Thursday, April 1, 2010

Obama lashes out at media and critics over Obamacare.

This isn't arrogant Obama more than its thin-skinned Obama who seems to realize the anger about his policies is not going away. When you have company after company restating to hundreds of millions of dollars more expense from Obamacare, you would get prickly as well.

New gas milege rules means more cost and less choice for the consumer.

Its a subtle form of government control over the auto industry that most people won't notice till its too late.

Drivers will have to pay more for cars and trucks, but they'll save at the pump under tough new federal rules aimed at boosting mileage, cutting emissions and hastening the next generation of fuel-stingy hybrids and electric cars.

The new standards, announced Thursday, call for a 35.5 miles-per-gallon average within six years, up nearly 10 mpg from now.

By setting national standards for fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions from tailpipes, the government hopes to squeeze out more miles per gallon whether you buy a tiny Smart fortwo micro car, a rugged Dodge Ram pickup truck or something in between.

The rules will cost consumers an estimated $434 extra per vehicle in the 2012 model year and $926 per vehicle by 2016, the government said. But the heads of the Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency said car owners would save more than $3,000 over the lives of their vehicles through better gas mileage.

Touting the plan, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, "Putting more fuel-efficient cars on the road isn't just the right thing to do for our environment, it's also a great way for Americans to save a lot of money at the pump."

The MPG is the average over an entire fleet of cars, so makers can meet it by cutting out bigger vehicles and focusing on smaller vehicles that cost more to the average consumer which makes most cars and trucks out of reach. This please the environuts and cuts down on the amount of cars that are made and sold in the country.

California's last car plant (NUMMI) shuts down.

Blame GM, Blame the unions and most of all blame California.

California's sole auto plant shut down Thursday as the last car rolled off the assembly line and thousands of now unemployed workers walked out the doors, some crying.

A red Toyota Corolla was the last of nearly 8 million vehicles that have moved through production at New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., known as Nummi, and a throng of workers accompanied it on the final leg of the line.

"I saw a whole lotta men crying in there when things started going quiet and we said our goodbyes. It made me choke up," said David Guerra, who has worked at Nummi for 25 years — as long as the plant's been open. He also worked at the site for 14 1/2 years before that, when it was a General Motors Co. plant.

The Nummi plant, established in 1984 as a joint venture between GM and Toyota Motors Corp., employed 4,700 workers. GM made the Pontiac Vibe there but decided to withdraw from the alliance last year after filing for bankruptcy protection; the Detroit automaker is now liquidating its stake in the factory.

Toyota made the Corolla sedan and Tacoma pickup at the plant but said in August that without GM, it could not sustain the factory and would halt production April 1.

Obamacare! Verizon takes $970 million charge from health care bill

Change for the better?

NEW YORK (AP) -- The corporate tax impact of the recent health care overhaul grew Thursday as Verizon Communications Inc. announced it will record a related $970 million non-cash charge in the first quarter.

So far at least 15 companies have disclosed about $2.8 billion in charges prompted by the health care overhaul. Verizon's charge is the second-largest after AT&T, which last week announced a $1 billion charge related to the tax bill.

Verizon and other companies currently receive a government subsidy to keep prescription drug benefits for retirees. They've been able to deduct all of their expenses, but that ends in 2013 under the recently passed legislation.

So far Obamacare has cost companies over $2 billion dollars in tax hikes and the chance of people on their medical plans being thrown off. Niceeeee.

Actor Neal McDonough leaves ABC show over sex scenes.

There are still some people here and there in Hollywood who has some moral stances I guess. The hilarious bit is in the comment section asking how he can play killers but not have sex scenes. You can pretend to kill someone but you can't pretend you are not touching or kissing another woman.

Neal McDonough is a marvelous actor who elevates every role he plays, whether it's in Band of Brothers or Desperate Housewives. So when he was suddenly replaced with David James Elliott 3 days into the filming on ABC's new series Scoundrels earlier this week, there had to be a story behind the story. The move was officially explained as a casting change.

But, in fact, McDonough was sacked because of his refusal to do some heated love scenes with babelicious star (and Botox pitchwoman) Virginia Madsen. The reason? He's a family man and a Catholic, and he's always made it clear that he won't do sex scenes. And ABC knew that.

Because he also didn't get into action with Nicolette Sheridan on the network's Desperate Housewives when he played her psycho husband during Season 5. And he also didn't do love scenes with his on-air girlfriend in his previous series, NBC's Boomtown, or that network's Medical Investigation. "It has cost him jobs, but the man is sticking to his principles," a source explained to me.

iPad reviews pouring in and I refuse to get it.

TEAM HTC/ANDROID! Down with Apple and it smary lawsuits!

Seriously though I am going to wait till the second or third revision. If I am going to spend a ton of money on an iPad then it should have all or most of the features you could find in a netbook. As this review by David Pogue points out what is missing from it.

There’s an e-book reader app, but it’s not going to rescue the newspaper and book industries (sorry, media pundits). The selection is puny (60,000 titles for now). You can’t read well in direct sunlight. At 1.5 pounds, the iPad gets heavy in your hand after awhile (the Kindle is 10 ounces). And you can’t read books from the Apple bookstore on any other machine — not even a Mac or iPhone.

When the iPad is upright, typing on the on-screen keyboard is a horrible experience; when the iPad is turned 90 degrees, the keyboard is just barely usable (because it’s bigger). A $70 keyboard dock will be available in April, but then you’re carting around two pieces.

....YouTube, Vimeo,, and some other sites are converting their videos to iPad/iPhone/Touch-compatible formats. But all the news sites and game sites still use Flash. It will probably be years before the rest of the Web’s videos become iPad-viewable.

There’s no multitasking, either. It’s one app at a time, just like on the iPhone. Plus no U.S.B. jacks and no camera. Bye-bye, Skype video chats. You know Apple is just leaving stuff out for next year’s model.

The bottom line is that you can get a laptop for much less money — with a full keyboard, DVD drive, U.S.B. jacks, camera-card slot, camera, the works. Besides: If you’ve already got a laptop and a smartphone, who’s going to carry around a third machine?

Pogue points out from a hype POV and just a casual fan this is a hit because its the latest coolest gadget to get from Apple. My point is the lack of features and no multitasking is a major deal breaker.

Rep. Hank Johnson: Guam could 'tip over and capsize'

This is the same district that kept electing Cynthia Mckinney and I thought they came to their senses but they sent another moron to Congress.

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) is afraid that the U.S. Territory of Guam is going to "tip over and capsize" due to overpopulation.

Johnson expressed his worries during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the defense budget Friday.

Addressing Adm. Robert Willard, who commands the Navy's Pacific Fleet, Johnson made a tippy motion with his hands and said sternly, "My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize."

Willard paused and said: "We don't anticipate that."

Like other islands, Guam is attached to the sea floor, which makes it extremely unlikely that it will tip over, even if there are lots and lots of people on it. Guam is 30 miles long and up to 9 miles wide in certain spots, with a population of 175,000 civilians. The military is proposing the addition of 8,000 U.S. servicememebers and their families.

David Cameron attacks Obama over Falkland Islands snub.

This is another example of Obama's treat allies like shit policy. The Falklands argument was settled decisively by The Iron Lady. Obama conduct was spectacularly stupid.

David Cameron said he was ' disappointed' with Barack Obama last night over the President's refusal to support British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.

The Tory leader signalled he will end Gordon Brown's attempt to cosy up to Mr Obama if he wins the election and will not be frightened of talking tough with America.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently offered to mediate between Britain and Argentina after Buenos Aires made further claims to the islands.

Mr Cameron said: 'I thought it was disappointing, yes,' pointing out that America's priority ought to have been backing the democratic right of the Falkland islanders to remain British.

He said: 'I would want to make the point very strongly to them that if you believe in self-determination as a key part of the UN charter, then there's the strongest possible case that the Falkland Islands should maintain under the sovereignty of Britain, because that is what the people who live there want.

'That's what we went to war over. The population of the Falkland Islands wants to be British. So I think it was disappointing, frankly.'

Mr Cameron rejected the conclusion of a Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee report that the 'special relationship' with the U.S. is over.

Cities taking on unions over government worker's benefits/pay.

If you want two Americas, it is now the difference between private and public sector workers. There is zero reason why the pricey and extravagant pay and benefits to government workers should not be cut down because it is unaffordable to the people(taxpayers) who pay their salaries in most cases.

Nationwide, politicians looking for budget cuts are confronting politically powerful unions that represent state and local government employees—15% of U.S. workers and organized labor's biggest stronghold.

In Memphis, the city's health-care committee recently recommended raising current and retired employees' health-insurance premiums by as much as 15%. And Toledo's city council last week wrung $3.1 million in concessions from its firefighters' union as part of a measure to close its budget gap.

Similar things are happening at the state level. Over the past two years, 17 states have cut benefits for employees or increased the amount that individuals must contribute to their pension plans. Three of those states—Kentucky, Texas and Vermont—did both, according to the Pew Center on the States, a public-policy think tank.

At the heart of this fight is an unbalanced equation: The economy is shrinking cities' and states' tax income as their pension and health-care costs have soared. As a result, some governments are diverting money from services to cover benefits, or raising taxes and fees. That doesn't sit well with some taxpayers—many frustrated at seeing their own benefits being cut by private-sector employers.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Australia's PM furious over redneck joke, snarks at Alabama.

Look if your country started out as a prison you are going to get the jokes. Don't bring Alabama into this or they will send Nick Saban to bore you into submission.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has lashed out at US comedian Robin Williams for calling Australians "rednecks", suggesting the star should look closer to home before bashing Aussies.

Rudd hit back at the Oscar-winning actor during a radio interview after Williams told US talk show host David Letterman that "Australians are basically English rednecks. You down there, 'how are ya? Good to see you. Hello.'"

"I think Robin Williams should go and spend a bit of time in Alabama before he frames comments about anyone being particularly redneck," Rudd said on Melbourne commercial radio on Wednesday.

The comedian went on to say: "I realised that if Darwin had landed in Australia, he would have gone: 'I'm wrong'."

Obamacare! may squeeze some firms, retirees

Just to be a prick since it seems union members who wanted Obamacare are the ones most likely to get hurt by the changes, I am not so sad over this development.

David Wyss, a Standard & Poor's economist, acknowledged that health-care reform "will raise cost for employers" but stressed the increase would not be "that big."

The reform "applies only to heavily unionized companies," Wyss said, where employees enjoy contract-protected benefits.

"It's not going to affect most companies" which "don't provide such generous plans" for retirement and whose retired workers use the federal government's Medicare plan for drug coverage.

Still, 10 major companies, including Boeing, Xerox and Metlife, have expressed concern that the drug subsidy could be taxed, warning that would likely result in "significant" reductions in employer-sponsored retiree prescription drug coverage.

Some retirees could turn to Medicare for drug coverage if they are at least 65 years old, but if not they would have to bear the high cost of coverage alone or drop it entirely.

Gerry Shea, assistant to the president of the AFL-CIO union, said that "between 1.5 and 2.0 million retirees will likely lose their coverage."

Michael Jordan getting pulled into Tiger Woods scandal?

Vanity Fair has an article talking to Tiger's mistress and former handlers on who knew what but an interesting sidenote is Michael Jordan's name comes up and not in a flattering light.

• Woods’s preferred place to stay in Las Vegas was the Mansion at the MGM Grand, where a one-bedroom suite costs $5,000 per night. He would gamble in the ultra-exclusive V.I.P. casino nearby. According to a source known as Robin Hood 702, “sometimes the only people in the place were me, Tiger Woods, and Michael Jordan. Each of us sat at our own private table and played big. Tiger plays big. Up to 30 grand a hand … and when you’re playing splits and doubles, you can have 150 grand on one hand.”

• “When Tiger showed up in Vegas, he was always with Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley,” according to Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Norm Clarke. Years earlier, however, John Merchant had warned Woods to avoid Jordan and Barkley, saying of Jordan, “Stay away from that son of a bitch, because he doesn’t have anything to offer to the fucking world in which he lives except playing basketball.” Merchant adds, “Are they his black role models? You’ve got to be kidding me.”

NBC New York:

Hanging out with hard-partying former basketball stars Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley put Tiger Woods on the cartpath to debauchery, his former lawyer and adviser tells Vanity Fair in a bombshell interview hitting newsstands today.

In a 14-page spread that also includes steamy photos and interviews with the women Woods allegedly cheated on his wife with, John Merchant calls his ex-pal's fall from grace worse than "one of Shakespeare's tragedies."

"I told him, 'Stay away from that son of a b---- [Jordan], because he doesn't have anything to offer to the f---ing world in which he lives except playing basketball," Merchant told the magazine, which comes out today.

Michelle Braun, a "matchmaker" who claims to have procured girls for Woods, said she steered Ferriolo to Woods while he was at a Bahamas casino. Ferriolo said that Jordan, who was also there, sent a bodyguard to try to intercept her. "I walked over to him and he grabbed my hand. I walked away, and he kind of gave chase. He goes, 'I'm Michael Jordan. I will find you.'"

But Woods had plunked down $15,000 for the meeting with Ferriolo, according to Braun. Ferriolo, who claims to be writing a book about her affair with Woods, claims she fell hard for the golf superstar.

Mediaite wonders if the press love for Jordan is going to finally drop.

But it could signal the beginning of a more startling event: the taking off of the kid-gloves regarding the media’s relationship with Jordan. It’s no secret that Jordan has his dark side: problems with gambling, alleged infidelity, and an uncomfortably competitive disposition that made him the best player on the court, but kind of a dick off of it. Very rarely is this side of Jordan discussed, largely because of the media’s reluctance to cast the most important basketball player of all time in a negative light.

The piece also raises questions about Jordan’s almost-appearance at Woods’ famous apology press conference. Was he hoping to head off some negative press? Did Jordan, the ex-most-famous-athlete on the planet still living in the fast lane, help build up Tiger’s false sense of “entitlement” regarding the dicier trappings of fame?

(VIDEO) Killer Whale attacks Dolphin in front of shocked tourists.

Nature is awesome!
An orca whale has killed a dolphin and her pup in front of a group of tourists who captured the rare event on video.

The whale was in a pod of about eight which targeted a larger number of smaller dolphins.

The attack happened at a seaside beauty spot called Black Rocks, in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand.

Rob Hunt from New Zealand company Explore Images which arranges nature tours and takes photos to help tourists enjoy their experience was on the boat.

The event was a "one in a million" chance, he said. "The boat was just 50 to 100m away while the killing occurred," he added.

He said markings showed it was a female killer whale that chased the doomed dolphin after apparently singling it out.

"It chased it for several minutes, playing with it before flicking the unfortunate creature about 10 metres into the air, then breaking its back on her nose.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Obama admin backs racist Race-Based Admissions

Flat out wrong and the fact they are putting diversity as such an important reason to discriminate by race against others causes more race based strife than anything else. It would be better to expand the student population to get more admissions than it would be to shrink the application pool and use race as a deciding factor.

The Obama administration has asked a federal appeals court to uphold a race-conscious admissions system at the University of Texas at Austin, aiming to stymie a lawsuit that conservatives hope will spur the Supreme Court to limit affirmative action at public colleges.

The Texas case tests a 2003 Supreme Court decision that upheld a race-conscious admissions system at the University of Michigan Law School. That ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger said the law school had "a compelling interest in attaining a diverse student body." By a 5-4 vote, the court prohibited "outright racial balancing," but said race could be a "plus" factor to build a "critical mass" of minority students.

Obama to Set Plan on Offshore Drilling

Don't get your hopes up since he is still in the enviro nuts pockets, I doubt any of these plans will have a significant positive for more domestic energy use.

The Obama administration is expected Wednesday to unveil a long-awaited five-year national offshore oil and natural-gas drilling plan, which may include new drilling off the Virginia coast.

The plan is expected to say when and where companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell PLC can explore off the coasts of long-proven oil states such as Texas, Alaska and Louisiana. It also is expected to open new offshore areas to exploration between 2012 and 2017.

Industry officials say the administration is likely to offer a lease sale for exploration blocks off the Virginia coast. This section had been previously set for a 2011 lease sale before the White House pulled it from the program last year. They also expect the plan to include a timeline for seismic surveys to assess potential resources in the Atlantic and a schedule for decisions on possible future lease sales off the U.S. East Coast.

....In a nod to its environmental base, the administration is expected to keep the Pacific coast off limits, as well as new areas of Alaska such as Bristol Bay. According to people familiar with the matter, the administration is prepared to defend the Chukchi lease sale in Alaska, where Shell has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to explore an area thought to have some of the largest untapped fields in the U.S.

The White House has targeted the petroleum industry on several fronts besides changing drilling plans: It has also called for recision of tens of billions of dollars in tax breaks and is tightening environmental regulations for the sector.

Obamacare! Prudential to take $100M health care charge

What? you thought free healthcare would be cheap?

Insurer Prudential Financial Inc. said Monday that it will take a $100 million charge in the first quarter in relation to the recent health care overhaul legislation.

The life insurance and annuities provider said in a regulatory filing that it will take the charge against earnings in the first quarter.

Prudential joins a growing list of companies that have said they will take accounting charges because of the health care bills. AT&T said last week it would take a $1 billion charge in the first quarter. AK Steel Corp., 3M Co., Caterpillar Inc., Deere & Co. and Valero Energy have also said they would take smaller charges.

USATODAY/Gallup: Health care law too costly, most say

You ain't see nothing yet. GOP and Conservatives need to keep hammering on the cost and how Obamacare as a healthcare reform is bad for America and the American people. GOP needs to have a plan ready to publish to show they have something better to go along with their "repeal and replace" slogan.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the health care overhaul signed into law last week costs too much and expands the government's role in health care too far, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, underscoring an uphill selling job ahead for President Obama and congressional Democrats.
Those surveyed are inclined to fear that the massive legislation will increase their costs and hurt the quality of health care their families receive, although they are more positive about its impact on the nation's health care system overall.

Supporters "are not only going to have to focus on implementing this kind of major reform," says Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at Harvard. "They're going to have to spend substantial time convincing people of the concrete benefits of this legislation."

The risk for them is that continued opposition will fuel calls for repeal and dog Democrats in November's congressional elections. The bill was enacted without a single Republican vote.

Obamacare! White House officials angry at Corporations

They had the nerve to restate their expenses as required by law. They have offended black jesus on his week of wins.

"These are Republican CEOs who are trying to embarrass the President and Democrats in general," says a White House legislative affairs staffer. "Where do you hear about this stuff? The Wall Street Journal editorial page and conservative websites. No one else picked up on this but you guys. It's BS."

On Friday White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett were calling the CEOs and Washington office heads of the companies that took the financial hits and attacked them for doing so. One Washington office head said that the White House calls were accusatory and "downright rude."

The companies are taking the charges because in 2013 they will lose a tax deduction on tax-free government subsidies they have had when they give retirees a Medicare Part D prescription-drug reimbursement. Many of these companies have more than 100,000 retirees each. AT&T may have more than three-quarters of a million retirees to cover.

Stations happy that loss leader Oprah is leaving the air.

Via B&C.

Syndicators have been salivating at the chance to grab the time slots occupied by CBS TV Distribution’s The Oprah Winfrey Show since the first whiff of rumor that Oprah might end her program. But as the industry looks to fall 2011, when the show will actually conclude at the end of its 25th season, the real opportunity is proving to be stations’ ability to cut costs rather than fi nd the next big thing.

“Oprah’s ratings have eroded so much that the image of Oprah is much stronger than the reality of Oprah, either as a news lead-in or as a money-maker,” says one station executive. “In many cases, Oprah is a stunning loss leader. There are people who are deeply thankful she is calling it quits.”

Some solid new syndie performers have debuted in recent seasons, and syndication hopefuls continue to campaign for new projects, such as the Rosie O’Donnell vehicle that former Warner Bros. bigwigs Dick Robertson and Scott Carlin are pitching. But no heir apparent exists—for Oprah’s time slot, viewers or license fees.

“Once Oprah leaves, her viewers are going to be dispersed and they aren’t going to go to some new show,” says a top syndication executive. “It will be a bit of musical chairs in a way. I don’t think it’s an unbelievably huge opportunity.”

Monday, March 29, 2010

Duke University denies Pro Life group space to talk about motherhood.

It seems that there are female students going to Duke who get upset about motherhood.

Apparently pro-life groups are not welcome on certain places on Duke University’s campus.

Surprised? We were too. As part of ‘Week for Life’ that occurred on Duke’s campus March 15-19, Duke Students for Life requested to use a space inside of the university-funded Women’s Center. For the event, “Discussion with a Duke Mother” we invited a student mother to speak about motherhood and the challenges of being an undergraduate mom. The space was initially reserved, but when the Week for Life began, the Women’s Center canceled our space request.

When asked for an explanation, Women’s Center staffer Martin Liccardo said that because the event was associated with the Week for Life and Duke Students for Life, the event could not be held at the Women’s Center.

It is unacceptable that a university-funded Women’s Center that advertises itself as promoting a “campus culture that ensures the full participation and agency of women students,” does not allow a group sponsoring a conversation about motherhood into their space. If Liccardo’s defense was intended to be sincere or convincing, it came across quite differently—quite frankly, as censorship.

“We had a very strong reaction from students in general who use our space who said this was something that was upsetting and not OK,” Liccardo told us when we confronted him about the abrupt cancellation. “So based on that, we said we are going to respond to this and stop the program.”

Berlin Jews Alarmed By Spate Of Anti - Semitic Attacks

Arab and Turkish immigrants are getting pointed out by groups.

"There's an urgent need to fight the roots of anti-Semitism, especially coming from young Turks and Arabs, and to effectively counter it," the Jewish Community in Berlin said in a statement.

"That the violence from the immigrant community is being increasingly aimed at Jews or people they assume are Jews is alarming," it added. A sensitive issue in Germany because of its Nazi past, even relatively minor reports of anti-Semitic violence make the news.

Police reported at the weekend that two women and a man were beaten, struck on the head with beer bottles and insulted by a gang of immigrants in an underground station.

Local media reports said the three were first asked if they were Jewish. The attack started after they said yes. Police said they were searching for the assailants.

Muslim student demands "Our Lord" off of Trinity University Diploma

Diversity runs amok as a school founded by Presbyterians are getting demands to change their diploma to accommodate the sensitivity of a few students who are shocked a place called Trinity University would have religious roots. In a sane world, students who come to the school would realize that diversity doesn't mean their demands get meant while everything changes to suit them.

A group of students at Trinity University is lobbying trustees to drop a reference to “Our Lord” on their diplomas, arguing it does not respect the diversity of religions on campus.

“A diploma is a very personal item, and people want to proudly display it in their offices and homes,” said Sidra Qureshi, president of Trinity Diversity Connection. “By having the phrase ‘In the Year of Our Lord,' it is directly referencing Jesus Christ, and not everyone believes in Jesus Christ.”

Qureshi, who is Muslim, has led the charge to tweak the wording, winning support from student government and a campus commencement committee. Trustees are expected to consider the students' request at a May board meeting.

Other students and President Dennis Ahlburg have defended the wording, arguing that references to the school's Presbyterian roots are appropriate and unobtrusive.

Founded by Presbyterians in 1869, Trinity has been governed by an independent board of trustees since 1969 but maintains a “covenant relationship” with the church.

“Any cultural reference, even if it is religious, our first instinct should not be to remove it, but to accept it and tolerate it,” said Brendan McNamara, president of the College Republicans.

McNamara pointed out that Trinity displays other signs of its Christian heritage, including a chapel on campus, a chaplain, Christmas vespers and a Bible etching on the Trinity seal.

“Once you remove that phrase, where do you draw the line?” McNamara asked.

The school has bent over backward to make everyone feel welcomed.

Though Trinity has historically enrolled mostly Anglo Christians, the university has taken pains to increase diversity in recent years. Since 1999, the share of international students has increased from 1 percent to 9 percent.

Medina, a former international student, said he always has felt welcome at Trinity. The chaplain on campus caters to students of all religions, and the university recently dedicated a Muslim prayer space in Parker Chapel.

“I never had the experience that Trinity was a closeted Christian institution,” Medina said.

They are demanding the school strip itself of its identity in the name of diversity but still cater to their religious needs. Just say no and let the offended students get their education somewhere else. This kowtowing has to stop now.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

George Will: End the practice of birthright citizenship.

America needs to joins the rest of the industrialized world such as the UK, Ireland and Australia who have ended this "right" within the last 30 years that has abused the 14th amendment meant to protect slaves born in this country.

A simple reform would drain some scalding steam from immigration arguments that may soon again be at a roiling boil. It would bring the interpretation of the 14th Amendment into conformity with what the authors of its text intended, and with common sense, thereby removing an incentive for illegal immigration.

To end the practice of "birthright citizenship," all that is required is to correct the misinterpretation of that amendment's first sentence: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside." From these words has flowed the practice of conferring citizenship on children born here to illegal immigrants.

A parent from a poor country, writes professor Lino Graglia of the University of Texas law school, "can hardly do more for a child than make him or her an American citizen, entitled to all the advantages of the American welfare state." Therefore, "It is difficult to imagine a more irrational and self-defeating legal system than one which makes unauthorized entry into this country a criminal offense and simultaneously provides perhaps the greatest possible inducement to illegal entry."

Writing in the Texas Review of Law and Politics, Graglia says this irrationality is rooted in a misunderstanding of the phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof." What was this intended or understood to mean by those who wrote it in 1866 and ratified it in 1868? The authors and ratifiers could not have intended birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants because in 1868 there were and never had been any illegal immigrants because no law ever had restricted immigration.

If those who wrote and ratified the 14th Amendment had imagined laws restricting immigration -- and had anticipated huge waves of illegal immigration -- is it reasonable to presume they would have wanted to provide the reward of citizenship to the children of the violators of those laws? Surely not.

Democrats demand AT&T and others to Congress for Obamacare writedowns.

See what happens when reality intrudes into the Democrats fantasy of how business is supposed to work? You get hauled in front of Congress for a dress down.

This wholesale destruction of wealth and capital came with more than ample warning. Turning over every couch cushion to make their new entitlement look affordable under Beltway accounting rules, Democrats decided to raise taxes on companies that do the public service of offering prescription drug benefits to their retirees instead of dumping them into Medicare. We and others warned this would lead to AT&T-like results, but like so many other ObamaCare objections Democrats waved them off as self-serving or "political."

Perhaps that explains why the Administration is now so touchy. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke took to the White House blog to write that while ObamaCare is great for business, "In the last few days, though, we have seen a couple of companies imply that reform will raise costs for them." In a Thursday interview on CNBC, Mr. Locke said "for them to come out, I think is premature and irresponsible."

Meanwhile, Henry Waxman and House Democrats announced yesterday that they will haul these companies in for an April 21 hearing because their judgment "appears to conflict with independent analyses, which show that the new law will expand coverage and bring down costs."

In other words, shoot the messenger. Black-letter financial accounting rules require that corporations immediately restate their earnings to reflect the present value of their long-term health liabilities, including a higher tax burden. Should these companies have played chicken with the Securities and Exchange Commission to avoid this politically inconvenient reality? Democrats don't like what their bill is doing in the real world, so they now want to intimidate CEOs into keeping quiet.

Never trust anyone who is about "social justice." ala Jim Wallis.

There is this back and force between Wallis(religious lite person) and Glenn Beck about the term social justice. Wallis in a Wash Post editorial titled egomanically as "Christians stand up to Glenn Beck" has this to say about social justice.

While the term has sometimes been used to support ideologies of the left and right, social justice is in fact a personal commitment to serve the poor and to attack the conditions that lead to poverty. These are some of the most passionate beliefs of a younger generation of Christians and one of their most compelling attractions to Jesus Christ.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the archetypal "social justice Christian" and the one from whom many of us have drawn inspiration. King inspired me to build movements for change, not to build big and tyrannical governments, as Beck has charged. King clearly called for more than private charity: He called for changing structures and, yes, for using the "government" to end racial segregation and establish voting rights for African Americans. And it was King acting in what he believed to be obedience to God, not a preference for totalitarian governments, that led to remarkable achievements of helping to realize a more just society.

If Beck had, from the beginning, made an argument for small government and private charity, none of us would have responded to him. But on his show this week he wrote on his blackboard: "My definition of social justice" is "the forced redistribution of wealth, with a hostility to individual property, under the guise of charity and/or justice." I doubt many churches in America would agree with that.

But on his Blog he said this tidbit.

But we do say that while social justice begins with our own lives, choices, and sacrifices, it doesn’t end there. Those of us who have actually done this work for years all understand that you can’t just pull the bodies out of the river, and not send somebody upstream to see what or who is throwing them in.

Serving the poor is a fundamental spiritual requirement of faith, but challenging the conditions that create poverty in the first place is also part of biblical social justice.

In countering Beck’s misunderstanding of social justice on The Colbert Report, James Martin, an editor of the Jesuit America magazine, quoted a Catholic Archbishop as saying, “When I feed the poor they call me a saint; but when I ask why people are poor they call me a communist.” He suggested Beck has that problem.

Private charity, which Beck and I are both for, wasn’t enough to end the slave trade in Great Britain, end legal racial segregation in America, or end apartheid in South Africa. That took vital movements of faith which understood the connection between personal compassion and social justice.

Those are the movements that have inspired me and shaped my life — not BIG GOVERNMENT. And my allies in faith-based social justice movements have wonderfully different views on the role of government — some bigger than mine and some smaller than mine — but we all believe social justice requires changing both personal choices and unjust structures. Apparently Beck thinks social justice ends with private charity, but very few churches in the nation would agree with him.

What Beck is talking about and what Wallis misses is the absolute perversion of social justice which does come the take from the rich and give to the poor without any changes to the structures that cause and continue poverty.

Wallis does not advocate any of the measures to change this unjust behavior. He proudly shows off a panel report that he helped to write for the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships where they made recommedations to the White House how to enchance partnerships between the Government and "community-serving" organizations. What is the underlining theme to the whole deal?

Successful and innovative programs run by community-serving organizations that provide integrated job training and support services to disadvantaged job seekers should be expanded. Likewise, Federal agencies should ensure that low-income communities and workers with barriers to employment are targeted when creating green job training programs.

They can often do so most effectively in collaboration with nonprofit groups.
In order to better serve those who are struggling, the Government should support the
creation of more single-site multiple-benefit access programs, including those administered by religious and secular grassroots organizations.

Far too many eligible families and individuals do not receive the benefits to which they are entitled. This discrepancy deepens the negative impacts of poverty on families and reduces the potential economic benefits for low-income communities. The limited government funding that is available to support benefits outreach and access is typically focused on single benefits and single agencies.

The Council recommends that the Government pool these funds and revise relevant program rules to allow single sites to offer multiple benefits. In that way, families can access benefits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit; SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Progam (food stamps); medical benefits (including children’s health insurance); and veterans’ benefits in one place.

Similarly, Federal programs should eliminate restrictive rules prohibiting the integration of funds or erecting significant barriers to effective coordination in programs affecting our economic recovery. The Administration’s development of comprehensive and cross-cutting programs for communities like Promise Neighborhoods and Choice Neighborhoods is a step in the right direction.

What Wallis doesn't understand or maybe he does and won't admit it is the fact his advocacy of his version of social justice means the government gets involved in people's live and take their wealth to fund his desires. Nothing recommended or endorsed by him attacks the structures that keep poverty alive except a redistribution of wealth on all fronts.

The liberal interpretation of "For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required." Luke 12:48 isn't just for people as their income grows to give back but to have the government be the enforcer well beyond say civil rights and deeper into social engineering. No God-fearing person would ever agree to such nonsense but Wallis advocates in his blog rebuttal post of Glenn Beck. Wallis's readers seem to be of the buffet religion types who are fond of picking and choosing which parts of the Holy Bible they like and parts they don't for the sake of personal expediency.

It seems that Wallis's desires and goals are more important to him under the guise of being a big government Christian. I don't agree with Beck's attack on Wallis but Wallis programs are purely big government religion.

Kaiser's Health Reform Subsidy Calculator

If you want an estimate on what Obamacare will cost you and how much others will get from the welfare handout.

I am getting screwed, thanks for asking.

Obama's hostility towards Israel involves Samantha Powers?

The Obama admin has kept her on such a short leash I had forgotten about her.

Jennifer Rubin believes Obama’s fumble was by design, or at least by instinctual hostility towards Israel. With advisers like Samantha Power at the White House, that hostility was known long before Obama got elected. Accidental, latent, or overt, Obama’s hostility towards a key democracy in the most strategic part of the world has raised eyebrows of both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill — perhaps belatedly, but not too late to put some serious pressure for this administration to grow the hell up.

One of the reasons I had did not address about Obama's u-turn on Israel is the amount of people who are not in positions of power that are hell bent on making Israel their bitch and favor their enemies. Samantha Powers is one of those people and in the astonishing turn around in America's attitude toward its allies most of all Israel I forgot about her previous hostility towards Israel.

But that would be giving an excuse to Obama that he is a dumb hack easily manipulated into these decisions. This hostility towards Israel only helps not only their enemies but the same ones Obama is trying to make friends while throwing Israel under the bus.

L.A. school unions cut school year to save their jobs

An already crappy school system cuts even more time it can teach their students to save 2,100 campus jobs. Not cut the bloated expenses and figure out how to teach students in a better more efficient way, just cut the school year. This is why this country is going to hell in a handbasket and it starts with the public school system and the unions.

Los Angeles school district officials and employee unions announced an agreement Saturday to cut five days from this school year and seven days next year in an effort to maintain up to 2,100 campus jobs.

If approved by members of the teachers and administrators unions, the move would save the Los Angeles Unified School District about $140 million and preserve class sizes in grade and middle schools, officials said. The district, the second largest in the nation, is facing a $640-million deficit.

District officials had been urging unions for months to make concessions to help balance the books. Administrators agreed to the furlough days Monday night, and the teachers union reached a deal late Friday, representatives said at a news conference.

Florida Mason-Dixon poll falls for Obama and Obamacare.

Its Mason-Dixon which has a tremendous track record especially in this region. Wait till the retirees down here get screwed over as companies drop them for being too expensive.

Florida voters have turned sharply against President Barack Obama, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and a sweeping health care law they helped push through Congress, according to a Mason-Dixon poll released Saturday.

The statewide poll of 625 registered voters found that Obama's favorable ratings have plunged to 37 percent from 50 percent when he was elected in 2008.

Nelson's favorable ratings dropped even more dramatically, to 36 percent from 54 percent when he was re-elected in 2006.

The health care bill passed by Congress and signed by Obama was supported by only 34 percent of Floridians in the poll and opposed by 54 percent. The bill was especially unpopular among senior citizens, a big voting bloc in Florida.

The results spell trouble for Democrats in this year's elections. The findings reflect the angry and fearful mood of the electorate, particularly in growth states beset with widespread joblessness and housing foreclosures.

"It's a foul mood toward incumbents in general, but Democrats are going to take the brunt of it," said J. Brad Coker, managing director of the independent polling firm. "It could dissipate. A big turn in the economy, a drop in unemployment that gets people a little happier, would take the edge off this. But I don't think anybody is predicting that big a turnabout between now and November."