Saturday, February 28, 2009

Obama's NIC chairman Charles Freeman thoughts on Tiananmen Square Massacre."

Politics: Seriously, what the hell was Obama thinking putting this douchebag Charles Freeman in charge?

"....Taken to extremes, realism's blindness to morality can lead it wildly astray. Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, both staunch realists, wrote "The Israel Lobby," a hyperbolic attack on Zionist political influence. The central error of their thesis was that, since America's alliance with Israel does not advance American interests, it could be explained only by sinister lobbying influence. They seemed unable to grasp even the possibility that Americans, rightly or wrongly, have an affinity for a fellow democracy surrounded by hostile dictatorships. Consider, perhaps, if eunuchs tried to explain the way teenage boys act around girls.

Freeman praised "The Israel Lobby" while indulging in its characteristic paranoia. "No one else in the United States has dared to publish this article," he told a Saudi news service in 2006, "given the political penalties that the lobby imposes on those who criticize it." In fact, the article was printed as a book the next year by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in New York.

The most extreme manifestation of Freeman's realist ideology came out in a leaked e-mail he sent to a foreign policy Internet mailing list. Freeman wrote that his only problem with what most of us call "the Tiananmen Square Massacre" was an excess of restraint:

"[T]he truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud, rather than -- as would have been both wise and efficacious -- to intervene with force when all other measures had failed to restore domestic tranquility to Beijing and other major urban centers in China. In this optic, the Politburo's response to the mob scene at 'Tian'anmen' stands as a monument to overly cautious behavior on the part of the leadership, not as an example of rash action. . . .

"I do not believe it is acceptable for any country to allow the heart of its national capital to be occupied by dissidents intent on disrupting the normal functions of government, however appealing to foreigners their propaganda may be. Such folk, whether they represent a veterans' 'Bonus Army' or a 'student uprising' on behalf of 'the goddess of democracy' should expect to be displaced with despatch [sic] from the ground they occupy."

I always thought another term for realists were abject moral cowards.

Update# This is not an Obama blunder, he had to have known what Freeman was about when he appointed him because there are too many quotes out there not too.

Saudis and other Gulf Arabs were shocked by the level of ignorance and antipathy displayed by Americans toward them and toward Islam after September 11. The connection between Islam and suicide bombing is a false connection. Kamikaze pilots were not Muslims.

....And what of America's lack of introspection about September 11? Instead of asking what might have caused the attack, or questioning the propriety of the national response to it, there is an ugly mood of chauvinism. Before Americans call on others to examine themselves, we should examine ourselves.

This does fit into Obama's continuing angle that America is at fault kind of thinking.

Boston unions use stimulus money as reason not to cut.

Nation: Another intended consequence of porkulus are unions of government workers on all levels will refuse to fix the financial mess nearly every state/city/county is in because taxpayer money bailout lessens the need to fix it.

The prospect of a windfall for the city from the $787 billion package is complicating efforts by Menino administration officials to win a wage freeze from unions, who believe that money flowing from Washington could help Boston solve its $140 million projected deficit without union concessions.

"For municipal managers, the stimulus package is a double-edged sword," John Dunlap, Boston's director of labor relations, said after a meeting of the administration and dozens of union leaders yesterday morning. "It's giving all sorts of inter est groups reason to believe that they may not actually need to work with us."

All but five of Boston's several dozen unions have balked so far on the mayor's call for a wage freeze. Another key reason for their reluctance is Menino has not guaranteed there will be no layoffs in exchange for a freeze. The city employs 17,000 workers.

"We're in a holding pattern," said John Zuccaro Jr., president of SENA Local 9158, which represents about 800 middle managers across the city. It's especially difficult to ask workers to approve concessions when stimulus money might be enough to make them unnecessary, he said.

For Menino and other government officials around the state facing big deficits, the calculation is not that simple. The stimulus money will be designated for particular programs and projects, leaving relatively little to trickle down to plug massive holes in municipal operating budgets.

The stimulus package includes specific grants that could spare at least some layoffs in public education and public safety. State and local officials do not yet know precisely how much they will receive from those, nor do they know what amount will be left in unfettered funds that the state can distribute to communities for operating budgets.

Once again, unions show themselves to be the problem and not part of the solution. There is no question there is bloat at all levels of the government workforce and to have taxpayers keep it at pre-recession levels or bigger is an abomination.

Northern Trust returns $1.6 billion bailout money.

Nation: TMZ, the new leader in investigative reporting?

How's this for action. Northern Trust -- the bank TMZ exposed this week for throwing a series of lavish parties and concerts in L.A, is giving back the $1.6 billion in federal bailout money!

We had our cameras out as the bank hosted fancy dinners for hundreds of clients and employees. We had video of the Sheryl Crow concert it threw after closing down the House of Blues. And then there were concerts by Chicago, as well as Earth, Wind & Fire ... and the Tiffany gift bags for the ladies.

The story triggered a furor in D.C ... Congressman Barney Frank demanded that Northern Trust repay the money it blew.

Outrageously, the bank didn't even ask for the bailout money in the first place. But now, under pressure, Northern Trust CEO Frederick Waddell sent a letter to members of the House Financial Services Committee, saying his bank will repay the government funds "as quickly as prudently possible."

Olbermann and Garofalo: White Liberal Racists.

Politics: This remark about Michael Steele with Keith Olbermann happily agreeing with Janeane Garofalo is not a surprise if you understand the white liberal.

After mentioning that former CNN anchor Daryn Kagan used to date Limbaugh, Garofalo cracked that Kagan has Stockholm Syndrome, which she also attributed to RNC Chairman Michael Steele, with Olbermann agreeing that Steele suffers from "self-loathing":

JANEANE GAROFALO: She dated him, so either she suffers from Stockholm Syndrome – a lot like Michael Steele, who’s the black guy in the Republican party who suffers from Stockholm Syndrome, which means you try and curry favor with the oppressor.

KEITH OLBERMANN: Yes, you talk about self-loathing.

GAROFALO: Yeah, and there’s, any female or person of color in the Republican party is struggling with Stockholm Syndrome.

White liberals are the worst kind of racist/bigots when it comes to minorities, even worse than a KKK or BNP member.

A KKK/BNP member would see a black person walking down the street and instantly think "Damn Nigger."

That is just basing it on color and nothing else. Its simple, not logical and really without rhyme or reason in what that person's character,values, thinking, accomplishments..etc. Its purely based on color. That is easy to dismiss the racist as just stupid.

The white liberal like Keith Olbermann and Garofalo, they are the worst kind when it comes to views on minorities. Unlike the KKK/BNP member who judges based on color, the white liberal looks at the same black person walking down the street and thinks he/she is filled with thoughts,ideology,values they already subscribe too.

The black person is a victim, they have modern liberal values on all the political issues until they realize the person is wearing a Reagan shirt. Then you get the thoughts turned to self-loathing, traitor, Uncle Tom...etc.

So I am not surprised that that type of remark not only made it on MSNBC or who said it and agreed with it. In their minds, these remarks are spot on observations. If you are a minority, you should be in their camp, if not you are no better than a house slave or someone who escaped from the plantation of liberalism.

More from Malkin and Hot Air.

US won't go to Durban II after realizing its useless.

World: I am not going to give praise to the Obama Admin or his UN lackey Susan Rice for realizing too late it would be a waste of time to take part in this garbage conference. They were warned but still decided to take part in the planning I guess they thought the anti-jew/racist behavior would stop because it was all Bush's fault.

The United States has decided against taking part in a UN-led conference on racism after it quit the previous session in 2001 over claims of anti-Semitism, US officials said.

"We?re not going to further engage in Durban II," a senior State Department official told AFP on the condition of anonymity, referring to the conference scheduled for 20-24 April in Geneva.

A US delegation took part in the preparatory talks in Geneva on February 16 and made proposed changes to a resolution expected to be adopted at the conference, which Canada and Israel have said they would boycott.

According to a statement issued by State Department spokesman Robert Wood later Friday, the "document being negotiated has gone from bad to worse, and the current text of the draft outcome document is not salvageable.

"As a result, the United States will not engage in further negotiations on this text, nor will we participate in a conference based on this text," he said.

"A conference based on this text would be a missed opportunity to speak clearly about the persistent problem of racism."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Obama appoints Saudi Arabia lapdog.

Politics: Obama is quickly making America a big ole lapdog to former enemies with picks like this guy.

Woman tased in scuffle over store sign

Nation: Why charge the store owner, he is protecting his place from a nutjob.

A Colorado Springs' shop has a sign up that sent one customer into a frenzy. The sign reads: "Sorry, we are not a daycare center. Please control your children." It's hanging on the front door of the British Home Shoppe on Academy Boulevard.

The message on the store's sign apparently prompted a customer to grab items in the shop and start throwing them around. The store's owner, Richard Jones, says the woman threw items at his mother and then at him. Jones then decided to stun the customer with a taser to get her to stop. He is being charged with assault. The woman, is also facing charges, though they have not been released.

Black media fight between Johnson and Tv One.

Media: Someone is looking to stifle competition and if Comcast is involved it raises some questions.

Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson Thursday expressed "disappointment" with a recent TV One Federal Communications Commission filing in opposition of Johnson's bid to launch an upstart, urban-targeted network.

In a letter to TV One chairman Alfred Liggins, Johnson said he was "disappointed and puzzled" as to TV One's Feb. 19 FCC filing that opposes digital must-carry for networks such as Johnson's Urban Television, LLC network. Johnson, along with Ion Media Networks, is petitioning the FCC to grant Urban TV must-carry status under "share time" licenses.

Johnson said that TV One, which is the only minority-owned network currently in the marketplace, made a "strenuous" argument when it launched in 2004 that it should get mandatory carriage on any cable system that served urban markets due to the lack of networks other than BET targeting the African-American community.
"You felt then that BET should not be the only voice," said Johnson. "Now, in an amazing turn-about of self interest motivated by Comcast, the largest cable company which owns a significant stake in TV One, you argue that TV One should be the only voice."

Geert Wilders shows Fitna in Congress, Keith Ellison unhappy about it.

Religion: Keith Ellison is unhappy that Wilders got to show Fitna in the Capitol Building and wanted him banned. It never occurs to Ellison that banning Wilders from the Capitol Building would be huge disservice to free speech.

Wilders showing went off without a problem given the lack of news from the screening.

Somali militant group triggers terror concerns

Terrorism: After young Somali men disappeared and then appeared with terror groups in Somalia, there is now fear they are going to be sent back to continue their jihad.

As people crowded into the U.S. capital for Barack Obama's inaugural celebration, senior counterterrorism officials huddled in the White House situation room, frantically trying to unravel intelligence about a possible attack on Washington.
By Tuesday afternoon Jan. 20, as Obama took the oath of office, the threat of a terror plot by the Somalia-based al-Shabab organization had been debunked, but the flurry of activity underscored growing worries about this Islamic militant group.

"I think they are a serious problem, and I don't think that we should be glib and take it lightly," said Theresa Whelan, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for African Affairs. "Are they the ones that are going to plan the next major terrorist attack in the United States and carry it out? Probably not. But could they provide some of the foot soldiers for it? Yes."

The State Department considers al-Shabab a terrorist organization with links to al-Qaeda, something the group denies. Al-Shabab, which means "The Youth," has been gaining ground as Somalia's Western-backed government crumbles. The group's goal is to establish an Islamic state in Somalia.

U.S. counterterrorism officials say they detect a disturbing pattern, one that mirrors al-Qaeda methods and could spawn homegrown insurgents and suicide bombers in the U.S.

GM posts $30.9B loss, wants more taxpayer aid.

Business: Too big to fail has turned into too big to maintain by bailout money.

For General Motors Corp. nothing has stopped the bleeding. Not cutting 50,000 jobs in the U.S. Not closing 11 factories. Not $13.4 billion in government loans.

The teetering company, once the symbol of American industrial might, revealed Thursday that it burned through $19.2 billion in cash last year on its way to a $30.9 billion loss. The century-old automaker said its only hope of living another year is more aid from the government.

GM has continued to spend on a company too big for the market, paying workers when plants are closed and covering other costs such as machinery, marketing, pensions and health care.

Expenses are so high and income so low that GM warned that auditors are reviewing whether it can continue as "going concern." Auditors are determining whether there is substantial doubt about the company's ability to stay in business.

Jobless Angry at Possibility of Losing Out on Benefits

Nation: Expect more articles like this as NYTIMES bring the angry jobless to the front to protest states warily looking at Obama's unemployment money trap.

It is precisely these kind of regulations, involving such matters as the length of a person’s work history or reason for leaving a job, that the federal government is trying to get the states to change. Such a move could extend benefits to an estimated half-million more people, according to the National Employment Law Project, a liberal group in New York that supports the changes.

Mr. Kight and other unemployed workers said they were incensed to learn they were living in one of a handful of states — many of them among the poorest in the nation — that might not provide the expanded benefits.

“It just seems unreasonable,” Mr. Kight said, “that when people probably need the help the most, that because of partisan activity, or partisan feelings, against the current new administration, that Perry is willing to sacrifice the lives of so many Texans that have been out of work in the last year.”

He was referring to Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who has said he may decline the extra money rather than change state policy.

“I remain opposed to using these funds to expand existing government programs, burdening the state with ongoing expenditures long after the funding has dried up,” Mr. Perry wrote in a letter to Mr. Obama last week.

The governors contend that once the federal money ran out, they would have to continue providing the new benefits, which they say would force them to raise taxes on businesses. The federal money will end in two or three years in some states, or much later in others, depending on the size of the state allocation.

Proponents say that nothing would prevent states from changing the laws back at that time.

But proponents are thinking to themselves once we got the jobless hooked on welfare, the political will won't be there to change it back. There would be lawsuits to keep the expanded welfare rolls.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jewish Leaders blast Hillary for being Hillary.

Politics: The Clintons have always been a duplicitous couple, so welcome Jewish leaders for knowing what conservatives have known for years.

In a swift about face from her views as New York's senator, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is now hammering Israel over its treatment of Palestinians in Gaza.

As First Lady, Clinton raised eyebrows when she kissed Suha Arafat.

Since she was then seeking a Senate seat the resulting brouhaha caused her to "re-think" her positions.

"I'm a very strong supporter of Israel," Clinton said back in February 2000.

On Thursday, as Secretary of State she had yet another about face in the form of angry messages demanding Israel speed up aid to Gaza. Jewish leaders are furious.

"I am very surprised, frankly, at this statement from the United States government and from the secretary of state," said Mortimer Zuckerman, publisher of the New York Daily News and member of the NYC Jewish Community Relations Council.

"I liked her a lot more as a senator from New York," Assemblyman Dov Hikind, D-Brooklyn, said. "Now, I wonder as I used to wonder who the real Hillary Clinton is."

Kanye West whines Radiohead members disrespected him.

Entertainment: Radiohead doesn't care about black people!

Hip-hop star Kanye West trashed Radiohead and said the public should give Chris Brown "a break," during a recent taping of VH1's "Storytellers."

But the comments will not make it to air when the episode premieres on the lifestyle cable network on Saturday.

...During the taping, according to a Reuters reporter, West was aggrieved that Radiohead singer Thom Yorke had allegedly snubbed him backstage at the Grammys five days earlier. That hurt, West told the audience, because he idolizes the British band, and considers it one of his few creative rivals.

"So when he performed at the Grammys, I sat the f--- down," West said.

A little later, West asked the crowd, "Can't we give Chris a break? ... I know I make mistakes in life." He was referring to R&B singer Chris Brown, who was arrested on the night of the Grammys on suspicion of beating his girlfriend Rihanna.

In the same context, West earned loud applause with his declaration: "Michael Jackson, amazing. Michael Phelps, amazing ... He's a real f---in' person; he makes mistakes," referring to the champion swimmer's recent bong pipe brouhaha.

VH1 has cleaned up those comments a bit, and it also included West's less-popular follow-up observation: "O.J. Simpson, amazing. Is he not? What he did, when he did, what he did. Was he not amazing though?"

Kanye being Kanye.

Lord Almighty.. Obama's Trillion dollar budget buster.

Politics: Seriously, I don't even know where to begin on this crap he debuted today as the savior of America. Jake Tapper ran some numbers that only touched on some of it.

1) On people making more than $250,000.

$338 billion - Bush tax cuts expire
$179 billlion - eliminate itemized deduction
$118 billion - capital gains tax hike

Total: $636 billion/10 years

2) Businesses:

$17 billion - Reinstate Superfund taxes
$24 billion - tax carried-interest as income
$5 billion - codify "economic substance doctrine"
$61 billion - repeal LIFO
$210 billion - international enforcement, reform deferral, other tax reform
$4 billion - information reporting for rental payments
$5.3 billion - excise tax on Gulf of Mexico oil and gas
$3.4 billion - repeal expensing of tangible drilling costs
$62 million - repeal deduction for tertiary injectants
$49 million - repeal passive loss exception for working interests in oil and natural gas properties
$13 billion - repeal manufacturing tax deduction for oil and natural gas companies
$1 billion - increase to 7 years geological and geophysical amortization period for independent producers
$882 million - eliminate advanced earned income tax credit

Total: $353 billion/10 years

Hot Air is just stunned by the entire spending spree which reminds me of a college student with his/her first credit card.

I have nothing to offer you except links and despair. $3.6 trillion in spending divided by 139 million taxpayers equals $25,573.48 apiece. Just put it on my tab along with my student loans. Or better yet, put it on your kids’ tab: According to Boehner’s office, by 2019 the annual deficit will still be north of $700 billion and the national debt will stand a shade over … $15 trillion, almost double what it is now.

Obama is making Atlas Shrugged come alive. The entire budget depends on the most A+ scenarios to work halfway decent. Everything in this budget punishes people who work and hand over wealth to people who do not in a nutshell. We haven't even talked about the pork projects that are over 8000 in this budget.

Black Jesus also made the stock market slump yet again. I am beginning to think with all that Ivy League education, he may have skipped a couple of economic and behavioral science classes.

Newsday to end showing free web content.

Media: Some point tonight, someone will realize that they are Newsday and no one cares if they go out of business.

Tenn. Gov sees Obama's stimulus unemployment trap.

Politics: While others are just too damn greedy to see it.

Tennessee and Georgia may turn down some of the economic stimulus money if the restrictions outlined in the package cause budgetary hardship in the future, the governors said Monday.

After meeting with President Barack Obama, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said some provisions in the package for unemployment benefits would force states to expand their programs permanently, even though the stimulus funding only lasts for two years.

“We are evaluating this piece of money, whether it makes sense for us to take it,” he said. “We may well be one of the states that say we can’t take on that portion of it.”

Of issue is the package’s unemployment modernization provisions, which require states to update their unemployment insurance systems and provide jobless benefits to workers who now don’t qualify for benefits.

Texas lawmakers are seeing the same problem.

It is a naked power grab by Obama to force states to expand welfare rolls permanently and since the federal money runs out in two years states would be on the hook to keep welfare checks flowing. He and the Dems could have given the money with a specific time limit but choosed not too.

The more people who depend on government means more voters for Obama and the Dems.

Congressional Black Caucus needs to be taken to task over Burris.

Politics: Congressional Black Caucus members played the race card to the hilt in saying that Roland Burris should be seated as a Senator despite the fact everyone else thought bad idea. Now with Burris backtracking on his previous statements, you may have the embarrassment of the Senate kicking him out.

More revealing of Burris' real standing among his colleagues came when senators gathered in the chamber for votes. In the famously clubby Senate, the roll call for a vote is a time when senators huddle in clusters with colleagues with lots of handshakes and arm-grabbing. But if you looked closely, there on the periphery of the screen, like the geek in the schoolyard, was Burris suffering from an acute case of political halitosis. And as he continues to back off maladroitly from his formerly categorical statements that he was untainted by Blagojevich's alleged auction of the Obama seat, the case gets stronger that he should be expelled.

The Constitution is clear on the right of the Senate to determine the qualifications of its members, and Majority Leader Harry Reid was initially correct in opposing the seating of Burris. But in an especially cynical demonstration of playing the race card, a number of members of the Congressional Black Caucus — all of them House members — dared the Senate Democrats to deny a seat to the man who would be the chamber's only African American. One member of the Caucus — Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill. — likened the act of barring Burris to the use of dogs and fire hoses against civil rights demonstrators in the South 40 years ago.

In the face of these ludicrous comparisons, the Senate leadership backed off by reasoning, we might guess, that Democrats should not offend one of their most loyal constituencies. In doing so, they enabled the toxicity of Blagojevich's curtailed term to extend its half-life.

If there is any sort of political maturity within the CBC, there has to be a come to Jesus moment saying we screwed up badly. But I doubt that will happen and the standard O.P. is just silent.

Eric Holder eager to ban assault weapons for Mexico's sakes.

Nation: Not that anyone is surprised that gun grabber Holder would start on this talk when given the chance. But to use Mexico where his boss refuses to secure the borders and where Mexican authorities and government are to blame for allowing corruption for decades to reach this deadly point is stunning.

At a press conference announcing the arrests, Holder also suggested that re-instituting a U.S. ban on the sale of assault weapons would help reduce the bloodshed in Mexico, where last year 6,000 people were killed in drug-related violence.

U.S. officials have a responsibility to make sure Mexican police "are not fighting substantial numbers of weapons, or fighting against AK-47s or other similar kinds of weapons that have been flowing to Mexico," Holder said.

Crime syndicate widely spread
DEA Acting Administrator Michele Leonhart said the raid showed the tentacles of the crime syndicate had spread far across the United States, not just to major cities like Washington and Los Angeles, but to quiet, smaller communities like Stowe, Iowa, which the cartel allegedly used as a conduit to funnel drugs around the country.

Leonhart said the Sinaloa cartel has become one of the largest organized crime operations in the world.

The overnight roundup by DEA and state and local police included arrests in California, Minnesota, and the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Someone ask Eric is maybe securing the borders and putting in a tough immigration policy would help.

Bridge Design in the Netherlands

EU: Weird but functional.

Total Recall to be remade.

Entertainment: BLASPHEMY!!!! I don't think its been 29 years yet and already a remake?

Neal H. Moritz and his Original Films banner are in final negotiations to develop and produce for Columbia a contemporary version of "Total Recall," the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi action movie directed by Paul Verhoeven.

The original, based on the Philip K. Dick story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale," follows a man haunted by a recurring dream of journeying to Mars who buys a literal dream vacation from a company called Rekall Inc., which sells implanted memories. The man comes to believe he is a secret agent and ends up on a Martian colony, where he fights to overthrow a despotic ruler controlling the production of air.

'NeverEnding Story' to be remade.

Entertainment: Meh, I have no real feelings other than here is Hollywood being lazy and if made by Leo's company will turn into an enviro propaganda piece.

AP: Obama's words on home aid ring hollow

Politics: Who is putting the fiesty in AP reporters all of a sudden?

President Barack Obama knows Americans are unhappy that their taxes will be used to rescue people who bought mansions beyond their means.

But his assurance Tuesday night that only the deserving will get help rang hollow.

Even officials in his administration, many supporters of the plan in Congress and the Federal Reserve chairman expect some of that money will go to people who used lousy judgment.

The president skipped over several complex economic circumstances in his speech to Congress — and may have started an international debate among trivia lovers and auto buffs over what country invented the car.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama: $634 billion, House Dems: $410 billion.

Nation: US.... Screwed.

House OKs $410B bill to boost spending
Bill, passing mostly along party lines, chips away at Bush era policies.

Obama seeks $634 billion for health care
President calls for a significant ‘down payment’ over 10 years

House ends private school program for DC children.

Nation: Since D.C. public school system is so great, it is a shame for parents to choose to take their kids to a private school.

Democrats also inserted a provision into the bill to end a program that allows students in the District of Columbia to use federal funds to attend private schools of their choice. Boehner, who helped establish the program as part of a political bargain several years ago, called the move "hideous."

Mayor White backtracks on public money for private debt

Nation: Probably the most ill conceived idea of the year so far.

Mayor Bill White yanked a controversial plan Tuesday that called for the city to use taxpayer funds to pay off some personal debts for first-time homebuyers, following a flood of outrage and criticism from across the city and beyond.

“I don’t think we ought to be in the business of paying off someone’s debt so they can buy a house,” White conceded during an impassioned City Council meeting. “Paying off people’s credit cards is ridiculous.”

Many council members expressed “embarrassment” over the idea, which received national media attention after the Chronicle wrote about it in Tuesday’s editions. The story appeared to strike a nerve among taxpayers already angry over the recession, the housing meltdown, and federal bailouts of banks and automobile companies.

“Everybody’s outraged about this,” said Councilman Ron Greene, adding that a constituent e-mailed him a copy of a bill and asked him to pay it. “This was not well reasoned.”

Obama's speech: Good, weak and dangerous.

Politics: Makes a helluva lot of sense. He makes crap ideas sound great while double talking out of his mouth the whole way till the end. Look at this line about tax cuts from the porkulus bill.

Because of this plan, 95 percent of working households in America will receive a tax cut, a tax cut that you will see in your paychecks beginning on April 1.

It is an average of $65 freaking dollars a month people. That is not a tax cut it's a slap in the face mocking the concept of a tax cut. But it sounds so good when he talks about it in general terms, few will take him to task. That is why he is dangerous like a used car sales man.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Obama demands secrecy on Defense budget

Politics: This is interesting.

The Obama administration has directed defense officials to sign a pledge stating they will not share 2010 budget data with individuals outside the federal government.

In an undated non-disclosure agreement obtained by Defense News, the administration tells defense officials that “strict confidentiality” must be practiced to ensure a “successful” and “proper” 2010 defense budget process.

The secrecy pact comes as dozens of Bush-era Pentagon appointees remain on the job, asked to stay on by the Obama administration until replacements are confirmed to ensure continuity during wartime.

The cuts he is going to make must be brutal.

Geert Wilders to show Fitna in US Congress.

Nation: I don't agree with most of what Wilders says but its nice that at least one country in the West seems to understand healthy debate and freedom of expression.

A controversial Dutch MP banned from Britain for his fair right views will be allowed to screen his controversial anti-Islamic film in United States.

Geert Wilders, who was last month refused entry into Britain, will screen screen his anti-Islam film Fitna in Washington in two days time.

Republican Senator Jon Kyl will host Thursday's film screening for the far-right Dutch lawmaker who claims that Islam inspires terrorism.

UK: Polygamy is serious welfare business.

UK: Just like the case in Canada where men have multiple wives and getting multiple welfare benefits. This case however in the UK the benefits are much better.

In the four centuries since, bigamy (having two wives) and polygamy (more than two) has been frowned on by the state, the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.

Yet it is clear that officialdom is turning a blind eye to such marriages.

A recent review by four Government departments - the Treasury, the Work and Pensions Department, the Inland Revenue and the Home Office - has concluded that 1,000 men in the United Kingdom are now polygamists, although some say the figure is higher.

What is more, the review found, a Muslim man can claim state support of more than £10,000 a year to keep his wives, if the wedding took place in one of those countries where polygamy is commonplace, such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia and across huge tracts of Africa.

For example, a man can receive &£92.80 a week in income support for wife number one, and a further £33.65p for each of his subsequent spouses.

Therefore, if he has four wives - the maximum permitted under Islamic teachings - he can claim nearly £800 a month from the British taxpayer.

Controversially, a polygamist is also entitled to more generous housing benefits and bigger council houses to reflect the large size of his family. He is also able to claim £1,000 a year in child benefit for each of his growing brood.

The Government insists that polygamy has declined in Britain since the 1988 Immigration Act, which made it harder for men to bring second, third or fourth wives to the UK.

However, it's little wonder that critics claim our generosity simply encourages more Muslim men to keep several spouses. Supporters of polygamy claim the Koran states unequivocally that a Muslim man can marry up to four women so long as he treats them equally.

Interesting article.

Will the UK ban Ibrahim Moussawi from showing up?

UK: What was good for Wilders is good for this guy by far.

Jacqui Smith was tonight warned against exercising 'double standards' as an Islamic extremist prepared to travel to the UK.
Ibrahim Moussawi, a known hardliner with links to Hezbollah, has been invited to speak at a London university.

But the Home Secretary is under pressure to refuse an entry visa to Moussawi, who has allegedly described Jews as 'a lesion on the forehead of history'.

Earlier this month, she banned the far-Right Dutch MP Geert Wilders from coming to Britain to show his film about Islam as it would threaten 'community harmony'.

But the Conservatives warned that to ban those who threaten community harmony, while letting in those who glorify terrorism or are part of terrorist groups, would send out the 'wrong message'.
There must be 'no double standards on extremists', warned Tory security spokesman Baroness Neville-Jones.

Moussawi, who has already made at least two trips to the UK, has been invited to speak on political Islam at the School of Oriental and African Studies next month.

Euro GM workers demand state welfare.

EU: I think the term delusional would apply here because who is so stupid to basically have a car industry run on welfare?

Unions representing European staff of US auto giant General Motors (GM) called on workers to protest Thursday in a bid to save their jobs and call for state aid.

Staff at Opel plants in Germany and its sister British brand, Vauxhall, are expected to hold a demonstration against the threat of job cuts.

"We want to expose our demands clearly once again," Rainer Einenkel, the head of the works council at GM's plant in Bochum, western Germany, told AFP Tuesday.

Einenkel said he would attend a meeting of Opel's supervisory board on Friday where management would present an "Opel rescue plan" at the meeting at the request of the German government.

Under German law, labour representatives are granted 10 seats out of 20 on a company's supervisory board.

Echoing Einenkel's call to protest, the European Metalworkers Federation (EMF) said in a statement Tuesday that it would oppose any forced plant closures or job cuts.

Leaflets handed out at Opel's main plant in the western Germany city of Ruesselsheim demanded that there should be "No plant closures and no layoffs" and called for workers to protest Thursday.

Obama lets GM/UAW forego some loan terms.

Nation: Way to be tough with the auto industry.

The Obama administration relaxed the rules for General Motors Corp.’s $13.4-billion rescue loan last week when it submitted a required turnaround plan, allowing the automaker to forego signed agreements with the UAW and bondholders called for by the Bush administration.

GM had indicated before it filed its plan last Tuesday that it would not be able to submit the “term sheets” that the loan called for. Those agreements had required the automaker to show plans for cost cuts through pay reductions for UAW workers, reduced payments to the UAW retiree health care trust and by convincing bondholders to swap debt for equity.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday, GM said it had signed an amendment to its loan agreement with the U.S. Treasury last week deleting the section calling for the term sheets.

The concept behind loan terms are the borrowers have to follow thru on them. If they know you will keep giving them a pass, nothing will happen

More Section 8 crime news bits.

Crime: Just to pile on, the Sun-Sentinel and Palm Beach Post look at Wellington where section 8 has done a number on this area.

"The neighborhood's changed drastically over the last 10 years," said Palumbo, who has owned property there since 1988. "I wish they would straighten it out, because it was a nice neighborhood at one time."

The forces behind this transition include a sliding economy, a played-out housing boom and transient tenants living in a close cluster of rental units, some of which are designated as federally subsidized housing, according to law enforcement and Wellington officials.

"We know that that area is an issue area for us," said Paul Schofield, Wellington village manager. "It is one of the older areas in the village. It is a rental community."

Drive just a couple of blocks, and you're in the familiar Wellington of trim lawns and single-family homes. You're a short hop from the shopping mecca, the Mall at Wellington Green, and from the polo fields that give Wellington an international reputation among the moneyed.

The Millers' neighborhood is one of three places in Wellington that the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office calls "areas of concern." All three contain multiple-unit buildings, including Section 8 subsidized housing — along with "the companion issues associated with these socioeconomic conditions," said Capt. Gregory Richter, head of the sheriff's Wellington division.

Rights Groups Allege Rental Discrimination

Nation: Who knew it was legal to charge someone because they may have denied people a place to rent because they have a voucher. Dishearting because Section 8 people tend to bring baggage. Yes I am being bougie, deal with it.

Two civil rights groups yesterday filed complaints claiming that six Montgomery County landlords are illegally turning away low-income tenants who want to use government vouchers to help pay the rent.

The groups say testers with vouchers were turned away or were shown only some available apartments, while testers without vouchers were offered a wide array of options and, in some instances, offered a rent break or some other incentive to sign a lease.

Montgomery's affordable housing program has about 5,600 vouchers and a waiting list of about 25,000 families seeking some form of subsidized housing. The voucher program formerly was known as Section 8.

The decades-old federal housing voucher program gives prospective tenants a piece of paper that can be used to pay up to 100 percent of their rent. It has long been viewed by supporters as a positive program that has helped thousands get out of shelters or sub-par housing and begin to make their way toward the middle class.

The goal is to spread low- and moderate-income residents throughout jurisdictions to encourage economic and geographic integration. The program is touted as a successful alternative to government-run public housing projects.

AP: Obama glosses over complex realities.

Politics: Some people at AP ate their Wheaties before the speech and put out a nice little smackdown.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama glossed over some complex realities Tuesday in delivering his to-do list to Congress and a nation hungry for economic salvation.
A look at some of his assertions:

OBAMA: "We have already identified $2 trillion in savings over the next decade."

THE FACTS: Although 10-year projections are common in government, they don't mean much. And at times, they are a way for a president to pass on the most painful steps to his successor, by putting off big tax increases or spending cuts until someone else is in the White House.

Obama only has a real say on spending during the four years of his term. He may not be president after that and he certainly won't be 10 years from now.

OBAMA: "Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn't afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day."

THE FACTS: This may be so, but it isn't only Republicans who pushed for deregulation of the financial industries. The Clinton administration championed an easing of banking regulations, including legislation that ended the barrier between regular banks and Wall Street banks. That led to a deregulation that kept regular banks under tight federal regulation but extended lax regulation of Wall Street banks. Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, later an economic adviser to candidate Obama, was in the forefront in pushing for this deregulation.

Obama snubs PM Stephen Harper?

Canada: Anyone get the distinct feeling that Obama likes treating America's natural allies like crap while kissing up to its enemies way too much?

OTTAWA–Governor General Michaëlle Jean discussed the plight of her native Haiti with U.S. President Barack Obama, who invited her to come to Washington – an invitation that was not extended to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

American aides to the president who briefed the travelling White House reporters en route back to Washington Thursday said Obama and the Governor General exchanged "views about how we could be helpful to the government there in dealing with economic and social issues."

The Harper government spokesperson told reporters Thursday that Obama had not invited Harper to Washington at this time and their next meeting would be the international G20 and NATO meetings in April in Europe.

Minta Garcia is the face of Obama's housing bailout.

Nation: The 90+% who are responsible homeowners and renters will have to pay because this woman took a gamble and lost. Only in America does that mean everyone else has to bail her out.

Obama pledges to slash deficit — after increase

Politics: Hmm..

Urging strict future restraint even as current spending soars, President Barack Obama pledged on Monday to dramatically slash the skyrocketing annual budget deficit as he started to dole out the record $787 billion economic stimulus package he signed last week.

Obama deficit plan follows best-case scenario


House Democrats propose $410B spending bill.

House Dems create $410 Billion spending bill

Politics: Added with every conceivable pork projects they wanted in the first place.

House Democrats unveiled a $410 billion spending bill on Monday to keep the government running through the end of the fiscal year, setting up the second political struggle over federal funds in less than a month with Republicans.

The measure includes thousands of earmarks, the pet projects favored by lawmakers but often criticized by the public in opinion polls. There was no official total of the bill's earmarks, which accounted for at least $3.8 billion.

The legislation, which includes an increase of roughly 8 percent over spending in the last fiscal year, is expected to clear the House later in the week.

Democrats defended the spending increases, saying they were needed to make up for cuts enacted in recent years or proposed a year ago by then-President George W. Bush in health, education, energy and other programs.

Republicans countered that the spending in the bill far outpaced inflation, and amounted to much higher increases when combined with spending in the stimulus legislation that President Barack Obama signed last week. In a letter to top Democratic leaders, the GOP leadership called for a spending freeze, a step they said would point toward a "new standard of fiscal discipline."

Either way, the bill advanced less than one week after Obama signed the $787 billion economic stimulus bill that all Republicans in Congress opposed except for three moderate GOP senators.

Obama 'to rescue 11,000 UK jobs' at Citigroup

UK: Black jesus saving the world one bailout at a time.

Washington is planning to rescue the jobs of British workers at beleaguered banking giant Citigroup.

Barack Obama was last night considering taking a 40 per cent stake in what some analysts describe as the 'walking dead bank'. It employs 11,000 staff in the UK, mainly in London.

The U.S. president insists he wants to keep banks in the private sector but it is feared a rescue will have to be mounted.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Obama to send $1 Billion dollars to Gaza aka Hamas controlled land?

Middle East: On what planet are people in his office approving of this stupidity? This has to be a Susan Rice move because it has the feel good directive behind it. I don't see even Hillary going all in as all this money will end up being wasted and a sizable amount will end up in Hamas's hands via these same UN agencies.

The United States plans to offer more than $900 million to help rebuild Gaza after Israel's invasion and to strengthen the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, U.S. officials said on Monday.

The money, which needs U.S. congressional approval, will be distributed through U.N. and other bodies and not via the militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, said one official.

"This money is for Gaza and to help strengthen the Palestinian Authority. It is not going to go to Hamas," said the official, who asked not to be named as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton planned to announce the funding at a donors' conference in Egypt next week.

Neither the United States nor Israel have direct contact with the Islamist Hamas movement which runs Gaza and remains formally committed to the destruction of the Jewish state.

The official said the pledge was a mix of money already earmarked for the Palestinians and some new funding.

"The package is still shaping up," he said, when asked for specifics over how the money would be spent and a breakdown of old and new funding.

In December, the former Bush administration said it would give $85 million to the U.N. agency that provides aid to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

MTV tries to get its relevance back with new lineup.

Entertainment: I am convinced thatMTV is to blame in part for the dumbing down of Gen Y'ers and the rise of hipsters and mouth breathers. This change accelerated when MTV started airing reality shows and have gotten worse over the years as videos which gave MTV its relevance and cool cache were cut out. Now the reality shows have dropped MTV ratings down, they have decided to double down on those very same shows.

Being a beacon of everything cool to young people everywhere just ain't as easy as it used to be.

MTV, which for years set the pace as the television network that often dictated pop culture, today has competition as a trendsetter for young America from players no one even dreamed about back when “Video Killed the Radio Star” first aired in 1981.

And Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman has made no secret of MTV's ratings struggles over the past few quarters, citing increased competition from other networks in the target demos and a struggle to get viewers to tune into repeats. And those ratings were down 21% in key youth demos in the fourth quarter just as ad dollars began falling for television networks across the board.

But while some have claimed MTV let the Internet-crazed world pass it by, Viacom's iconic flagship cable channel isn't standing still. The network is embarking on a radical shift in programming strategy, one that execs hope will broaden its demographic reach and return MTV to its glory days as a ratings leader and trendsetting force. And early returns look promising.

Government time to shine with your money.

Politics: Washington Post cheers on the expanded government role as Obama and the Dems will try to make government dominate in people's lives to kill off any idea that small government is a good thing.

The stimulus package is not only a political crucible for Obama and the congressional Democrats who pushed it through; it is also the ultimate test of government's ability to deliver, from a vast array of federal agencies and departments down to state and local offices across the country.

It will be up to thousands of Cabinet undersecretaries, regional agency directors and local contracting officers to get the stimulus money out fast enough to boost the economy and to meet Obama's broader policy goals. Obama has cast his election as a repudiation of an anti-government philosophy that has been in vogue for the past three decades. The stimulus spending offers the prospect of renewing confidence in the public sector just as many are losing faith in corporate America. If done poorly, though, it could undermine Obama's longer-term vision of reaffirming the positive role of government in the lives of Americans.

"This is an historic opportunity for federal managers to rise to the occasion, to stand up and make sure these dollars are spent well," said Donald F. Kettl, a University of Pennsylvania political scientist. "It's an historic shot, but it's a tough shot. It may be an exaggeration to say they've been set up to fail, but the expectations are very high."

UK ministers demand Parents stop acting like parents.

UK: When you have a 12 year who may have fathered a child with a 14 year old is good enough reason to show why parents should act like parents. If there was more talk about right/wrong and instilling a sense of honor/respect in children, you wouldn't have as much teen pregnancy by having sex at such a young age.

Parents should not tell their young teenage children that it is wrong to have sex, ministers said yesterday.

They should curb their tongues for fear of discouraging youngsters from 'being open', according to a campaign to involve mothers and fathers in sex education.

But, while parents are warned against giving moral guidance, they are encouraged to get their children to use condoms and other contraception from the age of 13.

....The effort to recruit parents to reinforce the Government's failing 'teenage pregnancy strategy' comes as ministers are braced for the release of damning figures on pregnancies among under-18s.

They will show - as disclosed by the Daily Mail in December - that in 2007 the teen pregnancy rate defied Government expectations by going up, not down.

Mrs Hughes and her colleagues have already tried to revamp their strategy - which is based on universal sex education and wide distribution of contraception - by ordering compulsory sex education in primary schools.

The attempt to recruit parents to give state-approved advice to their children is backed by the production of leaflets, to be available in chemists' shops. There will also be
a £530,000 handout to the fpa - once known as the Family Planning Association - to provide training for parents who want to advise their children on sex.

The leaflets produced by Ed Balls' Children's Department said: 'Discussing your values with your teenagers will help them to form their own. Remember though, that trying to convince them of what's right and wrong may discourage them from being open.'

According to the guidance leaflets, called Talking to your Teenager about Sex and Relationships, 'the more they understand, the more they are likely to make the right choices'.

The leaflet does not suggest that the right choice means delaying sex until the legal age of consent.

Obama's audacious plans but people still gloomy.

Media: MSNBC headline writers in the tank for Obama because they can't believe that everyone is not happy yet.

Every other headline for this same story is "Analysis: Obama plans eclipsing New Deal spending"

EU MP's don't pay taxes and make a killing off taxpayers.

EU: Nothing will come of this report because I have never seen any real protest against the EU body worth a damn.

Members of the European Parliament are earning up to £1 million in profit in just one five-year term in office through expenses and allowances, a leaked report has revealed.

The report sparked calls for a police investigation into the systematic abuse of taxpayers' money.

The internal report into the system of allowances - conducted by Robert Galvin, a European Union internal audit official - was kept secret when it was carried out last year.

But a leaked copy of the 92-page document details the full extent of "corruption, dodgy dealing and poor financial controls" in the European Parliament, according to the Taxpayers' Alliance. It revealed that some MEPs claimed money for assistants that were neither accredited nor registered with the parliament.

Matthew Elliott, the chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "Having acquired the report, we felt it was right to publish it so taxpayers across the EU could see the widespread evidence of corruption, dodgy dealing and poor financial controls in the European Parliament.

"It should never have been kept secret, and there must now be a proper investigation by the police.

"Taxpayers deserve to know how their money is being spent, and if anyone is stealing from them. The EU Parliament must publish the full details of all MEPs' expenses and allowances, and name the people this report found to be ripping taxpayers off."

Oscars: Gayest version ever!

Entertainment: Pretty much by the end I had to agree with Nikki Finke who likened it to a big stage version of the Tony Awards.

"OK, I'm going to say it: GAYEST OSCARS EVER! (Not that there's anything wrong with that. I voted against Prop 8.) But Hugh sitting on Frank Langella's lap? Talking about kissing him? After performing a song and dance number? Seriously, did Larry Mark and Bill Condon deliberately try to ruin Jackman's career by giving him ridiculous material and props like a lawn chair? More importantly, tell me how this number is going to widen the audience for the Oscars which the Academy was desperate to accomplish tonight?"

Sean Penn winning for Milk was probably the most political tainted win in recent Oscar history. It was all about Prop 8 and nothing else while Rourke was robbed because of it.

Hugh Jackman was a great host who was underutilized and should be brought back.

I side with Peter Gabriel about pulling out of the show because he would only get 65 seconds because having previous nominees come out for the actor categories wasting everyone's time with their speeches was stupid.

Remember the Sophia Loren bit about how she looks good even in old age? That meme died a horrible death in HD at this show.

And why is the guy from Twilight sitting in the second row behind Rourke?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Stimulus dollars helping illegal workers.

Nation: This lands in the category of no shit, Sherlock to be blunt. Especially when you have congress taking out measures to verify who is legal and who is not.

Thousands of N.C. jobs and millions in wages created from the federal economic stimulus package could wind up going to illegal immigrants.

Congress stripped language from the $789billion package that would have required employers to verify the legal status of workers paid with stimulus money.

The White House estimates the package will generate or save an estimated 105,000 jobs in North Carolina over the next two years.

While it's impossible to say definitively how many illegal immigrants will get jobs, multiple studies estimate at least 14percent of the construction labor force is in the U.S. illegally. Experts say actual numbers are likely much higher.

North Carolina could get $1.3billion for highway and school construction, which, based on federal estimates, could mean more than 5,000 jobs for undocumented workers.

“That's not right,” said Jon Holstead, 24, a Charlotte electrician helping to build Salome Church Road Elementary School near Lowe's Motor Speedway. “You have Americans out of work, but you have illegal immigrants coming to work.”

Dambisa Moyo, "The Anti-Bono" rips on African Aid.

Africa: Rock stars and their rock star economic plans pushed with such certainty by the likes of Bono and Chris Martin of Coldplay are generally crap ideas. They are forged in the heads of well meaning white Euro liberals who think Africa is some sort of mentally challenged being that needs aid help among other things.

Of course when you challenge the white euro liberal for example Bono that Africa should be asking for investments instead of having a hand out for aid to give to them which is generally wasted by corrupt governments, you get talked down to like a colonial servant speaking out of turn. That is what Bono did to Andrew Mwenda a couple of years back.

So its always refreshing to have someone kicking these heaven sent rock stars and their ideas in the ass.

Q: As a native of Zambia with advanced degrees in public policy and economics from Harvard and Oxford, you are about to publish an attack on Western aid to Africa and its recent glamorization by celebrities. ‘‘Dead Aid,’’ as your book is called, is particularly hard on rock stars. Have you met Bono?

I have, yes, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last year. It was at a party to raise money for Africans, and there were no Africans in the room, except for me.

What do you think of him? I’ll make a general comment about this whole dependence on “celebrities.”

I object to this situation as it is right now where they have inadvertently or manipulatively become the spokespeople for the African continent.

You argue in your book that Western aid to Africa has not only perpetuated poverty but also worsened it, and you are perhaps the first African to request in book form that all development aid be halted within five years.

Think about it this way — China has 1.3 billion people, only 300 million of whom live like us, if you will, with Western living standards. There are a billion Chinese who are living in substandard conditions. Do you know anybody who feels sorry for China? Nobody.

Maybe that’s because they have so much money that we here in the U.S. are begging the Chinese for loans.

Forty years ago, China was poorer than many African countries. Yes, they have money today, but where did that money come from? They built that, they worked very hard to create a situation where they are not dependent on aid.

What do you think has held back Africans?

I believe it’s largely aid. You get the corruption — historically, leaders have stolen the money without penalty — and you get the dependency, which kills entrepreneurship. You also disenfranchise African citizens, because the government is beholden to foreign donors and not accountable to its people.