Thursday, October 29, 2009
See the magic marker drawing on these two guys face? It seems they needed to rob a house and didn't have a mask to use, so they just drew one on their face.
How did the police ever catch these two clever thieves?
Sales of new homes fell last month, and inventories are not growing. With the government tax credit expiring, those new-home sales and construction will likely fall off. The third-quarter growth in that area will almost certainly represent sales shifted from future quarters, which means that the next quarter will get negatively impacted from this growth.
One key indicator continued to move downward significantly, although Reuters only reports it in the final paragraph:
Business investment fell at 2.5 percent pace, with investment nonresidential structures dropping 9 percent, a reflection of ongoing problems in the commercial property market.
In other words, what we had in the third quarter was not long-term growth based on solid investment in business. We had a flurry of federal spending and consumer behavior predicated on highly temporary government interventions, like Cash for Clunkers and the homebuyer tax credit. That may be enough to make the administration look good for the next three months, but only for that long if they don’t stimulate real investment instead of using these gimmicky programs. If we have a double dip recession after these gimmicks end, Barack Obama won’t have George Bush to kick around any longer on the economy. He’ll own it after this.
President Barack Obama says only once since Jan. 20 has White House life annoyed him.
It was the Saturday in May when, trying to be a good husband, he kept a campaign promise to take his wife, Michelle, to New York after the election for one of their "date nights" - dinner and a Broadway play.
Conservative commentators and Republican officials criticized him for doing so.
"People made it into a political issue," Obama told The New York Times Magazine for an article about the Obamas' marriage, appearing in the Nov. 1 issue. The article was posted on the Times' Web site on Wednesday.
"If I weren't president, I would be happy to catch the shuttle with my wife to take her to a Broadway show, as I had promised her during the campaign, and there would be no fuss and no muss and no photographers," he said. "That would please me greatly."
He's just a naive kid who got caught up in a whirlwind. He's a teenager who got his girlfriend pregnant, which is hard enough to deal with. Now, he's estranged from his own child; he is massaged, paid, and goaded by clever people who've seen ways they can use him. But now he's cut off from the access to information that made him useful. And the material he's coming up with has become increasingly desperate-sounding, like the fake confessions of a tortured man. What does the boy have left? Yes, there's his genitalia. He's still got that to reveal. There will be the Playgirl spread, but then what? Is there anyone in his life who loves him, who is available to help him? He's surrounded by false friends who will soon have used up everything he had to give. What resources does he have to draw on as his fame spike plummets? We are talking about a boy who is still only 19 years old. God help him.
The battle over health care reform reached another milestone Thursday as top House Democrats unveiled sweeping legislation that includes a highly controversial public health insurance option.
The nearly 2,000 page bill -- a combination of three different versions passed by House committees -- would cost $894 billion over 10 years and extend insurance coverage to 36 million uncovered Americans, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
It guarantees that 96 percent of Americans have coverage, Pelosi said. The figure is based on an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Among other things, the bill would subsidize insurance for poorer Americans and create health insurance exchanges to make it easier for small groups and individuals to purchase coverage. It would also cap annual out-of-pocket expenses and prevent insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Pelosi's office said the bill would cut the federal deficit by roughly $30 billion over the next decade. The measure is financed through a combination of a tax surcharge on wealthy Americans and spending constraints in Medicare and Medicaid.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
During his first nine months in office, President Obama has quietly rewarded scores of top Democratic donors with VIP access to the White House, private briefings with administration advisers and invitations to important speeches and town-hall meetings.
High-dollar fundraisers have been promised access to senior White House officials in exchange for pledges to donate $30,400 personally or to bundle $300,000 in contributions ahead of the 2010 midterm elections, according to internal Democratic National Committee documents obtained by The Washington Times.
Presidential aides said there has been no systematic effort to use the White House complex to aid fundraising, though they acknowledge the DNC has paid for some events at the presidential mansion.
Many guests at the White House not only had fundraising connections, but also have personal friendships with the president, Mr. Obama's aides said.
There was another President who did this. His name rhymes with Clinton.
New Yorkers are fleeing the state and city in alarming numbers -- and costing a fortune in lost tax dollars, a new study shows.
More than 1.5 million state residents left for other parts of the United States from 2000 to 2008, according to the report from the Empire Center for New York State Policy. It was the biggest out-of-state migration in the country.
The vast majority of the migrants, 1.1 million, were former residents of New York City -- meaning one out of seven city taxpayers moved out.
"The Empire State is being drained of an invaluable resource -- people," the report said.
What's worse is that the families fleeing New York are being replaced by lower-income newcomers, who consequently pay less in taxes.
Levi Johnston says he's keeping some "huge" things about Sarah Palin from the public.
In Part One of a two-part exclusive interview with "Early Show" co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez, which aired Wednesday, the father of Palin's grandson says, "There are some things that I have that are huge. And I haven't said them because I'm not gonna hurt her that way.
" ... I have things that can, you know -- that would get her in trouble, and could hurt her. Will hurt her. But I'm not gonna go that far. You know, I mean, if I really wanted to hurt her, I could, very easily. But there's -- I'm not gonna do it. I'm not going that far."
He added that he's "sure Sarah's got something ... coming for me," perhaps in her soon-to-be-released memoir, but, "I'm not worried about her saying anything about me. I've really never done anything bad. I don't have anything to hide. So she can go on and say what she wants."
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Former GOP vice presidential candidate reported Tuesday that she has received at least $1.25 million for her hugely anticipated upcoming book "Going Rogue."
A disclosure statement released Tuesday discusses Palin's finances from Jan. 1 to July 27, when she resigned as Alaska governor. Palin says she received $1.25 million from publisherfor the book.
The document only provides a partial picture of the book deal because it doesn't cover the three months she has been out of office. Palin doesn't elaborate on her book compensation, describing the $1.25 million figure only as a "retainer."
It's likely she will be make more money when it's all said and done. "Going Rogue" catapulted to No. 1 on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com after HarperCollins announced in late September it had moved up the release date of 1.5 million copies.
What if Bush did it -
A four-hour stop in New Orleans, on his way to a $3 million fundraiser.
Snubbing the Dalai Lama.
Signing off on a secret deal with drug makers.
Freezing out a TV network.
Doing more fundraisers than the last president. More golf, too.
President Barack Obama has done all of those things — and more.
What’s remarkable is what hasn’t happened. These episodes haven’t become metaphors for Obama’s personal and political character — or consuming controversies that sidetracked the rest of his agenda.
It’s a sign that the media’s echo chamber can be a funny thing, prone to the vagaries of news judgment, and an illustration that, in politics, context is everything.
And quickly add, with a hint of jealousy: How does Obama get away with it?
Bush got grief for secret meetings with the oil industry, politicizing the White House and spending too much time on his beloved bike. But it’s not just Republicans who notice. Media observers note that the president often gets kid-glove treatment from the press, fellow Democrats and, particularly, interest groups on the left — Bush’s loudest critics, Obama’s biggest backers.
But others say there’s a larger phenomenon at work — in the story line the media wrote about Obama’s presidency. For Bush, the theme was that of a Big Business Republican who rode the family name to the White House, so stories about secret energy meetings and a certain laziness, intellectual and otherwise, fit neatly into the theme, to be replayed over and over again.
Obama’s story line was more positive from the start: historic newcomer coming to shake up Washington. So the negatives that sprung up around Obama — like a sense that he was more flash than substance — track what negative coverage he’s received, captured in a recent “Saturday Night Live” skit that made fun of his lack of accomplishments in office.
As a candidate, Obama railed against the Hurricane Katrina. He made five campaign trips to the city.for abandoning and then neglecting the people of New Orleans during
But as president, Obama waited almost nine months before visiting the Big Easy, spent less than four hours on the ground there and then jetted to San Francisco for a $3 million Democratic fundraiser.
When the Obama administration moved in recent weeks to isolate and disparage Fox News as a wing of the Republican Party, there were few immediate howls of outrage — even from Fox’s fellow journalists in the media.
Press defenders and First Amendment advocates who jumped on the Bush administration for using military analysts to shape war coverage reacted with a yawn to the White House’s announcement that it had deemed Fox to be not a “legitimate news organization.”
Throughout the Bush administration, liberal critics warned that the hand of Bush political adviserwas spreading politics into all corners of government. Reporters were on alert for any sign that politics was infecting the work of federal agencies. One top appointee got in hot water for allegedly asking agency officials to work to “help our candidates” across the country.
So some Bush aides went nearly apoplectic earlier this month when they spotted Gibbs and Obama’s political guru, David Axelrod, in photos of a Situation Room meeting on Afghanistan policy.
“Oh, the howling and screaming that would have happened if Karl Rove was sitting in on even a deputies-level meeting where strategy was being hammered out. People would have just gone ballistic,” said Peter Feaver, a former White House aide for both Bush and Bill Clinton.
Also, in about nine months, Obama has already attended more than two dozen fundraising events, while Bush did only six in his first year in office, according to a tally by CBS’s Mark Knoller.
Bush and Energy Task Force held with oil and gas companies. When the policy emerged, critics said Cheney was carrying water for the industry.endured years of criticism and lawsuits that stretched all the way to the Supreme Court over secret meetings Cheney’s
Obama pledged to hash out health care reform live on C-SPAN and excoriated Bush for kowtowing to the drug industry. But aides signed off on the drug industry’s agreement to find $80 billion in savings to support reform. However, Obama aides didn’t disclose that the agreement involved the White House promising that current health legislation wouldn’t include further cuts or give the government the right to negotiate over drug prices.
During the campaign, Obama talked tough on China. While candidate Obama pushed Bush to take a hard line, President Obama hasn’t. Hoping to win China’s help on North Korea, Obama skipped a meeting with the Dalai Lama and said little when China undertook a violent crackdown in its largely Muslim Xinjiang region. The White House has pledged to meet with the Dalai Lama later.and
And while candidate Obama warned Bush against a “reckless and cynical initiative [that] would reward a regime in Khartoum that has a record of failing to live up to its commitments,” Sudan, Scott Gration, seemed to lay out a similar incentive-driven approach.’s envoy to “We’ve got to think about giving out cookies,” said Gration. “Kids, countries — they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement.”
In his campaign and as president, Bush was mocked for a lack of interest in all things foreign — seven minutes touring the Kremlin, 25 minutes at the Great Wall of China, before declaring, “Let’s go home.”
During a trip to Europe in June, Obama chastised German and French reporters for suggesting that he was snubbing those countries by making only brief stops in each. “There are only 24 hours in the day. And so there’s nothing to any of that speculation beyond us just trying to fit in what we could do on such a short trip,” he told reporters in Germany.
But after taking his wife out for an attention-grabbing date night, Obama promptly jetted back to Washington. Within about 90 minutes of arriving at the White House, the tightly scheduled president was on the move again — headed to Andrews Air Force Base to play nine holes of golf.
Well, he's back...and better:
Republicans and Democrats slammed Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) for calling Linda Robertson, an adviser to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, a “K Street whore” in a month-old radio interview that circulated on Capitol Hill Monday night.
“There’s no call for that language. No call for it. That’s absurd. If he was standing here now, I’d say that to him,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.)
“He’s out of control,” added Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who is vice chairwoman of the House Republican Conference.
The remarks are the latest to surface in a string of controversial statements by Grayson, who said on the Alex Jones radio show that he believes Robertson, a former Enron lobbyist, is not qualified to pass judgment on intricate financial matters.
It’s clear that his colleagues’ opinion of him has suffered.
“Is this news to you that this guy’s one fry short of a Happy Meal?” asked Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.)
I wonder what Pelosi thinks of him now.
Well Soledad O'Brien was a contestant too....and she came in 3rd place as well.
CNN should consider banning its anchors from appearing on "Celebrity Jeopardy" after the humiliating defeats of Wolf Blitzer and Soledad O'Brien. Wolf was blitzed last month, coming in last with minus-$4,600, behind comic Andy Richter, a past winner who racked up $68,000 for charity. "Desperate Housewives" star Dana Delany came in second. This month, it was O'Brien's turn against NBA legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Michael McKean, of "Spinal Tap," "Laverne & Shirley" and "Saturday Night Live." McKean, a previous winner, ended with $24,800, followed by Abdul Jabbar with $8,800 and O'Brien with $6,200. A CNN insider defended the journalists: "They are reporters, not trivia experts. And the buzzer is complicated. It's not activated until Alex [Trebek] finishes the last syllable of the question. If you hit the button too soon, nothing happens."
What a lame excuse. These guys report facts and figures all day long. And besides...aren't these guys the ones who "analyze" and "explain" the news to us?
Monday, October 26, 2009
A poll released today by the Club for Growth shows Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman surging into the lead in the special election in New York's 23rd congressional district to replace John McHugh, the former congressman who recently became Secretary of the Army.
The poll of 300 likely voters, conducted October 24-25, 2009, shows Conservative Doug Hoffman at 31.3%, Democrat Bill Owens at 27.0%, Republican Dede Scozzafava at 19.7%, and 22% undecided. The poll's margin of error is +/- 5.66%. No information was provided about any of the candidates prior to the ballot question.
In another sign of economic recovery, U.S. companies are planning to hire and invest more in the near future, according to a survey released Monday.
The National Association for Business Economics said the number of employers planning to hire workers over the next six months exceeded the number expecting job cuts for the first time since the recession began in December 2007.
The survey of 78 NABE members also showed more companies increased capital spending during the third quarter of 2009 than cut spending. It was the first time that happened since October 2008.
"NABE's October 2009 Industry Survey provides new evidence that the U.S. recovery is underway," said William Strauss, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
As he is quick to point out, President Obama is presiding over two wars, a sour economy, and an epic fight to rebuild the nation’s health care system.
Now he has tacked on state and local political races. With an off-year election fast approaching, Obama is stepping up his commitment to Democratic candidates in hopes that an infusion of campaign charisma might pump up turnout.
What the party is finding, though, is that the electricity of 2008 is tough to recapture. Some Democratic candidates running for local office around the country call the phenomenon the “Obama Hangover.’’ It is proving tougher to recruit volunteers and get people to vote.
“It’s like the morning after the party,’’ said Michael McGann, a Democrat running for clerk of courts in the Philadelphia suburbs. “The party was wonderful and exciting. The day after it’s like, ‘Gee, I don’t want to do that again for a while.’ ’’
Obama is trying to inspire voters with the “fired up; ready to go’’ fervor that made last year’s race riveting political theater.
"Overly rosy." The words this morning of HHS Secy Sebelius on projections of H1N1 flu vaccine production so far.Soooo... "hang in there", you'll get it "eventually", "don't give up hope", "the government will take care of you".
10 minutes ago from web
On the network morning shows, Sebelius conceded delays in getting H1N1 vaccine to all who want it - but says they'll get it "eventually."
8 minutes ago from web
Sebelius urges Americans not to be frustrated or discouraged if they can't get H1N1 vaccine, and keep trying. She says the vaccine works.
7 minutes ago from web
Gosh...I can't wait until these guys take over the entire health care system. And for those waiting for the vaccine...hope you don't die while waiting.
In the health care debate, Democrats and their allies have gone after insurance companies as rapacious profiteers making "immoral" and "obscene" returns while "the bodies pile up."
But in pillorying insurers over profits, the critics are on shaky ground. Ledgers tell a different reality.
Health insurance profit margins typically run about 6 percent, give or take a point or two. That's anemic compared with other forms of insurance and a broad array of industries, even some beleaguered ones.
-"I'm very pleased that (Democratic leaders) will be talking, too, about the immoral profits being made by the insurance industry and how those profits have increased in the Bush years." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who also welcomed the attention being drawn to insurers' "obscene profits."
-"Keeping the status quo may be what the insurance industry wants. Their premiums have more than doubled in the last decade and their profits have skyrocketed." Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, member of the Democratic leadership.
-"Health insurance companies are willing to let the bodies pile up as long as their profits are safe." A MoveOn.org ad.
Health insurers posted a 2.2 percent profit margin last year, placing them 35th on the Fortune 500 list of top industries. As is typical, other health sectors did much better - drugs and medical products and services were both in the top 10.
The railroads brought in a 12.6 percent profit margin. Leading the list: network and other communications equipment, at 20.4 percent.
HealthSpring, the best performer in the health insurance industry, posted 5.4 percent. That's a less profitable margin than was achieved by the makers of Tupperware, Clorox bleach and Molson and Coors beers.
The star among the health insurance companies did, however, nose out Jack in the Box restaurants, which only achieved a 4 percent margin.
UnitedHealth Group, reporting third quarter results last week, saw fortunes improve. It managed a 5 percent profit margin on an 8 percent growth in revenue.
Van Hollen is right that premiums have more than doubled in a decade, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study that found a 131 percent increase.
Friday, October 23, 2009
During his captivity, US marines forced Saddam, who was executed in 2006, to repeatedly watch the movie South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut, which shows him as gay, as well as the boyfriend of Satan. He was also regularly depicted in a similar manner during the TV series.
The admission comes with the show's 13th season already running in the US. It will celebrate its 12th anniversary later this year.
Recent episodes have seen Barack Obama using his Presidential victory as a way to steal jewels from Washington in an Oceans 11-style heist.
It also recently depicted the United States Treasury as deciding economic measures by cutting the head off a chicken and letting it run on a game show style board, landing on a decision.
Stone, 37, said both he and Parker, 39, were most proud of the signed Saddam photo, given to them by the US Army's 4th Infantry Division.
He said: "We're very proud of our signed Saddam picture and what it means. Its one of our biggest highlights.
"I have it on pretty good information from the marines on detail in Iraq that they showed Saddam the movie.
"Over and over again – which is a pretty funny thought.
"That's really adding insult to injury."
A report released Monday by the Omaha-based public-interest group Aurora indicates that increasing numbers of Americans are being defrauded by schemes that offer financial reward for a lifetime of hard work. "People don't realize that long-term savings and loyalty to one company don't pan out," said Sylvia Girouard, the study's author. Girouard added that steady employment which claims to offer long-term financial gain in the form of a pension plan is nothing more than an elaborate Ponzi scheme.
A White House effort to undermine conservative critics is generating a backlash on Capitol Hill — and not just from Republicans.
“It’s a mistake,” said Rep. Jason Altmire, a moderate Democrat from western Pennsylvania. “I think it’s beneath the White House to get into a tit for tat with news organizations.”
Altmire was talking about the Obama administration’s efforts to undercut Fox News. But he said his remarks applied just the same to White House efforts to marginalize the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a powerful business lobby targeted for its opposition to climate change legislation.
“There’s no reason to gratuitously piss off all those companies,” added another Democrat, Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia. “The Chamber isn’t an opponent.”
White House Communications Director Anita Dunn has defended the push, saying the administration made “a fundamental decision that we needed to be more aggressive in both protecting our position and in delineating our differences with those who were attacking us.”
Congressional Republicans counterattacked Thursday. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the administration was “targeting those who don’t immediately fall in line” with “Chicago-style politics” aimed at “shutting the American people out and demonizing their opponents.”
Boehner’s No. 2, Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) complained that the nation’s problems are growing while the White House “bickers with a cable news network.”
The Obama administration on Thursday tried to make "pay czar" Kenneth Feinberg available for interviews to every member of the White House pool except Fox News. The pool is the five-network rotation that for decades has shared the costs and duties of daily coverage of the presidency.
But the Washington bureau chiefs of the five TV networks consulted and decided that none of their reporters would interview Feinberg unless Fox News was included.
The administration relented, making Feinberg available for all five pool members and Bloomberg TV.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
The number of Americans who believe there is solid evidence that the Earth is warming because of pollution is at its lowest point in three years, according to a survey released Thursday.
The poll of 1,500 adults by the Pew Research Center for the People&the Press found that only 57 percent believe there is strong scientific evidence that the Earth has gotten warmer over the past few decades, and as a result, people are viewing the problem as less serious. That's down from 77 percent in 2006.
"The priority that people give to pollution and environmental concerns and a whole host of other issues is down because of the economy and because of the focus on other things," said Andrew Kohut, the director of the research center, which conducted the poll from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4. "When the focus is on other things, people forget and see these issues as less grave."
In his interview yesterday with NBC News, President Obama made his first public comments on White House attempts to marginalize Fox News.If this is the case, then why does he keep talking about them?
He seems all for it.
"What our advisers simply said is -- is that -- we are going to take media as it comes," Obama told NBC's Savannah Guthrie. "And if media is operating, basically, as a talk radio format, then that's one thing. And if it's operating ... as a news outlet, then that's another.
"But it's not somethin' I'm losing a lot of sleep over."
The number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for jobless benefits rose more than expected last week, as employers remain reluctant to hire even with the economy showing signs of recovery. (ed. when companies are LAYING OFF, it is not a reluctance to hire new workers - they are still letting employees go. And if the economy is "recovering", then why are people still getting laid off?)
Claims had fallen in five out of the previous six weeks and most economists expect that trend to continue, but at a slow pace, as jobs remain scarce.
The Labor Department said Thursday that new jobless claims rose to a seasonally adjusted 531,000 last week, from an upwardly revised 520,000 the previous week. Wall Street economists had expected only a slight increase, according to Thomson Reuters.
Economists closely watch initial claims, which are considered a gauge of layoffs and an indication of companies' willingness to hire new workers.
Police in a Phoenix suburb are looking for a father suspected of running down his daughter because she was becoming too "Westernized" and was not living according to their traditional Iraqi values.
Police say 48-year-old Faleh Hassan Almaleki of Glendale allegedly ran his daughter down Tuesday at an Arizona Department of Economic Security parking lot in Peoria.
The victim, 20-year-old Noor Faleh Almaleki of Surprise, remains hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
We know that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin can hunt, and even field-dress a moose, but how will she take to poachers on her book sales? Start-up publisher OR Books has announced plans to publish Going Rouge: Sarah Palin An American Nightmare, a collection of essays about the maverick Republican with a title — and cover design — remarkably similar to Palin’s upcoming memoir. What’s more, OR’s paperback tome will be released on Nov. 17, the same day that Palin’s own Going Rogue: An American Life hits shelves — and one day after Palin’s just-announced, first-ever appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s show.
Here's the cover:
I have a question...if she quit her Governor's position so she could make the mad cash giving speeches, how come she has only given one speech in 3 months?
In court papers filed by The Associated Press, the news organization said Shepard Fairey concocted the story that he was mistaken about which photo he used to create the famous Obama HOPE poster and disputed his contention that he has not personally profited from the iconic red, white and blue image.
Days after Fairey acknowledged trying to destroy potentially damaging evidence in his legal battle with the AP, the news agency filed amended papers in Manhattan federal court, accusing the Los Angeles-based poster artist of deliberate deception.
Until recently, Fairey had claimed his image was based on a 2006 photo of then-Sen. Barack Obama, seated next to actor George Clooney. Fairey now says that he was in error and that he used a solo, close-up shot of Obama, as the AP had long alleged.
"It is simply not credible that Fairey somehow forgot in January 2009 which source image he used to create the Infringing Works, which were completed only a year earlier in January 2008," according to the papers filed Tuesday.
"It also strains credulity that an experienced graphic designer such as Shepard Fairey misremembered cropping George Clooney out of a source image and making other changes ... when no such cropping or other changes were ever made."
"Shepard continues to stand by his statement from last Friday," said Fairey's spokesman, Jay Strell. "He has apologized and taken responsibility for his actions. The more important question is why the AP continues to spend enormous financial resources attacking Shepard and diverting the debate from the central question in this case, which is whether he transformed the ... image into a work of art, which he has."
Fairey sued the not-for-profit news cooperative in February, arguing that he didn't violate copyright law because he dramatically changed the image and thus was protected by "fair use" guidelines. The AP countersued in March, saying the uncredited, uncompensated use of an AP photo violated copyright laws and signaled a threat to journalism.
Fairey has long contended that he did not make money off of the image, which has appeared on posters, buttons, shirts and stickers, in books and in museums, including the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. But the AP alleged Tuesday that Fairey, through his Obey Clothing store, has "generated substantial revenue from the commercial exploitation of the Obama posters on T-shirts and other merchandise."
The AP cited published reports in estimating that profits from the Obama image had topped $400,000 as of September 2008, and now far exceeded that thanks to "the publicity generated by this lawsuit."
Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) locked Republicans out of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee room to keep them from meeting when Democrats aren’t present.
Towns’ action came after repeated public ridicule from the leading Republican on the committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), over Towns’s failure to launch an investigation into Countrywide Mortgage’s reported sweetheart deals to VIPs.
For months Towns has refused Republican requests to subpoena records in the case. Last Thursday Committee Republicans, led by Issa, were poised to force an open vote on the subpoenas at a Committee mark-up meeting. The mark-up was abruptly canceled. Only Republicans showed up while Democrats chairs remained empty.
Republicans charged that Towns canceled the meeting to avoid the subpoena vote. Democrats first claimed the mark-up was canceled due to a conflict with the Financial Services Committee. Later they said it was abandoned after a disagreement among Democratic members on whether to subpoena records on the mortgage industry’s political contributions to Republicans.
If, as the old joke goes, God wishes he could play golf like Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods may wish he could play golf like twelve-year-old Mark Benevento Jr.
Wait ... what? Who or what is a Mark Benevento Jr.?
Mark is a young man who's about to be famous for all the right (i.e. non-balloon-oriented) reasons. At an event commemorating the opening of The Cliffs at High Carolina, a new Tiger-designed course in Asheville, North Carolina recently, Tiger fired his first two shots into the trees. He then looked out over the crowd and invited anyone to step up and try to outdrive him.
Most everyone in the crowd pulled that routine that you do when you don't know the answer and don't want the teacher to call on you -- looking everywhere but at Tiger, taking an intense interest in the clouds above, suddenly staring at their cell phones, and so on. But one brave soul -- that would be Mark -- stepped up and took his swing. You can see him there in the photo at right, teeing it up under the watchful eye of Tiger, who's wearing the white hat at right. And then, courtesy of NBC Philadelphia, here's what happened next (after the ad, of course):
1. Telecommunications Network Engineer
Best Jobs rank: 30
10-year growth: 53 percent
Current total employment: 21,000
2. Systems Engineer
Best Jobs rank: 1
10-year growth: 45 percent
Current total employment: 88,000
3. Personal Finance Advisor
Best Jobs rank: N/A
10-year growth: 41 percent
Current total employment: 20,000
Best Jobs rank: 25
10-year growth: 35 percent
Current total employment: 68,000
5. Senior Financial Analyst
Best Jobs rank: 21
10-year growth: 34 percent
Current total employment: 127,000
6. Business Analyst, IT
Best Jobs rank: 17
10-year growth: 29 percent
Current total employment: 125,000
7. Software Development Director
Best Jobs rank: N/A
10-year growth: 28 percent
Current total employment: 12,000
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The rationale of the White House offensive against Fox News has been a topic of much puzzlement lately. Is this just the White House lashing out? Are they trying to rally the base?But I think Mike Allen and Josh Gerstein nail the real explanation in their story today: The White House is working to prevent stories born on Fox from crossing over into more widely-viewed media. Most Americans still haven't heard of Van Jones, for instance; and the strategy is now all about containment
For years, Charles Wesley Mumbere worked as a nurse's aide in Maryland and Pennsylvania, caring for the elderly and sick. No one there suspected that he had inherited a royal title in his African homeland when he was just 13.
On Monday, after years of political upheaval and financial struggle, Mumbere, 56, was finally crowned king of his people to the sound of drumbeats and thousands of cheering supporters wearing cloth printed with his portraits.
At a public rally later in the day, Ugandanofficially recognized the 300,000-strong Rwenzururu Kingdom. Museveni restored the traditional kingdoms his predecessor banned in 1967, but has been adamant that kings restrict themselves to cultural duties and keep out of politics.
Have you heard the news? President Obama inherited an economic mess from the Bush administration.
You say that's hardly news? But it's been the message sounded over and over by the White House. Top Obama adviser David Axelrod said on one of the Sunday news shows, "He walked in the door, we had the worst economy since the Great Depression." In San Francisco, Obama talked of being "busy with our mop." White House heavy hitter Rahm Emanuel used the worst-economy-since-the-Depression line on a public TV news show.
You'd think it's October 2008, the final month in the Obama presidential candidacy, rather than October 2009, nine months into the Obama presidency. Yet the Obama White House is in full campaign mode -- maybe because it needs to mask the shortcomings of the Obama presidency.
Take, for example, all the talk of inheriting the worst economy since the 1930s crisis. That came in response to the news that the federal deficit hit $1.4 trillion.
Yet just a few months ago, the Obama camp was singing a little different tune. It was under criticism for the $787 billion stimulus package it bulldozed through Congress on grounds that massive spending was needed to keep the unemployment rate from breaching 8 percent. When joblessness hit 9.5 percent in June, Vice President Joe Biden said, "We misread how bad the economy was."
They inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, or the economy turned out to be worse than they thought. Which is it? It can't be both -- unless your brain is completely addled by the Obama charisma.
Obama is still popular, but polls show the public losing faith in his policies. Another indicator was a ''Saturday Night Live'' skit lampooning Obama for the major accomplishments of his administration -- "jack and squat." If the honeymoon is ending with the American voter, it isn't for obsequious elements of the mainstream media. CNN prostrated itself by fact-checking the ''SNL'' comedy skit.
But that's harmless compared to the virulent campaign against Obama critics carried out by the denizens of MSNBC. Its Obama acolytes seek to demonize opponents of Obama's policies by focusing on most marginal corners of right-wing politics like, for example, the "birthers" who deny Obama is a natural born citizen. The larger scheme is to imply Obama critics are racists.
In a dramatic shift, the Chamber of Commerce announced Monday that it is throwing its support behind climate change legislation making its way through the U.S. Senate.
Only it didn’t.
An email press release announcing the change is a hoax, say Chamber officials.
Several media organizations fell for it.
A CNBC anchor interrupted herself mid-sentence Monday morning to announce that the network had “breaking news,” then cut away to reporter Hampton Pearson, who read from the fake press release.
Pearson quickly followed up with a second report saying the “so-called bulletin” was an “absolute hoax.” Smelling a rat, CNBC’s Larry Kudlow demanded to know whether the White House had been involved.
In a story posted Monday morning, Reuters declared: “The Chamber of Commerce said on Monday it will no longer opposes climate change legislation, but wants the bill to include a carbon tax.”
"Reuters has an obligation to its clients to publish news and information that could move financial markets, and this story had the potential to do that,” said a Thomson Reuters spokesperson. “Once we had confirmed the release was a hoax, we immediately issued a correction, and in keeping with Reuters policy, the story was subsequently withdrawn and an advisory sent to readers."
The Yes Men, a left-leaning activist group that often impersonates officials from organizations they oppose, took responsibility for the hoax.
Monday, October 19, 2009
The New York Times plans to eliminate 100 newsroom jobs — about 8 percent of the total — by year’s end, offering buyouts to union and non-union employees, and resorting to layoffs if it cannot get enough people to leave voluntarily, the paper announced on Monday.
The paper has made much deeper reductions in other, non-newsroom departments, where layoffs have occurred several times. But the advertising drop that has pummeled the industry has forced cuts in the news operation as well. The newsroom already has lowered its budgets for freelancers and trimmed other expenses, and employees took a 5 percent pay cut for most of this year.
The White House and congressional Democrats are working to marginalize the Chamber of Commerce — the powerful business lobby opposed to many of President Barack Obama’s first-year priorities — by going around the group and dealing directly with the CEOs of major U.S. corporations.
Since June, senior White House officials have met directly with executives from more than 55 companies, including Chamber members Pfizer, Eastman Kodak and IBM.
“We prefer the approach — particularly in this climate — where the actual people who are on the front lines, running businesses, trying to create jobs, come and advise us on policy,” senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett told POLITICO in a not-so-subtle effort to portray the Chamber as out of touch with business reality. (ed: yeah, because the Chamber has no idea about business....they just aren't as smart as the folks in the WH)
Chamber officials say the White House is scapegoating the Chamber and other trade associations as a way of dividing the business community, a move that could help the administration made headway on health care reform, climate change legislation and regulatory reform.
“It’s happening with the deliberate hope and attention to weaken the influence of this institute and the business community in town,” said Bruce Josten, executive vice president for government affairs at the Chamber. “When they launch a frontal assault against free enterprise and the Chamber of Commerce, I can guarantee it is not lost on any trade association executives or staff in this town.”
The White House escalated its offensive against Fox News on Sunday by urging other news organizations to stop "following Fox" and instead join the administration's attempt to marginalize the channel.
White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel told CNN that President Obama does not want "the CNNs and the others in the world [to] basically be led in following Fox."
Obama senior adviser David Axelrod went further by calling on media outlets to join the administration in declaring that Fox is "not a news organization."
"Other news organizations like yours ought not to treat them that way," Axelrod counseled ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "We're not going to treat them that way."
By urging other news outlets to side with the administration, Obama aides officials dramatically upped the ante in the war of words that began earlier this month, when White House communications director Anita Dunn branded Fox "opinion journalism masquerading as news."
Richard and Mayumi Heene may soon face charges after being accused of trying to whip up a media frenzy with a tall tale about their son floating away in a makeshift flying saucer — but Richard Heene’s lawyer told TODAY Monday that the father of the now-infamous “balloon boy” should not suffer the public indignity of being led away in handcuffs.
“I’ve said, ‘Look, these folks are willing to turn themselves in the minute that you give me the phone call. I will have them in your office within 10 minutes, all right?’ ” attorney David Lane told Matt Lauer.
Lane added that he told authorities: “Do not do the perp walk for media consumption and arrest these people in full view of their children. That’s child abuse. That’s traumatic for kids.”
UPDATE: The media was possibly involved:
Investigators are examining the possibility of other conspirators, "including the possibility that even some of the media outlets may have had some knowledge about this," Alderden said.
Documents show that a media outlet has agreed to pay money to the Heenes with regard to the balloon incident, Alderden said. He didn't name the media outlet, but said it was a show that blurs "the line between entertainment and news." It wasn't clear whether the deal was signed before or after the alleged hoax, or whether that media outlet was a possible conspirator.
President Obama's presidential campaign focused on "making" the news media cover certain issues while rarely communicating anything to the press unless it was "controlled," White House Communications Director Anita Dunn disclosed to the Dominican government at a videotaped conference.
"Very rarely did we communicate through the press anything that we didn't absolutely control," said Dunn.
"One of the reasons we did so many of the David Plouffe videos was not just for our supporters, but also because it was a way for us to get our message out without having to actually talk to reporters," said Dunn, referring to Plouffe, who was Obama's chief campaign manager.
"We just put that out there and made them write what Plouffe had said as opposed to Plouffe doing an interview with a reporter. So it was very much we controlled it as opposed to the press controlled it," Dunn said.
She is talking about their media strategy and how they controlled their message instead of allowing the media to control their message.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Bawm Bawm bawwwwmmm
President Obama's former archrival is now leading him in the polls -- too bad for her, the election's over.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is pulling a 62 percent favorable rating in the latest Gallup poll, compared with Obama's 56 percent rating.
Apparently, the MSM thinks this is "newsworthy".
Three of the five members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee had objections to the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to US President Barack Obama, the Norwegian tabloid Verdens Gang (VG) reported Thursday.
"VG has spoken to a number of sources who confirmed the impression that a majority of the Nobel committee, at first, had not decided to give the peace prize to Barack Obama," the newspaper said.
In a surprise move last Friday, the Nobel committee attributed the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama less than nine months after he had taken office.
"The committee was unanimous," its influential secretary Geir Lundestad told AFP on Friday.
But Inger-Marie Ytterhorn, who represented the right-wing populist Progress Party on the committee, led the way in objecting to the choice of Obama because she questioned his ability to keep his promises, the newspaper said.
It also said the representative of the Conservative Party, Kaci Kullmann Five, and Aagot Valle, the representative of the Socialist Left, had objections.
The choice for Obama was however strongly supported by committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland and Sissel Roenbeck, both representatives of the Labour Party.
The Arctic ice cap will disappear completely in summer months within 20 to 30 years, a polar research team said as they presented findings from an expedition led by adventurer Pen Hadow.
It is likely to be largely ice-free during the warmer months within a decade, the experts added.
VeteranHadow and two other Britons went out on the Arctic ice cap for 73 days during the northern spring, taking more than 6,000 measurements and observations of the sea ice.
The raw data they collected from March to May has been analysed, producing some stark predictions about the state of the ice cap.
"The summer ice cover will completely vanish in 20 to 30 years but in less than that it will have considerably retreated," said, head of the polar ocean physics group at Britain's prestigious Cambridge University.
"In about 10 years, the Arctic ice will be considered as open sea."
For the 7th consecutive weekday, CNN finished fourth on cable news in the prime time A25-54 demographic. It was the 77th time CNN finished 4th in that category this year. FNC was way out in front, followed by HLN just edging MSNBC by 1,000 viewers.
• Fox News’ total viewer average during prime time of 2,735,000 beat the other three cable news networks combined. Bill O’Reilly, who had the top show, had more than 1,000,000 in the demo.
• The top non-FNC show was Countdown with Keith Olbermann in both categories at 8pmET for MSNBC.