Tuesday, March 31, 2009

ZenYenta 2.0: St. Jing-Tao-Wow Day Special Feature – Interview With Nate Peele

ZenYenta 2.0: St. Jing-Tao-Wow Day Special Feature – Interview With Nate Peele

Be sure to stop over and check it out.. very special with everything you need to know about Nate and this wonderful new holiday. Also lots of good stuff to find out about Zen Yenta, a Great Blogger in her own right.

Nate's no slouch himself...lol

More Jon Stewart Goodness, Jack Cafferty Stops In

More Jon Stewart goodness... This time with Jack Cafferty. I have to say I like Jack Cafferty. I really wish he wasn't on CNN, I would watch him more... but I really can't stand to watch Wolf Blitzer or CNN much anymore...lol

Anyway... Jon is always good.. and so is Jack usually and he didn't disappoint last night.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Jack Cafferty
Daily Show Full EpisodesEconomic CrisisPolitical Humor

Monday, March 30, 2009

Get A Good Lawyer...Spain tells Feith, Yoo, Addington, Bybee, and Gonzales

Judge Garzón, has built an international reputation by bringing high-profile cases against human rights violators as well as international terrorist networks like Al Qaeda. The arrest warrant for General Pinochet led to his detention in Britain, although he never faced a trial. The judge has also been outspoken about the treatment of detainees at Guantánamo Bay.

Spain can claim jurisdiction in the case because five citizens or residents of Spain who were prisoners at Guantánamo Bay have said they were tortured there. The five had been indicted in Spain, but their cases were dismissed after the Spanish Supreme Court ruled that evidence obtained under torture was not admissible.

From The Raw Story:

After a former Bush official responded to a lawyer who's suing him for alleged torture at Guantanamo Bay, the lawyer has fired back in kind.

Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense under President George W. Bush, is accused by Spanish human rights lawyers of providing legal cover to Bush policies under which detainees were tortured. The lawyers want to try a number of Bush officials -- among them former Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales -- in Spanish court.

Feith fired back in an interview Sunday, saying, "the charges as related to me make no sense."

"They criticize me for promoting a controversial position that I never advocated," Feith added.

In response, Gonzalo Boye, one of the lawyers filing the complaint, advised Feith to get a "very good lawyer."

“I would recommend that Mr. Feith first of all read the complaint, and secondly that he get a very good lawyer,” Boye said. “If he is so sure of what he is saying — then the address of the national court is #22 Genova Street, second floor.”

The five others accused -- David Addington, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney; Jay Bybee, one of the authors of a now-infamous Bush "torture memo;" William Haynes; John Yoo, one of the architects of Bush's 'enhanced interrogation' policy; and Alberto Gonzales, Bush's ex-Attorney General -- have all declined comment on the charges.

Don't Forget Tomorrow St. Jing Tao Wow Day

Let's not forget this important ethnic holiday. A time of blending together of all days to share the best of us all. It is a time to celebrate the stereotype that have been created around each ethnicity. So, each of us should find a way to show our roots and celebrate who we are.

Since most of us are multi ethnic now is the time for us to throw open the flood gates and let our hearts be the guide, to allow us to show the world who we are. St. Jing Tao Wow is our Patron Saint and allows us to be free of constraints and rigid ideology and go with the flow.

So, as a German, Irish, American Indian I am going to cook up some Sauerbraten, Dublin Coddle and Pemmican for my food. My decorations will consist of pictures of Castles of Germany and Ireland, and Cave drawings and dwellings of the Indians along with some of my arrowhead collection, and a Ti Pi my grandmother carried.

So, if you are in the vicinity of my humble abode tomorrow, stop in any time and you may join me in celebrating St Jing Tao Wow Day. If you aren't close enough to stop by here, I hope you are planning your own celebration or will be able to stop by another location.

Among the others that I am certain about are, Nate @ That's Right Nate and Zen @ ZenYenta Those are the only two I know of off the top of my head right now. I am sure there are others and I will be updating and posting as I find out others. Please let me know if you hear of any.

Of course this post would not be complete without letting everyone know that we couldn't have started this if not for Lou Dobbs. He is our inspiration. If not for him and his comments which can be heard here at Media Matters.

So, please everyone, join in to celebrate this wonderful new holiday and maybe next year we can get it as a Federal Holiday and get another day off work for everyone.

Can You Imagine.. A POTUS Paying His Way..

Pres. & First Lady Michelle Obama are paying for the redecorating of the White House out of their own money. Even though they are given a $100,000 budget from taxpayer money and are allowed to except donations they have decided to opt out at this time of economic crisis and foot the bills themselves saying they can afford it.

Here is the story from NY Magazine:

At a time when people are having trouble holding on to their houses, Barack and Michelle Obama have sensibly decided not to use taxpayers’ money to renovate theirs. New presidents are allotted $100,000 to overhaul the White House residence and the Oval Office, and the Obamas hired Hollywood decorator Michael S. Smith (known, per his site, for mixing “Old World classicism with very contemporary settings”). But the First Couple isn’t spending that money. They “are not using public funds or accepting donations of goods for redecorating their private quarters,” says Camille Johnston, director of communications for the First Lady. Nor is the couple, who reported $4.2 million in household income in 2007 tax returns, using money from the White House Historical Association, a privately funded foundation that paid for a $74,000 set of china shortly before Laura Bush left town.

But does this mean they’re going to spend more than $100,000 or less? Though Michelle Obama has talked up Pottery Barn, Smith’s client list includes cost-is-no-object types like Rupert Murdoch, Steven Spielberg, and former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain—for whom he procured that $87,783 rug. “There’s no question that he’ll get it done in the way that it’s supposed to be done,” says Smith client and Democratic donor Katherine Chez. “But how, I don’t know.” The White House declined to disclose the budget, saying that all expenses would remain private as a result of the Obamas’ decision to absorb the cost.

I had heard she was getting rid of that nasty ass china earlier... lets hope so.. maybe she will send that stuff to Laura.. or break it.. use it as mulch in the garden or something....lol

Let the wing nutz howlz begin....lol

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Michael Steele Thinks Being RNC Head is the Same as POTUS

Michael Steele thinks being RNC head is the same as being POTUS. I knew he was stupid.. just didn't realize how stupid he really was.

In his own words listen to what he told Don Lemon on CNN this week.

I guess he thinks Pres. Obama has nothing better to do than pick up the phone and talk to him about what... being a loser when it comes to standing up to El Rushbo, to shooting his mouth off without thinking and then having to back track and say he really didn't mean what he said when he said it. (They have both done that) But, what is he wanting Pres. Obama to do, share phone numbers or something, give him tips on how to run a successful campaign?? I just don't get what he thinks they might talk about.

Why would he really think that they should talk?? Is he really that stupid?? Maybe he is, or does he think we are?

Bill Maher's New Rules for This Week

Here are the New Rules for This Week... Some good, Some not so good... I haven't watched all of the show yet.. have had grands this weekend and so I have been a little busy with them...lol

Here are the New Rules and will post other parts if I think they are worth listening to.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

After the Budget Fiasco, the DNC Released an AD..

Here is an ad the DNC released about the the number in the budget... The number 0.. lol This is good, and it is funny... Someone is really doing a great job with these things.

Rachel Maddow and Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski Talk about Afghanistan

Rachel Maddow and Zbigniew Brzezinski explain what Pres. Obama gets right and wrong about Afghanistan and Pakistan. As former NSA Dr. Brzezinski knows of what he speaks. This is an area he knows a lot about.

President's Weekly Address

Here is the President's weekly address. Letting us know that even if he has a lot of things going on, he is still on top of things as they develop. Tuesday, he declared a Federal Emergency in ND, MN and SD so that funds and manpower were available for the people who are about to be overtaken by the rising waters of the Red and the Missouri River.

Hard to realize that we have a President who is "proactive" instead of "reactive" and then 5 days late at that. Hmm wonder if Pawlenty will turn down these Federal Dollars?? Bet he won't.. lol

But, anyway.. without further adieu, here is your President.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Just Thought You Might Want to Know.. Pending Floods for Here Aren't Enough

We also are facing this tonight and tomorrow:

Issued by The National Weather Service
Kansas City/Pleasant Hill, MO
5:02 am CDT, Fri., Mar. 27, 2009









More Information




As they always say.. Follow the Money.. This Time it is in a CIRCLE..UPDATED!!

We give the money to the banks and Wall Street to bail them out. They then give the money to the politicians in DC. This makes no sense.. or does it. The same ones who rail on TeeVee the most against the bail outs, the bonuses and the Wall Street bankers on one hand are taking money from them with the other hand.

Watch this report from Chuck Todd on the Today Show this morning.. It is very interesting. I am proud of Barney Frank for his stand. When Chuck came on the Joke and talked about this the first thing he said was to try to paint Barney in a bad light and he got slapped down. Chuck broke his heart by telling him that Barney has constantly refused any and all money from the bankers and Wall Street.

From First Read:

The magic circle: Speaking of political contributions, one of us on TODAY followed up on the recent reporting that several members of Congress who have been critical of the federal government’s bailout of U.S. companies have received campaign contributions from these very firms just in the last six weeks, in the midst of the congressional venom directed toward the bailouts. Campaign-finance-reform advocate Fred Wertheimer says the government's been bailing out banks and other major "too-big-to-fail" firms -- as these same companies continue to use their PACs to make contributions. “It all adds up to kind of a magic circle involving the government, TARP recipients, members of Congress, and campaign contributions.” The reality, of course, is that these contributions, individually, aren't a lot of money. But many members of Congress (including Speaker Pelosi and Financial Services Chair Barney Frank) have decided against taking any of the money. The optics of this for both the banks and for the members of Congress is bad, and only feeds the credibility problems both entities have with the American public.
(My Emphasis)

UPDATED!!! More from First Read:
So who is getting money and giving it right back to the politicians? Here’s a list of companies who received at least $1 billion in TARP funds and in February alone also gave money to members of Congress or national parties:

(Note: more TARP-recipients may have given money in February but not every company PAC reports their contributions monthly, some do it quarterly, meaning we won't know until mid-April if these figures are actually higher)

Bank of America
Goldman Sachs
U.S. Bancorp employee PAC
American Express
Huntington Shares

Now here’s a list of House leadership and banking committee members who got money from these bailed-out companies:

(Note: Some members of Congress received contributions directly to their campaign accounts and some received money to their leadership PACs.)

Steve Austria, R-Ohio, $1,000 from Huntington Shares
Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., $5,000 from Bank of America
Melissa Bean, D-Ill., $5,000 from Bank of America
Roy Blunt, R-Mo., $1,500 from U.S. Bancorp employee PAC
John Boehner, R-Ohio, $5,000 from Bank of America; $5,000 from American Express; $1,500 from U.S.
Bancorp employee PAC
Kevin Brady, R-Texas, $1,000 from Citigroup; $1,000 from American Express
Eric Cantor, R-Va., $2,500 from Citigroup; $5,000 from Bank of America; $1,000 from Chrysler; $2,500
from American Express
Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., $1,000 from Bank of America; $5,000 from Bank of America
Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., $5,000 from Bank of American
Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., $1,000 from Chrysler
Vern Ehlers, R-Mich., $1,200 from Huntington Shares
Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, $1,000 from Citigroup; $5,000 from Bank of America
Steny Hoyer, D-Md., $1,500 from Bank of America; $5,000 from Bank of America
Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., $1,000 from Citigroup; $1,000 from Bank of America; $1,000 from U.S. Bancorp
Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, $1,000 from Huntington Shares
Mary Jo Kilroy, D-Ohio, $1,000 from Huntington Shares
Leonard Lance, R-N.J., $1,000 from Citigroup; $2,000 from Goldman Sachs
Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., $1,000 from Citigroup; $5,000 from Bank of America
Greg Meeks, D-N.Y., $5,000 from Bank of America
Gary Miller, R-Calif., $1,000 from Bank of America
Gwen Moore, D-Wis., $2,500 from Bank of America
Richard Neal, D-Mass., $4,000 from Citigroup; $5,000 from Bank of America; $1,000 from American
Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, $1,000 from U.S. Bancorp employee PAC
Devin Nunes, R-Calif., $5,000 from Bank of America
Glenn Nye, D-Va., $250 from BB&T
Mike Pence, R-Ind., $1,000 from Chrysler
Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., $1,000 from Chrysler
Mike Rogers, R-Mich., $1,000 from Chrysler
Pete Sessions, R-Texas, $5,000 from Bank of America
Lamar Smith, R-Texas, $1,000 from American Express
Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, $1,000 from Huntington Shares
Mel Watt, D-N.C., $1,000 from Bank of America; $1,000 from BB&T; $1,000 from U.S. Bancorp
employee PAC

But Senators also benefitted:

(Note: Both Reid and Shelby say they returned their checks.)

Michael Bennet, D-Colo., $1,000 from U.S. Bancorp employee PAC
Robert Bennett, R-Utah, $1,000 from Chrysler
Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, $1,000 from Chrysler
Richard Burr, R-N.C., $5,000 from Bank of America
Tom Carper, D-Del., $620 from Citigroup; $1,000 from Bank of America; $5,000 from Bank of America
Jim DeMint, R-S.C., $2,000 from Citigroup; $1,000 from Bank of America; $2,000 from BB&T; $1,000
from U.S. Bancorp employee PAC
Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., $1,000 from Citigroup
Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., $1,000 from Bank of America
Bob Menendez, D-N.J., $5,000 from Bank of America
Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., $2,500 from Citigroup; $4,000 from Bank of America
Harry Reid, D-Nev., $1,000 from U.S. Bancorp employee PAC
Richard Shelby, R-Ala., $5,000 from Bank of America
Arlen Specter, R-Pa., $2,000 from Chrysler
George Voinovich, R-Ohio, $5,000 from Bank of America

And so did the Parties.

The Democrats:
(Note: Both the DSCC and the DCCC say they never received the checks Bank of America reported in their March FEC report)

NDCPAC, $5,000 from Citigroup, $5,000 from Bank of America
Blue Dog PAC, $5,000 from Citigroup; $5,000 from Bank of America
DSCC , $15,000 from Bank of America
DCCC, $15,000 from Bank of America
FourOhDems, $1,000 from Huntington Shares

And the Republicans:

HouseConFund, $5,000 from Bank of America
GOP Main Street, $5,000 from Bank of America
NRSC, $15,000 from Bank of America
NRCC $15,000 from Bank of America

Interestingly, Goldman Sachs actually reported members of Congress who refused to cash their checks, including Rep. Stephanie Herseth, D-S.D., Rep. Pete DeFazio, D-Ore., and then-Congressman and now chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.

Want to know if your Congressman is getting these contributions?
Check out the FEC’s reports. http://www.fec.gov/disclosure.shtml (main FEC "Campaign Reports and Data" page)
and http://www.fec.gov/finance/disclosure/disclosure_data_search.shtml (FEC "Disclosure Data Search" - search by donor or politician).
(Note: some companies have multiple PACs, like Bank of America.)

What about whether or not your Congressman’s contributors have taken bailout money?
Try here: http://www.ustreas.gov/initiatives/eesa/docs/transaction_report_03-16-09.pdf (Treasury TARP Transactions List)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pres. Obama Challenged the GOP to Present a Budget, Still Waiting

President Obama last night challenged the republicans to present an alternative budget plan since they said his was so bad. They accepted his challenge and said they would present an alternative option today at 11:30.

Well, I was suspicious of the time when they announced that, because that was the time of Pres. Obama's Virtual Town Hall. Then I decided well they just wanted to break that up and play a little pull the media in different directions to show who has the biggest. You know the game I mean. They play that a lot.

And that is exactly what MSNBC did. I am not sure what the other cable channels did. I had my TeeVee machine set to it, but was watching the White House on my computer. So, I really wasn't paying much attention to what the rethugs were saying.

After a bit, I noticed that Contessa Brewer seemed a little angry and over Twitter, I saw a message that there wasn't much of a plan. So, I started watching a little closer.

Sure enough.. there wasn't any budget plan. Just a basic outline. Like always, the party of NO, became the party of No new ideas, and No new plan. Because when you look at what they are offering in their outline as their budget. It is laughable.

It is the same as they have been giving us for the last 30 years. Exactly.

Tax cuts, energy plan that Bush gave us, and more tax cuts. That's it. Drill, baby Drill. Tax cuts. Like I said, the party of NO, became the party of NO NEW IDEAS and NO NEW PLAN. If you would like to see for yourself, you can access it here.

But be prepared to be underwhelmed. Here is what Contessa Brewer said:

Brewer: I am very frustrated Mike, because we were waiting for this, we cut away from the President to hear the big build-up. Republicans have a plan, they have ideas, they're not the party of no and all I heard in that news conference was what they don't like about the president's plan.

Like I said, she wasn't happy, and there is no plan...lol

Huffington Post gives their take on it.

Think Progress has it here and has video with Rep. Mike Pence stammering trying to explain to Norah O'Donnell why there are no numbers. It's pretty funny.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Here is a Presser from 03/29/2001..Just to Compare the Questions and the Tone of the Media

Just to compare the quality of the questions and the tone of the media.. I thought it might be fun to look back. So here is a press conference from about the same time in Bush's Term in Office.

See what you think if you can stand it...

In case you can't or don't want to listen you can click here for the transcript.

Fears of Major Flooding in Fargo, ND This is BAD!!!!

From the NY Times

The threat of major flooding along the North Dakota-Minnesota border is rising as the Red River continues to swell foot by foot. The waters are expected to crest to a record-breaking height of 41 feet by mid-day Saturday, according to the National Weather Service, exceeding the levels reached in the worst flood more than a century ago.

The rising waters have pitched thousands of volunteers — including inmates from a local county jail — in a race against Mother Nature as they haul sandbags and generators into place and prepare for the worst.

The weather service says the waters in Fargo, the most-threatened place along the river, stood at 35.57 feet as of 12:15 p.m. local time Tuesday. The waters are expected to reach a height in Fargo of 41 feet by 1 p.m. Saturday, surpassing the record 40.10 feet set in 1897, but it may not end there.

Mayor Dennis Walaker of Fargo said in a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon that he had just learned of a new prediction from the weather service that the river could swell to 41.2 feet.

“That would make it the worst flood in Fargo’s history,” he said. He said that the 40-foot level was predicted only a week ago, meaning that the city had less time to prepare than it normally has in previous spring floods.

He said he planned to present residents with an evacuation plan Thursday morning at a news conference. The city has never been evacuated before, he said, even during a major tornado in 1957, and he is not sure whether people will leave. At the least, he expects people to move their valuables up from the first floors of their houses.

Schools in Fargo remain closed. The American Red Cross is planning on opening a shelter soon.

“We’re scrambling now on making sure the sandbag banks are up high enough and our contingencies are in place,” the mayor said.

In April 1997, the last major flood in modern times in the area, the river reached 39.57 feet in Fargo. That year, it reached even higher levels, 54 feet, in Grand Forks, to the north, with floodwaters spreading three miles inland and creating catastrophic conditions that resulted in $3.5 billion worth of damage. Grand Forks has since taken several measures, including building new dikes, to reduce the threat there now.

Mayor Walaker said Fargo had taken various measures too, but they may not be enough.

“No matter what we do, we seem to be behind the eight ball, and we will be until the river crests,” he said. “We’re comfortable at 36 feet and 37 feet, but now 41.2 presents some serious problems. Fifteen miles south of here, the river just crested higher than it did in 1997, so that’s a good indicator of what’s going to happen here.”

Pat Slattery, a spokesman for the weather service, said the chief reason for the repeated flooding of the Red River is that the land is so flat.

As the snows melt in the spring, he said, the river and surrounding land are already saturated with water and cannot absorb anymore. This year, he said, there was up to 300 percent of normal snow pack, and when it began to melt, big rains came too. The first flooding started two or three weeks ago, he said, adding, “It will be a couple weeks more before all the flooding will be over.”

Since last Friday, Fargo city employees, plus local residents, the National Guard and inmates from the Cass County Jail, have been filling sandbags, and as of Wednesday morning had filled 1.5 million sandbags. They expect to fill another 500,000 shortly, to reach a goal of two million bags.

The current weather is not helping. There were big rains in Fargo last night and now it’s snowing, with temperatures in the teens. A city official said the city’s road crews, which were helping with moving sandbags, had to be diverted from that task to plow the roads.

This could get worse on downstream and cause major flooding in South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois. It does this quite often but this year is one of the worse they have seen in years.

Sen. McConnell's Wife is in TROUBLE.. Good Thing She is OUT OF A JOB!!

The wife of Sen. Mitch McConnell of KY is out of work.. but it's just as well, she is also in Trouble.. with a Capital T. The statistics are out and they aren't good.

The GAO has released information gathered during her tenure and things weren't as rosy as people wanted everyone to think it was. Wonder if No Lips McConnell will spin that one.

Here is the parts of the report that was in the NY Times today.

the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, had mishandled 9 of the 10 cases brought by a team of undercover agents posing as aggrieved workers.

In one case, the division failed to investigate a complaint that under-age children in Modesto, Calif., were working during school hours at a meatpacking plant with dangerous machinery, the G.A.O., the nonpartisan auditing arm of Congress, found.

When an undercover agent posing as a dishwasher called four times to complain about not being paid overtime for 19 weeks, the division’s office in Miami failed to return his calls for four months, and when it did, the report said, an official told him it would take 8 to 10 months to begin investigating his case.

“This investigation clearly shows that Labor has left thousands of actual victims of wage theft who sought federal government assistance with nowhere to turn,” the report said. “Unfortunately, far too often the result is unscrupulous employers’ taking advantage of our country’s low-wage workers.”

The report pointed to a cavalier attitude by many Wage and Hour Division investigators, saying they often dropped cases when employers did not return calls and sometimes told complaining workers that they should file lawsuits, an often expensive and arduous process, especially for low-wage workers.

During the nine-month investigation, the report said, 5 of the 10 labor complaints that undercover agents filed were not recorded in the Wage and Hour Division’s database, and three were not investigated. In two cases, officials recorded that employers had paid back wages, even though they had not.

Doesn't sound good does it. Well that's just the beginning. It goes on from there.

The accountability office also investigated hundreds of cases that it said the Wage and Hour Division had mishandled. In one, the division waited 22 months to investigate a complaint from a group of restaurant workers. Ultimately, investigators found that the workers were owed $230,000 because managers had made them work off the clock and had misappropriated tips. When the restaurant agreed to pay back wages but not the tips, investigators simply closed the case.

In another case, the accountability office found that workers at a boarding school in Montana were not paid more than $200,000 in overtime. But when the employer offered to pay only $1,000 in back wages as the two-year statute of limitations approached, the division dropped the case.

Is it any wonder the Lilly Ledbetter case was ruled as it was by the SCOTUS? With the way it sounds that the Dept. of Labor has been handled under Elaine Chao, or should I say mishandled, it is a wonder anything has gotten done the last 8 years.

The report concluded that the Wage and Hour Division had mishandled more serious cases 19 percent of the time. In such cases, the accountability office said, the division did not begin an investigation for six months, did not complete an investigation for a year, did not assess back wages when violations were clearly identified and did not refer cases to litigation when warranted.

“When you have weak penalties and weak enforcement, that’s a deadly combination for workers,” said Representative George Miller, Democrat of California, who, as chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, asked the accountability office to do the report. “It’s clear that under the existing system, employers feel they can steal workers’ wages with impunity, and that has to change.”

Mr. Miller, whose committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on wage and hour enforcement on Wednesday, said he would push to enact tougher penalties for wage violations and laws that made it easier for workers to join class-action lawsuits.

The report said undercover agents recorded Wage and Hour Division officials urging workers who complained to file lawsuits. And on one recording, an investigator appeared to back off quickly on demanding back pay when an undercover agent posing as a wage-violating employer said he was financially stretched.

According to the report, the employer said, “Well, you know, like I said, all of our contracts have dried up, we really don’t have anything coming in, so. ... .”

The investigator responded,“O.K., so you’re not in a position where you can pay him?”

When the employer said no, the investigator seemingly gave up, saying he would let the worker “know that he has a private right of action to pursue the funds.”

The report expressed dismay with that approach. “Low-wage workers may be unable to afford attorney’s fees or may be unwilling to argue their own case in small-claims court,” it said, “leaving them with no other options to obtain their back wages.”

It sure sounds like workers were on their own, to either hire attorney's, pay their own fees, or suffer, because they had no one in the government agency to help them. Well, what else is new with the Republicans in charge?

More of that "less government" we always hear about??

Give Credit to Timothy Geithner says Nouriel Roubini

A noted economist, Nouriel Roubini, and Matthew Richardson has just published an Op-Ed in the NY Daily News concerning the plan introduced by Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner. He gives it high marks and praise with some conditions and some ifs, but still sees it as a good plan.

This is high praise indeed from a man who normally is reserved in his acclamations.

First a little background about Nouriel Roubini. Dr. Roubini (born on March 29, 1959) is a professor of economics at the Stern School of Business, New York University and chairman of RGE Monitor, an economic consultancy firm. After receiving his doctorate in international economics from Harvard University, he began academic research and policy-making by teaching at Yale while also spending time at the International Monetary Fund, the Federal Reserve, World Bank and Bank of Israel. Much of his early studies were focused on emerging-market countries.

Fortune magazine wrote of him, "In 2005, Roubini said home prices were riding a speculative wave that would soon sink the economy. Back then the professor was called a Cassandra. Now he's a sage." In September, 2006, he announced to a skeptical International Monetary Fund (IMF) that an economic crisis was brewing. "In the coming months and years, he warned, the United States was likely to face a once-in-a-lifetime housing bust, an oil shock, sharply declining consumer confidence and, ultimately, a deep recession," according to the New York Times. According to the Times, he accurately foresaw "homeowners defaulting on mortgages, trillions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities unraveling worldwide and the global financial system shuddering to a halt." The NY Times even labeled him "Dr. Doom." In hindsight, IMF economist Prakash Loungani has called him "a prophet," and the vice chairman of AIG said "Roubini was intellectually courageous, and he called the shots correctly."

Because his descriptions of the current economic crisis have proven to be accurate, he is today a major figure in the U.S. and international debate about the economy. Although he is ranked only 410th in terms of lifetime academic citations, Prospect Magazine in January, 2009, voted him #2 on its "list of the world’s 100 greatest living public intellectuals." He has recently appeared before Congress, the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Economic Forum at Davos. Having become a sought-after adviser, he spends much of his time shuttling between meetings with central bank governors and finance ministers in Europe and Asia."

Now to the Op-Ed and what he says about the Geithner plan as it is being called.

For the economy to be viable, the financial system must be healthy. For this to occur, the system needs to be cleansed of its poorly performing loans and so-called toxic securities backed by loans. This way, once creditworthy institutions and individuals come to the market looking for capital to borrow, financial firms will be in a position to lend them money.

Secretary Timothy Geithner's new toxic asset plan is a serious step in the right direction in that it creates a public-private partnership to buy the troubled assets of financial firms - in other words, to do the necessary cleansing. Up until now, with all the government bailouts, the financial system has been barely treading water. With this plan, it will still be a hard swim, but, at least, there is a path to shore.

The plan essentially calls for private asset management firms - private equity, hedge funds, mutual funds, pension funds - to invest side by side with the government.

The private investors need the government because there are so many bad loans held in the financial sector that only the government's balance sheet can handle taking them over. The government needs help from private investors so it doesn't get hoodwinked by the banks.

Why will investors participate? The deal is structured so that firms will be responsible only for losses on their initial investment. The hope is that by giving this big "freebie," the government will induce investors to participate, and that competition among them will lead to higher offer prices for the loans and securities, thus encouraging banks to sell them.

A lot of ifs, but if indeed successful, the plan accomplishes mission No. 1, namely the removal of the bad assets from banks' balance sheets. Even if banks wanted to do this on their own, they can't because the market for these illiquid assets has dried up.

But let's not have any illusions. The government bears the risk if and when the investors take a bath on the taxpayer-provided loans. If the economy gets worse, it could get very ugly, very quickly. The administration should be transparent in making clear that there is still a wealth transfer taking place here - from taxpayers to investors and banks.

Also, while this plan is designed by the Treasury, many of the big guarantees are being made by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Fed. Why not use only Treasury funds? Well, then the administration would have to deal with Congress. While the populist hysteria of last week suggests this end run might make sense, there is something a little worrying about circumventing the legislative process on such a huge investment.

Moreover, there's the issue of transparency - or lack thereof. No one knows what the loans or securities are worth. Competing investors will help solve this by promoting price discovery. But be careful what you wish for. We might not like the answers.

Finally, we have to anticipate the likelihood that some banks will resist selling their loans and securities. Why? Currently, the government has been giving them the option to keep holding them with the hope that market conditions will improve.

Going forward, the government must insist on the banks' involvement in the new program. The reason that financial institutions must be pressured is that they are the cause of the financial crisis. They took advantage of loopholes to avoid regulatory requirements, taking a huge bet on securities they were never meant to hold in the first place.

What happens if removing toxic assets from a bank's balance sheet at near-market prices shows it is effectively insolvent? Then we will have to face the elephant in the room. We may then have to start asking, "Why keep insolvent banks afloat?" And having asked that, we will have to search for ways to manage the ensuing systemic risk.

Either way, once the plan is fully implemented, we will be entering a new phase of the financial crisis. The water is choppy. Let's hope we are strong swimmers

As I noted, yes he does have some reservations, but all in all he still holds more hope and gives it mostly a thumbs up. As most people have stated, this is a huge step to correcting what is wrong with our economy. Once these "toxic" or "Legacy" Assets whatever you want to call them are off the books of the banks, it will be easier for them to start lending and moving money again.

With the money starting to move again our economy can really start to become profitable again, or so the hope is. I don't pretend to understand it, in fact I am mostly clueless.. but I do know as long as the banks have these things laying on their books, holding down their profits they can't do anything. Just as you are in your home books, if you have more owed than you do coming in, there is no way you can ever break even.

That's why the banks can't do anything. Once the banks move these holdings off their books, by selling them.. to investors, then they can start to show an income again and start moving money... just as if you had a garage sale, or an auction, (which is what they are going to do ) and bring in some money, so you can buy more junk....lol

High Noon.. Presser Eye Candy

Some still pictures if you care to see them. These are pictures of President Obama, his staff and one of the First Lady herself. They are great pictures taken before and during the press conference last night.

I stumbled across them in a diary at Daily Kos and just had to link to them because I thought they were awesome. I hope you share my enthusiasm and like them as much as I do.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pres. Obama Gives His 2nd Press Conference.. Everyone Goes Crazy.

Why does everyone think this is so wild... Pres. Obama said he would do 1 press conference a month or so and he is trying to keep his word. So, why is everyone freaking out about this??

It is about an hour long.. so it is up to you if you want to watch it.. but thought I would warn you it is that long. It is so nice to have a president who actually talks to us like we have a brain, we can understand more than simple words.

There were only a couple of times, I thought it got a little off the wall, once was with Ed Henry, of CNN, (of course) who asked why it took him a couple of days to come out and say he was angry about AIG... the President's answer, Because he wanted to make sure he had all the answers before he spoke. Sure makes sense to me.

The other was Chip Reid...He usually asks pretty silly questions. I think he is the one who called Gibbs out the other day for pushing back against Cheney. But enough of this. Here is the video of the press conference of the president if you care to watch it. I hope you enjoy.

On of my Favorite Stategists Weighs In

Bob Shrum, who has always been one of my favorite strategists, weighs in on a little bit of everything going on in and around President Obama. Bob has been a senior adviser to the Gore 2000 presidential campaign, the campaign of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and the British Labour Party. In addition to being the chief strategist for the 2004 Kerry-Edwards campaign, Shrum has advised thirty winning U.S. Senate campaigns; eight winning campaigns for governor; mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and other major cities; and the Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives.

So, as you can see he has plenty of experience and is pretty knowing about all things political and Democratic.

Here is what he had to say:

In my time in politics, I was often called a populist—and I don’t mind. To me, the idea is to confront entrenched interests and to build, as Al Gore said, “a stronger, fairer, more prosperous society.”

But the panicked spasm that drove Congress’s approach to the AIG bonuses represents a phony populism that wouldn’t even dent the systemic maldistribution of opportunity in America. The bonuses were both tone-deaf politics and indefensible policy. If the company’s CEO was unwilling to put a stop payment order on $165 million lavished on executives of the very AIG unit that had helped infect the global system with risky financial instruments, then he’s not worth the dollar a year he’s currently paid. But Congress’s rush to impose a 90 percent tax—not just on the AIG bonuses, but on bonuses at every enterprise receiving federal assistance—would punish sound financial managers along with irresponsible manipulators.

The tax couldn’t even be collected from British citizens who work in the London offices of American companies. Moreover, the tax provision—and the threat of more of the same—would be a disincentive to executives who make the right decisions and aid the restoration of credit markets and the financial system.

Instead of seeking a solution, Washington is searching for scapegoats. And in the present atmosphere, where psychic satisfaction trumps accountability or economic sense, the scapegoats aren’t limited to Wall Street. Two others are already in the shoot—Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd. The biggest one of all—President Barack Obama—has been positioned at the gate.

In February, Geithner was blamed for delaying the bank rescue plan when he decided that the blueprint on the drawing boards was defective. Evidently his critics believe that he should have pursued the financial version of the Rumsfeld approach—act first, think later. Then, he compounded his offense by failing to block the AIG bonuses—his critics aren’t quite sure how he should have—and he is accused of lying about what he knew and when. Alabama’s Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the Banking Committee, who hasn’t had a single constructive thought during the entire crisis, happily predicted that Geithner “won’t last long.”

Shelby is a paragon of responsibility compared to the House Republicans’ new shooting star, Eric Cantor, who offered the most demagogic and dangerous idea of all: stop the bailouts for AIG and perhaps other firms, thus risking another, even bigger, financial meltdown. As a member of a bankrupt party, it seems Cantor wishes a similar fate on the rest of us.

Rather than get bogged down in costly recriminations and cheap thrills, Geithner has announced a bank rescue plan that enlists private capital and is sensible and likely to be effective. He will soon shed his scapegoat status; sorry, Senator Shelby, Geithner will “last long.”

The road to redemption will be longer for Chris Dodd, who’s been blamed for doing the wrong thing because he tried to do the right thing. Just a month ago, he wrote an amendment into the stimulus bill that provided limits and oversight on Wall Street bonuses and golden parachutes. For his pains, Dodd was roundly attacked by financial executives who claimed his amendment was too restrictive. Later, an exemption for previously agreed payments was inserted into the legislation at the request of policy wonks and lawyers from the Administration. Everyone who’s ever worked on Capitol Hill knows how this works; legislation is vetted and altered in the last stages, usually by staff and often late at night. The change permitted AIG’s bonuses—although Dodd continued to be assailed by many on Wall Street.

Dodd is now scorned for being “bought” by campaign contributions from AIG executives. In the style of the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland—first the verdict, then the trial—he’s been pronounced guilty for facilitating the bonus abuse he tried to prevent. Dodd, for whom I was a strategist and media adviser in 1998, seems doomed to remain a scapegoat until the end of his 2010 re-election campaign. By then, the facts may at last catch up with the smears.

A third scapegoat headed for the shoot this week is Barack Obama. New York Times columnist Frank Rich, who often captures the deeper meaning of events, misfired this time, labeling the AIG episode Obama’s “Katrina moment.” The President’s offense was insufficient anger, compounded by his decision to rely on financial experts like Geithner and White House economic adviser Larry Summers. Is Obama instead supposed to call on Joe the Plumber?

Rich at least gave Obama credit for taking responsibility—“more than he needed to, given the disaster he inherited.” Other critics were not so measured. How dare Obama talk to Jay Leno in this time of economic distress—even though Obama used his “Tonight Show” appearance as a kind of fireside chat to explain his policies in clear and colloquial terms. How dare he laugh on “60 Minutes” when he ruefully noted the streams of conflicting advice that pour in everyday.

One of Obama’s greatest strengths, however, is that he keeps his cool. He’s calm and centered on the big issues. He defended Geithner even before the markets validated the Treasury Secretary as the 497-Point Man on Monday. The President knows, as he’s said, that he’ll be judged by “results.” And to achieve results, he’s willing to resist the distractions and expedient excesses of anger that could impede progress. If the Republicans were as mature, they might finally come to understand that politics has to stop at the edge of the financial cliff. And maybe the rest of us could decide that if Barack Obama can keep his cool, then we can keep ours.

The emphasis is mine.. I thought this was something that was really out of line. To compare Pres. Obama's handling of the AIG bonus fiasco to Bush's handling of Katrina?? No, I am sorry. Frank Rich was way out of line on that one. I agree with Bob. How could he even suggest something like that? How could anyone think that because Pres. Obama didn't get as angry as everyone might have wanted him to be that would be the same as ignoring a city drowning, playing on his ranch in Texas, eating birthday cake with McCain. Then flying over and finally watching a CD of the damage 5 days later and saying oh wow, it's bad huh.. That's what you think Pres. Obama has done with AIG??

Give. Me. A. Break.

Do you remember during the campaign.. One of the things everyone made the comment was that Pres. Obama was Mr. Cool.. He wasn't going to fly off the handle and be like McCain.. He was going to think before he acted.. He wouldn't do the GUT reactions like Bush did. That's why people liked him.. Now because he wasn't angry enough, this is his Katrina moment...

I reject that. Simply reject that.

I will hold off on my other thoughts for another post. I have said before how I feel about Tim Geithner, so there is no reason to post it again. I will just close it here. I hope I didn't step on any toes, but I just think Rich was over the line and Bob said it better than I ever could.

Michelle Bachmann Still Has Her Crazy On

Michelle Bachmann is still shining brightly in Congress for the people of Minnesota. I hope the idiots who re-elected her are proud of her. Geeze this woman just exemplifies stupid. In so many ways...

First there was this example of her brilliance... "I'm a foreign correspondent on enemy lines and I try to let everyone back here in Minnesota know exactly the nefarious activities that are taking place in Washington."

"I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax, because we need to fight back," said Bachmann. "Thomas Jefferson told us, having a revolution every now and then is a good thing. And the people - we the people - are going to have to fight back hard if we're not going to lose our country."

Of course, she now says she was speaking rhetorically. Yeah, like when she was on Hardball, and said Chris Matthews took her words out of context, and twisted them around. I heard what she said, it was on tape and no one took her out of context.. that woman is NUTS.. certifiable NUTS.. Now, she does this, in the hearings this morning in Congress asking Sec. Geithner and Chairman Bernanke questions and then getting schooled by Barney Frank.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Our President Can Write An Op-Ed to the World

the 44th President of the United States...Bara...Image by jmtimages via Flickr

A worldwide letter from our president. He wrote this letter and sent it to over 30 papers around the world, arguing for "the urgent need for global economic cooperation."

I just think this is wonderful that we have a president who reaches out. He is going to the G-20 next week in London and wanted to get this out there before he goes. His next step in the process is getting new regulations passed for banking and the stock market, so this kind of thing can't happen again.

According to the White House, the op-ed ran in the following papers:

1. Al Watan (Gulf States)
2. Arab Times (Gulf States)
3. Asharq Al Awsat (Arab-wide paper in Arabic)
4. The Australian (Australia)
5. Baltimore Sun (United States)
6. Bangkok Post (Thailand)
7. Chicago Tribune (United States)
8. Clarin (Argentina)
9. Corriere della Sera (Italy)
10. Die Welt (Germany)
11. El Pais (Madrid)
12. El Mercurio (Chile)
13. Eleftyropiea (Greece)
14. Estado de Sao Paulo (Brazil)
15. Gulf News (Gulf States)
16. The Hindustan Times/ The Hindu (India)
17. International Herald Tribune (London)
18. Kristeligt Dagblad (Denmark)
19. Le Monde (Paris)
20. Lidove Noviny (Czech)
21. Los Angeles Times (United States)
22. The News (Pakistan)
23. NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands)
24. Saudi Gazette (Saudi Arabia)
25. South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
26. Straits Times (Singapore)
27. Sunday Times (South Africa)
28. Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden)
29. Syndey Morning Herald (Australia)
30. WProst (Poland)
31. Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan)

A time for global action
By Barack Obama
Monday, March 23, 2009

WASHINGTON: We are living through a time of global economic challenges that cannot be met by half measures or the isolated efforts of any nation. Now, the leaders of the Group of 20 have a responsibility to take bold, comprehensive and coordinated action that not only jump-starts recovery, but also launches a new era of economic engagement to prevent a crisis like this from ever happening again.

No one can deny the urgency of action. A crisis in credit and confidence has swept across borders, with consequences for every corner of the world. For the first time in a generation, the global economy is contracting and trade is shrinking.

Trillions of dollars have been lost, banks have stopped lending, and tens of millions will lose their jobs across the globe. The prosperity of every nation has been endangered, along with the stability of governments and the survival of people in the most vulnerable parts of the world.

Once and for all, we have learned that the success of the American economy is inextricably linked to the global economy. There is no line between action that restores growth within our borders and action that supports it beyond.

If people in other countries cannot spend, markets dry up -- already we've seen the biggest drop in American exports in nearly four decades, which has led directly to American job losses. And if we continue to let financial institutions around the world act recklessly and irresponsibly, we will remain trapped in a cycle of bubble and bust. That is why the upcoming London Summit is directly relevant to our recovery at home.

My message is clear: The United States is ready to lead, and we call upon our partners to join us with a sense of urgency and common purpose. Much good work has been done, but much more remains.

Our leadership is grounded in a simple premise: We will act boldly to lift the American economy out of crisis and reform our regulatory structure, and these actions will be strengthened by complementary action abroad. Through our example, the United States can promote a global recovery and build confidence around the world; and if the London Summit helps galvanize collective action, we can forge a secure recovery, and future crises can be averted.

Our efforts must begin with swift action to stimulate growth. Already, the United States has passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- the most dramatic effort to jump-start job creation and lay a foundation for growth in a generation.

Other members of the G-20 have pursued fiscal stimulus as well, and these efforts should be robust and sustained until demand is restored. As we go forward, we should embrace a collective commitment to encourage open trade and investment, while resisting the protectionism that would deepen this crisis.

Second, we must restore the credit that businesses and consumers depend upon. At home, we are working aggressively to stabilize our financial system. This includes an honest assessment of the balance sheets of our major banks, and will lead directly to lending that can help Americans purchase goods, stay in their homes and grow their businesses.

This must continue to be amplified by the actions of our G-20 partners. Together, we can embrace a common framework that insists upon transparency, accountability and a focus on restoring the flow of credit that is the lifeblood of a growing global economy. And the G-20, together with multilateral institutions, can provide trade finance to help lift up exports and create jobs.

Third, we have an economic, security and moral obligation to extend a hand to countries and people who face the greatest risk. If we turn our backs on them, the suffering caused by this crisis will be enlarged, and our own recovery will be delayed because markets for our goods will shrink further and more American jobs will be lost.

The G-20 should quickly deploy resources to stabilize emerging markets, substantially boost the emergency capacity of the International Monetary Fund and help regional development banks accelerate lending. Meanwhile, America will support new and meaningful investments in food security that can help the poorest weather the difficult days that will come.

While these actions can help get us out of crisis, we cannot settle for a return to the status quo. We must put an end to the reckless speculation and spending beyond our means; to the bad credit, over-leveraged banks and absence of oversight that condemns us to bubbles that inevitably bust.

Only coordinated international action can prevent the irresponsible risk-taking that caused this crisis. That is why I am committed to seizing this opportunity to advance comprehensive reforms of our regulatory and supervisory framework.

All of our financial institutions -- on Wall Street and around the globe -- need strong oversight and common sense rules of the road. All markets should have standards for stability and a mechanism for disclosure. A strong framework of capital requirements should protect against future crises. We must crack down on offshore tax havens and money laundering.

Rigorous transparency and accountability must check abuse, and the days of out-of-control compensation must end. Instead of patchwork efforts that enable a race to the bottom, we must provide the clear incentives for good behavior that foster a race to the top.

I know that America bears our share of responsibility for the mess that we all face. But I also know that we need not choose between a chaotic and unforgiving capitalism and an oppressive government-run economy. That is a false choice that will not serve our people or any people.

This G-20 meeting provides a forum for a new kind of global economic cooperation. Now is the time to work together to restore the sustained growth that can only come from open and stable markets that harness innovation, support entrepreneurship and advance opportunity.

The nations of the world have a stake in one another. The United States is ready to join a global effort on behalf of new jobs and sustainable growth. Together, we can learn the lessons of this crisis, and forge a prosperity that is enduring and secure for the 21st century.

Barack Obama is president of the United States. A Global Viewpoint article distributed by Tribune Media Services.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, March 22, 2009

ST. Jing-Tao-Wow Day FAQ's

Nate from That's Right Nate has up a new post which lists everything you want to know about St. Jing-Tao-Wow Day but were afraid to ask.

So, in order to find out all you need to know, just head over to That's Right Nate. You can find out everything you need to know, and won't have to bother checking out Lou Dobbs to see what is happening with this newest holiday.

We all know how busy Lou is, fear mongering everyone about the threat we face from everyone who has immigrated to our wonderful country through the years. So, there is no need to bother him, when you can check things out with Nate.

The new holiday is March 31, 2009 so you don't have a lot of time to plan it. It is for everyone of any ethnicity, so you should really get over there soon, so you can make your plans, buy your food and send out your invitations to your St. Jing-Tao-Wow Day Party.

Let me know if you have any other questions that aren't answered by Nate and I will try my best to help you. I hope you have fun and enjoy your new holiday. If this works out, we will all try to get this recognised by the government and then we can have another day off from work.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Debbie Wasserman Schulz is One Tough Lady, We Need To Watch Her

Debbie Wasserman Schultz - Faces of America in...Image by veni markovski via Flickr

Debbie Wasserman Schulz is one lady we really need to watch, I have said this before and I will say it again, she is tough, smart, and is a powerhouse. Today she revealed that for the last year she has been battling breast cancer, all the while campaigning first for Hillary Clinton, then for Barack Obama. She made numerous TeeVee appearances, rally appearances and still took care of her congressional duties, 3 children and her surgeries.

From the Miami Herald comes this story today.

I wanted to be able to not just stand up and say, `I'm a breast cancer survivor.' . . . I wanted to find a gap and try to fill it,'' said Wasserman Schultz, 42.

In the past year, she underwent seven major surgeries, including a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, while balancing motherhood, Congress and her roles as a chief fundraiser for House Democrats and a political surrogate, first for Hillary Clinton and then for Barack Obama.

''I had a lot going on last year,'' she said with a laugh, sitting in the living room of the Capitol Hill town house she shares with two other members of Congress when she's in Washington. ``I'm a very focused, methodical person, and I wasn't going to let this beat me. I wasn't going to let it interfere with my life.''

Boy, I'll say she had a lot going on, and I don't think anyone ever had a clue. She was such a powerful voice for first Hillary and then Barack Obama. I remember seeing her on Hardball and at other times and she always was on message and had her arguments down pat.

She said she decided to keep her cancer private, concerned mostly that her young children (then 8-year-old twins and a 4-year-old daughter) would worry, particularly with a mother who was also constantly on the go. They knew she was undergoing surgery, but she didn't tell them the cause.

'I knew from my doctors that if I went through their recommended course of treatment that I would get through it and I'd be fine, that I could come out the other side and confidently tell my children, `Mommy's fine,' '' she said. She planned to tell them Saturday night.

She scheduled her treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., during congressional recesses so she wouldn't miss votes in Congress.

Wasserman Shultz is one of the most influential Democratic House members from Florida. She was easily re-elected to her third term in November and is vice chair of the Democratic National Committee.

She said that keeping her illness to a small circle of family members and friends allowed her to ''maintain control'' over a situation that was otherwise out of control.

''I didn't want it to define me,'' she said. 'I didn't want when you wrote a story about me, I would become `Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is battling breast cancer.' I didn't want that to be my name because I knew I was going to be fine.

That sure says a lot about her to me. The article also says because she was at risk for Ovarian cancer she also had her ovaries removed. Like I said what a powerhouse and what a strong lady. To do all this and still run for re-election, be a voice for others, and collect money for the Democratic party, do her congressional duties, be a wife, and a mother of 3 young children. WOW..

These are the kind of leaders we need to keep around. The ones who really do put their Country and other first and not just as a slogan as we see so many times.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bill Maher Real Time March 20, 2009

Bill Maher was on fire last night... I normally just post the New Rules.. but I am posting more today. This Week's Guests, Madeleine Albright, fmr. US Secretary of State, Keith Olbermann, political commentator, Kerry Washington, actor, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Andrew Ross Sorkin, The New York Times. Very well rounded panel and very good discussion of everything. That's why I decided to post the entire show.

I think it has been so long since we have had a truly progressive agenda in the White House, we as a people have really forgotten what it looked like and that's why we have forgotten how to act. Bernie Sanders is a good one to listen to for a reality check. He is behind Pres. Obama 100% it sounds like to me and it might be we should examine some of ourselves a little and decide what we are going to do. Which side of that fence are you really on?

The New Rules are in this section and the next one. They are good this week, better than last week.

New Rules continue in here, Also in this "Overtime" section is a discussion by everyone which is very good.

The Presidents Weekly Address March 21, 2009

Here is our President. Talking about his budget proposals in a grown up way. I still feel like he is the man for the job. I sure wouldn't want anyone else in there right now.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Stephen Colbert Takes on Rep. Bill Posey,

Rep. Bill Posey, (R, FL) introduced a bill into Congress last week to force candidates to produce their birth certificates when filing for a run for the office of president. Stephen Colbert decides to challenge Bill Posey and his DNA.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Bill Posey Alligator Rumors
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMark Sanford

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, featuring The President of the USA

The Tonight Show with the President of the United States. Oh, I think Garth Brooks was there too...lol

Something different. But Beautiful I think

Just something a friend sent me and I wanted to share it. Really neat video of deer in Texas. What a way to start your day.

Deer For Breakfast In Texas - More bloopers are a click away

Put Down The Pitch Forks says Steven Pearlstein in WaPo OpEd

Steven Pearlstein writes in todays Washington Post about the AIG anger sweeping the country and DC and how we need to channel it into something productive. He also points out we need to take some of the blame on ourselves.

I think he has a good point. We all share in this. No, we didn't take the bonuses. But some of us did, take the mortgages AIG was doling out. I know a lot of these people say they were duped, but come on, if you go to buy a house worth $500,000 and you only make $30,000 you know you can't afford it.

Here is what he had to say:

We're angry. We're frustrated. We feel cheated and abused. We're not going to take it anymore.

But then again, we don't have much choice, do we? Sure, we can demand that a few more heads roll on Wall Street, or at the Treasury, or that a few hundred million are clawed back from financiers who never deserved it. But the reality is that no matter what we do now, tens of trillions of dollars in wealth have been lost. All that's left is simply an elaborate exercise in settling up the accounts.

At the end of the day, the thing to get outraged about is not the $440 million in bonuses at AIG or the $10 million that Citigroup is spending to redesign its shrunken executive suite. These may seem like princely sums, but they are almost insignificant compared with the real outrage: the hundreds of billion dollars of taxpayer funds that have been put at risk to keep AIG and Citi from failing and taking the whole financial system down with them. Let's keep our attention on the elephant rather than the pimples on its behind.

I realize that collective expressions of public anger can serve a useful purpose. At times like these, it feels good and is a way for a political system to let off some steam before a more dangerous explosion occurs. More importantly, it builds political momentum for sweeping reform of the regulatory apparatus while scaring the bejeezus out of people on Wall Street, who will now think long and hard the next time they get the urge to take excessive risks with other people's money.

But there's a danger in letting this outrage get to the point that it undermines the effort to contain the financial crisis. And with Congress now rushing to pass legislation taxing away the bonuses of every banker at every bank or financial institution that takes government money, that point seems to have been reached.

A few things to keep in mind.

First, as I've said in the past, this isn't about fairness. There's nothing remotely fair about using taxpayer money to rescue a free-market financial system from the mistakes of the financiers. But the reality is that we can punish the bankers or we can save the banking system, but we can't do both at the same time.

Nor is it fair, as The Great Santelli has declared on CNBC, that homeowners who have paid their bills and have been careful not to take on too much credit are now being asked to provide relief to homeowners who have not. Unfortunately, the price of righteous indignation is a wave of foreclosures, a further decline in home values and billions of dollars of additional loan losses at banks that are already on government life support. Given the financial and economic hits they have already taken, that's a price that most "innocent" homeowners and taxpayers would probably prefer not to pay.

During a financial crisis, fairness is a luxury we cannot afford. During the 1930s, bankers and financiers lost everything, but the outcome -- a decade-long depression -- was hardly fair to the ordinary American. The key question is not whether something is fair, but whether it helps get us through this mess faster and at a lower cost.

At the moment, the Treasury is working (and working and working) on ways to entice private capital back into the banking and shadow-banking system by offering government financing and guarantees against losses. Every dollar of private capital that can be attracted back into the system is a dollar that the Treasury won't have to borrow or the Federal Reserve won't have to print. And only with the return of private capital will the government be able to get back the rescue money it has committed.

But how eager do you think private equity and hedge funds will be to invest those billions of dollars if they fear that their participation will subject them to front-page accusations, congressional inquiries and public outrage over how much they might be paying for bonuses or employee travel or office decoration? Will they participate if they think that Congress, in a moment of populist pique, will try to tax back their profits if they earn more than originally expected?

As the financiers see it, there's a big difference between the government that sets tough terms for participation in its financial rescue programs and a government that is a fickle and unreliable partner, that tries to micromanage their businesses and changes the rules of the game with every zig and zag of public opinion. That may be an exaggerated view, but it is the financiers' view and one we need to be mindful of, since at this point we need their money and cooperation as much as they need ours.

A final point on outrage: We need to save some of it for ourselves. While it was Wall Street that got rich by peddling new ways for Americans to live beyond their means, the decision to do so was ours. It was we who ran up the credit card bills, we who drew down the equity in our homes and we who refused to tax ourselves for the government services we demanded. Wall Street bankers may have been the pushers, but it was we Americans who became addicted to the easy credit.

Enhanced by Zemanta

A New Holiday?? Let's Help Celebrate St. Jing Tao Wow Day

In tribute to Lou Dobbs and all his wing nuttiness, Nate of That's Right Nate has announced a new holiday to be celebrated on March 31, 2009. It is to be called Saint Jing-Tao-Wow Day and will honor all groups and immigrants.

Here is what Nate said on the 18th to start this drive to bring this holiday drive:

A famous Chinese philosopher once said, “Chee chung chee chung chee chung. Cho Ching Chung Chee”. An even more famous American philosopher by the name of Lou Dobbs said only Tuesday, “”And by the way, I’ve got to wish to you, each and every one, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I do that, and I have to be honest with you, despite my fervent anti-ethnic holiday position. That’s right! I’m against St. Patrick’s Day. I’m against St. Columbus Day. Saint Joseph’s Day. I’m against all of those things. Is there, by the way, is there a Jewish, a Jewish ethnic holiday? Is there one? No? Okay. The Jews have disappointed me. I mean, is there a St. Mauritius? No? A Belize? I don’t know. We gotta have — there’s gotta be something else going on here! How about an Asian ethnic holiday? Is there one? You know, a Saint-Jing- Tao- Wow? Chinese New Year? All right, we can do that … I mean, what is with all of these ethnic holidays? I mean how about an American Day? How about were all the same kind of day?”

I was thinking that the 4th of July kind of celebrated Americans as does Thanksgiving, but not really our sameness. It occurred to me that what unites all of us as a country are ethnic stereotypes and the people who have propagated them out of fear that we would mess up the great little country they had hear. OK, The Indians may have been right, but otherwise from the 18th Century Germans in Pennsylvania to the Mexicans of today, this melting pot has always been just one more ingredient away from going bad so on March 31st let’s all celebrate the patron saint of ethnic and racial stereotyping Saint Jing-Tao-Wow.

Now, everybody can keep this day in their heart with their own traditions. I think celebrating the efforts of people like Lou Dobbs to keep this country pure is a great start, but let’s not stop there. Let’s really celebrate those sterotypes. I plan on opressing minorities and then dancing really poorly. If you’re Irish why not polish off a case of beer or have unprotected sex. Germans do something really efficiently and without humor. African-Americans–geez, take your pick. You guys are lucky you get so many. You Swedes, uhm I’ll get back to you.

When you decide how you plan to celebrate Saint Jing-Tao-Wow day proudly post it in the comments section. If you have your own blog and want to advance this holiday then post and we’ll give you some linky love. Remember, we’re doing this for Lou Dobbs. Let’s go out there and celebrate our stereotypes March 31st. Spread the word.

Enhanced by Zemanta