Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ron Howard hopes America becomes weak and less of a leader.

Politics: Hollywood liberals forever hoping we become more European.

Film director Ron Howard is “very optimistic” about the future of America, so long as the nation makes an “adjustment,” to fulfill his hope a “more progressive” nation will mean “at a certain point I don’t think we’ll be so consumed with being the pre-eminent super-power and, you know, driven by sort of militarism and this need to export, you know, democracy.”

Howard’s reasoning, on Friday night’s Real Time with Bill Maher, came in response to Maher’s formulation that America has “seen better days. We’re sort of in place that has made a lot of people nervous. Some people would say this country has jumped the shark.”

Democrat says Democracy In Cuba Would Cause Lack of 'Diversity'

Politics: This bit of rampant stupidity brought to you by another useful idiot member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri.

BLOCK: Well, congressman, you well know that supporters of current Cuba policy -- supporters of the embargo -- say that if you lift sanctions you are going to just aid and justify a repressive regime. You're going to kill any hope of democracy. Now that regime will just use more resources to become more oppressive than it already is.

CLEAVER: Well, the world operates at its best when there is diversity. Every nation does not need to be like the United States. And frankly we already have diplomatic ties to repressive nations. And frankly if there is repression in Cuba, we didn't see it. We mingled with Cuban people. I preached at an Episcopal Church, Sunday, where we were told that there was no freedom of religion, which is not true.

BLOCK: You did not though, as I understand it, during your five days in Cuba, you did not meet with any Cuban dissidents. Do you think there's a case to be made that you were presented with a sanitized, distorted view? If you had met with dissidents, you would've heard a very different story.

CLEAVER: Well, this trip was aimed at first of all, creating communication and hopefully opening the door for some dialogue between our government and the government of Cuba. It's not going to be helpful for us to throw our fingers in the face of the Cuban leadership while we're saying to them we believe that dialogue is possible. We talked to our enemies all around the globe. I mean, the president has already said he wants to have some open and candid dialogue with Ahmadinejad in Iran, and so we are saying the same thing should be true with our neighbor 90 miles away from the Florida coast. So we did not meet with dissidents. And, be certain of this, that issue most definitely will come up when official discussions take place between the U.S. and Cuba.

Next time anyone says members of the CBC are fighting for justice and fighting for civil rights for everyone, kick them in the nuts.

NYTIMES happy to diss US Navy over pirates.

Nation: Just a little bit to happy to write off the power of America.

By Mark Mazzetti
The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Indian Ocean standoff between an $800 million U.S. Navy destroyer and four pirates bobbing in a lifeboat low on fuel showed the limits facing the world's most powerful military in dealing with a booming pirate economy in a treacherous patch of international waters.

Driven solely by economic gain, not politics or religion, the brand of pirates who captured an American merchant ship's captain Wednesday is an unconventional foe for the U.S. military. In recent years, they have shrewdly extorted millions of dollars from international shipping companies. To help negotiate the captain's release, the Navy turned for advice Thursday to an FBI hostage-rescue team, practiced in a patient approach.

The limits are self-imposed.

U.S. rules of engagement prevent the Americans using their vastly superior fighting power to engage the pirates if there is any danger to civilians.

The situation is new for the pirates. Normally, they seize a ship with many hostages and get it anchored near shore, where they can quickly escape to land, and then begin negotiations for multimillion-dollar ransoms. Left with only Phillips and a lifeboat that is out of fuel, they are in a vulnerable position.

Ginsburg loves Influence of Foreign Law

Politics: Ginsburg loves the foreign law.

In wide-ranging remarks here, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg defended the use of foreign law by American judges, suggested that torture should not be used even when it might yield important information and reflected on her role as the Supreme Court’s only female justice. The occasion was a symposium at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University honoring her 15 years on the court.

“I frankly don’t understand all the brouhaha lately from Congress and even from some of my colleagues about referring to foreign law,” Justice Ginsburg said in her comments on Friday.

Justice Ginsburg said the controversy was based on the misunderstanding that citing a foreign precedent means the court considers itself bound by foreign law as opposed to merely being influenced by such power as its reasoning holds.

“Why shouldn’t we look to the wisdom of a judge from abroad with at least as much ease as we would read a law review article written by a professor?” she asked.

She added that the failure to engage foreign decisions had resulted in diminished influence for the United States Supreme Court.

The Canadian Supreme Court, she said, is “probably cited more widely abroad than the U.S. Supreme Court.” There is one reason for that, she said: “You will not be listened to if you don’t listen to others.”

What is the difference? If you look at a German law that set a precedent over there and use it to make a decision that follows it in America based on German thinking, you have bound Americans to foreign thinking. Ginsburg is a liberal who doesn't believe in American exceptionalism in the sense that why should America just be the leader and not a follower.

The misunderstanding comes from her desire to be a follower.

Obama aka President Pantywaist

Politics: The Brits once again bring the written pain pointing out that Obama overseas trip was great if you are looking for a groveling surrender monkey American President. If you were looking for substance, then it was a failure.

President Barack Obama has recently completed the most successful foreign policy tour since Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. You name it, he blew it. What was his big deal economic programme that he was determined to drive through the G20 summit? Another massive stimulus package, globally funded and co-ordinated. Did he achieve it? Not so as you'd notice.

....Watch out, France and Co, there is a new surrender monkey on the block and, over the next four years, he will spectacularly sell out the interests of the West with every kind of liberal-delusionist initiative on nuclear disarmament and sitting down to negotiate with any power freak who wants to buy time to get a good ICBM fix on San Francisco, or wherever. If you thought the world was a tad unsafe with Dubya around, just wait until President Pantywaist gets into his stride.

Justices to Hear White Firefighters’ Bias Claims

Nation: This is one of the dumber A.A actions ever taken to fill a job slot.

Frank Ricci has been a firefighter here for 11 years, and he would do just about anything to advance to lieutenant.

The last time the city offered a promotional exam, he said in a sworn statement, he gave up a second job and studied up to 13 hours a day. Mr. Ricci, who is dyslexic, paid an acquaintance more than $1,000 to read textbooks onto audiotapes. He made flashcards, took practice tests, worked with a study group and participated in mock interviews.

Mr. Ricci did well, he said, coming in sixth among the 77 candidates who took the exam. But the city threw out the test, because none of the 19 African-American firefighters who took it qualified for promotion. That decision prompted Mr. Ricci and 17 other white firefighters, including one Hispanic, to sue the city, alleging racial discrimination.

...Blacks passed at roughly half the rate of whites and ended up low on the ranked list of possible promotion candidates.. Under the city charter’s “rule of three,” as positions became available they had to be offered to one of the top three candidates then on the list.

In practice, this meant that no black firefighters would have been eligible for the available promotions to lieutenant. After a series of contentious hearings, the city’s Civil Service Board deadlocked by a 2-to-2 vote on whether to certify the lieutenant’s test and a similar one for captain. The tie had the effect of rejecting the tests.

Here is the unintended result of trying to promote via race and not on merit. Firefighters are high on my list of wanting the best regardless of race being hired. If I am in a burning building or my family is in danger I am not going to give a damn about the color of their skin. It is ridiculous for legitimate tests to be thrown out because the desired result did not happen.

Then you have black organizations trying to justify the whole thing and just making matters worse.

John Payton, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., which filed a brief supporting the city, said the case, Ricci v. DeStefano, No. 07-1428, must be understood against the backdrop of what he described as pervasive racial discrimination in firefighting and the pitfalls of thinking that a test can capture the qualities needed for leadership in life-or-death situations.

“Firefighting is a skilled job where all of the skills are learned on the job,” Mr. Payton said. “It’s a really good job, and it’s been racially exclusive in most of our major cities.”

In a brief supporting the white firefighters, the National Association of Police Organizations saw the injection of racial politics into public safety. Promotion decisions should be based on merit, the group said. Race-neutral decisions foster camaraderie and a sense of fairness, it added, saying that people who work in public safety “are, in the main, effectively colorblind.”

But Donald Day, a representative of the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters, questioned the value of the New Haven test, which included written and oral components. “An individual’s ability to answer a multiple-choice exam,” Mr. Day told the city’s Civil Service Board, “does nothing but measure their ability to read and retain.”

There are more important values, he added. “Young black and Latino kids have every right,” he said, “to see black and Latino officers on those fire trucks that are riding through their community. They have every right to look for a role model.”

So a role model is more important than having the best qualified saving people's lives and property. How stupid does the NAACP and IABPFF come off? A multiple choice test, written and oral is not spewing out what you remember but a measure of how well you perform under pressure. This was a promotion test where someone will be in charge of others. No one has a right to be on a firetruck or promoted just because they are black or Latino.

Another thing.

The last time the city offered a promotional exam, he said in a sworn statement, he gave up a second job and studied up to 13 hours a day. Mr. Ricci, who is dyslexic, paid an acquaintance more than $1,000 to read textbooks onto audiotapes. He made flashcards, took practice tests, worked with a study group and participated in mock interviews.

He prepared for the test, what is the excuse for the 19 black candidates that ended on the low end of the results? Learn up or shut up.

Stanley Crouch rips Mos Def and Cornel West.

Nation: Getting into an argument with Hitchens is a danger but then to fall back on the "black man being attacked" because you got called out on your stupidity is weak. The keep it real nonsense does a huge disservice to the black community because when the "role models" act like fools so will those who look up to them.

The second Dante Terrell Smith lives up to his silly nickname. Not long ago, after reading a black political blog, I found myself moving along, link to link, until I went from Smith’s making hilarious fun of another rapper’s insipid lyrics to a very disturbing appearance he made with Cornel West in a discussion with Bill Maher on Real Time some time shortly before the presidential election. That was a gully-low moment.

I found it disturbing because it was the contrived Mutt and Jeff act of a public—or pop—black intellectual and a guy from the bottom. Successful people perform that act in order to prove that they are still connected to the community. While Cornel West pretended to sympathize with “where he was coming from,” the actor ran through the counterfeit lack of sense we see too frequently in those always trying to make it clear that they have not “left the ‘hood.” Their mask of brain rot allows them to genuflect in the face of ignorance.

Just a few weeks ago, Smith appeared on Real Time with Salman Rushdie and Christopher Hitchens, but his pretentious "brother from the projects" act did not go over well. His supposed courage to "express an unpopular opinion" was taken by Hitchens as an insult to the common intellectual knowledge that anyone should have about big issues in the contemporary world. Unlike those white Americans who have presented black illogic as a form of popular entertainment since the days of Malcolm X and Eldridge Cleaver, Hitchens was not having it and challenged Smith to back up his purported opinions. This is something the British are much better at than their American counterparts. Stuck in his act, Smith wavered forward, sinking with every syllable he uttered. That's how it goes: When the right white people are encountered, contrived ethnic authenticity doesn't cut it.

....Whether they actually mean to or not, Smith and West end up condescending to the ignorant and the irrational as if that backwardness is no more than a version of “black style.” Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Ignorance is a lack of information, not a genetic defect or a “cultural style;” and irrationality should be fought at every step. Irrationality powered the toxic tribal blob that swelled over Hitler’s Germany and swallowed up its citizenry as well as their murdered victims. The exact same thing can be said about Bosnia and Rwanda. Tribalism. It is what it is and does what it does and can be recognized if we are not decoyed by color.

What both Smith and West embodied is the contemporary crisis of the Negro intellectual. At some point, highly intelligent people have to be willing to stand apart from and point out all of the shortcomings that can keep individuals, classes, and ethnic groups down.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dem rep backs off giving illegal immigrants voting rights.

politics: It had to be a Massachusetts liberal to come up with this stupid idea.

Widespread opposition to giving illegal immigrants the chance to vote in local elections has led the town's state representative to back down a day after she said she'd support adding the issue to the state Democratic Party's official platform.

"I have been receiving a lot of e-mails and phone calls...I'd say 90 percent are not in favor of this proposal," said state Rep. Pam Richardson, D-Framingham, Wednesday. "It's definitely made me rethink the whole concept."

On Tuesday, Richardson said she supported giving cities and towns the option of allowing illegal immigrants to vote in municipal elections. She said that voting rights could help bring together a "fractured" immigrant community, particularly among residents from Brazil.

"My goal in making these statements was to suggest a way a bridge could be built between the undocumented community and the greater Framingham community," said Richardson.

Richardson made the proposal as a possible addition to the state Democratic Party's platform, which is voted on in June.

"Unless I hear from a large number of constituents that they are in favor of my position, I am unlikely to push it at the state convention," said Richardson.

Under 30 years: 37% prefer capitalism, 33% socialism

Nation: As people get older capitalism goes up. The under 30 crowd will have its share of people who think before they get a good paying job that having the government be their mommy/daddy is a good thing.

Ethanol raises cost of basically every food group and programs.

Nation: Ethanol at this point is doing more harm than good.

The increased use of ethanol could cost the government up to $900 million for food stamps and child nutrition programs, a congressional report says.

Higher use of the corn-based fuel additive accounted for about 10 percent to 15 percent of the rise in food prices between April 2007 and April 2008, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. That translates into higher costs for food programs for the needy.

The CBO said other factors, such as skyrocketing energy costs, had an even greater impact than ethanol on food prices during that period. Economists there estimate that increased costs for food programs overall due to higher food prices will be about $5.3 billion in the current budget year.

Wells Fargo being deceptive about their earnings?

Business: My first thought was if you get $25 billion in taxpayer money, you better show some sort of profit, but given the state of the economy it didn't sound right.

Wells Fargo, which has received $25 billion from the federal government, said that its traditional and investment banking businesses grew and that the results in its mortgage business were "exceptionally strong."

The company said it put $4.6 billion away to cover losses, less than many analysts expected. It also said Wachovia, a large Charlotte bank that Wells Fargo bought last fall, was contributing more in sales and profit than expected to the combined company's bottom line.

As a result, the company said its earnings would be more than twice what a consensus of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had anticipated.

But some analysts were skeptical of the unexpectedly big boost in earnings. Analysts at Arlington investment bank FBR Capital Markets asked in a research report yesterday whether Wells Fargo benefited from recent changes in mark-to-market accounting rules. Banks now can value troubled assets at a higher price than the market is willing to pay. A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo declined to say.

The FBR analysts also doubted that Wells Fargo was accurately assessing its losses on loans. "We believe that credit quality materially deteriorated in the first quarter and that Wells Fargo is under-reserving for expected future losses," the analysts wrote.

Christopher Whalen, managing director of Institutional Risk Analytics, questioned how Wells Fargo could have a slower rate of defaults, or charge-offs, this year than last, given the worsening state of the economy.

"I just don't think that, where we are in the credit cycle, it's credible for a bank with their portfolio composition to tell me their charge-off rate fell," he said.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Liberal lawmakers upset about Obama's war funding.

Nation: They can't wait to vote no and stop the military in trying to win in Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama plans to request new funding from Congress for the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he risks a backlash from antiwar lawmakers.

Mr. Obama is expected to seek congressional approval of $75.5 billion for the wars, perhaps as soon as Thursday. The issue is already raising tensions on Capitol Hill, especially among liberals who are sympathetic to the president's broader agenda but voice concerns about his timeline for withdrawal of troops from Iraq and his plans to beef up forces in Afghanistan.

"I can't imagine any way I'd vote for it," said Rep. Lynn Woolsey, a California Democrat and leader in the 77-member congressional Progressive Caucus. It would be her first major break with this White House.

Ms. Woolsey fears the president's plan for Iraq would leave behind a big occupation force. She is also concerned about the planned escalation in Afghanistan. "I don't think we should be going there," she said.

Plano schools wants new grading system for dumb kids.

Edumacation: Another one of the feel good educational policies that in the end doesn't prepare kids for the real world. It is just another way of pushing warm bodies out the door under the guise of progressive educational advancement.

Cheat on a test, get a zero. Turn in a late assignment, the grade suffers.

They are the long-established rules of engagement in school.

But now a growing philosophical shift is putting more emphasis on what students are learning overall, rather than mostly focusing on a grade that can be pulled down by smaller assignments, quizzes, bad behavior or poor study skills.

Plano school officials are exploring a policy for middle schoolers that would not dock grades for cheating or late assignments. And teachers wouldn't grade some homework at all.

Plano ISD officials had hoped to roll out the new policy next school year, but the changes have been delayed because several teachers raised concerns they wouldn't be able to hold students accountable, according to documents and e-mails obtained by The Dallas Morning News.

But for some parents and teachers, such policies lower expectations and soften consequences for students who don't do work.

Obama readies illegal immigrant amnesty bill.

Immigration: Here we go, Obama's push to give defacto amnesty to illegals as fast as he can while he thinks can push it into law.

The White House is calculating that public support for fixing the immigration system, which is widely acknowledged to be broken, will outweigh opposition from voters who argue that immigrants take jobs from Americans. A groundswell among voters opposed to legal status for illegal immigrants led to the defeat in 2007 of a bipartisan immigration bill that was strongly supported by President George W. Bush.

Administration officials said that Mr. Obama’s plan would not add new workers to the American work force, but that it would recognize millions of illegal immigrants who have already been working here. Despite the deep recession, there is no evidence of any wholesale exodus of illegal immigrant workers, independent studies of census data show.

Opponents of legalization legislation were incredulous at the idea that Mr. Obama would take on immigration when economic pain for Americans is so widespread.

“It just doesn’t seem rational that any political leader would say, let’s give millions of foreign workers permanent access to U.S. jobs when we have millions of Americans looking for jobs,” said Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, a group that favors reduced immigration. Mr. Beck predicted that Mr. Obama would face “an explosion” if he proceeded this year.

“It’s going to be, ‘You’re letting them keep that job, when I could have that job,’ ” he said.

In broad outlines, officials said, the Obama administration favors legislation that would bring illegal immigrants into the legal system by recognizing that they violated the law, and imposing fines and other penalties to fit the offense. The legislation would seek to prevent future illegal immigration by strengthening border enforcement and cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants, while creating a national system for verifying the legal immigration status of new workers.
But administration officials emphasized that many details remained to be debated.

Look at the bolded and tell me that a liberal like Obama and the Dems will allow any of that to be enforced when they reject these measures now.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

FCC to go after Portable People Meter for diversity sakes.

Media: So even if you have a more reliable indicator of radio ratings and its showing the true ratings for minority radio stations, you need to squash it for diversity sakes. If I am an advertiser I would be pissed for paying a higher rate based on juiced up numbers as the FCC now wants to happen to help certain stations based on race.

WASHINGTON -- FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein Wednesday morning (April 8) called for a government inquiry into how Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) collects data and affects minority audiences and broadcast stations.

"I'm hopeful that the Commission will soon launch an inquiry into PPM," said Adelstein during the Commission's monthly meeting at FCC headquarters in Washington. "Some have questioned whether we have the authority to conduct such an inquiry. Apparently they haven't read the Communications Act."

Adelstein said he was concerned about reports from minority-owned and targeted radio stations that their audience numbers had dramatically shrunk since implementation of the new measurement technology almost two years ago. He added that the FCC cannot allow PPM to "damage diversity."

GM bankruptcy getting closer and closer.

Business: It would have been nice months and billions of dollars ago.

General Motors Corp is in "intense" and "earnest" preparations for a possible bankruptcy filing, a source familiar with the company's plans told Reuters on Tuesday.

A plan to split the corporation into a "new" company made up of the most successful units, and an "old" one of its less-profitable units, is gaining momentum and is seen as the most sensible configuration, said another source familiar with the talks.

If the plan goes through, the new GM would be expected to assume some previous creditor debt from bankruptcy proceedings, such as secured debt, said the second source, adding that GM bondholders were likely to lose substantial value in bankruptcy.

Certain GM dealer and litigation claims would also be hurt if the new company structure is used as part of a company bankruptcy, said the second source.

The sources requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.

GM declined to comment.

Spain's fiscally responsible finance minister fired

Spain: He had this odd idea that deficit spending was a stupid idea that would make matters worse. Zappo will have none of that thinking in his government.

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the prime minister of Spain, ousted his fiscally conservative finance chief Tuesday in a cabinet reshuffle apparently aimed at restoring political confidence as he struggled to pull Spain out of an economic funk.

Mr. Zapatero replaced Pedro Solbes with Elena Salgado, an engineer by training and minister for public administration.

The prime minister said he was reshuffling the cabinet, barely a year after he won his second term in office, because “the political context and economic situation demand a change in rhythm.”

Mr. Solbes, 66, a former European commissioner for monetary affairs as well as finance minister under Felipe González, the former Socialist prime minister, was one of Mr. Zapatero’s most experienced ministers.

However, his weariness with dealing with a collapsing economy and with battling within the government against extending Spain’s fast-growing fiscal deficit had become palpable.

Tensions arose in recent months between Mr. Zapatero and Mr. Solbes on public sector spending, which has soared during the past year as the government announced stimulus plans of about €50 billion, or $66.3 billion. Last week, the Bank of Spain warned against too much deficit spending and predicted the deficit would rise next year to 8.7 percent of gross domestic product.

“The situation was unsustainable. The economic figures just kept getting worse and worse and he just didn’t have any answers,” said Hermann Tertsch, a political commentator for the conservative newspaper ABC.

Newspaper owners and AP..2nd stage of grief cycle.

Media: Technically called the Kubler-Ross Model. Owners and AP seem to be on the second stage because they are lashing out at everyone except themselves for seeing their business model fall apart.

US newspaper owners, their advertising revenue evaporating, their circulation declining and their readership going online to get news for free, are fighting mad.
The enemy? Websites that use their stories without paying for them.

"We are mad as hell, and we are not going to take it any more," said the chairman of the Associated Press, a cooperative of over 1,400 US newspapers, borrowing a line from the anchorman character in the 1976 movie "Network."

Taking aim at the way news is spread across the Internet, The Associated Press said on Monday that Web sites that used the work of news organizations must obtain permission and share revenue with them, and that it would take legal action against those that did not.

A.P. executives said they were concerned about a variety of news forums around the Web, including major search engines like Google and Yahoo and aggregators like the Drudge Report that link to news articles, smaller sites that sometimes reproduce articles whole, and companies that sell packaged news feeds.

They said they did not want to stop the appearance of articles around the Web, but to exercise some control over the practice and to profit from it.

The group’s new stance applies to thousands of news organizations whose work is distributed by The A.P., as well as its own material, but the debate about unauthorized use has focused on newspapers, which are in serious financial trouble, and which own The A.P. The policies were adopted by the A.P. board, composed mostly of newspaper industry executives.

If it wasn't for Google new or Drudge, most of the newspaper sites would be out of business as well. They serve as maps to various stories that ultimately benefit the media sites that gets linked too. Going after them or blogs or sites that are taking snippets under fair use is lessening your exposure to a world wide audience. Besides the fact how useless at this point it would be trying to going after how many sites that offend you. Check out the music and movie industry on how their crackdown has worked so far on the web.

Figure out a new business model or face going out of business. Journalism will always be there to read by people, newspapers are just the one long time outlet in danger of dissappearing. Trying to make people believe that the former can't do without the latter is a lie and most people know it.

Black America divided in praising, scrutinizing Obama

Politics: What bizarro Black America is divided? Black America punditry is fully in the Obama nation and woe those who dare to question black jesus.

As the nation's first black president settles into the office, a division is deepening between two groups of African Americans: those who want to continue to praise Obama and his historic ascendancy, and those who want to examine him more critically now that the election is over.

Johnson is one of a growing number of black academics, commentators and authors determined to press Obama on issues such as the elimination of racial profiling and the double-digit unemployment rate among blacks.

But doing so has put them at odds with others in the black community. Love for the Obamas is thick among African Americans -- 91 percent of whom view the president favorably, compared with 59 percent of the total population, according to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted last month -- and as a result, the African American punditry finds itself navigating new ground.

They are learning to negotiate what talk show host and author Tavis Smiley calls an "unfamiliar dance." If you push too forcefully, he says he has learned, you risk your credibility in the community.

That's what happened to Smiley last year, when he was the one in the commentator's chair that Jeff Johnson now sits in on Tom Joyner's syndicated morning radio program. During the heated Democratic primary, Smiley questioned Obama's decision not to attend his annual State of the Black Union conference and said he hoped Obama would make it through the campaign "with his soul intact."

The push-back was "brutal," Smiley recalls. Angry listeners called him a "sellout," an "Obama hater" and "Uncle Tom." Surprised and hurt, Smiley left Joyner's show but now uses the rough patch to make the case for a new book he co-wrote, "Accountable: Making America as Good as Its Promise."

So to have credibility in the black community you can't openly question Obama? That is not keeping cred, that is being an ass kisser. The other issue is there no hating on Obama policy is not because he is the first black president but because he is a liberal black president. If it were a conservative black president all you would hear is uncle tom and house negro posts on most of these black pundit blogs and sites.

As for Smiley, we are in some revisionist history. He didn't get pushback because he questioned Obama in a critical way as pundits supposedly do, he got reamed because he came off as whiny and arrogant when Obama didn't attend the conference last year. That is what got people pissed off at him.

Obama wows them in Europe but nothing of substance.

EU: Even more people see that Obama's world trip was not a success if you base it on actual substance. He is a rock star, not a leader. Here are the "highlights"

Among the highlights:

•A summit in London of 20 economic powers that worked to find a coordinated way to bring the world economy out of a tailspin.

•A summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization at which fellow government leaders cheered Obama's new strategy for the war in Afghanistan, but committed additional troops only to guard elections and train Afghans, not to fight al Qaida.

•An agreement with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to negotiate a new treaty further slashing both countries' nuclear arsenals.

•A proposal to curb all nuclear weapons and keep them out of the hands of non-nuclear powers such as Iran.

Here is the rest of the story.

Reginald Dale, a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a national-security research center in Washington, wasn't among those laughing. He called Obama's trip a disappointment.

"It was very strong on glamour and presentation but much less so on substance," Dale said. "To draw an analogy, it reminded me a bit of an Easter egg: very colorful, but when you open it up, it's hollow."

He said:

•Obama came up short at the G-20 summit when other countries refused to commit more money to stimulus spending on the scale the United States has done under Obama.

•The president failed to win combat troops from NATO.

•His lofty goal of a world free of all nuclear weapons "is largely irrelevant to the world's problems at the moment and impossible to achieve in the foreseeable future."

•"He let the Europeans set the agenda on international regulation. He let them define what their response would be on Afghanistan." In both cases Obama said it was a wonderful success, "which it clearly wasn't," Dale said.

He was great at sucking up while putting down America which Euros and the rest of the world loves to hear all the time. But on real issues, zip.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

CBC members sucks up to Castro. World not surprised.

World: Birds of a feather flock together. I wonder if the CBC asked about the political prisoners Castro keeps in jail or did they skip over that part of living under Castro?

Key members of the Congressional Black Caucus are calling for an end to U.S. prohibition on travel to Cuba, just hours after a meeting with former Cuban president Fidel Castro in Havana.

“The fifty-year embargo just hasn’t worked,” CBC Chairwoman Barbara Lee (D-Ca.) told reporters this evening at a Capitol press conference after returning from a congressional delegation visit to Cuba. “The bottom line is that we believe its time to open dialogue with Cuba.”

Lee and others heaped praise on Castro, calling him warm and receptive during their discussion. But the lawmakers disputed Castro's later statement that members of the congressional delegation said American society is still racist.

"It was quite a moment to behold," Lee said, recalling her moments with Castro.

“It was almost like listening to an old friend,” said Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Il.), adding that he found Castro’s home to be modest and Castro’s wife to be particularly hospitable.

“In my household I told Castro he is known as the ultimate survivor,” Rush said.

....In a statement following the meeting today, Castro said that the delegation had expressed to him that a segment of American society “continues to be racist,” and is at least partly to blame for the travel restrictions.

But the delegation this evening said those remarks were not expressed in the meeting.

“That did not happen,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), told reporters.

I believe Castro over these three nimrods especially if Bobby Rush is in attendance. You know damn well that is his S.O.P.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Rasmussen: No apologies for the Mohammed cartoons

World: Back in my good graces as the only tough Euro leader around.

Turkey should not expect any apologies when NATO's next Secretary-General and former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen makes a speech in Istanbul today.

“Listen. In Denmark we do not apologise for having freedom of speech,” Fogh Rasmussen is quoted by Ritzau as saying.

“You all know that a Danish Prime Minister cannot apologise on behalf of a newspaper,” he continues.

The newly-appointed upcoming secretary-general for NATO is in Turkey to speak at a United Nations conference on intercultural dialogue and understanding.

Turkish media

The Turkish media has widely reported that Fogh Rasmussen will issue an apology during his speech today, and that the apology was one concession offered in order to get Turkey to withdraw its opposition to Fogh Rasmussen’s appointment.

But Fogh Rasmussen rejects the assertion.

“We have nothing in the bag,” he is reported as saying.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Congress bows down to payday loan industry.

Business: Now this is one industry that needs to be clamped down or shut down. But certain Congress critters especially Dems are looking to not only avert any clamping down but make matters worse.

The payday loan industry, threatened by Congress with extinction, has deployed well-connected lobbyists and hefty sums of campaign cash to key lawmakers to save itself.

The strategy has paid off.

Now a top Democrat who once tried to ban the practice is instead pushing to regulate it — a result, he says, of the industry's lobbying clout.

The lawmaker, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., says his bill does have crucial protections for borrowers and represents the best deal he can manage in the face of the industry's aggressive lobbying. Consumer groups are condemning the bill as a loophole-riddled gift to the industry.

Indeed, the payday lending industry is strenuously resisting Gutierrez's measure, which it says would devastate its business. The measure would cap the annual interest rate for a payday loan at 391 percent, ban so-called "rollovers" — where a borrower who can't afford to pay off the loan essentially renews it and pays large fees — and prevent lenders from suing borrowers or docking their wages to collect the debt.

But consumer groups say the legislation would do little to crack down on the most egregious payday lending practices. They argue it would for the first time lend federal legitimacy to usurious loans and undermine successful efforts under way in several states to slap tougher limits on it.

....The group has also helped host several fundraisers for lawmakers with say over what happens to the industry, according to invitations collected by the Sunlight Foundation, which tracks political parties. Those included a fundraiser last year for Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., a Financial Services committee member. Dinner and a reception at the fundraiser at a Capitol Hill townhouse cost at least $1,000.

Baca on Wednesday introduced his own version of payday lending legislation that has gotten a warmer reception from the industry. It would allow some rollovers and pre-empt state laws, which would effectively pave the way for payday lending in states whose laws currently make it difficult or impossible. And it allows online lenders to charge higher fees than their bricks-and-mortar brethren.

UN unable to agree response to North Korean rocket

UN: I am in total shock and surprise about this development.

The Security Council adjourned after three hours of closed-door talks on North Korea's long-range rocket launch with no agreement on how to respond to what Western members called a clear violation of UN resolutions.
"Members of the Security Council agreed to continue consultations on an appropriate action by the council in accordance with its responsibilities given the urgency of the matter," Mexico's UN Ambassador Claude Heller, the council chair this month, told reporters after the meeting.

The Kos " Conservatives like to shoot cops" debacle.

Politics: There is outrage over it from Hot Air and other conservative sites but I am not shocked by it because this is the sort of thing I expect from the left. This is going to be the dominate theme one way or the other in the MSM, MSNBC/CBS/NBC/ABC for as long as they can milk it starting tomorrow morning on the network morning shows.

Not withstanding the facts coming out that Richard Poplawski held views that would have made him welcomed on many leftist and conspiracy theory sites.

But going by Kos logic, the guy who killed four cops in Oakland must have been a conservative afraid of an Obama gun ban as well. Not that both killers were crazed nutjobs.

Update: The journolist set talking points are making the leftist rounds as Oliver Willis whines.

Obama/Rasmussen surrender to Turkey's cartoon demands

World: I asked a couple of posts down why did Turkey just agree to let Rasmussen get the NATO post and what part did Obama have in getting this agreement. Now we know, suck up for standing up for free speech and expression.

NATO leaders agreed to appoint Anders Fogh Rasmussen as the new head of the alliance after Turkey dropped its objections on Saturday.

Turkey had opposed Rasmussen's bid for the top NATO post, saying the Dane's unwillingness to suspend broadcasts from a Denmark-based Roj TV station linked to the terror organization PKK, and his stance during the 2006 crisis over a Danish newspapers publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, cast doubts over his ability to lead the alliance.

The consensus process could sometimes be long and troubled, Gul said at a press conference after the summit, adding that the most important element in a defense cooperation organization was conformity.

Gul also thanked U.S. President Barack Obama for his contributions to the issue and wished success to the Danish premier.

According to media reports, Turkey had received "guarantees" from Obama that one of Rasmussen's deputies would be a Turk and that Turkish commanders would be present at the alliance's command. Rasmussen will also apologize to Muslim world for cartoon crisis and Roj TV will be closed, Hurriyet daily reported on Sunday.

Obama the apologist strikes again.

Update: Danish cartoonist remains defiant

But Mr Westergaard has decided that he will hide no more.

"I am 73 years old," he says.

"Most of my life is over. I am too old to be afraid. I have complete faith in PET [the Danish Secret Service]."

Not only has he emerged from hiding but he has also gone on the offensive, contributing to a recently published Danish book. His latest cartoons are not as provocative as the Muhammad bomb but they satirise Islam and politicians who appease the mullahs.

"It is the question of freedom of speech, freedom of expression," he says.

"I think we are in a period in which this democratic value is under pressure, so it has to be defended."

He doesn't realizes that it seems democratic values are also flexible in our leaders' minds.

Reuters: Obama a winner at NATO summit!

World: Why did he win?

U.S. President Barack Obama won his spurs as a compromise broker at his first NATO summit on Saturday, persuading a reluctant Turkey to accept the Danish prime minister as the next head of the alliance.

But Obama came away with little more than warm words and token support for his new strategy to defeat Al Qaeda Islamic militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with only small European commitments of extra soldiers, trainers or money.

Encapsulating the difference between his approach and that of his predecessor, George W. Bush, who was deeply unpopular in Europe, the new president said: "The United States came here to listen, to learn and to lead, because all of us have a responsibility to do our part. America cannot meet our global challenges alone. Nor can Europe meet them without America."

So by being a suckup makes him a winner in Reuters world. This is like winning a medal for participating in a race in elementary school.