Friday, January 8, 2010

Bear Grylls gives himself an Enema

If I ever get stranded in the middle of the ocean and it reaches THIS stage. I will just lay back and close my eyes till I see the white light.

Miami Dolphins unveil stadium of mind numbing ugly.

As a taxpayer, I'm against using public money to improve the stadium but considering this is a tourist mecca and the Superbowl is a huge help I would be more prone to help upgrade the stadium to get more games. I don't like the blackmail tactics of the NFL over this and that has to be addressed by someone in the near future.

The Miami Dolphins on Thursday unveiled a plan for a partial roof to shelter fans, the centerpiece of an extensive stadium renovation that the public will be invited to fund.

Team CEO Mike Dee said the structure -- a translucent square roof with an opening over most of the field -- will retain the feel of an open-air stadium while keeping out the rain that drenched spectators at the 2007 Super Bowl.

While Dee said the team doesn't need the renovations, the National Football League sees the stadium as too dated to remain a prime Super Bowl destination.

``From the Dolphins' perspective, the stadium's condition is more than adequate,'' Dee said. ``This is about making sure we have a facility that is better than that, that competes with 21st century facilities [while] going after the largest event on the planet.''

But it is ugly as sin.

Officials: Anti-Muslim images are protected speech

Good call, now you can charge the fool with at least vanderlism or property damage, but those images under American law cannot be made to charge people with hate crimes.

Two Minnesota prosecutors say they won't file charges against a man who investigators say admitted posting anti-Muslim images in front of a mosque, a Somali-owned store and other spots.

They say the cartoons are protected under the First Amendment.

The posters put up last month in the St. Cloud area depicted images such as the Prophet Muhammad engaged in bestiality and an Islamic crescent with a swastika inside it.

Some in the community say there should be legal consequences. But the chief prosecutors in both counties where the cartoons were found said they must be considered free speech.

Fannie Mae to create Miami Condo Sales Bubble.

Wonderful. Now with Fannie and Freddie free to buy up loans with no cap on them, the banks and sellers down here will have a field day with this giving out deals like candy to people who have no business buying a condo. Who pays? The American taxpayer.

Fannie Mae announced a program that could boost sales of existing condos in Florida.

The mortgage giant said Thursday that it is reviewing hundreds of condominium projects in Florida to make units eligible for Fannie Mae-backed loans through a new ``Special Approval'' designation.

Dozens of projects in Miami-Dade County have already been given the designation.

Florida's condo market ``has been particularly hard hit by the housing downturn and we're working with the industry and our partners to do all we can to stabilize the market and help spur recovery,'' said Karen Pallotta, a Fannie Mae executive vice president.

Bad Idea: Ford cars to read your Twitter feed

There are enough distractions driving as is now and you give people the ability to tweet verbally is going to make it worse. You know someone will be texting and twitting at the same time.

The debate over distracted drivers ramped up a notch on Thursday as Ford Motor Co. announced technology to let computers read their Twitter feeds to them while behind the wheel.

The company has not formally announced technology to let drivers post tweets verbally from behind the wheel, but such an announcement likely will come in the next 12 to 18 months, Doug VanDagens, Ford's global director of connected services, told CNN in an interview after the company's keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show here.

VanDagens said people read Twitter feeds and send text messages while they're driving anyway, and that the automaker is trying to make those activities safer for drivers.

"We take what people do -- they talk on the phone, they fumble with mp3 players, they look at maps. We take these activities and make them safer," he said.

Safety groups have criticized car companies and technology makers for putting touch-screen devices that surf the Internet in cars.

Jay Leno back to 11:30, Conan out? NBC screwed.

If this isn't the last nail on the coffin of Jeff Zucker's reign then he must be a powerful wizard or something to keep his job. This was botched from the moment there was this need to replace Jay to keep Conan who is a funny guy but not irresplacable in the grand scheme of things.

But then you pull the move, then screw Conan by putting Jay on at 10 PM which further hurts NBC bottom line, makes Conan look weak and Jay look like a failure in prime time television. Now if I thought NBC were run by vindictive bastards, I would say they moved Jay on purpose to damage him enough after 6 months so they can drop him.

But this new plan first reported by TMZ and now the NYTIMES is even worse.

Pressed by affiliates and shrinking ratings, NBC has a plan in the works to radically alter its late-night television lineup, restoring Jay Leno to his old spot at 11:35 each weeknight, while pushing the man who replaced him, Conan O’Brien, to a starting time of 12:05 a.m.

NBC executives held extensive discussions with Mr. Leno and Mr. O’Brien on Thursday about the future of the network’s late-night lineup.

And while NBC officially said no final decision on the plan had been made, two senior NBC executives who had talked to the top management about the moves said that under the plan being discussed, Mr. Leno would definitely shift back to 11:35 but in a half-hour format, while Mr. O’Brien would slide back his start time by a half hour and then produce an hourlong show.

TMZ says NBC is giving Conan a choice.

As TMZ first reported, after the Olympics, Jay Leno will get his 11:30 PM time period back. We're told network execs have told Conan they will let him decide if he wants the midnight to 1:00 AM time slot. If he does, Leno's show will only be a half hour. If Conan walks, Leno will get a full hour, informed sources tell TMZ.

Our sources say Conan has not decided what he wants. We do know he's pissed, because he was given no advanced warning this was coming. Conan's people told NBC they are considering the offer. Translation: Mr. O'Brien -- I have Rupert Murdoch on line one, Stephen McPherson on line two, John Landgraf on line three, Jeff Wachtel on line four ...

We're told if Conan gets another offer, even though NBC could block the move, they will let him go and give Leno the full hour.

Delinquency Rate Rises for Commercial Mortgages

You thought residential was bad, this is the other part that has been hovering in the background and now looks ready to crash.

More than 6% of commercial-mortgage borrowers in the U.S. have fallen behind in their payments, a sign of potential troubles ahead as nearly $40 billion of commercial-mortgage-backed bonds come due this year.

The percentage of loans 30 days or more delinquent rose to 6.07% in December from 5.65% a month earlier, according to data provider Trepp LLC, a commercial-mortgage data provider. That is the highest delinquency rate since the advent of commercial-mortgage-backed securities.

By year end, delinquency rates on loans for hotels, shopping malls and other commercial properties could rise to between 9% and 14%,

France plans a Google tax to save their dying creative industries.

The logic of a European, take from those most successful to prop up those who are dying out. Basically your typical socialist stupidity, spread the wealth.

The proposal, outlined in a government-commissioned survey, has set the scene for a new Gallic run-in with Google – fast becoming the global internet behemoth the world loves to hate.

The levy on advertising revenue is the latest plank in France's drive to regulate the internet, which has seen it enact some of the world's toughest antipiracy legislation.

Besides Google, the tax would target other large operators in Europe such as Microsoft and Yahoo! whether or not their offices are in France. Google's European headquarters are in Ireland, but under the proposal, the operator would pay a levy every time a French internet user clicks on an advertising banner or sponsored link on its sites.

Guillaume Cerutti, one of the authors of the report said the tax would put an end to "enrichment without any limit or compensation".

Australian KFC ad taken off the air due American outcry.

Talked about it a couple of days ago and I am not happy. Why? Summed up nicely in this opening piece.

A KFC ad broadcast in Australia has been pulled after allegations of racism in the United States

This transferring of racial attitudes from one place to pigeon hole it in another when its clear from context and not being ignorant the ad was not racist.

I am really unhappy with idiots who called the West Indians fans in the ad "African-American" since that is racist, arrogant and ignorant. Just a bad choice to pull the race card. It served no purpose other than validate paranoid racist attitudes of people who see victims everywhere.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Scarborough: Jihadist played CIA like a fool

The more info that comes out the more outrageous it gets that the CIA got so blinkered by the double agents that careers need to be shut down. Basically it plays out that the jihadist gave up some of his people to get to our people. The fact that it didn't seem to play into the CIA agents that could be a plausible scenario is stunning.

Which brings us to Scarborough. According to his sources, the bomber detonated within seconds of stepping out of the car. How can that be, though? Wouldn’t the agents have been waiting for him in some sort of room? The only explanation I can come up with is that he told them he had info on Zawahiri that was extremely time-sensitive — so much so that they shouldn’t spare a second and should rush out to meet him when he pulled up. Is that what happened? Like I say, mind-numbing. Exit quotation: “I have no idea how a potential hostile ends up standing next to at least 13 CIA personnel… I have never heard of anything as unprofessional.”

Easterbrook: Avatar insulting to the military men and women.

But this is the type of movie that gets the Hollywood liberals happy where the Amerian military gets beat up by native people, it is the ultimate Hollywood Happy Ending that could make it good enough for a Best Picture nomination.

Then there's director James Cameron's view of military personnel. If I were a military man or woman, I would find "Avatar" insulting. With one exception, the helicopter pilot played by Michelle Rodriguez -- her character is twice referred to as a Marine, suggesting the military personnel are regular military, not mercenaries -- all the people in fatigues are brainless sadists. They want to kill, kill, kill the innocent.

They can't wait to begin the next atrocity. It's true that the U.S. military has conducted atrocities, in Vietnam and during the Plains Indians wars. But slaughter of the innocent is rare in U.S. military annals.

In "Avatar," it's the norm. The bloodthirsty military personnel readily comply with the colonel's orders to gun down natives. No one questions him -- though in martial law, a soldier not only may but must refuse an illegal order. Plus the military personnel are depicted as such utter morons -- not a brain in any of their heads -- that none notice the TOTALLY OBVIOUS detail that Pandora's unusual biology will be worth more than its minerals.

Yes, movies traffic in absurd super-simplifications. But we're supposed to accept that of the deployment of several hundred, every soldier save one is a low-IQ cold-blooded murderer.

What does "Avatar" build up to? Watching the invading soldiers -- most of whom happen to be former American military personnel -- die is the big cathartic ending of the flick. Extended sequences show Americans being graphically slaughtered in the natives' counterattack. The deaths of aliens are depicted as heartbreaking tragedies, while the deaths of American security forces are depicted as a whooping good time.

In Cameron's "Aliens," "The Abyss" and his television show "Dark Angel," U.S. military personnel are either the bad guys or complete idiots, often shown graphically slaughtered. Cameron is hardly the only commercial-film director to present watching evil U.S. soldiers slaughtered as popcorn-chomping suburban shopping mall fun: in the second "X-Men" flick, U.S. soldiers are the bad guys and graphically killed off. Films that criticize the military for its faults are one thing: When did watching depictions of U.S. soldiers dying become a form of fun?

But the defense is that James Cameron brother is a Marine so it all okay or something.

While the “Avatar” story sets up military might vs. an indigenous people - the blue-skinned 10-foot-tall Na’vi - Cameron is not anti-war.

“It’s not meant to be that. I have a great deal of respect for the U.S. fighting men and women. My brother is a Marine. I celebrate the Marines in the movie; Jake (his ex-Marine hero) has the can-do indomitable spirit.”

If anything, “Avatar” is “a cautionary note for people to look at what their government is doing.”

Baltimore mayor resigns under plea deal

It was only a matter of time after her conviction and plea deal on a perjury charge. But the deal is about as favorable as you can get for a public official and don't think she couldn't win back the job in a couple of years. People are that blind.

Mayor Sheila Dixon fought back tears as she announced her resignation and thanked her staff for its loyalty and hard work. She acknowledged that she made poor choices and that she "disappointed" herself and her constituents.

What she didn't do was apologize or explain the actions that led to her downfall — her guilty plea on a perjury charge and her earlier conviction on a misdemeanor embezzlement charge.

Dixon's resignation Wednesday ended a three-year tenure that began with promise but unraveled amid embarrassing allegations that she stole from the poor.

Her attorney characterized the plea deal as favorable — she will receive probation before judgment at her sentencing Feb. 4, the same day her resignation takes effect.

After she satisfies the terms of her probation — including a $45,000 charitable contribution and 500 hours of community service — the convictions will be wiped off her record and she'll be free to run for public office again. The probation will last a minimum of two years, meaning she will be barred from running in the next citywide election in 2011.

Obama OKs taxing high-end health plans

Either Obama has grown a spine to take on the unions who are against this plan since it would tax their members plans or as I suspect he is lying. I can't see Obama or any member of the Dem party standing up to the unions on this part of Obamacare.

President Barack Obama signaled to House Democratic leaders Wednesday that they'll have to drop their opposition to taxing high-end health insurance plans to pay for health coverage for millions of uninsured Americans.

In a meeting at the White House, Obama expressed his preference for the insurance tax contained in the Senate's health overhaul bill, but largely opposed by House Democrats and organized labor, Democratic aides said. The aides spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was private.

House Democrats want to raise income taxes on high-income individuals instead and are reluctant to abandon that approach, while recognizing that they will have to bend on that and other issues so that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., can maintain his fragile 60-vote majority support for the bill.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Parents arrested for not registering kids for home schooling.

COnsidering the charge is they didn't register with the school district for seven years, why did they now arrest parents for not getting approval from the state because they didn't approve your home schooling plans? Did they warn them for six years and said alright this time we are going to get you? This is the sort of nonsense I expect from Germany.
Richard Cressy, 47, and Margie Cressy, 41, were charged with four misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child, deputies said. The couple is accused of violating a state law that requires parents who are home schooling their children to register their curriculum with the local school district.

The superintendent of the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District told authorities that curriculum for the four children, who range in age from 8 to 14 years old, had not been approved. The arrests came after a joint investigation by the Montgomery County Child Protective Services and the sheriff's office.

The Cressys were issued appearance tickets and the case has been turned over to the Montgomery County district attorney's office.

Unless there is some other reason to put this family thru this hell, there better be a backlash.

US government to Toughen U.S. Drilling Rules

So much for being energy independent as Obama and company just keep making it more difficult for America to use its own resources. If you wanted to stop economic growth, this is one good way of doing it.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to announce Wednesday that his agency will require oil and natural-gas companies to clear more regulatory hurdles before they are allowed to drill on federal lands.

Mr. Salazar's action is likely to make it more difficult for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to fast-track the permitting of oil and gas projects on federal land. BLM field staffers would be required to seek additional approvals from their supervisors and to undertake more visits to areas where energy companies are seeking access, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Obama administration is already locked in a bitter fight with the oil and gas industry over proposals to raise billions of dollars in additional taxes from energy companies, and to cap the emissions of gases caused by burning fossil fuels, which have been linked to global warming.

House Democrats to Pursue Obamacare Changes

This is pretty much theater for the masses since the Dems want a bill for Obama to sign before the State of the Union and that means any bill will do for now. Later on the Dems will go on once Obamacare comes alive and change whatever they want with the numbers they have in Congress. That fact is at this point with the Dems doing all the dealings behind closed doors with the White House, something is going to be signed.

House Democratic leaders said Tuesday that they would insist on changes to the Senate health care legislation to make coverage more affordable for middle-class Americans and to tighten control over the insurance industry.

But it remains unclear how much leverage the House will have in negotiations given that Senate Democrats cannot spare a single vote without jeopardizing the bill’s chances. The White House will also have a big role in the final product.

The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, met Tuesday with her top lieutenants and the three committee chairmen directly responsible for the health care bill, as they prepared for negotiations to begin in earnest this week.

Ms. Pelosi and the majority leader, Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, also met at the White House with President Obama. The top Senate Democrats, Harry Reid of Nevada and Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, joined the meeting by telephone.

Aides said that the White House would convene meetings of House and Senate staff perhaps as early as Wednesday to begin clearing away some of the easier differences between the bills, with Congressional leaders to meet face-to-face next week.

After the meeting at the Capitol, House Democrats said they would push the Senate to provide more generous subsidies to help moderate-income Americans buy insurance, but expressed willingness to drop the idea of a government-run health plan.

The House bill includes a government-run health insurance plan, or public option, to compete with private insurers. The public option was dropped from the Senate bill after centrist Democrats said they would oppose any measure that included it.

House Democrats said they could live without the public option provided that they had sufficient guarantees that other steps would be taken to increase options for consumers and to tighten the clamp on any abuses by private insurance companies.

Representative Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland and a member of the House leadership, said some of his colleagues would press to end the insurance industry’s exemption from federal antitrust laws, a step strongly opposed by Senator Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, who has said he would oppose the bill if the House made any changes that he did not like.

School sets Texas scoring record in 170-35 win

I am not one to say call off the dogs but you can in this sort of situation put them on a leash when the game got out of hand.

The Yates High School boys basketball team set a state record and set itself up for controversy Tuesday night at Butler Fieldhouse.

The Lions beat Lee High School 170-35, setting the single-game state scoring record. Hardin-Jefferson had owned the record of 166 points since 1992.

But the Lions' brush with history was marred by a second-half scuffle and questions of sportsmanship.

In the third quarter, a fight erupted after an intentional foul was called on a Lee player. After breaking up the fight, the referees told both coaches they would have to play just five players the remainder of the game. The other players for both teams spent the rest of the second half sitting in the stands.

“I feel very disrespected right now,” Lee coach Jacques Armant said. “I don't understand why Yates just kept scoring and pressing when they were up so much. These are kids. It isn't good to do that to other young men.”

Yates, which led 100-12 at halftime, is 14-0 this season and has won 39 consecutive games. The 100 points in the first half is also a state record and the second-most ever in a boys high school basketball game.

You don't tell the kids to quit but put in plays they can at least practice in real time they are not good at running on the floor and use up the shot clock. This was bad sport all around.

Dearborn students meet over Twin Towers Shirt.

The students knew what they were doing and got called on it. At least it was stupid and insensitive and at worst these students were flipping the middle finger at people.
A group of Arab-American students who are members of the class of 2011 at Dearborn’s Edsel Ford High School told school officials they were showing pride in their class with their choice of sweatshirts on Monday.

But school officials disagreed, confiscating the sweatshirts and scheduling meetings with the students and their parents because the images on the sweatshirts referenced the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center Towers.

Along with the words, “You can’t bring us down,” the sweatshirts featured an image of the number 11 as the twin towers with windows included on each digit. The school’s mascot, a thunderbird, was flying nearby.

“The whole design gave prominence to the 9-11 tragedy, and of course was very upsetting to staff and students,” according to an e-mail message sent Monday and today from the district to prominent community groups and individuals. A similar e-mail message explaining the situation was sent to parents and staff on Monday.

School officials said the students didn’t realize the sweatshirts would be perceived negatively and would not be punished.

Mike Shanahan to coach the Redskins.

If Shanahan can put up with a meddling busybody like Dan Snyder then good luck to him in what has become a bit of a joke team because of Snyder.

The Denver Post and ESPN are reporting Mike Shanahan has agreed to become the Washington Redskins' next coach. The newspaper reported on its Web site on Tuesday night that Shanahan will receive a five-year deal from the Redskins, who fired Jim Zorn following a 4-12 season. Shanahan won two Super Bowls in 14 seasons with Denver but was fired a year ago after the Broncos missed the playoffs for the third straight season.

Asia Gains a Tech Edge by Backing Start-Ups

If America loses its tech edge it will be because they were not paying attention to what everyone was seeing coming from the Asian market who have been pushing the edge for a while now. It was Asus who came out with the netbook and created an entire new category of affordable computing power. American companies must stop being so lazy or they will be passed up.

The investment arms of large Taiwanese and Chinese manufacturers have created an investment network in Silicon Valley operating under the radar that pumps money into a variety of chip, software and services companies to gain the latest technology. As a result, some Asian manufacturers have proved more willing than entrenched Silicon Valley venture capitalists to back some risky endeavors.

“In the past, the manufacturers would sneak around and get inside information on technology by investing in these companies,” said K. Bobby Chao, the managing partner at DFJ DragonFund China, a business that invests in technology companies in China and the United States. “Now, they’re more involved, more visible and charging after more complex maneuvers.”

As manufacturing of electronics in the United States began moving offshore decades ago, some feared the American economy would suffer. But the American companies, as well as economists and policy makers, said that as long as the high-value jobs like research and design remained in the United States, there was little danger.

Asian investments in Silicon Valley present some risks for America’s top technology companies, which could lose their connection to top innovations.

Asian manufacturers like Foxconn or Quanta, as a result, could wrestle away the edge in research and design.

“The manufacturers have gotten more competitive as it relates to innovation, and in some instances they’re already competing directly with their customers,” said Patrick Moorhead, a vice president at Advance Micro Devices, a major PC chip maker.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Australian KFC ad racist? NO, stop being so paranoid.

This ad points out where the Australian cricket fan is stuck in the middle of West Indian cricket fans and passes out KFC's crowd pleaser to get along better. The history between the fans couldn't be more awesome unless something has happened in recent years I am not aware of considering I haven't followed cricket that closely in a while.

But no its not racist given the context and history.

Top military intelligence officer: US spies in Afghanistan are clueless

A damning indicment of the spy agencies efforts over the last how many years in Afghanistan.

America's deputy chief of military intelligence in Afghanistan has issued a damning indictment of the work of US spy agencies, calling them clueless and out of touch with the Afghan people.

Major General Michael Flynn described US spies as “ignorant of local economics and landowners, hazy about who the powerbrokers are and how they might be influenced... and disengaged from people in the best position to find answers”.

The bleak assessment of the intelligence community’s role in the eight-year-old war came in a report issued by the Center for New American Security, a US think tank. It comes less than a week after the CIA suffered one of the most damaging blows in its history, when a suicide bomber killed seven of its operatives at Camp Chapman, a high security CIA base near Khost in eastern Afghanistan.

Major General Flynn's report blames what he calls America's "vast intelligence apparatus" for focusing too much on gathering information on insurgent groups, while remaining “unable to answer fundamental questions about the environment in which US and allied forces operate and the people they seek to persuade”.

It quotes one operations officer saying that the US was unable to make informed decisions about what to do in Afghanistan because of a lack of much-needed intelligence about the country.

“I don’t want to say we’re clueless, but we are. We’re no more than fingernail deep in our understanding of the environment,” the officer said.

CAIR criticizes TSA plan as profiling

Yes it is and its about time certain countries are put under higher scrutiny. If this is the only thing that TSA is going to correct then its a stupid plan, there also has to be behavioral profiling as well.

Enhanced screening procedures for U.S.-bound air passengers traveling through "state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest" such as Pakistan, Yemen and Nigeria amount to religious profiling of Muslims, the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Monday.

The Transportation Security Administration announced the strengthened security steps Sunday, saying that "effective aviation security must begin beyond our borders."

A senior government official, not authorized to speak on the record, provided CNN with the list of 14 countries subject to the enhanced screening for travelers heading to the United States: Cuba, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.

The new guidelines target 13 Muslim-majority nations and will "disproportionately target American Muslims who have family or spiritual ties to the Islamic world," the Council on American-Islamic Relations said, adding that the tougher measures "amount to religious and ethnic profiling."

"Under these new guidelines, almost every American Muslim who travels to see family or friends or goes on pilgrimage to Mecca will automatically be singled out for special security checks -- that's profiling," said Nihad Awad, the council's national executive director. "While singling out travelers based on religion and national origin may make some people feel safer, it only serves to alienate and stigmatize Muslims and does nothing to improve airline security."

It is not everyone elses fault that the mass majority of terrorist activities are happening because of a segment that follows Islam and in Muslim majority countries. Until that radically changes this is going to be the new norm.

White House promises illegals to health care coverage

Nothing you haven't figured out just realize that Joe Wilson was 100% correct.

A source familiar with the negotiations between Congress and the White House told TPMDC the Congressional Hispanic Caucus will demand an agreement from Obama that health care coverage for illegals who earn a path to citizenship will be addressed in an immigration bill.

The Senate's health care bill bars illegals from any sort of coverage, a provision embraced after Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) shouted "You lie!" during Obama's address to Congress when the president said that illegals would not be able to get health care under the legislation.

Those familiar with the talks say any immigration legislation will include various amnesty provisions to allow for health care coverage.

Pentagon pushing back against Obama's nuke cuts

Good. Obama naive approach thinking other countries will cheer and follow if he cuts down American weapons is ridiculous.

President Obama's ambitious plan to begin phasing out nuclear weapons has run up against powerful resistance from officials in the Pentagon and other U.S. agencies, posing a threat to one of his most important foreign policy initiatives.

Obama laid out his vision of a nuclear-free world in a speech in Prague, Czech Republic, last April, pledging that the U.S. would take dramatic steps to lead the way. Nine months later, the administration is locked in internal debate over a top-secret policy blueprint for shrinking the U.S. nuclear arsenal and reducing the role of such weapons in America's military strategy and foreign policy.

Officials in the Pentagon and elsewhere have pushed back against Obama administration proposals to cut the number of weapons and narrow their mission, according to U.S. officials and outsiders who have been briefed on the process.

In turn, White House officials, unhappy with early Pentagon-led drafts of the blueprint known as the Nuclear Posture Review, have stepped up their involvement in the deliberations and ordered that the document reflect Obama's preference for sweeping change, according to the U.S. officials and others, who described discussions on condition of anonymity because of their sensitivity and secrecy.

The Pentagon has stressed the importance of continued U.S. deterrence, an objective Obama has said he agrees with. But a senior Defense official acknowledged in an interview that some officials are concerned that the administration may be going too far. He described the debate as "spirited. . . . I think we have every possible point of view in the world represented."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Radio DJ hoping Rush Limbaugh's heart would fail.

Young Ron from South Florida's popular Paul and Young Ron radio show with a death wish for Rush Limbaugh that everyone else around him can't believe he said it.

Totally shocking trailer of the day: “Kick-Ass" with Hit Girl!

Meh, Mediaite and Hot Air is all over it but two things stand out which is the lines said by Hit Girl sound extremely forced and makes it seem unnatural as you can get with an 11 year old cursing and being violent. Second it stars Nicolas Cage, a sure sign of movie poison regardless of anything else.


For Some of Japan's Jobless, Home Is a Tiny Plastic Bunk

Story on jobless people making a home in Tokyo's capsule hotels.

For Atsushi Nakanishi, jobless since Christmas, home is a cubicle barely bigger than a coffin — one of dozens of berths stacked two units high in one of central Tokyo’s decrepit “capsule” hotels.

“It’s just a place to crawl into and sleep,” he said, rolling his neck and stroking his black suit — one of just two he owns after discarding the rest of his wardrobe for lack of space. “You get used to it.”

When Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 opened nearly two decades ago, Japan was just beginning to pull back from its bubble economy, and the hotel’s tiny plastic cubicles offered a night’s refuge to salarymen who had missed the last train home.

Now, Hotel Shinjuku 510’s capsules, no larger than 6 1/2 feet long by 5 feet wide, and not tall enough to stand up in, have become an affordable option for some people with nowhere else to go as Japan endures its worst recession since World War II.

Once-booming exporters laid off workers en masse in 2009 as the global economic crisis pushed down demand. Many of the newly unemployed, forced from their company-sponsored housing or unable to make rent, have become homeless.

Take a look at the slideshow as they follow Nakanishi on a typical day, depressing yet I feel for the guy and hope he does make it as a lawyer which is the first time I have ever cheered for someone to make it as lawyer.

Obama's Admin Loan Effort seen adding to the housing woes.

Really? Most of these people who were going to lose their houses cannot be saved, so all this intervention did was prop up a market that needed to be cleaned out from the beginning. Instead thanks to Obama smart idea it just screwed up the housing market even worse for years to come.

The Obama administration’s $75 billion program to protect homeowners from foreclosure has been widely pronounced a disappointment, and some economists and real estate experts now contend it has done more harm than good.

Since President Obama announced the program in February, it has lowered mortgage payments on a trial basis for hundreds of thousands of people but has largely failed to provide permanent relief. Critics increasingly argue that the program, Making Home Affordable, has raised false hopes among people who simply cannot afford their homes.

As a result, desperate homeowners have sent payments to banks in often-futile efforts to keep their homes, which some see as wasting dollars they could have saved in preparation for moving to cheaper rental residences. Some borrowers have seen their credit tarnished while falsely assuming that loan modifications involved no negative reports to credit agencies.

Some experts argue the program has impeded economic recovery by delaying a wrenching yet cleansing process through which borrowers give up unaffordable homes and banks fully reckon with their disastrous bets on real estate, enabling money to flow more freely through the financial system.

“The choice we appear to be making is trying to modify our way out of this, which has the effect of lengthening the crisis,” said Kevin Katari, managing member of Watershed Asset Management, a San Francisco-based hedge fund. “We have simply slowed the foreclosure pipeline, with people staying in houses they are ultimately not going to be able to afford anyway.”

Mr. Katari contends that banks have been using temporary loan modifications under the Obama plan as justification to avoid an honest accounting of the mortgage losses still on their books. Only after banks are forced to acknowledge losses and the real estate market absorbs a now pent-up surge of foreclosed properties will housing prices drop to levels at which enough Americans can afford to buy, he argues.

“Then the carpenters can go back to work,” Mr. Katari said. “The roofers can go back to work, and we start building housing again. If this drips out over the next few years, that whole sector of the economy isn’t going to recover.”

U.S. growth prospects deemed bleak

Happy New Year!

A dismal job market, a crippled real estate sector and hobbled banks will keep a lid on U.S. economic growth over the coming decade, some of the nation's leading economists said on Sunday.


Speaking at American Economic Association's mammoth yearly gathering, experts from a range of political leanings were in surprising agreement when it came to the chances for a robust and sustained expansion:

They are slim.

Many predicted U.S. gross domestic product would expand less than 2 percent per year over the next 10 years. That stands in sharp contrast to the immediate aftermath of other steep economic downturns, which have usually elicited a growth surge in their wake.

"It will be difficult to have a robust recovery while housing and commercial real estate are depressed," said Martin Feldstein, a Harvard University professor and former head of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Obama's Official White House Pictures Not Helping.

Via Instapundit and Big Government. Keeping up the image of the President is something that must be done at all times especially when you are black jesus who popularity is built upon being Joe Cool. Problem is when the official White House pic site includes these photos

or the now infamous cleaning lady vacuums the Oval Office it does look bad for Obama. You have an image to protect and you are screwing it up not with big mistakes but little ones that add up over time.

Here he is golfing getting caught in poses that if this were Bush would be great fodder for the media but now pointing out these photos are somehow..wait for it... RACIST!

Andrew Sullivan: And then I realized why this photo immediately strikes some people are damning. Obama is a black man who looks as if he is condescending to a white man. That's political gold

The white liberal(yeah yeah I know) projecting once again what he thinks is the real reason for the "outrage." Not the fact Obama just looks like an arrogant prick and the photo should not have been published if they wanted to take care of his image. But in defense of Obama I would be sharing the same look if I had to put up with Joe Biden every day.

GOP cash woes threaten House bids

The GOP leadership can take the blame for years of acting stupid and losing trust with supporters.

With the Republican Party on the cusp of major gains in the House next year — and with the dream of retaking the House appearing to be a real, if improbable, possibility — one major obstacle remains: tightfisted Republican incumbents.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, the key cog in helping to finance GOP campaigns, has banked less than a third as much money as its Democratic counterpart and is ending the year with barely enough money to fully finance a single House race — no less the dozens that will be in play come 2010.

A big part of the problem, according to Republican strategists, is that GOP members themselves — the ones who stand the most to gain from large-scale House gains — haven’t chipped in accordingly, despite evidence of solid opportunities in at least 40 districts next year and with as many as 80 seats in play, according to the Cook Political Report’s estimates.

In the past three months, only 75 of 177 Republicans — most of whom represent safe districts — transferred money into the committee, netting it $2.1 million. The average donation was just $28,000, with only 11 members donating $50,000 or more during that time period.

Most likely people are going to give cash directly to the candidate since the NRCC has been a waste of time for years when running anything looking like a coherent plan in winning races. The fate of the NRCC as being a major power player is at stake if they do not deliver. As for the members who refuse to chip in to help the party, it is in your best interest to help out or you will be challenged in local primairies if you tick off enough people.

US offering plea deal to terror suspect.... Really?

This is why you don't treat terrorists like some common criminal because of BS like this under this administration. He needs to be interrogated until he breaks.

The U.S. Government is offering the suspect charged with attempting to bomb an aircraft on Christmas Day, Omar Abdulmutallab, some kind of incentives to share what he knows about Al Qaeda, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said Sunday.

Asked why Abdulmutallab should cooperate given his right, as criminal defendant, to remain silent, Brennan replied: "He doesn't have to but he knows there are certain things that are on the table... if he wants to engage with us in a productive manner, there are ways he can do that."

Asked if Abdulmutallab's willingness to talk changed once he had an attorney, Brennan declined to answer. "I'm not going to address what he did before or after he talked with a lawyer," the adviser said.

Time for the show. U.S. tightens international air security

This sounds like you are doing something but considering underwear bomber came from Amsterdam, this looks like more a dog and pony show for the public.

All travelers flying into the U.S. from foreign countries will receive tightened random screening, and 100 percent of passengers from 14 terrorism-prone countries will be patted down and have their carry-ons searched, the Obama administration was notifying airlines on Sunday.

The more stringent Transportation Security Administration rules, to take effect at midnight, follow the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a U.S. airliner headed into Detroit from Amsterdam.

“These are changes that weren’t widely in place for all carriers or countries on 12/24,” a senior administration official told POLITICO. “These are sustainable measures that are a significant enhancement of our security posture. TSA will continuously review these measures with our global aviation partners to ensure the highest levels of security."

All passengers from countries on the State Department’s “State Sponsors of Terrorism” list – plus all passengers from other "countries of interest" such as Nigeria, Pakistan and Yemen — will receive “full body pat-down and physical inspection of property,” the official said.

The countries on the State Department list are Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria. Other countries covered by the TSA directive are Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Somalia.

A much higher percentage of all travelers from all foreign countries will receive such screening than is currently the case, the official said. "The screening “could also include explosive detection technology or advanced imaging technology where it’s available,” the official said.

There needs to be three areas of profiling including racial, religious and most importantly behavior profiling. Then figure how to consolidate and make the various agencies like the CIA and FBI and the TSA to work together. So when a concerned father tells you flat out he is worried about his son becoming a terrorist and the son pops up at the airport paying cash for a one way ticket and no luggage, you pay attention.