Monday, September 6, 2010

Trumka echoes White House refrain of blaming Bush for economic woes

By Bridget Johnson-09/05/10 09:31 AM ET

A top union leader Sunday echoed the recent White House refrain of blaming the current ecnomic situation on the administration of George W. Bush.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" two days after the Labor Department announced that the economy had shed 54,000 jobs and unemployment had ticked up to 9.6 percent.

But Trumka solidly defended President Obama, saying "the foundation has been built" by the president to counter eight years in which unions got "worked over" by the Bush administration.

"He inherited this recession," Trumka said of the commander in chief. "He's brought us back. He's brought sanity back to the financial system."

"He's created more jobs in this recession than George Bush did in eight years with a surplus," Trumka said, while acknowledging that not enough jobs had been created and blaming Republican obstructionism in Congress for, among other things, a too-small stimulus package.

In his weekly address, Obama blamed Bush policies for hurting the middle class, and said he was the president helping Main Street recover. The troubled economy is a key hurdle for Democrats in November midterm elections, and a USA Today/Gallup poll released Friday showed 71 percent saying Bushshould get most of the blame, down from 80 percent who blamed theformer president for the recession in July 2009. 

About half of respondents

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Graham: Obama is 'tone-deaf'

By J. Taylor Rushing-09/05/10 11:24 AM ETRepublican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) on Sunday slammed PresidentObama as "tone-deaf" on sensitive political matters, and said that theNovember elections will prove most Americans disagree with his views. Graham, an occasional ally of the administration on immigration,energy policy and military issues, also told NBC's "Meet The Press"host David Gregory that Obama's agenda is too liberal for the country. Democrats, led by Obama, have gone "hard to the left," Graham said. "Now they have nothing to show for their efforts but biggergovernment and more debt," he said. "Now they own this agenda that Ithink has been the most liberal agenda in modern times, and at the endof the day the public is not in the left ditch, they're not in theright ditch, they're in the right-center of the road. And the only waythe president can possibly survive is to come back to the middle. "He's tone-deaf. Putting KSM on trial in New York City? Made nosense. Interjected himself into the mosque debate? Made no sense. He'stone-deaf on terrorism issues, and he's certainly tone-deaf on theeconomy."Source: contents of this site are © 2010 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., a subsidiary of News Communications, Inc.Comments (20)PAGE

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Palin neighbor leaves Alaska

By Julian Pecquet-09/05/10 01:27 PM ET

Author Joe McGinnis was leaving Alaska for Massachusetts Sunday to write the book he's been researching on presumptive 2012 presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the Associated Press reports.

McGinnis raised eyebrows - and the Palin family's ire - when he moved in right next door to the Palins in Wasilla in May. He said he had no plans to spy on the Palins but they took offense and built an 8-foot fence between the two homes.

McGinnis said he also received an angry visit from Palin's husband, Todd, but that everyone else in town was nice to him - though cautious when discussing Palin.

McGinnis in 2009 wrote an unflattering account for Portfolio of Palin's failure to get a natural gas pipeline to Alaska when she was governor.

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Clinton going to Egypt later this month for second round of Mideast talks

By Bridget Johnson-09/05/10 03:58 PM ET

Clinton will attend the talks on Sept. 14, then head from Egypt to Jerusalem the following day for more discussions.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will go to Egypt later this month for the second round of the Obama administration's Mideast peace talks.

"Egypt will host the second round of Palestinian-Israeli negotiationsin Sharm el-Sheikh," Egypt's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zakisaid in a statement carried by the state news agency MENA.

RELATED ARTICLESClinton hosting Ramadan dinnerThe negotiations will be Sept. 14-15 in the Red Sea resort, and will be attended by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Abbas and Netanyahu sat down for the first round of talks in Washington last week.

Agence France-Presse reported that a State Department official confirmed Clinton will attend the talks on Sept. 14, then head from Egypt to Jerusalem the following day for more discussions.

The official told AFP that Mideast envoy George Mitchell will be participating in the talks as well.

The Palestinians have warned that negotiations may not extend far past that if Israel continues new construction in the WestBank. A 10-month Israeli settlement freeze in the West Bank is set to expireSept. 26. Tel Aviv could choose to extend the moratorium or let itexpire.

Source: contents of this site are © 2010 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., a subsidiary of News Communications, Inc.Comments (2)FACT: The top Terrorist Hamas leader rejected the compromise in a fiery speech Wednesday, a day after gunmen killed four Israelis in a strong reminder that the Islamic Murderous Terrorist militant group cannot be ignored in any Mideast deal.
FACT: Hamas has claimed responsibility for Tuesday's shootings, a vivid reminder that the Iranian-terrorist-backed group may be locked out of the peace negotiations but remains a key player in determining their outcome.
FACT: In Tuesday's shooting, Palestinian Murderous Terrorist Coward gunmen opened fire on a car, killing the four Israeli settlers inside, including a pregnant woman, near the West Bank. Hundreds of people attended funerals for the victims on Wednesday, including a large ceremony at the settlement near Hebron where they lived.

FACT: We in the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan see Palestine as part of the Islamic and Arab land that must not be relinquished, on the contrary, defending it is a national and jurisprudential obligation. We see the Murderous Muslim Terrorist Coward Hamas movement in Palestine as standing at the head of the Project of the Arab and Islamic liberation for which the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood calls. The terrorist Muslim Brotherhood supports the Murderous Muslim Terrorist Coward Hamas and every Arab resistance movement in the region that works for liberation. Google vote demsout 2010/12 on 09/05/2010 at 16:47Watch that terriorist ABBAS really back peddle and stutter after IRAN wakes up as smoking ruins that glow in the dark for 2.6 million years!… Bet he can't find the pen to sign for peace fast enough…what a putz…and, a thief!BY MontanaMEL on 09/05/2010 at 18:03Add Comment

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Republicans charge that tax policy uncertainty is a drag on economy

By Ian Swanson and Russell Berman-09/05/10 11:09 AM ET

With Democrats divided over tax policy, Republicans and business organizations are arguing that uncertainty about the tax code is a drag on the economy.

The GOP message comes as Democrats engage in a fierce debate over whether to allow rates on upper income households to rise next year.

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Warren schedule change stirs talk on consumer job

Thu Sep 2, 2010 5:25pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A last-minute change in the fall course schedule of Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren has fueled speculation the White House might soon nominate her to head the newly created U.S. consumer financial agency.

Harvard students enrolled in Warren's contracts class were informed that a different professor will be teaching the class instead, according to a report in The Washington Post, which obtained a copy of an email to the students.

"Professor Warren regrets that she will not be able to teach you this fall and we regret the last-minute change," the Post quoted the email as saying.

Warren, an outspoken consumer advocate, is a leading candidate to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has said an announcement this week on the consumer job was unlikely.

When asked about the Post report, White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage replied, "There are a number of strong choices under consideration for this position, including Elizabeth Warren, but reporting that a decision has been made or that an announcement is imminent is premature."

A Harvard Law School spokesman confirmed that Warren "will not be teaching a section of the first-year Contracts class this semester as originally scheduled" but said she is still scheduled to teach another course.

(Writing by Caren Bohan; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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Mideast talks to resume in Egyptian Red Sea resort

Sun Sep 5, 2010 4:30pm EDT

CAIRO (Reuters) - The second round of direct peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians will take place in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on September 14-15, the Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

At the relaunching of the talks in Washington on Thursday, U.S. mediator George Mitchell said the coming round would be held on those dates in the region, without specifying an exact venue, and that the two sides would meet every two weeks.

"Egypt will host the second round of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations in Sharm el-Sheikh," Egypt's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki said in a statement carried by the state news agency MENA.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will lead the negotiations with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attending, Zaki added.

Clinton will be joined in the negotiations by Mitchell, a State Department official said, and after the talks in Sharm el-Sheikh she will visit Jerusalem where she will have a three-way meeting with Netanyahu and Abbas on September 15.

Egypt, which in 1979 became the first Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel, has long played a mediation role but has often criticized Israel for settlement building. The talks are also backed by Jordan.

Arab foreign ministers are expected to endorse the direct talks at the Arab League's second annual meeting, scheduled to take place in Cairo on September 13.

(Additional reporting by Arshad Mohammed in Washington; writing by Marwa Awad; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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Afghan progress slower than first hoped, general says

Sat Sep 4, 2010 10:58am EDT

KABUL (Reuters) - International forces in Afghanistan have at times overstated the progress being made this year, the deputy commander of the NATO-led force said on Saturday, with advances coming slower than originally expected.

British Lieutenant-General Sir Nick Parker, second-in-command of the International Security Assistance Force behind U.S. General David Petraeus, said progress had been slowed by the complexity of the mission.

Petraeus has said in a range of interviews in recent weeks that progress was being made and that the Taliban's momentum had been checked, though violence across the country is at its worst since the hardline Islamists were ousted in late 2001.

Progress made is coming into sharper focus, with President Barack Obama to conduct a strategy review in December and public support for the war sagging amid record casualties.

For the past year, principally U.S. and British NATO forces have been pushing through Taliban strongholds in southern Helmand and Kandahar provinces, making painstaking progress through a network of valleys and mountains and seeking to counter a growing Taliban-led insurgency from all sides.

ISAF troops have faced stiff resistance since Operation Moshtarak began in late February, particularly around the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in the Helmand River valley.

"If you were to go back and listen to the sort of things we said in January and February, before Moshtarak started, I think we were probably a little bit over-enthusiastic," Parker told a small group of reporters in Kabul.

"I was, in some of the things I said, a little bit too positive in some respects," he said.


Military casualties have risen as the number of operations have grown, with more than 490 killed so far this year compared with 521 in all of 2009.

Parker said it had proven more difficult than expected to establish lasting government and development agencies, despite hopes for a new "government in a box" strategy to follow military operations in Marjah.

"That's nobody's fault, that's just the complexity of the environment we're operating in," Parker said.

On Tuesday, Petraeus said in an interview that his forces had taken a heavy toll on the Taliban leadership, but also acknowledged that the Islamists were fighting back and that their "footprint" had spread this year.

Petraeus commands close to 150,000 troops, most of them American, with the last elements of a surge of an extra 30,000 ordered by Obama now in place.

As part of the decision to send the extra troops, Obama also said U.S. forces would begin a gradual withdrawal from July 2011 if conditions on the ground -- primarily the readiness of Afghan forces to take over -- allowed.

U.S. commanders lately have sought to temper expectations of large withdrawals. Petraeus said the process would likely begin with a "thinning out" rather than any large-scale reduction and that the transition would initially be made at the district level rather than by province, as NATO members had discussed.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has also set an ambitious target of 2014 for Afghan forces to assume total security responsibility from foreign troops.

"It's entirely reasonable for us to work within that kind of guideline," Parker said.

He said that, despite the difficulties, ISAF troops were slowly beginning to establish secure areas that would allow government and development institutions to move in.

"We've got to be on the balls of our feet, ready to react properly as these trends start to manifest themselves," said Parker, who finishes his assignment at the end of September.

(Editing by Ralph Boulton)

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Obama to address new economic ideas next Wednesday

  Post Comment
Sep 04, 2010 5:49pm EDT

He could direct Fannie(s) to offer 4% mortgages for all existing homeowners in good standing as Gross suggested; he could push for the temporary deductibility of all interest; and he could impose more tariffs instead of being frightened by the Asians, and stop their economic warfare against American workers. He promised us he would do what was needed, but so far it’s been half-measures dressed up in funny hats, unsustainable, horribly expensive, and making profits for the very people he swore to reform!

Snowyb Report As Abusive     Sep 04, 2010 11:37pm EDT

Obummer needs to postpone the health bill indefinitely so as to stop scaring the crud out of every hiring person in corporate america

STORYBURNthere Report As Abusive    
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Interior chief Salazar voices doubt on Arctic drilling

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U.S. grasp of Russia nukes may weaken warns official

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Whitman leads Brown in California governor's race

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Taliban vow to disrupt Afghanistan election

Sun Sep 5, 2010 4:34pm EDT

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan's Taliban said on Sunday they would attempt to disrupt elections this month and warned Afghans to boycott the vote, the first explicit threat against the poll by the hardline Islamists.

The threat came just a day after Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he would soon announce members of a peace council to pursue talks with the Taliban, another step in his plan for reconciliation with the insurgents.

The September 18 parliamentary election is seen as a litmus test of stability in Afghanistan before U.S. President Barack Obama conducts a war strategy review in December that will examine the pace and scale of U.S. troop withdrawals from July 2011.

Despite the presence of almost 150,000 foreign troops, violence is at its worst across Afghanistan since the Taliban were ousted by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in late 2001.

"This (poll) is a foreign process for the sake of further occupation of Afghanistan and we are asking the Afghan nation to boycott it," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.

"We are against it and will try with the best of our ability to block it. Our first targets will be the foreign forces and next the Afghan ones," he told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.

Security is a major concern ahead of the vote, with four candidates killed already in recent weeks and dozens of campaign workers wounded, according to the United Nations and government officials. Some of the attacks have been blamed on the Taliban.

Another candidate was wounded, and 10 of his campaign workers killed, in an air strike on Friday, Karzai has said, although NATO and U.S. officials dispute his account.

Nader Nadery, chairman of the independent Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan, said the threat was worrying because it could lead to poor voter turnout in the ethnic Pashtun belt in the south, where the Taliban are strongest.

"The people know that when the Taliban warn, they deliver on those warnings, and that prevents people from engaging very actively," Nadery said.

The Taliban launched about 130 attacks against last year's poll. They failed to disrupt it in much of the country, but in the Pashtun south turnout was low, observers were kept away and fraud was rampant.

Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister who came second behind Karzai last year, said he was worried about security.

"Not only has it not improved in the last few months, it has deteriorated," Abdullah told a news conference in Kabul.


According to Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission (IEC), 938 out of a planned 6,835 polling centers will not open on election day because of security fears.

The United Nations said in a statement on Sunday it agreed with that decision "to protect the security of voters, electoral workers and the secure and effective scrutiny of polling centers and voting procedures."

Graft and cronyism are also major concerns ahead of the vote after last year's fraud-marred presidential election, in which a third of votes for Karzai were thrown out as fake.

The U.N.-backed Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) said it was concerned some public officials were using their positions to help certain unidentified candidates and urged the government to protect the poll's impartiality and integrity.

Abdullah withdrew from a second round of voting in last year's presidential ballot after the ECC found evidence of widespread fraud and ballot stuffing.

This year, Abdullah said it had become "like a trend" for election officials to approach candidates and ask for money in return for votes.

"The (ECC) should take serious actions in this regard," Abdullah said. "I will urge the people of Afghanistan to report on this. It is your destiny that will be decided."

The ECC has been weakened this year, with only two of its three commissioners U.N.-appointed foreigners instead of the three foreigners it had last year.

The commission said on Sunday 76 candidates had been disqualified so far for a range of reasons, from improper registration to links with warlords and private militias.

About 2,500 candidates are running for 249 seats in the Wolesi Jirga, or lower house of parliament, in Afghanistan's second parliamentary vote since the Taliban were ousted.

The issue of corruption frequently strains ties between Karzai and his Western backers, and the vote is also seen as a test of Karzai's credibility.

Many in Washington believe rampant corruption significantly weakens the central government and hampers efforts to build up Afghanistan's security forces so that they can eventually take over from NATO-led forces, allowing foreign troops to leave.

Long queues have formed outside branches of Kabulbank, Afghanistan's top private lender, since it emerged last week that the bank's top two executives had been replaced amid media allegations of corruption.

Karzai's government has assured the bank's depositors, which include 250,000 state employees, that deposits have not been lost and that the directors resigned to meet new regulations.

(Additional reporting by Jonathon Burch and Tim Gaynor in Kabul; Editing by Paul Tait and Peter Graff)

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Clinton: time ticking for Israel-Palestinian peace

Sat Sep 4, 2010 6:47pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday urged Israel and the Palestinians to overcome the final obstacles to peace, saying their new talks may be a last chance to end the conflict.

Clinton, speaking to Israeli and Palestinian television one day after direct peace talks between the two sides were relaunched in Washington, said skepticism and suspicion cannot be allowed to derail the talks as has happened so many times in the past.

"First, I think that time is not on the side of either Israeli or Palestinian aspirations for security, peace and a state," Clinton said.

"It's clear to me that the forces of growth and positive energy are in a conflict with the forces of destruction and negativity. And the United States wants to weigh in on the side of leaders and people who see this as maybe the last chance for a very long time to resolve this."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ended Thursday's meeting with an agreement to talk again on September 14-15 and every two weeks thereafter, fast-tracking a peace push that is one of U.S. President Barack Obama's top priorities.

Both sides accept the need for a "two-state solution" to establish an independent Palestinian state existing peacefully beside Israel.

But political analysts say there are numerous obstacles to a final deal, the first of which comes on September 26 when Israel's partial freeze on building new Jewish settlements in occupied areas of the West Bank comes to an end.

Abbas has said he cannot continue with peace talks if settlement construction resumes but Netanyahu, whose coalition is dominated by pro-settler parties, appears reluctant to extend the moratorium.

Clinton has in the past described the rising risks both sides face, saying "the dynamics of demography, ideology and technology" threaten to produce more extremist groups with better weapons dedicating to a violent solution to the conflict.

She said it was important both sides now take concrete steps to improve conditions on the ground, particularly in areas where Palestinians and Israelis come into direct contact.

"So the checkpoints, the roadblocks, all of the daily challenges that we know affect the Palestinians, are certainly on the agenda," Clinton said.

"I think the political negotiations need to be matched with changes on the ground, and confidence-building and interactions between Israelis and Palestinians."

Clinton acknowledged the challenges ahead for both Abbas and Netanyahu, but said both leaders realized the imperative for their peoples to find a solution.

"These two men, perhaps for different reasons, may be the two who can actually do this," she said.

(Editing by David Alexander and Jerry Norton)

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Obama to propose permanent research tax credit

Sun Sep 5, 2010 2:31pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will ask the Congress on Wednesday to increase and permanently extend a tax credit for business research as a way of boosting job growth, an administration officials said on Sunday.

The proposal would cost $100 billion over 10 years, and Obama would pay for the plan by closing other corporate tax breaks, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Obama administration is scrambling for solutions to tackle a 9.6 percent unemployment rate and invigorate an economy whose recovery from the worst recession in 70 years is in danger of stalling, with congressional elections looming.

Obama, who is to lay out this plan and other initiatives in a speech in Cleveland on Wednesday, is trying to both create jobs and help his Democrats hang on to control of Congress in November 2 elections, when Republicans are poised to pick up seats and possibly take command of the House of Representatives.

U.S. television political talk shows featured debates on tax cut proposals on Sunday, the middle of a Labor Day holiday weekend that marks the informal start of the election campaign season.

University of California economics professor Laura Tyson, a member of the president's economic advisory board, said targeted job policies such as a partial payroll tax holiday and permanent tax cuts for research and development should be priorities in the current environment.

"All of us here agree we need targeted policies for jobs and right now the deficit is not a major issue," Tyson told CBS's "Face the Nation" program. "The major issue is a slow economy, lack of jobs ... we really need to get our priorities right and focus on targeted job creation."


Growth, which had been fueled by a record $814 billion government stimulus program, has slowed sharply, raising alarm in financial markets the economy was sliding back into recession.

"I think we are in a situation where we are bumping along at a slow rate. There is a lot of downside risk," said Tyson.

The measures that Obama is set to announce could also include extending middle-class tax cuts, investing in clean energy, spending more on infrastructure, and delivering more tax cuts to businesses to encourage hiring.

Republican Senator John McCain told Fox News the Obama administration was "just flailing around" with economic policies that had created uncertainty among businesses and investors.

"The first thing we need to do is extend the tax cuts that are in existence so people have that certainty," said the Arizona senator, referring to tax cuts enacted by President George W. Bush.

"The point is that the Obama Keynesian on steroids has not worked. The economic policies have failed," said McCain, who lost the 2008 presidential election to Obama but predicted a strong showing by Republicans in November because of the struggling economy.

Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine defended the Obama administration's economic record, telling Fox: "The GDP, which was shrinking, is now growing."

But he acknowledged the economy is "not growing fast enough" and said Democrats were focusing on how to help small businesses.

"Let's target the tax credits to middle-class folks and to small businesses, but especially let's target the tax credits to where they will do the most good, where they will have the most likelihood of increasing economic activity," said Kaine.

The White House cautioned on Friday that these steps should not be seen as a second stimulus package. Lawmakers are in no mood to approve a big new spending plan that would add to the fiscal deficit.

Obama will call on Congress to increase to 17 percent from 14 percent one of two credit options available to businesses, the officials said.

(Additional reporting by Lucia Mutikani; editing by Philip Barbara)

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Dems object to 'Young Guns' promo

An American-American Party: NAReply #1Sep. 3, 2010 - 4:56 PM EST

Now the book-burners are crawling out from under the rocks. What's next? Reeducation camps?

Oh, that's right. Senility Sebelius already suggested "reeducation" for critics of Obama's health care destruction because the first round of lies, er, brainwashing, er, education didn't take so well.

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Cartoonist Paul Conrad dies at 86

9/4/10 6:37 PM EDT Updated: 9/5/10 12:42 PM EDT

Paul Conrad, an editorial cartoonist known for his scathing attacks on political figures during his three decades at the Los Angeles Times, died Saturday at the age of 86.

The Times reported he died of natural causes at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

Conrad won three Pulitzer Prizes for his work, which was marked by a clearly liberal bent and a determined iconoclasm — he was included on Richard Nixon's enemies list and was known for his critiques of another California Republican who went on to become president, Ronald Reagan.  

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Author leaving Palins, Alaska behind

9/4/10 7:53 PM EDT

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Sarah Palin can take down the fence. Palin's neighbor of three months on Wasilla's Lake Lucille, author Joe McGinniss, is packing his bags and notebooks and leaving Sunday for his home in Massachusetts to write the book he has been researching on the former governor and GOP vice presidential candidate.

His arrival in May made headlines and drew an indignant reaction from Palin and a visit from her husband, Todd. The Palins even tacked an extension onto an 8-foot board fence between the homes, leaving only a part of their second-story home visible from McGinniss's driveway.

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Obama's biological countermeasures

ROEg Party: LibertarianReply #1Sep. 5, 2010 - 9:03 AM EST

Our Doctor "Frankenstein's" need to have their greed and meglomania constrained. Of course this is just cynical politics. No basis in integrity.

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Dentist buys Hillary 2012 ad

arlenbrack Party: RepublicanReply #2Sep. 3, 2010 - 8:21 AM EST

The dems better get somebody, the one they have is toast. 2012 - the third leg to go republican. Repeal Baby, Repeal !

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State parties look past RNC for cash

Tx Champ Party: ConservativeReply #2Sep. 3, 2010 - 5:28 AM EST

That's not exactly the case, Trick Dick. People are not sending $$$ to the RNC because Michael Steele has proven to be a bad steward of the organization.

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Ariz. rematch hinges on nat'l party

9/3/10 3:18 PM EDT Updated: 9/3/10 3:34 PM EDT

The question facing voters in Arizona's 5th District is whether Democratic Rep. Harry Mitchell is more lap dog or lone wolf.

GOP challenger David Schweikert has posted signs across the Tempe-based political battleground calling the two-term incumbent a "lap dog" for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, after Mitchell voted for the bank bailout in 2008, the $787 billion stimulus law in 2009 and this year's health care overhaul.

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Brewer: No more debates

9/3/10 3:39 PM EDT Updated: 9/3/10 4:13 PM EDT

After freezing for more than 10 seconds in Wednesday’s debate, Arizona GOP Gov. Jan Brewer has announced that she will not agree to another engagement with her rival.

Brewer appeared to forget portions of her opening statement Wednesday during her first debate against Democrat Terry Goddard.

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McCain embraces the GOP's right

AMAT Party: NAReply #1Sep. 5, 2010 - 4:18 PM EST

Graham called Obama "tone-deaf" and his administration's policy work "the most liberal agenda in modern times" while McCain slammed the White House economic policies as "Obama Keynesian on steroids," which have failed.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Ok Mr McCain it is words like (Obama Keynesian) what has this country in hate mode. Now we really see where you stand Mr. Mccain you are a racist



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Rubio's father dies

beisbolfan Party: NAReply #1Sep. 5, 2010 - 12:29 PM EST

My sympathies for Rubio's loss. I hope this does not derail his campaign. I hope he wins, but it is looking more and more that Crist is gonna winnit. And it looks like Reid hangs on in Nevada, and Boxer beats Carly in Cali.

Republicans are doomed.

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Anti-war groups battle for survival

9/4/10 5:37 PM EDT

As President Barack Obama formally declared an end to combat operations in Iraq this week, the anti-war movement that helped sweep him into office — and that worked for seven years to bring U.S. troops home — finds itself struggling for survival.

Several factors — war fatigue; a deep, lingering recession; and the presence of a Democratic president they helped elect — have drained the energy from organizations that led the fight against the Iraq war. Some of the most influential anti-war activist groups that once summoned half a million people to march against the Iraq war and the policies of former President George W. Bush are straining to raise the money and attention to fight what they see as Obama’s military entrenchment in Afghanistan.

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Small business prods Senate

9/5/10 12:35 PM EDT Updated: 9/5/10 3:01 PM EDT

The effort to pass a small-business bill that stalled in August is gaining urgency, as small-business advocates echo President Barack Obama’s call for action on the legislation that would provide tax relief and access to Small Business Administration loans to small businesses.

“Putting money in the pockets of both consumers and small-business people so they can take advantage of the opportunities when they come along is crucial,” said Todd McCracken, president of the National Small Business Association, in an interview on CNN’s "State of the Union" on Sunday.

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Latest mosque issue: The money trail

9/4/10 7:05 AM EDT Updated: 9/5/10 11:33 AM EDT

First there was the battle over the mosque. Now there’s the battle over who’s funding the mosque and the campaign against it.

The fact that it’s not easy to figure out where proponents and opponents of the mosque project in lower Manhattan are getting their money has given each side the opportunity to cast the other’s finances — and motives — in a sinister light.

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Dems have few options on economy

9/3/10 5:23 PM EDT

With another tepid jobs report in the books Friday, Democrats desperate for quick policy action to boost the economy face an excruciating dilemma, experts say.

The few things that might pass Congress — such as a payroll tax holiday or extended research-and-development tax credits — won’t work, or at least not before November’s midterm elections, when Democrats face potentially devastating losses.

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Summers' tough words for China

9/5/10 2:00 PM EDT Updated: 9/5/10 2:22 PM EDT

National Economic Council Director Larry Summers’ trip this weekend to China for a series of high-level meetings is a rare opportunity for the Obama administration to deliver a potent message to the Chinese government.

The message: Domestic patience with China is running out. The messenger: Summers, an unlikely diplomat by most accounts, whose brusque personality and communication style may be just what the White House needs to inject a sense of urgency into the tense negotiations.

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Dems run away from health care

9/5/10 7:24 AM EDT Updated: 9/5/10 12:25 PM EDT

A handful of House Democrats are making health care reform an election year issue — by running against it.

At least five of the 34 House Democrats who voted against their party’s health care reform bill are highlighting their “no” votes in ads back home. By contrast, party officials in Washington can’t identify a single House member who’s running an ad boasting of a “yes” vote — despite the fact that 219 House Democrats voted in favor of final passage in March.

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Blair: Iraq war was necessary

9/5/10 1:33 PM EDT

A candid former British Prime Minister Tony Blair stands by his and the Bush administration’s decision to pursue the Iraq war, even as he expresses regret for the lives lost in the conflict.

“You can't not have regrets about the lives lost,” Blair said. “I mean, you would be inhuman if you didn't regret the death of so many extraordinary, brave and committed soldiers, of civilians that have died in Iraq, or die still now in Afghanistan. And, of course, you feel an enormous responsibility for that, not just regret.”

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House Dems urged to aid colleagues

9/5/10 5:05 PM EDT Updated: 9/5/10 6:09 PM EDT

House Democratic leaders are pumping rank-and-file lawmakers for more campaign money as they hope to forestall Machiavellian decisions to cut off incumbents with dim prospects for winning reelection. 

On a conference call last week, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) briefed fellow leaders on the "state of play" two months before the midterm election and emphasized the need to collect money from lawmakers who are sitting on healthy campaign treasuries despite facing nominal competition for their own seats, according to Democratic aides.

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GOP gov hopefuls run against Obama

9/5/10 4:38 PM EDT Updated: 9/5/10 5:07 PM EDT

They’re all Rick Perrys now.

A year and a half after the governor of Texas energized his reelection campaign by casting himself as an antagonist to President Barack Obama, Republican gubernatorial candidates across the country are following his example.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Job Creation - 15 Reasons The Obama Job Creation Plan May Actually Increase the Jobless Rate

Yep, I said it. And here are the reasons why Obama is going to have a difficult time creating jobs even with his new robust jobs creation plan proposed today.

The plans to “spend our way out” of the problem did not work the first time nor any other time for that matter. Money spent on entitlement programs isn’t likely to create net jobs

There are still funds available in the Stimulus for infrastructure projects. All we’re doing is adding another $70 Billion to these unspent funds.

Tax incentives to homeowners for investing in energy saving improvements will benefit consumers that have money to spend on those improvements. The unemployed auto worker in Detroit will not benefit from some granola eating hippie in Boulder, CO who puts a solar panel on the roof.

The only tax cuts that are effective in jobs creation plans are those targeted at businesses who hire.

Increasing spending until you get the result you want is similar to “doubling down” and is just as risky in D.C. as it is on Wall Street or in Vegas.

Obama is borrowing sound economic advice from Mitt Romney but mixing it with his own plans to spend, spend, spend on Government expansion. When it doesn’t work, he can blame republicans this time.

If it does work, he’ll take credit for the increase in net job creation as a result of the spending. It will be difficult to prove which part of the plan was successful although, we’ll all know it was a direct result if reducing taxes on small businesses.

Letting the Bush tax cuts on businesses expire and reducing taxes on capital expenditures is a zero sum game. All he’s doing is shifting revenue by eliminating one tax while implementing another.

If you’re going to take Romney’s economic advice, you’d better take it all, rather than pick and choose. Obama needs to implement Romney’s tax cut suggestions as a whole, by extending the Bush tax cuts on businesses as well.

It’s been proven time and time again that increased taxes result in lower federal tax revenues.

Democrats’ plans to pay for everything with tax increases has not worked in the past and is partly to blame for the mess we’re in now. U.S. businesses already have the some of the highest business taxes in the Global economy.

Americans’ are getting tired of the seemingly endless new tax proposals. It seems as though every day there is a new Democratic tax proposal, whether it’s on junk food, cigarettes, gas, investment trading, marijuana, tanning salons, etc. “Tax and Spend” policies do not and have not ever worked.

Obama plans to use money left over from a successful TARP program which funds were supposed to be used to pay down our debt. Instead he is proposing we spend those funds as well.

Obama has never actually been an employer or even worked for an employer. He has no knowledge or experience of jobs creation. Hell, he probably couldn’t even conduct a job interview himself. Just look at some of the people he’s hired: Van Jones, Kevin Jennings, etc.

Obama has a history of misrepresenting support for his programs. Remember the CEO of Caterpillar who had to correct Obama by saying “the reality is that we’ll have to lay off more workers before we’re able to begin hiring again…” People are starting to lose faith and trust in his words. We’re ready to see some action.
I’m sure there are other reasons why Obama will have an increasingly difficult time improving jobs. I, for one, do not trust what he says as he has not upheld many of his promises to American’s during his infamous campaign.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Face of Healthcare Reform - Michael Scott - Huh?!

What?!  I can't be serious, right?  Well I am.  Recently I found a website featuring quotes from NBC's The Office starring Steve Carrell.  This is probably my favorite comedy tv show of all time.  Although, Modern Family is now becoming a close competitor. is a quote that I find may resemble the true feelings of many Democratic leaders. 

You see, I believe elected Democrats truly believe in their cause to reform healthcare, but I think they might be a little out of touch with the majority of Americans on their process of doing it.  So read this quote and imagine, for a second, that it came from Nancy Pelosi, and not Michael Scott.  Kind of like what Liberals still do with Sarah Palin and Tina Fey.  People are still quoting Sarah Palin as saying "I can see Russia from my house..." and they didn't even know that Tina Fey said that!  So do the same thing here...

"The most sacred thing I do is care. And provide for my workers, my family. I give them money. I give them food. Not directly, but through the money. I heal them. Today I am in charge of picking a great new healthcare plan. Right, that’s what this is all about. Does that make me their doctor? Um… yes. In a way. Yeah, like a specialist."  -- Michael Scott

Friday, October 23, 2009

Obama, Net Neutrality Definition, and The FCC...WTF?!

Definition of Net Neutrality

The first thing to understand is that the vote which occurred this week was simply a vote to begin talks on net neutrality. So the debate begins.

Republicans haven’t really formed any type of opinion on this matter. Some have introduced a competing bill, like McCain’s proposed legislation that would prevent the FCC from regulating traffic on the internet. Democrats, largely, are all for it the new laws. I’ll opine on this in a moment. First, what is net neutrality?

Currently your ISP, internet service provider (like Comcast, Wild Blue, NetZero, etc) regulates the amount of bandwidth (juice) is able to flow through your internet connection. The amount bandwidth is what determines your ability to consume online content such as stream video from YouTube or Hulu or even speak on the “phone” over a VoIP connection such as Vonage or the Magic Jack. The FCC does not get involved right now in regulating how much juice is able to flow through the pipes.

Internet information that flows through your connection is segmented into what are called packets. These packets all have different identifiers that tell the ISP what kind of traffic they are. This allows companies like AT&T to slow down traffic (or packets) flowing through your internet connection so they can allocate more bandwidth (horsepower) to their own VoIP service which makes AT&T’s service more reliable than it’s competitors’ services being accessed through the same ISP. So, if I have Vonage, but get internet through AT&T, I may not get as reliable service if I had just subscribed to AT&T’s VoIP service. So already you can see the anti-competitive implications developing.

But, on the other hand say I’m a Comcast customer and I’m downloading huge HD movies from a peer to peer network like The Pirate Bay or some other torrent site. Currently Comcast has the ability to slow me down to the point that it’s not worth the wait to download Tilight New Moon since it’s going to take me 2 weeks to do it! So there are arguments both ways. But the bottom line is that the FCC Net Neutrality laws will seek to take that power away from the ISP’s and say “nope, you gotta open up the flood gates and let the internet juices flow!” No more discrimination based on traffic types!

Obama has stated his support in the FCC Net Neutrality laws. Some Republicans have said it is the Fairness Doctrine applied to the internet. So what do you need to know about it? What will it mean to you?
If Net Neutrality is passed eventually you will soon be able to download big files on the internet without limitations imposed currently by the ISP’s. The road will be paved to allow HD video streaming from the internet. YouTube videos could be hosted in full 1080P HD. Services like Vonage and Magic Jack will become more popular as the call quality will increase drastically. Illegal internet activity will spike because the ISP’s will not have the ability to block it. Comcast once tried to slow down peer to peer downloading traffic (notorious for illegal copy write infringement). They abandoned that activity for fear of falling under scrutiny of future net neutrality laws. Costs for internet service will likely increase as well because there will be an added cost to ISP’s in pure infrastructure. They will need to beef up their systems to allow full throttle internet access across the board to all subscribers.

Also this summer, Google announced its plans to develop a micro-payment system for internet consumption. There is a group of people and companies which includes Google to push for transitioning internet service from a subscription base to a utility based service. Basically every household connecting to the internet would be connected at the full speed available and they would receive a monthly bill based on usage. This way the people consuming bandwidth would pay for their share. This would put an end to the cable internet providers promotion of low monthly fees for 6 months after which they “jack the price up.”

The WTF Report believes that we are now living in an environment where open internet access to all is vital to stimulate competition among the big companies. My current position is in support of the FCC Net Neutrality laws which Obama also supports. Although it would eventually create a headache for the company I work for. As a satellite tv provider, my employer would be faced with the transition of tv entertainment from the airwaves to the internet. Newspaper organizations will be able to actually transition their news from print to online versions and still receive payment based on consumption. Barring some hidden agenda or loopholes to nationalize media sources, I don’t see any reason for Republicans to oppose this type of legislation.

So….to John McCain we say…WTF?!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

And....It's Official - HOAX!

But seriously, did anyone really believe that this nut was telling the truth?! My wife and I immediately knew it was a hoax when we heard who the family was. We watched that episode of Wife Swap they were on and knew there was something wrong with those people. But here's how I knew immediately that it was all a hoax:

1. They video taped the younger boy getting in the balloon, tape cuts out...then shows the balloon taking off.

2. The first call for help was made to the local 9News! The guy called the "media" to tell them his 6 year old boy was being carried away in an experimental weather balloon.

I hope they are prosecuted and reimburse the costs incurred. The farm field where the balloon came down was even damaged by all the rescue vehicles. There was extensive crop damage. They need to pay for that too.

On a related note, on the way to church today we saw a hot air balloon coming down in the trees at Chatfield state park. You could tell it was not intended, because there were people running across the field from where it launched over to the trees! I don't think anyone was hurt though, although, maybe some cuts and scrapes??

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Healthcare Campaign Losing Steam

Recently Obama appeared on several Sunday morning talk shows in an effort to push healthcare reform.  It's been a few weeks now and I'm curious to see if it has had any effect on the interest of Americans.  So I turned to Google to gather some aggregated internet search data.  It's fairly effective to utilize Google data in determining public interest.  Below is a chart based on Google search data regarding four of the top issues facing Americans today.  This was eye opening to me.  I'll explain...but first, the chart: Right Click the frame to open in a new window or tab. For some reason Blogger is not showing the whole frame.

The results I found were nothing short of surprising. I would expect there to be a relatively higher amount of traffic around healthcare related searches. But over the last 30 days (since Obama's re-dedication to healthcare reform) public interest has been on a steady decline. In fact, the aggregated data indicate that there is more public interest surrounding the issues relating to Iran than there is interest in healthcare issues.

There are some disclaimers that need to be made. For example, this research doesn't differentiate between negative and positive searches. It only aggregates all searches around the term healthcare. I was able to filter the data to include only those searches relating to news and current events. This filters out searches around terms like "healthcare insurance" or "capital of Iran." However, this isn't all too important because I'm only trying to gauge public awareness of issues. Google search data is the best gauge because the majority of Americans now get news and information from the internet and conduct research through Google.

What do you think? Is this surprising?