Saturday, May 30, 2009

Holder's DoJ drops charges against Black Panther thugs.

Politics: You couldn't have a clearer case of voter intimidation and you drop the case? Anyone tell Eric Holder that civil right cases are more than just hate crimes? Does this mean anyone can bring a weapon or stand around looking thuggy at voting places in the future?

Tone down on Sotomayor = Tone down on illegals and immigration.

Politics: Why? I said I wasn't going to talk about Sotomayor since it was a slam dunk the GOP will roll over like beaten dogs and confirm her but I got to talk about this toning it down nonsense.

It irritates me as someone who hates when I am catered to base on my race that the GOP leadership and the predictable pundits like Peggy Noonan start whining about the need to stop pointing out Sotomayor's words and her record.

This is a watershed moment! First Hispanic SC judge OMGWTFBBQ!!! I don't care. A Supreme Court Judge, hell any judge should be put on the bench based on their credentials and overall work history. I am against her because so far all I have seen is that she is one of those activists Judges who feels her way to a judgment instead of actually judging the case.

She also has the knack of trumpeting her ethnic background when its useful and using it as a basis to attack people who she feels has crossed her.

She feels she has an advantage based on being a woman and minority but that is not what you want in a SC judge when cases come up to be heard. Rulings based on emotion invoked from a case instead of its merits will always be a detriment which leads to bad rulings and hurt society overall.

That leads me to illegal immigration which involves mostly Latinos. When Obama tries later this year to put over on everyone his amnesty plan will these same people in the GOP leadership and "elite" pundits like Brooks and Noonan say tone it down?

The same damn arguments you see for Sotomayor will come back tenfold in the immigration debate. GOP party heads and pundits will fret that you have to be nice and roll over on that as well because if you don't the Latino vote will be lost forever. You must grant amnesty, you must allow all the illegals an easy path to citizenship; you must be nice about it because the population tipping is here.

No. I am for immigration reform but not by making it easier or telling the world once you break the law and come over here illegally, eventually you will be rewarded. That is exactly what Obama and the Dems will set up while arguing the GOP and its members are racist for not wanting immigration reform.

The GOP leadership has set itself up to be trapped in a corner because their timidity and inability to articulate even the simplest objection to the OMGWTFBBQ~!!!! Latina SC nominee while bashing the rank and file who are fed up has screwed us in the long run.

Good Job.

BBC offers £30,000 to Muslim Council of Britain over "insult."

UK: Why have a show called question time if any opinion given is subject to a possible shakedown paid for by taxpayers?

The BBC has offered to pay £30,000 and apologise to the Muslim Council of Britain after airing claims that it encourages the killing of British troops.

The Corporation caved in after a panellist on the Question Time TV programme accused the country's most influential Muslim organisation of failing to condemn attacks on soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The broadcaster was threatened with legal action over comments by former Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore during a debate about Islamic protests which marred a soldiers' homecoming parade in Luton.

Mr Moore blamed the MCB's leadership for its apparent reluctance to condemn the killing and kidnapping of British soldiers overseas. He went on to claim that it thought it was a 'good thing' to kill troops.

Faced with the threat of a writ, the BBC made an offer of 'amends' and an apology on the Question Time website. But this has been rejected and the MCB is demanding an apology on air.

The Corporation's decision to pay out will raise eyebrows in Whitehall, where ministers have refused to settle a similar defamation claim over a letter written by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears.

A BBC insider said the move has also angered Mr Moore, who was not consulted over the legal response to the complaint or even informed that an offer to settle had been made.

The quote is at the link and since Moore said he has gone to the MCB and they have refused to condemn the killing/kidnapping of UK soldiers. If anything the MCB should go after Moore if they are so insulted. But the BBC is an easy target though if this was said about Christians I doubt they would even acknowledge it

Friday, May 29, 2009

Burn Notice to stay in Miami.

Entertainment: Amazing what common sense and a recession will do to keep a sure money maker in the area.

The city commission today voted to delay its plans of demolishing the Expo Center in Coconut Grove in order to accommodate Burn Notice. According to Coconut Grove Grapevine, the city will allow the show to remain based at the building until 2010, with a possible option of extending the agreement for a year.

Commissioner Joe Sanchez noted that it didn't make sense to risk losing the show and all the money, jobs and publicity it brings into town during this little economic slump we're having.

FBI to play larger role in US counter-terror ops

Terrorism: This worked so well in the 90's when the FBI was given the lead. If you want the FBI to be involved and making terrorism busting a law-enforcement problem. How about the FBI hunts down the terrorist(s), hand over the info to the CIA/Military to finish the job.

The FBI and the Justice Department will play a larger role in anti-terrorist operations as part of a shift away from a reliance on the CIA and the military, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

The plan to expand the role of the law enforcement agencies has been dubbed the "global justice initiative," the newspaper said, citing unidentified officials.

Under it, the Federal Bureau of Investigation would be used to conduct interrogations and gather evidence in terrorism cases.

"Regardless of where any bad guy is caught, we want the bureau to be in position to put charges on them," an official was quoted as saying.

The bigger FBI role was "part of a US policy shift that will replace a CIA-dominated system of clandestine detentions and interrogations with one built around transparent investigations and prosecutions," the report said.

This is also a way to try and make the CIA and Military weaker by the Obama Admin. This policy will shift once reports come out about the FBI screwing something up as they are not equipped or even sanctioned to eliminate threats.

GM makes new deal to bondholders, still trying to screw them.

Business: They are trying a divide/conquer move on the bondholders by going after the ones with the biggest holdings of debt. The UAW feeling a little heat that Obama is using taxpayer money to give them a gift tries to defend itself.

In a regulatory filing, G.M. set Saturday afternoon as the deadline for other bondholders to support the plan. In addition to an ad hoc committee that supports the G.M. plan, which represents about 20 percent of G.M.’s debt, people with knowledge of the discussions said a second group, with about 30 percent of G.M.’s debt, was in talks with the Treasury.

Administration officials said they considered the development positive. While the officials said there was no specific threshold for approval by the bondholders, a person briefed on the matter said that G.M. was seeking support from investors holding about 50 percent of G.M.’s $27 billion in bond debt.

G.M. and the Treasury will re-examine the results after 5 p.m. on Saturday to gauge support before deciding how to proceed. Administration officials said Thursday that 15 percent of bondholders approved the first debt-for-equity swap. (G.M. had wanted 90 percent.) With that group added to the 20 percent represented by the ad hoc committee, which had opposed the earlier offer, officials believe they have a good starting point.

In a regulatory filing, G.M. filled in many of the details of how it would look once it completed its reorganization, devised under the eye of the Treasury Department. G.M. said the government, which is to provide bankruptcy financing of about $50 billion, initially would hold 72.5 percent of G.M., with the United Automobile Workers union receiving 17.5 percent, and bondholders receiving 10 percent.

But the percentages held by the bondholders and the union could conceivably be larger because each are being offered warrants in the new G.M., which would be created in bankruptcy.

Under the terms of the plan, bondholders would initially receive 10 percent. They could then exercise their warrants for an additional 7.5 percent when the new G.M. rises to about $15 billion in value. The second set of warrants for the final 7.5 percent would be exercisable when new G.M. rises to $30 billion in value.

The union would initially receive a 17.5 percent stake to finance a health care trust for its retirees. It has also received warrants to raise that holding to 20 percent — but those warrants are exercisable only if new G.M.’s value hits $75 billion.

Chrysler dealer closing tears at community roots

Nation: This is one of the well known dealers in South Florida for years and kinda surprising they would close it down which makes it important to figure out how they selected and if some sort of cronyism is being done here by the government.

For Chrysler, Monarch Dodge may be just one of 789 "underperforming" dealers placed on the chopping block two weeks ago to help the struggling auto giant emerge from bankruptcy as a leaner, more viable company.

But in Lauderdale Lakes, the family-owned business is an institution -- the city's only new-car dealership, a top employer, and a patron for schools and other local organizations for 35 years.

As the shutdown deadline approaches, owner Mark Hodos, employees, longtime clients and community leaders are contesting Chrysler's decision, busily signing petitions and rallying support. Hodos is working with lawyers to sue.

"We're asking to be allowed to still pay taxes and still employ people," said Hodos, who has not laid off any of his 67 workers in the current recession. "Chrysler wants to take away my business and give it to somebody else in another town. It's nuts."

Monarch, which serves a mostly black community, joins more than 330 dealers nationwide contesting Chrysler's order in bankruptcy court. It claims to meet the carmaker's conditions for survival: It enjoys a five-star rating and solid customer satisfaction scores, sells more new cars than used, typically sells at least 100 cars a month, has invested in remodeling and offers no other brands.

Chrysler will not comment on individual stores.

Kennedy's Health-Care Measure To Require Employers to Chip In

Nation: Everyone pays for universal health care and those who opt out will pay even more.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) is circulating the outlines of sweeping health-care legislation that would require every American to have insurance and would mandate that employers contribute to workers' coverage.

The plan in the summary document, provided by two Democrats who do not work for Kennedy, closely resembles extensive changes enacted in the senator's home state three years ago.

In many respects it adopts the most liberal approaches to health reform being discussed in Washington. Kennedy, for example, embraces a proposal to create a government-sponsored insurance program to compete directly with existing private insurance plans, according to one senior adviser who was not authorized to talk to reporters.

The draft summary also calls for opening Medicaid to those whose incomes are 500 percent of the federal poverty level, or $110,250 a year for a family of four.

How is the Mass health program doing at this point? They are now going to force medical providers to take payment on their terms or else.

Jan 2009:

Governor Deval Patrick yesterday accelerated his administration's efforts to control spiraling statewide healthcare costs, warning that rising premiums threaten to crush families and businesses and doom Massachusetts' groundbreaking experiment with universal insurance.

Patrick said officials are considering using state insurance regulations to block excessive healthcare premiums. He is also summoning leaders of insurance and hospital companies for meetings as soon as this week to ask for their "vigorous cooperation."

May 2009:

Despite a weakening economy, Massachusetts continued to measure gains in the share of residents who reported having a steady source of health care in 2008, its second year of near-universal coverage, a new study has found.

But the annual survey, taken each fall since 2006, also raised red flags regarding the ability of residents to actually use that care, with growing numbers saying they could not afford needed treatments and many reporting shortages of primary care physicians.

....But the study, which was scheduled for publication Thursday in the journal Health Affairs, found that increased demand for care from the newly insured was confronting an insufficient supply of willing physicians. One in five adults said they had been told in the last 12 months that a doctor or clinic was not accepting new patients or would not see patients with their type of insurance. The rejection rates for low-income adults and those with public insurance were double the rates for higher-income residents and those with private coverage.

Universal health care, love it or else.

Man fathers 21 kids by 11 women

Culture: Oh yeah, this is where you see the headline and story in the paper and start the please don't let him be black prayer.

" Lord, please don't let him be black, please please please don't let him *SEE PIC*...mother******...he's black."

A man aged 29 has fathered 21 children with 11 different women, it emerged yesterday.

Desmond Hatchett's brood came to light after authorities in Tennessee in the U.S. took him to court for non-payment of child support.

He has apparently set a U.S. record but said: 'It just happened.'

Hatchett, who earns a minimal wage, told TV reporters he knows the names and ages of all his offspring.

Their ages range from newborn to 11 years old.

Authorities in Knoxville said they plan to take half of his monthly salary to pay for the youngsters but officials said that would work out to just over £1 a week for each.

His lawyer Keith Pope said: 'The children can't all be supported by Desmond, so the state of Tennessee has had to step in.'

Many Knoxville residents called for him to be castrated.

He even boasted of fathering four children by different women in the same year.

The women in this saga seem to be equally stupid. If you get involved with a man who had multiple babies with different women, you a new fool.
Still, Hatchett says the women knew what they were getting into.
They were all aware of his large family.

One said, she doesn't like it but she deals with it. "It's about the kids. Not the parents," she said.

Each one should have their reproductive organs tied or snipped so they won't bring even more children in the world. It is a bad situation all around. You have the minimum wage pimp daddy and his harem of dumb baby mamas having kids in the world who are going to be a burden on the taxpayer. America is being taken over by stupid people.

Here is the TV report

Thursday, May 28, 2009

NAACP flag flap threatens Veteran's Day parade

Nation: The quick summary, last year during the Homestead Veteran's Day Parade the Sons of Confederate Veterans took part and the Confederate flag was flown.

NAACP got upset and demanded the flag banned from future city and chamber of commerce events. They also threatened to boycott NASCAR if they didn't help in trying to ban the flag. The problems with their demands?

The chamber said the Homestead event is `` Miami-Dade County's oldest and largest Veterans Day parade.''

The city of Homestead had donated $2,000 of in-kind services to the parade but had no say in who would participate in it, Homestead spokeswoman Lillian Delgado said.

ACLU on trying to ban the flag at events especially the upcoming NASCAR race at Homestead raceway.

Brandon Hensler, a spokesman for American Civil Liberties Union's Florida chapter, said bringing a Confederate flag to the race or any public event would be protected speech.

"If someone wants to show up with a shirt like that, there'd be no legal recourse for that," Hensler said. "Unless there's a specific threat, all speech is protected."

The same goes for the Veteran's Parade which leads me to believe that this chapter of the NAACP either has no access to lawyers to explain this stuff or its a really bad shakedown attempt. There is nothing any of these entities can do in banning the flag without breaking the law and rights of the people.

Now with all this extra publicity, watch the amount of flag go up at the race and if the parade this year just to thumb their nose at the NAACP.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hugo Chavez looking to crush the Labor Unions.

Nation: Chavez not a big fan of workers rights unless he is the one dictating the terms.

HIS government espouses “21st-century socialism” and claims to stand for the working class. Yet Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s president, has never been a fan of his country’s trade unions. He portrays them as corrupt vestiges of a capitalist past and of the previous political order. Ever since he was first elected, in 1998, he has sought ways to bring them to heel. Having first tried and failed to take over the main trade-union confederation, he encouraged a pro-government rival. Now he wants to bypass the unions altogether, by establishing in their place “workers’ councils” that amount to branches of the ruling Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

A bill in the government-controlled National Assembly would eliminate collective bargaining and give powers in labour matters to the new councils. “The government’s policy is the total elimination of the union movement,” says Orlando Chirino, a former chavista who is one of the architects of the Labour Solidarity Movement, a new group which embraces unions from both sides of the country’s political divide and which defends union autonomy.

The bill comes hand-in-hand with the slowdown in the economy and a government crackdown on opposition politicians. Its onslaught on the unions, and its refusal to negotiate collective contracts—or to respect them once signed—is meeting resistance. Labour disputes are increasing, from 46 in January, to 59 in February and 113 in March, according to figures compiled by Victorino Márquez, a labour specialist at the Catholic University in Caracas.

With budgets slashed following the fall in the oil price, the government can no longer buy industrial peace. It is starting to resort to force. A strike in the Caracas metro was averted by the threat of military intervention. Mr Chávez called the metro workers “corrupt” for insisting on the implementation of an agreement that had already been signed. According to press reports, dozens of trade unionists are being prosecuted. Their alleged crimes include “subversion” and holding demonstrations in “security zones” such as those around big factories. Scores have been murdered, in disputes over contracts that mainly involve pro-government unions.

Via Harry's Place

US to own 70% of GM and give $50 Billion dollars more.

Nation: I am 100% sure that $0 of my money will go to buying a GM or Chrysler car because of the government and UAW.

Now G.M. may stand for something else: Government Motors.

The latest plan for the troubled automaker, which is expected to file for bankruptcy by Monday, calls for the Treasury Department to receive about 70 percent of a restructured G.M.

Including the more than $20 billion that has already been spent to prop up G.M., the government will provide G.M. at least $50 billion to get the company through Chapter 11, people with direct knowledge of the situation said Tuesday. By some estimates in Detroit, tens of billions beyond that amount may be required.

The United Automobile Workers, meanwhile, will hold up to 20 percent through its retiree health care fund, and bondholders and other parties will get the remaining share. Shareholders would be virtually wiped out.

Although it has been clear for weeks that Treasury would have a majority stake of a reconstituted G.M., a 70 percent share — a figure that could still change — is higher than what had been expected.

The prospect of a G.M. effectively owned by the government raises a number of thorny questions. Countless policy decisions — on matters such as fuel economy standards, tax incentives to replace aging cars and green technology initiatives — will present conflicting interests.

For example, with $30 billion invested in G.M. and Chrysler thus far, would the government tip the scales in favor of those companies when buying vehicles for its fleets? Will Ford find itself at a disadvantage, since it has turned down federal money?

None of this makes great business sense, but Obama is not going to let down his UAW voting block and if it means taxpayers have to foot a $70 Billion price tag, you will sit there and like it.

Help the Tamils now or else.. Terrorism?

Terrorism: Not exactly the brightest way to state your case that if the West doesn't help the Tamil people, they may get a new terror groups that hit the West. Cynthia Shanmugalingam makes Tamil people look like ready to snap monsters in the making and that won't help garner sympathy.

Tamils internationally are poised to play a constructive role in establishing peace. They are sending the refugees a ship full of food and are likely to repeat the efforts of many diaspora doctors and others who volunteered after the 2004 tsunami. Last night even the Tamil Tigers finally admitted their leader was dead and that the time for violence is past. But for every Tamil civilian that is now left to die from inadequate food or medicine, or from violence and brutality at the hands of the Sri Lankan army, at least one more is persuaded of the need for violence.

The Tigers, despite their domestic human rights abuses, never posed much of a direct threat to the west. Unless Britain and others seize the opportunity to change what Ban Ki Moon calls "by far the most appalling scenes I have seen", we risk creating a successor that does.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sotomayor: Obama A.A Latina pick for the highest court in the land.

Politics: I am not wasting time on her because she was picked less for her intellectual gravitas as a judge and more for getting the most checks on the quota list. She is a liberal activist judge who sees the courts as a law making center, believes life experience should trump the rule of law as others have put it, Interested in the outcome of the ruling and not the ruling itself such as the New Haven Firemen case.

She got ripped by a fellow judge on her panel who was astounded despite the volume of evidence and theory she helped write a one paragraph I agree judgement.

The videos are out there, her speech about wise Latina better than a white man are out there. I am not going to bother much because the GOP are going to roll over like beaten dogs over her because they don't want to seem mean to the first Latin Supreme Court nominee. If anyone derails her its going to be outside group bringing to light any goofy rulings or more out there opinions on what the courts and judge are actually meant to do on cases.

CAIR upset with Seattle police training with Jewish group.

Nation: CAIR chapters seem to love making own goals. Going after the Simon Wiesenthal Center as being anti-Islam is absurd with no evidence to back it up. This complaint not only makes them look Anti-Jewish but they are trying to bring over a foreign complaint to push forward their domestic agenda.

Saying it's not going to take sides in someone else's feud, the Seattle Police Department is going ahead with a racial-awareness training program that has raised concerns among some local Muslims.

They are troubled not by the content of the training program but by the organization that produced it: the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a 32-year-old Los Angeles-based Jewish human-rights organization perhaps best known for its Holocaust education work.

They accuse the Wiesenthal Center of spreading fear toward Islam by producing or promoting films about extremism within Islam. And they, like many other Muslims elsewhere, are also angry at the center for building a Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem partially on top of what once was an ancient Muslim cemetery.

"The center has an anti-Muslim agenda, to be frank," contends Arsalan Bukhari, president of the Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The Wiesenthal Center disagrees.

The disputed land on which the Jerusalem museum is being built has been used as a parking lot for about the past 50 years, according to the center. And Liebe Geft, director of the center's Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, says the films in question take on anti-Semitism and the dangers of a small subsection of Islam, not Islam as a whole.

The center "does not condemn Islam. It actively confronts Islamophobia," Geft said.

Cities now asking for bailout money by buying their Muni Bonds.

Nation: Everyone saw it coming, the cities and other localities for some who spent like drunken sailors during the easy credit boom years now want taxpayers via the federal government to pay for their services and projects.

State and local governments are asking Washington to give them something that banks are trying to get rid of: federal bailout money.

California is asking that money from the Treasury’s TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, be used to help back more than $13 billion in short-term borrowings. Members of Congress and several municipalities want bailout money to be used to cover more than $1 billion in losses from investments by municipalities in debt issued by Lehman Brothers, the investment bank that went bust.

And Representative Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, is drafting legislation that would have the Federal Reserve, and potentially the Treasury’s bailout money as well, stand behind floating-rate municipal bonds — a $400 billion market that provides short-term financing to municipalities, but which has been largely frozen in the current credit crisis.

Another measure drafted by Mr. Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, would create a public finance office within the Treasury Department to reinsure $50 billion in municipal bonds. This proposal comes as downgrades of municipal bond insurance companies have made it more difficult and costly for state and local governments to issue bonds.

All of the proposals are meant to help struggling state and local governments that are facing a cash-flow squeeze. The economic downturn has eaten into their tax bases as local businesses shut, houses are lost to foreclosure and there is a resistance to raising taxes. The risk to the federal government is that it could lose money if things get worse for municipalities and states.

Although backing debt with a guarantee does not require an immediate outlay of funds, the federal government could have to cover losses if there are defaults — which could be substantial if the economy weakens or states and municipalities cannot bring their budget deficits under control. Nonetheless, these overtures by state and local officials reflect a sense — perhaps just a hope — that municipalities suffering from a downturn in revenues and creditworthiness may find some relief in Washington beyond the stimulus money the federal government already is spending.

.....In a speech last week at the National Press Club, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said that the Treasury is “looking at ways to make sure these markets are working so that states and munis can meet their needs.”

But, according to a Bloomberg News account of the speech, Mr. Geithner cautioned: “I wouldn’t use the word bailout.”

Call it the local reinvestment diversity program. It sounds helpful.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Chrysler slams Indiana State Treasurer's demands

Politics: Outrage as someone does their duty to ask questions while trying to protect retirees investments and not rolling over.

U.S. automaker Chrysler on Monday slammed Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock as making demands that would ultimately push the carmaker into liquidation -- resulting in the loss of more than 4,000 jobs and 9,000 retiree pensions in Indiana alone.

Mourdock, who oversees pension funds invested in Chrysler debt, has objected to Chrysler LLC's plan to quickly sell itself in bankruptcy, claiming it is a dangerous path that would hurt pensions for thousands of his state's retirees.

The Indiana pension funds have filed court papers requesting that an examiner be appointed to investigate Chrysler's business decisions, and that the company be placed in the hands of a Chapter 11 trustee who can act independently of the government. The funds also mounted a challenge to the company's plan in U.S. District Court.

Chrysler claimed in a statement on Monday that Mourdock, a Republican, is willing to put Chrysler in liquidation over less than 1 percent of the three funds' assets.

It calculates that the combined Chrysler-related investments in the three state pension funds in question totaled approximately $17 million and the cumulative loss under the proposed deal would be about $2 million.

"The treasurer's actions lead one to wonder if his motives are financial or political," the statement said.

The student learns well from its masters on how to raise questions.

Miami number one in carrying credit card debt.

Nation: Miami a city where if there its a bad thing, they will been in the top 3 at least.

Consider the residents of Miami, Fla. The metropolis has fully felt the effects of the real estate crash, including a 12% decrease in hotel occupancy for the first quarter of 2009, an increase in unemployment to 8.5% in March 2009 and a 9% year-over-year increase in foreclosures for April 2009. Yet, on average, Miamians owe more of their personal income to credit card companies than those in any other area of the U.S.

While the median household income is a moderate $43,333—the national average is $50,233—average credit card debt in each home is $9,797.38. That means to pay off outstanding credit card bills, debtors would have to forgo 22.61% of their incomes.

Other areas where Americans continue to spend far more than they earn include Tampa, Fla., where the average household owes 17.1% of its total income; Los Angeles, where it's 16.81%; Jacksonville, Fla., which owes 16.38% on average; and Orlando, Fla., indebted by 16.37%.

I hate the Heineken hipsters commercial

Entertainment: Bunch of Hipsters in a cab destroying a classic while wearing sunglasses at night. Whats not to hate?

Liberals frustrated at Gitmo and Gun Control losses.

Politics: Considering gun control support is at an all time low and as more Congress Critters realized that closing Gitmo would mean a chance terrorists would be in their own state, what did these politically deaf liberals expect to happen?

Frustrated liberals are asking why a Democratic-controlled Congress and White House can't manage to close the Guantanamo prison or keep new gun-rights laws from passing.

After all, President Barack Obama pledged to shut down the military detention center on Cuba for suspected terrorists. And Democratic control of the government would suggest that any gun legislation leads to tighter controls on weapons, not expanded use.

Even as they grouse, however, liberal lawmakers acknowledge that no one factor explains last week's disappointing back-to-back votes in Congress.

....."We'll probably end up passing more gun bills" that expand owners' rights "than we did during the Republican administration," said Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., a leading gun control advocate. "That is what surprises me."

She placed less blame on the White House than on ordinary Americans and advocacy groups that are consistently outflanked by gun owners' groups, especially the National Rifle Association.

"Until the American people say enough is enough, and get active in it," Democratic control of Congress and the White House will not be enough to turn the tide, said McCarthy, whose husband was killed by a gunman in 1993.

In McCarthy's mind, gun owners aren't "ordinary" Americans and expanding their rights is somehow a bad thing. A lot of these votes have to do with Dems being voted in from areas where siding with gun control people will cost them an election. But the public mood is against gun control so she and others remain on the fringe of this issue

Wash Post: France's Welfare system Insulates Many From Slump

Culture: Wash Post with a positive piece on the fact many people dependent on France's welfare system are not feeling the worldwide economic downturn.

For Beaufranqui and millions of other French people dependent on tax-financed largess, this country's cozy social protections, vast numbers of bureaucrats and unhesitating government intervention have proved to be a shelter from want in these hard economic times.

Denounced for decades as a millstone preventing growth and competitiveness, particularly by free-market advocates in the United States, the French government's dominant role in economic activity has suddenly found new favor at home and grudging respect abroad.

The crisis has landed hard in France, just as it has elsewhere. European Union specialists estimated last week that the number of unemployed is likely to rise to more than 3 million by next year as factories close. But the French economy is expected to shrink by just 3 percent, markedly less than in Britain or Italy, largely because of the country's traditionally high level of government spending, they added.

More significant in human terms, broad sectors of the population -- bureaucrats, retirees, teachers and the millions of others whose livelihood depends directly or indirectly on public outlays -- find themselves surrounded by a government cushion. The effects are easy to see: As the crisis grew and began to obsess French officialdom in Paris, for instance, Alpine ski resorts reported full bookings for the winter and spring seasons.

Translation: Those who depend on taxpayer funded welfare system get to sleep their days away because the government would never cut off the parasites from their hosts. I don't know the point of this story other than to point out welfare people get welfare. Some in this story are retirees and for now they are protected in part because France is running in the red. When the economy boosts up, the effects of the parasites become more well known.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Police union demands newspaper fire its editors.

Media: Astonishingly not much of an uproar with the newspaper sites that would be screaming murder if a conservative group tried to pull this mob stunt.

The union representing Los Angeles police officers is pressuring the owner of San Diego's biggest newspaper to change the paper's editorial stance on labor issues or to fire its editorial writers.

The feud is rooted in the recent purchase of the San Diego Union-Tribune by Platinum Equity, a private Beverly Hills firm.

Platinum relies on a $30-million investment from the pension fund of Los Angeles police officers and firefighters, along with large sums from other public-employee pension systems across the state, to help fund its acquisitions of companies. As Los Angeles Police Protective League President Paul M. Weber views it, that makes the League part owner in the flagging Union-Tribune -- and League officials are none too happy with the paper's consistent position that San Diego lawmakers should cut back on salaries and benefits for public employees to help close gaping budget deficits.

"Since the very public employees they continually criticize are now their owners, we strongly believe that those who currently run the editorial pages should be replaced," Weber wrote in a March 26 letter to Platinum Chief Executive Tom Gores.

Weber, in an interview, emphasized that the League is not demanding changes in the paper's news coverage or in its staff of reporters. "It's just these people on the opinion side. There is not even an attempt to be even-handed. They're one step away from saying, 'These public employees are parasites,' " he said.

Believe me, if unions especially in the public sector keep pushing their luck in this economy, the public calling them parasites would be one of the nicer terms. This is straight out thuggery and should be slapped down in the strongest terms possible.

Obama's vision of court pick clear

Politics: This empathy angle is irksome.

WASHINGTON (AP) - On the verge of choosing his first Supreme Court nominee, President Barack Obama has already provided a profile of the person he is likely to pick: an intellectual heavyweight with a "common touch," someone whose brand of justice means seeing life from the perspective of the powerless.

Obama is expected to announce his nominee this week, as early as Tuesday. His words, his young presidency and his own life experience reveal what the nation should expect—and help explain how the president is making a decision that will endure long after he leaves office.

"You have to have not only the intellect to be able to effectively apply the law to cases before you," Obama said in an interview carried Saturday on C-SPAN television. "But you have to be able to stand in somebody else's shoes and see through their eyes and get a sense of how the law might work or not work in practical day-to-day living."

That is stupid and dangerous as this is just a nice way of saying I am going to put a liberal activist judge on the panel that when he/she feels like it will ignore the law to write a feel good judgement based on his/her experience. Andy McCarthy puts it this way in regards to one example the Ledbetter Case.

Obviously, it's actually an invitation to judicial lawlessness. Yet, simultaneously, Obama absurdly claims such empathy might be helpful to businesses in dealing with the labyrinth of regulations. But what businesses need to conduct their affairs "in a practical way" is certainty: if the new rule of the road is to be that judges will decide which regulations get enforced and which don't based on their subjective sense of result-oriented fairness, what we get is economic chaos and paralysis.

U.S. could take 17 years to exit GMAC

Politics: So taxpayers will help to fund GM and their loan department for years to come, wonderful.

CHICAGO (Reuters) – GMAC LLC, which is giving the U.S. Treasury Department a 35.4 percent equity stake, said on Friday it might take 17 years for the government to shed its investment if the auto and mortgage lender were to go public.

The timetable suggests that federal involvement in GMAC's affairs could persist long after troubles plaguing the economy and the auto industry end.

GMAC has gotten $12.5 billion of government infusions since December, including $7.5 billion on Thursday.

The Treasury Department separately said on Thursday it expects to swap a previous $884 million loan it made to General Motors Corp (GM.N) for the 35.4 percent stake in GMAC. It also won the right to appoint two directors to GMAC's board.

In a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Detroit-based GMAC said that if it were to go public, the Treasury Department would begin to liquidate its stake no later than seven years after an initial public offering.

U.S. Relies More on Aid of Allies in Terror Cases

Terrorism : Under Bush, this was pure evil but now under Obama there is just a worry about abuse that might happen.

The United States is now relying heavily on foreign intelligence services to capture, interrogate and detain all but the highest-level terrorist suspects seized outside the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, according to current and former American government officials.

The change represents a significant loosening of the reins for the United States, which has worked closely with allies to combat violent extremism since the 9/11 attacks but is now pushing that cooperation to new limits.

In the past 10 months, for example, about a half-dozen midlevel financiers and logistics experts working with Al Qaeda have been captured and are being held by intelligence services in four Middle Eastern countries after the United States provided information that led to their arrests by local security services, a former American counterterrorism official said.

In addition, Pakistan’s intelligence and security services captured a Saudi suspect and a Yemeni suspect this year with the help of American intelligence and logistical support, Pakistani officials said. The two are the highest-ranking Qaeda operatives captured since President Obama took office, but they are still being held by Pakistan, which has shared information from their interrogations with the United States, the official said.

The current approach, which began in the last two years of the Bush administration and has gained momentum under Mr. Obama, is driven in part by court rulings and policy changes that have closed the secret prisons run by the Central Intelligence Agency, and all but ended the transfer of prisoners from outside Iraq and Afghanistan to American military prisons.

Human rights advocates say that relying on foreign governments to hold and question terrorist suspects could carry significant risks. It could increase the potential for abuse at the hands of foreign interrogators and could also yield bad intelligence, they say.

....As a safeguard against torture, Mr. Panetta said, the United States would rely on diplomatic assurances of good treatment. The Bush administration sought the same assurances, which critics say are ineffective.

But here is the bigger story that is being downplayed.

Officials say the United States has learned so much about Al Qaeda and other militant groups since the 9/11 attacks that it can safely rely on foreign partners to detain and question more suspects. “It’s the preferred method now,” one former counterterrorism official said

Once again, another thank you to the Bush Admin.

Obama ready to have UAW workers on welfare.

Politics: There is no end to government motors.

U.S. President Barack Obama said in an interview released on Saturday he was confident General Motors would thrive after restructuring, but made no mention whether the automaker might have to enter bankruptcy to complete reorganization.

Obama, in an interview with the C-SPAN cable television network, said he wanted the government to get out of the auto business as soon as possible, and added if some auto jobs never returned, the government would work to ensure workers were retrained.

UAW has the best president ever, they get sweetheart bankruptcy deals and free retraining.