Mortgage Bill Fails in Senate
WASHINGTON -- A measure to allow bankruptcy judges to rework the mortgages of strapped homeowners failed in the Senate on Thursday, clouding its chances of becoming law.
The defeat is a setback for the administration of President Barack Obama, which had championed the measure as a central plank of its plan to repair the housing market.
The measure, which was offered as an amendment to broader banking legislation, sank on a 51-to-45 vote due to opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats.The measure would allow bankruptcy judges to reduce the principal amount of mortgage loans for struggling borrowers -- a process dubbed "cramdown." Currently, mortgages on vacation properties, but not primary residences, can be reworked by bankruptcy judges
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The House of Representatives passed a $3.44 trillion budget resolution for fiscal year 2010 Wednesday, approving most of President Obama’s key spending priorities and setting the federal government in a new direction with major increases for energy, education and health care programs.The resolution, which was approved by a vote of 233 to 193, passed in a virtual party-line vote. All but 17 House Democrats supported it, and no House Republicans voted in favor…
… “Today, for the first time in many, many years, we have a president’s budget … that is a statement of our national values,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said during the final debate on the House floor.
“What is important to us as a nation is reflected in this budget. It’s a very happy day for our country.”
What values might that be? Bankrupt the country as quickly as possible?
Candy Crowley — a tough, well-informed and underrated
interviewer — kicked it off by asking the Speaker about about a column
by former CIA director and ex-House intel chairman Porter Goss accusing
Democrats of collective “amnesia” for urging investigations of
waterboarding after remaining relatively mute during those first
PELOSI: Well, first of all, let me say that perhaps we do live in an alternate universe, Porter and I.
Porter’s orientation is that he was a member of the CIA before he
came to Congress and he speaks now as a former director of the Central
CROWLEY: Is he wrong?
PELOSI: Perhaps he is seeing it from his perspective. If they say we
have a legal opinion, it means we’re going to use it. That’s not how I
heard it. They said they had a legal opinion. They said they weren’t
going to use and when they did they would come back to Congress to
report to us on that. But that’s how I heard that.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
"To say that it should not be made public knowing that it might scare people it's just confounding," Sen. Charles Schumer said. "It's what gives Washington and government a bad name. It's sheer stupidity."
Friday, April 24, 2009
Two large suicide bombings Thursday renewed fears among Iraqis that
Sunni insurgents are regaining strength and lethality as the U.S.
military has started disassembling its massive wartime architecture....
The violent campaign coincides with plans for a U.S. pullback. The
first deadline in a phased American withdrawal agreed upon by Iraq and
the United States comes this summer, when combat troops are supposed to
move out of urban areas. Top U.S. commanders have recently said the
Iraqi government may ask them to keep American forces in cities in
northern Iraq -- where the insurgency remains entrenched -- beyond the
summer deadline. In Baghdad, the military has closed some inner-city
bases and small outposts, but appears intent on keeping American
soldiers at urban facilities shared with Iraqi troops well beyond the
White House officials have requested up to an hour of airtime for Wednesday, April 29, according to TV Week. The press conference, which falls on the 100th day of Obama’s presidency, will probably air in the 8 o’clock hour and address questions of the president’s performance..
Broadcast networks have not yet announced their response, but a source said that they will most likely agree to the administration’s request
Ya think? Like they would dare refuse the Dear Leader's airtime request.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
“It was not necessary to release details of the enhanced interrogation techniques, because members of Congress from both parties have been fully aware of them since the program began in 2002. We believed it was something that had to be done in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to keep our nation safe. After many long and contentious debates, Congress repeatedly approved and funded this program on a bipartisan basis in both Republican and Democratic Congresses. . . . I have asked Mr. Blair to provide me with a list of the dates, locations and names of all members of Congress who attended briefings on enhanced interrogation techniques.”
Goode spoke to a Frank Porter Graham Student Union audience of about
150 people and took questions from audience members for about 90
minutes. Some audience members jeered and heckled when the speech
started. One small group walked out shortly after it began. Some set
off personal body alarms that had to be located and turned off by
police. Two others unfurled a banner with a profane statement. Goode
continued speaking throughout
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
"You're so confident, Mr. President, and so focused. Is your confidence ever shaken? Do you ever wake up and say, Damn, this is hard. Damn, I'm not going to get the things done I want to get done and its just too politicized to really get accomplished the big things I want to accomplish? Damn I'm so good looking I can't take my eyes off of myself in the mirror?"
Ok...well I made that last part up, but sadly the rest is accurate.
See Newsbusters for more.
Can someone please tell us how U. S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano got her job? She appears to be about as knowledgeable about border issues as a late-night radio call-in yahoo.
In an interview broadcast Monday on the CBC, Ms. Napolitano attempted to justify her call for stricter border security on the premise that "suspected or known terrorists" have entered the U. S. across the Canadian border, including the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack.
All the 9/11 terrorists, of course, entered the United States directly from overseas.
Overall, 54% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance so far. Forty-six percent (46%) disapprove. For more Presidential barometers, see Obama By the Numbers.And the latest Congressional generic ballot, would you vote Democrat or Republican, the poll shows its all tied at 39%. That cannot comfort the Dems.
If Prejean’s views are “ugly,” than she’s not alone on the public
stage: During the last presidential campaign President Obama answered
the same question by declaring:
“I’m a Christian. And so, although I try
not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political
views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious
beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a
Elton John has also weighed in, saying:
“If gay people want to get married, or
get together, they should have a civil partnership… The word
‘marriage,’ I think, puts a lot of people off. You get the same equal
rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people
get married. We can have civil partnerships.”
But, as first reported by the New York Times' Peter Baker Tuesday night, President Obama's own Director of National Intelligence, former Admiral Dennis Blair, wrote a memo to his staff last week in which he said the methods, some of which are said to be torture by legal and human rights groups, were effective.
“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country," Blair wrote.
Added Blair: “I like to think I would not have approved those methods in the past, but I do not fault those who made the decisions at that time, and I will absolutely defend those who carried out the interrogations within the orders they were given.”
Some interesting info left out of the NY Times article which was produced from a letter Blair sent to his colleagues;
"From 2002 through 2006 when the use of these techniques ended, the leadership of the CIA repeatedly reported their activities both to Executive Branch policymakers and to members of Congress, and received permission to continue to use the techniques."
Hmmm...approved by members of Congress. Which members I wonder? It seems Dems approved of continuing the procedures because it was working.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
"I haven't talked about it, but I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw, that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country,” he said in an interview with Sean Hannity last night. "I've now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was."
Of course it won't matter because they must be faked the left will say. How can we believe anything from the CIA, expect if it trashes the Bush Administration, then its solid!
House Democratic leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), have ratcheted up the pressure on their rank-and-file members to oppose a resolution calling for an ethics committee investigation into the ties between key Democrats and a controversial defense-lobbying firm.
Democratic leaders have told their members they should let the ethics panel do its work and stop supporting a measure sponsored by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) that calls for an ethics probe into political donations from the now-defunct PMA Group lobbying firm and earmarks its clients received. . . . The pressure appears to be working. Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.), two of more than two dozen Democrats who supported Flake’s measure in the latest vote, on April 1, are now wavering. . . . The week before the recess, Kind told The Hill that a cloud will be hanging over all House Democrats until their leaders address the PMA controversy. The quote was repeated in a New York Times editorial calling for an ethics committee investigation into the PMA controversy.
Pelosi is in a particularly difficult position. Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a Pelosi ally, has close ties to PMA and its clients, as do Reps. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.) and Jim Moran (D-Va.).
Monday, April 20, 2009
And then he digs himself in even deeper posting his profanity laced idiotic rant-response on his blog;
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Tepid turnout in U.S. for 'tea party' tax protestBy Chris Parry, Canwest News ServiceApril 16, 2009A Fox News-hyped U. S. anti-tax movement has failed to bring about the "popular uprising" its creators had hoped for.
The day of "tea parties," pushed by Republican operatives and partisan advocacy groups such as FreedomWorks, which sought to protest U. S. President Barack Obama government's tax and stimulus policies by encouraging people to"wave tea bags," brought about only a few hundred "tea-baggers" in most parts of the U. S., despite relentless promotion by Fox News TV hosts.
Participants had hoped to rally hundreds of thousands of people to begin a grassroots movement that would force Obama to change government policy. But the turnout was far from what was hoped for, especially compared to the 2006 immigrants' rights rallies or the 2004 pro-choice march on Washington, both of which attracted millions.
About 4,000 people are reported to have shown up in Cincinnati, Ohio, while Chicago drew an estimated 5,000 protesters and Des Moines, Iowa, drew 3,000. Farmingville, N. Y., drew 50 hardy souls.
Friday, April 17, 2009
“Steven Rattner, the leader of the Obama administration’s auto task force, was one of the investment-firm executives involved with payments now under scrutiny in a state and federal investigation into an alleged kickback scheme at New York state’s pension fund, according to a person familiar with the matter.”
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Mr Sarkozy is pouring cold water on President Obama’s efforts to recast American leadership on the world stage, depicting them as unoriginal, unsubstantial and overrated. Behind leaks and briefings from the Elysée Palace lies Mr Sarkozy’s irritation at the rock-star welcome that Europe gave Mr Obama on his Europan tour earlier this month.
The American President’s call “to free the world of the menace of a nuclear nightmare” was hot air, Mr Sarkozy’s diplomatic staff told him in a report. “It was rhetoric – not a speech on American security policy but an export model aimed at improving the image of the United States,” they said. Most of Mr Obama’s proposals had already been made by the Bush administration and Washington was dragging its feet on disarmament and treaties against nuclear proliferation, the leaked report said.
Monday, April 13, 2009
The cast went out of their way to entertain us before and after the movie was shown. They were more than happy to interact with the soldiers (Eric Bana leaped out of his “reserved” seat and sat next to a female soldier who invited him next to her) and they took their time describing their experiences making the film and answering questions and requests (Quinto obliged a soldier who asked him to call his daughter back in the states and say hello to her). I was truly impressed and grateful in the fact that they went out of their way to thank us and to offer this film to us. I’ll admit that this review won’t be as objective as it could because of the way the cast lent themselves to us. My biggest thrill was walking up to J.J. Abrams after the film and having the opportunity to give him my general impressions of it. How many times does a geek like me get a chance to do that?
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Obama Twice Approved Plan to Rescue U.S. Sea Captain
A senior administration official told FOX News that Obama granted the authority on Friday and Saturday to use appropriate force to rescue Capt. Richard Phillips from a lifeboat off the Somali coast.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
President Obama twice authorized the military to rescue a U.S. captain held by Somali pirates and whose life appeared to be at risk.
A senior administration official told FOX News that Obama granted the authority on Friday and Saturday to use appropriate force to rescue Capt. Richard Phillips from a lifeboat off the Somali coast. The Pentagon believed Phillips' life was at risk both times, officials said.
A senior administration official said the president's order authorized force for a group of military assets that arrived at the scene late last week. When more resources arrived, Obama added them to a roster of military personnel allowed to engage militarily with the Somali pirates.
FOXNews.com - Ship Captain Rescued From Somali Pirates
Ship Captain Rescued From Somali Pirates
Sunday, April 12, 2009
American sea Captain Richard Phillips was safely rescued Sunday from four Somali pirates, who had been holding him for days in a lifeboat off the coast of Africa, a U.S. intelligence official said.
Three of the pirates were killed and one was in custody after what appeared to be a swift firefight off the Somali coast, the official said.
Initial reports indicate Phillips jumped overboard for a second time and the military was able to take advantage of the situation.
Phillips, 53, of Underhill, Vt., was transported to the USS Bainbridge nearby.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Monday, April 06, 2009
An enduring commitment to the rule of law is the only way to achieve the security that comes from justice for all people. Robust minority rights let societies benefit from the full measure of contributions from all citizens.
I say this as the President of a country that not too long ago made it hard for someone who looks like me to vote.
US gives 50,000 dlrs for quake-hit Italy
The United States said Monday it would donate 50,000 dollars in emergency aid to Italy after a powerful earthquake killed at least 100 people.
"We send our heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed in the earthquake. Our embassy in Rome will provide 50,000 (dollars) in emergency relief funding," State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters.
Italian authorities told the United States they did not need rescue teams, Wood said.
President Barack Obama earlier offered his condolences on a visit to Turkey and voiced hope that the United States could send rescuers.
The earthquake killed at least 100 people and injured 1,500 more as it reduced medieval buildings to rubble in the central town of L'Aquila.
Wood said there were no reports of US citizens among the dead or injured but that the US embassy in Rome was reaching out to Americans living in the region.
At a news conference afterward, Obama said his debut on the international stage had convinced him that “political interaction in Europe is not that different from the United States Senate,” where he served before entering the White House. “There’s a lot of — I don’t know what the term is in Austrian — wheeling and dealing, and people are pursuing their interests, and everybody has their own particular issues and their own particular politics..
Can you imagine the media reaction if Bush had said that?
For all of his hopes about bipartisanship, Barack Obama has the most polarized early job approval ratings of any president in the past four decades. The 61-point partisan gap in opinions about Obama's job performance is the result of a combination of high Democratic ratings for the president -- 88% job approval among Democrats -- and relatively low approval ratings among Republicans (27%).
President Obama held a much ballyhooed town hall in Strasbourg, France, on Friday, touted by the White House as an outreach to Europeans on the second leg of the president's "listening" tour.
But the first person he called on was an American -- and the third, too. By the end of the hourlong session, not a single French citizen got to ask the U.S. president a question.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
We will immediately consult with our allies in the region, including Japan and the Republic of Korea, and members of the U.N. Security Council to bring this matter before the Council. I urge North Korea to abide fully by the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council and to refrain from further provocative actions.
Is this the change Americans voted for? I don't think so...
Obama Wants to Control the Banks
There's a reason he refuses to accept repayment of TARP money.
I must be naive. I really thought the administration would welcome the return of bank bailout money. Some $340 million in TARP cash flowed back this week from four small banks in Louisiana, New York, Indiana and California. This isn't much when we routinely talk in trillions, but clearly that money has not been wasted or otherwise sunk down Wall Street's black hole. So why no cheering as the cash comes back?
My answer: The government wants to control the banks, just as it now controls GM and Chrysler, and will surely control the health industry in the not-too-distant future. Keeping them TARP-stuffed is the key to control. And for this intensely political president, mere influence is not enough. The White House wants to tell 'em what to do. Control. Direct. Command.
Friday, April 03, 2009
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Justice Department lawyers concluded in an unpublished opinion earlier this year that the historic D.C. voting rights bill pending in Congress is unconstitutional, according to sources briefed on the issue. But Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who supports the measure, ordered up a second opinion from other lawyers in his department and determined that the legislation would pass muster. ...
In deciding that the measure is unconstitutional, lawyers in the department's Office of Legal Counsel matched a conclusion reached by their Bush administration counterparts nearly two years ago, when a lawyer there testified that a similar bill would not withstand legal attack.
Holder rejected the advice and sought the opinion of the solicitor general's office, where lawyers told him that they could defend the legislation if it were challenged after its enactment.
Through a spokesman, Holder portrayed the basis for his override of the OLC ruling as grounded in law, not politics.
"The attorney general weighed the advice of different people inside the department, as well as the opinions of legal scholars, and made his own determination that the D.C. voting rights bill is constitutional," Matthew Miller said. "As the leader of the department, it is his responsibility to make his best independent legal judgment, and he believes that although there are reasonable arguments on both sides of the issue, ultimately the bill would constitutionally grant D.C. residents a right to elect a voting representative in Congress."