bailout gains steam!

Politics: THe " We are too big to fail" argument is scaring people which means as early as next week taxpayers are going to prop up yet another failed business model.

Congressional Democrats are pushing legislation to send $25 billion in emergency loans to the beleaguered auto industry in exchange for a government ownership stake in the Big Three car companies.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., hope for quick passage of the auto bailout during a postelection session that begins Monday.

Legislation being drafted by Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Sen. Carl M. Levin, D-Mich., would dip into the $700 billion Wall Street rescue money, approved by Congress last month, for the auto aid.

...Pressure is building on lawmakers in both parties to back a more sweeping rescue that could extend far beyond the Big Three. Auto suppliers, which represent the largest manufacturing sector in several politically important states, including McConnell's, are clamoring for a piece of any rescue.

"There's so much connection between the buyers and the manufacturers that we feel that the program has to be inclusive," said Ann Wilson of the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association. Suppliers are also the dominant manufacturing presence in Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Illinois, she noted.

There you go, we have to be "inclusive."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Obama looks to Iran to help on Afghanistan.

Terrorism: Yeaaaah...I believe if he is goofy enough to follow on this plan he is going to be very disappointed.

Aides said the incoming Democratic president wants to explore a more regional strategy in Afghanistan, including the possibility of negotiations with Tehran.

During the campaign, Mr Obama described Afghanistan as the central front in the war on terror.

He also said he was open to unconditional talks with Iran, later adjusting his position to say that proper groundwork would have to be in place first.

Aides also revealed he intended to renew the commitment to hunting down Osama bin Laden.

Security advisers to the president-elect were quoted as saying Mr Obama believes the Bush administration has scaled down the hunt for the al-Qaeda leader after years of failing to apprehend him.

US intelligence officials however have said that the search for bin Laden is as intensive, and warned that his group's threat would endure without him.

"This [al-Qaeda] is our enemy," a senior adviser told the Washington Post. "And [bin Laden] should be our principal target."

Elements of the Iranian establishment have at different times supplied different militias in Afghanistan, including recently the Taliban.

Mr Obama is also committed to incorporating Pakistan in a solution that deals with its Taliban safe havens in its tribal areas that border Afghanistan.

His administration is almost certain to send at least 10,000 more US troops to Afghanistan, in keeping with his campaign promises to draw down forces in Iraq. But he will also increase pressure on European states present in Afghanistan but not involved in the fighting to dispatch forces to conflict zones.

Pakistan cannot deal with the tribal areas until the tribes themselves realize their guests are unworthy of their hospitality. Iran's have enough hardliners that fighting against the Taliban is a non-starter. Europe love affair with Obama will end the second he demands more troops.

White House Scales Back a Mortgage Relief Plan

Nation: Thankfully. I am not opposed to a bailout plan that insists on the borrowers to pay something back, but there are just some loans especially the subprime ones that should not be cut down to nothing letting the lenders and borrowers escape responsibility.

The Bush administration is backing away from proposals to have the government refinance a broad swath of homeowners who face foreclosure after taking out subprime mortgages and other high-risk loans over the last few years.

The clearest sign of retreat came on Tuesday, when administration officials announced a much more limited plan to help people who have become seriously delinquent on conventional loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-controlled mortgage finance companies.

The plan announced on Tuesday could lead to lower monthly payments for several hundred thousand homeowners, according to officials. But it would have virtually no impact on the millions of people who took out expensive subprime loans and who are at the heart of the nation’s foreclosure crisis.

The plan fell well short of one championed by the chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Sheila C. Bair. As recently as two weeks ago, Ms. Bair thought she was close to an agreement with the Treasury Department on a plan to spend as much as $50 billion to modify mortgages and keep people in their homes.

But people close to Ms. Bair said Treasury officials broke off the discussion early last week.

Shortly after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced their new plan, Ms. Bair declared that it was inadequate and pointedly said that the government had spent hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out financial institutions like American International Group, the giant insurer.

The plan “falls short of what is needed to achieve wide-scale modifications of distressed mortgages,” Ms. Bair said in a written statement on Tuesday. “As we lend and invest hundreds of billions of dollars to help institutions suffering leveraged losses from defaulting mortgages, we must also devote some of that money to fixing the front-end problem: too many unaffordable home loans.”

Sun-Sentinel is claiming this program will help in South Florida. Wrong. Most of the people will still default and the mass majority of people who are paying on time will be footing the bill.

GM pleads for bailout. Just Say No.

Business: All any bailout money will do is prop up and gloss over the problems that have to be fixed now. After decades of foolishness by GM and the Unions, it is time for a change. What? Oh you liked that pun, admit it.

Without a loan, GM is in danger of running out of cash. It is going through $2.3 billion a month, up from $1 billion a month earlier this year. The automaker is taking a variety of steps to conserve cash -- including scaling back production, cutting jobs and benefits, putting divisions up for sale. It still expects to have barely the minimum amount of money necessary to operate its business through the end of the year. Next year looks even bleaker.

GM is lobbying for enough money to tide it over until 2010, when it shifts the multibillion dollar annual cost of retiree health benefits to an independent trust as part of an agreement with its labor unions. In the meantime, it is exploring all options to prevent a bankruptcy filing.

"We're convinced that the consequences of bankruptcy would be dire and extend far beyond General Motors, and therefore, we are going to take every action we possibly can to avoid it," GM chairman and chief executive G. Richard Wagoner Jr. told investors Friday after he reported that GM burned through $6.9 billion in the third quarter.

A GM bankruptcy would reverberate through the U.S. economy, GM supporters contend. One in 10 American jobs is related to auto manufacturing. Automakers are the biggest buyers of U.S.-manufactured steel, aluminum, iron, copper, plastics, rubber and electronics.

Tens of thousands of suppliers and dealers depend on the automakers. Bankruptcy could push suppliers into bankruptcy as well, hurting other automakers who depend on them for similar parts.

A failure at GM, which represents about half of the U.S. auto industry, could eliminate 2.5 million jobs and $125 billion in personal income in the first year, according to a report published last week by the Center for Automotive Research. In three years, the government's tax loss could total more than $108.1 billion.

Others, however, argue that bankruptcy would not be nearly as traumatic as Detroit insists.

Under the protection of bankruptcy, GM could trim health and pension benefits, whose costs have been dragging down Motor City's cost competitiveness versus foreign automakers. The process would allow GM to shrink its network of dealerships, overriding state laws that would otherwise make such a reduction an expensive headache.

GM could then take steps to retool plants and slash unprofitable brands.

If all these terms could be arranged ahead of time, in a prepackaged bankruptcy, GM could soldier on without skipping a beat, analysts said.

Rod Lache of Deutsche Bank said in a note last month that many U.S. auto suppliers could survive bankruptcies of the Detroit Three but that their long-term earning power would significantly weaken.

McConnell and Hayden expected to be fired.

Politics: This is an early test if Obama wants to be peacenik in chief or will have two capable people running the intelligence units of this country.

The nation's top two intelligence officers expect to be replaced by President-elect Barack Obama early in his administration, according to senior intelligence officials.

A number of influential congressional Democrats oppose keeping Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and CIA Director Michael V. Hayden in their posts because both have publicly supported controversial Bush administration policies on interrogation and telephone surveillance. One Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee said there is a "consensus" view on the matter.

Other Democrats and many intelligence experts, however, give high marks to the current cadre of intelligence leaders, crediting them with restoring stability and professionalism to a community rocked by multiple scandals in recent years. A government official who has closely followed the evolution in the intelligence leadership in recent years argued that it is important to keep at least a few "seasoned" professionals in place during wartime.

Obama transition officials, who have steadfastly declined to discuss the personnel selection process, said yesterday that no decisions have been made regarding intelligence appointments. McConnell and Hayden, both career intelligence professionals, interpret the Obama team not reaching out to them as a sign that they will not be kept on, intelligence officials said.

Both wish to remain on the job, officials say, though neither has said so publicly, and both think that their early departures could be seen as politicizing their offices and setting a precedent for automatic turnover when the White House changes hands. President Bush's decision to retain George J. Tenet, a Clinton appointee, as CIA director was seen inside the agency as a stabilizing move, after the CIA went through five directors in the 10 years following the Iran-contra affair.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Smary threats towards Ward Connerly on Tom Joyner show.

Media: This morning around 8:15 a.m they had the usual segment with CNN's Roland Martin talking about the drive to get rid of Affirmative Action and how with Obama in office, people against AA will use him as an example. This does not sit well at all with the Tom Joyner Show Crew, Roland Martin and a Dr, Ronald Walters from University of Maryland College Park. They do the usual smearing, implied house negro of both Ward Connerly and Justice Thomas for wanting to away with AA. But the shocking part at the end of the segment with one of the hosts, Sybil Wilkes joking about a drive-by at Ward's house after Tom Joyner asks where does Ward live.


Liberal Black Radio like the Joyner did its parts to whip up and in some cases like Michael Baisden's white woman rape joke to incite their audience. Doing a stupid joke about drive by and half-hearted taking it back is asking for trouble. Conservatives would do well to pay attention to liberal black radio like Joyner instead of the bust that is Air America.

Manny Diaz for White House Office of Urban Policy

Nation: Obama love for big government is growing and now taking a Miami politician to be the head of it. I see many handouts that will not do any good but will look like nice on a pamphlet of accomplishment.

Miami Mayor Manny Diaz -- engineer of downtown's building boom, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, supporter of President-elect Barack Obama -- may soon add a new title for his résumé: member of Obama's administration.

City Hall has been abuzz this week with word that Diaz is being considered for a high-level post with the new president. Obama's transition team did not respond to a phone call or e-mail requesting comment, but Diaz Tuesday evening confirmed that a relocation to Washington is possible.

''It's nice to be in the mix; it feels good,'' Diaz said. ``It's an honor.''

The Obama transition team has announced plans to create a new department -- the White House Office of Urban Policy -- that could be a good fit for Diaz, given his position as head of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and tenure in one of the nation's signature cities.

Diaz said he did not know what federal position the Obama team may be considering him for, but he did not rule out any job.

''The country is going through very challenging times right now,'' Diaz said. ``But at the same time that means there's huge opportunities, and you know how I love opportunities.''

Miami Herald living up to its reputation of sucking up to local politicians with that line of a downtown building boom. The same boom that was built on a house of cards that crashed.

Consider the hard bargains being driven by Beverly Hills banker Joel Heffron. On a humid October morning he ventures into Miami's Brickell Avenue financial district to meet with Peter Zalewski, principal at Condo Vultures Realty, a Miami real estate brokerage and consulting firm catering to distressed-property investors. The two are looking for real estate for Heffron's personal portfolio. They size up the luxe lobby of a waterfront high-rise that was the first building on mainland Miami to break $500 a square foot. Now it anchors what Zalewski has christened the Foreclosure District.

Not since a hurricane devastated Miami in 1926 has the city offered so much property at such steep discounts. "You're not going to see a new condo go up in this town for seven years, minimum," says Zalewski. "The common Joe can't get a mortgage, and a 40% downpayment is becoming the rule for anyone who can. But if you have the cash, you can feast like a king."

California faces $28 billion deficit, lets raise taxes!

Nation: Everything but cutting spending because that would not be considered a bold move.

California's budget deficit will grow to $28 billion through June 2010 unless lawmakers take bold action, possibly including a hike in the state income tax, the Legislature's nonpartisan analyst said Tuesday.

The Legislative Analyst's Office urged lawmakers to act immediately on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposals to close the deficit for this fiscal year, projected at $11.2 billion—about 11 percent of the state's general fund. They include a 1 1/2 cent sales tax increase and $4.4 billion in across-the-board spending cuts.

The Schwarzenegger administration had projected a $24.5 billion hole for the rest of this fiscal year and the one that runs from July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010.

But the analyst's office estimates tax revenue will be even lower than the administration expected.

The revenue collapse is so bad that if lawmakers did nothing, the state would face $22 billion shortfalls each year from 2010 to 2014, the analyst's report said.

"With the expected slow recovery of the state's economy, it is imperative that the Legislature attack the grim budget problem aggressively, making permanent improvements to the state's fiscal outlook," wrote Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor.

He said the governor's proposals would address only about half the state's long-term problems.

Taylor proposed raising the state income tax by 5 percent for all taxpayers in 2009. Another option is to boost the licensing fee on vehicles, which Schwarzenegger cut when he took office in 2003. That action cost the state about $6 billion a year.

Barone: Media wanted Palin abortion

Media: I wouldn't have been surprised if this was true that the media could not understand why she would want to have a baby that they don't consider normal.

A roomful of academics erupted in angry boos Tuesday morning after political analyst Michael Barone said journalists trashed Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republicans' vice presidential nominee, because "she did not abort her Down syndrome baby."

Barone said in an e-mail that he "was attempting to be humorous and ... went over the line."

Barone was speaking at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, to the 121st annual meeting of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, which calls itself the nation’s oldest higher-education association.

“The liberal media attacked Sarah Palin because she did not abort her Down syndrome baby," Barone said, according to accounts by attendees. "They wanted her to kill that child. ... I'm talking about my media colleagues with whom I've worked for 35 years.”

Barone, a popular speaker on the paid lecture circuit, is a senior writer for U.S. News & World Report and principal coauthor of “The Almanac of American Politics."

About 500 people were in the room, and some walked out.

Barone did not dispute the accounts of his remarks. Asked about the comments, Barone said in an e-mail that he "was attempting to be humorous and, as many in public do, went over the line."

"Sorry for that," Barone said. "I was trying to focus on press hostility to Palin. I agree with [Washington Post media reporter and CNN 'Reliable Sources' host] Howard Kurtz that the press was much more interested in tracking down negative information on Palin than Obama."

Media Implosion continues, jump for joy.

Media: One bright spot is the MSM circling the drain in this horrible economy.

1) All but two Star-Ledger biz journalists took buyouts

2) Sun-Times Shareholder Calls for Board Changes

3) Two Connecticut Dailies Face Shuttering Unless Buyer is Found

4) 'KC Star' Cuts More Jobs, Considers Plant Sales/Lease-back

5) NYT Co. Takes $166 Million Charge on New England Properties

Obama's economic team = crooks and bumblebums.

Nation: Time for a change back to the same.

It's hard to believe Barack Obama would even think of calling this change.

Take a good look at some of the 17 people our nation's president-elect chose last week for his Transition Economic Advisory Board. And then try saying with a straight face that these are the leaders who should be advising him on how to navigate through the worst financial crisis in modern history.

First, there's former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. Not only was he chairman of Citigroup Inc.'s executive committee when the bank pushed bogus analyst research, helped Enron Corp. cook its books, and got caught baking its own. He was a director from 2000 to 2006 at Ford Motor Co., which also committed accounting fouls and now is begging Uncle Sam for Citigroup- style bailout cash.

Two other Citigroup directors received spots on the Obama board: Xerox Corp. Chief Executive Officer Anne Mulcahy and Time Warner Inc. Chairman Richard Parsons. Xerox and Time Warner got pinched years ago by the Securities and Exchange Commission for accounting frauds that occurred while Mulcahy and Parsons held lesser executive posts at their respective companies.

Mulcahy and Parsons also once were directors at Fannie Mae when that company was breaking accounting rules. So was another member of Obama's new economic board, former Commerce Secretary William Daley. He's now a member of the executive committee at JPMorgan Chase & Co., which, like Citigroup, is among the nine large banks that just got $125 billion of Treasury's bailout budget.

There's More

Obama's economic crew might as well be called the Bailout Bunch.

It gets better as you go along.

Obama unlikely to change Intelligence Policy

Terrorism: Welcome to the real world. All that yapping about change is just that and in the coming year I do see a lot of things the left and Dems whined about to change will all of a sudden become the prudent course of action and policy.

President-elect Barack Obama is unlikely to radically overhaul controversial Bush administration intelligence policies, advisers say, an approach that is almost certain to create tension within the Democratic Party.

Civil-liberties groups were among those outraged that the White House sanctioned the use of harsh intelligence techniques -- which some consider torture -- by the Central Intelligence Agency, and expanded domestic spy powers. These groups are demanding quick action to reverse these policies.

Mr. Obama is being advised largely by a group of intelligence professionals, including some who have supported Republicans, and centrist former officials in the Clinton administration. They say he is likely to fill key intelligence posts with pragmatists.

Via Instapundit.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Is this the start of Bush's rehabilitation?

Whoa, whoa whoa! Pragamatic? Bush’s polices are suddenly pragmatic? What about the incessant ranting for years that Bush had gone far beyond any practical necessity? . . .

Of course, this means that Obama will have to rehabilitate Bush in order to defend his adoption of Bush’s policies. He can’t say that Bush went far beyond necessity and the constitution and then turn around and do the same thing. No, he will patiently explain that it turns out that Bush had most things right and that we need to respect the wise decisions that he made and to finish the work he started.

I predict this will be only one area in which leftist will quickly “re-evaluate” Bush’s legacy. Now that leftists face the same responsibilities that Bush has faced, they will see his actions in a different light. As a result, I predict that Bush will be much better thought of five to ten years down the road than he is today.

Illegal advocates demand Obama pass out citizenships.

Immigration: In his first year no less, lets have that fight in the open.

Dozens of immigrant advocates from across the country convened in Washington today to call on President-elect Barack Obama to halt immigration raids, fulfill campaign pledges to revamp the nation's immigration system and offer the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants a path to citizenship within his first year in office.

The coalition, which includes activists from Los Angeles, New York and the Washington area, also announced plans to mobilize tens of thousands of immigrants and their supporters for a demonstration on the Mall on Jan. 21, the day after Obama's inauguration.

"We voted in the millions and now we're going to demand progress in the millions," said Angelica Salas, director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, at a news conference to publicize the coalition's efforts.`

Monday, November 10, 2008

Say Hell No to Auto Maker Bailout.

Business: Both the companies and the unions got themselves into this mess and both must retool themselves. The main reason for the bailout request is to subsidise the contracts that clearly are not working in today's global economy.

Aside from questions about the wisdom of government intervention or putting taxpayer money at risk, bailing out Detroit could put Washington in the position of subsidizing job losses. The car makers have at least 10 assembly plants more than they need to meet demand, according to Oliver Wyman Consulting. That translates to roughly 30,000 factory jobs plus significant numbers of engineers and other salaried personnel. GM estimates it needs to slash its salaried-employee costs in North America by 30%.

Car makers would likely use federal money to subsidize these job cuts, buying out older workers to make room for new, lower paid replacements.

United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger has said more union concessions are out of the question, union lobbyist Alan Reuther said in an interview with Dow Jones Newswires on Friday. "We feel we've already stepped up" by giving ground last year on future workers' pay and benefits and retiree health care, Mr. Reuther said. The UAW wants assurances a bailout would help secure its members' retirement and health-care benefits.

"Certainly we're speaking to the UAW," a senior Obama aide said Sunday.

Say Hell No and up yours. The auto industry needs to be revamped not proped up by our taxpayer money.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

More on New Zealand's new leader, John Key.

Politics: Anything to be learned here for the GOP?

New Zealand entered a new era of conservative rule Sunday, with incoming Prime Minister John Key promising to be a moderate amid fears some of the country's policies on global warming and indigenous people could be rolled back.

Voters on Saturday elected the wealthy former currency market trader to lead them through a recession worsening because of the global financial meltdown, handing long-serving Prime Minister Helen Clark and her central-left Labour Party a crushing defeat.

Key said Sunday he hoped his National Party and coalition partners would be sworn into government within about a week so he can attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit of Pacific Rim leaders in Peru on Nov. 22-23. The financial crisis will top the summit agenda.

In nine years in power, Clark helped build New Zealand's reputation as one of the world's greenest and most socially progressive societies, based around the South Pacific nation's rugged "Lord of the Rings" landscape and strong indigenous Maori culture.

Key campaigned as a moderate, but his policies include plans to eventually abolish special parliamentary seats for Maori and making the country's greenhouse gas emission trading scheme more favorable to business.

On Sunday, he promised to follow through on tax cuts and pro-business, tough-on-crime policies that include registering the DNA of any suspect arrested for an imprisonable crime.

"I don't believe we need to be radical," Key told the TV One network in one of a round of media appearances Sunday. "I've made it quite clear I want to run a center-right government, a moderate government."


A politician for only six years, Mr Key, 47, will be a very different kind of leader not just from the formidable Ms Clark, who ran the country for nearly a decade, but also from his predecessors at the top of the conservative National party.

He has been called New Zealand’s David Cameron and, like the Tory party leader, he has moved his party towards the centre, abandoning its harder-edged policies. However, in an interview with The Times he admitted that while he “likes David a lot”, it is Tony Blair that he really admires, even though his party is ideologically closer to the Conservatives.

.....In New Zealand’s fiercely egalitarian society, his wealth has engendered respect rather than resentment. While the business community admires his financial acumen – he also spent two years on the Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York – those at the lower end of the economic spectrum see in him a possibility for them all.

“If he could start poor and get that rich,” said Sandra Bisley, a shop assistant in the wine-growing region of Napier, “then we can too. That’s what I tell the kids.”

In power, he plans, controversially, to restrict Ms Clark’s greenhouse gas emissions-trading scheme to make it more favourable to business, and to cut taxes and government spending. His policies will have to be agreed with ACT and United Future, the two smaller parties that, under New Zealand’s proportional voting system, will form a coalition with National.

Times points out other "conservative" parties that have shifted towards what is considered their nation's center.

Shifting away from the Right

— Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Prime Minister of Sweden, has shifted the conservatives into a centrist position, promising to fix, not dismantle, the cherished welfare system

— Stephen Harper was elected Prime Minister of Canada in 2006 and has positioned himself at the centre of the political spectrum. He oversaw the merger of the Conservatives and Progressive Conservatives to form the Conservative Party of Canada

— Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, governs through a coalition with the Social Democrats. Although head of the conservatives, she is known as the “Green Chancellor” and refused to commit troops in southern Afghanistan.

— François Fillon, the French Prime Minister and President Sarkozy’s right-hand man, sits to the left of Mr Sarkozy’s Union for a Popular Movement party and is a proponent of social inclusiveness.

What is the lesson here? Each of these conservative parties have to deal with the reality of their own political situation. For Conservatives in America there is a litany of problems that need to be fixed along with deciding how to govern. It is not abandoning the right because moving to the center by weakening our positions would be trying to out lib a liberal. That will always be a losing maneuver.

You have to show how conservative values/ideals and sticking to them is the solution for contemporary problems facing the nation today. I am not hopeful we will get the leadership anytime soon for that to be a reality.

Secret order lets U.S. raid al Qaeda around the world

Terrorism: NYTIMES happy to point out that America is striking Al Qaeda whereever they are and that is a good thing.

he United States military since 2004 has used broad, secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against Al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere, according to senior American officials.

These military raids, typically carried out by Special Operations forces, were authorized by a classified order that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld signed in the spring of 2004 with the approval of President George W. Bush, the officials said. The secret order gave the military new authority to attack the Qaeda terrorist network anywhere in the world, and a more sweeping mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the United States.

In 2006, for example, a Navy Seal team raided a suspected militants' compound in the Bajaur region of Pakistan, according to a former top official of the Central Intelligence Agency. Officials watched the entire mission — captured by the video camera of a remotely piloted Predator aircraft — in real time in the CIA's Counterterrorist Center at the agency's headquarters in Virginia 7,000 miles away.

Some of the military missions have been conducted in close coordination with the CIA, according to senior American officials, who said that in others, like the Special Operations raid in Syria on Oct. 26 of this year, the military commandos acted in support of CIA-directed operations.

But as many as a dozen additional operations have been canceled in the past four years, often to the dismay of military commanders, senior military officials said. They said senior administration officials had decided in these cases that the missions were too risky, were too diplomatically explosive or relied on insufficient evidence.

Now that it is public will Obama come out against it?

Christian right regroups.. but into what?

Politics: Typically pundits called Christian Right losers but given they turned out basically the same numbers and got three gay marriage ban passed, they are stronger than ever.

Pundits declared evangelicals among Election Day's losers. Conservative Christian leader James Dobson confessed he was grieving. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State said religious right leaders "kept their own flock in line, but the majority of Americans were unmoved."

But few are writing obituaries this week for the Christian right, which has been wrongly considered dead after setbacks like the demise of the Moral Majority and crumbling of the Christian Coalition.

White evangelicals remain a large, loyal and organized Republican voting bloc that delivered Tuesday for John McCain but could not offset the battery of factors working against Republicans in 2008.

One pressing question in the wake of Barack Obama's historic victory is whether the Christian right can grow its own ranks or take positions with broader appeal. Some Republicans believe a tight embrace of social conservative values turns off independents and moderates, but many Christian right leaders resist compromise and contend that, if anything, the GOP has strayed too far from its principles.

At a crossroads

Once again, conservative evangelicals engaged in politics find themselves at a crossroads.

"Do they want to be an oppositional force, lambasting the administration at every turn, which can help their organizations raise money?" said Mark Rozell, a political science professor at George Mason University. "Or do they find ways to intersect with new leadership and either try to minimize damage to their agenda or move forward issues where they can find consensus? It's an important turning point for the movement."

Exit polls showed McCain carried white evangelicals 74 percent to 24 percent — not far off George Bush's 79 percent to 21 percent margin over John Kerry in 2004.

Six in 10 white evangelicals ranked the economy as their most important issue — slightly less than the voting population as a whole. One difference that emerged was over terrorism: 14 percent of white evangelicals identified that as their top issue, compared with 7 percent of all other voters.

The exit polls did not ask about abortion or gay marriage, but polls throughout the campaign showed those issues ranked low with voters regardless of religion.

Several Christian right leaders, however, dwelled not on the presidential result but on the success in California, Arizona and Florida of constitutional amendments that, in effect, banned gay marriage. In Florida, however, gay marriage wasn't enough to tilt the pivotal battleground state to McCain.

"Conservative politicians lost. Traditional values succeeded," said Tom Minnery, a vice president of Dobson's Focus on the Family. "It ought to tell them to get a clue about the importance of marriage. We were frustrated that Sen. McCain would not speak out about marriage strongly and repeatedly."

Still others pointed to how Hispanics and African-Americans — who overwhelmingly backed Obama — sided with white evangelicals in rejecting gay marriage.

"There is a common thread among these different ethnic groups, and it's church. It's faith," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. "If Republicans want to reach into those ethnic groups, really the only bridge they can cross over are the social issues. But they have to be true to them."

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said immigration is another issue that holds promise.

"Social conservatives are open to some sort of immigration reform that will be far less offensive to Hispanic voters than some of the more nativist forces" within the Republican family, he said.

But make no mistake. These leaders have no intention of shifting focus from their big three issues: abortion, gay marriage and judges.

One of the many mistakes by the GOP over the last couple of years is the amnesty deal sent down and fought for by the Bush Administration. The way to wrongfoot the Dems on this issue is to put out a plan that not only strong enforcement with a path for legalization that is not easy setting out criteria for citizenship that those who have done the process correctly do not have to go thru.

The Dems are eager to legalize the over 12-15 million illegals in this country and will overreach. The GOP needs on this issue and others to not only object but put their own plans forward to show the difference between the two parties.

As for the Christian Right, they will only grow stronger because they are finally realizing how to politic and the result is the marriage bans. They realized that Obama would bring out social conservatives minorities and acted on it that shocked opponents and pundits.

Maybe the GOP needs to learn something from them on how to politic as well.

Economy won't stop Obama's priorities

Nation: Awesome, damn the numbers and pass out the welfare programs.

The economic crisis will not stop President-elect Barack Obama from expanding health care, overhauling education and energy policy, and passing a middle-class tax cut soon after he takes office in January, senior aides said on Sunday.

Meanwhile the U.S. Congress should act to ease the pain of an economy sliding into recession by extending unemployment benefits and boosting aid to states struggling to meet their health-care obligations, they said.

Obama's transitional team has outlined an ambitious agenda for the next several months as it scrambles to assemble an administration in the face of what is widely viewed as the worst economic slump since the Great Depression.

Judge bans "illegals" and "Aliens" from court.

Politics: The Hispanic Bar Association in Arizona called Los Abogados demanded Arizona’s Supreme Court chief justice ban certain terms they deemed unacceptable and she did quite easily.

Claiming that the terms are inflammatory, the president of Arizona’s Hispanic Bar Association, (known as Los Abogados) has asked state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor to stop using them at trials or hearings because they create perceptions of judicial bias.

In a strongly worded letter to the chief justice, Los Abogados’ president says attaching an illegal status to a person establishes a brand of contemptibility, creates the appearance of anti-immigrant prejudice and tarnishes the image of courts as a place where disputes may be fairly resolved.

It further points out that no human being is illegal and that a national Hispanic journalism association has roundly criticized the reference for dehumanizing a segment of the population. The letter goes on to criticize the state’s High Court for using the term “illegals” in at least two opinions and the term “illegal aliens” in dozens of others.

It concludes with a list of acceptable and unacceptable terms relating to illegal immigration. Among those the group wants banned are; immigration crisis, immigration epidemic, open borders advocates, anchor babies and invaders. Among the acceptable terms are foreign nationals, unauthorized workers and human rights advocates.

The letter and answer back is here.

Get ready, its politically correct mania after January 20th.

Obama backs crackdown on tax havens

World: That is wonderful and will make nice gooey headlines as Obama fights against the evil companies hiding their ill-gotten gains.

President-elect Barack Obama plans to crack down on international tax havens, including Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, within weeks of taking power in January, putting him on a collision course with Gordon Brown.

There is growing international pressure to outlaw the secretive practices of tax havens as a key part of reforms to the world's battered financial system, as the leaders of the world's 20 most powerful economies gather for a major conference in Washington next weekend.

Britain has been notably lukewarm, but Obama, whose approval will be key to any reform package over the next 12 months, was one of the signatories of the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, legislation put to Congress last year that blacklisted Jersey, Guernsey and 32 other jurisdictions. Key aides to Obama said he will introduce a similar law as part of a wide-ranging revenue-raising and tax-reform package, within weeks of taking power.

Obama advisors estimate the measure could raise at least $50bn (£32bn) per year in lost US tax revenues, and Washington sources say leading accountancy firms have already hired lobbyists in anticipation of a fierce battle to water down the proposals.

Key measures are likely to include: revealing the beneficial owners of secretive trusts; prohibiting accountants from charging fees on specific tax services; and identifying 'offshore secrecy jurisdictions' that 'unreasonably restrict US tax authorities from obtaining needed information'. The measures could end years of financial secrecy that have protected the super-rich and international businesses as they move money from one jurisdiction to another.

They may indeed crack down on token sacrifices but when you crack down on the rest of them. maybe I will believe this is nothing more than empty posturing. There are too many tax havens many "attached" to main countries who will protect them and their revenue streams.