Saturday, May 2, 2009

Obama thugs out, threatens to use WH press against those who oppose him.

Business: He didn't have to threaten them since the press will gladly go after someone who doesn't follow black jesus.

Lauria: Let me tell you it’s no fun standing on this side of the fence opposing the President of the United States. In fact, let me just say, people have asked me who I represent.

That’s a moving target. I can tell you for sure that I represent one less investor today than I represented yesterday. One of my clients was directly threatened by the White House and in essence compelled to withdraw its opposition to the deal under the threat that the full force of the White House Press Corps would destroy its reputation if it continued to fight. That’s how hard it is to stand on this side of the fence.

Beckman: Was that Perella Weinberg?

Lauria: That was Perella Weinberg.

Obama to nominate empathy judge aka Sotomayor?

Politics: Heaven forbid he nominates someone who knows the rule of law, he will likely nominate Sotomayor based on her affirmative action qualities. How bad of a pic will that be? This much.

Topping several speculative lists of President Barack Obama's choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter is New York's Sonia Sotomayor, a trailblazing judge on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.

That is a familiar spot for Sotomayor, who has been mentioned as a potential justice by Democrats since the 1990s.

She quickly became a target of conservative groups, who Friday denounced her for a "hard-left" judicial record that is colored by her personal life and her reputation as a "bully."

In 1998, Republicans even delayed her circuit court nomination for many months as they charged it was nothing more than a stepping stone for a liberal jurist to the Supreme Court.

But her supporters say Sotomayor, 54, has a remarkable life story, a strong resume and a centrist record - and that as a Puerto Rican woman she would add diversity to a bench dominated by white men.

Already, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Manhattan) on Friday wrote Obama to recommend her and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who declined to state his top choice, said she meets his criteria of excellence, political moderation and diversity.

"She is considered one of the brightest judges on the court," said Jamal Green, a Columbia law professor who clerked with another 2nd Circuit judge. But he said she also is one of the circuit's most liberal judges.

You know its a bad pick when the qualities touted the most is she's a female minority and will add diversity. She already shown her empathy by trying to throw out the New Haven white firefighter cast based on it seems just because they are white.

“Judge Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court would be very concerning given her hard-left record on the Court of Appeals, where she is recognized by practitioners as one of the more liberal judges.

-Judge Sotomayor’s personal views may cloud her jurisprudence. As Judge Sotomayor explained in a 2002 speech at Berkeley, she believes it is appropriate for a judge to consider their “experiences as women and people of color” in their decisionmaking, which she believes should “affect our decisions.”

-Only just recently, in Ricci v. DeStefano, Judge Sotomayor was chastised by fellow Clinton-appointee Jose Cabranes for going to extraordinary lengths to dispense with claims of unfair treatment raised by firefighters. Judge Sotomayor’s panel heard a case raising important questions under Title VII and equal protection law, but attempted to dispose of the firefighter’s arguments in a summary order, until called out by Judge Cabranes. The Supreme Court has agreed to review the case.

-Substantial questions also persist regarding Judge Sotomayor’s temperament and disposition to be a Supreme Court justice. Lawyers who have appeared before her have described her as a “bully” who “does not have a very good temperament,” and who “abuses lawyers” with “inappropriate outbursts.”

Obama's qualities for a Supreme Court Judge.

“I will seek somebody with a sharp and independent mind, and a record of excellence and integrity,” he said. “I will seek someone who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a case book, it is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people’s lives, whether they can make a living, and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes, and welcome in their own nation. I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with peoples hopes and struggles as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes.”

She fits his personal agenda perfectly and is a horrible defender for the rule of law or the constitution.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Warner Bros making Death Note movie.

Entertainment: I dread anime conversions by American studios because its either making a bad movie from a good anime source(Fox's Dragonball) or making a bad movie from a bad anime source. Death Note is good anime series(it dragged in the middle) but it will take some editing to focus on the core points of the manga/anime to make a movie over here.

GOP recasts brand, sans wedge issues

Politics: This ought to last about a month then the leadership will jump on something else they feel will work without regard to what the rank and file is telling them even on subjects not considered wedge issues.

Top Republican leaders Thursday offered a first look at plans to remake their party with a renewed focus on the bread-and-butter issues of domestic policy.

The National Council for a New America launched with an open letter that’s notable for what it leaves out: The issues that a large segment of the party’s base are most passionate about. The letter, signed by 14 congressional Republican leaders, makes no mention of same-sex marriage, immigration — legal or otherwise — or abortion.

The letter outlines five policy areas, four of them domestic, and promises a search for solutions on the economy and on “high quality, affordable [health] care for all Americans.”

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor and Senator John McCain laid out the details of the group on a conference call with reporters Thursday, with McCain adding that it hoped to attract independents and “like-minded Democrats” to a series of public forums around the country, the first of which will be held this weekend.

....But while the group promised to “listen to, partner with, and empower the American people with ideas and solutions that speak directly to the needs of our great nation,” Cantor and McCain, on the conference call with reporters, weren’t yet prepared to offer any.

“The council will be the forum for an “all inclusive debate and wide-open policy discussion,” said Cantor, the driving force behind the group, who denied that there was any specific effort to avoid social issues in the letter, which listed the economy, health care, education, energy, and national security as central areas in its “blueprint” for change.

“This is not a contract with America — this is a conversation with America,” said McCain, referring to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s conservative agenda credited with leading Republicans to victory in 1994.

I don't have a problem with them focusing on non-social issues considering those are the ones they screwed up on the most that need to be fixed. But there better be clear, concise solutions being put out and not generic pap they think everyone wants to hear.

Senate defeats anti-foreclosure proposal

Politics: Senate actually did something right for once in failing to pass this horrendous bill that gives way too much leeway to Judges to "save" irresponsible homeowners.

The Democratic-controlled Senate on Thursday defeated a plan to spare hundreds of thousands of homeowners from foreclosure through bankruptcy, a proposal that President Barack Obama embraced but did little to see it through.

A dozen Democrats joined Republicans in the 45-51 vote to scuttle the measure, which Obama had said was important to saving the economy and promised to push through Congress. But facing stiff opposition from banks, Obama did little to pressure lawmakers who worried it would encourage bankruptcy filings and spike interest rates.

"The vote today was a bipartisan rejection of an interest-rate hike, which is exactly the wrong solution for jobs, homeowners and the economy," said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Michigan lawmakers go after Chrysler holdouts

Business: Among the many problems that has plagued Michigan, whining about business that were actually looking out for their clients is pretty far down the list. Shortsighted twits like Governor Granholm who has already succeeded in making Michigan a hell on earth for businesses to operate is now showing other creditors its not a safe place to do business.

Lawmakers in Michigan on Thursday called on the state to shun business with the fund management companies that helped push U.S. automaker Chrysler LLC into bankruptcy.

"Thousands of Michigan jobs and the future of Chrysler are on the line because the wealthy hedge funds managers put their short-term interests ahead of our workers and the auto industry," said State Representative Tim Melton, a Democrat, who sponsored a resolution passed by Michigan's legislature.

The Michigan House also called on governors in states that host Chrysler facilities -- Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin -- to divest any investment with the three fund companies.

Granholm said the Chrysler creditors who had balked at the government's proposed deal would not get any business from the state of Michigan, home to Chrysler, General Motors Corp (GM.N) and Ford Motor Co. (F.N)

"Not while I'm governor," she said.

Judging by the unemployment rate and how business friendly Michigan is not to businesses, they are not missing much and wouldn't invest more into this dying state anyway.

Chrysler workers also bitch they are being asked to sacrifice too much.

Those holdouts also drew anger from workers, who agreed to more concessions to try to save the automaker.

"Everybody expects the autoworker to take a pay cut," said Conner, 51, who watched Obama's noon announcement at a bar near the Toledo assembly plant. "Nobody else wants to take a pay cut."

But he and other autoworkers were glad to hear the deal will keep workers' pensions and health care benefits secure.

Detroit News: "Tom LaSorda, Chrysler vice chairman, said Thursday that due to new concessions the workers just approved, most would receive about 80 percent of their normal pay while they are laid off. "

Plus they get supplemental pay in the union contract. Strong sacrificing going on here.

Chrysler goes bankrupt, Obama whines about it.

Business: Here is a quick link roundup on what happened.

Chrysler files for bankruptcy, Will close 8 plants; 3 in Detroit area

Chrysler LLC plans to close eight U.S. factories employing about 6,500 workers, including three in the Detroit area, by December 2010 under its bankruptcy plan filed today.

Combined with the 3,400 jobs at Chrysler Financial which will also close under the plan, the company's bankruptcy could directly lead to nearly 10,000 job cuts, not including dealers which are expected to be shed as well.

In a filing by a Chrysler financial advisor, the company said the plants -- including Sterling Heights Assembly, Detroit Axle and Conner Ave. Assembly -- and assorted machinery valued at $2.3 billion will be sold to pay part of its unsecured debts.

The other plants on the list for closure that are still operating include St. Louis North, Kenosha Engine in Wisconsin and Twinsburg Stamping in Ohio. The list also includes two idled factories; Newark, Del., and St. Louis South.

The plants still in use would be leased back to the new Chrysler until they are shuttered. Detroit Axle and Sterling Heights would remain open until December 2010, while Twinsburg would close in March 2010, followed by St. Louis North in September and Kenosha Engine in October of 2010.

The Obama administration had said today that the bankruptcy plan would not lead to significant job losses at Chrysler. A source familiar with the plans said the plant closings and job cuts had been part of Chrysler's Feb. 17 viability plan submitted to the government. That plan had said Chrysler would cut 3,000 jobs and reduce factory capacity by 100,000 vehicles, but didn't detail where those cuts would be made.

Obama mad about the holdouts that told the Treasury to go screw after trying to lowball them on a deal. Far as I am concerned these holdouts are awesome for slapping down a crap deal. Obama wanted to screw these non tarp funded groups while handing over a car company to the UAW who is just as culpable as anyone else in causing this bankruptcy.

At the same time, in an echo of the tensions that have run high between Washington and Wall Street, the president and his aides blamed the filing squarely on about 20 smaller investment firms and hedge funds. This group voted against the government's last offer to eliminate $6.9 billion in debt owed them.

They "decided to hold out for the prospect of an unjustified, taxpayer-funded bailout," Mr. Obama charged. Rep. John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat, called the holdouts "rogue hedge funds" and "vultures" and said in a statement that they "will now be dealt with accordingly in court."

The smaller lenders and funds pose some threat to the process of restructuring Chrysler, said attorneys and bankers involved in the matter. They'll likely argue in court the U.S. is overriding contract law, bankruptcy law and constitutional protections against the seizure of private property.

The group, calling itself the "non-TARP lenders," a reference to the Troubled Asset Relief Program that's aided banks, said in a statement that it has "a fiduciary responsibility to all those teachers, pensioners, retirees and others who have entrusted their money to us." The most compliant of Chrysler's big creditors -- among them J.P. Morgan Chase & Co and Citigroup Inc. -- have received hundreds of billions of dollars in TARP aid.

UAW now owns Chrysler(and GM to be later) after Obama used taxpayer money to give it to them.

Flanked by his automobile task force of cabinet secretaries and business advisers in the White House’s grand entranceway, Mr. Obama announced a plan that would allow the United Automobile Workers, through their retirement plan, to take control of Chrysler, with Fiat and the United States as junior partners. The government would lend about $8 billion more to the company, on top of the $4 billion it had already provided.

How many billions were wasted just so Obama could in the end handover the company to the UAW?


Tom Walsh of the Freep points out the obvious intrusion of Obama into private business.

And despite his platitudes to the contrary, Obama fully intends to have a voice in (a) running these companies, and (b) telling them what kind of products to build.

Many Americans are horrified by one or more of these presidential intrusions into the realm of free markets and private enterprise, although neither the markets nor companies have ever truly been free of federal influence.

But we are where are.

GM and Chrysler are stuck in the position of any supplicant who appeals to the lender of last resort for survival. They must do whatever the lender wants.

In the ongoing drama over Detroit’s future, the holdout hedge funds who refused to be strong-armed by Obama’s task force into eating big losses on their Chrysler debt may have done the president a huge favor.

Obama blamed “a small group of speculators” for forcing the Chrysler rescue into bankruptcy court, knowing full well that 99% of the public regards such speculators as sleazeballs.

Ding. Score one for the prez.

If a bankruptcy judge buys Team Obama’s argument that the hedgies should take

Those plants will be closing down but no worries as the workers will get their whole paycheck in the meantime.

Chrysler President Tom LaSorda would not say how many plants would shut down early or how many suppliers had cut off shipments on the bankruptcy news.

"Hopefully most of the suppliers will continue to supply us," he said.

Most of Chrysler's hourly workers will receive about 80% of their normal pay during the shutdown under unemployment benefits and supplemental pay in the union contract.

NYTIMES: The Lenders Obama Decided to Blame or as I call them Heroes!

But the NYTIMES and the rest of the media is eagerly at work whining about them not bowing to Black jesus's orders.

Last two days with the tea party reference and now this it shows how easy it is to get under his skin when you don't tow the line.

Obama cites Churchill...leaves out the London Cage.

Politics: Reading a leftist blogger and trying to tie back your argument with a man many say Obama hates without doing complete research is generally a bad idea.

Between July 1940 and September 1948, however, these three magnificent houses were home to one of the country's most secret military establishments: the London office of the Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre, known colloquially as the London Cage.

The London Cage was run by MI19, the section of the War Office responsible for gleaning information from enemy prisoners of war, and few outside this organisation knew exactly what went on beyond the single barbed-wire fence that separated the three houses from the busy streets and grand parks of west London.

The Cage was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Scotland, a forceful, outspoken man deemed to have the perfect background. Although English, the colonel had served briefly in the German army in what is now Namibia shortly after the turn of the century, and was later awarded the OBE for his work interrogating German prisoners during the first world war. In 1939, at the age of 57, he was recalled for service.

....An assessment by MI5 pointed out that Scotland had detailed repeated breaches of the Geneva convention, with his admissions that prisoners had been forced to kneel while being beaten about the head; forced to stand to attention for up to 26 hours; threatened with execution; or threatened with "an unnecessary operation".

.....It is impossible to discern, from the War Office archives, whether Scotland was regarded by this time as a maverick whose methods were to be quietly overlooked, or whether he was acting with clear, official approval. It is clear, however, by late 1946 there was "disquiet about his methods" being expressed at the headquarters of the British army of the Rhine.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

UK candidate too white and Jewish for Muslim dominated era.

UK: Multiculturalism strikes again.

The Labour Party has become embroiled in a race row after a prospective female councillor was allegedly told she was 'too white and Jewish' to be selected.

Elaina Cohen claims that Labour councillor Mahmood Hussain said he would not support her application for an inner-city ward because 'my Muslim members don't want you because you are Jewish'.

Mrs Cohen, 50, has made an official complaint about the alleged remarks made by Mr Hussain, a Muslim and former lord mayor of Birmingham.

She said: 'I am shocked and upset that a member of the Labour Party in this day and age could even think something like that, let alone say it.

'People should not be allowed to make racist comments like that. If someone in the party feels I cannot represent them because of my colour or religion, that's ridiculous.

'I felt particularly aggrieved because I have worked across all sections of the community, particularly with the Muslim section, and have been on official visits to Pakistan.'

.....Two days after the alleged conversation, Mrs Cohen and another candidate were rejected by a pre-selection panel after failing to gain the support of the local party.

Instead, members were presented with one candidate, black South African Hendrina Quinnen, who was selected by an almost unanimous vote.

Mrs Cohen has now sent an official complaint to Labour Party general secretary Ray Collins and Birmingham city council accusing Mr Hussain of improper conduct.
Mr Hussain said yesterday: 'I would not make those sort of comments. The allegations are not true.'

Big Cocaine Gang Allied to Hezbollah Rounded up

Crime: International law enforcement with a big bust.

In cooperation with various other countries, Dutch authorities have rounded up a big cocaine gang that had links with Hezbollah. Seventeen suspects were arrested on Curacao, the biggest island of the Netherlands Antilles, the Public Prosecutor's Office (OM) has revealed.

International cooperation between police and judicial services of the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles, Belgium, Colombia, Venezuela and the US led to the arrest of the 17 suspects by the Curacao police. They are believed to be part of a drugs and money-laundering organisation with international branches, thought to be responsible for the import and export of at least 2,000 kilos of cocaine per year, according to the OM. "The organisation maintained international contacts with other criminal networks, which in the Middle East support Hezbollah financially".

U.A.W. Stands to Gain, one of the industry’s few winners

Politics: It helps when you have a Dem Congress and President who railroad everyone else and use taxpayers money to finance your health and pension deals. So I am happy to see that Chrysler may still go into bankruptcy which will hopefully disrupt these business plans rammed down every one's throats.

It is unconscionable UAW doesn't suffer as much as everyone else considering they helped create this situation in the first place. If they get off relatively scott-free with these deals I already made the vow never to buy a GM or Chrysler car ever. As long as the UAW and/or the government wields this much power, screw them.

According to restructuring plans proposed this week, the union will have more than half the stock in Chrysler and a third of General Motors, meaning it will have tremendous influence, with the government, in determining the future of the companies.

The United Automobile Workers union said Wednesday that its members ratified a cost-cutting deal with Chrysler by a 4-to-1 margin.

“Our members have responded by accepting an agreement that is painful for our active and retired workers, but which helps preserve U.S. manufacturing jobs and gives Chrysler a chance to survive,” Ron Gettelfinger, the union’s president, said in a statement.

The prospect of a big ownership stake for the U.A.W. in G.M. has angered holders of billions of dollars in bonds, who stand to get only a fraction of the restructured company. As for Chrysler, the banks, hedge funds and others that lent it money have been promised only cash, not stock.

“We believe the offer to be a blatant disregard of fairness for the bondholders who have funded this company and amounts to using taxpayer money to show political favoritism of one creditor over another,” a group of G.M. bondholders said in a statement this week.

The U.A.W. members at both automakers stand to lose some of their pay and benefits, but the cuts are not as deep as those faced by airline and steel workers when their companies went bankrupt. Under proposed deals devised by the Treasury Department, U.A.W. pensions and retiree health care benefits would largely be protected.

Obama says he doesn't have 'rubber-stamp Senate'

Politics: Anyone ever think that we have a rubber stamp President instead?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

GOP poll shows Dems have advantage on key issues

Politics: GOP hasn't done anything to show they have the ability anymore to address these issues, it is not enough to say no but at the same time offer alternatives. But like most conservative rank and file, no one sees the current crop being able to do that on a consistent basis to the public.

The Associated Press obtained partial results of the survey, which was conducted in late March by New Models, a firm with close ties to Republicans. GOP lawmakers in Congress have generally opposed Obama's early legislative agenda, voting with near unanimity against economic stimulus legislation and unanimously against a White House-backed budget that cleared Congress on Wednesday.

The survey found the public holds greater confidence in Democrats than in Republicans in handling most of the issues that are involved in Obama's legislative agenda.

Democrats were favored by a margin of 61 percent to 29 percent on education; 59 percent to 30 percent on health care and 59 percent to 31 percent on energy. Congress is expected to consider major legislation later this year in all three areas.

Democats were also viewed with more confidence in handling taxes, long a Republican strong suit. The only issue among nine in the survey where the two parties were rated as even was in the war on terror.

The survey found Obama's job approval at 62 percent, in line with other recent polls. Moderate Republicans disapproved of his job performance by a relatively narrow margin of 44-39 percent, and self-described conservative independents by a somewhat larger margin of 51-36 percent. Conservative Republicans overwhelmingly disapproved, 75-18.

When you lose to the Dems on taxes, you have failed miserably.

GOP leadership can't chew gum and walk at the same time.

Politics: If you want to know why I never have given a donation to this idiot group, it is articles like these that show they are clueless on how to do politics in this day and age.

“The GOP is disjointed, because we have no national message machine,” lamented a party official who is privy to the media strategy. “All the operators are acting on their own, without themes. Hence, the GOP is all over the place.”…

“There isn’t an easy answer to it,” the top Republican admitted. “There’s a part of the party that wants us to stand up for our principles and stand up to Obama. And there’s a part of the party – mainly in Washington – that looks solely at the numbers and says: Obama is popular, so it’s a no-brainer for us to go after Pelosi and Reid.”…

Several Republican officials said they expect the public statements from the party to get tougher in days ahead. “The GOP is moving from ‘shocked and awed’ into a realization that this guy makes a lot of mistakes and is beatable,” said one House Republican aide. This is “a presidency that makes major mistakes weekly and minor ones daily.”

Why can't you do both and tie Obama to reid/pelosi? 2010 is all about the Congress, start working on that with a unified national message which should have been the standard years ago. Look if you want a cheat sheet then look at what the Dems did the moment Bush stepped into office and after the 2004 election. Cuts by a thousand slices and just kept hammering on the same themes. Obama's numbers are high but not unstoppable if you point out the basic flaws of his ideas. #1 being he is running this country into a bigger hole than Bush ever did with his credit card spending budget plans.

The other is stop for the love of holy trying to make the MSM more friendly to you. They are in love with Obama and share the same political ideology. You better get tougher with them and stop being put on the defensive on everything.

Holder to help Spanish court with Bush officials investigation?

Terrorism: This nimrod cannot be serious.

In his comments Wednesday, Holder also said it is possible the U.S. could cooperate with a foreign court's investigation of Bush administration officials.

Speaking before it had been announced that a Spanish magistrate had opened an investigation of Bush officials on harsh interrogation methods, Holder didn't rule out cooperating in such a probe.

''Obviously, we would look at any request that would come from a court in any country and see how and whether we should comply with it,'' Holder said.

''This is an administration that is determined to conduct itself by the rule of law and to the extent that we receive lawful requests from an appropriately created court, we would obviously respond to it,'' he said.

Pressed on whether that meant the United States would cooperate with a foreign court prosecuting Bush administration officials, Holder said he was talking about evidentiary requests, and would review any such request to see if the U.S. would comply.

Considering that Spain's Universal Jurisdiction gimmick is a bunch of unlawful garbage, there will be an outcry if Holder decides he is going to help this court with any investigation. This is the Obama way of passing the buck overseas and if its favorable moving it back here has a political game. Both of them are playing a nice game of two face over American law and citizens.

Rickey Smiley calls Michael Steele a house negro.

Media: If you don't know who Rickey Smiley is, don't sweat it. If Tom Joyner is the first tier of liberal black radio, Steve Harvey is the second tier, then Rickey would be about the fourth tier. During clip of Steele slamming Specter, he comes out after the clip calling Steele a house negro which just shows my point that some attention should be paid to liberal black radio who get away with some of the most racist stuff you would hear on the air.

Back in September Michael Baisden's Republican white women abortion rape "observation" went unnoticed when if any other white host pulled a stunt like this would have been thrown off the air.

The clip is not on the website, but it came with a funny moment afterwards with Smiley trying to say "Ideology" about three times soundling like a functionally illiterate Elmer Fudd.

House passes "hate crime" bill.

Crime: As with any hate crime bill I ask why should someone get a larger sentence or more resources given to investigate based on why they attacked/killed someone else? The motivation even based on race/sex/sexuality should be a non issue while you up the punishment overall.

Conviction of a hate crime carries stepped up punishment, above and beyond that meted out for the attack. The bill would allow the federal government to help state and local authorities investigate hate crimes.

Representative Lamar Smith, ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, helped lead the charge against the bill, arguing it was misdirected and discriminatory.

"All violent crimes must be vigorously prosecuted," Smith said. "Unfortunately, this bill undermines one of the most basic principles of our criminal justice system -- 'equal justice for all.'"

"Justice will now depend on the race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other protected status of the victim," Smith said. "It will allow different penalties to be imposed for the same crime."

AP: Obama disowns deficit he helped shape

Politics: When you have a fawning media and yes men surrounding you, you think you can get away with nonsense like he is spewing here about the budget deficit. Not even the AP could stomach it.

"That wasn't me," President Barack Obama said on his 100th day in office, disclaiming responsibility for the huge budget deficit waiting for him on Day One.

It actually was him - and the other Democrats controlling Congress the previous two years - who shaped a budget so out of balance.

And as a presidential candidate and president-elect, he backed the twilight Bush-era stimulus plan that made the deficit deeper, all before he took over and promoted spending plans that have made it much deeper still.

Bush didn't create this

But I guess remaking America into Europe Jr does come with a cost.

Aww, Olbermann unhappy Hannity won't acknowledge him.

Media: Ratings are going down and Olbermann needs a new stunt but Hannity so far is smart enough to even note Olbermann exists and it is hurting his ego.

The debate over torture is getting personal for two of cable TV's prime-time hosts. After Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity made a seemingly impromptu offer last week to undergo waterboarding as a benefit for charity, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann leapt at it. He offered $1,000 to the families of U.S. troops for every second Hannity withstood the technique.

Olbermann repeated the offer on Monday's show and said in an interview Tuesday that he's heard no response. He said he'll continue to pursue it.

"I don't think he has the courage to even respond to this — let alone do it," Olbermann said.

Olbermann, who hasn't missed any chance to criticize his ideological enemies at Fox, concedes TV competition plays a part in his offer. But he said it was sincere, because he believes Hannity has had a damaging role in the debate.

Obama snarks at tea party protestors and offers up a lie.

Politics: Black Jesus has some really thin skin and the protestors got under it deep judging his body language. If you are not celebrating him or his splendid economic ideas then he dismisses you.

As for that serious discussions, it is pretty clear that he doesn't mind the discussion as long as you agree with him.

Olympia Snowe fails her own GOP test.

Politics: One of the many reasons why the GOP rank and file are pissed off at its party members.

It is for this reason that we should heed the words of President Ronald Reagan, who urged, “We should emphasize the things that unite us and make these the only ‘litmus test’ of what constitutes a Republican: our belief in restraining government spending, pro-growth policies, tax reduction, sound national defense, and maximum individual liberty.”

Considering she, Specter and Collins voted for porkulus it must have been a ghost writer who pumped out this column.

Unemployment in Spain Hits 17.4%

EU: The house of cards that was Spain goes boom.

The number of unemployed people in Spain rose to a record four million in the first quarter as the economy continued to shed jobs created over the last decade by inexpensive credit and a real estate bubble.

The Spanish unemployment rate climbed to 17.4 percent, from 13.9 percent in the final quarter of 2008, or more than twice the European Union average, the National Statistics Institute said Friday. The 802,800 increase in the ranks of the jobless was the largest quarterly increase in more than 30 years.

“These figures are bad and worse than expected,” the finance minister, Elena Salgado, said. The sharp quarterly increase was a sign of “how severe and how deep the crisis is,” she said.

Geert Wilders hits Florida, CAIR all out of sorts.

Politics: Local papers didn't carry any news about this but Wilders came to Boca to give a speech at "Free Speech Summit"

CAIR is demanding House rep Adam Hasner step down for co-hosting a "hate speech" event. Hasner told CAIR to stuff it. So Cair puts out the daily press release whining about the injustice of the whole thing.

UAW, Washington set to control Chrysler, GM

Nation: That headline is why I will never buy anything from GM or Chrysler. Hell the amount of money poured into it I should be getting a "free" car. But no way I or you should buy anything from GM or Chrysler as long as the UAW who helped screw up the American auto industry and the government is involved.

Diplomats try to stop Sri Lanka from destroying Tamil Tigers.

World: Way too late now to start talking about peace when it seems Sri Lanka is on it ways to crushing this terrorist group.

On the eve of the visit, Sri Lankan authorities announced they had denied Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt a visa to join the peace mission -- prompting a major diplomatic row with the European Union.

A Sri Lankan foreign ministry official indicated that Colombo felt it had already done enough by letting in Miliband and Kouchner, who also want to see the government lift a ban on foreign aid staff working in the war-torn north.

"The Swedish minister also wanted to jump on that bandwagon and we said no," the official said. "Some think they can land up at our airport and expect a red carpet treatment. We are not a colony."

Bildt described the snub as "exceedingly strange behaviour" and said he had recalled the Swedish ambassador to Colombo.

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency, said Sri Lanka's government had made a "grave mistake."

The row is a symptom of Sri Lanka's growing antipathy towards the West, with officials here regularly accusing the United Nations and aid groups of supporting or colluding with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

After months of heavy fighting, the Tamil Tigers have now been confined to a tiny strip of coastal jungle in the northeast and are said by the military to be down to their last few hundred fighters.

With Colombo sensing victory after three decades of battling the guerrillas and numerous failed peace efforts, a European diplomat said Miliband and Kouchner's appeals for a truce would likely fall on deaf ears.

"There certainly won't be a very good atmosphere in their meetings," the Colombo-based diplomat told AFP.

Outrage over Matthew Stafford record rookie contract.

NFL: My first reaction is the guy is playing in Detroit and he is deserving of any money he can get guaranteed.

His agent is defending the deal, but the contract Matthew Stafford signed with the Lions is drawing strong reaction around the NFL.

Stafford signed a deal worth as much as $78 million with $41.7 million guaranteed when the Lions chose him with the first overall draft pick.

The guaranteed money given to the top overall pick is on a sharp upward trajectory. Stafford's haul is 43% more than JaMarcus Russell received when he was the No. 1 pick in 2007 and almost 300% more than Carson Palmer received in the same slot in 2003.

Tom Condon, Stafford's agent, defended the deal in comments to Larry Weisman in Tuesday's USA TODAY. "The outrage over that is a little overdone," Condon said.

But committing so many dollars (Stafford's guaranteed money is the most given to any player in league history) to rookies is not sitting well with some veterans. Vikings DE Jared Allen called the deal "absolutely outrageous" in remarks to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

"The guy's never taken a snap. I'm happy for him, but we got guys in this league that have played 10, 12 years that earn their wages every day and they don't see that kind of money," Allen told the paper.

I do agree a rookie salary cap must be in place as long as the extra money moves up the scale to proven players in this league deserving of more money. No way a rookie QB should be making more money than Brady or Manning.

UK: Wealthy people will avoid new 50p tax rate

UK: Why? They will change their behavior of course to avoid paying it. Going Galt UK style!

The admission, from a senior Treasury official, will fuel the widespread criticism of the tax plan, announced in last week's Budget.

The Treasury confirmed on Tuesday that the Budget is based on the assumption that a significant number of those who earn more than £150,000 and therefore face paying the new top rate will change their behaviour to avoid being hit by the tax.

Mike Williams, the head of personal tax at the Treasury, told MPs that the new tax will have significant "behavioural effects" as rich people take steps to make sure they do not pay it.

Methods of avoiding the tax include working less, move abroad or paying more money into pension funds.

Those behavioural changes, which are entirely legal, mean that the Treasury will raise less than 40 per cent of the total revenue it would have received if the people affected did not react to the new tax.

The new tax will be introduced next April, and the Treasury expects it to raise £1.13 billion.

From the following year, when tax relief on pensions is cut back for the rich, that raises £1.81 billion.

Mr Williams said that those sums were less than the theoretical total of around £4.8 billion that the new tax might have raised.

Islamic group gets online video game removed

World: Bad precedent or very bad precedent?

An influential Islamic group branded an online video game depicting religious figures fighting each other as offensive to Muslims and Christians and successfully demanded Tuesday that it be taken offline.

In the game Faith Fighter, caricatures of Jesus, the Prophet Muhammad, Buddha, God and the Hindu god Ganesh fight each other against a backdrop of burning buildings. God attacks with bolts of lighting and pillars of fire while the turbaned Muhammad can summon a burning black meteorite.

The Saudi-based Organization of the Islamic Conference, which represents most Muslim nations, said it should be removed from the Internet.

"The computer game was incendiary in its content and offensive to Muslims and Christians. ... The game would serve no other purpose than to incite intolerance," an OIC statement said.

Game designer Molleindustria told the Associated Press the game, which had been around for more than a year and played millions of times, was misunderstood, but had been removed.

"This was meant to be a game against intolerance and against the one-way Islamophobic satire of the Danish Muhammad cartoons," Molleindustria said in an e-mail message. "So if a respectable organization didn't understand the irony and the message, we failed."

Islamic law generally opposes physical depictions of the prophet.

When a Danish newspaper in 2005 printed 12 cartoons showing negative portrayals of Muhammad, Muslims around the world were enraged. Deadly protests erupted from Morocco to Indonesia, with rioters torching Danish and other Western diplomatic missions. Some Muslim countries boycotted Danish products.

The style of the game, with characters jumping, kicking and knocking each other out, mimics the martial arts arcade games popular in the 1980s and 1990s.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Housing bailout now includes second mortages.

Nation: There is no sense in being responsible homeowners anymore because the government is coming along using taxpayer money to bailout these people who will get a nice get out of jail card.

The Obama administration said Tuesday it is expanding its plan to stem the housing crisis by offering mortgage lenders incentives to lower borrowers' bills on second mortgages.

During the housing boom, lenders readily gave out "piggyback" second loans that allowed consumers to make small down payments or avoid them entirely. While home prices soared, such mortgages were even extended to borrowers with poor credit scores and people who didn't provide proof of their incomes or assets.

But those loans, which are attached to about half of all troubled mortgages, have been an obstacle to efforts to alleviate the housing crisis. That's because borrowers who are trying to get their primary mortgage modified at a lower monthly payment need the permission of the company holding the second mortgage.

The new plan aims to get rid of that roadblock, administration officials said. "We're offering even more opportunities for borrowers," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a statement.

The new incentives are estimated to help up to 1.5 million borrowers with second mortgages, Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan said. While data on how many household have been helped by the Obama administration's housing plans are not available, Donovan told reporters there have been "hundreds of thousands of applications."

Amsterdam set up Gay Sex Zones

EU: Did I miss the memo that gay people have to have sex in public areas? This makes it sound like a protected nature reserve.

AMSTERDAM, 29/04/09 - Signboards are to be put up in Amsterdam directing homosexuals to nature areas where they can have sex with one another.

Homosexuals who want to get to the recreation area De Oeverlanden can see where they have to go on information signboards. The Amsterdam district of Slotervaart unveiled the signboards yesterday.

Another Amsterdam district, Oud-Zuid, had already come up with a gay friendliness memo last year. It said that in Vondelpark there should be extra rubbish bins where homosexuals could put their condoms. An earlier version of the memo also said gays having sex belonged in the park, but this passage was later removed.

Sweden: #1 rape capital of the EU.

Crime: This wasn't covered by Jon Stewart and the Daily Show piece to show how awesome Sweden compared to America.

Sweden has the highest incidence of reported rapes in Europe - twice as many as "runner up" the UK, a new study shows.

Researchers behind the EU study, which will be presented on Tuesday, conclude that rape appears to be a more common occurrence in Sweden than in continental European countries.

In Sweden, 46 incidents of rape are reported per 100,000 residents.

This figure is double as many as in the UK which reports 23 cases, and four times that of the other Nordic countries, Germany and France. The figure is up to 20 times the figure for certain countries in southern and eastern Europe.

The study, which is financed by the Brussels-based EU fund Daphne II, compared how the respective judicial systems managed rape cases across eleven EU countries. Sweden is shown in an unfavourable light, according to the study.

The high incidence of rape in Sweden has a strong connection to nightlife and partying, specifically after-club parties in private homes.

Early sexual debuts, high alcohol consumption, "free sexuality" and the "right to say no" quite simply results in more rapes, the study concludes.

Daily Mail ridicules NYTIMES review of "edgy" Deptford.

UK: The reason I go with the Daily Mail on this because first its the NYTIMES and two there are way too many of those code words that make you feel the writer Benji Lanyado is a pretenious prick.

THE coming of New Cross and Deptford has been predicted for some time. It won’t be an easy ride. The area lies in an inglorious corner of southeast London; those with well-cushioned sensibilities need not make the journey. But with the unpolished location comes that most heady of urban ingredients: an edge. For now, these neighboring districts still feel more like eccentric outposts than uncut diamonds.

Until the well-washed masses start arriving in larger numbers, this still feels a bit like London’s Wild West (southeast, actually), a boisterous concoction of blue-collar aesthetics and intermittent hipsterism. Perhaps some of the chaos will make it to the other side.

Here is what the Daily Mail has to say about it.

It has everything to make a U.S. tourist feel at home - murder, muggings and stabbings, plus a long-standing share of inner-city poverty.

Why, there's even some of that gang-tag graffiti the Americans were kind enough to introduce us to a couple of decades ago.

Little wonder that Deptford is apparently the jewel in the crown for the thinking Yank's UK vacation.

...All very flattering for Deptford. But a little puzzling for some of the folk who live there, it seems. Cynics pointed out the community is chain-free largely because many of the shops are boarded up. And when the article says the area has 'an edge', the first thought of many was that it meant a knife edge.

Deptford has been the backdrop to some grisly stabbings. In fact dramatist Christopher Marlowe met a horrific end there in 1593.

So what was it about Deptford that caught the eye of one of the world's most influential papers?

Here's a clue. The author comes from South-East London and has previously sung the praises of his native Greenwich, just a few hundred yards down river.
Now many are worried that any influx of U.S. tourists inspired by this review might be disappointed.

Local barmaid Sandra White, 41, said: 'I thought it was April 1 when I was told about this. All I can say is I hope they like hoodies, muggers and junkies - there are enough of them around here. Mind you, I suppose it might remind them of the Bronx.'

Mechanic David Ferndale, 33, said: 'I would recommend any American thinking of booking up a trip over here to Google the place first.

'Have a look at the local paper - there are stabbings and shootings all the time. You might as well be done with it and book two weeks all-inclusive in Kabul.'

Monday, April 27, 2009

Now Palin's legal fund challenged as ethics violation by Kim Chatman

Politics: Who is funding Kim Chatman to keep filing what amounts to harrassment complaints against Sarah Palin by this woman.

An ethics complaint filed Monday against Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin claims the legal defense fund formed last week to challenge such claims is an ethics violation itself.

The complaint filed with the attorney general's office seeks an investigation by the state personnel board for violations of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. The complainant, Kim Chatman of Eagle River, claims Palin is misusing the governor's office for personal gain by securing unwarranted benefits and receiving improper gifts.

The governor's office said Monday the new complaint and others filed against Palin or her staff show a disturbing trend in Alaska politics.

"It's obvious the intent with this unprecedented action against the governor is to see her administration paralyzed and for her to declare personal bankruptcy," Palin spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

The new complaint targets the Alaska Fund Trust, which Palin supporter and friend Kristan Cole established last week. Palin has said has said she's accumulated more than $500,000 in legal fees from defending herself against ethics complaints and in Troopergate, the Legislature's probe into the firing of Palin's former public safety commissioner.

Chatman's complaint cites as potential donors the 500,000 supporters signed up for Palin's Facebook account and various political organizations.

"Gov. Palin is perched to improperly receive an enormous amount of money for herself and her family and position a pool of pre-paid defense lawyers organized to deflect consequences of wrongdoings," the complaint says.

So in this woman's world, you can't defend yourself against charges most which seems to be by her and others to just keep piling on expenses on the Governor? This woman is either nuts or found the loophole to keep her Palin hate on the front page. She even filed a complaint about Palin "snubbing" a Juneteenth proclamation in 2007. This is over the top ridiculous.

UAW and Obama uses taxpayer's money to buy up GM.

Business: Now you see why the UAW said they were confident that Obama and his task force would take care of them earlier this month. This is the use of taxpayers money to buy up GM and give it to the government and the UAW while everyone else is holding the bag.

Under the plan, GM is asking the Treasury Department for an additional $11.6 billion in loans, on top of the $15.4 billion it has already received. It envisions giving the government at least half ownership of the company as payment for half of the loans.

At the same time, GM said it would use stock instead of cash to pay off half the $20.4 billion it owes a United Auto Workers fund to cover retiree health care. That stock would leave the union owning about 39% of GM.

The upshot would be the transformation of a troubled American icon, leaving it in the hands of the government and its main union.

The situation -- fraught with complications and potential conflicts -- comes on top of the federal government taking major stakes in banks and insurer American International Group Inc.

GM told bondholders it wants to swap up to $27 billion in unsecured debt for a 10% company stake. If bondholders tender less than 90% of the debt, GM is prepared to file for bankruptcy protection, Chief Executive Frederick "Fritz" Henderson said.

A group representing bondholders rejected the plan and said it would make a counteroffer.

Bondholders say go screw.

According to the offer, the Treasury would own at least 50 percent of G.M. in exchange for forgiving about $10 billion in federal loans. The union trust, in turn, would receive a stake of about 39 percent.

A committee of big G.M. bondholders on Monday called the offer a “a blatant disregard for fairness for the bondholders” and an example of “political favoritism” toward the U.A.W. “The current offer is neither reasonable nor adequate,” the committee said.

Calif. counties cutting healthcare to illegal immigrants

Nation: All it took was a recession.

Forced to slash their budgets, some California counties are eliminating nonemergency health services for illegal immigrants -- a move that officials acknowledge could backfire by shifting the financial burden to emergency rooms.

Sacramento County voted in February to bar illegal immigrants from county clinics at an estimated savings of $2.4 million. Contra Costa County followed last month by cutting off undocumented adults, to save approximately $6 million. And Yolo County is voting on a similar change next month, which would reduce costs by $1.2 million.

"This is a way for us to get through what I think is a horrible year for healthcare in California," said William Walker, director of Contra Costa Health Services.

.....Anti-illegal immigration activist Barbara Coe said she was thrilled that counties are beginning to restrict services. Coe's group, California Coalition for Immigration Reform, sponsored Proposition 187, the initiative that tried to bar the state from providing public services to illegal immigrants before it died in federal court.

Illegal immigrants "have absolutely no right, No. 1, to be here and, No. 2, to take the tax dollars of law-abiding American taxpayers for anything," she said.

But the policy changes have angered immigrant rights advocates, who argue that restrictions could also cause a chilling effect on legal residents and U.S. citizens in mixed-status families.

"Even those people who qualify to get care won't," said Reshma Shamasunder, director of the California Immigrant Policy Center.

Shamasunder also said that denying healthcare to one segment of the population puts everyone else at risk as communicable diseases go untreated and emergency rooms become even more crowded.

Jose Suarez, who has asthma, said he now plans to go to the hospital if he gets sick. Suarez, 25, was born in Mexico but has been living in Contra Costa County for 10 years.

"It's unfair," he said. "We are real people. I understand they have to cut a few things here and there, but I believe they can do better."

UK's 50% tax on rich pisses everyone off, warned of exodus.

UK: Michael Caine's reaction is the best.

Alistair Darling faced a chorus of criticism last night as it emerged that he imposed the 50p tax rate despite knowing more than two-thirds of those earning over £150,000 would avoid paying it.

Celebrities condemned the wealth grab and warned it would drive talent and entrepreneurs abroad.

Sir Michael Caine said: 'The Government has taken tax up to 50 per cent and if it goes to 51 I will be back in America.

'They have reached their limit with me and that's what will happen to a lot of people. You know how much they made out of that high taxation all those years ago? Nothing. But they sent a mass of incredible brains to America.
'We've got 3.5million layabouts laying about on benefits, and I'm 76, getting up at 6am to go to work to keep them.

'Let's get everybody back to work so we can save a couple of billion and cut tax, not keep sticking it on.'

Andrew Lloyd Webber warned of 'the inevitable exodus of the talent that can dig us out of the hole we find ourselves in'.

The composer said: 'I believe that this new top rate of tax could be the final nail in the coffin of Britain plc.

'I ask the Government to reconsider what it is doing. More than ever before we need to

keep high-flying professionals in the UK. We can't, as we have done in the past, dump on them through penal personal taxation.
'The next few years are going to be horrendous in the UK. The last thing we need is a Somali piratestyle raid on the few wealth creators who still dare to navigate Britain's gale-force waters.'

The Chancellor announced the new top rate of income tax in last week's Budget, despite a Treasury forecast that 69 per cent of those eligible would find ways not to pay.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Popeyes runs out of chicken, black people and children hurt.

Nation: Last week Popeyes ran a promotion for eight pieces for $4.99. Long lines in Rochester made it a news story and now people are wondering in this 13WHAM-TV why everyone was black thus enforcing a stereotype.

Newsroom reaction blog with lots of self pity and over the top loathing. Yes, I was wondering if any white people went to this promotion or even lived in Rochester, NY. But regardless of the race angle, the pieces itself wasn't terrible except for the lady talking about kids to feed while yelling out a Ford Expedition as if its the end of the world.