Saturday, June 13, 2009
|The US said today it would not demand that China commits to binding cuts in its greenhouse gas emissions, marking an important step towards agreement on a global treaty to fight climate change.|
The move came at the end of the latest round of UN climate change talks involving 183 countries, which aim to produce a deal in Copenhagen in December.
Jonathan Pershing, head of the US delegation in Bonn, said developing countries – seeking to grow their economies and alleviate poverty – would instead be asked to commit to other actions. These include increasing energy efficiency standards and improving the take-up of renewable energy, but would not deliver specific reductions.
He said: "We're saying that the actions of developing countries should be binding, not the outcomes of those actions."
Only developed countries, including the US, would be expected to guarantee cuts. The pledge was included in a US blueprint for a climate change deal submitted to the Bonn meeting, which Pershing said was based on the need for rich countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050. The American plan, if approved, could replace the existing Kyoto protocol. The lack of any carbon targets for developing countries in the protocol was the reason the US never ratified it.
This looks to be another agreement for agreement sakes that in the end no country except America will abide it.
|A senior US official has told the BBC Washington decided not to tell London ahead of time about a deal to resettle four Guantanamo detainees in Bermuda.|
A diplomatic row blew up over Bermuda's decision to accept the four Chinese Muslim Uighurs on a US request.
Bermuda is a British overseas territory but the US official said Washington had acted secretly to ensure success.
Meanwhile the US said on Friday three Saudis at Guantanamo Bay had been transferred back to Saudi Arabia.
The transfers are part of US President Barack Obama's strategy to close down the Guantanamo detention centre before next January.
The unnamed senior official also told the BBC that Washington was attempting to shield the UK from Chinese anger.
I think the UK can take care of itself from Chinese anger which shows how weak the White House defense is of this scam or how they actually view the Brits at this point in time. The way this was handled is insanely incompetent.
| Relatives, friends and neighbors of a Minneapolis teen killed in Somalia pressed their argument Thursday that a Muslim civil rights group is hampering a federal investigation into the disappearances of dozens of Twin Cities Somali men.|
At a protest outside the Brian Coyle Community Center in Minneapolis' Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, Abdirizak Bihi, the uncle of Burhan Hassan, who relatives say was killed last week in Mogadishu by a terrorist group, accused the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Minnesota chapter of discouraging local Somalis from cooperating with the FBI.
"We don't want anyone to come into our community and tell us to shut up," Bihi said. "Law enforcement will not be able to do anything without information from the community."
About 50 people attended the rally, waving signs and hollering, "CAIR out! Doublespeak out!"
Friday, June 12, 2009
| Iranians go to the polls today to elect a president after an acrimonious and volatile election campaign that has polarised the country and unleashed mass opposition to the hardline Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.|
In the absence of reliable independent opinion polls, experts predicted yesterday that Mir Hossein Mousavi, the moderate "green" candidate, would probably beat the controversial incumbent so long as the result was not rigged.
Saeed Lalyaz, a respected political commentator, said he believed Mousavi now commanded the support of 55-60% across the country and warned of a possible crackdown on the opposition if Ahmadinejad were re-elected.
"I worry about the impact of any announcement that Ahmadinejad wins in the first round," said Lalyaz. "Whoever wins, these people on the streets will not go home easily. If Ahmadinejad is president for a second time I worry about another Tiananmen Square experience."
Ominously, as three weeks of often passionate campaigning drew to a close, the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRG) warned that any attempt at a popular "revolution" would be crushed.
| One of the few things the Bush administration did right on immigration enforcement was to strengthen and expand the E-Verify citizenship verification system for employers.|
A Senate aide tells me this afternoon that the Obama White House is preparing to gut the program.
Buzz on the Hill is that Team Obama will repeal some of the Executive Orders from the Bush Administration dealing with E-verify and so-called “No Match” Social Security number notices.
|A foundation set up to finance legal proceedings against careless media reports gave funds to the murderer of Pim Fortuyn. Journalists, a lawyer and former Premier Dries van Agt, who form the board of the foundation, made the donation without the knowledge of the foundation's founder, Hans Melchers.|
Volkert van der Graaf, the murderer of Fortuyn, conducted proceedings from his prison cell against De Telegraaf. He is believed to have got 4,500 euros from the Hans Melchers Fonds for this, the same newspaper revealed yesterday.
..."I set up the fund because I saw how difficult it is to fight against mistaken reporting. Of course the fund was not intended for someone like the murderer of Pim Fortuyn. As perpetrator of a cowardly murder, he himself is responsible for the fact he has become a notorious Dutch person and he certainly does not qualify as a victim of the press."
| The Obama administration has all but abandoned plans to allow Guantanamo Bay detainees who have been cleared for release to live in the United States, administration officials said yesterday, a decision that reflects bipartisan congressional opposition to admitting such prisoners but complicates efforts to persuade European allies to accept them. |
Four Uighur detainees, Chinese Muslims who were incarcerated at the U.S. military prison in Cuba for more than seven years, arrived early yesterday in Bermuda, where they will become foreign guest workers. An administration official said the United States is engaged in negotiations with other countries, including Palau, an island nation in the western Pacific, to find places for the remaining 13 Uighurs held at Guantanamo.
|EU judges overruled the Government and the United Nations yesterday by unfreezing the assets of Al Qaeda 'ambassador' Abu Qatada. |
The verdict, reached on human rights grounds by the EU's Court of First Instance, paves the way for the fanatic to receive a compensation payout controversially awarded against the British Government earlier this year.
The latest case goes back to October 2001, in the wake of 9/11, when Qatada was put on an EU list of terrorist suspects whose money and other assets in Europe are blocked.
The UN Security Council's sanctions committee had named him as associated with Osama bin Laden or Al Qaeda.
All member states are instructed to freeze 'the funds and other financial assets controlled directly or indirectly by such persons or entities'.
When Qatada was awarded £2,500 by the European Court of Human Rights for being 'unlawfully detained' in Belmarsh high security prison, South East London, he could not lay his hands on the cash.
But now the Court of First Instance, which is linked to the European Court of Justice, has said that putting him on the terror list breached his 'fundamental rights'.
The Luxembourg judges were unhappy that Qatada, referred to in court as Omar Mohammed Othman, had not had the opportunity to defend himself.
Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: 'This decision will horrify most reasonable people in the UK.
|A diplomatic spat has broken out over Bermuda's acceptance of four Chinese Muslim Uighurs released from the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay.|
Britain has told Bermuda, which is one of its overseas territories, it should have consulted London before agreeing to resettle the Uighurs.
The four were among a group handed over to US forces in Afghanistan, but later found not to be "enemy combatants".
In London the Opposition demanded an explanation from the foreign secretary.
Beijing has demanded the return of all Uighurs held by the US forces to China.
The four who were sent to Bermuda were part of a group of 17 Uighurs still at Guantanamo.
Interesting facts have popped up about the Uighurs.
The bunch sent to Palau were rejected by 100 governments. The four sent to Bermuda admitted to training in terrorist camps in Afghanistan.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
|News Corp. is forming an external diversity council in response to pressure over a New York Post cartoon that critics said compared President Barack Obama to a dead chimpanzee.|
The cartoon appeared in February. News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch published an apology in the Post, but civil rights and community organizations demanded further action.
NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said Wednesday that News Corp. had agreed to form a "diversity community council" that will meet semiannually with company executives.
The council will include members of the NAACP, 100 Black Men of America, the National Action Network and the National Urban League.
The letter also said that the company will include a "diversity statement of commitment" in its annual report.
| Rising interest rates threaten to dim prospects for a housing recovery and choke off a refinance wave that was a major plank of the Obama administration's economic-stimulus efforts.|
On Wednesday, rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages climbed to 5.79%, up from 5% two weeks ago, according to HSH Associates. That jump will cut roughly in half the number of borrowers with an incentive to refinance, according to FTN Financial.
Refinance activity at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is already "really down" since rates began rising, a spokesman says. A rate of 4.75% "seemed to be the switch" that turned on refinance activity, he says. Now, rates are a full percentage point higher.
....Investors have been anxiously watching bond yields climb over the past few weeks, pushing up mortgage rates, which normally track 10-year Treasury notes. The yield on the those briefly hit 4% on Wednesday afternoon for the first time since mid-October before ending the day at 3.937%.
Many policy makers see the rise in Treasury yields as a sign that investors are optimistic that the economy is on the mend. But many market participants say higher long-term bond yields indicate investors are increasingly worried about inflation.
|HOW DO WE KNOW THAT THE OUTRAGEOUS SPENDING IS BECOMING A PROBLEM FOR OBAMA? Well, there’s the poll showing a sizable plurality in favor of cancelling the stimulus spending. And there’s the dead-even generic Congressional ballot.|
But the biggest indicator is that Obama’s most reliable media shills have decided that it’s time to . . . yes . . . blame it all on Bush!
If Bush started the fire on the front porch of the house and lawn, Obama came to the rescue willing with a gas tanker truck instead of a fire truck.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
|High school graduation rates for South Florida and statewide are relatively low, according to a study released today.|
Among the nation's 50 largest school districts, Broward County was 27th, Palm Beach County was 29th, and Miami-Dade County was 35th, the Diplomas Count 2009 report said.
Using data from 2006, the most recent year available, Education Week's annual report estimated the likelihood of a freshman finishing high school with a regular diploma to determine graduation rates for school districts and states.
The report pegs Broward's graduation rate at about 58 percent, meaning about 58 percent of freshmen make it to graduation. The comparable figures for Palm Beach and Miami-Dade are 57 percent and about 51 percent, respectively.
About 57.5 percent of Florida's students donned a cap and gown and received a high school diploma, putting the state's graduation rate among the lowest in the nation. Nationwide, the average rate is about 69 percent, topping off with New Jersey's 82 percent, the report said.
Yes, I question New Jersey being at the top since I am thinking either multiple ways to graduate or ridiculously easy standards. Newark along should drag it down to 70%.
|Indian students took to the streets of Harris Park for the third night in a row to protest at what they claim are racially motivated attacks by groups of Middle Eastern men.|
About 50 students congregated in the suburb early yesterday evening, but the protest passed peacefully and disbanded by 10pm (AEST), police said.
However, one man was issued with a field court attendance notice after a length of timber was found in his car during a police vehicle search.
Monday's protest, which followed an attack on two Indian men by a group of Lebanese men, culminated in three Lebanese men being assaulted.
On Tuesday night police arrested two men after about 70 protesters again converged on Marion Street, with one later charged for carrying a pole to the protest.
More background here.
|The authorities' formal dismissal of Monday's incident as being of no great gravity has done exactly the reverse of what police and the NSW Government had hoped.|
It has inflamed tensions.
Both populations now feel even more slighted by a society refusing to acknowledge their problem.
Across the road, Bhavin Jadav spoke for an Indian population feeling persecuted by young Lebanese men. He said Indian students are seen as a "soft target" by these men, who prey on their civility.
"That's why they attack Indian students, they don't believe in violence," he said.
He was robbed last year when a group of Lebanese men took mobile phones and wallets from his group of friends. Then, just the other day, a petrol bomb was launched at an Indian home on Albion St.
The Lebanese are the problem, he said, with much the same authority in his voice as Joseph Gitani when he declared: "It's mini-Bombay, to be honest with you."
| The Rev. Jeremiah Wright says he does not feel any regrets over his severed relationship with President Barack Obama, a former member of the Chicago church in which Wright was the longtime pastor.|
Wright also said that he had not spoken to his former church member since Obama became president, implying that the White House won't allow Obama to talk to him. He did not indicate whether he had tried to reach Obama.
"Regret for what... that the media went back five, seven, 10 years and spent $4,000 buying 20 years worth of sermons to hear what I've been preaching for 20 years?
"Regret for preaching like I've been preaching for 50 years? Absolutely none," Wright said.
Wright said that when he went to the polls, he did not hold any grudge against Obama.
"Of course I voted for him; he's my son. I'm proud of him," Wright said. "I've got five biological kids. They all make mistakes and bad choices. I haven't stopped loving any of them.
"He made mistakes. He made bad choices. I've got kids who listen to their friends. He listened to those around him. I did not disown him."
Asked if he had spoken to the president, Wright said: "Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter, that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office. ...
"They will not let him to talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is. ... I said from the beginning: He's a politician; I'm a pastor. He's got to do what politicians do."
It is the same reason why Contessa Brewer has no problem with the slut joke about Sarah Palin along with the daughter jokes but gets upset with Ziegler mocking MSNBC hosts because in her mind because they are not liberals they are fair game. Same deal with nothing from women groups.
Even 62 year old Letterman's response is devoid of any remorse that he took the jokes too far and just wanted to point out they were about the legal age Bristol and not Willow. How classy.
Update: Non Apology Apology.
| A Muslim convert charged with fatally shooting an American soldier at a military recruiting center said Tuesday that he doesn't consider the killing a murder because U.S. military action in the Middle East made the killing justified.|
"I do feel I'm not guilty," Abdulhakim Muhammad told The Associated Press in a collect call from the Pulaski County jail. "I don't think it was murder, because murder is when a person kills another person without justified reason."
"Yes, I did tell the police upon my arrest that this was an act of retaliation, and not a reaction on the soldiers personally," Muhammad said. He called it "a act, for the sake of God, for the sake of Allah, the Lord of all the world, and also a retaliation on U.S. military."
In the interview, Muhammad also disputed his lawyer's claim that he had been "radicalized" in a Yemeni prison and said fellow prisoners that some call terrorists were actually "very good Muslim brothers."
| Up to 20 General Motors Corp. dealerships have been spared the death penalty after the company reviewed their cases and reversed plans to end their franchise agreements, a top GM executive said Tuesday.|
Mark LaNeve, GM's North American vice president for sales and marketing, said in an interview with The Associated Press that about 500 dealers had appealed the company's decision to eliminate them, with 15 to 20 of those appeals granted.
Some of the closures were upheld by a panel of GM officials, while others are still being evaluated, LaNeve said.
Last month, GM announced it would not renew the franchise agreements of 1,100 underperforming dealerships nationwide by next fall. GM said its 6,000-dealer network is antiquated with many dealers competing with each other in close proximity, driving down prices. Many are losing money, can't afford to advertise much, and their facilities are inferior to GM's competitors, the company said.
Dealers were judged on whether they met sales goals, customer service scores, the condition of their buildings and other criteria.
But LaNeve said in some cases, GM made mistakes, which is possible when dealing with so many dealers.
| A key House of Representatives panel on Tuesday ordered a $3.5 billion cut from President Barack Obama's defense budget Tuesday while setting the stage for big increases for domestic programs favored by Democrats.|
In kicking off action on 12 annual spending bills that set agency operating budgets, the House Appropriations Committee also unveiled legislation generously boosting the House's own budget while adopting a $64.3 billion measure funding the Commerce and Justice departments and the space program.
The flurry of action came as an overdue $100 billion war funding bill remained stuck in House-Senate talks. House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, a Democrat, warned that a battle over language governing Obama's planned closing of the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is a main reason the war funding bill is "likely to be hung up for some time into the future."
| Burhan Hassan was an infant when he left his homeland of Somalia. He grew up American, a bright student with dreams of becoming a doctor or lawyer. |
But now his family is trying to find out why the 18-year-old was killed under mysterious circumstances in Somalia.
Hassan was one of about a dozen young Somali men who have gone missing from the Minneapolis area over the last couple years — recruited, their families say, by radical elements in Somalia. Relatives said they learned Friday that he had been killed and buried in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, but they had few details.
The FBI has acknowledged an ongoing investigation into the disappearances, but won't elaborate. Several local Somalis say they've been questioned by the FBI, Customs officials, or subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury over the last several months.
"Everything is top secret. It's very hard to find out what's going on," said Omar Jamal, executive director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center.
Oh hey, yet another Mosque connection the FBI is looking into as a part of an investigation.
|Like some of the other missing young people, Hassan had also attended the Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center in Minneapolis. Hassan had gone to the mosque for more than 10 years and was involved in a youth group there, another uncle told a U.S. Senate committee in March.|
Officials of the mosque — the largest in Minnesota — have repeatedly denied accusations by families of some of the missing men that the mosque played a role in their decision to leave. The center's director, Omar Hurre, repeated on Monday that such allegations are "baseless."
I believe that a lot more in the Somali community knows what is going on than has been let on because you in such a close knit group nothing goes unnoticed for long. I wouldn't be surprised to see arrests of prominent members of the community before long.
|WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed budget rules that would allow Congress to borrow tens of billions of dollars and put the nation deeper in debt to jump-start the administration's emerging health care overhaul.|
The "pay-as-you-go" budget formula plan is significantly weaker than a proposal Obama issued with little fanfare last month.
It would carve out about $2.5 trillion worth of exemptions for Obama's priorities over the next decade. His health care reform plan also would get a green light to run big deficits in its early years. But over a decade, Congress would have to come up with money to cover those early year deficits.
Obama's latest proposal for addressing deficits urges Congress to pass a law requiring lawmakers to pay for new spending programs and tax cuts without further adding to exploding deficits projected to total about $10 trillion over the next decade.
If new spending or tax reductions are not offset, there would be automatic cuts in so-called mandatory programs — although Social Security payments and the Medicaid health care program for poor and disabled would be exempt and cuts to Medicare would be sharply limited.
"The 'pay-as-you-go' rule is very simple," Obama said. "Congress can only spend a dollar if it saves a dollar elsewhere."
Obama's proposal would require future tax cuts to be financed by tax increases elsewhere. But again, he carves out several exceptions, including for an extension of Bush's tax cuts due to expire in 2011 and relief from the alternative minimum tax.
The whole idea behind tax cuts is not to increase taxes elsewhere for people and by taking welfare programs off the board you put aside a major part of the reckless spending in lockdown.
|There were her teetering heels to think of, not to mention her hair. So walking to the shops was out of the question for Beyonce.|
Even if they were a mere 15 yards across the road.
Yesterday the singer's shopping trip became a military operation involving two chauffeur-driver people carriers, an army of bodyguards and a trail of photographers.
It started at 3pm when she emerged from the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Knightsbridge and was hurried by security guards a few feet across the pavement to one of two waiting people carriers.
A crowd of photographers, autograph hunters and fans who had gathered outside the hotel, where Britney Spears is also staying, scrambled for a better look.
Photographers ran to their motorbikes ready to trail Beyonce around what they thought would be a tour of London's shopping spots or perhaps a visit to a restaurant
But the two people carriers simply drove a few feet up the street, did a U-turn and pulled up directly opposite the Mandarin Oriental at Harvey Nichols.
After a 20-minute guided tour of the department store, Beyonce and her team returned to the people carriers and made the same trip across the road back to the hotel.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Would you be willing to pay more in taxes in order to fund a more equitable health care program for the nation's uninsured? From MSNBC:
My answer is no, no and Hell No. We are overtaxed as is and they need to fix the Welfare State as it is out of control that people who make even a little money is now faced with paying more taxes to subsidize others. The bumper sticker was right.
|Pragmatic measures to fight the recession, and an appeal to nationalist sentiment with plenty of rhetoric on immigrants, were the ingredients of the success of centre-right parties.|
Armed with a clear message and blessed with an opposition in disarray, the mainstream Right appealed to voters with a sense of grievance at the financial system. But its campaign — leavened with anti-immigrant slogans and calls to reject Turkish membership of the EU — came with a heavy dose of traditionally left-wing attitudes to job protection.
“Right-wing parties are talking about how to regulate markets and how to intervene to save jobs, as well as reform social welfare systems,” said Sara Hagemann, policy analyst with the European Policy Centre in Brussels. “The Centre Right has said this more forcefully and more visibly.”
The big winners — the ruling parties in France, Germany and Poland — were among the most reluctant to follow Gordon Brown’s call for huge fiscal stimulus payouts that would land taxpayers with years of high public deficits.
The left is now in blame mode and blaming everyone but themselves in some cases, Sunny Hundal on CiF comes up with this gem regarding the election of the BNP.
|2. It may stop Labour ignoring its traditional working-class origins, now so comprehensively stomped over that they're migrating to other parties in droves. This is not an indictment of high immigration and multiculturalism, as no doubt some will call it, but of a centralised party ignoring local concerns.|
As Sarah Ditum points out, our media tell people every day that their crumbling infrastructure is the fault of those dastardly asylum seekers (rather than lack of investment, which might mean higher taxes). Immigration wouldn't be such a big issue if local councils presented information more quickly about population movements, so resources could be poured in or taken out in response, ensuring local public services didn't suffer. This is also a result of the lack of investment in social housing.
It never occurs to the left that people would have a problem with high and some cases uncontrolled immigration plus the version of Multiculturalism practiced in the UK as Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu pointed out is harmful.
|“Multiculturalism has seemed to imply, wrongly for me, let other cultures be allowed to express themselves but do not let the majority culture at all tell us its glories, its struggles, its joys, its pains,”|
Hundal's answer to these worries which even I have understood on the other side of the pond is more welfare measures. That will get the people backing up multicult and high immigration. They have a point that the liberal elites ignored or put down as just being racist. That is the attitude that lead to the BNP being elected. Change it or you will get more of the same in future elections.
|– The Boston Globe's largest union narrowly rejected concessions on Monday that owner New York Times Co said would save $10 million, raising the possibility of the 137-year-old daily newspaper's demise.|
Members of the Boston Newspaper Guild voted 277-265 against accepting the concessions, which include an 8.4 percent pay cut, one-week unpaid furloughs and other cuts.
The rejection raises the tension between the Globe and its largest union and casts the survival of one of the most respected U.S. daily newspapers into doubt.
The Globe will cut union member pay by 23 percent to get the savings that it needs, the newspaper's management said in a statement released a little more than an hour after the union released the results of the vote.
"Since the parties are at an impasse, the Globe will implement the wage reduction effective next week," Globe spokesman Robert Powers said. "We regret having to take this action but have no financially viable alternative."
| LOS ANGELES - FBI Director Robert Mueller on Monday defended the agency's use of informants within U.S. mosques, despite complaints from Muslim organizations that worshippers and clerics are being targeted instead of possible terrorists. |
Mueller's comments came just days after a Michigan Muslim organization asked the Justice Department to investigate complaints that the FBI is asking the faithful to spy on Islamic leaders and worshippers. Similar alarm followed the disclosure earlier this year that the FBI planted a spy in Southern California mosques.
"We don't investigate places, we investigate individuals," Mueller said during a brief meeting with reporters in Los Angeles.
"To the extent that there may be evidence or other information of criminal wrongdoings, then we will ... undertake those investigations," Mueller added. "We will continue to do it."
|BERLIN - A dog playing fetch in Germany brought its owner a live U.S. hand grenade from the Second World War. |
Police in the western town of Erkrath said Monday they were called by the dog's 40-year-old owner who stopped walking her pooch when she recognized the "rusty" object it was carrying was a weapon.
Police summoned a munitions expert Sunday to identify and defuse the grenade.
|The “Transformers” bombshell-cum-uninhibited philosophizer also contemplates — reluctantly — what she would say to Megatron to keep him from destroying the world. “I’d barter with him,” she muses to the July issue Total Film UK, “and say instead of the entire planet, can you just take out all of the white trash, hillbilly, anti-gay, super bible-beating people in Middle America?”|
But she is also hates everything. She hates Sex and the City so thats a plus one.
|Megan Fox thinks news is "mindless bulls**t." The 'Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen' actress has no interest in watching world events on TV, and is just as negative about costume dramas and comedy movies.|
She said: "'Sex And The City: The Movie' was so tragic. Costume dramas bore me and Hollywood comedies are total garbage, not funny at all. Fame doesn't mean anything because anyone can be famous, and TV news is mindless bulls**t."
The 23-year-old star also heaped scorn on politics, claiming much of what is reported is manipulated to make the public feel good. Referring to her previous admission she enjoys smoking marijuana, Megan told Britain's GQ magazine: "America's war on drugs is propaganda.
Monday, June 8, 2009
|While 67% of Americans view President Barack Obama favorably, his overall job approval rating and his ratings on specific areas are less positive. At the low end of the spectrum, only 45% of Americans approve of Obama’s handling of federal spending, and 46% of his handling of the federal budget deficit. …|
Obama’s job approval rating for his handling of the economy has dropped from 59% in February to 55% today, while his disapproval rating has risen by 12 points, from 30% to 42%. The fact that Obama’s approval on the economy has become more negative over this time period is of interest, given that Gallup’s measure of consumer mood has become more positive between March and the current time. …
Gallup has measured Obama’s handling of the federal budget deficit only twice — once
in March and again in the current survey — and his ratings have become slightly more negative over that time. The percentage of Americans approving has dropped by three points, while the percentage disapproving has increased by four points.
As an aside this mean people are paying attention a lot faster than C.W had thought they would and in no small part because of the constant hammering of criticism brought on by Republicans and Conservatives outside of the national GOP party. You can praise blogs, Rush, tea parties and other conservative pundits but this is a golden opportunity to continue going after Obama. He is not invincible unless like the insider pundits you think being a wuss is a good plan. Just keeping pointing out and attacking which will bring on more positive results.
AP is now noticing that Obama's stimulus plan not exactly working as hoped with the admin finally admitting their optimistic numbers was garbage.
|President Barack Obama assured the nation his recovery plan was on track Monday, scrambling to calm Americans unnerved by unemployment rates still persistently rising nearly four months after he signed the biggest economic stimulus in history.|
Obama admitted his own dissatisfaction with the progress but said his administration would ramp up stimulus spending in the coming months. The White House acknowledged it has spent only $44 billion, or 5 percent, of the $787 billion stimulus, but that total has always been expected to rise sharply this summer.
"Now we're in a position to really accelerate," Obama said.
He also repeated an earlier promise to create or save 600,000 jobs by the end of the summer.
Neither the acceleration nor the jobs goal are new. Both represent a White House repackaging of promises and projects to blunt criticism that the effects haven't been worth the historic price tag. And the job estimate is so murky, it can never be verified.
The economy has shed 1.6 million jobs since the stimulus measure was signed in February, far overshadowing White House announcements estimating the effort has saved 150,000 jobs. Public opinion of Obama's handling of the economy has declined along with the jobs data.
For the first time, the administration admitted the economic forecasts it used to sell the stimulus were overly optimistic.
"At the time, our forecast seemed reasonable," Vice President Joe Biden's top economic adviser, Jared Bernstein, said Monday, explaining that the White House underestimated the scope of the recession. "Now, looking back, it was clearly too optimistic."
By now, according to earlier White House economic models, the nation's unemployment rate should be on the decline. The forecasts used to drum up support for the plan projected today's unemployment would be about 8 percent. Instead, it sits at 9.4 percent, the highest in more than 25 years.
Some analysts believe the White House is still not being realistic, that Obama will be lucky if any real job creation from his recovery effort is seen by the end of the year, let alone the employment explosion he predicts.
|Millions of households will lose television reception next week when about 1,000 broadcasters around the nation shut off their analog signals and complete their conversion to digital programming, federal officials say. |
The government has spent more than $2 billion to ease the transition to digital television, and in the last few months has cut in half the number of households that are unprepared for the final conversion on June 12. But the latest survey by the Nielsen Company indicates that as of the end of May, more than 10 percent of the 114 million households that have television sets are either completely or partly unprepared.
Michael J. Copps, the acting head of the Federal Communications Commission, said that the people most likely to lose reception are society’s most vulnerable — lower-income families, the elderly, the handicapped and homes where little or no English is spoken. The transition will also hit inner-city and rural areas hardest, he said.
“We are much better prepared than we were in February, when the original transition was to have occurred, but there will nonetheless be significant disruptions,” Mr. Copps said in an interview. “In the past five months we’ve tried to accomplish what should have been done over the last four years.”
|The Obama administration plans to require banks and corporations that have received two rounds of federal bailouts to submit any major executive pay changes for approval by a new federal official who will monitor pay, according to two government officials. |
The proposal is part of a broad set of regulations on executive compensation expected to be announced by the administration as early as this week. Some of the rules are required by legislation enacted in the wake of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and would apply only to companies that received taxpayer money.
Others, which are being described as broad principles, would set standards that the government would like the entire financial industry to observe as they compensate their highest-paid executives, though it is not clear how regulators will enforce them.
...But under the administration’s new plans, even companies that repay the taxpayer money will not escape some form of oversight on their compensation structure.
The set of broad pay principles being drafted by the Treasury Department would authorize regulators to tell a bank to alter its compensation arrangements if they are found to encourage too much risk-taking. It is not clear how the government will define too much risk.
According to the two government officials, the new principles will not include bonus restrictions, although they will encourage banks to set compensation in a way that avoids rewarding risk-taking through short-term bonus awards. They will apply to a broad swath of financial companies, even the United States operations of foreign banks, as well as private companies like hedge funds and private equity firms.
“This is the government trying to tell the TARP banks not to worry, because everyone else’s compensation will be monitored too,” said Gustavo Dolfino, president of the WhiteRock Group, a financial recruiter, of the industrywide principles. “We’re in a world of TARP and non-TARP.”
Sunday, June 7, 2009
|Europe's mainstream centre-left parties suffered humiliation last night when four days of voting in the EU's biggest-ever election concluded with disastrous results for social democrats.|
Results from the national rounds of the European parliament election across the 27 member states also showed support for centre-right Christian democrats diminishing in places, but nonetheless notching up handsome victories in several key states.
In Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and the Czech Republic, the centre right won the elections, with stunning defeats for the left in certain cases.
BNP won two seats which is a failure of both the Tories and Labour parties to pay attention to the voters especially working class who are frustrated at being ignored or called names when they have legitimate if uncomfortable complaints for the political elite to come up with an answer like immigration, loss of jobs, welfare benefits..etc.
Lefty Guardian is pretty much in depress mode.
"Labour suffers long, dark night of humiliation"
"Cameron heading for victory as Labour crumbles"
"Jackie Ashley: To save Labour, Gordon, go now"
"Editorial: Labour's European disaster"
|Put "digital" and "TV" in the same sentence, and it appears you've got a recipe for confusion, especially if either one might require a viewer to hook up a new box.|
That's what's happening for some as free, over-the-air TV and a major cable company make the switch to digital transmissions.
While the timing isn't intended, the federally-mandated transition of over-the-air broadcasts and an initiative by Comcast to switch to more digital cable services are overlapping. Both require some people to obtain new boxes that convert signals into digital transmissions, but they're two entirely different issues.
....If you subscribe to Comcast cable, you don't have to do anything about getting digital broadcast stations, but you might have to make a few changes to get all of your cable channels between 30 and 74 on all of your televisions.
"This is different than the federal transition," Comcast spokesman Walter Neary said.
The Comcast changes affect you if you get cable channels higher than 30, and if any of your televisions get cable directly from the wall without the aid of a set-top box.
....Comcast is rolling out an effort to get digital boxes — up to three free per household with expanded basic cable and two digital adapters free for people who have a main television already connected to a digital box. Additional adapters are $1.99 per month, according to Comcast. The digital adapters also require the use of a Comcast remote control.
|SHANGHAI, Jun 04, 2009 (SinoCast Daily Business Beat via COMTEX) -- GM Quote Chart News PowerRating --|
General Motors (NYSE: GM Quote Chart News PowerRating) made a concession to the United Automobile Workers (UAW), and it promised not to import vehicles from China to the US.
According to the earlier plan, subcompacts made by Shanghai General Motors Co., Ltd. (Shanghai GM), one of its joint ventures, would be brought to the US market.
Lately, the US auto giant announced that it would put a locally-made all-new mini vehicle into to the US market before 2013, which has been approved by the UAW.
The mini vehicle will be a B-class product, and it may be Chevrolet Spark or next-generation Chevrolet Aveo's new version, guessed sources. It will be produced in a plant which the US auto giant had planned to close.
The plant, after resuming operation, will reach a yearly production capacity of 160,000 units. But GM did not tell which plant it was and which model would be made.