Saturday, February 20, 2010

NYTIMES'S Kate Zernike hears a negro dialect.

Mr. Mattera, also a television correspondent for the Web site HotAir, said that Mr. Obama had created the “right opportunity to capture what is perceived as the left’s stronghold on the youth vote.”

Even Obama Girl, he exclaimed, “said her crush has faded!”

He then mocked what he described, with a Chris Rock voice, as “diversity,” including, he said, college classes on “cyber feminism” and “what it means to be a feminist new black man.”

Describing the latter, he said: “Think of a crossover between RuPaul and Barney Frank.”

I listened to the speech and all I am hearing is his voice and nothing sounding like Chris Rock.

Not buying Tiger Wood's apology one bit.

I have seen Animatronics figures at Disney World show more emotion. It was too staged and prepared for me to believe that after years of cheating and screwing anything that moves that in two months he has seen the errors of his ways. Just as bad is watching the talking heads rush to his side in support.

ABC NEWS: STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the most remarkable public apologies ever by a public figure.

ROBERTS: Do you think he indeed has changed? Because I do.

BRENNAN: That is a very different Tiger Woods than we have ever seen before. It was almost breathtaking in terms of how different this man is from that image that everyone knows on a golf course.

Katie Couric: # Getting ready to cover tiger's statement. Being at the epicenter of such humiliation, and judgement must be very painful. about 21 hours ago from web

This was too much for Jake Tapper.
wrote back:
@katiecouric i assume you're talking about the pain his wife and children feel, not him.

Bill Simmons pointed out the obvious.

Let's look at the facts. Tiger cheats on his wife relentlessly and brazenly. She finds out somehow. This leads to him crashing his car in the wee hours of Thanksgiving night. Scandal. Cover-up. More women come out. And more. And more. Tiger disappears like Jimmy Hoffa. Elin stops wearing her ring. Tiger stays hidden. Rumors swirl. By hiding, by not saying anything, Tiger enables every rumor and negative story to gain steam. When he sneaks away to a sex rehab clinic for 45 days, neither Tiger or his representatives acknowledges rumors that he's there. He emerges with a staged jogging photo op; one day later, three other photos of Tiger hitting golf balls, even seeming jovial in one of them, hit the wires. And then, today's prepared remarks. That came from the heart. Just as long as you didn't ask a follow-up question.

When we first saw the room in Ponte Beach Verde, Fla., it looked like the start of a "Saturday Night Live" episode: small podium, blue curtain, some heads. The camera panned the crowd, revealing that there apparently had been an emergency casting call for somber white people in blazers. (Why didn't I get an invite? I own a blazer! I could have looked somber!) At 11:01 a.m. ET, Tiger emerged from the back, and I remember thinking that it would have been awesome if he were naked from the waist down.

He spoke for the next 13 and a half minutes. He spoke … like this. There was … no emotion … in his words. His face … was blank … and empty. Part of me … felt bad … for him. There were … a couple of moments … when it seemed … like … he was trying … to shed a tear … or have his voice catch … just for effect. You get … the idea.

People wondered why Tiger opted for a prepared speech instead of the traditional move for disgraced celebrities: Sitting down for an interview with "20/20" or "Primetime." You saw why as he was reading his statement. Tiger isn't capable of discussing this stuff with depth or emotion. He can't ad-lib about his feelings, and never could. It would have been awful. Like so many other mega-celebrities who became famous too early, it's as though they never properly develop the part of their brain that controls this question: "How can I win over the person I'm talking to right now?" When you become famous too early, you don't have to win over anyone. You just have to exist. You become constantly wary. You start watching what you say around people you don't know. You measure any potential friend or business partner by one question: "What do they want from me?"

Muslim plot to poison Fort Jackson food supply update.

Three out of the five have been cleared.

Three of the five Fort Jackson soldiers being investigated for claims of making threats have been cleared, CBS News reports.

Late Thursday, the Christian Broadcasting Network's website and Fox News reported that some soldiers were under investigation on claims they threatened to poison food at the training base. Previous Coverage: Reports Surface of Investigation of Food Poison Plot at Fort Jackson

Fort Jackson officials confirmed to WLTX Thursday night that the investigation started in December to look into "potential verbal threats against fellow soldiers."

Friday, CBS National Security Correspondent David Martin reported that the investigation began as a result of someone who claimed to have overheard other soldiers talking about poisoning the food. Martin has discovered that five soldiers were originally under investigation, but at least three have now been cleared.

Martin goes on to report that no arrests were made, although the group was brought in for questioning.

The program these translators were in has been moved but not because of the investigation.

A U.S. Army program at the center of a probe into allegations that Muslim translator trainees threatened to poison soldiers at Fort Jackson was moved to a post in Arizona last month.

Spokeswomen at both Fort Jackson and Fort Huachuca, Ariz, confirmed the program - which trains noncitizen native speakers in such languages as Arabic and Farsi to become soldiers and translators - has been relocated.

The Army refers to the program, begun in 2003, as 09 Lima.

Fort Huachuca, located about one hour south of Tucson near the Mexican border, is home to the Army Intelligence Corp.

Both Fort Huachuca spokeswoman Tanja Linton and Fort Jackson spokeswoman Karen Soule said the move was not because of the ongoing investigation.

"Having (the trainees) work side by side with interrogators and military intelligence officers increases realism in training and understanding by the soldiers how to work as a team," she said.

On Thursday, a report by the evangelist Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcast Network and Fox News stated that five Muslim translators had been arrested at Fort Jackson in December for threatening to poison other soldiers. The Army has not reported making any arrests.

A statement Friday from the Army's Criminal Investigation Division confirmed an investigation into the allegations has been ongoing "for almost two months."

"But ... we have not found any credible information to substantiate the allegations," the statements said.

Pentagon officials referred further questions to Fort Jackson.

Fort Jackson officials said the allegations involved "potential verbal threats" and at no time were soldiers there in danger. They referred additional questions to the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Va.

Obama's Islamic envoy admits to remarks he first denied.

Good way to start off a new job.

Presented with a transcript of his remarks at a 2004 conference, Rashad Hussain, President Obama's nominee to be special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, issued a statement Friday evening acknowledging having criticized the U.S. government's case against Sami Al-Arian, who pleaded guilty in 2006 to conspiracy to aid Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Originally, the White House claimed that Hussain denied having made the comments, attributing them instead to Al-Arian's daughter, Laila.

But Politico's Josh Gerstein obtained an audiotape of the remarks, in which Hussain said that Al-Arian’s case was one of many “politically motivated persecutions."

On Friday evening, Hussain admitted having made them and the White House backed off its insistence that Hussain hadn't made the comments,
though both noted that he did so in the context of disagreeing with the way the government pursued the case against Al-Arian, making clear not to address the specific criminal charges.

“As a law student six years ago, I spoke on the topic of civil liberties on a panel during which I responded to comments made about the al-Arian case by Laila al-Arian who was visibly saddened by charges against her father," Hussain said in a statement. "I made clear at the time that I was not commenting on the allegations themselves. The judicial process has now concluded, and I have full faith in its outcome.”

Hussain, currently in the White House counsel's office, said, "I made statements on that panel that I now recognize were ill-conceived or not well-formulated.”

Obama using NASA to reach out to Muslim countries

More of Obama spreading the "wealth" worldview but this time using America's space agency as some sort of social outreach program along with plans to track global warming. It would be nicer if he just came out and said he was looking forward to dismantling the space agency he doesn't believe in much.

The idea NASA has to do the heavy lifting in outreach programs is ridiculous. It did so for years mainly by its own actions and accomplishments. The fact Obama believes NASA has to be some sort of social program tells you a lot about his way of thinking.

Charlie Bolden BTW is looking more and more like Obama's lackey than an actual administrator looking out for NASA's interest. This doesn't help morale.

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden said Tuesday that President Barack Obama has asked him to “find ways to reach out to dominantly Muslim countries” as the White House pushes the space agency to become a tool of international diplomacy.

“In addition to the nations that most of you usually hear about when you think about the International Space Station, we now have expanded our efforts to reach out to non-traditional partners,” said Bolden, speaking to a lecture hall of young engineering students.

Specifically, he talked about connecting with countries that do not have an established space program and helping them conduct science missions. He mentioned new opportunities with Indonesia, including an educational program that examines global climate change.

“We really like Indonesia because the State Department, the Department of Education [and] other agencies in the U.S. are reaching out to Indonesia as the largest Muslim nation in the world. We would love to establish partners there,” Bolden said.

Sestak says White House offers him job to drop out.

Its the Chicago Way, Blago wanted to know who would give him the most money for the Senate appointment and the White House wants to protect Specter so they discretely offer Sestak an appointment.

Rep. Joe Sestak (D., Pa.) said yesterday that the White House offered him a federal job in an effort to dissuade him from challenging Sen. Arlen Specter in the state's Democratic primary.

The disclosure came during an afternoon taping of Larry Kane: Voice of Reason, a Sunday news-analysis show on the Comcast Network. Sestak would not elaborate on the circumstances and seemed chagrined after blurting out "yes" to veteran news anchor Kane's direct question.

"Was it secretary of the Navy?" Kane asked.

"No comment," Sestak said.

"Was it [the job] high-ranking?" Kane asked. Sestak said yes, but added that he would "never leave" the Senate race for a deal.

A White House spokesman this morning strongly denied an offer had been made to Sestak. Before the spokesman issued the denial, a senior Pennsylvania Democrat said Sestak's account was met with anger by White House officials yesterday.

After yesterday's taping, Sestak said he recalled the White House offer coming in July, as he was preparing to formally announce his Senate candidacy in August. He declined to identify who spoke to him or the job under discussion. Sestak also would not say whether the person who approached him worked for the administration or was an intermediary for the offer.

"I'm not going to say who or how and what was offered," Sestak said in an interview. "I don't feel it's appropriate to go beyond what I said," because the conversation was confidential.

Obama's shame: Dalai Lama walking past garbage bags

Via the back door just so he doesn't piss off China too much. I guess this is a bone by Obama to please the Chinese. Disgraceful.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama (L) walks out the doors of the Palm Room of the White House by trash bags waiting to be picked up due to delays from the snow storms of last week in Washington, DC, February 18, 2010 after meeting with US President Barack Obama. The Dalai Lama appeared in public at the White House Thursday and said US President Barack Obama was 'supportive' in a meeting that drew angry protests from China.

As noted below by the NYTIMES a couple of posts down, it wasn't a "public" meeting.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Another Obama welfare program for troubled homeowners.

At some point you are going to run out of fingers to put in the damn and just let the damn thing burst. Unemployed I can understand but those who bought a home way above their pay grade or overpaid need to just let it go and let the housing correction continue without artificially inflating the value.

Under pressure to do more for troubled homeowners, President Obama is expected to announce on Friday a $1.5 billion program to help borrowers in the five states hit hardest by the housing crisis.

The initiative calls for pumping money into state housing agencies in California, Arizona, Nevada, Florida and Michigan to fund programs to prevent foreclosure for people who are unemployed or who owe more than their homes are worth.

.....Consumer advocates and housing experts for months have called on Obama to expand the program to help the jobless and those suffering steep declines in their home value, two sectors that have received relatively little assistance from the modification effort. Administration officials repeated as recently as Wednesday that they were working on the problem, but that it was a complex issue.

Also, many homeowners with second liens have had difficulty getting into the loan modification program. In April the administration had announced a program that provided incentives for these lenders to work with borrowers, but only Bank of America has signed up so far and it did so only last month.

Germany deals with surge in welfare applications

This is what happens when you have a welfare cradle to the grave system, welfare sluts are created and with a recent court ruling, its going to get bigger.

Job centres in Germany have been flooded by applications for welfare payments following a Constitutional Court ruling that could pave the way for Hartz IV benefits to be raised, daily Bild reported Tuesday.

In a development that is likely to stoke the already heated debate about the generosity – or otherwise – of the Hartz IV system, the head of the Federal Employment Office, Heinrich Alt, has told the paper people were coming in seeking payments that had to be summarily rejected.

“Following the Hartz IV ruling, we are being overwhelmed by applications for certain benefits,” he said. “We have to dismiss many of (the applicants), as they are for most part in no particular hardship.

''The Constitutional Court has determined that it’s not about a broken washing machine but rather about serious individual cases, such as a particular illness, for which the health insurance fund isn’t paying.”

Alt’s comments follow days of heated debate on the issue – largely centred around Vice Chancellor Guido Westerwelle’s fiery rhetoric about what he perceives as the generosity of the nation’s welfare system.

Among other things, he has claimed workers were fast becoming the nation’s “suckers” and said Germany was resembling the “decadent” late-Roman period.

...Last week, the Constitutional Court ruled that the Hartz IV system of unemployment benefits was essentially unconstitutional – a decision that could lead to a hike in payments.

Obama's sham debt panel bipartisan commission

This is just a pretense for recommending tax hikes across the board without Obama getting his hands dirty. Its cowardly.

President Barack Obama signed an order Thursday unilaterally creating a bipartisan commission to rein in unruly deficits after Congress rejected a similar body with considerably more enforcement power.

In making the announcement, Obama said that unless lawmakers put aside partisan differences, the continuing red-ink trend could "hobble our economy."

The federal deficit hit a record $1.4 trillion last year and could grow larger this year as the struggling economy puts a big dent in tax collections.

But the executive commission is a weak substitute for what the president really wanted: a panel created by Congress that could force lawmakers to consider unpopular remedies to reduce the debt, including curbing politically sensitive entitlements like Social Security and Medicare.

That bipartisan panel would have delivered lawmakers a deficit reduction blueprint after the November elections that would have been subject to votes before a new Congress convenes next year. But the idea faltered in the Senate, defeated by equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans, including some of whom initially supported the idea.

Though Obama's commission will lack any requirement for Congress to act on its advice, it could provide the president some political cover with an electorate that is increasingly concerned about the massive deficit. And that has some Republicans looking to paint the executive commission as little more than a political calculation.

As for Alan Simpson, he is a Republican who dislikes tax cuts.

The two cochairmen will be Democrat Erskine Bowles, President Bill Clinton's former White House chief of staff, and Republican Alan Simpson, the former Wyoming Senator. Mr. Simpson was best known for being a thorn in the side of conservatives and supply-siders when he was in the Senate. "He is a tax increaser and he's anti-immigrant," says Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform.

Larry Kudlow of CNBC's Kudlow Report is even more critical. "Simpson's to the left of Erskine Bowles," Mr. Kudlow scoffs. "This thing [the bipartisan deficit panel] needs to be blown up. It's an excuse to raise taxes -- when we need to be cutting tax rates." But for Mr. Obama's purposes, Alan Simpson is a master stroke since he's likely to commit Republicans to being the tax collectors for Obamanomics.

Some are even calling it the "VAT Commission," because liberals want a bipartisan agreement to implement a European-style value-added tax that will raise federal revenues by about five percentage points of GDP. That's the amount federal spending has risen under President Obama. Since 2007 federal spending is up by nearly 25%.

The commission also highlights a split within the GOP between the pro-growth camp and deficit hawks. Mr. Simpson has lashed out at pro-growth tax-cutters as unpatriotic. "To use politics of fear and division and hate on each other -- we are at a point right now where it doesn't make a damn whether you're a Democrat or a Republican if you've forgotten you're an American," he said in his typical sanctimonious style.

Just an exercise in useless propaganda by the White House.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Newsweek - Tibet should be grateful for China's rule over them.

By this logic, Africans should be happy they were put into slavery by Europeans, Arabs and other African tribes because their standard of living went up or Indians should be happy they can build casinos because American government allows it. This is just an unreal piece ending with this message to Tibetans by Isaac Fish.

. China says Tibet is part of its territory, and that the meeting represents an unwanted intrusion into its domestic affairs. But most Americans still see the Dalai Lama as the representative of a people oppressed by Chinese rule. Tibetans feel chafed by the restrictions on their political and religious freedoms; many are dissatisfied with Chinese rule, and this has led to widespread rioting over the past few years. They want self-determination; fair enough. But that seems to be the only story about Tibet that is ever told. The other story is that, for China's many blunders in mountainous region, it has erected a booming economy there. Looking at growth, standard of living, infrastructure, and GDP, one thing is clear: China has been good for Tibet.

.....It's true that, so far, all the money has failed to buy Tibetan loyalty. Beijing won't deal with the Dalai Lama, even though Tibetans revere him, nor will it let his monastic followers build any power or voice any nationalist sympathy. Instead, the government is offering Tibetans the same bargain it has offered the rest of the country: in exchange for an astronomical rise in living standards, the government requires citizens to relinquish the right to free worship and free speech. The Chinese government has kept its end of the deal. Even if Tibetan residents never signed the contract, they have benefited from its enforcement—a fact Obama might keep in mind when he meets the Dalai Lama.

In other words

Obama pusses out of public meeting with Dalai Lama.

Really Obama... Really? You so scared of the Chinese you meet the Dalai Lama like some secret girlfriend? Pathetic.

The White House went out of its way to keep the meeting low-key. White House officials did not allow reporters or photographers to see Mr. Obama and the Dalai Lama together, and they released a single official photograph after the meeting.

The Dalai Lama did meet with reporters at the White House afterward, and said he was happy with the visit. He also tossed some snow at reporters.

In deference to China, American presidents usually do not meet publicly with the Dalai Lama. President George W. Bush broke with that tradition in 2007 when he attended a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda in which Congress gave the Dalai Lama its highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal.

Jonathan Capehart should be fired for his Joseph Stack lie.

Capehart in his rush to tie Stack to tea party members decides to creatively edit Stack's manifesto to his worldview. It takes a special kind of arrogance to edit out a piece anyone online can find to fit a narrative you desperately want to be true. He also left out the part with Stack railing against Bush puppet and no health care reform which sounds like something you read on your typical leftist blog. Stephen Spruiell on NRO points out the rest of the media going for the tea party association.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

AP praises Obama who praises himself for stimulus bill.

Its the regular pat on the back in that obnoxious Obama way. The AP even seems annoyed at having to remind you plebs of what he has done for you in his name.

President Barack Obama hailed Wednesday's one-year-old economic stimulus law as an accomplishment that staved off another Great Depression and kept up to 2 million people on the job.

Still, with millions still out of work and losing patience, Obama acknowledged that to them, "It doesn't yet feel like much of a recovery."

Marking the anniversary of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Obama aimed his message at people skeptical about the expensive relief measure and Republican lawmakers who voted against it and continue to hammer him about it.

To the public, Obama explained, as he has many times before, that the stimulus plan was composed of tax cuts for most Americans along with help for state governments, extended social service benefits and huge investments in energy, education and infrastructure.
"One year later, it is largely thanks to the recovery act that a second depression is no longer a possibility," Obama said.

To his Republican critics, who say the bill was a costly, debt-financed blunder that has not delivered on the promise of job creation, Obama challenged them to take up the case with people who have stayed employed or have found help solely because he and the Democratic-run Congress acted.

Obama even delighted in recounting a section of his State of the Union address last month in which he talked of the tax cuts from the stimulus plan and watched Republican lawmakers fail to applaud the idea.

"They were all kind of squirming in their seats ... It was interesting to watch," Obama said.

And Obama made sure to commend himself and his own team for taking action.

Lets go over these tax cuts.
$116 billion: New payroll tax credit of $400 per worker and $800 per couple in 2009 and 2010. Phaseout begins at $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for joint filers.[27]

$70 billion: Alternative minimum tax: a one year increase in AMT floor to $70,950 for joint filers for 2009.[27]

$15 billion: Expansion of child tax credit: A $1,000 credit to more families (even those that do not make enough money to pay income taxes).

$14 billion: Expanded college credit to provide a $2,500 expanded tax credit for college tuition and related expenses for 2009 and 2010. The credit is phased out for couples making more than $160,000.

$6.6 billion: Homebuyer credit: $8,000 refundable credit for all homes bought between 1/1/2009 and 12/1/2009 and repayment provision repealed for homes purchased in 2009 and held more than three years. This only applies to first-time homebuyers.[39]

$4.7 billion: Excluding from taxation the first $2,400 a person receives in unemployment compensation benefits in 2009.

$4.7 billion: Expanded earned income tax credit to increase the earned income tax credit — which provides money to low income workers — for families with at least three children.

$4.3 billion: Home energy credit to provide an expanded credit to homeowners who make their homes more energy-efficient in 2009 and 2010. Homeowners could recoup 30 percent of the cost up to $1,500 of numerous projects, such as installing energy-efficient windows, doors, furnaces and air conditioners.

$1.7 billion: for deduction of sales tax from car purchases, not interest payments phased out for incomes above $250,000.

The tax cut he is touting is a measly tax cut to the payroll tax which amounted to $10-13 bucks in take home pay and cut even further as the year went to present time. It wasn't a permanent tax cut that would have an immediate impact to anyone especially those in the higher income levels who would be faster to push the economy forward especially for working class families. Since the working class tends to produce the products and services that are bought up faster for those people higher up the income ladder.

An increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit which is a nice way of saying welfare check is not a tax cut. Credits to cars and houses only gave a small boost that artificially pushed up economics numbers with no sustainable foundation for future growth.

Here is a simple way to explain what Obama is doing with this stimulus bill that is bankrupting America.

You are broke but you find that one credit line that is empty. You go and pay for furniture, service the car, buy groceries, pay your bills, pay you kids bills, buy some consumer goods and the end of the day you come home to the wife claiming you save the house and the family for being kicked out in the street.

Wife comes back with okay but what about next month since both don't have a job or you set yourself up for future employment and personal/financial growth.

Expand that to Obama and his spending realizing he doesn't have to pay the bills or even care for years down the road. All he is thinking about is paying this month's bill to keep the family quiet. There is no foundation being built for America other than massive debt and future tax hikes by Obama. That is how screwed we are now.

Union backed, government led Toyota witch hunt?

Anyone remember the government going after an American car company this hard? I am getting really suspicious about the ferocity of these attacks which would benefit government owned GM and the unions who have been desperate to attack Toyota for any reason.

Tom Joyner show pushing racial meme about winter olympics?

The last couple of days its clear that Tom Joyner and the rest of his crew are not watching the winter olympics because according to them there are not enough black people in the events to care. This snarky bit by "Huggy Lowdown" captures the sentiment.

My problem is going with the politically correct guidelines, if a white person is in that same position spewing the same sort of sentiment, they would be in a whole bunch of trouble. But put out by black radio host, nothing. Just an observation.

Yellow line changed to Gold line to appease Asians in Atlanta.

The small number of overly sensitive politically correct Asian activists got their way as Atlanta's MARTA line changed the name to gold from yellow.

Tears, hugs, thanks, apologies and the occasional recrimination marked the long-awaited meeting between MARTA CEO Beverly Scott and local Asian-American leaders.

They met one day after MARTA announced it was changing the newly dubbed “yellow” line to “gold.” The line runs to Doraville, home to a large Asian-American community.

The word "yellow" has historically been used to denigrate Asians.

“I just didn’t pick it up, no question,” Scott told Helen Kim, director of advocacy and education at the Center for Pan Asian Community Services, who spearheaded the meeting. “We are so sorry, and I am so sorry.”

Kim reached out to grasp Scott's hand as she told her that the groups had tried to address the issue quietly but couldn't get traction. Scott teared up as she spoke of the importance of Atlanta's civil rights past. After Scott explained that MARTA hadn't received a single complaint from an average citizen, and after Kim said that average citizens had complained to ethnic advocacy groups and suggested rallies or boycotts, Scott reached out for a hug.

Kim and others detailed their concerns in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article earlier this week, but MARTA knew about the problem months earlier. First, an employee of its own diversity office raised concerns a month before the Oct. 1 renaming. Then the groups met with MARTA staff in November. Local papers such as the Georgia Asian Times and The Korea Times wrote about it. The AJC article this week and follow-ups were relayed on national Web sites.

This is up there with the idiot in Texas who claimed "Black Hole" was a racist term. There was no racist attitude in naming a line that is used the world over as a way to make it easier to use for locals and tourists of mass transit travel. I have the feeling this was used to flex some cultural muscle by some of these activists even though it was of little substance. They got the result they wanted from the government.

Forced unionization of day care providers in Michigan.

Considering the unions can't do it the honest way, the stealth way is next on the list.

Michelle Berry runs a day-care business out of her home in Flint, MI. She thought that she owned her own business, but Berry's been told she is now a government employee and union member. It's not voluntary. Suddenly, Berry and 40,000 other Michigan private day-care providers have learned that union dues are being taken out of the child-care subsidies the state sends them. The "union" is a creation of AFSCME, the government workers union, and the United Auto Workers.

This racket means big money to AFSCME, which runs the union, writes the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a free-market think tank.

Today the Department of Human Services siphons about $3.7 million in annual dues to the union….

The money should be going to home-based day-care providers — themselves not on the high end of the income scale. Ms. Berry now sees money once paid to her go to a union that does little for her…

Patrick Wright, a lawyer for the Macknac Center, says the union was forced on the women after a certification election conducted by mail in which only 6,000 day-care providers out of 40,000 voted. Wright told me his clients, like Berry, say they were "shocked" to learn they were suddenly in a union.

Obama health care summit is a complete trap for the GOP.

The Dems are near a deal so at least they bring something to the summit to show America and Obama has already pointed out that he won't start from scratch and anything from the GOP would have to conform to his world view. So a summit that was already a sham from the beginning somehow gets even worse.

In other words, instead of bargaining with the GOP from scratch — as Boehner and Cantor initially insisted and as 57 percent of the public wants, per yesterday’s Zogby poll — The One’s going to do the opposite by walking in, pushing a fake deal in front of the GOP, and declaring before the cameras that America’s health-care problems can now be solved unless the “party of no” insists on further obstructionism. And if they do, of course, he’ll have no choice but to save America by ramming the bill through in reconciliation.

It’s not a negotiation, in other words, it’s an opportunity to frame a blame-placing narrative in which evil conservatives unite to block some sort of phony legislative deus ex machina. Which makes me wonder: Were Ed and I wrong that the GOP should attend no matter what? I think showing up and calling Obama out on this charade is more effective than a boycott, but I’m open to persuasion. Dazzle me.

The GOP should show up but long before that make it clear to the public what a sham this meeting is and then come with two attack plans that covers no Dem deal at the table and one with a deal present.

They better be prepared for the fact that Obama and the Dems then the media afterwards will lie out of their collective behinds in every way possible to make the GOP and critics look bad. They are close to having the government take over the American healthcare system and they won't be stopped so easily.

2010 meterosexual lineup starring Ryan Phillipe and Jared Leto

Minus Lee Pace on the far left who will get a pass for Pushing Daisies, this is a stellar all star lineup of douchebags. The amount of hair gel in this pic could kill all the sealife on the east coast.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

FBI raids SCLC office over missing money, possible fraud.

Government funds being paid to run non-existent programs is just one of the problems for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

The FBI conducted simultaneous raids on Trammell’s offices at the Dayton chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, his home, and that of his daughter, Angela Goodwine, who oversees many of the local programs funded with taxpayer dollars.

Montgomery County, state and federal governments last year provided $357,637, for programs operated by the SCLC and the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance. Since 1999, the total taxpayer contribution to those groups has been at least $3 million.

Trammell and SCLC national Treasurer Spiver Gordon are under investigation by the national SCLC for allegedly embezzling $569,000.

National board member Art Rocker and others presented evidence to authorities in Alabama and Georgia and had planned to come to Ohio next week. Rocker applauded the FBI raid.

“It will show it’s going to be tough to pimp on the name of Dr. King any longer. This is a message to all civil rights leaders,” said Rocker, president of Florida SCLC. “If you’re not going to do your program, if you’re not going to do what you say, get out of the civil rights business.”

Local civil rights activist Keith Lander called for the local SCLC board to remove Trammell before he causes the local chapter to disband.

“I hate to see that happen just because a couple of individuals mismanaged and ran the organization into the ground,” Lander said. “You just can’t overlook this and say we can’t be bothered with this. You’ve got federal agents all over the place.”

Muslim woman's veil case represents clash of values in Spain

The background is Muslim woman has her degree, takes off her veil and gets a job at the city to be a cultural mediator towards mostly Moroccan Muslims. This didn't sit well with the Muslim community leaders who tried to have her fired. It also doesn't help having a liberal mayor who is catering to the whims of the Muslim leaders.

But Cunit has gained a new distinction: It is famous in Spain as the town where a Moroccan-born Muslim woman with a master's degree and a head of curly hair says she was threatened by Muslim fundamentalists because she took off her veil and tried to live like a Spaniard.

The treatment of Fatima Ghailan, 31, prompted an investigating magistrate to bring charges against the sheik of the local mosque, Mohamed Benbrahim, and the head of the Islamic Association, Abderraman el-Osri, the leading figures in Cunit's Muslim community.

The case also generated demands for the resignation of Mayor Judit Alberich, a liberal Socialist who, her political opponents said, catered to her Muslim constituents at the expense of respect for the law.

The conflict roiling Cunit and its 12,000 inhabitants has shown Spaniards that they are not exempt from the growing tensions in Western Europe over Muslim immigrants who seek to preserve their home-country ways -- and sometimes to impose a conservative strain of Islam -- in societies based on secular democracy and Christian tradition.

The liberal mayor being the liberal mayor decided to make sure the Muslim community wouldn't get upset by disrespecting the rule of law plus common sense.

A local court issued a restraining order, barring the sheik from going near Ghailan or her family, and launched a formal investigation in which procedure dictated that Benbrahim be taken into custody. But, Ghailan said later, the mayor, Alberich, intervened to prevent the arrest, saying that it would disrupt relations with Cunit's Muslim community.

In an interview, Alberich said she did not prevent the arrest but discussed the case with the police chief, who decided it would be a bad idea to make an arrest.

At the same time, Alberich undertook to mediate directly with Benbrahim. In her mind, she said, the issue was a personal dispute, not a clash of values.

"There is no coexistence problem in Cunit," she said. "We have never had that."

....Ghailan, who was briefly hospitalized for anxiety attacks, was unavailable to relate what happened, as was Benbrahim. But Ghailan told local reporters last week that she had been approached by Alberich after the magistrate's announcement with a suggestion that she withdraw her complaint to foster improved relations with the Muslim community and get the problem behind her.

Allegations that Alberich had sought to exempt the Islamic leadership from the legal system were the main issue that generated the calls for her resignation.

"It is important for political leaders to put clear limits, so the Muslims know they have to live with Spain's values," said Montserrat Carreras Garcia, a centrist city council member also unhappy with Alberich's performance.

In the interview, Alberich said she did not ask that the complaint be dropped but recognized that it would be difficult for Ghailan to continue working if Benbrahim and Osri are on trial and risk prison terms. In the meantime, she said, Ghailan is on sick leave.
"When she comes back, we'll have to see," Alberich said.

So she was backing the fundies and allowing this poor woman to be harrassed. Typical.

Uh Oh. Haiti's elite sees business opportunities

One thing about the Caribbean, when the business elite eye business opportunities, it always leads to more corruption and exploitation. I wouldn't trust this group because it never ends well for everyone.

Last month's earthquake battered Reginald Boulos's small empire, destroying one of his supermarkets, badly damaging a hotel and killing two workers at his car dealership.

But with foreign aid flowing and a sympathetic world watching, Boulos envisions a new Haiti: one focused on quickly creating jobs while purging its ruling class of the cronyism that helped make this one of the world's poorest countries.

"This is what the earthquake is today -- an opportunity, a huge opportunity," said Boulos, a brash 54-year-old former doctor who once worked in Haiti's most notorious slum. "I think we need to give the message that we are open for business. This is really a land of opportunities."

Haiti's elite -- a small, politically connected group as comfortable lobbying President René Préval as lawmakers in Washington -- is positioning itself for business opportunities emerging from their country's reconstruction. The textile industry in particular, which survived the temblor largely intact, is gearing up to add tens of thousands of jobs, thanks to U.S. legislation approved in 2008 that gives Haitian garments duty-free, quota-free access to the United States.

But for some Haitians, it is a cruel irony that a business community they consider clannish, corrupt and responsible for the country's backwardness could be spearheading efforts to jumpstart the economy.

"Haitian business people, they exploit the workers, and they lie to the multinational agencies about working conditions," said Yannick Etienne, a labor organizer with Batay Ouvriye, a workers' rights group. "When you see the way they treat people here, it's difficult to really expect much from them."

Put it this way. If these people are the elites with the business resources considering the political and business climate of Haiti going back decades. How do you think they got to that position?

Monday, February 15, 2010

UAW demands boycott of Toyota to keep plant open.

A plant that GM left and Toyota no longer needs must be kept opened says the union. Showing once again why the unions in this country are blood sucking parasites with no common sense.

Since 1984, Nummi had been jointly operated by General Motors, which left the plant in June, and Toyota, which decided in August to cease ordering cars from Fremont as of March 31, shifting production to Japan, Canada and San Antonio.

UAW Vice president Bob King, in line to become the union's national leader in June, came from Detroit to commit the union to mount a boycott of Toyota dealerships to force the Japanese carmaker to keep open the last auto plant in California.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, snowed in in Washington, addressed union activists gathered at the local UAW hall in Fremont via a shaky Internet teleconferencing connection.

"Toyota should not be thinking for one minute that they can destroy jobs and communities and then still sell us their cars," Trumka said, pledging boycott support from the AFL-CIO's 11.5 million members.

Again, let the bolded part sink in to the type of thinking that goes on with the UAW and AFL-CIO. Keep a plant open that is no longer needed to hand out welfare jobs.

Even the workers think the leadership is full of it and just wants to move on.

But many Nummi workers who stand to lose their jobs in seven weeks think the boycott won't change Toyota's decision, and fault leaders of UAW Local 2244 for not ironing out the details of what Nummi calls a "retention" package but which amounts to a severance agreement.

"We're in a shutdown mode; we're past the point of no return," said Juan Castillo, a dissident member of the local's executive board. "The membership wants the retention package to be settled."

A spokesman for Toyota's North American Manufacturing division said in an e-mail, "Nothing has changed. Toyota will no longer order vehicles from Nummi after March."

Some Nummi workers think the UAW, which now has a 17.5 percent ownership stake in General Motors, has soft-pedaled criticism of the American carmaker.

But at Friday's rally union officials said that, if Toyota leaves Fremont, it would be walking away from its only major North America plant governed by a collective bargaining agreement.

"I'm so angry at the way they're not being honest about this," said UAW's King, noting that roughly 80 percent of the plant's production over the last five years went to Toyota.

"They sell more Corollas in California than anywhere else," King said.

The union-led boycott drew support from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which is fighting its own battles with Toyota over delivery routes in the Midwest.

Spain's welfare mentality limits debt reduction plans.

This is what happens when a socialist government with a sizable amount of its population being entitlement welfare receivers meets financial reality. It does not have the political will to actually cut costs.

The collapse of a real estate- and consumer-fueled boom has left Spain with a eurozone high jobless rate of nearly 20 percent, and the government ran up a deficit that in 2009 equaled 11.4 percent of GDP. That is way over the eurozone limit of 3 percent and earned Spain a place as the letter "S" in the inelegant PIGS acronym coined by analysts (the others are Portugal, Ireland, and Greece).

Spanish officials argue they are better off in several respects. National debt as a proportion of GDP -- 66 percent this year and peaking at 74 percent in 2012 -- is well below the EU average and far under Greece's 113.4 percent for 2009.

It does not have credibility problems like Greece, which is accused of fudging its debt numbers, and its banking system is relatively sound compared with other countries that had to bail their banking systems out.

Still, Spain has tried to spend its way out of recession with costly job-creation and stimulus measures, running up a budget shortfall that has spooked markets and lenders. Spanish sovereign debt has come under pressure, with creditors demanding a steeper interest rate to buy it and rates also rising for insurance against default

All that spending will hurt but they have no other choice because their population are nothing more than welfare pigs.

....Ireland, by comparison, has slashed pay for state workers, cut welfare benefits and imposed new environmental taxes on fuel to try to contain its runway deficit.

But Spain is not touching public-sector wages, most of the spending cuts have been assigned to regional governments that Madrid cannot control, and the only taxes due to rise are VAT and levies on capital income like stock dividends. This is not expected to make a big dent, and even then the rises do not kick in until July.

..."I think it would be very unlikely that the deficit gets anywhere near 3 percent unless they implement further, significant fiscal measures," May said.

Nuno Serafim of IG Markets said Spain and also Portugal need to serve up a bitter cocktail of higher taxes and deep spending cuts, but this is a hard sell because of the entitlement-heavy mentality of people in southern Europe.

"Governments in southern Europe are less pragmatic than in northern Europe," he said. "Normally, they try to avoid unpopular policies because they are more prisoners of the political agenda and the electoral agenda."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

EU to resist Obama's banking overhaul.

Via Bloomberg:

European Union finance ministers are uniting to oppose President Barack Obama’s proposal to limit banks’ size and risk-taking, saying his plan may run counter to EU policy, according to a draft document.

Their position, which they will ratify at a two-day meeting starting today, comes after Obama last month urged the adoption of the so-called “Volcker rule,” named for former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. The plan would bar commercial banks from owning hedge funds and limit how much they can trade for their own account.

The finance officials gathering in Brussels will express “their concern that the application of the ‘Volcker’ rule in the EU may not be consistent with the current principles of the internal market and universal banking,” the document obtained by Bloomberg News said. “Any policy choice should avoid pushing risks to other parts of the financial system.”

The resistance underscores political divisions over how to overhaul banking regulations to prevent a repeat of the crisis that forced taxpayers to prop up the financial system. While leaders have called for a Group of 20 initiative, the U.S., Britain, and France are forging their own policies to limit compensation and risks.

Germans say euro zone may have to expel Greece

Germans are not happy about Greece's finances and in no mood to help.

A majority of Germans want debt-ridden Greece to be thrown out of the euro zone if necessary and more than two-thirds oppose handing Athens billions of euros in credit, a poll published on Sunday showed.

Vocal opposition to aid for Greece from members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition also grew at the weekend with several senior politicians expressing skepticism, especially as Germany's own recovery is fragile.

The Emnid poll for Bild am Sonntag newspaper showed 53 percent of Germans asked said the European Union should, if necessary, expel Greece from the euro zone.

Athens has struggled to convince investors it is tackling its debt crisis and markets are nervous about a default.

EU leaders discussed the issue last week and offered words of support but failed to outline concrete steps, further unsettling markets. Euro zone finance ministers are expected to discuss Greece again on Monday and Tuesday.

Merkel has adopted a cautious stance on support, saying while Greece will not be left on its own, it is up to Athens to sort out its own problems.

The poll also showed 67 percent of Germans did not want Germany and other EU states to give billions of euros in credit to Greece.

UK: Women say some rape victims should take blame

This is some serious hating going on here.

A majority of women believe some rape victims should take responsibility for what happened, a survey suggests.

Almost three-quarters of women said if a rape victim got into bed with the assailant before an attack they should accept some responsibility.

One-third blamed victims who had dressed provocatively or gone back to the attacker's house for a drink.

The survey of more than 1,000 people in London marked the 10th anniversary of the Haven service for rape victims.

The study found that women were less forgiving of the victim than men.

Some 71% of women thought a person should accept responsibility when getting into bed with someone, compared with 57% of men.

(AP) US debt will keep growing even with recovery

When America is mentioned in the same sentence as Greece when it comes to debt, be afraid.

It's bad enough that Greece's debt problems have rattled global financial markets. In the world's largest economic and military power, there's a far more serious debt dilemma.

For the U.S., the crushing weight of its debt threatens to overwhelm everything the federal government does, even in the short-term, best-case financial scenario — a full recovery and a return to prerecession employment levels.

The government already has made so many promises to so many expanding "mandatory" programs. Just keeping these commitments, without major changes in taxing and spending, will lead to deficits that cannot be sustained.

Take Social Security, Medicare and other benefits. Add in interest payments on a national debt that now exceeds $12.3 trillion. It all will gobble up 80 percent of all federal revenues by 2020, government economists project.

That doesn't leave room for much else. What's left is the entire rest of the government, including military and homeland security spending, which has been protected and nurtured by the White House and Congress, regardless of the party in power.

The U.S. debt crisis also raises the question of how long the world's leading power can remain its largest borrower.

Moody's Investors Service recently warned that Washington's credit rating could be in jeopardy if the nation's finances didn't improve.

Kevin Smith thrown off Southwest for being a fatty.

If this pic is indictive of Smith's fatness, then I agree with the Captain's discretion to throw him off the plane. It is a judgement call considering he flew on another SW flight without incident.

Kevin Smith, director of the upcoming Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan laugher, "Cop Out," turned to Twitter to vent his frustrations Saturday after allegedly getting booted from a Southwest Airlines flight.

"I know I'm fat," the 39-year-old wrote via Twitter. "But was Captain Leysath [sic] really justified in throwing me off a flight for which I was already seated?"

The writer and director of "Clerks" and "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back" let loose in the tweet tirade after allegedly being told by a flight attendant he was a "safety risk" as he was about to fly from Oakland to Burbank.

"I'm way fat," Smith tweeted, "But I'm not THERE just yet. But if I am, why wait til my bag is up, and I'm seated WITH ARM RESTS DOWN. In front of a packed plane with a bunch of folks who'd already I.d.ed me as 'Silent Bob'."

Southwest uses the armrests has a factor in determining whether a passenger must purchase an extra seat becauase of their size. According to their website, "It serves as the boundary between seats and measures 17 inches in width," it states.

"Customers who are unable to lower both armrests and/or who compromise any portion of adjacent seating should proactively book the number of seats needed prior to travel."

Smith wrote he was offered a $100 voucher by the airline, and noted he eventually flew on a Southwest flight despite the incident.

Southwest replied that Smith is not telling the whole truth.

SouthWest Blog: Mr. Smith originally purchased two Southwest seats on a flight from Oakland to Burbank – as he's been known to do when traveling on Southwest. He decided to change his plans and board an earlier flight to Burbank, which technically means flying standby.

As you may know, airlines are not able to clear standby passengers until all Customers are boarded. When the time came to board Mr. Smith, we had only a single seat available for him to occupy. Our pilots are responsible for the Safety and comfort of all Customers on the aircraft and therefore, made the determination that Mr. Smith needed more than one seat to complete his flight. Our Employees explained why the decision was made, accommodated Mr. Smith on a later flight, and issued him a $100 Southwest travel voucher for his inconvenience.

(NYTIMES) Black Caucus a money making shakedown machine for themselves.

This is an amazing article showing how much the Congressional Black Caucus is all about itself and using race to shakedown money to benefit its members. Don't expect this to be a hot topic on black radio this week.

From 2004 to 2008, the Congressional Black Caucus’s political and charitable wings took in at least $55 million in corporate and union contributions, according to an analysis by The New York Times, an impressive amount even by the standards of a Washington awash in cash. Only $1 million of that went to the caucus’s political action committee; the rest poured into the largely unregulated nonprofit network. (Data for 2009 is not available.)

The caucus says its nonprofit groups are intended to help disadvantaged African-Americans by providing scholarships and internships to students, researching policy and holding seminars on topics like healthy living.

But the bulk of the money has been spent on elaborate conventions that have become a high point of the Washington social season, as well as the headquarters building, golf outings by members of Congress and an annual visit to a Mississippi casino resort.

In 2008, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation spent more on the caterer for its signature legislative dinner and conference — nearly $700,000 for an event one organizer called “Hollywood on the Potomac” — than it gave out in scholarships, federal tax records show.

At the galas, lobbyists and executives who give to caucus charities get to mingle with lawmakers. They also get seats on committees the caucus has set up to help members of Congress decide what positions to take on the issues of the day. Indeed, the nonprofit groups and the political wing are so deeply connected it is sometimes hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.

Even as it has used its status as a civil rights organization to become a fund-raising power in Washington, the caucus has had to fend off criticism of ties to companies whose business is seen by some as detrimental to its black constituents.

Like the Rent to Own industry which business wise I don't have an objection to because you have to be really stupid to think its a good deal to get anything from them. But they rent to own CBC members.

But few of these alliances have paid off like the caucus’s connection to rent-to-own stores.

Some Democrats in Congress have tried to limit fees charged to consumers who rent televisions or appliances, with critics saying the industry’s advertisements prey on low-income consumers, offering the short-term promise of walking away with a big-screen TV while hiding big long-term fees. Faced with rules that could destroy their business, the industry called on the caucus.

In 2007, it retained Zehra Buck, a former aide to Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and a caucus member, to help expand a lobbying campaign. Its trade association in 2008 became the exclusive sponsor of an annual caucus foundation charity event where its donated televisions, computers and other equipment were auctioned, with the proceeds going to scholarships. It donated to the campaigns of at least 10 caucus members, and to political action committees run by the caucus and its individual members.

It also encouraged member stores to donate to personal charities run by caucus members or to public schools in their districts. Mr. Clay, the Missourian, received $14,000 in industry contributions in 2008 for the annual golf tournament his family runs in St. Louis. The trade association also held a fund-raising event for him in Reno, Nev.

“I’ll always do my best to protect what really matters to you,” Mr. Clay told rent-to-own executives, who agreed to hold their 2008 annual convention in St. Louis, his home district. Mr. Clay declined a request for an interview.

Read the whole article on how the CBC is nothing more than a typical group of politicians looking out for themselves.