Saturday, April 18, 2009

Obama and Hugo Chavez's budding bromance.

Politics: As he continues on his "America sucks" tour 2009, he gets to meet up with Hugo Chavez who hands him a book on why America sucks.

At President Obama's meeting with the heads of South American countries this morning, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez stood, walked over to him, and presented him with a copy of "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent" by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano.

Obama politely posed for a photograph with Chavez, shook his hand, and accepted the gift.

The book, first published in Spanish in 1971, offers a critique of the consequences of 500 years of European and U.S. colonization of Latin America.

Lets face facts that in Obama's mind having pics like this

doesn't click in his mind as anything wrong. The problem is its one thing to be humble and say we will listen blah blah blah, it is another thing to make America look weak while keeping giving up ground in any sort of talks with North Korea, Cuba, Iran and now Venezuela. At least show you have some damn pride being the President of the United States of America and not look like President Pantywaist running around saying everything is our fault.

The most glaring character trait of Obama so far is that he is willing to even lie on topics in whatever host country he is in at the moment 90% of guns in Mexico gimmick.

Captain Ed points out this smart power is high on show and low on substance.

Obama’s apologizing for being dictatorial … to Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, and the Castros. As for “dictat[ing] our terms,” we used to call that defending American interests. When negotiating, people try to get the best terms for themselves. We didn’t send gunboats to Venezuela or Bolivia during the Bush administration, and the only people seizing assets over the last eight years have been the Venezuelans under Chavez.

Once again, we have the new President embarking on the “We Suck ‘09″ tour, kicked off in Europe, where he felt the need to apologize for the last administration’s efforts to defend America’s interests on the international stage. Obama likes to call this “smart power” and tells us we’ll get more by appearing humble than by pursuing our interests in the normal fashion. So far, the rest of the world has applauded Obama’s performance — and gone on to reject our requests for economic cooperation, combat troops for Afghanistan, partnership with Russia against Iran, and North Korean continuation of the six-party nuclear disarmament talks without launching long-range missiles over Japan.

More from Hot Air.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Chavez warns Obama and Trinidad gets ready to shine.

World: As a native I am happy to see Trinidad and Tobago in the spotlight, too bad I have zero faith in the government to not screw something up badly at the Summit of the Americas. Chavez is already whining.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ramped up his verbal artillery yesterday saying US President Barack Obama should not follow the example of Spain's King Juan Carlos who told him to shut up during a 2007 summit.

"We are ready to attend the meeting of the Americas and let's hope that the US President comes and not follow the example of the King of Spain when he told me to shut up, because we are going to speak our truth," said President Chavez.

The Venezuela leader made the remark during a brief chat with reporters in Cumana, Venezuela as he prepared to greet several heads of state attending the Summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, known by its Spanish initials as ALBA. Cumana is located approximately 380 kilometres west of Trinidad.

If you are looking for Trinidad links. Here are the three main papers I use to keep up with the news down there. Beware that it will be slobbering coverage of black jesus.

Trinidad Express.

Trinidad Guardian.

Trinidad Newsday.

Time to yank Ed Schultz and Roland Martin off the air.

Media: Ed Schultz is making that walking knob David Shuster look like a ratings giant while Roland Martin may force CNN to call back Brown early before he completely wrecks that 8-9 hour.

CNN thrives to be lead twitter whore against Ashton Kutcher.

Media: This is how far CNN has fallen along with their ratings. A twitter race with Ashton Kutcher. CNN breaking the important news.

Idiot Texas Senate says yes to stimulus money for unemployment

Nation: In a couple of years after they have expanded the welfare rolls to have people collecting welfare checks who have no reason to be on there(Looking at you part timer) and Texas has to raise money on their own to fund this federal mandate, that secession talk will look mighty good.

AUSTIN, Texas -- While Gov. Rick Perry is slamming Washington bailouts and excessive spending, his own state Senate defied his wishes and voted Thursday to accept $555 million in federal unemployment benefits.

The measure, which passed 22-9 on a preliminary vote Thursday, would expand state unemployment benefits by including part-time workers and people who quit for compelling reasons, such as a child's illness or family violence.

Perry, a Republican, has agreed to take almost all the nearly $17 billion slated for Texas in federal stimulus money. But he says there are too many strings attached to the $555 million in unemployment benefits.

"The governor has made his position on this issue very clear," said his spokeswoman, Allison Castle. "He does not support expanding the unemployment insurance program which will burden employers and hurt job creation."

Greedy morons set themselves up for failure.

'Honour' culture common in Stockholm

Sweden: As Sweden expresses outrage but in the end due to being Sweden will do very little in order not to offend.

More than 4,000 teenagers in Stockholm are exposed on a daily basis to cultures of honour that involve traditions which run counter to Swedish law, according to an estimate based on a new official study.

Violence and repression are regular occurrences for a large section of 16-year-old school goers in the city centre and suburbs, according to a study commissioned by local politicians.

Ulf Kristersson (Mod), Commissioner of Social Services, is one of a number of politicians surprised and outraged by the findings.

"It's not permitted for adults, not even parents, to prevent children from living full, independent lives," he told Sveriges Television.

The results come from a survey of a cross section of more than 2,000 pupils.

Almost a quarter of female respondents, 23 percent, said they were expected to retain their virginity until marriage and were not allowed to have a boyfriend. Sixteen percent of girls were not allowed to have male friends or decide who they would marry.

Seven percent of girls and three percent of boys said they were exposed to serious violations in the form of threats and violence.

Scotland police force has eight Jedi officers.

UK: and in the name of diversity and political correctness, London hires a midget to wear an ewok costume on patrol.

Eight police officers serving with Scotland's largest force listed their official religion as Jedi in voluntary diversity forms, it has emerged.

Strathclyde Police said the officers and two of its civilian staff claimed to follow the faith, which features in the Star Wars movies.

The details were obtained in a Freedom of Information request by Jane's Police Review.

Strathclyde was the only force in the UK to admit it had Jedi officers.

In the Star Wars films, Jedi Knights such as Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda use the Force to battle the evil Darth Vader, who has strayed to the dark side.

Jane's Police Review editor Chris Herbert, who requested the information, said: "The Force appears to be strong in Strathclyde Police with their Jedi police officers and staff.

"Far from living a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, some members of the noble Jedi order have now chosen Glasgow and its surrounding streets as their home."

Obama says yes to assault weapons ban and no to be a leader.

Mexico: Couple of things stand out from this one CNN piece. The first is Obama still doesn't get it about second amendment rights and happily going along with the lie that 90% of guns in Mexico is from America.

Reviving a ban on assault weapons and more strictly enforcing existing gun laws could help tamp down drug violence that has run rampant on the U.S.-Mexican border, President Obama said Thursday.

Speaking alongside Mexican President Felipe Calderón, Obama said he has "not backed off at all" on a campaign pledge to try to restore the ban. It was instituted under President Clinton and allowed to lapse by President George W. Bush.

"I continue to believe that we can respect and honor the Second Amendment right in our Constitution -- the rights of sportsmen and hunters and homeowners that want to keep their families safe -- to lawfully bear arms, while dealing with assault weapons that, as we know here in Mexico, are used to fuel violence," Obama said.

Calderón acknowledged the debate's thorny nature.

"We know that it is a politically delicate topic because Americans truly appreciate their Constitutional rights," he said. "As long as we are able to express clearly what our problems in Mexico are, then we might be able to also seek a solution that respects the constitutional rights of Americans, that at the same time will avoid organized crime becoming better armed in our country."

The gist is Obama and Calderon agree that curbing American 2nd amendment rights are good for Mexico. That will go over well here.

The second is the continuing degree Obama refuses to be a leader and just wants to get along with everyone refusing to acknowledge the short comings of the Three Stooges.

Obama is to travel later in the week to the summit for meetings with Latin American leaders. While on the trip to Latin America, Obama said he seeks to engage in talks with the region's leaders as equals.

"Times have changed," Obama said Wednesday.

He refused to criticize the leaders of Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela, who have taken measures to change their constitutions to extend their holds on power.

"I think it's important for the United States not to tell other countries how to structure their democratic practices and what should be contained in their constitutions," he said. "It's up to the people of those countries to make a decision about how they want to structure their affairs."

He said he believes that the United States has a leadership role to play in the region, but he qualified that role this way: "We also recognize that other countries have important contributions and insights."

He added, "We want to listen and learn as well as talk, and that approach, I think, of mutual respect and finding common interests, is one that ultimately will serve everybody."

So how exactly are you having a leadership role when you basically want to bring yourself down to the rest of the pack? How does that attitude relate to Cuba where if he could he would lift the ban and let things fester on in that country 90 miles off our border. It is in part because of the those "democratic practices" that we have an influx of Latin/South America citizens flocking to our country. It is absolutely in our interest to make sure their practices are not a detriment to America.

That may sound grandiose but that is one of the perks of being a superpower. Besides, what contribution or insight would freaking Hugo Chavez or his little pal in Bolivia have for America?

Stop putting down America because that makes you more popular with the rest of the world and act like you are the President of the United States of America. Act like you are a leader not a follower.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sarkozy slams brakes on the Obama express.

World: Some of it has got to be jealousy but for the most part especially on Turkey I don't doubt Sarkozy is peeved.

Personal pique and French politics are also behind the souring of Mr Sarkozy's self-promoted honeymoon with the United States. On the personal side, the French President is needled by the adulation for an unproven US leader whose stardom has eclipsed what he sees as his established record as a world troubleshooter. "The President is annoyed by what he sees as the naivety and the herd mentality of the media," said a journalist who is privy to Elysée thinking.

Mr Sarkozy has put out a version of the proceedings at the London G20 economic summit which casts him as hero, in the classic French role of intransigent defender of principle in the face of the American steamroller. This is to counter last week's reports of Mr Obama saving the day by persuading President Hu of China to accept Mr Sarkozy's demands for naming tax havens.

According to the leaks, Mr Sarkozy shamed Mr Obama into intervening: "You were elected to build a new world. Tax havens are the embodiment of the old world," he is quoted as saying. He also reprimanded Mr Obama for setting US goals for climate change that were inferior to Europe's, according to his staff.

Again, according to the Sarkozy version, at the Nato summit in Strasbourg, Mr Obama was meekly yielding to Turkey's refusal to endorse Anders Fogh Rasmussen as the alliance's new Secretary-General. It took pressure from Mr Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel of Germany to stiffen him up and change his mind, say the French.

Mr Obama's favour for Ankara has irked but also helped Mr Sarkozy as his Union for a Popular Movement campaigns for European Parliament elections in June. Mr Sarkozy slapped down the US President on French TV after he publicly called for Turkish entry to the European Union.

Permanent refusal of Turkish membership is one of Mr Sarkozy's policy planks and one of his most popular with voters. Mr Obama's venture into EU affairs has enabled Mr Sarkozy to make political capital. He has shown that France can still stand up to the United States despite rejoining the Nato command last week.

Obama's Plug-in cars goal hard to hit

Nation: The problem Obama is having is that he keeps meeting up with reality.

President Barack Obama's campaign pledge to put 1 million plug-in hybrid cars on the road by 2015 is fraught with difficulties, from technical and engineering hurdles to the realities of the economy and the price of gasoline.

It took eight long years to get 1 million hybrids on the road in the United States, and even a White House task force says one of the leading new plug-in cars being developed is too expensive to gain popularity any time soon.

Obama's goal could help revitalize the struggling U.S. auto industry and begin shifting motorists away from the gas pump. But to many, it's overly optimistic.

"The economics won't make sense for the majority of Americans in the next several years," said Brett Smith, who studies plug-in hybrids at the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Center for Automotive Research.

If Obama wants to be seen as smart, he would have pushed for faster development of gas-powered engines that get great MPGs and then to plug-in cars as a long range roadmap. Instead he goes for the " I am a visionary" gimmick and is now stuck with it.

Vicious UNC students violently shuts down

Culture: This is the culture of intolerance that is being encouraged on various campuses around America in the last couple of years. Liberal students and professors have decided that debate is only good if they agree with the idea.

UNC-CH police released pepper spray and threatened to use a Taser on student protesters Tuesday evening when a crowd disrupted a speech by former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo opposing in-state tuition benefits to unauthorized immigrants.

Hundreds of protesters converged on Bingham Hall, shouting profanities and accusations of racism while Tancredo and the student who introduced him tried to speak. Minutes into the speech, a protester pounded a window of the classroom until the glass shattered, prompting Tancredo to flee and campus police to shut down the event.

....."Fascists are fascists," Tancredo said. "Their actions were probably the best speech I could ever give. They are what's wrong with America today. ... When all you can do is yell epithets, that means you are intellectually bankrupt."

UNC graduate student Tyler Oakley, who had organized the protest, said he regretted the broken window but not silencing Tancredo. "He was not able to practice his hate speech," said Oakley. "You have to respect the right of people to assemble and collectively speak."

Tyler Oakley is the perfect example of why this country is screwed by the Gen Y'ers if he says something like this and doesn't even realize how stupid he comes off to everyone. There needs to be some sort of pushback by colleges and other students to put an end to this sort of violent intolerant actions taken by the fringe group of students who refuse to understand the concept of a debate over ideas.

Jamie Foxx apologizes to Miley Cyrus for being Jamie Foxx.

Entertainment: Jamie Foxx is a moron, you can't have a grown man picking on a 16 year old girl. The fact he has a daughter and still said it shows his limited intellect.

Sikhs fight Army over bans on turbans, uncut hair

Military: Unless they have proof that other faiths are allowed to keep their hair and beards, they don't have a case and should get with the program.

These two U.S. military recruits of the Sikh faith are challenging an Army order that they remove their turbans and cut their unshorn hair and beards when they report for active duty in July.

In Sikhism, which originated in northwestern India, the turban and unshorn hair are articles of faith and can't be removed.

But the U.S. military says there are times when the military cannot accommodate certain religious practices, "such as when those religious observations would interfere with the wear of proper military headgear or protective clothing or equipment."

"It doesn't make sense to me, especially in these hard times," Kalsi told CNN. "The military is hurting for professionals. They need doctors, they need nurses."

Gallup: 48% say their federal income tax is just right.

Nation: Considering when you add up earned income credits(welfare) various tax breaks for lower income takers, the fact over 50% now don't pay any income tax at all while everyone else pays for their refund checks. No wonder 48% are feeling okay about their taxes.

A national Gallup poll conducted last week finds that 48 percent of Americans say the amount of federal income taxes they pay is about right. That's two points higher than the forty-six percent of those questioned who felt that the taxes they pay were too high. It's also the most positive assessment on taxes that Gallup's measured in six years.

"Most of the movement in the Gallup poll came among people who make less than $75,000 a year," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "A majority of people in that category say their taxes are not too high, and they are the ones that the Obama administration has been targeting with their tax policy and their message on taxes. Maybe that message is being heard."

The whole thing breaks down along income lines with those who don't pay taxes and getting money back from those who do pay taxes.

According to the CBO, those who made less than $44,300 in 2001 — 60% of the country — paid a paltry 3.3% of all income taxes. By 2005, almost all of them were excused from paying any income tax. They paid less than 1% of the income tax burden. Their share shrank even when taking into account the payroll tax. In 2001, the bottom 60% paid 16.3% of all taxes; by 2005 their share was down to 14.3%. All the while, this large group of voters made 25.8% of the nation’s income.

When you make almost 26% of the income and you pay only 0.6% of the income tax, that’s a good deal, courtesy of those who do pay income taxes. For the bottom 40%, the redistribution deal is even better. In 2001, these 43 million Americans, who earn less than $30,500, made 13.5% of the nation’s income but paid no income tax. Instead, they received checks from their taxpaying neighbors worth $16.3 billion. By 2005, those checks totaled $33.3 billion.

The leechers and moochers of this country had a reason to say their tax burden is just right because they do not have any more federal tax to pay.

2,500 for Fort Lauderdale tea party.

Politics: Considering the amount of Dems living in this country, this was a great turnout and covered by local stations and the SunSentinel.

Obama to save UAW's health care with taxpayer money.

Business: No wonder the UAW is confident that Obama will treat them well despite the tough talk.

Whether General Motors Corp. or Chrysler LLC file for bankruptcy, the Obama administration wants to protect retiree health care to a greater degree than the debt of banks and bondholders, said a person close to the talks among the parties.

That means that while bondholders are being pushed to take pennies on the dollar for their debt, the union remains on track to receive a substantial ownership stake in the automakers if deals can be hammered out.

In return, the UAW would forgive the automakers part of the $30.6 billion they owe the union to start a retiree health care fund that takes huge liabilities off the automakers' books.

So after billions upon billions of dollars wasted on GM, they declare bankruptcy, Obama forces bondholders and banks to take a beating while handing over GM to the union.

This is more of a criminal shakedown than an actual plan.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Illegal Immigrants Having More Kids in U.S.

Nation: One of the perks of having automatic citizenships given to anyone who is born in America and terrible immigration enforcement.

Growing numbers of children of illegal immigrants are being born in the United States, and they are nearly twice as likely to live in poverty than those with American-born parents, a report says.

The study released Tuesday by the Pew Hispanic Center highlights a growing dilemma in the immigration debate: Illegal immigrants' children born in the United States are American citizens, yet they struggle in poverty and uncertainty along with parents who fear deportation, toil largely in low-wage jobs and face layoffs in an ailing economy.

The analysis by Pew, a nonpartisan research organization, found that estimated 11.9 million illegal immigrants made up 5.4 percent of the U.S. work force, primarily in lower-paying farming, construction or janitorial work.

Roughly three out of four of their children -- or 4 million -- were born in the U.S. In 2003, 2.7 million children of illegal immigrants were born in this country.

Overall, illegal immigrants' children account for one of every 15 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

U.N. spends American funds on shoddy projects

UN: Anyone else shocked that the worthless United Nations basically stole money from America to pad their own officials pocket?

Two United Nations agencies spent millions in U.S. money on substandard Afghanistan construction projects, including a central bank without electricity and a bridge at risk of "life threatening" collapse, according to an investigation by U.S. federal agents.
The U.N. ran a "quick impact" infrastructure program from 2003 to 2006 under a $25 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development. The U.N. delivered shoddy work, diverted money to other countries and then stonewalled U.S. efforts to figure out what happened, according to a report by USAID's inspector general obtained by USA TODAY under the Freedom of Information Act.

"Due to the refusal of the United Nations to cooperate with this investigation, questions remain unanswered," the report says.

Federal prosecutors in New York City were forced to drop criminal and civil cases because the U.N. officials have immunity, according to the report. USAID has scaled back its dealings with the U.N. and hired a collection agency to seek $7.6 million back, Deputy Administrator James Bever said. The aid agency hasn't heeded its inspector general's request to sever all ties.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Obama. Europe surrenders to Iran over talks.

World: Iran has been effectively owning Europe since they took the lead on talks for years now and with Obama wanting to be "sophisticated" meaning no hard line actions just wimpy talk, this is not a surprise to anyone. Iran has won.

The Obama administration and its European allies are preparing proposals that would shift strategy toward Iran by dropping a longstanding American insistence that Tehran rapidly shut down nuclear facilities during the early phases of negotiations over its atomic program, according to officials involved in the discussions.

The proposals, exchanged in confidential strategy sessions with European allies, would press Tehran to open up its nuclear program gradually to wide-ranging inspection. But the proposals would also allow Iran to continue enriching uranium for some period during the talks. That would be a sharp break from the approach taken by the Bush administration, which had demanded that Iran halt its enrichment activities, at least briefly to initiate negotiations.

The proposals under consideration would go somewhat beyond President Obama’s promise, during the presidential campaign, to open negotiations with Iran “without preconditions.” Officials involved in the discussion said they were being fashioned to draw Iran into nuclear talks that it had so far shunned.

A review of Iran policy that Mr. Obama ordered after taking office is still under way, and aides say it is not clear how long he would be willing to allow Iran to continue its fuel production, and at what pace. But European officials said there was general agreement that Iran would not accept the kind of immediate shutdown of its facilities that the Bush administration had demanded.

“We have all agreed that is simply not going to work — experience tells us the Iranians are not going to buy it,” said a senior European official involved in the strategy sessions with the Obama administration. “So we are going to start with some interim steps, to build a little trust.”

Administration officials declined to discuss details of their confidential deliberations, but said that any new American policy would ultimately require Iran to cease enrichment, as demanded by several United Nations Security Council resolutions.

They can't get North Korea to do anything and Iran is equally saying go screw for years as well. UN is a bust and Iran will see an opening for more delaying while promising to work with the West as they continue to build up their arsenal.

Newsweek: Is Obama ignoring basic economics.

Nation: Duh. Obama has his own warped social agenda and making this country more socialist by having more government intervention in our lives or an Europe-lite country. He clearly doesn't believe in individuality or exceptionalism of this country because everything he is going for is the spread the wealthy mentality on steroids.

It's a dazzling rhetorical vista that excites the young and fits the country's mood, which blames "capitalist greed" for the economic crisis. Obama promises communal goals and a more widely shared prosperity. The trouble is that it may not work as well in practice as it does in Obama's speeches. Still, congressional Democrats press ahead to curb global warming and achieve near-universal health insurance. We should not be stampeded into far-reaching changes that have little to do with today's crisis.

What Obama proposes is a "post-material economy." He would de-emphasize the production of ever-more private goods and services, harnessing the economy to achieve broad social goals. In the process, he sets aside the standard logic of economic progress.

....What defines the "post-material economy" is a growing willingness to sacrifice money income for psychic income—"feeling good." Some people may gladly pay higher energy prices if they think they're "saving the planet" from global warming. Some may accept higher taxes if they think they're improving the health or education of the poor. Unfortunately, these psychic benefits may be based on fantasies. What if U.S. cuts in greenhouse gases are offset by Chinese increases? What if more health insurance produces only modest gains in people's health?

Obama and his allies have glossed over these questions. They've left the impression that somehow magical technological breakthroughs will produce clean energy that is also cheap. Perhaps that will happen; it hasn't yet. They've talked so often about the need to control wasteful health spending that they've implied they've actually found a way of doing so. Perhaps they will, but they haven't yet.

Kathleen Sebelius lied about abortion doctor donations.

Politics: Between this and her finally paying her taxes, this woman is a piece of work.

President Barack Obama's health secretary nominee, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, got nearly three times as much political money from an abortion doctor as she told senators.
In response to questions from the Senate Finance Committee, Sebelius wrote that she received $12,450 between 1994 and 2001 from one of the nation's few late-term abortion providers, Dr. George Tiller.

But records reviewed by The Associated Press show that Tiller gave at least $23,000 more from 2000-2002 to a political action committee that Sebelius established while state insurance commissioner to raise money for fellow Democrats.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Susan Rice useless. UN condemns North Korea says go screw.

UN: As they start up their nuke plant.

North Korea said on Tuesday it saw talks on ending its nuclear weapons program as "useless" and it planned to restart its plant that makes arms-grade plutonium, its KCNA news agency quoted its Foreign Ministry as saying.

The U.N. Security Council on Monday unanimously condemned North Korea's long-range rocket launch nearly two weeks ago as contravening a U.N. ban, and demanded enforcement of existing sanctions against Pyongyang.

Susan Rice once again showing her ability to be utterly useless as yet another example of the UN being a waste of time.

Update: Ben Smith of Politico has lost his damn mind.

UN condemns N. Korea rocket launch, Rice chalks up first victory

The 15-nation UN Security Council unanimously adopted a statement noting that the launch a week ago was in contravention of an earlier resolution and demanded that no further launches take place.

It took a while -- and no small bit of cajoling of the Russians and Chinese -- but a compromise was eventually fashioned by agreeing to issue to a "statement" rather than a "resolution."

“The U.S. is very pleased that the Security Council today issued a strong, unanimous statement clearly and unequivocally condemning the launch,” U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said after the deal was reached.

Even the BBC is not that into the tank for Obama's UN chosen one.

Key UN countries have agreed a draft statement condemning North Korea's rocket launch, diplomats say.

The text, agreed by the Security Council's five permanent members and Japan, said that the launch had contravened a UN resolution.

The statement is considered a weaker response than the resolution initially sought by Japan and the US.

Recap: Navy kills 3 pirates while rescuing Capt. Richard Phillips

World: Nice recap by the NYTIMES on what is known so far in the rescuing of the Captain. Navy Seals dominating as usual.

Acting with President Obama’s authorization and in the belief that the hostage, Capt. Richard Phillips, was in imminent danger of being killed by captors armed with pistols and AK-47s, snipers on the fantail of the destroyer Bainbridge, which was towing the lifeboat on a 100-foot line, opened fire and picked off the three captors.

Two of the captors had poked their heads out of a rear hatch of the lifeboat, exposing themselves to clear shots, and the third could be seen through a window in the bow, pointing an automatic rifle at the captain, who was tied up inside the 18-foot lifeboat, senior Navy officials said.

It took only three remarkable shots — one each by snipers firing from a distance at dusk, using night-vision scopes, the officials said. Within minutes, rescuers slid down ropes from the Bainbridge, climbed aboard the lifeboat and found the three pirates dead. They then untied Captain Phillips, ending the contretemps at sea that had riveted much of the world’s attention. A fourth pirate had surrendered earlier.

By the weekend, however, the pirates had begun to run out of food, water and fuel. That apparently provided the opening officials were hoping for. In briefings, senior officers who spoke anonymously because they had not been authorized to disclose information said that the pirates agreed to accept food and water. A small craft was used to deliver them and it apparently made several trips between the Bainbridge and the lifeboat.

On one trip, one of the four pirates — whose hand had been gashed during the capture of Captain Phillips — asked for medical treatment and, in effect surrendering, was taken in the small boat to the Bainbridge. Justice Department officials were studying options for his case, including criminal charges in the United States or turning him over to Kenya, where dozens of pirates have faced prosecution. Three pirates were left on board with Captain Phillips.

Meanwhile, members of the Navy Seals were flown in by fixed-wing aircraft. They parachuted into the sea with inflatable boats and were picked up by the Bainbridge. On Sunday, the pirates, their fuel gone, were drifting toward the Somali coast. They agreed to accept a tow from the Bainbridge, the senior officials said. At first, the towline was 200 feet long, but as darkness gathered and seas became rough, the towline was shortened to 100 feet, the officials said. It was unclear if this was done with the pirates’ knowledge.

More from CNN.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Mexico wants assault weapons ban in America.

Nation: As Instapundit points out the new MSM meme is born and Mexico wants to take advantage of it via the BBC.

Mexico's ambassador to the US has urged America to stop the flow of guns and cash that pass into his country, fuelling the country's drug wars.

....In an interview with CBS's Face The Nation programme, Mr Sarukhan said the lifting of a US ban on military-style assault weapons in 2004 had been a crucial factor.

"There is a direct correlation between the expiration of the assault weapons ban and our seizures of assault weapons," he said.

"We cannot determine how Congress and the administration will move on this.

"What we will say is that... reinstating the ban... could have a profound impact on the number and the calibre of the weapons going down to Mexico."

I don't think I have to point out that a lot of the problems in Mexico is strictly home grown and Mexican government continuing to put their nose in American matters concerning this or immigration is being tolerated way too much.

Mexican officials would be furious if this meddling was reversed and its about time someone acted the same way in our government.

Daily Mail tour of the Thule Air Base in Greenland.

World: Very neat and considering it is in the White House's crosshairs in dealing with Russia's complaints about the missle defense system, it makes a good case for it remaining a vital part of America's defense. The other question is why the hell am I getting this stuff from a UK paper and not a major American paper?

'The vantage point we have at the top of the world gives us an opportunity to see things that we can't see from other places,' explains Lieutenant Colonel David Arnold, second in command at the base.

'Just like in property, it's all about location, location, location.'

But it's this location that continues to rile the Russians. Even though the US maintains that the radar is directed at the new threat of ballistic missile attacks from rogue states like Iran and North Korea, the Russians remain suspicious - which makes Thule a potential flashpoint.

The radar is currently being upgraded to play a key role in America's controversial missile defence shield. This would allow Americans to not only track missiles but also shoot them down.

The Russians have claimed this is a deeply aggressive move and in time-honoured fashion they responded by announcing plans - on the day after President Obama's election - to position their own missiles in Kaliningrad, a small Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania, and point them straight at US missile defence and radar bases.

No final decision on the future of the defence shield has yet been taken by President Obama but it will be high on his agenda when he travels to Moscow in July. It remains both a major source of friction and a crucial bargaining chip between Washington and Moscow. It could yet be the front line of a new Cold War.

GM being prepped for quick bankruptcy

Business: Let the countdown begin. But if in this bankruptcy Obama plays favorites with the UAW who have already said they believe he is just posturing publicly, he is going to have a problem. Everyone in this drama has to suffer a bit.

The Treasury Department is directing General Motors to lay the groundwork for a bankruptcy filing by a June 1 deadline, despite G.M.’s public contention that it could still reorganize outside court, people with knowledge of the plans said during the weekend.

Members of President Obama’s automotive task force spent last week in meetings and on conference calls with G.M. officials and its advisers in Detroit and Washington. Those talks are expected to continue this week.

The goal is to prepare for a fast “surgical” bankruptcy, the people who had been briefed on the plans said. G.M., which has been granted $13.4 billion in federal aid, insists that a quick restructuring is necessary so its image and sales are not damaged permanently.

The preparations are aimed at assuring a G.M. bankruptcy filing is ready should the company be unable to reach agreement with bondholders to exchange roughly $28 billion in debt into equity in G.M. and with the United Automobile Workers union, which has balked at granting concessions without sacrifices from bondholders.

President Obama, who was elected with strong backing from labor, remained concerned about potential risk to G.M.’s pension plan and wants to avoid harming workers, these people said.

None of these people agreed to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the process. G.M. declined to comment and the Treasury Department did not comment.

Islam 'insulted' by alleged child killer's mug shot, says husband

Culture: If the law is for all, then everyone will be treated the same when they get booked for a crime. Don't like it? Tough.

The police booking photo of alleged child killer Nour Hadid released Tuesday is an "insult against our religion," says Hadid's husband, Alaeddin.

Orland Park police detectives say the 26-year-old Muslim woman was treated as any other suspect in a murder probe would be, and they did not intend to humiliate her when they photographed her Sunday without her headscarf and wearing only a skimpy top.

Nour Hadid is accused of beating her 2-year-old niece Bhia Hadid to death over four days at her home on the 9000 block of West 140th Street. The child had 55 separate bruises and was beaten "from head to toe," according to prosecutors, who say Hadid confessed.

But Alaeddin Hadid - who insists his wife is innocent - said Orland Park police are "really going to be in big trouble" for releasing the woman's booking photo to the news media after she was charged with first-degree murder.

In the mug shot, a bare-headed and obviously emotional Nour appears to be protecting her modesty with her hands.

"It is against our religion; we do not do this in our culture," Alaeddin said.

"People have been calling me about this all day."

Nice to know among his circle of friends a mugshot carries weight against the backdrop of a dead 2 year old. She was arrested and treated just like any other suspect, just because she is Muslim doesn't mean she should be treated differently than anyone else.

But Dr. Mohammed Sahloul, chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Chicago, said that while police should follow the usual procedures with all defendants, "they should respect the modesty of the accused."

Sahloul, who made it clear he was not aware of the Hadid case and was speaking in general terms about the hijab, pointed out that Muslim women are allowed to wear hijabs in photos for their state IDs.

"If it's for the purposes of identification and they cover in public, then that's going to be more effective in identifying them anyway," he said.

Former chairman Kareem Irfan said, "It's particularly humiliating because she appears to be in her underwear.

"I don't condone what she's alleged to have done.

"But if it was a nun accused of these crimes, would they treat her the same way?"

If it was a nun, they should treat just the same.