Wednesday, September 30, 2009
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This would be funny, if it wasn't true:
Top administration officials are scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss a major review of the United States' Sudan policy. But even as that document is being finalized, U.S. diplomacy has remained mostly in the hands of Obama's special envoy to Sudan, retired Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration, who is pushing toward normalized relations with the only country in the world led by a president indicted on war-crimes charges.
Although Gration describes the approach as pragmatic and driven by a sense of urgency, his critics here and in the United States say it is dangerously, perhaps willfully, naive. During a recent five-day trip to Sudan, Gration heard from southern officials, displaced Darfurians, rebels and others who complained uniformly that he is being manipulated by government officials who talk peace even as they undermine it.
Still, at the end of the visit, Gration maintained a strikingly different perspective. He had seen signs of goodwill from the government of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, he said, and viewed many of the complaints as understandable yet knee-jerk reactions to a government he trusts is ready to change.
"We've got to think about giving out cookies," said Gration, who was appointed in March. "Kids, countries -- they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement."
Vince Vaughan: Frankly, can get away with a murder or two. Killing a girlfriend is fine. Hasn't made a bad movie. We owe him a murder.
Matthew McConaughey: Can get away with shoplifting a Mars bar, but only a Mars bar, because no one likes that shit anyway.
from Marshall Stack: Tom Cruise can jaywalk on secondary suburban streets.
from Dave in Texas: Vin Diesel: Should be able to transport any live plants he wants to across state lines unmolested.
Go on over to read more....
So someone's fibbing....
And my money is on the one who plays into all the stereotypes of Sarah with comments like:
"The big lecture buyers in the US are paralyzed with fear about booking her, basically because they think she is a blithering idiot."
"Palin is polarizing, and some subscribers might cancel if she's on the lineup."
"Palin is so uninteresting to so many groups -- unless they are interested in moose hunting," said our insider. "What does she have to say? She can't even describe what she reads."
Remember how well Nancy Pelosi's book sold?
Also, I thought conservatives were stupid and didn't know how to read.
In a recent Gallup survey, 89% of Republicans, 64% of independents, and 61% of Americans overall say Americans themselves -- rather than the government -- have the primary responsibility for ensuring that they have health insurance. Six in 10 Democrats say the government should be primarily responsible.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
A southwest Michigan woman has been told that she's breaking the law because she watches her neighbors' children each morning before they get on the school bus.
Lisa Snyder of Middleville says it's "ridiculous" that she faces fines and possible jail for being a good neighbor and watching two children for less than hour without getting paid.
State Department of Human Services officials told her last week that she was operating an illegal day care.
Here’s a tongue-in-cheek tribute to anyone who’s ever
scribbled a reminder on their hand or wrist. Err, that would
be about everybody, right? Our To-Do Tattoo kit includes
12 graphic “To Do” forms that you can apply to your body
wherever it’s most convenient (or creative) and a skin-safe,
washable-ink gel pen. You’ll never again have to make
lame excuses for missing bowling night or your mom’s
birthay. Nifty peggable blistercard packaging.
First we have Howard Fineman:
The president's problem isn't that he is too visible; it's the lack of content in what he says when he keeps showing up on the tube. Obama can seem a mite too impressed with his own aura, as if his presence on the stage is the Answer. There is, at times, a self-referential (even self-reverential) tone in his big speeches. They are heavily salted with the words "I" and "my." (He used the former 11 times in the first few paragraphs of his address to the U.N. last week.) Obama is a historic figure, but that is the beginning, not the end, of the story.Then there's Richard Cohen:
Sooner or later it is going to occur to Barack Obama that he is the president of the United States. As of yet, though, he does not act that way, appearing promiscuously on television and granting interviews like the presidential candidate he no longer is. The election has been held, but the campaign goes on and on. The candidate has yet to become commander in chief.
They also said he served his sentence, which is not true...that is why he was arrested.
Her recent resignation was perplexing. It’s raised doubts about her viability as a potential presidential candidate. Still, she remains extremely popular with the GOP grass roots, and most Republican Party leaders would jump at the chance to have her headline one of their events.
That’s the picture that emerges from interviews with dozens of GOP state and local leaders from across the country.
As part of an effort to gauge Palin’s popularity with the rank and file beyond the Beltway, where the GOP establishment is lukewarm toward the charismatic former governor, POLITICO surveyed nearly 50 prominent Republican Party officials and politicians, representing every region of the country and ranging from statewide-elected officeholders to state legislators to state and county party chairs.
Some refused to talk about her at all. Others, mostly her critics, would do so only off the record. But taken as a whole, the body of interviews revealed that despite Palin’s high negative ratings in recent national polls, Republicans at the grass-roots level and their leaders still hold a very favorable impression of the former Alaska governor.
Monday, September 28, 2009
The military general credited for capturing Saddam Hussein and killing the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq says he has only spoken to President Obama once since taking command of Afghanistan.
“I’ve talked to the president, since I’ve been here, once on a VTC [video teleconference],” General Stanley McChrystal told CBS reporter David Martin in a television interview that aired Sunday.
“You’ve talked to him once in 70 days?” Mr. Martin followed up.
“That is correct,” the general replied.
This revelation comes amid the explosive publication of an classified report written by the general that said the war in Afghanistan “will likely result in failure” if more troops are not added next year. Yet, the debate over health care reform continues to dominate Washington’s political discussions and other issues. On Monday morning the White House announced President Obama will travel to Denmark on Thursday to lobby the Intternational Olympic Committee to select his hometown of Chicago for the 2016 summer games.
Just 41% of voters nationwide now favor the health care
reformproposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s down two points from a week ago and the lowest level of support yet measured.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% are opposed to the plan.
Senior citizens are less supportive of the plan than younger voters. In the latest survey, just 33% of seniors favor the plan while 59% are opposed. The intensity gap among seniors is significant. Only 16% of the over-65 crowd Strongly Favors the legislation while 46% are Strongly Opposed.
For the first time ever, a slight plurality of voters now express doubt that the legislation will become law this year. Forty-six percent (46%) say passage is likely while 47% say it is not. Those figures include 18% who say passage is Very Likely and 15% who say it is Not at All Likely. Sixty percent (60%) are less certain.
President Barack Obama will travel to Copenhagen Thursday to lobby the International Olympic Committee on behalf of Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympic Games, Valerie Jarrett, a White House advisor, said Monday.
Mr. Obama will make a joint presentation with First Lady Michelle Obama Friday morning in Copenhagen, said Ms. Jarrett, who heads a White House team devoted to promoting the bid. The couple will then participate in a formal question and answer session with the IOC, which will announce the winning host city the same day.
I wonder if this "world leader" expressed concern when 'they' were putting Hitler moustache's on Bush?
"I was up at the G20 -- just a little aside -- I was up at the G20, and some of you saw those big flags and all the world leaders come in and Michelle and I are shaking hands with them," the president said. "One of the leaders -- I won't mention who it was -- he comes up to me. We take the picture, we go behind.
"He says, 'Barack, explain to me this health care debate.'
"He says, 'We don't understand it. You're trying to make sure everybody has health care and they're putting a Hitler mustache on you -- I don't -- that doesn't make sense to me. Explain that to me.'"
Asked who this was, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs would say only "a world leader."
Methinks Obama has a new imaginary friend.
Friday, September 25, 2009
The U.S. government failed to send promised college tuition checks to tens of thousands of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars before they returned to school this fall, even after being warned that it was inadequately staffed for the job.
The Veterans Affairs Department blamed a backlog of claims filed for GI Bill education benefits that has left veterans who counted on the money for tuition and books scrambling to make ends meet.
The Madrid research group RR de Acuña & Asociados said the collapse of Spain's building industry will cause the economy to contract for the next three years, with a peak to trough loss of over 11pc of GDP. The grim forecast is starkly at odds with claims by premier Jose Luis Zapatero, who still says Spain's recession will be milder than elsewhere in Europe.
Mr Dannhauser said Spain faces the same sort of boom-bust headache as Britain. The big difference is that Spain cannot let the exchange rate take the strain. "It is going to be very hard for them to sort this out in a currency union."
For the time being, an odd calm prevails across the Iberian peninsular. There are no street riots, even though youth unemployment has reached 38pc. It is hard to imagine anything like the bloody uprising by Asturian miners in 1934, the last time so many people were without jobs.
Local communities have started to issue scrip currency known as "moneda social", based on reflation experiments tried by Austrian cantons in 1932 and more recently by Argentina. Yet few blame the crisis on the effects of the euro. There is a near total backing for EMU, in contrast to France and Germany where a small but vocal minority has never accepted the wisdom of Europe's one-size-fits-all system.
The marchers included small groups of self-described anarchists, some wearing dark clothes and bandanas and carrying black flags. Others wore helmets and safety goggles.
One banner read, “No borders, no thanks,” another, “No hope in capitalism.” A few minutes into the march, protesters unfurled a large banner reading “NO BAILOUT NO CAPITALISM” with an encircled “A,” a recognized sign of anarchists.
The marchers did not have a permit and, after a few blocks, police declared it an unlawful assembly. They played an announcement over a loudspeaker telling people to leave or face arrest and then police in riot gear moved in to break it up.
Protesters split into smaller groups. Some rolled large metal trash bins toward police, and a man in a black hooded sweat shirt threw rocks at a police car, breaking the front windshield. Protesters broke windows in a few businesses, including a bank branch and a Boston Market restaurant.
Iran revealed the existence of a covert uranium enrichment facility to the U.N. nuclear watchdog this week after it discovered the project's secrecy had been breached by Western intelligence agencies, FOX News has learned.
The U.S., Britain and France will accuse Iran on Friday morning of building the facility underground in secret and charge that it has hidden the facility for years from international weapons inspectors, a senior White House official said.
At an announcement before the opening of the G-20 economic summit in Pittsburgh, President Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy will demand weapons inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency be granted immediate access to the facility.
An official told FOX News that Iran revealed the existence of the second plant in a letter sent Monday to IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
UPDATE: The school has issued a statement...but the statement doesn't include anything about this being...creepy. Just that it was part of the Black History Month celebration and the video wasn't supposed to be released. Who recorded this and released the video? One of the 8 year olds?
It may look a little precarious and uncomfortable to ride, but Honda believe their new 'personal mobility' device could one day be zipping up and down our streets.
The vehicle looks like a very modern unicycle and to ride it you simply lean your weight in the direction you want to go, whether that's forward, backwards or even sideways. It maintains its own balance travelling up to 3.7MPH.
The U3-X, which was given a test-run by reporters in Japan today, was designed to be small, safe and unobtrusive enough to mingle with pedestrians or use indoors, according to Honda Motors.
A Texas teacher who helped children with special needs by playing them the guitar was stabbed to death by a juvenile student at a high school in Tyler on Wednesday morning, authorities said.
Todd Henry, 50, was stabbed in the neck and shoulders in a classroom at John Tyler High School a little before 9 a.m. CDT, according to police.
The attacker, who is in custody, has not yet been identified. Police haven't said whether the suspect was a special-needs student or what led up to the attack.
Henry was in the classroom with a paraprofessional and three students, one of whom is the alleged killer, said Randy Reed, superintendent of the Tyler Independent School District.
This country has proved, through the bravery of men like Acting Sgt Lockett, America’s staunchest ally in Afghanistan. In return, the American President treats the British Prime Minister with casual contempt. The President’s graceless behaviour is unforgivable. As most members of the Cabinet would confirm, it’s not a barrel of laughs having to sit down for a chat with Gordon Brown. But that’s not the point. Mr Obama owes this country a great deal for its unflinching commitment to the American-led war in Afghanistan but seems incapable of acknowledging the fact. You might have thought that after the shambles of Mr Brown’s first visit to the Obama White House - when there was no joint press conference and the President’s “gift” to the Prime Minister was a boxed DVD set - lessons would have been learned. Apparently not. Admittedly, part of the problem was Downing Street’s over-anxiety to secure a face-to-face meeting for domestic political purposes but the White House should still have been more obliging. Mr Obama’s churlishness is fresh evidence that the US/UK special relationship is a one-way street.UPDATE This must be the reason why the Brits are upset with Obama:
Gordon Brown lurched from being hailed as a global statesman to intense embarrassment tonight, after it emerged US President Barack Obama had turned down no fewer than five requests from Downing Street to hold a bilateral meeting at the United Nations in New York or at the G20 summit starting in Pittsburgh today.
For the first time, an experimental vaccine has prevented infection with the AIDS virus, a watershed event in the deadly epidemic and a surprising result. Recent failures led many scientists to think such a vaccine might never be possible.
The vaccine cut the risk of becoming infected with HIV by more than 31 percent in the world's largest AIDS vaccine trial of more than 16,000 volunteers in Thailand, researchers announced Thursday in Bangkok.
Even though the benefit is modest, "it's the first evidence that we could have a safe and effective preventive vaccine," Col. Jerome Kim said in a telephone interview. He helped lead the study for the U.S. Army, which sponsored it with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The institute's director,, warned that this is "not the end of the road," but said he was surprised and very pleased by the outcome.
"It gives me cautious optimism about the possibility of improving this result" and developing a more effective, Fauci said in a telephone interview. "This is something that we can do."
A U.S. Census worker found hanged from a tree near a Kentucky cemetery had the word "fed" scrawled on his chest, a law enforcement official said Wednesday, and the FBI is investigating whether he was a victim of anti-government sentiment.
Bill Sparkman, a 51-year-old part-time Census field worker and teacher, was found Sept. 12 in a remote patch of the Daniel Boone National Forest in rural southeast Kentucky. The law enforcement official, who was not authorized to discuss the case and requested anonymity, did not say what type of instrument was used to write "fed" on his chest.
Investigators have said little about the case. FBI spokesman David Beyer said the bureau is assisting state police and declined to confirm or discuss any details about the crime scene.
"Our job is to determine if there was foul play involved — and that's part of the investigation — and if there was foul play involved, whether that is related to his employment as a Census worker," said Beyer.
Have they even determined if this was a murder?
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Community activist group ACORN is suing the makers of a hidden-camera video that showed employees of its Baltimore office giving tax advice to a man posing as a pimp and a woman posing as a prostitute.
The liberal group contends that the audio portion of the video was obtained illegally because Maryland requires two-party consent to create sound recordings.
I predict this lawsuit will be dropped as fast as it came.
The IRS says it is severing ties with ACORN, the community activist group involved in a scandal after employees were caught on video giving advice to a couple posing as a prostitute and pimp.
The Internal Revenue Service said Wednesday it would no longer include ACORN in its volunteer tax assistance program. The program offered free tax advice to about 3 million low- and moderate-income tax filers this spring.
The IRS said ACORN, which is short for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, provided help on about 25,000 returns.
If Laura, Suzanne, Debra and Rose go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Suzanne, Debra and Rose.
If Mike, Charlie, Bob and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Scrappy.
When the bill arrives, Mike, Charlie, Bob and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50.
None of them will have anything smaller, and none will actually admit they want change back.
When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.
A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he wants.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't want.
A man has six items in his bathroom: a toothbrush, comb, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel from the Holiday Inn.
The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337.
A man would not be able to identify most of these items.
A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
Women love cats.
Men say they love cats, but when women aren't looking, men kick cats.
A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.
A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change and she does.
A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.
Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.
Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children.
She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.
You knew this was coming. Ranking Republican Chuck Grassley asked a staffer about the penalty for not carrying insurance. "Isn't the penalty here an excise tax and won't it affect people making under $250,000 a year?" he asked Thomas Barthold, the joint tax committee's chief.
"It's structured as a penalty excise tax," Barthold answered. “Yes, we think that some people would be subject to the penalty excise tax when everything shakes out. We would expect that some would have incomes less than $200,000.”
I'll tell you — if someone negotiated a deal with me and I agreed to put up say, 80 dollars or 80 million dollars or 80 billion dollars and then you came back and said to me a couple of weeks later — no no, I know you agreed to do 80 billion and I know you were willing to help support through an advertising campaign this particular — not even this particular bill, just the idea of generic health care reform? No, we're going to double — we're going to double what you agreed in those negotiations to do. That's not the way — that's not what I consider treating people the way I'd want to be treated.
Here's the video:
President Barack Obama, speaking to the United Nations General Assembly for the first time, sought to distance his country from the era of his White House predecessor, vowing that "America will live by its values" on human rights even as he said he would take to task the abuses and failures of allies and foes alike.
In a half-hour speech that was greeted warmly by world leaders, the U.S. president outlined "four pillars" that he called "fundamental to the future that we want for our children" -- nuclear disarmament, Middle East peace, environmental restoration and economic growth. He chastised North Korea and Iran, warning of consequences if they do not back down from their nuclear programs.
Before the world body and to warm applause, he called for an end to "the occupation that began in 1967" of Palestinian lands, using a term shunned by previous presidents and condemned by Israelis. But he also called for the acceptance of "a Jewish state of Israel, with security for all Israelis."
"We must remember that the greatest price of this conflict is not paid by us. It is paid by the Israeli girl in Sderot who closes her eyes in fear that a rocket will take her life in the middle of the night. It is paid by the Palestinian boy in Gaza who has no clean water and no country to call his own," he said. "These are God's children. And after all of the politics and all of the posturing, this is about the right of every human being to live with dignity and security."
What a disgrace....but hey, the world lurves us now, huh?
When you have tons of debt financing your fleet of cars, falling rental demand really hurts.
What a tough time to be selling business jets.
3. Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel is bleeding customers, and could lose as many as 4.4 million net post-paid subscribers this year.
Does anyone even shop at department stores anymore?
In a classic case of management empire building, Mylan overpaid big time when it bought Merck’s generic business back in 2007 and is now stuck with $5 billion of long-term debt as a result.
Demand for Goodyear tires has sunk, and the company is saddled with massive debt and pension obligations.
Weak advertising and falling license fees have sent CBS's earnings off a cliff in 2009.
8. Advanced Micro Devices
When will AMD actually make money again? The question is becoming more important by the day since it carries over $5 billion in long-term debt.
9. Las Vegas Sands
Las Vegas Sands over-expanded and over-levered in the last few years and now has over $10 billion in debt to deal with.
10. Interpublic Group
As one of the largest advertising and marketing companies in the world, IPG was slammed by the global recession.
"I'm going to call it like I see it and I will share with you candidly a view right from Main Street, Main Street U.S.A.," Palin told a room full of asset managers and other finance professionals, according to a video of part of the speech obtained by The Associated Press. "And how perhaps my view of Main Street ... how that affects you and your business."
Palin started off her keynote — which was closed to reporters — with a light talk about the links between her state and the southern Chinese territory, then touched later on economic issues and China.
One attendee said she called on China to be a more responsible global citizen, allow greater freedoms and take a more active role in solving pressing world issues.
She also criticized the U.S. Federal Reserve's massive intervention in the economy over the last year, arguing its actions only exacerbated the crisis, according to another attendee. She also praised the conservative economic policies of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
The AP was sure to add this little gem:
Palin, who burst on the U.S. political scene last year when she was chosen as Republican Sen. John McCain's running mate, was ridiculed during the campaign after contending her state's proximity to Russia gave her foreign policy experience.
"You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska," she said.
Palin received her first passport in 2007, to visit Alaska National Guard members serving in Kuwait and Germany.
And of course, the Democrats had to take their pop shots:
Hari Sevugan, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, said Tuesday the group knew little about Palin's speech.
"We're curious as to what she's willing to say in private but not in public," Sevugan said. "Are there other countries that she can see from her window that she doesn't want us to know about?"
Costco, along with other fuel retailers, has been sued over the way it measures gallons of fuel in some states. The putative class plaintiffs have settled the case--for zero dollars for the class, and ten million dollars for the attorneys. You are a member of the Settlement Class and are affected by the proposed settlement if you purchased gasoline from Costco at a temperature above 60 degrees, between January 1, 2001, and April 22, 2009, and reside in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, the District of Columbia, or Guam.
Something is wrong with our legal system when the lawyers get all the money. Isn't this a legal form of extortion?
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
“On the eve of my
wedding, my father showed up, determined to stop it,” writes Phillips, who was 19 and a heavy drug user at the time. “I had tons of pills, and Dad had tons of everything too. Eventually I passed out on Dad’s bed.”
“My father was not a man with boundaries. He was full of love, and he was sick with drugs. I woke up that night from a blackout to find myself having sex with my own father.
He was full of love?
Phillips’ life began to spiral out of control. In 1980, she was fired from “One Day at a Time” because of her constant drug use. That same year, she went to rehab — with her father. She even toured with him in a band called the New Mamas and the Papas. Her sexual relationship with him had become consensual.
“One night Dad said, ‘We could just run away to a country where no one would look down on us. There are countries where this is an accepted practice. Maybe Fiji.’
“He was completely delusional. No, I thought, we’re going to hell for this.”
An August 10, 2009 National Endowment for the Arts conference call in which artists were asked to help support President Obama's agenda -- a call that at least one good government group called "inappropriate" -- has prompted the White House to issue new guidelines to prevent such a call from ever happening again.
"The point of the call was to encourage voluntary participation in a national service initiative by the arts community," White House spokesman Bill Burton told ABC News. "To the extent there was any misunderstanding about what the NEA may do to support the national service initiative, we will correct it. We regret any comments on the call that may have been misunderstood or troubled other participants. We are fully committed to the NEA's historic mission, and we will take all steps necessary to ensure that there is no further cause for questions or concerns about that commitment."
MICHELLE Obama gave her husband the silent treatment at one point in his campaign for president because so many women "pushed their bodies up against his, slipped phone numbers into his pockets" and whispered lewd suggestions in his ear, a new book out today claims.
In "Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage" (William Morrow), Christopher Andersen reports, "On more than one occasion, Barack tried not to look startled when some random woman in the crowd would grasp him firmly by the derriere -- and sometimes try to hold on."
After an appearance in Peoria, Ill., the future president slid into the back of his SUV, and allegedly said, "Jesus, I wish they'd stop grabbing my ass."
In Kabul, some members of McChrystal's staff said they don't understand why Obama called Afghanistan a "war of necessity" but still hasn't given them the resources they need to turn things around quickly.
Three officers at the Pentagon and in Kabul told McClatchy that the McChrystal they know would resign before he'd stand behind a faltering policy that he thought would endanger his forces or the strategy.
"Yes, he'll be a good soldier, but he will only go so far," a senior official in Kabul said. "He'll hold his ground. He's not going to bend to political pressure."
On Thursday, Gates danced around the question of when the administration would be ready to receive McChrystal's request, which was completed in late August. "We're working through the process by which we want that submitted," he said。
There is also speculation as to who leaked the information and why.
h/t: Ace of Spades
In a memoir that takes us from Matt's childhood in Michigan through all the morons and phonies he worked for in Washington, only Mr. Rumsfeld gets the full gush. Left unmentioned is that Matt is on Mr. Rumsfeld's payroll, working on the former Defense Secretary's memoirs.
n the same way, Matt neglects to mention that personnel took away his West Wing cubby when they needed space for someone more important. Or that he spent the next few weeks knocking on every door in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, looking for a room sufficiently grand to display his large and ever-expanding collection of framed testimonials to himself.
In fairness, it's not all yucks. On the day Mr. Rumsfeld resigns, Matt recounts a scene in the Defense secretary's office. "You were my star," (emphasis in the original) he tells Matt. "And, uh, I probably never told you that." Right there in the secretary's office, Matt reports, "I started to cry.'"
Right there too we see Mr. Bush's greatest failing: Never did he look into young Matthew's moist eyes and tell him, "You are my star." If he only had we would have a very different book.
Because capitalism is baaad.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Former US president Jimmy Carter says that Washington may have played a role in a failed coup against Venezuelan leftist leader Hugo Chavez in 2002.
"I think there is no doubt that in 2002, the United States had at the very least full knowledge about the coup, and could even have been directly involved," Carter told Colombian paper, El Tiempo, on Sunday.
In April 2002, a civilian-military junta ousted Chavez for about 48 hours, but he returned to power again.
Former administration of president George W. Bush denied any US involvement in the failed coup.
1. "You paid your dues? Good, now get in line."
2. "You'll need a hard hat when you shop here."
3. "Our credit card will burn your savings away."
4. "Jewelry experts trash our gems."
5. "You'll leave when we tell you to."
6. "We have more animals than a small zoo."
7. "Try our website. It will try your patience."
8. "That warranty is valid-in Italy perhaps."
9. "Your backyard would make a beautiful warehouse."
10. "You'd better like what we like."
The key quote from the Washington Post coverage of the McChrystal memo today comes at the end of this story:
But Obama's deliberative pace — he has held only one meeting of his top national security advisers to discuss McChrystal's report so far — is a source of growing consternation within the military. "Either accept the assessment or correct it, or let's have a discussion," one Pentagon official said. "Will you read it and tell us what you think?" Within the military, this official said, "there is a frustration. A significant frustration. A serious frustration."
The president said he is "happy to look at" bills before Congress that would give struggling news organizations tax breaks if they were to restructure as nonprofit businesses.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) has introduced S. 673, the so-called "Newspaper Revitalization Act," that would give outlets tax deals if they were to restructure as 501(c)(3) corporations. That bill has so far attracted one cosponsor, Cardin's Maryland colleague Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D).
Obama said that good journalism is "critical to the health of our democracy," but expressed concern toward growing tends in reporting -- especially on political blogs, from which a groundswell of support for his campaign emerged during the presidential election.
Is he concerned about blogs because they are the ones that break important information?
Edmunds.com reports that “September’s light-vehicle sales rate will fall to 8.8 million units . . . the lowest rate in nearly 28 years, tying the worst demand on record. After the cash-for-clunkers program boosted August sales to their first year-over-year increase since October 2007, demand has plunged. In at least the last 33 years, the U.S. seasonally adjusted annual rate has only dropped as low as 8.8 million units once — in December 1981 — with records stretching back to January 1976.”
“Many people regard February as the darkest month of the recession, but even then (sales were) higher, at 9.1 million units,” adds Edmunds.com statistician Zhenwei Zhou.
But sobriety comes hard for Washington. Now NHTSA says that, despite burdening manufacturers with $60 billion in new costs, its new 35.5 mpg fuel mandate will stimulate the economy by boosting auto sales by 65,480 vehicles through 2016 because Washington “expects stronger consumer demand for fuel-efficient models.” Sure.
Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement:
- “I just first of all want to thank everyone for being on the call and just a deep deep appreciation for all the work you all put into the campaign for the 2+ years we all worked together.”
- “We won.”
- “I’m actually in the White House and working towards furthering this agenda, this very aggressive agenda.”
Yosi Sergant, former Communications Director of the National Endowment for the Arts:
- “We’re going to come at you with some specific asks here.”
- “I hope you guys are ready.”
Three days after the conference call a coalition of arts groups, led by Americans for the Arts, a participant on the conference call per the meeting contact list and recipient of NEA grants, sent out a press release with the heading “Urgent Call to Congress for Healthcare Reform,” which called for the creation of “a health care reform bill that will create a public health insurance option.” Eleven days after the conference call, Rock the Vote, another participant on the call, announced a health care design contest. “We can’t stand by and listen to lies and deceit coming from those who are against reforming a broken system,” they stated in their announcement. “Enough is Enough. We need designs that tell the country YES WE CARE! Young people demand health care.”
- “I would encourage you to pick something, whether it’s health care, education, the environment, you know, there’s four key areas that the corporation has identified as the areas of service.”
- “And then my ask would be to apply artistic, you know, your artistic creative communities utilities and bring them to the table.”
- “Again, I’m really, really honored to be working with you; the National Endowment for the Arts is really honored.”
- “You’re going to see a lot more of us in the next four and hopefully eight years.”
Debating the role of government is and has been the goal of bringing this conference call to light. The NEA tainted the creative process by encouraging the art community to address highly controversial political issues. ‘How?’ you may ask. The NEA is the largest single funder of the arts in the United States. This government agency has the power and ability to fund arts organizations and recently expressed a desire to return to funding individual artists, bringing more from the group into the pool of potential grantees.
The NEA did encourage a handpicked, pro-Obama arts group to address issues under contentious national debate. That fact is irrefutable.
This practice has never been the historical role of the NEA. The NEA’s role is to support excellence in the arts, to increase access to the arts, and to be a leader in arts education. Using the arts to address contentiously debated issues is political subversion. And the fact that the White House played a role in encouraging the arts to address contentious issues should also be considered a government overreach.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
So what did happen on that
call? Was the NEA coordinating with the White House to push their agenda on a group of artists eager for and reliant upon the NEA for grants, or is the NEA telling the truth that this call “was not a means to promote any legislative agenda”?
Tomorrow at noon ET, explosive new information will answer that question and raise many others.
The Obama administration sent the message through White House political affairs director Patrick Gaspard, who met with the governor at his campaign headquarters for nearly two hours last Monday, according to a source with knowledge of the conversation.
"They expressed concern about his chances about being reelected and the likelihood his presence in the race made it more likely that Rudy Giuliani would enter the contest," the source said. "The preference is that he not run. That message was conveyed directly."
The bombshell meeting between Paterson and Gaspard occurred the same day President Obama was in New York City to deliver a Wall Street address - a speech Paterson was not invited to, according to several sources.
Michael Steele was asked about it today on Face the Nation and his response is Priceless.
Looks like Alinsky Rule #4
Friday, September 18, 2009
President Obama said this week that his health care plan won’t cover illegal immigrants, but argued that’s all the more reason to legalize them and ensure they eventually do get coverage.
He also staked out a position that anyone in the country legally should be covered - a major break with the 1996 welfare reform bill, which limited most federal public assistance programs only to citizens and longtime immigrants.
“Even though I do not believe we can extend coverage to those who are here illegally, I also don’t simply believe we can simply ignore the fact that our immigration system is broken,” Mr. Obama said Wednesday evening in a speech to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. “That’s why I strongly support making sure folks who are here legally have access to affordable, quality health insurance under this plan, just like everybody else.
Mr. Obama added, “If anything, this debate underscores the necessity of passing comprehensive immigration reform and resolving the issue of 12 million undocumented people living and working in this country once and for all.”
Republicans said that amounts to an amnesty, calling it a backdoor effort to make sure current illegal immigrants get health care.
This should go over well. He not only wants middle class American's to pay for health care for the poor, he also wants them to pay for those who came here illegally.
This is going to get real ugly.
Ok, so i just got into some strange old white dude's car thinking he was the hotel shuttle driver. He walked up to me and said "Dr. Hill?"about 2 hours ago from web
I was like "Hi." He said "I'm a big fan of yours and Fox News. Where you heading?" I told him "the airport" and we walked to his car.about 2 hours ago from web
The whole ride I'm hoping he didn't try to chop me up and feed me to Glenn Beck or something. Fortunately he didn't.about 2 hours ago from web
So this guy tells Mr. Hill he is a fan of his and takes him to the airport. And Mr. Hill's gratitude to this guy is to thank him for not murdering him?
That's class right there, that's what that it.