Black cop at Gates home regrets 'Uncle Tom' label
(AP) 18 hours ago
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. A black sergeant who was at the home of Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. when he was arrested says he's been maligned as an "Uncle Tom" for supporting the actions of the white arresting officer.
Cambridge Sgt. Leon Lashley gave a letter to Sgt. James Crowley to give to President Barack Obama during their so-called beer summit with Gates on Thursday night at the White House.
In the letter, which was also sent to CNN, Lashley says Gates "may have caused grave and potentially irreparable harm to the struggle for racial harmony."
Lashley says he has become known as a traitor to his heritage by some because he "spoke the truth" about the arrest.
Gates was charged with disorderly conduct by police investigating a burglary. The charge was later dropped.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Recession eases; GDP dip smaller than expected
US economy dips at 1 percent pace in 2Q, sign recession may be finally drawing to a close
* By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer
* On Friday July 31, 2009, 9:23 am EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. economy sank at a pace of just 1 percent in the second quarter of the year, a new government report shows. It was a better-than-expected showing that provided the strongest signal yet that the longest recession since World War II is finally winding down.
The dip in gross domestic product for the April-to-June period, reported by the Commerce Department on Friday, comes after the economy was in a free fall, tumbling at 6.4 percent pace in the first three months of this year. That was the sharpest downhill slide in nearly three decades.
The economy has now contracted for a record four straight quarters for the first time on records dating to 1947. That underscores the grim toll of the recession on consumers and companies.
Newly released data from the IRS clearly debunks the conventional Beltway rhetoric that the rich are not paying their fair share of taxes. Indeed, the IRS data shows that in 2007-the most recent data available-the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 40.4 percent of the total income taxes collected by the federal government. This is the highest percentage in modern history. By contrast, the top 1 percent paid 24.8 percent of the income tax burden in 1987, the year following the 1986 tax reform act.
Remarkably, the share of the tax burden borne by the top 1 percent now exceeds the share paid by the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers combined. In 2007, the bottom 95 percent paid 39.4 percent of the income tax burden. This is down from the 58 percent of the total income tax burden they paid twenty years ago.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
AP sources: Govt to suspend 'cash for clunkers'By KEN THOMAS, Associated Press Writer Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer – 2 hrs 6 mins ago
WASHINGTON – Congressional officials say the government plans to suspend the popular "cash for clunkers" program amid concerns it could quickly use up the $in rebates for new car purchases.
The Transportation Department called congressional offices late Thursday to alert them to the decision to halt the program, which offered owners of old cars and trucks $3,500 or $4,500 toward a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle.
The congressional officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Through late Wednesday, 22,782 vehicles had been purchased through the program and nearly $96 million had been spent. But dealers raised concerns of large backlogs in the system, prompting the suspension.
A black sergeant who was at the home of Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. when he was arrested says he’s been maligned as an “Uncle Tom” for supporting the actions of the white arresting officer.
Cambridge Sgt. Leon Lashley gave a letter to Sgt. James Crowley to give to President Barack Obama during their so-called beer summit with Gates on Thursday night at the White House.
In the letter, which was also sent to CNN, Lashley says Gates “may have caused grave and potentially irreparable harm to the struggle for racial harmony.”
Waxman Postpones Health Markup Amid Liberal Backlash
July 29, 2009, 5:16 p.m.
By Steven T. Dennis and Jackie Kucinich
Roll Call Staff
House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) postponed the health bill markup that he planned to hold Wednesday afternoon amid a backlash from liberals to the deal that he cut earlier with four conservative Blue Dog Democrats.
Waxman told reporters that he intended to keep meeting with committee Democrats on Wednesday night, resume the markup Thursday and still finish the bill Friday.
[Energy and Commerce Democrats] have a lot of questions about the legislation, and I think its more important that we sit in the Democratic Caucus and let people ask questions, get answers, hear each other out, Waxman said.
Waxmans deal with the Blue Dogs, backed by House leaders and the White House, cuts more than $100 billion from the bill, prevents a new public option from using Medicare rates to reimburse providers and exempts small businesses with a payroll of less than $500,000 from a new employer mandate, among other changes.
The weakening of the public option incensed some liberal Members, with Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairwoman Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) declaring she would vote against it.
It has to be much stronger to get our support, Woolsey said after a meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who tried to sell them on the deal.
Woolsey said progressives fear that without using Medicare rates, the public option will not be able to hold down costs and force savings from private insurance companies. She said that was great for the insurance companies and would allow them to keep doing business as usual.
Woolsey said members of her caucus would meet at 6 p.m. to discuss their response to the deal.
Weve got a long way to go before this gets to the House floor, Woolsey said.
John P. Holdren wrote: "A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States. De-development means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation.... [O]ne key to saving world society lies in a measured and orderly retreat from overdevelopment in todays ODCs (overdeveloped countries) a process we will label, for want of a better word, de-development."
Oh my Lord!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Dodd and Conrad: We didn't know we were getting sweet deals from Countrywide even thought they specifically told us we were getting sweet deals....
Despite their denials, influential Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd were told from the start they were getting VIP mortgage discounts from one of the nation’s largest lenders, the official who handled their loans has told Congress in secret testimony.
Both senators have said that at the time the mortgages were being written they didn’t know they were getting unique deals from Countrywide Financial Corp., the company that went on to lose billions of dollars on home loans to credit-strapped borrowers. Dodd still maintains he got no preferential treatment.
Dodd got two Countrywide mortgages in 2003, refinancing his home in Connecticut and another residence in Washington. Conrad’s two Countrywide mortgages in 2004 were for a beach house in Delaware and an eight-unit apartment building in Bismarck in his home state of North Dakota.
Robert Feinberg, who worked in the Countrywide’s VIP section, told congressional investigators last month that the two senators were made aware that “who you know is basically how you’re coming in here.”
Not to be outdone by the stupid GOP apology resolution, Dems introduce Obama really was born in the USA resolution...
The measure Abercrombie will introduce commemorates the 50th anniversary of Hawaii’s statehood. But here’s the rub, his spokesman tells me: It describes Hawaii as Barack Obama’s birthplace.
“In the language of the resolution, there is a statement that Hawaii is the birthplace of the 44th President of the United States,” Abercrombie spokesman Dave Helfert confirms.
That confronts House GOPers with a choice: They can vote for the measure, and endorse the idea that Obama was born in Hawaii, which could earn the wrath of birthers. Or they can vote against commemorating the 50th state’s joining of our blessed Union. Or GOPers can skip the vote, but that could look nutty.
“Far be it from us to try to stir things up,” Helfert said puckishly.
I've learned that Captain Awesome should have followed his own advice and kept his mouth shut until he had all the facts about the 911 call and what transpired at the residence resulting in the arrest of the Prof. Gates.
In the 911 recording released Monday, caller Lucia Whalen tells police she saw two men pressing on the door of a home, but says she is unsure whether the men live there or if they were trying to break in. She said she saw two suitcases on the porch.
''I don't know if they live there and they just had a hard time with their key. But I did notice they used their shoulder to try to barge in and they got in. I don't know if they had a key or not cause I couldn't see from my angle,'' Whalen said.
Whalen does not mention the race of the men she saw until pressed by a dispatcher to describe them. At that point, she said one of the men may have been Hispanic.
"As always, whitey now sits in judgment of me, preparing to cast my fate. It is your decision either to let me blow with the wind as a nonentity or to encourage the development of self. Allow me to prove myself."
So who's the racist?
Sunday, July 26, 2009
A new Zogby Interactive survey shows a slight decline in President Barack Obama’s job approval, with 48% of likely voters now approving of the job he is doing as president, down from 51% who said the same in an interactive/telephone hybrid poll conducted in mid-June. Forty-nine percent now say they disapprove of the job the president has done so far in office and 4% are not sure.
The survey found similar results when likely voters were asked specifically to rate President Obama’s performance—47% give him a positive rating, with 22% rating his job performance as “excellent” and 25% rating it as “good.” But slightly more than half (53%) give the president a negative job performance rating, with 10% who say he is doing a “fair” job as president and 43% who say he is doing a “poor” job—up from 36% who said he was doing a poor job in mid-June.
"There are not the votes for Democrats to do this just on our side of the aisle," Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and a key player in the health care reform effort on Capitol Hill said during an exclusive health care debate this morning with Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., on "This Week."
"It's just not possible to have a Democrat-only bill?" I asked Sen. Conrad.
"No, it is not possible," he told me, "and perhaps not desirable either. We're probably going to get a better product if we go through the tough business of debate, consideration, and analysis of what we're proposing."
Not desirable because they do not want a Dem-only disaster on their hands...like the stimulus has turned out to be.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Perry raises possibility of states' rights showdown with White House over healthcare
By DAVE MONTGOMERY
AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry, raising the specter of a showdown with the Obama administration, suggested Thursday that he would consider invoking states’ rights protections under the 10th Amendment to resist the president’s healthcare plan, which he said would be "disastrous" for Texas.
Interviewed by conservative talk show host Mark Davis of Dallas’ WBAP/820 AM, Perry said his first hope is that Congress will defeat the plan, which both Perry and Davis described as "Obama Care." But should it pass, Perry predicted that Texas and a "number" of states might resist the federal health mandate.
"I think you’ll hear states and governors standing up and saying 'no’ to this type of encroachment on the states with their healthcare," Perry said. "So my hope is that we never have to have that stand-up. But I’m certainly willing and ready for the fight if this administration continues to try to force their very expansive government philosophy down our collective throats."
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Health care negotiations among Democratic leaders and conservative so-called Blue Dog Democrats have reached an impasse, according to members of Congress on both sides of the talks.
As a result, Democratic leaders are moving towards bypassing conservatives in their own party and holding a House health care vote over their objections.
"I have to say I am surprised by the controversy surrounding my statement, because I think it was a pretty straightforward commentary that you probably don't need to handcuff a guy, a middle-aged man who uses a cane, who's in his own home," Obama said.
...The president said he understands the sergeant who arrested Gates is an "outstanding police officer." But he added that with all that's going on in the country with health care and the economy and the wars abroad, "it doesn't make sense to arrest a guy in his own home if he's not causing a serious disturbance."
I don't know but maybe it has something to do with you not knowing the facts and then calling the cop a racist? Ya think?
Earlier in the day, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed a suggestion that the backlash from police groups could be distressing to the White House, given that Obama has enjoyed a positive relationship with the law enforcement community.
"I think the Fraternal Order of Police endorsed McCain," Gibbs fired back, referring to Obama's Republican opponent in the 2008 election. "If I'm not mistaken."
When a reporter pointed out that Obama had won the support of the Policemen's Benevolent Association, Gibbs conceded: "We got some."
Well isn't that just lovely...what a jerk!
911, police tapes key in Gates case
Officials mull release of recorded evidenceBy Richard Weir, Laurel J. Sweet and Benjamin Bell
Friday, July 24, 2009 - Updated 2h ago
Mounting pressure to get to the bottom of the controversial arrest of black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. is centering on recorded police tapes that may offer a dose of reality amid all the media and political noise.
Cambridge police brass and lawyers are weighing making the tapes public, which could include the 911 call reporting a break-in at Gates’ home and radio transmissions by the cop who busted him July 16 for disorderly conduct.
“It’s powerful evidence because the (people involved) have not had a chance to reflect and you are getting their state of mind captured on tape,” said former prosecutor and New York City police officer Eugene O’Donnell, who is now a lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan.
"It's not a case of racial profiling," said NPR analyst Juan Williams on "Good Morning America."
Williams made clear there are dangers when blacks are confronted by police. "As someone who has been stopped, as a black person in America, I have a very deferential approach to cops. I don't speak to them in aggressive tones. ... It's just that cops can be very prickly, especially with a black guy."
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Draws 4.1 Million Fewer Viewers Than Third Press Conference
In a continued push for congressional support of health care reform President Obama held his fourth prime time press conference on Wednesday July 22, 2009. The conference was carried live from 8:00PM to approximately 9:00PM on 11 networks. The sum of average audience for those networks was 24,682,519 viewers and had a combined household rating of 16.3. The networks carrying the press conference were ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision*, Telemundo*, BBC-A, BET, CNBC, CNN, FOX News Channel, and MSNBC.
Viewing to last night’s press conference was down 14% from his April 29 press conference and down 50% from his first primetime conference on February 9.
Cambridge Sgt. James Crowley has taught a class on racial profiling for five years at the Lowell Police Academy after being hand-picked for the job by former police Commissioner Ronny Watson, who is black, said Academy Director Thomas Fleming.
"I have nothing but the highest respect for him as a police officer. He is very professional and he is a good role model for the young recruits in the police academy," Fleming told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The course, called "Racial Profiling," teaches about different cultures that officers could encounter in their community "and how you don't want to single people out because of their ethnic background or the culture they come from," Fleming said.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
"Let's just lay everything on the table," Grassley said. "A Democrat congressman last week told me after a conversation with the president that the president had trouble in the House of Representatives, and it wasn't going to pass if there weren't some changes made ... and the president says, 'You're going to destroy my presidency.' "
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
AP-GfK Poll: Great hopes for Obama fade to reality
By NANCY BENAC and TREVOR TOMPSON, Associated Press Writers
WASHINGTON - That was fast. The hope and optimism that washed over the country in the opening months of Barack Obama's presidency are giving way to harsh realities.
An Associated Press-GfK Poll shows that a majority of Americans are back to thinking that the country is headed in the wrong direction after a fleeting period in which more thought it was on the right track.
Obama still has a solid 55 percent approval rating better than Bill Clinton and about even with George W. Bush six months into their presidencies but there are growing doubts about whether he can succeed at some of the biggest items on his to-do list. And there is a growing sense that he is trying to tackle too much too soon.
The number of people who think Obama can improve the economy is down a sobering 19 percentage points from the euphoric days just before his inauguration. Ditto for expectations about creating jobs. Also down significantly: the share of people who think he can reduce the deficit, remove troops from Iraq and improve respect for the U.S. around the world, all slipping 15 points.
On overhauling health care, a signature issue for Obama, hopes for success are down a lesser 6 points.
Add it all up, and does it mean Obama has lost his mojo? Has yes-we-can morphed into maybe?
Monday, July 20, 2009
The administration's annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than projected in President Barack Obama's budget in February and update in May, and that could complicate his efforts to get his signature health care and global-warming proposals through Congress.
The release of the update - usually scheduled for mid-July - has been put off until the middle of next month, giving rise to speculation the White House is delaying the bad news at least until Congress leaves town on its August 7 summer recess.
The administration is pressing for votes before then on its $1 trillion health care initiative, which lawmakers are arguing over how to finance.
I want to be very clear, Mr. Obama said in his weekly address to the nation. I will not sign on to any health plan that adds to our deficits over the next decade. And by helping improve quality and efficiency, the reforms we make will help bring our deficits under control in the long term....
The same folks who controlled the White House and Congress for the past eight years as we ran up record deficits will argue believe it or not that health reform will lead to record deficits, Mr. Obama said. Thats simply not true.
"We know we spend a huge amount of money that last year of life. More and more people are gonna say, I don't want people poking tubes, and, you know, uh, doing all sorts of...stuff. The most important thing we can do on end-of-life care right now: to encourage people to look at hospices as a...legitimate option."
-- President Barack Obama
July 15, 2009
Hope and change!
Poll Shows Obama Slipping on Key Issues
Approval Rating on Health Care Falls Below 50 Percent
Heading into a critical period in the debate over health-care reform, public approval of President Obama's stewardship on the issue has dropped below the 50 percent threshold for the first time, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Sixty-one percent (61%) of voters nationwide say that cost is the biggest health care problem facing the nation today. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 21% believe the lack of universal health insurance coverage is a bigger problem.
Only 10% believe the quality of care is the top concern, and two percent (2%) point to the inconvenience factor of dealing with the current medical system.
Given a choice between health care reform and a tax hike or no health care reform and no tax hike, 47% would prefer to avoid the tax hike and do without reform. Forty-one percent (41%) take the opposite view.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
The Obama administration’s $50 billion program to curb foreclosures isn’t working, and the White House knows it.
Administration officials blame the mortgage servicers charged with carrying out the mortgage modifications and refinancing under the federal program. Many of their Democratic allies on Capitol Hill back them up, but others are criticizing the White House for fumbling the execution. Whatever the reason, the program hasn’t stopped the rising tide of: Experts predict that at least another 2 million homes will be lost this year, and the administration’s plan has so far reached only about 160,000 of the 3 million to 4 million homes it was supposed to protect over the next three years.
That’s bad news for the economy — and bad news for the Democrats.
Friday, July 17, 2009
First of all support has completely tanked according to Rasmussen. They have only 35% of Americans supporting the bill and 50% opposed. Also, a new gang has formed in the Senate, the gang of 6 and they have sent a letter to President Obama and the leaders of the House and Senate telling them to slow down;
A bipartisan group of centrist and conservative senators sent a letter to the Democratic and Republican leaders on Friday urging delay in consideration of health care reform.
The letter, obtained by the Huffington Post, was drafted by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and is also signed by Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.). Independent Joe Lieberman (Conn.), who caucuses with Democrats, signed on, as did Maine Republican Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins moderates heavily courted by President Obama.
The organized effort to slow down the process is a blow to the reform effort. Obama has pushed hard for a final vote before the August recess, arguing that delaying until September could slow momentum and risk missing a historic opportunity.
So the destruction of the US economy has been delayed until the end of the summer and hopefully permanently but as Arnold always says, "I'll be back" and they will be too.
Obamas health care proposal is, in effect, the repeal of the Medicare program as we know it. The elderly will go from being the group with the most access to free medical care to the one with the least access. Indeed, the principal impact of the Obama health care program will be to reduce sharply the medical services the elderly can use. No longer will their every medical need be met, their every medication prescribed, their every need to improve their quality of life answered.
The abandonment of card check was another example of the power of moderate Democrats to constrain their partys more liberal legislative efforts. Though the Democrats have a 60-40 vote advantage in the Senate, and President Obama supports the measure, several moderate Democrats opposed the card-check provision as undemocratic.
In its place, several Senate and labor officials said, the revised bill would require shorter unionization campaigns and faster elections.
While disappointed with the failure of card check, union leaders argued this would still be an important victory because it would give companies less time to press workers to vote against unionizing.
Hope and change;
Thursday, July 16, 2009
UT Health Science Center at Houston/Zogby poll reveals Americans wary about U.S. healthcare reform
HOUSTON - (July 16, 2009) -Americans are unsure that a healthcare reform bill introduced this week is the solution to problems with the U.S. healthcare system, according to a poll created and commissioned by a public policy expert at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
"By a 50-42 margin, Americans oppose the House of Representatives' bill introduced July 14," said S. Ward Casscells, M.D., vice president of external affairs and public policy and the John Edward Tyson Distinguished Professor in Cardiology at the UT Health Science Center at Houston. "This bill would call for most employers to sponsor health plans and would also create a Medicare-like plan for those under 65 who have no other health plan. The increased costs would be covered by increasing income taxes on individuals making more than $280,000 and families making more than $350,000."
Study: House Democrats Health Care Bill Pushes Top Tax Rates to Over 50% in Most States
July 16, 2009 11:59 AM
A study by the non-partisan Tax Foundation finds that the 5.4% surtax on top wage-earners proposed by House Democrats to help fund health care reform would push top tax rates over 50% in 39 states.
"That means government would be taking more than half of every additional dollar from high-income taxpayers, said Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge. The lowest top tax rate would be about 47% --and that's in the nine states that don't tax wages."
The proposal imposes a new surtax of 1 percent on married couples who earn between $350,000 and $500,000 (singles between $280,000 and $400,000). Couples with incomes between $500,000 and $1 million (singles earning between $400,000and $800,000) would have a 1.5 percent surtax imposes. Couples who make more than $1 million, and singles who make more than $800,000, would face a 5.4% surtax.
ABC News Dan Arnall reports that the latest data book from the IRS (Tax Year 2006) indicates that 0.3% of all individual income tax returns showed an income of $1 million or higher; 354,093 tax returns out of a universe of 138 million filed that year.
The hardest-hit states in terms of the highest tax bracket would be Oregon (57.5%), Hawaii (57.2%), New Jersey (57.1%), New York (56.9%), California (56.8%), Rhode Island (56.2%), Vermont (55.8%), Maryland (55.6%), Minnesota (54.4%) and Idaho (54.3%).
Washington, DCs highest tax bracket would be 55.0%. New York Citys would be 58.7%.
When we first saw the paragraph Tuesday, just after the 1,018-page document was released, we thought we surely must be misreading it. So we sought help from the House Ways and Means Committee.Unreal...so you can keep your coverage as long as the private insurer is around to offer it. Once they are gone or your employer stops offering it, you cannot enroll in another private insurance plan because it will be illegal.
It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage, the Limitation On New Enrollment section of the bill clearly states:
Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day of the year the legislation becomes law.
So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage wont be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
[T]here is no case to be made for the House Democratic majority's proposal to fund health-care legislation through an ad hoc income tax surcharge for top-earning households. . . . There is simply no way to close the gap by taxing a handful of high earners. . . . Pretending that "the rich" alone can fund government, let alone the kind of activist government that the president and Congress envision, is bad policy any way you look at it.
"Ultimately, this is not about a process," said David Axelrod, Obamas senior political strategist, in an interview yesterday. "Its about results."So much for Obama being a uniter, not a divider.
Bev Perdue Approval Poll
July 14, 2009
A plurality of Democrats now disapprove of Bev Perdue's job performance and her overall approval rating has declined to 25%.
Voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on eight out of 10 key electoral issues, including, for the second straight month, the top issue of the economy. They've also narrowed the gap on the remaining two issues, the traditionally Democratic strong suits of health care and education.
Republicans are now trusted more on taxes (52%-36%), Social Security (42%-37%), abortion (46%-39%), Iraq (45%-41%), the economy (46%-41%), national security (49%-40%), immigration (40%-34%) and are statistically tied on ethics (34%-33%). Democrats hold narrow leads on health care (46%-42%) and education (41%-38%).
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Outgoing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is facing yet another ethics complaint — the 18th against her and the very thing that helped to prompt her resignation.
The latest complaint alleges she abused her office by accepting a salary and using state staff while campaigning outside Alaska for the vice presidency. It's the third complaint filed against the Republican since she announced July 3 that she was stepping down.
In her resignation speech, Palin said the array of ethics complaints was taking a personal toll and crippling her ability to govern. She officially leaves office July 26 and will be succeeded by Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
ST LOUIS — Where did it land? Was it a strike or wasn't it? Why didn't the network choose a better camera to shoot from? Those were the questions that viewers of baseball's All-Star Game were asking themselves at home after Fox elected to show President Barack Obama's ceremonial first pitch at the 80th All-Star Game from a tight angle.
Ruling as a part-time umpire who had a good view from the pressbox at Busch Stadium, Obama's pitch was a no-doubt-about-it ball, even factoring in an expanded strike zone for the Commander-in-Chief. Obama's southpaw delivery landed a little short of the plate, but Cardinals star Albert Pujols(notes) was able to save it by quickly scooping it up.
Earlier on Tuesday, the President said that he planned to throw his first pitch in office high so it'd get to the plate without bouncing, but his control was lacking and he clearly didn't throw a strike like George W. Bush famously did during the 2001 World Series in New York just week after Sept. 11.
Democrats Gag Debate on Failure to Follow House Rules
(WASHINGTON, DC) – In an astonishing acceleration of the stifling of debate and transparency in the House, Democrats tonight voted to adjourn and gag the planned special orders speeches of U.S. Representatives John Carter (R-TX) and Steve King (R-IA).
Carter and King had announced they would discuss Democrat Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s (D-MD) statement that the upcoming health care reform effort would fail if Members were required to read the legislation. House Democrats accordingly silenced floor debate on the issue by voting to close early.
“The Democrats are the majority – for now,” says Carter, House Republican Conference Secretary. “They chose to silence debate on the floor by gagging House Republican Members from using their historical right to speak after the close of the day. But they cannot stop us from speaking and letting the American public know the truth about their ongoing assault against representative democracy.”
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is mulling new ways to delay foreclosure for jobless homeowners who are unable to keep up with monthly payments, an administration official said on Monday.
The official told Reuters it was reasonable for policymakers to consider options for loan forbearance -- allowing borrowers to delay, defer or skip payments -- that are more effective than those currently available in the private sector.
The number of failing home loans has been climbing for three years as risky borrowers have defaulted on their easy-to-get loans, property values have sunk and the unemployment rate has climbed.
The number of failing home loans has been climbing for three years as risky borrowers have defaulted on their easy-to-get loans, property values have sunk and the unemployment rate has climbed.
But the official said the idea, which is still evolving, was difficult from a policy perspective and carries potential hazards. It could help more people struggling with economic difficulty, but it also could create perverse incentives that distort the housing market, said the official, who did not want to speak on the record about internal administration debates.
Sotomayor Enters Confirmation Process with Miers-Like Numbers
July 10, 2009 by Patrick Hynes
Sonia Sotomayor will begin her confirmation hearings next week with some of the highest levels of public opposition of any Supreme Court nominee in the last two decades, according to a new poll by CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation.
In fact, only one nominee had a higher level of opposition: Harriet Miers, who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2005. Miers later withdrew her nomination under questions about her qualifications from both the political left and right.
Forty-seven percent of respondents to the poll say they would like to see the U.S. Senate vote to confirm Sotomayor versus forty-percent who say they would not. In the final CNN poll taken before Miers withdrew her nomination, forty-three percent of respondents said the Senate should oppose her confirmation.
No other recent nominee, not even Robert Bork, whose own nomination under President Ronald Reagan was scuttled, faced public opposition this severe. In the last poll taken during the Bork confirmation fight, thirty-eight percent wanted to see him confirmed versus thirty-five percent who did not.
All other nominees polled by CNNClarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Roberts and Samuel Alitoenjoyed wide margins of public support.
Monday, July 13, 2009
I am just stunned...
And it was so secret that it was never really a program but more just a bunch of bull sessions on how to kill these AQ operatives.
Wow...it's good thing Panetta terminated this program/idea before we, you know, killed some AQ operatives.
And after reading the WSJ report it sounds like the Dems were actually told about this, but I am sure they simply forgot they were told, because you know they forget everything that may make them look, well, smart.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Justice, Obama/Holder Style [Andy McCarthy]Binyam Mohammed: jihadist plotting mass-murders against American cities — released outright.Laith Qazali: abduction/murder of 5 U.S. soldiers in Karbala — released outright.Irbil 5: Iranian IRGC operatives (i.e., the same guys who murdered 19 of our air force at Khobar Towers in '96) coordinating Iraqi terrorist operations that have killed HUNDREDS of U.S. forces in Iraq since 2003 — released outright.New Black Panther Party operatives on videotape intimidating anti-Obama voters — charges dropped after DOJ had already won the case.CIA Interrogators who obtained information that saved countless American lives — under investigation.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
The Dicey Politics of a Second StimulusSince President Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus package in February, more than two million jobs have been lost and unemployment has hit its highest rate in a quarter century, 9.5 percent.(CBS/ AP)
For Republicans, who have been seeking a message that will help the party regain some momentum, that's the sort of bad news that comes with a silver lining. Members of the GOP have been harshly attacking the opposition party as wasteful spenders whose expensive programs have had little positive impact.
"The administration promised the stimulus would keep unemployment below 8 percent, and they promised the stimulus would create jobs immediately," House Minority leader John Boehner said Thursday. (Officials actually predicted it would stay below 8.5 percent.)
"It's pretty clear now that the administration was wrong. The bottom line is this: The stimulus isn't creating enough jobs," Boehner said.
Well it turns out what the media has been leaving out of the story is that Dr. John G. Duesler is a big time democrat Obama supporter which makes him a liberal white racist thug. But of course that detail has not found its way into the story yet.
Here's the full scoop on Dr. Duesler and his work for President Obama with links to some of his organizing work.
It’s a beautiful theory — highways full of electric cars emitting no greenhouse gases or pollutants after being plugged into an outlet in our garages overnight. The problem, according to a new Government Accountability Office report, is that the effort may only shift the problem somewhere else.
“If you are using coal-fired power plants, and half the country’s electricity comes from coal-powered plants, are you just trading one greenhouse gas emitter for another?” asks Mark Gaffigan, co-author of the GAO report. The report itself notes: “Reductions in CO2 emissions depend on generating electricity used to charge the vehicles from lower-emission sources of energy.”
The GAO report says a plug-in compact car, if recharged at an outlet drawing its power from coal, provides a carbon dioxide savings of only 4% to 5%. If the feeling of saving the environment from driving an electric car causes people to drive more, that small amount of savings vanishes entirely.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
A majority of young people still approve of Obama's job performance, but a majority of seniors over 64 now don't (54%). Maybe they'll die before the next election.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
...Since Obama signed the stimulus bill in February, the economy has shed more than 2 million jobs. Unemployment now stands at 9.5 percent, the highest in more than a quarter century.
Robert L. Nabors II, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, testified that 150,000 jobs had been created from stimulus spending. With the stimulus spending, he said the nation is moving down the right path...
President Barack Obama promised to fix health care and trim the federal budget deficit, all without raising taxes on anyone but the wealthiest Americans. It’s a promise he’s already broken and will likely have to break again. Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress have already increased tobacco taxes — which disproportionately hit the poor — to pay for extending health coverage to 4 million children in working low-income families.
Now, lawmakers are looking for more revenues to help pay for providing medical insurance to millions more who lack it at a projected cost of $1 trillion over the next decade.
The floated proposals include increasing taxes on alcohol, which could raise $62 billion over the next decade, and a new tax on sugary drinks such as soda, which could raise $52 billion. …
Obama made a firm tax pledge during the presidential campaign, repeating it numerous times in the weeks and months leading up to Election Day: no tax increases for individuals making less than $200,000 a year or couples making less than $250,000.
“Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes,” Obama told a crowd in Dover, N.H., last year.
Nations Make Tentative Agreement on Climate Action
By Craig Whitlock and Michael Fletcher
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, July 8, 2009; 3:25 PM
L'AQUILA, Italy, July 8 -- The world's leading industrial nations have tentatively agreed on a plan to prevent global temperatures from rising above a fixed level, after a more far-reaching proposal to slash production of greenhouse gases fizzled, according to U.S. and European negotiators.
White House and European officials meeting here for the Group of Eight summit said they would pledge to keep temperatures from rising more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above average levels of more than a century ago, before large-scale industrial pollution occurred.
U.S. Marines trapped Taliban fighters in a residential compound and persuaded the insurgents to allow women and children to leave. The troops then moved in - only to discover that the militants had slipped out, dressed in women's burqa robes....
On Monday, images from a Predator drone showed a dozen fighters and at least 15 to 20 civilians inside a mud-brick compound in the village of Khan Neshin, about 60 miles north of the Pakistani border.
Because of the civilians, the U.S. troops held their fire, and instead used a military translator and village elder to persuade the militants to free women and children.
Two groups - children and what appeared to be women in burqas - left the compound. When the Marines entered, they found no one. The fighters had clearly donned burqas and slipped away among the civilians, according to Marines who took part in the mission.
The Americans didn't have female Marines with them to search the robed figures and make sure no men were among them in disguise. And the new U.S. and NATO commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has said he would rather see militants escape than for civilians to be harmed in battle; a declassified version of his new guidelines for troops were released Monday.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
"President Barack Obama gets a lackluster 49 – 44 percent approval rating in Ohio, considered by many to be the most important swing state in a presidential election, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. This is President Obama’s lowest approval rating in any national or statewide Quinnipiac University poll since he was inaugurated and is down from 62 – 31 percent in a May 6 survey."
Both Republican governors made rambling and sometimes halting statements of about 18 minutes (is that the canonical length for this kind of thing?), and in response the commentators speculated endlessly about why they had said what they said. The one explanation they didn’t seem capable of coming up with was that they meant it, that their words were coming from the heart, from an interior that may have been fissured and rocky, but was nonetheless (dare I use the word) genuine.
Palin had barely finished speaking when MSNBC paraded analysts from both sides of the aisle (Matt Lewis and Chris Kofinis) who agreed that (1) it was a disastrous performance and (2) they couldn’t for the life of them figure out why she had delivered it. Kofinis: “It’s hard to understand why she’s resigning.” Lewis: “What she’s essentially done is guarantee that no pundit could make any intellectual defense of her.”
Later, Joe Scarborough pronounced in the same vein: “It’s hard to find a compelling reason.” The former majority leader of her own party, Ralph Samuels, chimed in, “I’ve had a million calls today from friends, all political junkies, and everyone is asking the same questions. Is it national ambition, or does she want time to write the book, or is she just tired of it. Don’t have a clue.”
Maybe he should look at the video and pay attention this time to the reasons she gives. It is true that her statement was not constructed in a straightforward, logical manner, but the main theme was sounded often and plainly: This is not what I signed up for. I’m spending all my time and the state’s money responding to attack after attack and they aren’t going to let up because, “It doesn’t cost the people who make these silly accusations a dime.”
Monday, July 06, 2009
The latest global averaged satellite temperature data for June 2009 reveals yet another drop in the Earth's temperature. This latest drop in global temperatures means despite his dire warnings, the Earth has cooled .74°F since former Vice President Al Gore released "An Inconvenient Truth" in 2006.
According to the latest global satellite data courtesy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville and made into an easy to read graph by algorelied.com: "For the record, this month's Al Gore / 'An Inconvenient Truth' Index indicates that global temperatures have plunged approximately .74°F (.39°C) since Gore's film was released," noted algorelied.com.
FBI: Palin isn't facing investigationSean Cockerham - The Anchorage Daily News
The FBI is taking the unusual step of declaring that Gov. Sarah Palin is not under investigation, as Palin herself left for Western Alaska and communicated to the world through her Twitter account.
"We are not investigating her," FBI spokesman Eric Gonzalez said on Sunday. "Normally we don't confirm or deny those kind of allegations out there, but by not doing so it just casts her in a very bad light. There is just no truth to those rumors out there in the blogosphere."
Palin has ignored requests for an interview since she abruptly announced Friday that she will be resigning as governor after two and a half years in office. She's used her Facebook page and Twitter account to speak for her and declare that she'll defend herself against attacks as she leaves office.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former D.C. mayor, now Washington councilman, Marion Barry has been arrested again.
Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry was arrested July 4 and charged with stalking, police said.
On July 4, the U.S. Park Police arrested Barry and charged him with misdemeanor stalking.
About 8:45 p.m. in Anacostia Park, a Washington woman flagged down a Park Police officer on patrol and pointed to Barry, who was in another car. The woman said Barry was stalking her, Park Police spokesman Sgt. David Schlosser said.
Barry was taken into custody, processed and released, but he must make a court appearance for the charge. A court date has not been set.
Barry's other run-ins with the law have included a federal sting operation in 1990, when he was mayor. Surveillance cameras caught him smoking crack cocaine in a hotel room.
Despite his fall from grace, he was re-elected in 1994 to a four-year term as mayor. In his latest political comeback in 2004, Barry won a seat on the D.C. Council, on which he continues to serve.
Barry was arrested in 2002 when traces of marijuana and cocaine were found in his car after he was stopped in the Buzzard Point area of Southwest D.C. No charges were filed, and Barry claimed that the drugs were planted.
And in 2006, Park Police officers stopped him for driving too slowly, prompting him to accuse authorities of targeting him. Barry had been on probation since 2005 for not filing or paying income taxes for several years.Last year he again failed to file a tax return, and his probation was extended to May 2011, according to the Washington City Paper.