Saturday, February 27, 2010

Maxine Waters is really stupid about the Financial System

I won't say overall but in this case it shows that you can be on the House Committee on Financial Services without having any knowledge of the financial system.

I feel sorry for Bernanke having to deal with this nimrod.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Rep Joe Wilson says no food poisoning plot at Fort Jackson

Four of them were discharged for unrelated matters.

A South Carolina congressman said Friday that five Muslim soldiers at Fort Jackson, S.C., had been removed from active duty, and four of them discharged from the Army, in connection with an ongoing probe into alleged threats to poison food at the large South Carolina base.

Republican Rep. Joe Wilson, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, said the soldiers' laptops had been seized and were being analyzed. Congressional officials with knowledge of the case said cell phones and Arabic writings had been confiscated as well.

Wilson said the soldiers were discharged because of unrelated incidents of minor theft.

In his first public comments on the case, Wilson said FBI forensics experts were working with the Army's Criminal Investigation Division in the probe.

"The initial investigation confirmed that (the five soldiers) had not made any effort to poison food and that allegations about their disloyalty were inaccurate," Wilson told McClatchy Newspapers. "There was further investigation. I have not received any word of it being over. I think they would tell me."

Danish daily Politiken surrenders to Muslim demands for apology.

Pretty much a bitch move by a cowardly paper.

A Danish newspaper on Friday apologized for offending Muslims by reprinting a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb-shaped turban, rekindling heated debate about the limits of freedom of speech.

Danish daily Politiken said its apology was part of a settlement with a Saudi lawyer representing eight Muslim groups in the Middle East and Australia.

It drew strong criticism among Danish media, which previously had stood united in rejecting calls to apologize for 12 Muhammad cartoons that sparked fierce protests in the Muslim world four years ago.

Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen expressed surprise at Politiken's move, saying he was worried that Danish media no longer were "standing shoulder to shoulder" on the issue.

Politiken said it did not mean to offend Muslims in Denmark or elsewhere when it reprinted one of the most controversial cartoons, showing Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse. Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet, even favorable, for fear it could lead to idolatry.

...Critics blasted the decision.

"Politiken's pathetic prostrating before a Saudi lawyer takes the first prize in stupidity," said Joern Mikkelsen, editor in chief of Jyllands-Posten, which first printed the 12 cartoons.

At Copenhagen newspaper Berlingske Tidende, chief editor Lisbeth Knudsen called the apology "embarrassing and shameful." And Mogens Blicher Bjerregaard, head of the Danish Union of Journalists, said Politiken was "kneeling before opponents of the freedom of press."

Westergaard, who earlier this year had to lock himself inside a safe room when an ax-wielding attacker broke into his home, said he believed the apology was prompted by fear.

"I fear this is a setback for the freedom of speech," Westergaard told AP.

Fannie Mae gets another bailout: $15.3 Billion

Friday Night Dumpfest with Fannie Mae getting another taxpayer bailout because of bad home loans that should have been written off instead of getting propped up.

Fannie Mae will seek $15.3 billion in U.S. aid, bringing the total owed under a government lifeline to $76.2 billion, after its 10th consecutive quarterly loss.

The mortgage-finance company posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $16.3 billion, or $2.87 a share, Washington-based Fannie Mae said in a filing yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Fannie Mae, which owns or guarantees about 28 percent of the $11.8 trillion U.S. home-loan market, has been hobbled by a three-year housing slump that wiped 28 percent from home values nationwide and led to record foreclosures. The company, which posted $120.5 billion in losses over the previous nine quarters, and rival Freddie Mac were seized by regulators in September 2008.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Obama may make `living wage' factor in government contracts

Nice way to shut out non union and small companies that would not be able to afford this cost and also use the government to push the spread the wealth worldview.

Companies that pay workers "living wages" and offer generous benefits could gain an advantage in bidding on government contracts under a new policy the White House is considering.

The policy, known as "high road" contracting, could draw the Obama administration into a larger debate over whether the government should use public purse strings to strengthen the middle class and promote higher labor standards.

Business groups who oppose the plan say it would shut out smaller firms from competing for more than $500 billion a year in federal contracts and increase government procurement costs.

The plan's advocates include unions. They say too many jobs financed by government contracts come with low wages and limited benefits and support companies that violate employment laws.

The Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank, estimates that nearly 20 percent of the 2 million federal contract workers in the U.S. earn less than the poverty threshold wage of $9.91 per hour.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show the plan under consideration would examine the wages and benefits - such as health insurance, retirement benefits and paid leave - a firm pays its employees as a factor in the contract award process. Another factor would be whether a contract bidder is a repeat violator of labor and employment laws.

A Labor Department compliance office would compile a score on contract bidders based on the criteria.

You would kinda hope the repeat violator of laws would already be in place and earn an automatic disqualification.

Doctors threaten Medicare backlash

Medicare has been a losing deal for Doctors for years and with severe cuts coming this Monday if not repealed/fixed, options are being pushed including dropping New Medicare patients. I don't know if this is a unintended consequence of Obama health plans or a feature where he will now use to push Obamacare.

With a 21% cut to Medicare reimbursement rates set to take effect Monday, the nation's largest physician organization has informed its members about their options -- which include shutting off practices to new Medicare patients.

"To our physicians, we are providing information on their Medicare participation options, including how to remove themselves from the Medicare program," said James Rohack, president of the American Medical Association, whose more than 250,000 members include doctors, medical students and faculty members.

....If this latest cut goes into effect, Arnold said many doctors in her specialty won't be able to sustain their practices. "This year, the situation is more crucial than ever," she said.

Kornel said consumers should prepare for some difficult days ahead.

"If doctors drop Medicare patients, these people will be forced to go to clinics where it's hard to get appointments, the waits are long and you get far less attention than you would otherwise get," said Kornel. "I think this situation is headed for disaster."

Obama may ban all Foreclosures without HAMP review.

If you wanted to really distort the housing market this would be a damn good way of doing it because any review is going to take its time.

The Obama administration may expand efforts to ease the housing crisis by banning all foreclosures on home loans unless they have been screened and rejected by the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program.

The proposal, reviewed by lenders last week on a White House conference call, “prohibits referral to foreclosure until borrower is evaluated and found ineligible for HAMP or reasonable contact efforts have failed,” according to a Treasury Department document outlining the plan.

“It is one of the many ideas under consideration in the administration’s ongoing housing stabilization efforts,” Treasury spokeswoman Meg Reilly said in an e-mail. “This proposal has not been approved and there are no immediate planned announcements on the issue.”

She confirmed the authenticity of the document, which hasn’t been made public.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tony Kornheiser suspension due to Chris Berman?

1) Tony was 100% correct about Hannah Storm and she needs to wear clothing that doesn't make her look like a whore half the time and some out of touch middle age woman who hasn't been told that she is too old for the club. There has to be clothing that can show off her "lean body" without make her look like an idiot.

As for the Berman rumors, I would believe since he is the big dog on the block in Bristol, you piss him off and you will get punished but the precedent of this suspension over something so innocuous is embarrassing.

Via Deadspin.

What I've also been told, for the sake of accuracy via people whose job it is to make sure these things are accurate, is that Kornheiser's comments about Storm were not the only ones that were "being reviewed" by ESPN brass; rather, it was the "totality" of his comments that got him in trouble, meaning, that yes, the Kornheiser/Gary Braun pile-on about Berman's weight was also considered demeaning to ESPN personnel.

But why was Kornheiser's punishment so severe? People who have worked closely with ESPN higher-ups throughout their career point to Norby's close relationship with Berman. Meaning, Berman's a made guy. Here's a quote that, unfortunately, cannot be attributed to anyone because these are the type of concessions we make to disclose larger truths about Bristol High, but it says a lot: "You're forced to apologize if you make fun of Hannah Storm. You get suspended if you make fun of Chris Berman."

Here are the quotes

These comments were made about the 1:05 portion of Kornheiser's rant:

"I know I'm not supposed to be critical of ESPN people, like if I point out that people say that they lost 50 or 60 pounds have actually gained all the weight back..." (Co-host interrupts: "And then some. Gained the weight back, back, back, back.")

Berman's contract is up soon — and early indications through our source are that ESPN may be willing to go elsewhere if his demands are outlandish, which they most likely will be — so anything that upsets the delicate balance of negotiations by calling one of the parties a fat slob is considered a much more suspension-worthy offense than the Storm comments. (Remember — Kornheiser apologized for his remarks about her, both on-air and privately.)

Venezuela annuls election of anti-Chavez mayor

Chavez won.

Venezuela's highest court on Wednesday annulled the election of an opposition mayor, replacing him with a supporter of President Hugo Chavez until a new vote is held.

The Supreme Court threw out the 2008 election of Jorge Barboza, mayor of the Sucre municipality in western Zulia state, on grounds that he failed to pay $292 in local taxes.

The justices ruled Barboza was ineligible to continue as mayor because he lacked "the suitability (required) for the management of a mayoral post."

In brief comments on the local Globovision television channel, Barboza called the ruling a coup against a democratically elected official and denied any wrongdoing.

Every teacher fired at Rhode Island School.

The teachers union is upset that the RI government would dare take charge in this horrible situation to try and change it for the better.

The blue-and-white banner exclaiming "anticipation" on the front of Central Falls High School seems like a cruel joke for an institution so chronically troubled that its leaders decided to fire every teacher by year's end.

No more than half those instructors would be hired back under a federal option that has enraged the state's powerful teachers union, earned criticism from students, and brought praise from U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and some parents.

The mass firings were approved by the school district's board of trustees Tuesday night after talks failed between Superintendent Frances Gallo and the local teachers union over implementing changes, including offering more tutoring and a longer school day. The teachers say they want more pay for the additional work.

You want to know the problem? Here is the problem.

Central Falls High School has long been one of the worst-performing in Rhode Island. Just 7 percent of 11th graders tested in the fall were proficient in math. Only 33 percent were proficient in writing, and just 55 percent were proficient in reading. In 2008, just 52 percent of students graduated within four years and 30 percent dropped out.

More children live in poverty in Central Falls, a city of just 1 square mile, than anywhere else in Rhode Island. Until recently, one of the city's few growth industries was a quasi-public jail.

....During a rainstorm Wednesday, four boys sprinted from a side door on the high school, then ran down a driveway. One of them, Christian Manco, 15, said there was a walkout of students in support of their teachers.

"Honestly, it's not a good idea," he said. "The school wants them to work more hours for no extra pay."

His friend, Patrick Shirt, 15, stuck up for the school - especially after he advanced from freshman to sophomore year despite having switched schools and dropped out for a portion of the year.

"I felt kind of happy because I didn't have to go to summer school," he said. "They still passed me."

That is why they fired the teachers to start anew. You want to talk about the school being a family? Fine but the fact the school did not succeed in graduating students means its a dysfunctional family.

Freddie Mac loses $7.8B in 4Q, another bailout coming.

Obama's plan to use Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae as guarantees for loans is working out wonderfully.

Freddie Mac(FRE) lost $7.8 billion in the final three months last year, but the mortgage finance company didn't need a federal cash infusion for the third quarter in a row.
Freddie Mac, which has been controlled by federal regulators since September 2008, lost $2.39 a share, the company said Wednesday. The loss included $1.3 billion in dividends paid to the Treasury Department, which has an almost 80% stake in the company, based in McLean, Va.

The results were a marked improvement over the fourth quarter 2008, when Freddie lost $23.9 billion, or $7.37 a share.

During the most recent quarter, Freddie suffered $7.1 billion in credit losses and a $3.4 billion write-down in low-income tax credit investments. That move "increases the likelihood" that the company will require more cash from the Treasury Department, the company warned in a regulatory filing.

Here is the part to piss you off.

For taxpayers, stabilizing the two companies has been one of the costliest consequences of the financial meltdown. Freddie Mac has received about $51 billion from taxpayers to date, and the Obama administration has pledged to cover losses through 2012.
The government projects Fannie and Freddie will tap a combined $188 billion by fall 2011, up from the current level of $111 billion.

Together, Fannie and Freddie own or guarantee almost 31 million home loans worth about $5.5 trillion. That's about half of all mortgages.

The two companies loosened their lending standards for borrowers during the real estate boom and are reeling from the consequences. Nearly 4% of Freddie's borrowers have missed at least three payments.

Obama bemoans extreme rhetoric in meeting with CEOs

Sorry, but it seems you President Obama has led the way since last year when you screwed GM creditors out of their money to get your way and ever since you have lashed out at businesses large and small to push you agenda which includes bigger government. Deal with the consequences you enabled.

President Barack Obama sought an increasingly elusive political middle ground in remarks to business leaders Wednesday, warning that harsh partisan rhetoric is crippling the government's ability to find solutions to a growing array of problems.

The president portrayed an extensive list of administration priorities - including financial sector reform, stimulus spending, and new education investments - as necessary for long-term economic stability.

He also praised the Senate's approval earlier in the day of a $15 billion jobs bill. The package would give businesses tax breaks for hiring the unemployed and states more money for infrastructure projects. Thirteen Senate Republicans backed the measure - an unusual example of bipartisan accord in an increasingly polarized Congress.

Obama, Dems look beyond health summit

As if you needed more evidence of what a media event this summit is going to be today.

President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats, holding out little hope for Thursday's televised bipartisan summit on health care, are prepared to try for a far-reaching bill in the coming weeks without a single Republican vote.

Barring an unexpected two-party breakthrough at the summit, Democratic leaders feel they can't afford to fail, leaving them empty-handed on a huge priority in an already difficult election year. It's far from clear they can gather the votes, however, and it will take a major effort to unite fractious Democrats.

A bipartisan compromise seems highly unlikely, members of both parties said Wednesday. Popular insurance reform measures, which Republicans might support, require Democratic-backed measures the GOP staunchly opposes, such as government subsidies to enable millions of low-income Americans to buy health coverage.

With Democrats unwilling to start from scratch, "I think it's nearly impossible to imagine a scenario under which we could reach an agreement," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who will attend the televised six-hour meeting across from the White House.

(Video) White Sorority Wins Step-Off Competition

Compared to the rest they actually put more effort in and deserved it.

Bossip was invited to watch the finals for the Sprite Step-Off Challenge. There were a total of 14 sororities and fraternities but low and behold the sorority that won the $100,000 prize was not even black. These ladies received a standing ovation once they were finished…

Is This Even Right???

We have to admit, these chicks came with their A-game and took the crown. We witnessed some Deltas that were pissed about the Zetas receiving a standing ovation and ended up walking out on their performance… BUT the Deltas didn’t bring it like these girls did.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Obama has fallback Obamacare plan ready to go.

If the desired effect doesn't happen at the Obamacare summit then Obama will go back to the tried and true liberal method of putting something small in place and just ratchet it up down the road.

President Barack Obama will use a bipartisan summit Thursday to push for sweeping health-care legislation, but if that fails to generate enough support the White House has prepared the outlines of a more modest plan.

His leading alternate approach would provide health insurance to perhaps 15 million Americans, about half what the comprehensive bill would cover, according to two people familiar with the planning.

It would do that by requiring insurance companies to allow people up to 26 years old to stay on their parents' health plans, and by modestly expanding two federal-state health programs, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, one person said. The cost to the federal government would be about one-fourth the price tag for the broader effort, which the White House has said would cost about $950 billion over 10 years.

Officials cautioned that no final decisions had been made but said the smaller plan's outlines are in place in case the larger plan fails.

The slippery slope method.

EU to investigate Google. Microsoft helping the EU?

EU investigating another successful American company is not a surprise, they always pull this stunt to help their unsuccessful home grown companies. But this time it seems that Microsoft is helping the investigation into Google behind the scenes?

Google Inc. said European antitrust authorities have opened a preliminary inquiry into complaints about its tactics made by three European Internet companies.

The inquiry, disclosed late Tuesday, appears to focus largely on complaints that Google unfairly ranks the sites of the Internet competitors, in effect lowering their rank in search results that appear on Google sites.

Google denied violating European law or taking any action to stifle competition.

The European Commission inquiry is at an early, fact-finding stage and may not result in any action. But it appeared to be the first time that European antitrust authorities have examined Google's conduct outside of a merger review. The inquiry also comes at a time of heightened scrutiny of Google in Europe, where the company has an even more dominant position in search advertising than it does in the U.S.

Google said the allegations were made by, a German subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.,, a U.K. price comparison site, and, a French site specializing in legal search inquiries. Foundem and EJustice could not immediately be reached for comment.

"We do believe it's natural for competition officials to look at online advertising given how important it is to the development of the Internet and the dominance of one player," a Microsoft spokesman said, adding it hasn't been contacted by the EC.

A European Commission spokesman could not be reached.

Army superiors overlooked Hasan's views for diversity.

These same Army Superiors need to lose their careers because of thinking that diversity somehow excuses extremist views.

Army superiors were warned about the radicalization of Major Nidal Malik Hasan years before he allegedly massacred 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, but did not act in part because they valued the rare diversity of having a Muslim psychiatrist, military investigators wrote in previously undisclosed reports.

An obvious “problem child’’ spouting extremist views, Hasan made numerous statements that were not protected by the First Amendment and were grounds for discharge by violating his military oath, investigators found.

Examples of Hasan’s radical behavior have previously been disclosed in press accounts based on interviews with unnamed Army officials, including his defense of suicide bombings and assertions that Islamic law took priority over his allegiance to the United States.

But the Pentagon’s careful documentation of individual episodes dating back to 2005 and the subsequent inaction of his superiors have not been made public before.

NAACP to honor Van Jones

Ben Jealous argues the justification of honoring Van Jones and that he was a victim of a smear campaign based on lies and distortion which remarkably are on tape and in print.

I am not going to get worked up over this because this is the same group that honored R Kelly. Van Jones is actually a step up.

CIA did tell 68 lawmakers on interrogation program

Now its a question of how big of a lie did Nancy Pelosi and others say about not being told what the CIA was doing at the time.

CIA officials briefed at least 68 U.S. lawmakers between 2001 and 2007 on enhanced interrogation methods like simulated drowning that were being considered or used against captured al Qaeda members, according to declassified documents released on Tuesday.

The once-secret CIA papers, obtained in a lawsuit by the conservative legal foundation Judicial Watch, shed new light on which lawmakers knew the details of the controversial interrogation program and when.

Human rights groups have argued the harsh interrogation methods were forms of torture and violated U.S. obligations under the Geneva Conventions on treatment of war prisoners. President Barack Obama banned the techniques shortly after taking office in January 2009.

The declassified memos show the program began after the capture of al Qaeda lieutenant Abu Zubaydah, a Saudi-born Palestinian who was the group's operations director, in the city of Faisalabad in central Pakistan in March 2002.

.....The CIA did not begin using the interrogation techniques until after receiving legal guidance from the Department of Justice in August 2002.

Pelosi, who became House Democratic leader in late 2002, said at a news conference in April last year that she was never told at the time that simulated drowning -- or waterboarding -- and other harsh interrogation techniques were being used. She said she was only told the CIA had legal opinions that approved harsh interrogation methods.

Hayden, in his 2007 statement for the Senate Select Committee, said as the CIA began implementing the interrogation program in 2002 "the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, the speaker, and the minority leader of the House, and the chairs and ranking members of the intelligence committees were fully briefed on the interrogation procedures."

EU rules woman can claim welfare benefits in the UK.

UK welfare state, gotta love it.

Nimco Hassan Ibrahim - who lives with her four children on benefit handouts - was granted the right to the home by EU judges yesterday because she was once married to a Danish citizen who briefly worked in this country.

The landmark judgment means the 34-year-old migrant and her children will soon be packing up their impressive collection of furniture and electrical equipment when they are given a new house.

Although Miss Ibrahim claims her income support payments were suspended during the legal action, she has somehow bought a Playstation 3 games console, computer and a high-quality speaker system.

Equally impressive is the enormous sofa from which she watches TV each night. Lying on the floor in her lounge are some of the latest film releases - including a pirate DVD copy of the sci-fi movie Avatar.

And although she lives in a temporary accommodation in Harrow, Middlesex - funded by the local council - she has managed to install a high-speed internet connection.

Speaking to the Daily Mail last night, Mrs Ibrahim said: 'I deserve to be given a proper house. This one is too small for all of us.

Spanish workers protest over government spending cuts

When the welfare state is under threat the parasites will rise up.

Thousands of workers have protested in Spain's major cities against government spending cuts and plans to raise the retirement age by two years to 67.

The rallies were the first mass labour protests in the six years of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's Socialist government.

He announced 50bn euro ($67.5bn; £43.8bn) spending cuts and a civil service hiring freeze in January.

Spain faces a large budget deficit, a sluggish economy and high unemployment.

The main demonstration was in Madrid, where union officials said 60,000 protested. Police put the crowd at a much smaller 9,000 people.

"Mr prime minister, don't play around with pensions, with the future of millions and millions of people in our country," said union leader Ignacio Fernandez Toxo in a speech at the rally in Madrid.

UK Tories revive Ronald Reagan's slogan

Via Telegraph:

The Conservatives will today revive one of the most devastating election slogans of recent history by echoing Ronald Reagan’s question to voters: “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”

George Osborne will seize on data which shows Britons are worse off than when they last went to the polls as part of what he hopes will be a clinching argument with floating voters.

It comes in a speech in which the shadow chancellor will promise to put the record debt built up under Gordon Brown at the centre of the Conservative election campaign.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

(Audio) Tavis Smiley vs Al Sharpton on Tom Joyner Show.

Black on Black Egomaniac Crime at its finest. First Tavis Smiley calls up to complain that Obama and certain black "leaders" who went to the White House to talk to Obama are giving him a pass about helping the black community giving as an example the new jobs bill. It was the typical marxist/socialist BS that you expect from Tavis that with a black President there should be lots more help towards the black community.

Audio of Tavis Smiley (10 mins) If you want a short version of his complaint, hit the 8 min mark.

One of the leaders he called out was Rev. Al Sharpton. Rev Al is not taking any smack from Tavis, so he calls into the Tom Joyner Show to rebut and bitchslap Tavis.

Audio from Rev Al Sharpton.

Best line from Al calling out Tavis saying he along with others were buck dancing for Bill Clinton when he(Rev.Al) was demanding more for the black community.

Then Prof. Charles Ogletree calls in to kindly rebut Tavis's claim that black leaders were backing away from demanding Obama specifically help the black community. As he and Sharpton pointed out Obama can't single out one community like that but craft something that would also included black communities in trouble.

Audio from Prof. Charles Ogletree.

Just set aside some time and hit the audio links. It is hilarious.

Tom Joyner cheering Dick Cheney's heart problems?

Last 10 mins of today's show which had the highly entertaining Smiley vs Rev Al flareup that I will recap tonight. As Joyner was doing a recap of how the day started out well that included Cheney's having heart problems.

Yep. That is typical of Black Liberal Radio and pretty damn niggerish behavior by someone who should know better.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dem candidate Artur Davis got a nice economic plan.

He is one of the Dem candidates for Governor of Alabama and he laid out his economic plan along with his primary rival. How the heck is he a Dem with a plan like this these days?

Alabama's economy has turned into a major issue for all candidates for government. When the campaign began a year ago, the jobless rate was 7.8 percent. Now it's 11 percent, the highest figure in 26 years.

Some of the ideas in Davis' economic plan would:

--Encourage job growth by having the state government cover the extra federal payroll taxes for businesses that provide new jobs with above-average wages in high unemployment areas.

--Tie a portion of the state government's bank deposits to banks that help establish a lending fund for businesses in rural and inner-city areas.

--Offer tax incentives to existing businesses that invest in new equipment and factory upgrades.

--Reward existing businesses with tax credits when they launch significant new products and make them in Alabama.

--Provide a state tuition tax incentive for working adults who enroll in college and show significant progress toward getting a degree.

--Increase Alabama's high school graduation rate by providing a $500 annual tax credit for families making less than $65,000 annually if they have a child in grades eight through 12 who stays in school, passes the courses and keeps out of trouble.

Davis said many of his ideas would pay for themselves through economic growth that would increase state tax collections. Others could be paid for by cutting costs in other segments of government, he said.

The most shocking part of the plan?

Davis' economic plan goes beyond job creation. He endorsed the expansion of offshore drilling and the development of nuclear power, including the Tennessee Valley Authority's Bellefonte site near Scottsboro in northeast Alabama.

He called nuclear power "the cleanest, cheapest and most productive source of energy available today."

This sort of talk would have him kicked out of the party in most Dem areas.

AP: Obama's health plan outlook not very bright.

Obama released his health plan and it basically is the same as the Senate, more expensive, more taxes on everyone and a slow plan with trying to regulate insurance rates to kill off private insurance for a bigger government presence in healthcare.

The best part is the CBO says they can't score the cost because there is not enough time and there is no specific details to score in the first place.

This morning the Obama Administration released a description of its health care proposal, and CBO has already received several requests to provide a cost estimate for that proposal. We had not previously received the proposal, and we have just begun the process of reviewing it—a process that will take some time, given the complexity of the issues involved. Although the proposal reflects many elements that were included in the health care bills passed by the House and the Senate last year, it modifies many of those elements and also includes new ones.

Moreover, preparing a cost estimate requires very detailed specifications of numerous provisions, and the materials that were released this morning do not provide sufficient detail on all of the provisions. Therefore, CBO cannot provide a cost estimate for the proposal without additional detail, and, even if such detail were provided, analyzing the proposal would be a time-consuming process that could not be completed this week.

This is the continuing contempt Obama has for the American public that he can't even bother to put out details just talking points. The GOP should still go to the media event that Obama is hoping to gain momentum from but even that is bleak for him as the AP points out Obama just wants something, anything to claim victory.

In the end, Americans who have listened to a year of talk about big changes in their health care, may see much smaller changes, if any. The president is likely to have to settle for much less than he wants — small-bore legislation that would smooth the rough edges of today's system but stop well short of coverage for nearly everyone.

Still, any kind of win on health care would be good for Obama right now. For a president, victory often begets victory, defeat spawns defeat. A modest achievement would allow Obama to move on to other pressing issues, claiming credit for getting something done despite the harshest partisan environment in years.

White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer called the proposal "an opening bid" for Thursday's summit. "One thing I want to be very clear about is that the president expects and believes the American people deserve an up-or-down vote on health reform," he said.

But privately, a senior White House official sought to lower expectations, saying a solid single is better than striking out swinging for the fences. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

More on those Obama taxes.

In the plan, Obama advocates new taxes for Medicare, the government health program for the elderly. He proposed a 2.9 percent assessment on income from interest, dividends, annuities, royalties and rents for individuals earning more than $200,000 or families making more than $250,000.

Capital Gains

The proposed tax would also apply to capital gains, an administration official confirmed. That would push the rate to 22.9 percent in 2011, up from 15 percent now and 20 percent scheduled to take effect next year; the higher Medicare tax wouldn’t apply to income earned in tax-deferred retirement accounts. Obama also embraced a Senate proposal for an increase in the Medicare payroll tax on the highest earners.

Paul Hoffmeister, chief economist at the Chicago-based Bretton Woods Research LLC, a research group for Wall Street money-management firms, estimated a 2.9 percent tax on unearned income would produce a 3.5 percent to 4 percent decline in the broad stock indices.

“The market discounting would occur gradually as the likelihood of the legislation becoming law became 100 percent,” he said.

Medicare Tax

The Medicare tax proposal drew opposition from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The chamber is opposed to any effort by Congress to apply payroll taxes to non-wage income,” spokesman J.P. Fielder said. “This is an unprecedented policy that would undermine the principle that Medicare is an earned entitlement, damage the integrity of the Medicare Trust Fund, and hurt businesses by subjecting income to higher rates.”

Under the plan, the pharmaceutical industry led by New York-based Pfizer would shoulder $10 billion more in fees over 10 years starting in 2011. The extra money would be used to help the elderly buy prescription drugs under Medicare.

Health insurers, in turn, would get a delay in taxes on premiums and high-cost medical benefits, along with additional funding for expanding Medicaid.

Scandal? Rep. Kendrick Meek and Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

Last week the NYTIMES of all papers blew the lid off the extravagent spending choices of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) where out of $55 million raised during 2004-2008 only $1 million actually went to what could be called worthwhile causes. The rest went to blowout parties and trips that seem to serve only the members of the Caucus

Black America Web's Michael H. Cottman points out an interesting fact of who was in charge during some of these spending choices and possible illegal ties to businesses.

Have black congressional leaders betrayed the trust of African-Americans who are suffering? Has money been siphoned off from black single mothers and single fathers, raising children alone? What about black high school students who have great promise but no financial resources for college? And have black seniors received their fair share of funding for assistance with health care in their communities?

To say the CBCF has an image problem is a huge understatement. What’s clear is this: The Caucus needs an extensive – and immediate – overhaul along with an impartial auditor to oversee the books, page by page, line by line. There are no quick fixes here. The Times story alleges there is so much co-mingling between the Congressional Black Caucus and the CBCF, that it’s difficult to determine where the politics end and non-profit work begins.

....The new chairman of the CBCF – Rep. Donald Payne of New Jersey – hasn’t publicly uttered a word on the subject. Payne inherited this embarrassing mess from outgoing CBCF chairman Rep. Kendrick Meek of Florida, who is busy running for a U.S. Senate seat. Some of the CBCF’s alleged mismanagement happened during Meek’s tenure as chairman, but Meek, like Payne, has also been silent on the need for checks and balances inside the CBCF.

Sooooo... any of the local papers in the state of Florida want to follow up on this line of questioning to Rep. Meek?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Climate scientists withdraw journal claims of rising sea levels

This time because it was too conservative for other scientists.

Scientists have been forced to withdraw a study on projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding mistakes that undermined the findings.

The study, published in 2009 in Nature Geoscience, one of the top journals in its field, confirmed the conclusions of the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It used data over the last 22,000 years to predict that sea level would rise by between 7cm and 82cm by the end of the century.

At the time, Mark Siddall, from the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Bristol, said the study "strengthens the confidence with which one may interpret the IPCC results". The IPCC said that sea level would probably rise by 18cm-59cm by 2100, though stressed this was based on incomplete information about ice sheet melting and that the true rise could be higher.

Many scientists criticised the IPCC approach as too conservative, and several papers since have suggested that sea level could rise more. Martin Vermeer of the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland and Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany published a study in December that projected a rise of 0.75m to 1.9m by 2100.

Siddall said that he did not know whether the retracted paper's estimate of sea level rise was an overestimate or an underestimate.

New NAACP leader vows basically more of the same.

NAACP is increasingly irrelevant but they are putting more young leaders in place to keep with the times. The problem is its the same tired liberal ideas in the hands of not leaders but activists playing the role of leaders.

Roslyn Brock, a health care executive and former NAACP vice chair, was selected to fill the seat left by Julian Bond, a civil rights leader who has held the post since 1998. Brock, 44, is the youngest person to ever serve in the position.

"I want to get the word out that the NAACP is alive and well, and that we are a multi-cultural, multi-racial organization," Brock said on CNN's "Sunday Morning."

"It is our goal to extend a broader net, to encourage all Americans who believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to come and join us."

That sounds nice but.

Brock has worked with the organization for more than 25 years in various roles, including as a youth board member and president of its Youth and College State Conference, according to the NAACP. She is also a vice president at Bon Secours Health Systems in Marriottsville, Maryland.

That background, she said, makes health care one of her priorities.

"I'm most concerned about the 47 million people in the nation who are uninsured. I would hope that our Congress, working with the [Obama] administration, would recommit themselves to ensure comprehensive and affordable health care for all Americans," Brock said.

Another task the group needs to tackle, she said, is to tighten up its policy statements and "advocate for specific policy legislation that move forward a progressive agenda," especially in the areas of health care, education reform and jobs.

Meet new boss same as the old boss. There is no advancement in the needed diversity of ideas that would make the NAACP anything more in my eyes than a pusher of a liberal big government agenda.

Chavez: Saboteurs targeting Venezuela's power grid

Time to start blaming others for his failures. Typical of third world wannabe dictators.

Chavez said authorities must be "on the alert" and apprehend anyone who cuts electricity cables connected to the grid. Such sabotage has caused power failures in some regions and exacerbated the effects of severe energy shortages, he said.

"Be on the lookout! Patrols must be carried out to capture the saboteurs because those responsible must be caught and put in prison," Chavez said during his weekly television and radio program, "Hello President."

Referring to his government's adversaries, he said: "They think that's how they're going to topple Chavez, and that's what they're seeking, but if there's an electricity collapse, it won't be Chavez who is going to fall. Prepare yourselves, bourgeois folks, because it will be you who will fall."

The accusations were vague and Chavez provided no evidence supporting them.

Sad part is a lot of people in his country will believe this tin foil nonsense.

Obama's $1 Trillion dollar health plan Monday 10 AM.

Forcing mandates on the American people who will also have to subsidies everyone else who can't afford it which means Obama is taxing Americans twice.

But look at this insurance limit proposal.

President Barack Obama will propose giving federal authorities the power to limit rate hikes by health insurance companies -- part of a new health care overhaul plan he will unveil Monday in a last-ditch bid to salvage his signature issue.

The proposal would give the federal Health and Human Services Department -- in conjunction with state authorities -- the power to deny egregious premium increases, roll them back, or demand rebates for consumers, said a White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity because details have not yet been officially released.

Recent premium hikes of as much as 39 percent sought by Anthem Blue Cross in California have given Obama a new argument for his sweeping health care remake, stalled in Congress since Democrats lost their 60th Senate seat in a special election last month in Massachusetts.

Anthem is raising rates to cover an ever decreasing pool of customers, that is how business works especially in insurance. Obama's solution is not find ways to cut costs in the industry but force Americans to take out health insurance and cover those who can't afford it under his plan. How the hell is that going to make costs go down? It doesn't because the endgame here is to make government the biggest provider of health care.

The proposal for tighter oversight of insurers, modeled on legislation proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., will be part of a sweeping overhaul plan which the White House plans to post on its Web site at 10 a.m. Monday, ahead of a health care summit with congressional leaders of both parties on Thursday.

The broader plan, likely to be opposed by the GOP, is expected to require most Americans to carry health insurance coverage, with federal subsidies to help many afford the premiums. Hewing close to a stalled Senate bill, it would bar insurance companies from denying coverage to people with medical problems or charging them more. The expected price tag is around $1 trillion over 10 years.

.....Under the Obama plan, regulators would create a competitive marketplace for small businesses and people buying their own coverage. The plan would be paid for with a mix of Medicare cuts and tax increases. It would also strip out special Medicaid deals for certain states, while moving to close the Medicare prescription coverage gap and making newly available coverage for working families more affordable.

Obamacare lives and I expect his plan to be torn apart as the government takeover plot that is by around 10:15 AM.

Jews leaving Malmo, Sweden due to anti-Semitic hate crimes

Malmo is kinda legendary for being hostile to Jews and violence overall because of an immigrant population mostly Muslim that has gone to live there over the years. Now it seems the Jewish population has had enough.

When she first arrived in Sweden after her rescue from a Nazi concentration camp, Judith Popinski was treated with great kindness.

She raised a family in the city of Malmo, and for the next six decades lived happily in her adopted homeland - until last year.
In 2009, a chapel serving the city's 700-strong Jewish community was set ablaze. Jewish cemeteries were repeatedly desecrated, worshippers were abused on their way home from prayer, and "Hitler" was mockingly chanted in the streets by masked men.

"I never thought I would see this hatred again in my lifetime, not in Sweden anyway," Mrs Popinski told The Sunday Telegraph.

"This new hatred comes from Muslim immigrants. The Jewish people are afraid now."

Malmo's Jews, however, do not just point the finger at bigoted Muslims and their fellow racists in the country's Neo-Nazi fringe. They also accuse Ilmar Reepalu, the Left-wing mayor who has been in power for 15 years, of failing to protect them.

Mr Reepalu, who is blamed for lax policing, is at the centre of a growing controversy for saying that what the Jews perceive as naked anti-Semitism is in fact just a sad, but understandable consequence of Israeli policy in the Middle East.

While his views are far from unusual on the European liberal-left, which is often accused of a pro-Palestinian bias, his Jewish critics say they encourage young Muslim hotheads to abuse and harass them.

Aussie government failed to see report warning on insulation dangers.

The plan here was to battle climate change by insulating houses which ended up killing 4 people, injuring others and houses fires, crappy workmanship. Someone made a report warning the government of this 10 months ago but for some reason the people in charge only saw it 10 days ago.

ENVIRONMENT Minister Peter Garrett has admitted he did not see a damning risk assessment of the federal government's roof insulation program until 10 days ago, 10 months after it was delivered to his department because of concerns the scheme could lead to death or injury.
Kevin Rudd has revealed he was also in the dark about the taxpayer-funded report until February 11, the day Mr Garrett told parliament about its existence, despite it having been handed to the government in April last year.

The report from the consulting arm of law firm Minter Ellison gave specific warnings on house fires and property damage by dodgy installers, substandard batts and a department ill-equipped to roll out such a massive program.

It also warned that lax controls could lead to fraud and criminal behaviour, inflated charges and ineligible people accessing the program.

The $2.45 billion scheme, which was part of the government's stimulus package, was later linked to four deaths, at least 87 house fires and alleged rorting, before being axed by the Environment Minister on Friday.

Mr Garrett revealed that about 255,000 homes could have safety and quality problems, including substandard insulation, on top of about 1000 roofs with foil insulation that could be live.

(Video) Two Obama Voters on an Escalator gains viral traction.

This gets funnier every time I see it no matter what its titled. Mediaite has the back story.

New Doctor Who Trailer with Matt Smith

I will miss Tennant but there seems to be a more serious and darker tone to this Doctor.

Frisco, Texas uproar over more section 8 housing.

Another city and another set of politicians deciding that somehow section 8 housing is actually good for an area under the guise of being "inclusive."

In a first of its kind effort, Frisco is helping developers build affordable housing with money from a nonprofit in Dallas.

The catch: The partnership with Inclusive Communities Project Inc. requires some of the low-income apartments be available first to certain Dallas Housing Authority clients with Section 8 vouchers.

That has some people in this affluent suburb concerned.

"How does this help residents of Frisco?" asked Mark Walsh, who raised concerns in an e-mail to his neighbors. "It's helping Dallas Housing Authority people to move to Frisco."

Betsy Julian, president of the nonprofit, said Dallas residents want what everyone wants: attractive communities with amenities, good schools and low crime rates. Frisco fits that bill.

"Our mission is to promote healthy inclusive communities, and if there's no affordable housing, it's not an inclusive community," she said.

Whenever you see this sort of reasoning you know its based on liberals feeling good about themselves than actually solving a problem. If Dallas residents wants good schools, areas and low crime then how about fixing those problems in Dallas instead of outsourcing the problems to other areas in a bout of social engineering. All of it funded by taxpayer dollars.

The other issue which is not being addressed, this area median income is $100,000 but you are going to subsidies working class and poor families averaging around $30000. They have rent covered but what about other living expenses?

As always, the liberal set can't understand why people would object.
Tod Robberson/Editorial Writer : Sounds logical, but I was amazed at the angry comments from more than 100 Frisco residents at a Frisco City Council meeting Tuesday who flat-out didn't want any semblance of affordable housing in their community. There's a threat of a lawsuit to stop the City Council from proceeding after a vote yesterday to approve new affordable housing, which would include some Section 8 housing.

"If Dallas can't handle its own problem, it shouldn't become Frisco's," resident Dody Brigadier said Tuesday.

Amazing. The message here is: We love the cheap labor you send our way, but hey, we don't want those people actually living among us. Isn't that how the entire problem of the north-south divide got started in Dallas? Good for the Frisco City Council that they didn't let the protesters sway the council's better judgment. The fact is, all communities need to be balanced economically, racially and even politically.

If you want to know where the "island unto ourselves" mentality leads, just look at the north-south problem in Dallas. When you concentrate poverty in one area and wealth in another, you create enormous problems that endure for generations. Social segregation doesn't work. Never did, never will.

I never saw that in the Constitution that all areas must be balanced in three social aspects. Unless there are Jim Crow laws in Frisco, anyone can move there is they have the means to do so, this is just spreading problems around which will depress whatever areas ends up with more of this forced housing problem.

I have said it before and will keep asking it. I have never seen an area where section 8 housing has improved it and can anyone disproved that observation?