Saturday, January 10, 2009

Tavis Smiley shills for Obama like a nutcase.

Politics: A little less than a year after getting beat on for whining that Obama didn't come to his state of Black America forum, Tavis now says we all work for Obama. I think the North Koreans feel the same way about Dear Leader.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: [Reid] says he doesn't work for Barack Obama. I think he's wrong.

TAVIS SMILEY: Harry Reid, put down the crack pipe. You don't work for Barack Obama? We're all working for Barack Obama.

SCARBOROUGH: What are your thoughts? You're going to be on Meet The Press next week, next Sunday before the inauguration. What are your thoughts as we now move closer and closer to Barack Obama being sworn in?

SMILEY: These are exciting times. When I was last year, the day after, November 5th, the day after the election, really I was excited then about what had happened and transpired the night before. As an African-american male I revel in this moment. I revel in his humanity, I revel in this victory. I love all the talk about hope and change. Here's what I fundamentally believe, and there have been a number of examples since the election, Joe, that underscore this for me. I want Barack Obama to be a great president. I want him to be a great president. I believe that he can be a great president. But only if we help make him a great president. It is not left to his own devices, it's not going to happen.

We have to help make him a great president. And that's not casting aspersion on him. No president who was ever great wasn't helped in that process. There is no Abraham Lincoln without Frederick Douglas. And we could do this all day long. Every great president had people pushing them, had people helping them and encouraging them, empowering them to become great presidents. So I believe Obama can be. I want him to be. But we have to help make this guy a great president.

Where was this kind of support in the media for Bush or any other President before him? Don't think this is just Smiley being a nutty shill, black radio in general like Tom Joyner, Michael Baisden, Steve Harvey and other liberal black media outlets like disappointing are all showing this sort of Obama worshipping attitude.

Let us laugh at Tiffany Bjorlie, regulator lover.

Business: Oh what a beautiful scenario as eco lover finds out the glory of regulations which she approved of at first.

Tiffany Bjorlie who owns Lundeby's Ecobaby knows all too well how the CPSIA is affecting what items she carries in her Tulsa shop. She explains how Selecta has pulled their eco-friendly toys from the US market. And toys are not the only items that could run scarce. That sweet handmade dress for your little princess or 100% organic cotton onesie for your bouncing baby boy may be on the "extinct" handmade list as well due to stringent testing that will go into force per the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act on February 10, 2009. AND HANDMADE BABY BOOTIES if not TESTED will be ILLEGAL!

This is what happens when you don't think things out.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Chuck E. Cheese has been fight central for years.

Nation: There has always been a certain low class/criminal element that have gone to Chuck E Cheese causing trouble. Problem is in the youtube era those incidents are being uploaded.

"...Susquehanna Township police have been called to the restaurant on Union Deposit Road 12 times in the past year for reports of disorderly conduct, assault and theft. Those calls have resulted in 13 arrests, including six women -- five adults and a juvenile -- charged with disorderly conduct in a Saturday-night brawl.

In 2007, police responded to the restaurant 18 times for similar offenses.

"It's madness, absolute madness," Susquehanna Twp. Police Chief Robert A. Martin said.

Martin said he believes much of the violence stems from ongoing disputes among people who bump into each other in the restaurant. "They see each other at Chuck E. Cheese, and before you know it an argument turns into something physical."

The assaults also could be attributed to separated or divorced parents who attend a child's birthday party, he said. Such was the case in an April 4 incident, when police accused a man of slapping his estranged wife in the head at their child's party.

The violence at Chuck E. Cheese's isn't isolated to the Susquehanna Township restaurant. Last month, the Wall Street Journal published an article about a growing number of adult melees at locations in Brookfield, Wisc.; Topeka, Kan.; Toledo, Ohio; and Flint, Mich. "

Denmark head masters: No Jewish children please.

EU: At some point something is going to happen that will force people in an European country to find their balls again. This is ridiculous but a subtle slam at the end makes up for the disgust I felt reading this article.

A number of school administrators have come forth in recent days to confirm that they recommend Jewish children should not enrol at their schools.

According to school administrators, law enforcement officials and social workers, the on-going conflict in Gaza has led to heightened tensions between Jews and Arabs - particularly Palestinians - here in Denmark.

And although few headmasters of schools have faced the situation, most of those at schools with a high percentage of children of Arab descent say they try to prevent Jewish parents from enrolling their children there.

On Monday, headmaster Olav Nielsen of Humlehave School in Odense publicly admitted he would refuse Jewish parents' wish to place their child at his school.

The comments were made following an incident last week in which two Israeli citizen's were shot and wounded at a city shopping centre. Police believe the incident was a reaction to the Gaza conflict.

Other headmasters have now come forth to support Nielsen's position, adding that they are putting the child's safety first.

At Caroline Skole in Copenhagen's Østerbro district, video cameras watch over the playground and entrances of the school, which is surrounded by a 2.5 metre-high barbed-wire fence.

One parent whose child goes to the Jewish school said thinking about the extra security can be disturbing at times, but she felt it was necessary.

Rabbi Bent Lexner called the headmasters' concern 'theoretical. In reality, Jewish parents would never try to enrol their child in those schools.'

Keith Ellison, the useful idiot on Al Jazeera.

Politics: Nice subtle touch there with Israel not being an angel but only some Palestinians haven't been constructive.

Jon Stewart yucks it up about Hamas.

Entertainment: and by yucking it up means taking shots at Israel for defending itself while dismissing Hamas aggression. It plays well considering his political leanings and his audience.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Obama to talk to Hamas. Of course he will.

Terrorism: You are the company you keep and considering the advisors he has surrounded himself this is not a surprise.

The incoming Obama administration is prepared to abandon George Bush's ­doctrine of isolating Hamas by establishing a channel to the Islamist organisation, sources close to the transition team say.

The move to open contacts with Hamas, which could be initiated through the US intelligence services, would represent a definitive break with the Bush ­presidency's ostracising of the group. The state department has designated Hamas a terrorist organisation, and in 2006 ­Congress passed a law banning US financial aid to the group.

The Guardian has spoken to three ­people with knowledge of the discussions in the Obama camp. There is no talk of Obama approving direct diplomatic negotiations with Hamas early on, but he is being urged by advisers to initiate low-level or clandestine approaches, and there is growing recognition in Washington that the policy of ostracising Hamas is counter-productive. A tested course would be to start ­contacts through Hamas and the US intelligence services, similar to the secret process through which the US engaged with the PLO in the 1970s. Israel did not become aware of the contacts until much later.

Yeah, those PLO talks did wonders years later didn't it? All that tough yapping Obama did during the election run up like everything else is just talk. He is not going to be tough or have the conviction to take out groups like Hamas.

He has decided on the Zapatero way to fight terrorists and he is going to learn the hard way just like Zapatero did thinking if you just talk to the terrorists, all will be well.

He is going to learn a harsh lesson because this was an easy test for him. Would Obama challenge or acquiesce to a known terrorist group. He has decided on the latter and once again showing to all groups who want something no matter how heinous that violence is the way.

Obama spending spree but Obama pledges to cut government spending

Politics: While adding more spending to jumpstart the economy.

Obama said that concerns about rising deficits prompted him to turn down advice from some economists who called for spending $1 trillion or more to jump-start the economy. Obama's proposal is expected to cost nearly $800 billion over two years.

"We have an economic situation that is dire, and we're going to have to jump start this economy with my economic recovery plan, creating 3 million jobs," he said. "That's going to cost some money. And in the short term, we will actually see, potentially, additions to the deficit."


The CBO said the budget was under worsening strain from slumping tax revenues allied to higher social spending and a 700-billion-dollar bailout for Wall Street.The year-old recession will "last well into 2009," it said, which would make it the longest US contraction since the war.Obama pledged to rein in the government's biggest long-term commitments -- "entitlement spending" such as Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare health insurance for seniors.But he did not go into details

Anyone think a Dem president with a Dem congress will do anything to curb social spending and cutting costs associated with Social Security and Medicare?

Yeah... I thought so as well.

Update: Here is the Obama plan which is the government is here to help and we will spend our way out of a recession. If anyone thought this man was a centrist, you are an idiot. He is now showing his true colors and thinking that government is the answer. A couple of things are at work here.

1) A classic move to throw out the equivalent of crumbs to the masses to make them feel he is really helping them in the short term. Long term just like FDR prolonged the great depression by meddling in the economy, this has the prospect of doing just as much harm.

2) This is more about 2012 because if the economy doesn't pick up steam he and his media pals can say he did warn us and what a genius he is as President letting know in advance what would have happen.

3) I have yet to see the logic of more bailouts and taxpayer money being thrown around to get us out of a recession when it would be better to let the damn thing crash so it would be faster to pick ourselves up. Bailout money is bubble gum used to patch a leaking dam, all you are doing is postponing the inevitable.

Blagojevich pimp-slapped Senate Democrats.

Politics: But how stupid does this make the Democrats? Blago has been abandoned by everyone else, being called crazy with demands to step down. Politically, he had nothing to lose.

That should have been a warning to Senate Dems that unless you were sure the Illinois lawmakers could move him out fast or make the law to call a special election, you don't tick the guy off.

Senate Democrats have no choice but to change their tone about Roland Burris becoming a U.S. senator because Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich "called our bluff" in appointing someone over their objections, a senior Democratic congressional source conceded Wednesday.

"We tried to send a political signal to Blagojevich that we would not seat someone he appointed. He called our bluff, in a reckless way," the Democratic source said.

The latest sign by Blago not to screw with him is the leaking of Reid's conversation with him on who to pick. Blago knows where the bodies lies and he is more than happy to dig them up.

US plans "surge" on Mexican border drug wars.

Crime: Nice to know there is a plan.

The soaring level of violence in Mexico resulting from the drug wars there has led the United States to develop plans for a “surge” of civilian and perhaps even military law enforcement should the bloodshed spread across the border, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Wednesday.

Mr. Chertoff said the criminal activity in Mexico, which has caused more than 5,300 deaths in the last year, had long troubled American authorities. But it reached a point last summer, he said, where he ordered specific plans to confront in this country the kind of shootouts and other mayhem that in Mexico have killed members of warring drug cartels, law enforcement officials and bystanders, often not far from the border.

“We completed a contingency plan for border violence, so if we did get a significant spillover, we have a surge — if I may use that word — capability to bring in not only our own assets but even to work with” the Defense Department, Mr. Chertoff said in a telephone interview.

UK Muslim groups trying to blackmail the UK over Israel.

UK: Subtle tactic that has been used before to try and get the government to come to their agenda by UK Muslim groups.

Anger within Britain's Muslim communities over the Gaza conflict has reached "acute levels of intensity" that could have repercussions for national security, leading Muslims will warn Gordon Brown today.

In a letter to the prime minister, representatives of Muslim organisations will say the Israeli government's use of "disproportionate force" to combat threats to its security has "revived extremist groups" and "empowered their message of violence and perennial conflict".

The letter, a copy of which can be read on the Guardian's Comment is Free website, also says that the "current, partisan and simplified narrative" emanating from the White House is of "serious and direct harm" to relations between the UK, North America and Arab countries.

"Nice country we have here, shame if something happens to it."

In what was said to be a testy meeting, representatives told Rammell the government's position on Gaza could provoke UK terrorist attacks. One of those present was Dr Hany el-Banna, youth worker and co-founder and president of the charity Islamic Relief.

He told the Guardian: "We are all working tirelessly to try and cool them down. I am telling them to change and bring something positive, but they see these images and they trigger extremist thoughts in the simplest individuals. Many millions of people will see these images in the media, what do you think the affect will be?

"The government is responsible for the country and its foreign policy. I don't want something to happen here."

Now with talk like this you would think the UK would up the security measures and keep a much closer eye on certain areas where extremism is common. But since its the UK, I can see PM Brown backtracking and throwing a little sop to the threateners.

Via Instapundit: TARGETING JEWS in Britain.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Protestor calls for Jews to go back to the oven.

Florida: The underbelly of South Florida comes out to yell.

Separated by battle lines and a stream of rush-hour traffic outside a federal courthouse last week, at least 200 pro-Palestinian demonstrators faced off against a smaller crowd of Israel supporters.

Most of the chants were run-of-the-mill; men and women waving Palestinian flags called Israel's invasion of Gaza a "crime," while the pro-Israel group carried signs calling the Hamas-run territory a "terror state."

But as the protest continued and crowds grew, one woman in a hijab began to shout curses and slurs that shocked Jewish activists in the city, which has a sizable Jewish population.

"Go back to the oven," she shouted, calling for the counter-protesters to die in the manner that the Nazis used to exterminate Jews during the Holocaust.

"You need a big oven, that's what you need," she yelled.

.....The protest organizers, asked to comment on the woman's overt call for Jewish extermination, said she was "insensitive" but refused to condemn her statement.

"She does not represent the opinions of the vast majority of people who were there," said Emmanuel Lopez, who helped plan the event, one of many sponsored nationwide on Dec. 30 by the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism ) Coalition.

Lopez, a state coordinator for ANSWER, admitted there is a problem with anti-Semitism within his organization's ranks. But then he went on to call the supporters of Israel across the street "barbaric, racist" Zionist terrorists.

"Zionism in general is a barbaric, racist movement that really is the cause of the situation in the entire Middle East," Lopez said.

The unidentified woman, who protest organizers said was a Muslim, wasn't the only protester who raised hackles that day. Other demonstrators held signs that said "Nuke Israel," and a number made comparisons to the Holocaust, accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza.

Jews into the oven is just "insensitive." Something I would expect from a lousy rep from ANSWER. I am disgusted this sort of garbage hasn't even caused a bigger ripple in the media down here.

Fatima Elatik Leads Amsterdam District Council

EU: Never heard of her before this but she doesn't exactly sound like she is embracing the West concept of free speech/expression.

Fatima Elatik was appointed leader of the Amsterdam district council of Zeeburg yesterday. She will become the first political administrator in the Netherlands to wear a headscarf in her job.

Elatik, 35, is a member of the Labour (PvdA) party. She combines her always lavishly made-up face with a headscarf. She was born in the capital and speaks with an Amsterdam accent.

Some 50,000 people live in Zeeburg. It is one of the 14 district councils of Amsterdam. As well as Amsterdam, Rotterdam also has this administrative form. The district councils have powers particularly in the field of physical planning, such as parking policy and the construction of mosques.

Ahmed Marcouch (PvdA) was until now the only Islamic district council leader. He leads the Slotervaart district council. Marcouch and Elatik both have Moroccan nationality.

A few years ago, the theatre play Aishia, about the Prophet Mohammed, was cancelled following threats, to Elatik's satisfaction. In the same period, the Amsterdam district council elections took place. Elatik put an advertisement in a newspaper at the time that said: "Why should a play not be banned? Vote for Fatima Elatik."

Amsterdam is like the test tube for controlled social experiments and so far you really want the experiment to be scrapped.

CIA tracking 4000 UK terror suspects

UK: This is what Leon Panetta is walking into and I have zero confidence he understands the threat.

THE CIA has begun an unprecedented intelligence-gathering operation in Britain to help MI5 monitor 4000 terrorist suspects.

More than four out of 10 CIA operations to prevent attacks on US soil are now conducted against targets in Britain.

This has led to friction between British and American spies, with some US intelligence officers irritated that resources are being diverted to gather intelligence on suspects in their closest ally's backyard. British intelligence officers do not know the identity of all the CIA informers and are uneasy about some of the uses to which the intelligence has been put.

MI5 as a whole is glad of the help, however, and works closely with its sister service. US spies share information when it concerns security in Britain.

....A former CIA officer who still carries out freelance work for the agency voiced the irritation of some American spies. "It's certainly frustrating that Britain is an Islamist swamp," he said. "You don't want to have to spend time spying on your friends."

British security chiefs have long turned a blind eye to a CIA presence in Britain and, since the attacks of September 11, 2001, MI5 and the CIA have worked together closely to combat the threat from Islamist extremists. MI5 also tolerates similar operations by the Israeli agency Mossad, which briefs members of the London Jewish community on threats to their security.

MI5 head, Jonathan Evans says they have the terror threat in check and I guess we see partly why.

AARP ripping off members with insurance kickbacks.

Nation: If you can't trust the AARP not to be dirty rip off artists, who can you trust?

"....Laupus stumbled onto something that many members of the world’s largest seniors’ organization don’t know: The group, formerly called American Association of Retired Persons, collects hundreds of millions of dollars annually from insurers who pay for AARP’s endorsement of their policies.

The insurance companies build the cost of these so-called royalties and fees, which amounted to $497.6 million in 2007, into the premiums they charge AARP members, according to AARP’s consolidated financial statement for that year.

AARP uses the royalties and fees to fund about half the expenses that pay for activities such as publishing brochures about health care and consumer fraud -- as well as for paying down the $200 million bond debt that funded the association’s marble and brass-studded Washington headquarters.

In addition, AARP holds clients’ insurance premiums for as long as a month and invests the money, which added $40.4 million to its revenue in 2007.

‘Fatting the Coffers’

“At the end of the day, it’s all about fattening the coffers of the organization,” says Thomas Orecchio, who was chairman of the Arlington Heights, Illinois-based National Association of Personal Financial Advisors until September. AARP, he says, is sponsoring insurance for its members at inflated prices.

“It’s the dirty little secret,” he says. "

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Europe fears Jew Bashing over Gaza conflict.

EU: I am giving the piece a more truthful headline. There will be a rise in anti-Semitic attacks because Europe has done little in cracking down on them for years.

Government officials and Jewish leaders are concerned the conflict in Gaza may spill over into violence in Europe, with attacks reported against Jews and synagogues in France, Sweden and Britain.

Assailants rammed a burning car into the gates of a synagogue in Toulouse, in southwest France, Monday night.

A Jewish congregation in Helsingborg, in southern Sweden, was attacked Monday night by someone who "broke a window and threw in something that was burning," said police spokesman Leif Nilsson. And on Sunday slogans, including "murderers ... You broke the cease-fire," were daubed on Israel's Embassy in Stockholm.

In Denmark, a 27-year-old Dane born in Lebanon to Palestinian parents is alleged to have injured two young Israelis last week in a shooting police suspect could be linked to the Gaza crisis. Belgium ordered police in Antwerp and Brussels to be on increased state of alert" Tuesday after recent pro-Palestinian protests ended in violence and arrests.

France has Western Europe's largest Jewish and Muslim communities and a history of anti-Semitic violence flaring when tensions in the Middle East are high. In 2002, some 2,300 Jews left France for Israel because they felt unsafe. Even in normal times, anti-Semitic incidents are not uncommon.

President Nicolas Sarkozy warned in a statement Tuesday that France would not tolerate violence linked to the Gaza crisis. A day earlier, his interior minister said she was concerned about the prospect of contagion and met with the heads of the two main Muslim and Jewish groups and police officials to stress the need to "preserve national unity."

NJ may consider driving privileges for illegals.

Immigration: I see nothing stopping Corzine to pump his fist in the air saying lets do this.

A panel advising Governor Jon Corzine on immigrant issues is considering recommending the state allow undocumented immigrants "driver privilege cards" and in-state college tuition rates.

Two Hispanic leaders have told the Record of Bergen County that the state's public advocate, Ron Chen, told them the measures would be included in a panel's report to Corzine.

But a spokeswoman for Chen told the newspaper that it hasn't been decided what would be included in the report.

The "driver privilege cards" and in-state tuition would need legislative approval before becoming law. Groups that support tighter immigration control have said they'd oppose the measures.

UN school bombing by IDF becomes a lot clearer.

Middle East: or more of a no duh when it comes to fighting a terrorist group like Hamas via AP and Hot Air.

"Two residents of the area who spoke by telephone said they saw a small group of militants firing mortar rounds from a street near the school, where 350 people had gathered to get away from the shelling. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal…

Two residents who spoke to an AP reporter by phone said the two brothers [jihadis killed at the scene] were known to be low-level Hamas militants. They said a group of militants — one of them said four — were firing mortar shells from near the school.

An Israeli shell targeted the men, but missed and they fled, the witnesses said, refusing to allow their names to be published because they feared for their safety. Then another three shells landed nearby, exploding among civilians, they said.

Palestinian militants have frequently fired from residential areas in the past."

Same old M.O. by Hamas which is to fight in residential areas where via cooperation or intimidation they choose to fight. This tragedy falls on Hamas not Israel who have gotten their act together this time to fight off the misinformation being spread by Hamas enablers like Reuters and the Guardian. I doubt anyone would have looked into the Israel side if not for the pushback when this story broke.

The UN once again decries Israel but never complains about Hamas using their facilities for their use.

Jpost is saying that Hamas seems to be in disarray, Martin van Creveld says Israel military action this time is doing better than the Lebanon fiasco where an out of shape lazy Israel got embarrassed.

Jonathan Freedland on the other hand dithers than a Hamas less Gaza will lead to something worse leading the area which by my reasoning can't be any worse than the terrorist group now in charge.

But there is a massive risk here. Such a victory will not just achieve Cast Lead's original stated aim, namely altering Hamas's calculus - reducing its incentive to fire rockets at civilian targets inside Israel - but could topple the Hamas government altogether.

Israeli officials deny that regime change in Gaza is either likely to happen or the goal of their mission. But that may end up being the result: intelligence reports suggest the organisation has been eviscerated, its ability to govern all but destroyed.

Israeli leaders will crow at that; their poll numbers will surge. But it will surely prove a pyrrhic victory. For what would be the consequences of crippling the Hamas administration in Gaza? Israel would be confronted with a sharp dilemma. Either it would have to stay, resuming the occupation it sought to end in 2005 - a notion with zero popular appeal in Israel. Or it would have to withdraw, leaving behind a huge and dangerous question mark.

For Gaza could become a vacuum, rapidly descending into Somalia, a lawless badland of warlords and clans. A new force could seek to replace Hamas. Most likely it would be even more radical: al-Qaida has long been pushing at the edges of Gaza, eager to find a way in.

Would either of those options appeal to Israel? Of course they wouldn't. As one Israeli commentator put it yesterday: "In this context the IDF is afraid of being too successful."

Something worse gets in place of Hamas, all it does is make it easier for Israel to defend itself which it should have done decades ago instead of this back and forth. Decisive action or nothing.

Dutch Military, Civil Servants Allowed to Take Islamic Oath

EU: Multiculturalism and diversity..etc..etc which makes me believe this big speech by the leftist party on changing the failed model of "tolerance" is a bit late.

Civilians and military personnel employed by the defence ministry are allowed to swear by Allah when they take their oath. And municipal and provincial officials, too, can opt for the Islamic oath, Home Affairs Minister Guusje ter Horst says in a letter to parliament.

Alongside the Christian oath ('So help me God Almighty'), the neutral promise ('That I do declare and promise') had already been introduced as an alternative years ago. Recently, various media revealed that police officers have since been permitted to choose an Islamic oath as well. Small Christian party SGP MP Kees van der Staaij requested clarification of this matter from Ter Horst.

The minister confirms that new officers in the Gouda regional police corps have indeed been sworn in on the Koran. This happened "only in a few cases". Additionally, this has not been allowed any more since six months ago for police officials and central government civil servants alike, writes Ter Horst,

This is the actual juicy part, the Dutch have surrendered.

But provinces and municipalities can decide for themselves how the oath or promise can be made. This is possible due to a change in the Public Servants Act, which specifies that "as far as possible, the culture within the government organisation must be acceded to."

If a municipality wants to continue to allow - or to introduce - the Allah oath, the minister will not interfere with this. The same goes for Defence, which can opt for the Islamic oath having a special position within central government.

The oath is: 'In the name of Allah, the Merciful Compassionate, and he is my witness that I promise this.' The right hand has to be placed on the Koran for the oath.

The Mentalist's Simon Baker thinks America has now grown up.

Entertainment: Yet another liberal from Oz who thinks that electing Obama is not only grown up, but it makes him want to be an American!

“The morning after your election in November, I said to my wife Rebecca, ‘You know, I’m thinking about becoming an American,’ and then she said that she felt the same way.

“I don’t follow sports here,” he said. “But politics has sort of taken its place. I followed the race closely. It’s a tricky area, because I don’t want to be offensive, and I had no party loyalty. But electing Obama was this country being very grown-up. It was such a positive step for the U.S. to become a part of the world again after the last eight years."

Not to be offensive, but we would like new American citizens to have a bit more substance than " oh look the black liberal won and now America is part of the world again, lets be Americans!"

Yet another show I will make a habit of missing due to the verbal diarrhea of its star.

Car sales drop, government help forever?

Business: I think we all saw this coming down the road.

Auto executives said on Monday that the industry had little chance of improving in the first half of 2009 because of a continued lack of available credit for prospective car buyers and a profound lack of confidence in an overall economic recovery.

“The first quarter is going to be bad no matter how you look at it,” said Emily Kolinski Morris, a senior Ford economist. “Once we get into the second quarter, we’ll have a better idea.”

G.M.’s chief market analyst, Michael C. DiGiovanni, said the automaker was predicting industry sales of 10.5 million to 12 million vehicles for the year.

While the Bush administration approved up to $17.4 billion in loans to G.M. and Chrysler, analysts say they expect the Detroit auto companies to need longer-term assistance from the incoming president, Barack Obama.

“The internal problems of the Big Three are so great, there is no way they can survive without government help for several years,” Mr. Casesa said.

German lovers try to elope to Africa

World: Being six and five however means they have to wait longer for it to be legal.

It is a dream that has been shared by lovers across the centuries – the chance to elope to exotic lands. But few would have been as bold and spontaneous as six-year-old Mika and his five-year-old sweetheart Anna-Bell who, after mulling over their options in secret, packed their suitcases on New Year's Eve and set off from the German city of Hanover to tie the knot under the heat of the African sun.

The children left their homes at dawn while their unwitting parents were apparently sleeping, and took along Mika's seven-year-old sister, Anna-Lena, as a witness to the wedding.

Donning sunglasses, swimming armbands and dragging a pink blow-up lilo and suitcases on wheels packed with summer clothes, cuddly toys and a few provisions, they walked a kilometre up the road, boarded a tram to Hanover train station and got as far as the express train that would take them to the airport before a suspicious station guard alerted police.

"What struck us was that the little ones were completely on their own and that they had lots of swimming gear with them," said Holger Jureczko, a police spokesman. He described Mika and Anna-Bell as "sweethearts" who had "decided to get married in Africa where it is warm, taking with them as a witness Mika's sister".

Anna-Bell told the German television station RTL: "We wanted to get married and so we just thought: 'Let's go there.' "

The sugar level on this story reaches puppies and kittens playing together.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Senate chaos. Distraction for Obama.

Politics: The coronation of Black Jesus keep getting spoiled by these distractions.

AFP: In distraction for Obama, chaos stalks new Senate

U.S. News & World Report: Burris An Unwelcome Distraction

Leon Panetta. Matt Millen for the CIA.

Nation: You mean to tell me that Team Obama couldn't find an experienced CIA agent or another person who has worked in this field who also opposed torture or whatever he objected to the CIA doing in trying to protect America and its interests? If he was looking to drop morale even lower, this would be the pick.

CIA is one or more of these descriptions. Bloated, lazy, incompetent, wayward, lacking focus, not vicious enough, clueless. You need someone in there that can get it back to the once feared entity that made it famous. Leon Panetta is not that person.

Guardian writers upset Obama hasn't condemned Israel.

Politics: Black Jesus and savior of the world is not living up to their level of bashing Israel.

Simon Tisdall:" ....But evidence is mounting that Obama is already losing ground among key Arab and Muslim audiences that cannot understand why, given his promise of change, he has not spoken out. Arab commentators and editorialists say there is growing disappointment at Obama's detachment - and that his failure to distance himself from George Bush's strongly pro-Israeli stance is encouraging the belief that he either shares Bush's bias or simply does not care.

The Al-Jazeera satellite television station recently broadcast footage of Obama on holiday in Hawaii, wearing shorts and playing golf, juxtaposed with scenes of bloodshed and mayhem in Gaza. Its report criticising "the deafening silence from the Obama team" suggested Obama is losing a battle of perceptions among Muslims that he may not realise has even begun.

"People recall his campaign slogan of change and hoped that it would apply to the Palestinian situation," Jordanian analyst Labib Kamhawi told Liz Sly of the Chicago Tribune. "So they look at his silence as a negative sign. They think he is condoning what happened in Gaza because he's not expressing any opinion."

Gary Younge is whining.

"....A recent Rasmussen poll shows the American public far less indulgent of Israeli aggression than many previously believed. Opinion on the bombing of Gaza is fairly evenly divided, showing 44% supporting Israel's military action against the Palestinians and 41% saying it should have tried to find a diplomatic solution to the problems.

Given the absence of any honest or informed debate about events in the Middle East, this suggests significant room for manoeuvre for President-elect Obama in pursuing a more even-handed policy towards the region, if he should chose to take it.

The benefits could strengthen America's hand throughout the region. Majorities in seven Arab nations say their opinion of the US would significantly improve if it put pressure on Israel to comply with international law in its treatment of Palestinians - generally more than say the same about closing Guantánamo Bay, according to Gallup.

That is the change both America and the Middle East need. It's also the change most of the rest of the world wants to believe in."

That poll is interesting considering it plays out a bit more nuanced than Younge admits too.

Americans, while far more sympathetic to Israel than the Palestinians, are closely divided over whether the Jewish state should be taking military action against militants in the Gaza Strip.

Forty-four percent (44%) say Israel should have taken military action against the Palestinians, but 41% say it should have tried to find a diplomatic solution to the problems there, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of adults, however, believe the Palestinians are to blame for the current situation in Gaza, while 13% point the finger at the Israelis. Nearly one-third (32%) aren’t sure.

Men are far more sympathetic to the Israelis than women. Fifty-six percent (56%) of men support Israel’s military action, compared to 34% of women. Whites narrowly give the edge to military action, but African-Americans by three-to-one say diplomacy was the better way to go.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of Republicans back Israel’s decision to take military action against the Palestinians, but only half as many Democrats (31%) agree. A majority of Democrats (55%) say Israel should have tried to find a diplomatic solution first, a view shared by just 27% of Republicans.

While 75% of Republicans say Israel is an ally of the United States, just 55% of Democrats agree. Seven percent (7%) of Democrats say Israel is an enemy of America, but only one percent (1%) of Republicans say the same. For 21% of Republicans, Israel is somewhere in between, and 28% of Democrats agree.

And as pointed out on Weasel Zippers, "Could this be the least shocking poll of all time?" The public is divided down the same lines of ideology rather than some sort of hard common ground shared by all. The same sort that joins protests against Israel and thinks you can talk to terrorists.

Younge and Tisdall hope for an America willing to cut an ally off at the knees to gain love and affection from its enemies. Israel choice for peace in their minds is to give up, give in and take whatever they have coming to them.

I have never seen these two or many of the Guardian writers go after Hamas or Hezbollah like they do Israel given the fact they and others of their ilk see the Middle East and Arabs as victim of the evil West who just keeps exploit them. When your advice for peace is to give up, don't be surprise when others look down at you.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Newark barbed wire ban helps criminals

Crime: Just me but Newark seems to have this in reverse.

Some business owners in this crime-plagued city say recent enforcement of a decades-old ordinance prohibiting some types of barbed wire and razor wire is making Newark more attractive - to thieves.

Burglaries are up 17 percent from 2007 through November in Newark, which has a young, charismatic mayor who has vowed to help the city rebound from decades of official inaction, incompetence and outright criminality.

The city is aggressively courting new investment and development, but people who have been ordered to downgrade their fences say officials are worried more about aesthetics than security.

John DeSantis, owner of a lot used by an auto repair business in Newark's West Ward, says his property has been the site of more than a dozen burglaries since the summer, when the city forced him to remove razor wire on top of the 7-foot-tall fence that surrounds the lot.

"The bottom line was, they said, 'It doesn't look good and we want to create a new image for the city of Newark,'" DeSantis said.

Just a radical idea, but wouldn't it be better that you work on the crime first which would lead to a new image which would lead to businesses not putting up or keeping up barbed wire?

Obama's 600,000 New Government Employees

Business: You mean to tell me that in all of the federal agencies, there is no fat to cut to curb spending? Obama is going to hire 600,000 more taxpayer funded people to join the federal government? Anyone checking if we need to hire that much if at all?

Next Latino for secretary of Commerce will be?

Politics: What? Latino groups have made it clear they are not happy with the lack of "diversity" in the Obama cabinet and with Bill Richardson dropping out, Obama will pick based on race rather than qualification.

Right on cue, Latino groups say this is a Latino only seat.

National Latino leaders vowed Sunday to press President-elect Barack Obama to nominate another Hispanic to the Cabinet post vacated by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a leading light in the Latino community who caused “great disappointment” with his decision to withdraw from consideration.

Within hours of Richardson pulling his name for secretary of commerce, the head of the League of United Latin American Citizens had compiled a list of 10 Latino elected officials and corporate CEOs that would be offered to the Obama transition team. The list included Rep. Xavier Beccera (D-Calif.), who turned down the U.S. trade representative post, Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez and Miami Mayor Manny Diaz.

“It will be topic number one,” said Brent A. Wilkes, national executive director of the League, known as LULAC, which describes itself as the country’s oldest and largest Hispanic organization. “We were happy that they appointed three Latinos, and we hope we can keep that intact.”

Ames Iowa's Section 8 problems and excuse making.

Crime: The Iowa Independent has a roundup about Section 8 being blamed for a rise in crime in Ames, Iowa.

The City of Ames has decided to institute national background checks for all participants in its Section 8 housing assistance program.

The new background checks are an expansion of those currently utilized which only use state data.

The decision comes after an Ames resident filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the city, asking for the addresses of past and present Section 8 housing program participants, with the intent to correlate that information with neighborhood crime statistics.

Hamas's useful idiots protest Israel's right to defend itself.

World: Daily Mail has a nice Euro roundup where support for Hamas and people in Gaza is reaching a fever pitch.

Demonstrators demanding an end to Israeli airstrikes on Gaza hurled their shoes at the gates of Downing Street yesterday during a wave of global protests.

Riot police were also pelted with missiles and fireworks as about 5,000 pro-Palestinians descended on the Israeli Embassy in London in the evening.

Earlier in the day, around 12,000 people marched through the centre of the capital, including singer Annie Lennox, human rights campaigner Bianca Jagger and former mayor Ken Livingstone.

In Britain, many people were angry at Gordon Brown refusal to condemn Israel’s attacks.

Hundreds of protesters threw shoes at the iron gates of Downing Street residence, in the spirit of an Iraqi journalist who hurled his footware at President George Bush last year.

Around 1,000 pairs littered the streets outside Number 10 with demonstrating singing: ‘Shame on you, have my shoe.’

Zac Sommer, an 18-year-old British-Palestinian student from Essex, said: ‘Britain is quick to condemn Robert Mugabe, but where is the condemnation of Israel? Israel is killing hundreds of people.’

Also outside Downing Street, a firework exploded yards from the gates.
Later, around 5,000 protesters left the agreed marching route between Embankment and Trafalgar Square and headed for the Israeli Embassy in Kensington.

Hundreds of officers with truncheons and gas canisters locked shields during a stand-off outside the building.

.....Human rights advocate Bianca Jagger and singer Lennox have backed the protests, calling on American president-elect Barack Obama to speak up against the bombardment.

Speaking at a press conference in central London, Ms Jagger said: ‘I would like to make an appeal to president-elect Obama to speak up.

‘People throughout the world were hopeful when he was elected and we must appeal to him to ask for the immediate cessation of the bombardment of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.’

Lennox spoke of her shock at watching scenes of the bombing on television.

She said: ‘A few days after Christmas I came downstairs, put the television on, and saw smoke pyres coming from buildings and I was shocked to the core because I was thinking as a mother and as a human being.

‘How was this going to be the solution to peace?’

She said the intervention from Bush blaming Hamas for starting the violence, had not helped the situation.

‘The problem is, from my perspective, they are pouring petrol onto the fire,’ she said.

‘They have to sit down. This is a small window of opportunity just before things kick off.

‘For every one person killed in Gaza, they are creating 100 suicide bombers. It’s not just about Gaza, it’s about all of us.’

Liberal Democrat Sarah Teather said Israel’s military response to the firing of Hamas rockets had been ‘disproportionate’.

The same pap from the more worldy people and I still don't have any explanation what would count as a proportionate response from Israel. If anything for decades Israel response has not been hard enough. Someone shoots at your home and family to kill you, the best response is to kill them. If Hamas wants to hide out in civilian areas and fire rockets from them, civilians will be killed.

Victor Hanson is stunned but really shouldn't be by these protests.

Creepy Times [Victor Davis Hanson]
There is something especially nauseating about the latest Middle East war — scenes of worldwide Islamic protests with photos of Jews as apes, protesters (in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida of all places!) screaming about nuking Israel and putting Jews in ovens, parades of children dressed up with suicide vests and fake rockets, near constant anti-Semitic vicious sloganeering, Gaza mosques stuffed with rockets to be used against civilians — all to be collated with creepy Hamas rhetoric about the annihilation of Israel. This is the world in which we now live.

Almost no other issue in recent memory has illustrated the moral bankruptcy of much of the international community. Hamas has no pretensions, like the PA, of being a governing authority; it used violence to rout the PA and then bragged that its charter pledging the destruction of Israel remained unchanged.

Israel evacuated Gaza; Gazans in response looted their own infrastructure, alienated both the PA and Egypt,and then sent off more than 6,000 rockets against Israeli civilians, while eagerly becoming a terrorist puppet of theocratic Iran.
Nothing could be more clear: either the fact that a constitutional republic was trying to avoid civilian casualties while a terrorist organization was intent on killing Jewish civilians as it used its own citizens as shields to protect mostly young male terrorists; or the world's craven reaction to all this.

Again all very creepy — the stuff of Tolkien's Mordor. It is now clear that the so-called and much praised "international community," the hallowed U.N., the revered EU, all pretty much are indifferent to the survival of a democratic Israel, or are actively supportive of its terrorist Hamas enemy. Only the U.S. (for now) stands by a constitutional state in its war against a murderous terrorist clique, with annhilation its aim and religous fascism its creed.

None of the entities he mentioned have actually given a damn about Israel or it concerns since forever. They don't support Hamas, they are just wary of their growing Muslim population, the famed Arab Street and their own wayward leftists who are drawn to despots and terrorists who fight against the "evil" Israel like bugs to a bug zapper.