Saturday, May 1, 2010

Arizona deputy shot; illegal immigrants suspected

This is why the new immigration law is so popular in the state. Arizona has become a major hub for illegal immigrants and drug cartels while the Federal government for years just sat on its thumbs.

A veteran sheriff's deputy was shot and wounded Friday after encountering a group of suspected illegal immigrants who apparently had been hauling bales of marijuana along a major smuggling corridor in the Arizona desert — a violent episode that comes amid a heated national debate over immigration.

State and federal law enforcement agencies deployed helicopters and scores of officers in pursuit of the suspects after the deputy was shot with an AK-47 on Friday afternoon, and the search continued into the night. Deputy Louie Puroll, 53, had a chunk of skin torn from just above his left kidney, but the wound was not serious. He was released Friday night from Casa Grande Regional Medical Center.

The shooting was likely to add fuel to an already fiery national debate sparked last week by the signing of an Arizona law aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration in the state.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Spain's jobless rate soars over 20%, cuts Solar power welfare.

Considering Zapatero is on power, I am gleeful over the news the economy keeps collapsing. He is a prick and allowed spending excesses which he is now trapped in because the public doesn't want spending cuts.

Spain's jobless rate has risen over 20 percent for the first time since 1997, the government said Friday -- more dismal news for a recession-plagued economy that is being dragged into Europe's debt crisis.

The National Statistics Institute said the rate rose 1.22 percentage points in the first quarter to 20.05 percent.

While other major economies in Europe and elsewhere have posted at least tepid growth as they crawl out of recession, the eurozone's fourth-largest economy is still contracting after the collapse of a construction boom that had fueled years of expansion.

Now, with the recession forcing the government to spend heavily on joblessness benefits and stimulus measures, the deficit is soaring, triggering worries among investors that Spain might be in danger of a debt crisis like the one that has engulfed Greece. Ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded Spanish debt this week.

Via Bloomberg:

Spain is lancing an 18 billion-euro ($24 billion) investment bubble in solar energy that has boosted public liabilities, choking off new projects as it works to cut power prices and insulate itself from Greece’s debt crisis.

Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian is negotiating reductions in subsidies for solar plants that would curb energy costs, a ministry spokesman said this week. Grupo T-Solar Global SA, the world’s biggest photovoltaic plant owner, shelved its Spanish stock offering three days ago. Solar Opportunities SL postponed a 130 million-euro deal due to be signed today.

“They’ve put the fear of god into all these investors,” said Paul Turney, chief executive officer of Madrid-based Solar Opportunities. “By the time they’ve finished dithering around, they’ll have hurt their credibility so badly that no one will want to invest.”

70% of Americans support Arizona's immigration law.

I guess they are all racists and Nazi members. No wonder Obama wants immigration off the agenda.

Seven in 10 U.S. adults support arresting people who can't prove they're in the United States legally, a poll about Arizona's new immigration law

The Angus Reid Public Opinion poll of 1,002 American adults asked respondents if they'd want four guidelines in Arizona's immigration law enacted in their own state.

Democrats: Illegal immigrants to get amnesty after 8 years.

Typical race baiting vote getting ploy from the Dems and Obama as they try to drive up the Latino vote this November.

Seeking to woo Republicans, the 26-page framework, which has not yet been written into a formal bill, emphasizes first taking steps to limit illegal immigration before offering new rights for those here illegally. But the REPAIR (Real Enforcement with Practical Answers for Immigration Reform) proposal, as Democrats dubbed it, also would create a pathway to legal status for an estimated 10.8 million people who are already in the country illegally, an idea opposed by many conservatives.

Under the proposal, illegal immigrants currently in the United States would be eligible for legal status in eight years, as long as they learned English, had not committed a crime and paid their taxes. The federal government would increase funding for border security and require all American workers get a new version of their Social Security card that would include a biometric identifier to protect against the creation of counterfeits.

"I say to my Republican colleagues, work with us to fix this broken system, don't just say no," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in a Thursday evening press conference.

In a statement released by the White House, Obama called the proposal "a very important step in the process of fixing out nation's broken immigration system."

vague statement on funding and just a minimal amount of steps to allow over 10 million illegals to get an easy way to citizenship. All sorts of win so far.

Even Obama realizes the chances of this getting any traction is zero and wants to get away from it. That won't stop him from race baiting.
Immigration reform has become the first of President Barack Obama's major priorities dropped from the agenda of an election-year Congress facing voter disillusionment. Sounding the death knell was Obama himself.

The president noted that lawmakers may lack the "appetite" to take on immigration while many of them are up for re-election and while another big legislative issue — climate change — is already on their plate.

"I don't want us to do something just for the sake of politics that doesn't solve the problem," Obama told reporters Wednesday night aboard Air Force One.

Obama: "I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money"

Every once in a while the curtain get pulled back just a bit to see exactly what Obama thinks about the American system and those who are making money.

We’re not, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money. But, you know, part of the American way is, you know, you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product or providing good service. We don’t want people to stop, ah, fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow our economy.

As Ed Morrissey points out.
The President doesn’t get to decide when people have “made enough money.” In fact, as the radio host notes, that’s a statist point of view. Furthermore, the responsibility of an entrepreneur isn’t to “grow our economy,” core or otherwise. It’s to grow his own economy. In a properly regulated capitalist system, the natural tension of self-interests create economic growth through innovation and efficient use of capital and resources.

Put simply, a free people work for themselves, not for the government. Barack Obama seems to have a problem understanding that.

Dems in general sees businesses and workers as whores for funding their welfare state of America and Obama can profess to be pro business but its things like this that shows his true colors.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Comedy Central bans South Park episodes in Sweden.

Extremist Islam wins again though it being Sweden and its Malmo problems, I am not surprised.

The Swedish affiliate of broadcaster Comedy Central has said it will not show two controversial episodes of US satirical cartoon show South Park depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad in a bear costume, Aftonbladet reports.

"Comedy Central has decided not to air these two episodes of South Park. It is a decision we've made with great reluctance. Comedy Central believes strongly in creative freedom of expression; when unique and deeply insightful creative talents like those behind South Park are able to express themselves freely, we all benefit.

"However, the safety of our employees is our unquestioned number one priority, and therefore we have decided to take these precautionary measures," the broadcaster explained in a statement released to Aftonbladet.

Spokesman Peter von Satzgerl told the Svenska Dagbladet daily that the decision came as a result of "international directives" from the channel's parent network in the United States.

Referendum could delay AZ immigration law to 2012

Here is another way to endure yourself to people by delaying implementation of a popular law that is designed not to reward illegal immigrants.

On Wednesday, a group filed papers to launch a referendum drive that could put the law on hold until 2012 if organizers wait until the last minute to turn in petition signatures needed to get the measure on the ballot.

Opponents of the law have until late July or early August to file the more than 76,000 signatures — the same time the law is set to go into effect. If they get enough signatures, the law would be delayed until a vote.

But the deadline to put a question on the November ballot is July 1, and a referendum filing later than that could delay a vote on the law until 2012, officials with the Secretary of State's Office said.

"That would be a pretty big advantage" to the law's opponents, said Andrew Chavez, head of a Phoenix-based petition-circulating firm and chairman of the One Arizona referendum campaign.

Illegal immigrant supporters hyped for May Day protests.

Nothing endures you to the rest of America than holding a protest demanding that everyone be made legal who came here illegally.

Protest organizers said on Wednesday outrage over the Arizona law -- which seeks to drive illegal immigrants out of the state bordering Mexico -- has galvanized Latinos and would translate into a higher turnout for May Day rallies in more than 70 U.S. cities.

"The marches and demonstrations are going to be far more massive than they otherwise would have been," said Juan Jose Gutierrez, a Los Angeles rally organizer who runs an immigration assistance company.

The backlash began on Friday after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law a measure that requires state and local police to determine a person's immigration status if there is "reasonable suspicion" they are undocumented. Critics say it is unconstitutional and opens the door to racial profiling.

Republican backers of the law say it is needed to curb crime in the desert state, which is a key corridor for drug and migrant smugglers from Mexico.

A Rasmussen Reports poll on Wednesday found that almost two-thirds -- 64 percent -- of voters in the state favored the measure.

Ted Kennedy dead, Wind Farm Wins Approval

What? You know that is the reason why they are finally moving ahead with this project.

The Obama administration Wednesday approved what would be the nation's first offshore windmill farm, delivering a major victory for the wind energy industry after years of delays.

The Cape Wind project, approved by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, would occupy a 25-square-mile section of Nantucket Sound and generate enough energy to power over 200,000 homes in Massachusetts. But the project could still face financial and legal challenges.

First proposed in 2001, the Cape Wind project has been watched closely by other offshore developers. Offshore projects already are operating in Europe, while analysts expect the U.S. to see some development in the coming decade, focused mostly in the Northeast.

The Cape Wind proposal has been reviewed by more than a dozen state and federal agencies for nearly a decade, and has become a symbol of the challenges faced by large-scale "clean energy" developments. Many people who support the idea of renewable energy often don't want the hardware for such projects—huge wind turbines and sprawling solar panel arrays—in sight of their homes.

Venezuela hit hard by economic crisis as everyone isn't

How is that socialism experiment going there Hugo Chavez?

No matter that Venezuela is one of the world's great oil powers -- among the top five providers of crude to the United States. Economists say Venezuela is gripped by an economic crisis that has no easy or fast solution, even if sluggish oil production were ramped up and profligate state spending were cut.

"The government is paralyzed, unable to handle the situation -- and there are no fiscal plans to deal with the crisis," said José Guerra, a former Central Bank economist who directs the economics department at Central University in Caracas, the capital. "Our situation is unbelievable, because we have one of the biggest reserves of oil in the world, thermal-electrical and hydroelectric sources."

Chávez still hails what he calls his "21st-century socialism" as the answer to the American-style capitalism he calls an abject failure. But through his long tenure, the Venezuelan economy has expanded by an average of less than 3 percent a year, even as the price of oil hit a historic high of $150 a barrel in 2008.

Last year, the economy slid 3.3 percent. Some economists, including Guerra, predict a 5 percent contraction this year. The International Monetary Fund says the economy will probably shrink 2 percent.

Venezuela's performance stands in stark contrast to the rest of Latin America, where some central banks worry about overheating economies in 2010. In Peru, Chile and Brazil, all of which embrace globalization, growth could indeed go well beyond 4 percent, the IMF says. Venezuela, economists say, stands out -- its economic policies marked by the nationalization of industries and stringent currency controls.

"The reason Venezuela is contracting is because private activity is contracting," Augusto de la Torre, the World Bank's chief economist for Latin America, said in Washington last week. "What we're seeing in Venezuela is a phenomenon where productivity, private activity and private business is falling."

6 out of 10 migrants in Mexico are raped.

Mexico seems to be a very dangerous place to try and make a living. It also seems to lack respect for women as no government should stand by and allow this to happen on their soil for this long.

As many as six out of every 10 Central American women and girls are raped as they pass through Mexico hoping to cross illegally into the United States, Amnesty International said Wednesday.

The rapists include criminal gang members as well as local authorities in collusion with them, said Rupert Knox, an Amnesty International researcher on Mexico.

Knox called on Mexico to take action to end a "really chilling panorama" faced by migrants passing across its borders even as the nation complains about a tough new immigration law in the state of Arizona.

In irate response to the Arizona law, which Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed last Friday, Mexico issued a travel warning alerting citizens who are traveling to or residing in Arizona that they might face harassment. Aeromexico suspended some flights to Arizona, and the government of the Mexican state of Sonora canceled an annual meeting scheduled for June with its Arizona counterpart to protest the new law

Mexico: Gunmen kill 16 people in border city across El Paso.

Why are people pissed off and demanding stronger border policy? Oh yeah, because of garbage like this that makes Mexico a very dangerous country.

Gunmen stormed into a bar, dragged out eight people and killed them in the parking lot, the first of several shootings in this violent border city Wednesday that left 16 dead, including a man in a wheelchair.

In one incident, a car chase and shootout killed three people in front of an elementary school, creating a panic among students, teachers and parents.

Battles between rival drug gangs have made Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, one of the world's deadliest cities. More than 800 people have been killed this year in the city of 1.3 million people.

Armed men burst into the Aristos bar in the middle of the night, said Arturo Sandoval, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state attorney general's office. Eight people were forced out into the parking lot and shot to death.

The victims had not been identified, but Sandoval said at least one appeared to be a teenage boy.

The shootout in front of the Benito Juarez elementary school erupted hours later. Sandoval said a woman and two men were found dead inside a car.

Gunmen in a car chased down another vehicle and opened fire in front of the school around noon, said a teacher who asked not to be quoted by name out of fear for his safety.

The teacher said a pregnant teacher and three students suffered panic attacks and were taken to a hospital. Classes were canceled for the rest of the day, and parents rushed to pick up their children.

Gunmen opened fire on another car elsewhere in the city, killing four young men inside, Sandoval said. Separately, a gang of armed men killed a man sitting in a wheelchair on the sidewalk, he said.

Police had no information on the identities of any of the gunmen.

Volcker says no VAT yet because of unpopularity of it.

Wait till after the midterms and then Obama's tax panel will put it out there as a recommendation.

Paul A. Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman who recently incited speculation that the Obama administration would propose a European-style consumption tax to reduce deficits, on Wednesday said the idea was too unpopular to be under consideration “now or for the indefinite future.”

But Mr. Volcker suggested that while the economy remained too fragile to raise taxes or cut spending right now to reduce projections of dangerously high national debt, “we can deal with the Social Security problem reasonably promptly” with changes that do not take effect for some years, such as phasing in a higher retirement age.

Mr. Volcker, an informal adviser to President Obama and chairman of his economic recovery advisory board, earlier this month suggested publicly that a value-added tax, or VAT, was a good option, along with an energy tax, for raising revenues.

The White House immediately denied that it was considering that, but Republicans looking for election-year issues have continued to suggest otherwise.

Spain downgraded as Germany urges quick bailout

German voters are alread pissed at Greece and now they have to bailout Greece to keep the Euro alive.

Europe's debt crisis spread its contagion to another country Wednesday when a major agency downgraded Spain's credit rating, even as Germany grudgingly moved closer to bailing out Greece from imminent collapse.

Greece and Portugal -- up to now the focus of alarm -- are relative economic minnows. But Spain's economy, at four times the size of Greece, is considered by many too big to rescue.

At stake is the threat of higher borrowing costs that could crimp government spending for years and undermine the once-mighty euro.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany would speed up approval of its share of a nearly $60 billion (euro45 billion) joint bailout with the International Monetary Fund and other euro countries, rushing it through parliament by May 7.

That would beat a May 19 deadline when Greece has debt coming due -- and which it can't pay without a bailout.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mexico acknowledges migrant abuse like rape and kidnapping.

When will the state department put out a warning about the dangers of being an illegal in Mexico?

Amnesty International called the abuse of migrants in Mexico a major human rights crisis Wednesday, and accused some officials of turning a blind eye or even participating in the kidnapping, rape and murder of migrants.

The group's report comes at a sensitive time for Mexico, which is protesting the passage of a law in Arizona that criminalizes undocumented migrants.

The Interior Department acknowledged in a statement that the mainly Central American migrants who pass through Mexico on their way to the United States suffer abuses, but attributed the problem to criminal gangs branching out into kidnapping and extortion of migrants.

Rupert Knox, Amnesty's Mexico researcher, said in the report that the failure by authorities to tackle abuses against migrants has made their trip through Mexico one of the most dangerous in the world.

"Migrants in Mexico are facing a major human rights crisis leaving them with virtually no access to justice, fearing reprisals and deportation if they complain of abuses," Knox said.

Central American migrants are frequently pulled off trains, kidnapped en masse, held at gang hideouts and forced to call relatives in the U.S. to pay off the kidnappers. Such kidnappings affect thousands of migrants each year in Mexico, the report says.

Many are beaten, raped or killed in the process.

Sandra Bullock adopts a black child from America.

This could be the first black baby adoption by a star that wasn't from a poor African country. Madonna is now rushing to get two babies from New Orleans as not be shown up.

In public, Sandra Bullock has been through the best and worst of times this year – from winning her first Oscar to enduring the breakup of her marriage. In private, she was quietly keeping a joyful secret – his name is Louis, and he is her newborn son.

"He's just perfect, I can't even describe him any other way," Bullock reveals exclusively in the new issue of PEOPLE, announcing that she is the proud mother of Louis Bardo Bullock, a 3½-month-old boy, born in New Orleans. "It's like he's always been a part of our lives."

AP- Illegal immigrants plan to leave over Arizona law.

Look at that with just over a week and the law is already working.

Arizona's sweeping immigration bill allows police to arrest illegal immigrant day laborers seeking work on the street or anyone trying to hire them. It won't take effect until summer but it is already having an effect on the state's underground economy.

"Nobody wants to pick us up," Julio Loyola Diaz says in Spanish as he and dozens of other men wait under the shade of palo verde trees and lean against a low brick wall outside the east Phoenix home improvement store.

Many day laborers like Diaz say they will leave Arizona because of the law, which also makes it a crime to be in the U.S. illegally and directs police to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal immigrants.

....An estimated 100,000 illegal immigrants have left Arizona in the past two years as it cracked down on illegal immigration and its economy was especially hard hit by the Great Recession. A Department of Homeland Security report on illegal immigrants estimates Arizona's illegal immigrant population peaked in 2008 at 560,000, and a year later dipped to 460,000.

The law's supporters hope the departure of illegal immigrants will help dismantle part of the underground economy here and create jobs for thousands of legal residents in a state with a 9.6 percent unemployment rate.

Kavanagh says day labor is generally off the books, and that deprives the state of much-needed tax dollars. "We'll never eliminate it, just like laws against street prostitution," he says. "But we can greatly reduce the prevalence."

How Fort Lauderdale ended up owning Sistrunk Boulevard .

One of the typical sappy pieces from the local rag down here touting the revitalization of one of the worst areas in the county.

So much government attention and money have been focused in the last 10 years on Sistrunk Boulevard — the black community's main street — that you, the taxpayer, are now the largest landowner there.

Land records tell it best: On nearly every block, the government owns property. The city of Fort Lauderdale and its Community Redevelopment Agency own more land on Sistrunk than on any other street in the city.

Public money has also paid for private business owners to paint or fix up their storefronts. Among the recipients are a state senator, and a longtime restaurateur.

This summer, work is expected to begin on a narrowing and beautification of Sistrunk expected to cost up to $20 million. The roadwork aims to restore the boulevard "to its former prominence as the centerpiece of business, culture and activity,'' the city says.

....Over the past decade, private developers remade the skyline downtown, within walking distance from Sistrunk. Developers, with the city's help, also ventured into Flagler Village, just blocks from Sistrunk and northwest Fort Lauderdale, infusing that area with millions of dollars worth of new mid-rise condominiums.

On Sistrunk, though, the new buildings are few, even though the city's been offering free land.

....In recent years, the city went on a buying and spending frenzy on Sistrunk, eager to get a renaissance started. Progress is sputtering along.

What to know the reason?

Demographics gathered for the city in 2007 showed over 41 percent of the households there live in poverty. The overwhelming majority are renters. Most are employed in the service industry. Many didn't complete high school. There is also a significant "underground'' economy of unreported income, including babysitting, day labor and even crime, that can't be properly gauged by businesses analyzing the community's buying power.

Buried in the article is the reason all this money is going to be wasted unless they actually clean up the area first and then maybe developers will take a look.

(video) Lebron James is a prick to Chicago Bulls ballboy.

I could excuse it if he is pulling off the warmups and his back is turned and doesn't see the ballboy. But he is looking right at him, goes to give him the warmups and then decides to throw it down to the floor.


Chris Dodd's financial bill has exceptions for his state's companies?

Via the NYPOST.

The financial-regulatory bill now before the Senate is so filled with special-interest loopholes and exclusions that it makes the health-care "reform" bill, with its "Cornhusker Kickback" and "Louisiana Purchase," look like a model of rectitude.

The Senate bill, sponsored by Democrat Chris Dodd, claims to subject all "too big to fail" institutions to greater federal supervision, but in fact it only mandates such regulation for bank-holding companies. Regulators would have to make a case-by-case decision on whether to apply it to other financial companies.

That's no minor oversight, because insurance companies, like AIG, tend to have thrift charters rather than bank charters. So, as the bill stands now, AIG and other insurers that accepted massive bailout funds, such as The Hartford, would not be automatically covered. That's a head-scratcher only if you forget that most insurance companies reside in Dodd's home state, Connecticut.

But the section of the bill most littered with exemptions is probably the proposed consumer-protection bureau. In some instances, these exclusions actually roll back existing consumer protections.

Peter Orszag: Obamacare will have health care rationing

Via Hot Air comes the newest no duh from Obamacare where the supporters said there is no rationing in Obamacare. Well that was a boldface lie and anyone with some level of intelligence would have pointed out you can't have this type of system without some hard limits to control costs. Now we have the UK version of NICE.

If anything, Orszag might be underestimating the difficulty in changing the IPAB’s decisions on rationing. The bill required a supermajority of 67 votes in the Senate to override the IPAB, which made Jim DeMint irate and prompted a big “I told you so” from Sarah Palin. As I wrote at the time, based on information from a Capitol Hill source:

The bill sets up a supermajority threshold of 67 votes to bring accountability to [IPAB] decisions, and the rule on being in or out of order can get waived at 60 votes. However, as this battle shows, even getting to 60 is almost an impossibility, let alone 67. Clearly [Harry] Reid wants to put accountability out of reach with these radical propositions.

ObamaCare is a rationing system, and the IPAB will be one of the key drivers for that rationing. If you don’t believe me, just listen to Orszag.

Here are Orszag words.

ORSZAG: Well, let me just first pause and point out that's exactly what we just created for Medicare. So this Independent Payment Advisory Board has the power and the responsibility to put forward proposals to hit a pretty aggressive set of targets over the long term. And furthermore, the proposals take effect automatically, unless Congress not only specifically votes them down but the President signs that bill. So the default is now switched in a very important way on the biggest driver over long-term cost, which is the Medicare program.

DAVID RUBENSTEIN [President, Economic Club of Washington]: Was that explained to Members of Congress very carefully?

ORSZAG: Yes, it was and that's why this was something that was very difficult to actually - this is why I think it was underappreciated, that this is a very substantial change. Again, a lot will depend on whether it realizes its potential, and how the culture develops, but it has statutory power to put forward proposals to reduce healthcare cost growth overtime and improve quality,and those proposals take effect automatically if Congress ignores them, or if Congress votes them down and the President vetoes that bill. So in other words, inertia now plays to the side of this independent board.

No way to reduce costs unless one of the factors are the limitations on services and procedures. This is not a Death Panel, its a rationing panel.

Kevin Rudd abandons Australia's Cap and Trade Scheme.

What an amazing shift into reverse. Chairman Rudd came to power on it and now because the politics has soured will now push it into the future beyond a couple of elections.

The Australian government has put plans for a flagship emissions trading scheme on hold until 2013 at the earliest.

The move comes after the scheme was rejected twice by the Senate, where Prime Minster Kevin Rudd's government does not have a majority.

Mr Rudd, who came to power promising tough climate action, blamed opposition obstruction and slow global progress on emissions cuts for the plan's delay.

Australia is one of the highest per capita carbon emitters in the world.

Australia has some of the highest per capita carbon emissions of developed nations.

The BBC's Nick Bryant in Sydney says the postponement is a major climbdown by the Rudd government, which reflects the changing politics of climate change in Australia.

Tim Blair has more.

European fear Greece problems spreading

Portugal, Ireland, Spain are going to feel the effects of Greece being rated down to junk.

As Greece inches closer to the brink of financial collapse, fear that the debt crisis will spread is engulfing Europe.

Increasingly, investors wonder if Portugal, Spain and even Ireland may not be able to borrow the billions of dollars they need to finance their government spending.

“It’s like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns,” said Philip Lane, a professor of international economics at Trinity College in Ireland, referring to the Wall Street failures that propelled the financial crisis of 2008. “It is not so much the fundamentals as it is the unwillingness of the market to fund you.”

A major ratings agency cut Greece’s debt to junk level on Tuesday, warning that bondholders could face losses of up to 50 percent of their holdings in a restructuring. The agency also downgraded Portugal’s debt by two notches.

Leading stock indexes across Europe plunged by 2.5 to 6 percent, and the euro fell to a recent low, for a 13 percent decline against the dollar since December. The Dow Jones industrial average slumped 213.04 points, to 10,991.99, a fall of 1.9 percent.

The downgrades, by Standard & Poor’s, pushed up the interest rates that Portugal must pay on its 10-year bonds to a high, and Spain’s costs rose, too. Investors are already demanding nearly 10 percent in returns on Greek’s 10-year bonds. The cost of insuring all three countries’ debt against a default are also at record levels — a clear sign that investors are shunning them.

“The situation is deteriorating rapidly, and it’s not clear who’s in a position to stop the Greeks from going into a default situation,” said Edward Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research. “That creates a spillover effect.”

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Confirmed, General Motors lies about loan repayment.

They repaid their taxpayer funded loan with taxpayer funded bailout money. The TARP fund has really become Obama's slush fund.

General Motors will make a big splash in the news today by announcing that the automaker will repay several billion dollars loans from the federal government earlier than expected. But it's not really coming out of the GM wallet.

The issue came up yesterday at a hearing with the special watchdog on the Wall Street Bailout, Neil Barofsky, who was asked several times about the GM repayment by Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), who was looking for answers on how much money the feds might make from the controversial Wall Street Bailout.

"It's good news in that they're reducing their debt," Barofsky said of the accelerated GM payments, "but they're doing it by taking other available TARP money."

In other words, GM is taking money from the Wall Street Bailout - the TARP money - and using that to pay off their loans ahead of schedule.

"It sounds like it's kind of like taking money out of one pocket and putting in the other," said Carper, who got a nod of agreement from Barofsky.

"The way that payment is going to be made is by drawing down on an equity facility of other TARP money."

Translated - they are using bailout funds from the feds to pay off their loans.

So any ads you see them touting their loan repayment is a flat out lie.

CAIR demands Franklin Graham banned from Capital Hill on Prayer Day.

They got their victory over the Pentagon and now wants to push harder anyone who disagrees with them from National Day of Prayer event.

A Muslim civil liberties group urged Congress to disinvite evangelist Franklin Graham from a prayer event, just days after the Pentagon booted the minister from another gathering because of his anti-Islam remarks.

Graham is scheduled to attend the congressional National Day of Prayer event on Capitol Hill on May 6. He was to have led services at the Pentagon the same day but was told last week that he was no longer welcome after Army leaders decided his comments that Islam is a "very evil and wicked religion" were a problem. Graham refused to back down, saying on Fox News that Muslims were "enslaved" by their beliefs.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations "supports the desirable goal of bringing Americans, regardless of their faith traditions, together in prayer," said Corey Saylor, the group's national legislative director. "However, a congressional prayer observance should reflect the best of our nation's ideals. Speakers such as Franklin Graham reflect a message of religious intolerance, rather than the more American message of differing faiths united in shared support of our nation's founding principles."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mexican officials condemn Arizona for immigration law.

This may cut into the money being sent back to Mexico to prop it up and we can't have the send them north so they send money south "policy." There is a certain amount of arrogance by Mexico that it is outrageous America has tough immigration laws.

President Felipe Calderón on Monday vigorously condemned a tough new immigration law in Arizona that requires police to question anyone who appears to be in the country illegally -- a measure Calderón said "opens the door to intolerance and hatred."

Mexico's health minister, José Ángel Córdova, who is widely credited with stemming the global spread of swine flu, called it "a discriminatory law, abominable for us."

José Guadalupe Osuna Millán, the governor of the Mexican state of Baja California, which abuts California, warned that the law "could disrupt the indispensable economic, political and cultural exchanges of the entire border region."

A senator and a leader of the center-right National Action Party, Josefina Vázquez Mota, said the Arizona law would mean "the criminalization of all Mexicans."

Calderón called the Arizona law "a violation of human rights" and promised it would be at the top of his agenda when he comes to Washington in May to meet with President Obama, who has called the Arizona measure "misguided."

Calderón said he was instructing Mexico's foreign ministry and consulates in the United States to organize and work with a network of lawyers to defend the rights of Mexicans.

(WSJ) Google pulling back on Nexus one..lackluster sales.

A shame if this is the beginning of the end of the Google phone and not just because Verizon being a bad partner. The Google plan for the phone being unsubsidized was great but not something Americans were use too. Maybe an installment plan to pay off the phone plus the companies putting out better plans would have made it better.

It would be best for Google to come out and state clearly what the hell is going on or customer loyalty will go south.

Google Inc. backed away from a plan to make its Nexus One smartphone compatible with Verizon Wireless, the largest mobile carrier in the U.S., a setback to the Internet giant's effort to reshape the cellphone market.

The company Monday updated its Web site to tell customers waiting for the device that they should instead buy another smartphone running Google's software.

Google previously indicated the Nexus One, which the company designed and sold directly to consumers, would be available for Verizon's customers in the spring. A Google spokesman declined to comment on why discussions with Verizon fell apart.

After lackluster sales, it was Google that decided to pull the plug on a CDMA version of the Nexus One that would have worked on Verizon's network, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Google hasn't disclosed how many Nexus One phones it has sold since launching in January. Google executives have defended the phone, noting it is part of the company's long-term mobile strategy and saying they are pleased with initial demand.

Ending the Slavery Blame-Game op-ed quite good.

Its by Henry "skip" Gates but don't let that stop you from reading a remarkable truthful op-ed that points out what has been known since forever but lost in images of "Roots" about the slave trade in Africa. It could not have occurred on the grand scale that it did without Africans being the main source of other Africans sold as slaves.

"....How did slaves make it to these coastal forts? The historians John Thornton and Linda Heywood of Boston University estimate that 90 percent of those shipped to the New World were enslaved by Africans and then sold to European traders. The sad truth is that without complex business partnerships between African elites and European traders and commercial agents, the slave trade to the New World would have been impossible, at least on the scale it occurred.

Advocates of reparations for the descendants of those slaves generally ignore this untidy problem of the significant role that Africans played in the trade, choosing to believe the romanticized version that our ancestors were all kidnapped unawares by evil white men, like Kunta Kinte was in “Roots.” The truth, however, is much more complex: slavery was a business, highly organized and lucrative for European buyers and African sellers alike.

The African role in the slave trade was fully understood and openly acknowledged by many African-Americans even before the Civil War. For Frederick Douglass, it was an argument against repatriation schemes for the freed slaves. “The savage chiefs of the western coasts of Africa, who for ages have been accustomed to selling their captives into bondage and pocketing the ready cash for them, will not more readily accept our moral and economical ideas than the slave traders of Maryland and Virginia,” he warned. “We are, therefore, less inclined to go to Africa to work against the slave trade than to stay here to work against it.” "

Read it all.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fannie Mae to offer easier loans to "troubled borrowers."

This will end well. Its nice having Obama declare Fannie and Freddie have an unlimited access pass to taxpayer money to keep making stupid decisions.

Fannie Mae will make it easier for some struggling homeowners to buy houses in the future if they avoid foreclosure in the present.

Under rules released this month that will take effect in July, some troubled borrowers who give up their homes by voluntarily transferring ownership through a "deed in lieu of foreclosure" or by completing a short sale, where a home is sold for less than the amount owed, will be eligible in two years to apply for a new mortgage backed by Fannie.

Currently, borrowers who complete a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure must wait four years before they can take out a loan that Fannie is willing to purchase.

The new policies from Fannie, a government-backed mortgage-finance company that together with Freddie Mac backs about half of the U.S. mortgage market, don't relax waiting periods for borrowers who go through foreclosure.

In 2008, Fannie lengthened that waiting period to five years from four.

To quality for the reduced waiting period, most borrowers will need to make a down payment of at least 20%, although borrowers with extenuating circumstances, such as a job loss, will be required to put down just 10%.

Try to make sense of that I dare you.

Swedish minister meets with Jews being harassed by Muslims.

What? It is not Christians chasing Jews out of Malmo, Sweden.

Education minister Jan Björklund met with representatives of the Jewish Community in Malmö on Saturday to discuss a recent rise in the level of harassment and threats faced by Jews in the southern city.

The Liberal Party chief said city leaders needed to do more to tackle the problem after police statistics showed a doubling in 2009 of the number of hate crimes registered against Jews.

"The fact that Jews are choosing not to continue living in Malmö creates unpleasant historical associations. It's a worrying situation," said Björklund.

The minister laid part of the blame for developments in Malmö at the feet of Mayor Ilmar Reepalu (SocDem), who Björklund said had made ill-advised comments that had fuelled anti-Jewish sentiment in the city.

The meeting with Björklund was one of several the Jewish Community has had of late with top Swedish politicians.

"The fact they're meeting us sends an important signal," said spokesman Fredrik Sieradzki.

'Tavis Smiley Syndrome' Liberal blacks who disagree with Obama.

Via Newsbusters comes this review from Obama kool aid drinker Kim McLarin who in a book review gives approval for this new term.

She even (I think) coins a term that I hope catches on across the country: "Tavis Smiley Syndrome," which is marked by an obsessive tendency to criticize, nitpick or otherwise whine about Obama. Ida diagnoses the disorder in her mother after the latter makes a snarky comment about "the Great God Obama." "Both my parents voted for the man," Ida comments, "and in their hearts, they realize how lucky we are to have him, but it's almost like they can't admit it, even to themselves. Tavis Smiley Syndrome. Easy to recognize, impossible to argue."

That is a helluva lot worse than House Negro for black conservatives

Stupid - Democrats move to undercut Citizens United ruling

Number 5 and 6 alone would have the entire bill thrown out of court as unlawful. The Democrats want written into law people who work for certain companies not be allowed to have a voice in their own elections.

5. Prevent Government Contractors from Spending: Taxpayer money should not be spent on political ads.

Due to the appearance of corruption and possible misuse of taxpayer funds, government contractors with a contract worth more than $50,000 will not be allowed to spend money on elections. Similarly, TARP recipients who have not paid back government funds are also banned from spending.

6. Provide the Lowest Unit Rate for Candidates and Parties: Special interests should not drown out the voices of the people.

If a covered organization buys airtime to run ads that support or attack a candidate, then candidates, parties, and party committees get to take advantage of the lowest unit rate for that market. This provision is limited specifically to that media market. Additionally we improve the reasonable access provisions to ensure that candidates are not shut out of airtime.

Miami-Dade brings back Controversial Fatwa Bus Ads

And on they look to get another 20 which is a surpise. Usually in South Florida, political correctness wins out. I wonder how bad did the city lawyers said they could lose to restart the ad run.

Miami-Dade Transit is reinstalling advertisements after pulling them because some South Florida Muslims complained that they were offensive to Islam.

The ads will be allowed to run on 10 buses. They said, "Fatwa on your head? Is your community or family threatening you?" and directed people to a Web site encouraging them to leave the Islam faith.

The New York-based group Stop the Islamization of America bought the ads for one month. The group's director Pamela Geller says the ads were "offered in defense of religious liberty." They will be reinstalled on May 3rd.

Transit spokesman Clinton Forbes told CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald that he had reviewed the ads with the Miami-Dade County Attorney's office who reached the decision to allow them saying that "although they may be considered offensive by some, they do not fall under the general guidelines that would warrant their removal."

Geller welcomed the news and said she would work with CBS Outdoor, which contracts with the county to sell the ads, to run an additional 20 ads.

``It was a violation of free speech that they were removed. Whether you like it or not, all ideas should be presented. It is dangerous not for all but some to leave Islam in America. This is a victory for free speech and religious liberty,'' Geller told the Herald.

Even liberal leaning Obama supporters want Arizona immigration law.

Instead of Obama spouting off he should go to the state and talk to the 70% of the people who support this law and why they have had enough.

Arizona has suffered more than most. More people and drugs come illegally through the Sonoran Desert that straddles northern Mexico and southern Arizona, from Nogales, Mexico, west to Yuma, Ariz., than through any other border state. Phoenix and Tucson, especially southernmost Tucson, are cities which feel themselves to be virtually under siege.

"There is a sense of strong anger at not being able to contain and put an end to this invasion of America," Martha L. Day, a hospital systems consultant who calls herself a liberal-leaning independent and lives in Phoenix, told me. "My friends really feel inadequate in their ability to protect themselves and their families against the continual threat of violence. Most carry weapons. There are bars on the windows of homes in regular neighborhoods, border patrol and police are all over the place . . . everything seems to be bolted down so it can't be stolen and sold."

She went on to enumerate the economic and social problems illegal immigrants bring to the state. "One in five prisoners in Arizona jails is an illegal immigrant who committed a felony crossing over; schools are filled to the brim with their children using up resources of the already depleted education system; hospital systems are inundated and have to care for these illegals and absorb their expenses, expenses that will not go away with the national health care change because these folks are not citizens; and huge numbers are needed in police forces for safety and to control the growing number of people coming across the border.''

Another left-leaning independent, Matt Hardin, a window-and-door salesman who lives in Tucson, said, "We need to create a situation where it is simply not worth the risk to come here illegally. In addition, we need to institute policies that make taking the legal route toward citizenship a more attractive option than the illegal option."

Both Hardin and Day see themselves as tolerant, reasonable Obama supporters. Yet on this one issue, at this one place, they've become convinced that something radical has got to be done. Day, referring to the burdens of illegal immigration, said, "These things really fuel the fire of anger and make folks want to do a clean sweep and clean Arizona of the folks from the south. I can see why Arizonans are looking to repeal the concealed weapons permit requirement, why guns are now allowed to be carried into bars, and why the anti-immigration law has been proposed."

Obama admin has suing Arizona over illegal immigration as an option.

They really want that Latino vote over border security.

So what did President Obama mean when -- responding on Friday to Arizona's new immigration law -- he said that he'd "instructed members of my administration to closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation"?

An Obama administration official says it means that officials from the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security are looking to see if there are any actions they should take in response to the law -- and "that could mean suing to block the law, but we're a long way from knowing if that's a viable route yet."