| Brazenly breaking into a house in broad daylight, these two burglars don't look too worried about being caught.|
And perhaps with good reason.
Despite this clear picture of the pair forcing a rear window open with a crowbar, the serial offenders have both walked free from court.
.....Clark removed a double-glazed window and made off with the haul of electrical equipment while Poyster kept watch.
They then sold the stolen goods to buy drugs and gamble.
But the photographs provided to police by a neighbour were not enough to persuade Judge Simon Darwell-Smith to send either of the men to prison.
Clark, who was the subject of a community order at the time of the burglary, was given a 'final chance' to beat his drug addiction.
He was ordered to attend a project for substance abusers and given a 12-month suspended sentence.
Poyster, who has previous convictions for theft and common assault, was given an 18-month supervision order.
Friday, May 15, 2009
| Throwing stones at police is no longer a crime, according to the police in the Gouda region. Such violence is seen as a civil law violation.|
Youngsters who pelted a police car in Gouda with stones were sent away with a fine this week. "Throwing stones at the police is nothing special, it happens everywhere," said police spokesman Chris van Egmond yesterday in De Telegraaf newspaper. "We cannot arrest them for that, but we can give them a fine of 90 euros. And that fine they have received."
The group of youngsters called the police names and threw stones at the car when the policemen wanted to arrest two burglars in the notorious 'Moroccan district' of Oosterwei. Van Egmond does not wish to specify whether youngsters of Moroccan origin were indeed involved. "That I may not say. It is forbidden by the constitution. And we must of course stick to the law."
I get the feeling if it were any other Non-Moroccan kid, they wouldn't be so kind about it.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
|"I just want to make a little commentary about the media here, if you don't mind," Mr. Obama said this afternoon in Rio Rancho, NM, at a town hall meeting on credit card reform.|
"When Congress included in last year's budget a whole bunch of earmarks, you remember there was a week worth of stories about how terrible these earmarks were," the president recounted. "You remember this...a week's worth of stories: 'Oh, these earmarks, this is what's blowing up the deficit, this is terrible,' blah, blah, blah."
Continued the president: "And yet, as I said before, that was less than 1 percent of that entire budget that had been signed. When we find $17 billion worth of cuts in programs, what do the same folks say? They say, 'Oh, that's nothing.'...That's not significant. That's not important.'
"Well, you can't have it both ways," the president said. "If those earmarks were important, then this money is important, too."
Apples and Donkeys. Earmarks are under fire because it direct taxpayer money to pet projects not worth a damn like Murtha's airport or the bridge to nowhere. It also helps to corrupt the system like the FBI investigation into PMA also connected to John Murtha. There is no accountability or transparency to the process of handing out earmarks which has run into the billions over the years. So people are ticked off about it and the media for once followed that issue for a while.
As for your $17 billion in "tax cuts" as Jake Tapper pointed out.
|It's an interesting point, the converse of the point many of us in the White House press corps have made about the White House: that when the president and his aides discussed non-stimulative spending in the stimulus bill, or earmarks in the 2009 omnibus spending bill -- or when then-candidate Obama discussed Sen. John McCain's crusade to end earmarks -- he belittled the savings, and when he trotted out more than 100 programs he would seek to cut, he made it sound quite important.|
"$17 billion is a lot of money," he said at the time.
Of course, it's probably worth saying that the $17 billion in cuts -- assuming they actually go through -- is not a cut per se, it's just a re-allotment of that money to other programs in the $3.55 trillion budget.
Dems are fighting even this tiny amount of budget cutting of $17 billion out of a $3.55 Trillion dollar budget which is what exactly in proportional terms?
|The $17 billion in cuts add up to roughly one half of one percent of the $3.55 trillion budget. Still, the president said the savings are significant.|
Yeah, $17 billion is a lot if your budget is $100 billion, but compared to his budget plan this is not a cut but just spreading the wealth around and playiung with the numbers.
The fact he brought it up to mock it shows it is getting to him and everyone should keep up the demands.
|Enough, already. That's the reaction of many Republicans to Dick Cheney's surge of media appearances to defend the Bush administration, especially on national security issues. "I don't think anybody would call him and say, 'Shut up.' It wouldn't work," says a GOP strategist who formerly advised Ronald Reagan.|
"He obviously feels that his work as vice president is under attack. But he is not our best spokesman." The concern among Republican strategists is that the public will think Cheney is speaking for the GOP, and this won't be helpful because the former vice president remains an unpopular figure across the country. Another prominent GOP strategist says Cheney should lower his visibility and give younger party leaders a chance to take the spotlight.
|Today Cheney is the most visible -- and controversial -- critic of President Obama's national security policies and, to the alarm of many people in the Republican Party, the most forceful and uncompromising defender of the Bush administration's record. His running argument with the new administration has spawned a noisy side debate all its own: By leading the criticism, is Cheney doing more harm than good to the causes he has taken up and to the political well-being of his party?|
His defenders believe he has sparked a discussion of vital importance to the safety of the country, and they hold up Obama's reversal of a decision to release photos of detainee abuse as a sign that Cheney is having an effect. But there is a potential political price that his party may pay in having one of the highest officials in an administration repudiated in the last election continue to argue his case long after the voters have rendered their decision.
Another GOP strategist, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, pointed out the conundrum for Republicans over the former vice president's current role. "Even if he's right, he's absolutely the wrong messenger," this strategist said. His main worry, he added, is that Cheney keeps the public focused on the past, rather than the future. "We want Bush to be a very distant memory in the next election. The more Cheney is on the front burner, the more difficult it's going to be."
If Cheney can dominate the GOP on one issue then it says something more about the GOP operatives who can't get their act together than anything of Cheney. I am sick and tired of hearing about people should step aside for others to take up spots. Why?
You got something to say go and say it. You think you can do a better job than Michael Steele running the RNC, make your case. You think you can set better policy and take on Obama, nothing but air between you and the mic.
All this whining over Cheney who has put out a better argument about how Obama is weakening this country and defense of the policies he created to protect the country should be a slap in the face for the rest of the GOP to man up. Instead we get the above quotes which shows a lack of preparation, strategy and just no enthusiasm in being the opposition party that actually wants to get into the fight.
What he and others in his group realized is releasing the photos would be taking responsibility for the reactions. The best bet is to leave it in the court system, "fight it," and if they lose they can point out that they respect the courts decision blah blah blah. The blame is no longer on him.
It is a smart move. He can be defender of the military while washes his hands of it.
More from CNN, Jake Tapper and Hot Air.
|WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a reversal, President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he would fight the release of dozens of photographs showing the abuse of terrorism suspects, over concern the images could ignite a backlash against U.S. troops.|
The decision was a blow to some liberals in Obama's Democratic Party who see the photos as part of a broader effort to investigate Bush-era officials and cleanse America's image abroad.
Just last month the Obama administration had said it would comply with a court order to release the pictures by May 28, saying legal options for appealing the case had been limited.
But Obama shifted gears after senior military commanders and some members of Congress expressed misgivings about the potential for the photos to generate violence against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Obama defended his decision, saying publication of the photographs "would not add any additional benefit to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by a small number of individuals."
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
|Obama has said that 95 percent of Supreme Court cases pose no great controversy, and that rulings typically result in no great divisions. |
"But it's those 5 percent of the cases that really count," he told the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in 2007. "And in those 5 percent of cases, what you've got to look at is: What is in the justice's heart? What's their broader vision of what America should be?"
On the campaign trail, he spoke of the Ledbetter case, suggesting that the Supreme Court justices who denied her claim were wrong to uphold a 180-day limit for lodging a pay discrimination complaint. Ledbetter had not known she was receiving less money until long after the deadline had passed.
"I think that it's important for judges to understand that if a woman is out there trying to raise a family, trying to support her family, and is being treated unfairly, then the court has to stand up if nobody else will," Obama said in one of the campaign debates. "And that's the kind of judge that I want."
|The billions in transportation stimulus dollars that President Barack Obama promoted as a way to create jobs shortchange counties that need the work the most, an Associated Press analysis has found.|
The AP's review of more than 5,500 planned transportation projects nationwide is the most complete picture available of where states plan to spend the first wave of highway money. It reveals that states are planning to spend 50 percent more per person in areas with the lowest unemployment than in communities with the highest. The Transportation Department said it will attempt to replicate the AP's analysis as it continues pressing states to dole out money fairly.
One result among many: Elk County, Pa., isn't receiving any road money despite its 13.8 percent unemployment rate. Yet the military and college community of Riley County, Kan., with 3.4 percent unemployment, will benefit from about $56 million to build a highway, improve an intersection and restore a historic farmhouse.
.....The very promise that Obama made, to spend money quickly and create jobs, is locking out many struggling communities needing those jobs.
The money goes to projects ready to start. But many struggling communities don't have projects waiting. They couldn't afford the millions of dollars for preparation and plans that often is required.
"It's not fair," said Martin Schuller, the borough manager in the Elk County seat of Ridgway, who commiserates about the inequity in highway aid with colleagues in nearby towns. "It's a joke because we're not going to get it, because we don't have any projects ready to go."
Basically a bunch of greedy welfare pigs thought the money came first and then the projects. I am against porkulus to begin with but to give out money to idiots like Schuller who thinks they are entitled to it just because would have been criminal.
|House Democratic leaders are scaling back plans to curb global warming and make the transition to cleaner energy in the hopes that they can get a bill passed this year.|
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., announced Tuesday evening the outlines of a deal that they said would ensure the legislation will please both environmental and industry groups and have the support of moderate Democrats on the House Energy Committee.
To do so, they have lowered targets for renewable energy, will require a smaller reduction by 2020 in the emissions blamed for global warming, and will give away valuable permits to release pollution to electricity distribution companies and auto manufacturers.
|Obama's new budget plan includes a little-noted sea change in U.S. nuclear policy, and a step towards his vision of a denuclearized world. It provides no funding for the Reliable Replacement Warhead program, created to design a new generation of long-lasting nuclear weapons that don't need to be tested. (The military is worried that a nuclear test moratorium in effect since 1992 might endanger the reliability of an aging US arsenal.) But this spring Obama issued a bold call for a world free of nuclear weapons, and part of that vision entails leading by example.|
Leading by example means getting run over from behind. As if any other country is going to be stupid enough to stop their nuke programs because Obama wants a nuke free world.
|Swedish health authorities have ruled that gender-based abortion is not illegal according to current law and can not therefore be stopped, according to a report by Sveriges Television.|
The Local reported in February that a woman from Eskilstuna in southern Sweden had twice had abortions after finding out the gender of the child.
The woman, who already had two daughters, requested an amniocentesis in order to allay concerns about possible chromosome abnormalities. At the same time, she also asked to know the foetus's gender.
Doctors at Mälaren Hospital expressed concern and asked Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) to draw up guidelines on how to handle requests in the future in which they "feel pressured to examine the foetus’s gender" without having a medically compelling reason to do so.
The board has now responded that such requests and thus abortions can not be refused and that it is not possible to deny a woman an abortion up to the 18th week of pregnancy, even if the foetus's gender is the basis for the request.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
| General Motors does not plan to sweeten its debt exchange offer to bondholders, even though its failure would probably push the company into bankruptcy, G.M.’s chief executive said Monday.|
Bondholders, who hold more than $27 billion in G.M. debt, have until May 27 to decide whether they will swap their bonds for shares of a reorganized G.M. The company has said it needs 90 percent of the bonds to be exchanged to meet Treasury Department guidelines to receive billions of dollars in additional loans. Analysts say that is unlikely to happen.
If not enough bondholders agree to the terms, G.M. is expected to file for bankruptcy protection by June 1.
“We don’t have any plan to make modifications at this point,” the chief executive, Fritz Henderson, said in a conference call. He added that the terms of the offer were dictated by Treasury officials, who told G.M. it could not give bondholders more than a 10 percent stake in the new company. Bondholders say they are only looking for a fair deal.
G.M. plans to give 89 percent of the company to the Treasury and to a new retiree health care fund for the United Automobile Workers union, 10 percent to bondholders and 1 percent to existing shareholders.
Mr. Henderson reiterated his previous assessment that bankruptcy was “probable” but he played down speculation that such an outcome was inevitable. He also said G.M. hoped to contain a bankruptcy to its United States operations but that a global bankruptcy was possible.
“There’s still the possibility and an opportunity for it to be done outside of a bankruptcy,” he said.
|Pakistani public opinion has swung against Islamic extremists and in favor of the country's relationship with the U.S., just as Islamabad has launched a military offensive against Taliban insurgents and Washington is poised to approve billions of dollars in new aid, according to the findings of a survey.|
The poll, by the International Republican Institute, a U.S. government-supported organization based in Washington, confirms anecdotal evidence that Pakistan is undergoing a dramatic shift in popular attitudes about radical Islam.
Last week, the Pakistani army began an assault on Taliban guerrillas who'd taken over the country's Swat region, which lies just 100 miles from Islamabad, the capital. Past military action against the Pakistani Taliban was unpopular and seen largely as a mercenary activity carried out to please Washington. With the exception of hard-line Islamic parties, the Swat operation, by comparison, received support from across the political spectrum and applause from the news media, and anti-Taliban protesters have taken to the streets.
The poll found that 74 percent thought that religious extremism was a serious problem in Pakistan, up from 60 percent last October. Sixty-nine percent thought that the Taliban and al-Qaida operating in Pakistan was a serious problem, compared with 51 percent five months earlier. Military action against the extremists in the northwest of the country was backed by 45 percent, up from 38 percent
The IRI survey, which is conducted twice a year, recorded the change in public opinion between October, when its last poll was carried out, and March. Since March, the national mood appears to have leapt decisively against the militants after the government declared war on the Taliban in Swat.
|Aaqil Ahmed will move to the corporation from Channel Four, where he upset Roman Catholic priests by commissioning documentaries that appeared to contain a pro-Islam bias.|
His appointment will also raise fears at the top levels of the Church of England, which has expressed its concerns over the BBC's treatment of religion and warned that it must not ignore its Christian audience.
....Mr Ahmed is understood to have impressed BBC executives by commissioning a series on Christianity that featured high-profile names, including Cherie Blair and Michael Portillo.
However, the series, Christianity, A History, was criticised by Church figures for trivialising the religion.
Furthermore, Channel 4 was accused of being biased towards Islam and failing to show enough respect to Christianity under Mr Ahmed, who was head of religious broadcasting.
Last summer, the channel screened a week of special programmes on Islam including a feature-length documentary on the Qu'ran, and a series of interviews with Muslims around the world talking about their beliefs.
Yet the main Christian documentary broadcast for Easter that year, called The Secrets of the 12 Disciples, cast doubt on the validity of the Pope.
He is perfect for the BBC.
|By the end of the night, Christopher Hitchens was of course the last man (barely) standing, and he had some choice words for the evening's headlining comedian, Wanda Sykes. "The president should be squirming in his seat. Not smiling," he said. "The black dyke got it wrong. No one told her the rules."|
| Officials in the governor's office say a politically powerful union may have had inappropriate influence over the Obama administration's decision to withhold billions of dollars in federal stimulus money from California if the state does not reverse a scheduled wage cut for the labor group's workers.|
The officials say they are particularly troubled that the Service Employees International Union, which lobbied the federal government to step in, was included in a conference call in which state and federal officials reviewed the wage cut and the terms of the stimulus package.
California Secretary of Health and Human Services Kim Belshe said she could not recall another instance in which the federal government invited a significant stakeholder group into such government-to-government negotiations.
"The involvement of a stakeholder in this kind of state-federal deliberative process is unusual at best," she said. "This was really atypical and outside any norm I am familiar with."
In addition to several state and federal officials, participants in the April 15 conference call included an SEIU associate general counsel in Washington, a lobbyist for SEIU in California and a representative from SEIU's policy staff in California, according to a list provided by the Schwarzenegger administration.
SEIU spokeswoman Michelle Ringuette called suggestions that the union's involvement was inappropriate "absurd."
"We lobbied the Obama administration to get the stimulus money to California as quickly as possible, and we pointed out when the state considered action in violation" of the terms for receiving those funds, she said. "We make no apology . . . for expecting the Schwarzenegger administration to obey the law."
White House representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
During the conference call, state officials say, they were asked to defend the $74-million cut scheduled to take effect July 1. The cut lowers the state's maximum contribution to home health workers' pay from $12.10 per hour to $10.10.
The California officials on the call, who requested anonymity for fear of antagonizing the Obama administration, said they needed the savings to help balance the state budget.
Monday, May 11, 2009
|Most pregnancies among girls under 18 ended in abortion last year. |
Out of around 40,000 pregnancies more than 20,000 were terminated - the first time more had chosen this option than become mothers.
The figure is higher than 2007, when it just hit 50 per cent, and consistent with a steady upwards trend since the Government started its controversial Teenage Pregnancy Strategy in 1999.
Figures out on May 21 will also show that for the first time the number of abortions performed on women living in England and Wales topped 200,000.
The teenage pregnancy strategy, which has cost taxpayers more than £300million, was meant to halve the number of conceptions among girls under 18 in England between 1998 and 2010.
Ministers have tried to slash teenage pregnancies by freely handing out contraceptives and expanding sex education.
But the fall in pregnancy rates has not met Government targets, and in 2007 the rate actually rose.
Some are shocked.
|Critics labelled the Government scheme the 'Teenage Abortion Strategy'. |
Tory MP Julian Brazier said: 'This is a further sickening indicator of a society that has broken down and lost its moral compass.'
Phyllis Bowman, of the Right to Life group, said: 'Contraception campaigners and clinics depend for their living on providing contraception and abortion to underage girls.
'The Government listens to them, but they are responsible for this disaster.
'We have the highest level of sexually transmitted disease in Europe and the highest level of sexual activity among teenagers in Europe.
'Unicef says we have the unhappiest teenagers in Europe.
'The young have been deliberately sexualised in a culture which sneers at the idea of telling teenagers they should not have sex.'
More abortion is a positive sign for a society which makes little sense considering less teen pregnancies and abortions would be the positive indicators.
|Ann Furedi, of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, has claimed: 'The fact that teenagers felt able to end their pregnancy in abortion is actually a positive sign.|
'If they have other plans for their teenage years aside from motherhood, they felt more able to make that choice.'
Sunday, May 10, 2009
|WASHINGTON -- Once again, President Barack Obama has dramatically proposed budget cuts, but his reductions would trim less than half of 1 percent from his proposed fiscal 2010 budget|
Obama unveiled a plan Thursday to cut or terminate 121 government programs and save $17 billion. Even if Congress goes along, however, his budget would double the national debt in a decade.
'This creates this veneer of fiscal responsibility when the budget is moving rapidly in the wrong direction,' said Robert Bixby, the executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan budget watchdog group.
Thursday's plan -- which called for fewer program cuts and terminations than President George W. Bush sought a year ago -- was the fourth time in Obama's three-month-old administration that he has pledged to promote fiscal responsibility.