Friday, April 24, 2009

Janet Napolitano seeks to repeal Real ID act.

Politics: Because you can get away with half assing ID safety requirements now that THE ONE is in office.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano this week said she is working with governors to repeal the Real ID Act, which was passed in 2005 and went into effect last year.

The bill is popular in Washington, but is scorned by many governors who bear the responsibility and cost of validating that holders of driver's licenses are citizens or legal residents of the United States.

Napolitano, former governor of Arizona, said she has met with governors of both parties recently "to look at a way to repeal Real ID." She said she wants to substitute the federal law with "something else that pivots off of the driver's license but accomplishes some of the same goals. And we hope to be able to announce something on that fairly soon."

Only some? That is setting the bar quite high in Napolitano land.

Obama vows to protect credit card users

Politics: Now you are wondering how much this will cost taxpayers.

President Barack Obama said Thursday he is determined to get a credit-card law that eliminates the tricky fine print, sudden rate increases and late fees that give millions of consumers headaches.

.....So Obama outlined the principles for any legislation: Protections so that consumers won’t face sudden, surprising jumps in fees; requirements that companies publish their forms in plainspoken language, with no more fine print; the availability of customer-friendly comparison shopping on credit-card offers; and greater enforcement so that violators feel the full weight of the law.

The president made no mention of the responsibility of consumers to keep themselves from getting overextended.

As one possibility, Obama said it may help if all credit-card issuers offer a basic, “plain-vanilla” card as a default option for consumers.

The president also acknowledged the importance of credit cards; almost 80 percent of U.S. households have one.

Of course he wouldn't point out that consumers are as much to blame in credit card debt because personal responsiblity is just a word to him.

Yahoo shutting down Geocities.

Web: Weird, I finally weaned myself off of my AOL account and now Geocities where I built my first website is being shut down by Yahoo. Considering how badly Yahoo screwed it up I am surprised it lasted this long.

Yahoo is closing its GeoCities personal home page service, and with it will go an era of self-expression on the Web that's largely been replaced by social networks and blogs.

GeoCities rose to power during an era when publishing on the Internet meant setting up your own Web site. GeoCities simplified the process by helping people sidestep the complications of registering a domain and learning how to program HTML, the language that describes Web pages.

Peter Terren reimages Rodin's The Thinker.

Culture: Shocking results of his experiment.

Using a home-built Tesla coil pieced together from junk and bits from hardware stores, Peter Terren risked his life to make the electrifying image.

He was also only protected from painful death by electrocution by a layer of cheap builders' foil.

Terren, from Bunbury, Western Australia,said: 'I wanted to convey the concept of the modern electrical age with the barrage of electrical interference in our lives. So much is happening and demanding our attention that it is difficult to "think".
'I decided upon a real life posture like the thinker with a lot of electrical activity around me with sparks onto my body.'

Britain's first Jedi police woman speaks!

UK: Britain is trying its best to be the Japan of the West with crazy stuff like this in public.

Meet PC Pam Fleming - the first Jedi police officer to admit she is a devotee of the Star Wars-inspired religion.

PC Fleming, a beat officer who has patrolled the mean streets of Glasgow for the past 23 years, stepped proudly forward today - light sabre in hand - to say 'I'm a Jedi and I'm proud'.

She even admits to using Jedi mind tricks during interviews with suspects in 'an effort to achieve the truth', although she tells industry magazine Police Review that she does not use 'The Force' to influence what suspects say or do.

Meghan McCain - Superficial self promoting huckster.

Politics: Lots of things wrong here but here is why if Meghan is the new face of the young Republican party, the party is dead.

Meghan McCain — who said earlier this week that she found Karl Rove "creepy" — said Thursday she wished the former Bush advisor would just "go away."

"The DNC just did an ad, and it has Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich and Dick Cheney as the new faces of the Republican Party," she said on The View, adding that the party's young people like herself were looking for "new energy and new blood."

"It's very unprecedented for someone like Karl Rove or Dick Cheney to be criticizing the president," said the 24-year-old daughter of former GOP presidential candidate John McCain. "It's very unprecendented, former vice president, and obviously Karl Rove, and my big criticism is: you had your eight years, go away."

"…[Rove] twittering is not going to make any young people come to the Republican Party, and I don't think any person my age is going to think that is cool," she said.

Earlier this week, McCain wrote in a blog post for the Daily Beast that she was uncomfortable with the fact that Rove followed her on Twitter. "That's creepy," she wrote. "We need to take Twitter back from the creepy people."

Unprecedented that Cheney or Rove would go after the President? They are just following the pattern started by Al Gore, Jimmy Carter and others on the left who went after Bush and company from day one.

Twittering is being used by everyone young and "old" unless you think there should be an age limit on who twitters. Nothing wrong with Rove or anyone else using the service. As for going away, who has stepped up to replace them? You are a lightweight RINO who has become a fav pet for the View which instantly disqualifies you from being the voice of anyone to the right of Mao.

Chrysler Bankruptcy: UAW members get full protection.

Business: On top of all the taxpayer money wasted and the White House trying to bully bondholders, now we find out that the UAW pension and health benefits are protected. How much is that going to cost the American taxpayer.

The Treasury Department is directing Chrysler to prepare a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing as soon as next week, people with direct knowledge of the talks said Thursday.

The company faces a deadline of April 30 to come up with a viable business plan supported by its creditors, the United Automobile Workers union, and Fiat, the Italian car company that wants to acquire a stake in Chrysler.

The Obama administration has told Chrysler it will provide up to $6 billion in new financing, on top of the $4 billion in loans it has already given the company, if Chrysler can complete a deal by next Thursday with a cost structure that gives it a chance of survival. The creditors have so far balked at the terms suggested by the Treasury.

But the negotiations have taken a new direction. Treasury now has an agreement in principle with the U.A.W., whose members’ pensions and retiree health care benefits would be protected in the event of a bankruptcy filing, said the people with knowledge of the discussions, who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.

Moreover, under this outcome, Fiat would complete its alliance with Chrysler while the company is under bankruptcy protection.

Obama budget cuts merely symbolic critics say.

Politics: Ya think Washington Post?

These tough times call for sacrifice. So the Obama administration has embarked on a belt-tightening plan that sounds, to some veteran federal budget watchers, like fodder for a Jay Leno monologue.

The Education Department will eliminate a Bush-era "education policy attaché" based in Paris -- the one in France -- whose annual salary, housing allowance and business expenses exceed $630,000. Employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs will forgo their training junkets to hot spots such as Nashville and satisfy themselves with videoconferencing.

The Department of Homeland Security has started buying its supplies in bulk and -- to the surprise and delight of bureaucrats -- discovered it's much cheaper that way.

This is not exactly the revolution in government efficiency that President Obama has promised. Nonetheless, he and the agencies trumpeted the changes, staples of any money-conscious organization, this week as examples of how they intend to cut $100 million over the next 90 days to try to trim a budget deficit projected to reach $1.4 trillion next year.

Experts said the cost-cutting measures will do little to restore fiscal responsibility and are at best a symbolic early move. At worst, they said, the savings, which amount to a fraction of 1 percent of Obama's $3.6 trillion budget, are so obvious and picayune that by making them a major focus of his first Cabinet meeting, the president may have given the impression that he is not serious about controlling spending.

"You're cherry-picking the base of the tree on stuff that is not innovative," said Paul C. Light, a scholar of federal bureaucracy at New York University. "Purchasing in bulk? Wow, that's a bold idea! Teleconferencing? Holy moly! None of this stuff is the kind of bold sweep you're hoping Obama will bring to the management of government."

Isabel V. Sawhill, a Clinton administration budget official who directs the Budgeting for National Priorities project at the Brookings Institution, said she feared the cuts would be "lampooned" on late-night talk shows.

"I'm not sure I thought it was a good step towards convincing people that he cares about fiscal responsibility," she said.

Here is the graphical version of his cuts from the last time I posted about his arrogance to think that this is good policy. You have to be a fool to think this is worth a damn.

See the happy-faced spider.

Nature: If it were deadly the markings would make it more bad-ass.

Blu-Ray the passing fad.

Culture: NYTIMES blog with the recurring question if Blu-ray is a stepping stone to HD streaming or a lasting product due to its many features. If they want Blu-Ray to succeed beyond DVD, lower the prices since most people confronted with a DVD or Blu of the same movie will pick the DVD. Cheaper pricing on players and HDTV sets will help as well.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

More UNC thuggery but with arrests this time.

Culture: I do argue that tasing one of these spoiled brats would be a good thing.

A week after 200 protestors halted an appearance by a former republican congressman, another conservative lawmaker with strong views on immigration was asked to speak on the campus.

During Tom Tancredo’s appearance last week, it got so out of control, police had to use pepper spray and a Taser to control the crowd.

Protestors screamed and chanted again Wednesday night on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill to drown out U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode, Jr. of Virginia.

The speaker was invited to offer his thoughts on immigration reform by the UNC chapter of Youth for Western Civilization, who also invited Tancredo last week.

Goode lost a re-election bid in 2008 after making a controversial remark that the U.S. should stop illegal immigration and reduce legal immigration, specifically for people from the Middle East. The stance prompted Wednesday’s protests.

Six people were arrested for disorderly conduct and a handful left the event early.

GM workers brace for 9-week summer closure

Business: Plus missing a $1 billion dollar loan payment.

As General Motors increasingly faces the possibility of bankruptcy, the Detroit automaker is making plans to shut down most of its U.S. factories for up to nine weeks this summer and to not make a $1 billion debt payment due June 1.

The plant closures would begin next month, the Free Press was told, and they would temporarily reduce the pay for as many as 55,000 autoworkers nationwide.

The move would save GM, which is operating with a $13.4 billion federal loan, money and help reduce swelling inventories of unsold cars and trucks.

Ray Young, the company’s chief financial officer, said GM is also rushing to launch an effort to get its debt holders to voluntarily exchange the $28 billion they are owed in exchange for a stake in the company. But whether that effort is successful or not, GM does not plan to pay what it owes come June 1.

“We’re not going to make that payment,” Young said, speaking to reporters after a Detroit Chinese Business Association conference in Dearborn. “That’s part of the reason why we’re going to get this thing done one way or another ... That’s the deadline.”

The revelations show just how close GM is to bankruptcy if a deal can’t be reached to reduce its debt and aggressively restructure its business.

We have wasted too much time shoving taxpayers dollars into this failed company, the White House is trying to play hardball with both GM and Chrysler bondholders who thankfully are refusing to budge on their demands for fair compensation.

End this game and lets start to rebuild both companies.

Netherlands Wants US 'Hague Invasion Act' Scrapped

World: Naahhhhh. I like the act just the way it is written as a warning for world citizen governments who want to pull a stunt.

The Netherlands wants the US to abolish the act that legitimises the use of force to free Americans if they should fall into the hands of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

"American legislation that would justify the use of force against the Netherlands to keep Americans out of the ICC is outdated and should be amended," said Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen after a meeting with Democratic Congressman Chris van Hollen in the Congress in Washington. "As host country, the Netherlands welcomes the improved cooperation between the US and the ICC, for example over Darfur," Verhagen went on. "I hope that this trend will continue, and that it will also lead to the amendment of the so-called Hague Invasion Act" of 2002.

Justices Weigh Anti-Bias Move's Impact on Whites

Nation: Not surprisingly, the liberals and Obama Admin think that New Haven move to throw out the test is a damn good move.

City officials are being sued by the white firefighters who scored well on the exam and saw their promotions scuttled. But the officials say that because federal law treats as suspect tests that have such disparate effects, they would have been sued by minorities if they had approved the promotions.

.....But yesterday's argument quickly revealed a familiar split on the court. Liberal justices sprang to the city's defense, saying it should have the flexibility to discard the results of a test that seemed to produce discriminatory results.

Justice David H. Souter said New Haven found itself in a "damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation." Using the exam would seem to cross Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and its warning about tests with disparate effects. Throwing out the test led to the lawsuit from white firefighters, who contend that their constitutional rights to equal protection were violated.

"Why isn't the most reasonable reading of this set of facts a reading which is consistent with giving the city an opportunity, assuming good faith, to start again?" Souter asked.

.....Souter said Coleman wanted to turn "any race-conscious decision into a discrimination decision, and that equation we certainly haven't made and we're never going to make."

The Obama administration's position is that New Haven's actions are justified if they were undertaken in good faith, and not as a "pretext" for simply trying to promote minorities at the expense of whites. It advised sending the case back to lower courts for a decision on that question.

I would think any race based decision in light of results that did not go the way you had hoped would be a discrimination decision. If you give a test out to everyone and only a certain section does well. Find out why the rest of the class was horrible.

Obama makes CIA agents hesitate about doing their jobs.

Terrorism: Its one thing to reign in and change up the CIA, its another to screw them up so bad they can't do their jobs because they feel its the first step to jail.

Sad to say, it's slow roll time at Langley after the release of interrogation memos that, in the words of one veteran officer, "hit the agency like a car bomb in the driveway." President Obama promised CIA officers that they won't be prosecuted for carrying out lawful orders, but the people on the firing line don't believe him. They think the memos have opened a new season of investigation and retribution.

The lesson for younger officers is obvious: Keep your head down. Duck the assignments that carry political risk. Stay away from a counterterrorism program that has become a career hazard.

....For a taste of what's ahead, recall the chilling effects of past CIA scandals. In 1995, then-Director John Deutch ordered a "scrub" of the agency's assets after revelations of past links to Guatemalan death squads. Officers were told they shouldn't jettison sources who had provided truly valuable intelligence. But the practical message, recalls one former division chief, was: "Don't deal with assets who could pose political risks." A similar signal is being sent now, he warns.

One veteran counterterrorism operative says that agents in the field are already being more careful about using the legal findings that authorize covert action. An example is the so-called "risk of capture" interview that takes place in the first hour after a terrorism suspect is grabbed. This used to be the key window of opportunity, in which the subject was questioned aggressively and his cellphone contacts and "pocket litter" were exploited quickly.

Now, field officers are more careful. They want guidance from headquarters. They need legal advice. I'm told that in the case of an al-Qaeda suspect seized in Iraq several weeks ago, the CIA didn't even try to interrogate him. The agency handed him over to the U.S. military.

Obama has taken one asset of America and caused them to be less effective in keeping America safe. Good job.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Obama screwed up his torture is bad meme.

Politics: I bet Obama and the rest of the brat pack he has around him thought they won the debate over torture and put the pressure elsewhere after releasing those memos.

President Barack Obama’s attempt to project legal and moral clarity on coercive CIA interrogation methods has instead done the opposite — creating confusion and political vulnerability over an issue that has inflamed both the left and right.

In the most recent instance, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair acknowledged in a memo to the intelligence community that Bush-era interrogation practices yielded had "high-value information,” then omitted that admission from a public version of his assessment.

That leaves a top Obama administration official appearing to validate claims by former Vice President Dick Cheney that waterboarding and other techniques the White House regards as torture were effective in preventing terrorist attacks. And the press release created the impression the administration was trying to suppress this conclusion.

He was playing politics with the memos and it has backfired. More from CNN and AFP where Obama faces fallout from both sides.

Ron Howard defends "Angels & Demons"

Culture: Ron "America should be weaker" Howard comes out to defend his anti-catholic movie. BTW, Tom Hanks is anti-Mormon not anti-Catholic.

Director Ron Howard on Tuesday defended his film adaptation of "The Da Vinci Code" author Dan Brown's "Angels & Demons" from criticism that it smears the Roman Catholic Church, heightening an ongoing battle over fictional depictions of the Vatican.

Howard, who also directed the 2006 movie adaptation of "The Da Vinci Code," posted a blog at The Huffington Post website saying that neither he nor his new movie "Angels & Demons," which debuts in May and stars Tom Hanks, are anti-Catholic.

"And let me be a little controversial: I believe Catholics, including most in the hierarchy of the Church, will enjoy the movie for what it is: an exciting mystery, set in the awe-inspiring beauty of Rome," Howard wrote.

Howard's post came in response to an opinion piece in the New York Daily News by Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, last week. Donahue accused Brown and Howard of "smearing the Catholic Church with fabulously bogus tales."

Booo..NFL draft starts at 4 pm this Saturday.

Sports: I don't like the start time as it will finish too late and I don't have an excuse to sit around from Noon till midnight watching coverage. This used to be an all day party but putting it on this late is going to hurt it as an event.

Plus this..

To show how it has, consider this Super Bowl-like stat: With the draft starting later — 4 p.m. ET — to boost ratings, ESPN and NFLN will try to set the stage with record five-hour pre-draft shows.

No one needs that on their television. No one.

Geithner Hints at High Bar In Letting Banks Repay Aid

Nation: Geithner will be damned if these banks pay their TARP money back and get out from other his thumb. He has really turned into the kid with the magnify glass burning ants on the ground.

Could you be Batman? Maybe

Culture: But you have to be a billionaire and have 15-20 of training.

Obama lied. "Banned Techniques Yielded ‘High Value Information,’ Memo Says "

Politics: I believe this would make Obama and his intel director outright liars.

President Obama’s national intelligence director told colleagues in a private memo last week that the harsh interrogation techniques banned by the White House did produce significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terrorists.

“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country,” Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.

Admiral Blair sent his memo on the same day the administration publicly released secret Bush administration legal memos authorizing the use of interrogation methods that the Obama White House has deemed to be illegal torture. Among other things, the Bush administration memos revealed that two captured Qaeda operatives were subjected to a form of near-drowning known as waterboarding a total of 266 times.

Admiral Blair’s assessment that the interrogation methods did produce important information was deleted from a condensed version of his memo released to the media last Thursday. Also deleted was a line in which he empathized with his predecessors who originally approved some of the harsh tactics after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“I like to think I would not have approved those methods in the past,” he wrote, “but I do not fault those who made the decisions at that time, and I will absolutely defend those who carried out the interrogations within the orders they were given.”

A spokeswoman for Admiral Blair said the lines were cut in the normal editing process of shortening an internal memo into a media statement emphasizing his concern that the public understand the context of the decisions made in the past and the fact that they followed legal orders.

"The information gained from these techniques was valuable in some instances, but there is no way of knowing whether the same information could have been obtained through other means,” Admiral Blair said in a written statement issued last night. “The bottom line is these techniques have hurt our image around the world, the damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security."

Admiral Blair’s private memo was provided by a critic of Mr. Obama’s policy. His assessment could bolster Bush administration veterans who argue that the interrogations were an important tool in the battle against al Qaeda.

Bravo to this brave critic who called out Obama on his bullshit. They knew what they were doing with the public version released and now will have to backtrack like crazy tomorrow because people will be all over this as a sign that Obama is playing pure politics. BTW, if there is a choice between image and safety, Blair better be on the side of safety.

Obama ordered the release of long-secret Bush-era documents on the subject last week, and Blair circulated his memo declaring that useful information was obtained at the same time.

In a public statement released the same day, Blair did not say that interrogations using the techniques had yielded useful information.

As word of the private memo surfaced Tuesday night, a new statement was issued in his name that appeared to be more explicit in one regard and contained something of a hedge on another point.

It said, "The information gained from these techniques was valuable in some instances, but there is no way of knowing whether the same information could have been obtained through other means."

The emergence of Blair's memo added another layer of complexity to an issue that has plagued the Obama administration in recent days.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gondria is mine!

Gaming: Sorry, World of Warcraft moment, let me bask in it.

Gap narrows between Dems and GOP support.

Politics: Not because the GOP leadership is doing much positive just that people are getting wary of Dems. The last couple of months of the Dems being Dems has worked to to alienate some people in a short period of time. If the GOP was halfway decent I would say great opportunity but I fear if they actually tried something the trend would reverse.

Sri Lanka ready to stamp out the Tamil Tigers.

World: Final push to make the Tamil Tigers extinct.

Jeremy Page, the Times of London correspondent who was deported from Sri Lanka last week for trying to skirt the ban on reporters in the country’s north, wrote on Monday that official sources had issued a stark warning to the rebels that time was running out for them to lay down their arms:

The Sri Lankan military gave an ultimatum to Tamil Tiger rebels to surrender or face annihilation in the eight square mile sliver of coast where they were pinned down along with thousands of civilians. The army, which claims to have killed more than 500 rebels over the weekend, set up loudspeakers on the edge of the “no-fire zone” and broadcast the ultimatum.

“We have given them the truth,” said Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, a military spokesman. “This is the last time they have to come and surrender.”

Spain's Deflation Fears and EU getting worried.


Prices dipped everywhere, from restaurants and fashion retailers to pharmacies and supermarkets in March. Hoping to increase sales, Fernando Maestre reduced prices by a third on the video intercoms his company makes for homes and apartment buildings. But that has not helped, so, along with many other Spanish employers, he is continuing to fire workers.

The nation’s jobless rate, already a painful 15.5 percent, could soon reach 20 percent, a troubling number for a major industrialized country.

With the combination of rising unemployment and falling prices, economists fear Spain may be in the early grip of deflation, a hallmark of both the Great Depression and Japan’s lost decade of the 1990s, and a major concern since the financial crisis went global last year.

Deflation can result in a downward spiral that can be difficult to reverse. As unemployment rises sharply and consumers cut spending, companies cut prices. But if sales do not pick up, then revenue can decline further, forcing more cuts in workers or wages. Mr. Maestre is already contemplating additional job and wage cuts for his 250 employees.

Nowhere is this cycle more evident than in Spain. Last month, it became the first of the 16 nations that use the euro to record a negative inflation rate. The drop, though just 0.1 percent, had not happened since the government began tracking inflation in 1961, and Spanish officials have said prices could keep dropping through the summer.

..Deflation is not just a Spanish concern. Luxembourg, Portugal and Ireland have reported price drops, too. While the declines have been slight — and prices rose modestly after factoring out food and energy prices, which can fluctuate widely — other figures released this month suggest the risk of deflation is growing.

In Germany, wholesale prices dropped 8 percent in March from a year ago, the steepest fall since 1987. In Japan, wholesale prices fell 2.2 percent on an annual basis. In the United States, the Consumer Price Index fell 0.1 percent in March, year over year, the first decline of its kind since 1955, though prices rose 0.2 percent excluding food and energy.

Fallout from Ahmadinejad at UN Racism conference

UN: Many of us said this would happen and this was a waste of time. We were right.

Ahmadinejad, who has previously called for the Jewish state to be wiped off the map, criticised the creation of a "totally racist government in occupied Palestine" in 1948, calling it "the most cruel and repressive racist regime.

"The (UN) Security Council helped stabilise this occupation regime and supported it for the past 60 years, giving them a free hand to continue their crimes," he said on the first day of the conference.

His remarks prompted 23 European Union delegations to walk out of the conference room in protest.

They also provoked a flurry of condemnation from Western leaders, with Washington calling on Iran to end its "hateful rhetoric".

President Barack Obama "disagrees vehemently" with Ahmadinejad, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.

Gibbs added that it vindicated the decision by the country's first African-American president to shun the conference.

Australia, Canada, Israel, some EU countries and the United States had announced they would not take part in the meeting even before it opened Monday.

After Ahmadinejad's speech, the Czech Republic said it was definitely dropping out.

The myopic CBC and NAACP still think not attending this hate fest was a bad idea.

While they didn't support the statement, American civil rights leaders said a world conference on racism is the perfect place to discuss controversial opinions and views.

Hilary Shelton, vice president of advocacy and director of the NAACP's Washington bureau, said that debate and disagreements are productive.

"There are challenging issues, but a willingness to have ideological discussions makes our nation a better place," he said. "An exchange of ideas moves us forward.

"It saddens us that we could have such an extraordinary event as an African American president and then decline to provide leadership at a race conference."

At a race conference, Yes.
At this race conference? No. These civil rights groups eagerness to have America join this conference is a puzzlement considering the last thing that will happen is a serious debate. I have yet to see any real anger from these groups on what is happening at Durban II.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Norah O’Donnell doesn't mind the c-word for women.

Media: This deserves its own post as Norah O’Donnell pretty much says nothing about Hilton nasty attack on Carrie Prejean. MSNBC doesn't seem to mind attack women in the worst ways possible from pimping out Shuster to Chris Matthews and no smackdown of Hilton for laughing about the c-world.

Kudos to Miss California for stating what she believes.

Nation: Nice to see that freedom of speech is only good for liberals like Perez Hilton when they agree with it. Poor thing threw a hissy fit afterwards.

Prejean, 21, of San Diego, answered that she thought it was great that she lived in a country where a person can choose one or the other, but that in her family, she was raised to believe marriage was between a man and a woman.

Hilton was clearly unhappy with her answer, and he let the world know about it on his Web site.

In a video blog that he posted just moments after the pageant ended, Hilton says that Prejean gave the worst answer in pageant history, that she was actually booed. He then goes on to say, "She lost, not because she doesn't believe in gay marriage. Miss California lost because she's a dumb --, OK?"

He said that Prejean could have answered that question in a more neutral way by perhaps acknowledging that same-sex marriage is a hot topic in this country and that each state should decide for itself how that issue should be handled.

So because she didn't give the right answer to gay marriage, it seems the judges intentionally dropped scores to make her lose.

In an appearance Monday on MSNBC, Hilton said he was absolutely "shocked and incredibly frustrated and disappointed" with Prejean's stance.

"That's not the kind of woman I want to be Miss USA," he said. "Miss USA should represent all Americans and, with her answer, she instantly alienated millions of gays and lesbians and their friends."

Earlier, Hilton had said on his video blog he would have run onstage and ripped the tiara off Prejean's head had she won the title.

And the blogger would not have been the only member of the Miss USA family to go apoplectic had Prejean advanced in the competition. Keith Lewis, executive director of California's Miss USA operations, said in a statement released to Hilton that "religious beliefs have no place in politics in the Miss CA family."

Next year's Miss CA pagent will have an are you against gay marriage question.

Obama's $100 million budget cut nonsense.

Politics:I hate going all Tom Joyner on this post but...

Negro please.

I did not think Obama had the arrogance after touting his $400-$800 tax cut that will go away starting next year as listening to the people. But this farce of "fiscal responsiblity" with this insulting to anyone with an IQ over 50 belt tightening is awesomely arrogant.

Even the AP is wondering what the hell was Obama thinking.

Cut a latte or two out of your annual budget and you've just done as much belt-tightening as President Barack Obama asked of his Cabinet on Monday.

The thrifty measures Obama ordered for federal agencies are the equivalent of asking a family that spends $60,000 in a year to save $6.

Obama made his push for frugality the subject of his first Cabinet meeting, ensuring it would command the capital's attention. It also set off outbursts of mental math and scribbled calculations as political friend and foe tried to figure out its impact.

The bottom line: Not much.

Obama cheerleader Jennifer Loven and Jake Tapper go after Robert Gibbs who is pathetic in trying to make logic of announcing such a small sum out of a budget that looks like this graph over at

Expect to see this graph all over upcoming tea party rallies.

Muslim groups refusing to help FBI in terrorism investigations.

Terrorism: Very very stupid. Lets be clear, a mosque like a church is not off limit to investigations especially when you can pick numerous cases around the world where the mosque has been at the center of terrorist plots being planned.

As they sipped tea and nibbled on dates, more than 100 men and women listened to a litany of speakers sounding the same message: The FBI is not your friend.

"We're here today to say our mosques are off limits," Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations for Greater Los Angeles, told the crowd last month at an Anaheim mosque.

"Our Koran is off limits," Ayloush added. "Our youth, who they try to radicalize, are off limits. Now is the time to tell them, 'We're not going to let this happen anymore.' "

Such strong words from a man who once was a vocal advocate of ties with federal law enforcement was yet one more signal that the fragile relationship between Muslim American groups and the FBI is being tested.

In the months and years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, FBI officials met privately with Muslim leaders, assuring them that a spate of hate crimes would be vigorously investigated and at the same time asking for help in the campaign against terrorism. Local leaders promised to encourage cooperation.

But even as relations warmed, a series of revelations -- including allegations that the FBI sent an informant into a mosque in Orange County, surveilled community leaders and sent an agent to UC Irvine -- caused some to begin questioning the FBI's real intentions.

Now, the leaders of several Muslim organizations say they feel betrayed. Because Orange County has been at the center of many of the revelations, local leaders have taken a lead in challenging the FBI, but the issues are resonating nationwide. On Sunday, a coalition of the nation's largest Muslim organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Islamic Society of North America, issued a statement demanding that the Obama administration address FBI actions, including what they describe as the "infiltration of mosques," the use of "agent provocateurs to trap unsuspecting Muslim youth," and the "deliberate vilification" of the council.

"It reached a level where we felt we had to do something," said Agha Saeed, chairman of the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections. "The FBI is doing things which are not healthy. They are creating divisions and conflict, creating a totally negative, Islamophobic image of Muslims in America."

So they are mad because the FBI is doing its job? What did they expect? The FBI would only investigate hate crimes and not focus on homegrown terror plots, chase leads in Muslim community or send in informers or agents to see what is going on in Mosques and others places? They would do this if they were Christians and law enforcement around the world are looking more closely at various Muslim communities.

If you think not cooperating with law enforcement is the way to go then you are setting yourself up to fit all the images you say are out of line and unfair. It will look like CAIR and other groups want Muslims to be treated differently than everyone else and that is not going to win you any points with anyone.

Update# This is a coordinated effort to frustrate investigations all over the country.

Michigan Muslims request a probe of FBI
The Detroit News - ‎Apr 16, 2009‎

Congressional Black Caucus whines about UN racism boycotts.

Politics: The CBC may be the most clueless group of politicians in congress not to see why its a waste of time to go to this garbage conference.

major United Nations anti-racism conference was thrown into further disarray Sunday when more countries joined a U.S. boycott amid concerns it was developing into a platform for attacking Israel.

Australia and the Netherlands were the latest to pull out of next week's meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, as a dispute gathered pace over a document said to single out Israel for racism.

Canada, Israel, Italy and Sweden have also announced they are boycotting the conference aimed at creating a global blueprint for tackling discrimination. Britain says it will attend.

...The Congressional Black Caucus said it was "deeply dismayed" by the decision made by the nation's first African-African president, saying it was inconsistent with administration policies.

"Had the United States sent a high-level delegation reflecting the richness and diversity of our country, it would have sent a powerful message to the world that we're ready to lead by example," a statement from the group said.

"Instead, the administration opted to boycott the conference, a decision that does not advance the cause of combating racism and intolerance, but rather sets the cause back."

Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, whose past comments on the Holocaust and Israel are likely to overshadow his contributions to the anti-racism conference, has reportedly confirmed his attendance.

No, the conference itself was a set back against fighting racism and intolerance the first time around because of the actions of many countries and delegates. There has been zero evidence this second conference would be anything more than a Bash the Jews, freedom of speech/expression fest.

If CBC members can't figure out that like everyone else who is boycotting then I question maybe their views are more in line with troublemakers at the conference. If that is the case I understand why they would be upset.

CNN to treat Obama's 100th day like Kim Jong Il birthday celebration.

Media: You know I'm not that far off from the truth.

CNN is marking President Barack Obama's 100th day in office with prime-time coverage that will recall last year's primary and general election nights, right down to John King's magic wall.

The network says it will compile a national report card of Obama's performance, using opinion polls and a series of viewer surveys.

The big night is April 29, a week from this Wednesday, pre-empting regular programming.

Most of the anchors and commentators who were CNN regulars on political nights last year will appear.

"This is the perfect day to have commentary about how the president is doing and the perfect day to ask the public how they think the president is doing," said Sam Feist, CNN's political director. He's been planning the 100th and 200th day specials since shortly after the election.

Obama going after Credit Card fees and rates.

Business: Via WSJ and AP. As a person who got hit with higher rates out of nowhere I would say Wooooohooo! As a taxpayer I dread the government sticking its nose in because they will screw it up. When you read quotes like this from Summers.

President Barack Obama is "going to be very focused, in a very near term, on a whole set of issues having to do with credit card abuses, having to do with the way people have been deceived into paying extraordinarily high rates that they wouldn't have paid if they knew what they were getting themselves into," Summers said.

Summers said the administration wants to see a better-regulated financial system, encourage savings and eventually get back to a situation where government spending is not a drain on the economy.

"Individuals are going to have to save more, that's why savings incentives are so important," he said. "That's why we need to do things to stop the marketing of credit in ways that addicts people to it - so that our households are again saving, and families are again preparing to send kids to college, for their retirement, and so forth."

The consumer gets the majority of blame on this because they abused their credit cards. I am pissed that Citibank raised their rates on me but I am not going to whine the government be my mommy and daddy to make them stop. I paid it off and thats the end of that. A WSJ commentator summed it up nicely.

This should work well.
The governement will lower fees for everyone.
The banks will refuse to give credit to high risk borrowers.
The governement will step in and mandate affrodable credit for everyone.
Backed up by the US goverment of course.
Maybe we can have a new entity to do that, similar to Fannie & Freddie.

When they go belly up due to subprime credit card defaults, congress can step in and blame it all on the greedy banks.

This madness can not end soon enough.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Obama the new Gorbachev only after a bottle of rum.

Politics: That is the only way AP's Steven Hurst could write such an absurd comparison while Obama has gone around on his America sucks tour 2009.

While historic analogies are never perfect, Obama's stark efforts to change the U.S. image abroad are reminiscent of the stunning realignments sought by former Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev. During his short—by Soviet standards—tenure, he scrambled incessantly to shed the ideological entanglements that were leading the communist empire toward ruin.

But Obama is outpacing even Gorbachev. After just three months in power, the new American leader has, among many other things:

—Admitted to Europeans that America deserves at least part of the blame for the world's financial crisis because it did not regulate high-flying and greedy Wall Street gamblers.

—Told the Russians he wants to reset relations that fell to Cold War-style levels under his predecessor, George W. Bush.

—Asked NATO for more help in the fight in Afghanistan, and, not getting much, did not castigate alliance partners.

—Lifted some restrictions on Cuban Americans' travel to their communist homeland and eased rules on sending wages back to families there.

—Shook hands with, more than once, and accepted a book from Hugo Chavez, the virulently anti-American leader of oil-rich Venezuela.

—Said America's appetite for illegal drugs and its lax control of the flow of guns and cash to Mexico were partly to blame for the drug-lord-inspired violence that is rattling the southern U.S. neighbor.

I don't remember Gorby being a suckup or that big of an apologist plus the obvious difference that we are not a communist country that fell apart into disheveled mess despite some critics revisionist history.

At a news conference ending the three-day Summit of the Americas on Sunday, Obama was asked to explain what a reporter called this emerging "Obama Doctrine."

He said that first, he remains intent on telling the world that the United States is a powerful and wealthy nation that realizes it is just one country among many. Obama said he believes that other countries have "good ideas" and interests that cannot be ignored.

Second, while the United States best represents itself by living up to its universal values and ideas, Obama said it must also respect the variety of cultures and perspectives that guide both American foes and friends.

"I firmly believe that if we're willing to break free from the arguments and ideologies of an earlier era and continue to act, as we have at this summit, with a sense of mutual responsibility and mutual respect and mutual interest, then each of our nations can come out of this challenging period stronger and more prosperous, and we can advance opportunity, equality, and security across the Americas," the president said.

Going by the bold, the Obama doctrine consists of moral relativism and the type of person that thinks everyone should get a medal for participating a race so no one feels bad. Fricking wonderful.

This is going to bite him in the ass because if he truly believes that America is just one of many instead of the shining light at the top of the hill and if he is nice to everyone, they will be nice back then he will be stomped eventually. Hell, you can say he has already been stomped because of his failure to get anything of substance at this summit or at G20.

But if he wishes to test the Machiavelli Love or Fear rule, so be it.

"From this arises the question whether it is better to be loved rather than feared, or feared rather than loved. It might perhaps be answered that we should wish to be both: but since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved."

Government making it hard for banks to repay TARP money.

Politics: Anyone else think Obama's team don't want the bank to be so independent anymore. Despite the promises of more regulation and greater enforcement this move smacks of trying to keep the nation's finance system under government control.

Strong banks will be allowed to repay bail-out funds they received from the US government but only if such a move passes a test to determine whether it is in the national economic interest, a senior administration official has told the Financial Times.

“Our general objective is going to be what is good for the system,” the senior official said. “We want the system to have enough capital.”

The official, meanwhile, said banks that had plenty of capital and had demonstrated an ability to raise fresh capital from the market should in principle be able to repay government funds. But the judgment would be made in the context of the wider economic interest. He said the government had three basic tests. It needed first to “make sure the system is stable”. Second, to not create “incentives for more deleveraging which would deepen the recession”. Third, to make sure the system had enough capital to “provide credit to support the recovery”.

New York’s Newly Jobless realize welfare checks means lifestyle change.

Nation: What annoys me about this story is this implied notion that their lifestyle changes because they get an unemployment check is a point of pity to the readers. If you get an unemploy check and you don't change your lifestyle that means the taxpayers are getting hosed. You go on the dole, you change the way you live and deal with it.

Bill Would Bring Relief for (irresponsible) Homeowners

Nation: The get out of personal responsibility card for some owners.

Under the new measure, as passed by the House of Representatives, the judge can reduce your principal and interest rate. Say you have a $400,000 loan on a home whose value has fallen to $300,000. Under the plan, a bankruptcy judge could eliminate $100,000 of the debt, says Yardeni Research. Before you could qualify for a cramdown loan modification, you would have to show that you appealed to your mortgage lender for relief at least 15 days before you filed for bankruptcy.

While the plan would help more people keep their homes, the mortgage industry opposes it because of concerns it will destabilize the housing market and lead to more bankruptcy filings. Opponents worry that more homeowners in danger of foreclosure will file for bankruptcy if that's a surer route to keeping their homes.

So all those people who bought in the bubble or tried to flip and used their homes as ATM machines are going to benefit. Nice

Finally, US to boycott UN racism meeting

UN: I wonder if Susan Rice actually believed she could have bent the will of the anti-Jew segment of the UN to her way of thinking. If she did then she is not smart at all.

The Obama administration has decided "with regret" to boycott a U.N. conference on racism next week over objectionable language in the meeting's final document that could single out Israel for criticism and restrict free speech, the State Department said Saturday.

The decision follows weeks of furious internal debate and will likely please Israel and Jewish groups that lobbied against U.S. participation but upset human rights advocates and some in the African-American community who hoped President Barack Obama, as the nation's first black president, would decide to send an official delegation.

Some revisions—including the removal of specific critical references to Israel and problematic passages about the defamation of religion—were negotiated.

But the State Department said the text retains troubling elements that suggest support for restrictions on free speech and an affirmation of the findings of the first World Conference Against Racism, held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001 that the U.S cannot endorse.

If there are people in the black community who would be upset that America won't take part in this spectacular racist anti free speech/freedom of expression garbage then they don't understand what a disaster it would be for America to give this legitimacy.

Jackie Chan: Chinese people need to be controlled.

Culture: Sadly, Chan has always been quite the Chinese government stooge.

Action star Jackie Chan grew up in Hong Kong's freewheeling society, but he said that too much freedom isn't good and he's starting to think "we Chinese need to be controlled".

Chan's comments drew applause from an audience of business leaders on China's southern island province of Hainan.

The 55-year-old Hong Kong actor was participating in a panel at the annual Boao Forum when he was asked to discuss censorship and restrictions on filmmakers in China. He expanded his comments to include society in general.

"I'm not sure if it's good to have freedom or not," Chan said. "I'm really confused now. If you're too free, you're like the way Hong Kong is now. It's very chaotic. Taiwan is also chaotic."

Chan added: "I'm gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we're not being controlled, we'll just do what we want."

History Channel pushing liberal docu on democracy.

Culture: This will be a fair viewing of American history.

The History cable channel is teaming with education organization The People Speak for a dramatic documentary focused on the concept of democracy and starring a host of celebrity talent.

Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Viggo Mortensen, David Strathairn, Marisa Tomei and others will lend performances chronicling key moments in U.S. history. Damon will appear in a vignette about John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath," Tomei will play factory worker Harriet Hanson Robinson, and Eddie Vedder will read Bob Dylan's "Masters of War."

The network will air a two-hour special, "The People Speak," during the fourth quarter of next year and release at least 24 short segments through 2010 for online and video-on-demand distribution.