Saturday, December 27, 2008

Search for the "First Dog" (Video)

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YouTube's Top 10 Videos, with clocking in at #9 for "Yes We Can" was another factor in the Obama Campaign, one of those "outside forces" that drove people to view his video over 14 million times. Paring the music and the incredible speech Obama gave after losing in New Hampshire, hardened Obama Supporters to run all the way to the end. YES WE DID. AND YES, WE WON. for real.

View the top ten list here.

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(Updated) Even the Chariman of the RNC is shocked at its member "racist tone"

"I am shocked and appalled that anyone would think this is appropriate as it clearly does not move us in the right direction."


Exactly. It does not move the GOP, Republicans in the right direction, AT ALL. ( and if you don't know what this is about, here.)

We already saw this through the racist antic of Rush Limbaugh. We already saw hate fest at the Palin rallies and even saw the "B" girl lie to state Obama Supporters attacked her. So, the GOP and Republicans continue to proceed, in lock step with a racist CD that is supposed to be funny.

Here are the hit tracks from the CD, that was sent out to RNC members:

Saltsman, a personal friend of conservative satirist Paul Shanklin, sent a 41-track CD along with a note to national committee members...

...The CD, called "We Hate the USA," lampoons liberals with such songs as "John Edwards' Poverty Tour," "Wright place, wrong pastor," "Love Client #9," "Ivory and Ebony" and "The Star Spanglish banner."

In other words, no ethnic group is spared by the mockery. Isn't this just lovely, mocking the Hispanic Group, one that Republicans need for the west and Florida, but they lost disastrously this cycle. Keep it up, you will surely keep winning with good old GOPers like this around.

Finally, to the GOP, Republicans if the American Public wanted all the above, WE WOULD HAVE VOTED FOR IT.


Now Ken Blackwell, former SoS of Ohio who ran against Strickland in 2006 and was the first race to be called because he lost that badly, says this:
"Unfortunately, there is hypersensitivity in the press regarding matters of race. This is in large measure due to President-Elect Obama being the first African-American elected president," said Blackwell, who would be the first black RNC Chairman, in a statement forwarded to Politico by an aide. "I don't think any of the concerns that have been expressed in the media about any of the other candidates for RNC chairman should disqualify them. When looked at in the proper context, these concerns are minimal. All of my competitors for this leadership post are fine people."


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Electricity is back on the Island of Oahu in Hawaii

Yes, Barack Obama lost power Friday night and it was restored by Saturday morning. Why is this news? Because he is PEOTUS (President-Elect of the United States) and he is on the island.

A thunderstorm knocked out power across Oahu island Friday night, crippling the island of 900,000 people and interrupting the vacations of thousands of tourists, including President-elect Barack Obama.

Electrical crews were working Saturday morning to restore power in Hawaii's most populous island, and the Honolulu mayor dispatched generators to the Kailua vacation estate where the Obama family is staying.

A cause of the outage has not been determined. The initial power outage occurred after several strikes of lightning about 6:30 p.m. Friday. Shortly thereafter, street lights outside Obama's home went dark and it appeared that his home did not have power.

On Friday night, Honolulu Mayor Rufi Hanneman sent generators and offered to send additional officers to beef up security outside the Obama compound, a spokesman for the mayor, Bill Brennan, told the Associated Press. But Obama declined the offer of added protection.

"Mr. Obama said thank you, but no, he and his family were just fine... and we're going to bed," Brennan told the wire service.

Nothing like back up generators, ask the folks in Florida who get hit with hurricanes.

And I still think we go the coolest PEOTUS, coming into office.


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Friday, December 26, 2008

Obama out with his girls in Hawaii (Pictures)

Barack Obama ditched the press pool, left with daughters and friends to a water park. I don't blame him, some time with his kids and friends MUST BE WITHOUT THE MEDIA, but don't worry he picked the press pool back up at lunchtime.

President-elect Barack Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, and friends at 1:55 p.m. entered the Koko Marina Center in Hawaii Kai near Honolulu for a sandwich and shave ice.

Obama entered Koko Marina Paradise Deli and said, "So, what are we going to get?" "Let me get a tuna sandwich," Obama said, asking for it on 12-grain bread, tomatoes and no mayo.

"Actually, can you melt cheese on that?" he asked. "Can you make like a tuna melt with cheddar cheese?"

Obama then approached the press pool to say hello. He placed his shoulder on this reporter, who was scribbling notes, and said, "You don't really need to write all that down."

Then Obama walked with Sasha, who was wearing a purple, yellow and white dress, to Kokonuts Shave Ice & Snacks. There were dozens of onlookers swarming the crowded parking lot snapping pictures and saying hello. Obama waved and said "Hi, Merry Christmas."

Then after the water park it was lunch and shaved ice.

For other Obama in Hawaii Pictures, look to the right and click pictures under Labels.

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Was 2008 an extraordinary year?

Looking forward, I think history will say "it was".....

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75% of Americans GLAD Bush is DONE.....

One word: AMEN.

A new national poll suggests that three out of four Americans feel President Bush's departure from office is coming not a moment too soon.

Seventy-five percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Friday said they're glad Bush is going; 23 percent indicated they'll miss him.

"Earlier this year, Bush scored some of the lowest presidential approval ratings we've seen in half a century, so it's understandable that the public is eager for a new president to step in," said Keating Holland, CNN polling director.

CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider added, "As President Bush prepares to leave office, the American public has a parting thought: Good riddance. At least that's the way three-quarters feel."

Double: AMEN

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Racist RNC, if you please....

A candidate running for the RNC Chair sent out a CD with the song, "Barack, The Magic Negro".

This is not only outrageous, but tasteless to the core. No wonder the GOP, Republicans are branded, "The Good Old "WHITE" Boys Club." They still haven't figured it out. If the American Public wanted this, which we saw some in the general election, they would have VOTED FOR IT.

If one of the Republican Party's challenges is how to effectively oppose the first black president without coming off as racist, one of the candidates for RNC chair is hardly off to a good start -- he is now distributing a CD that includes a racially-charged song called "Barack, The Magic Negro."

Chip Saltsman, the former campaign manager for Mike Huckabee, has distributed a goodie bag to committee members that includes a CD by Paul Shanklin, a writer of right-wing parody tunes who is often featured on Rush Limbaugh. The "Magic Negro" track, which first gathered controversy in the Spring of 2007, featured Shanklin portraying Al Sharpton as an Amos & Andy stereotype, ridiculing white liberals who support Obama.

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Blago's Attorney wants subpoenas issued to Obama's Staff (Video)

I agree, WHATEVER...this ain't happening....

In a move intended to force public testimony from President-elect Barack Obama's inner circle, a lawyer for Gov. Rod Blagojevich has asked the legislative panel considering impeachment of the governor to subpoena more than a dozen witnesses, including Obama's incoming chief of staff.

State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie told The Associated Press on Thursday that the House committee received a letter from Blagojevich attorney Ed Genson asking it to subpoena Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett and more than a dozen others, including Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Currie, the head of the committee, said she didn't yet know what the committee's response to Genson's request would be.

However, she noted that the U.S. Attorney's office has already denied the panel's request to interview a list of people named in the criminal complaint against Blagojevich.

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Well, it wasn't a "Ho-Ho-Ho" for Retailers

In fact it is, "Can we survive 2009?"

for real.

"The last week of December represents about 14 percent of Christmas sales," said C. Britt Beemer, chairman of America's Research Group. "You can't save a season with only one-seventh of the sales to go."

The holiday season — which typically accounts for 30 percent to 50 percent of a retailer's annual total sales — has been less than jolly for most retailers. Job cuts, portfolio losses and other economic woes have convinced consumers to cut back on their spending. Meanwhile, strong winter storms during the holiday season kept some would-be shoppers at home.

According to preliminary data from SpendingPulse — a division of MasterCard Advisors that tracks total sales paid for by credit card, checks and cash — retail sales fell between 5.5 percent and 8 percent during the holiday season compared with last year. Excluding auto and gas sales, they fell 2 percent to 4 percent, according to SpendingPulse.

Sales of women's clothing dropped nearly 23 percent while men's clothing sales slipped more than 14 percent. Footwear sales fell 13.5 percent. Sales of electronics and appliances fell even more drastically, dropping almost 27 percent.

We have lived HIGH ON THE HOG, too long. It is over.

2009 is not going to be pretty and if you have a job, you better hope to keep it. If you don't, I hope you find one. It will be, no, is like that.

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Obama Most Admired American

Yes, by a poll....

President-elect Barack Obama has replaced US President George W. Bush as the most admired man in America, according to a poll published Friday in the USA Today newspaper.

One-third of the 1,008 respondents surveyed named Obama as their first or second choice, with Bush falling to a distant second after seven years as the country's most-admired man.

Thirty-two percent of respondents chose Obama against five percent for Bush. It was the first time a president-elect topped the poll since Dwight Eisenhower in 1952.

The poll was conducted over telephone between December 12 and 14.

Bush had to come tumbling down, let's face it, history will write his epitaph and it will be "one of the worst presidents ever", guranteed.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays....Video Music for You

It is that time of year. For us to be thankful for our blessings and to pray that next year is better for many.

icebergslim is going to chill this Xmas Eve and will work a food bank tomorrow morning. Enjoy this holiday season and I wish you and yours a blessed New Year's around the corner.


Nat, if you please....

The first time "White Christmas" was sung by Bing in the movie, "Holiday Inn" ...............

Judy, I still miss you....................

The overlooked, Dean Martin..................

The misunderstood genius of Donnie Hathaway.................

Thanks to rikyrah @ JJP

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Obama taking care of family and friends throughout the Inauguration

Keepin' that Chi-Town hospitality...this is classy...

From: Office of the President-elect
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2008
Subject: Greetings from the Office of the President-elect

Dear XXXX,

In just 32 days, Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. At the Presidential Inaugural Committee, we are quickly working to organize the most inclusive and accessible inauguration ever.

As we prepare for this historic event, the Obamas are especially looking forward to sharing this occasion with their closest friends and family. The Office of the President-elect is eager to assist each of you with your arrangements throughout the inauguration.

With the inauguration just over a month away, we wanted to send a quick email to introduce ourselves and let you know that more information will be coming shortly. We know that you are eager to finalize your plans; rest assured that we are working hard to confirm the events and logistics.

We understand that you are anxious to learn about all of the events surrounding the inauguration and secure your tickets to various events. A representative from the Office of the President-elect will be in touch with you individually within the next week regarding your specific arrangements.

We look forward to working with you and will be in touch shortly.


Lisa Kohnke
Office of the President-elect
Presidential Inaugural Committee


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The Obamas Say "Farewell" to Toot (Pictures)

The Obama Family said farewell to their matriarch, Madelyn Dunham. Goodbye, Toot.

President-elect Barack Obama gathered with family and friends Tuesday for a private memorial service for the grandmother who helped raise him.

Madelyn Payne Dunham, known to her friends as Toot, died Nov. 2, two days before Obama won the election. She was 86.

Obama did not speak to reporters at the small home that had been converted into the First Unitarian Church in the neighborhood of Nuuanu.

Aides said Obama's half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, and her husband, Konrad Ng, also were present.

After the ceremony, Obama drove to cliffs east of Honolulu. He and about 20 members of his family climbed over a stone wall and onto rocky ledges to scatter Dunham's ashes at Lanai Lookout.

Obama earlier this year left flowers at the same cliffs in memory of his mother.

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The Obamas and Bidens Dancing Through 10 Balls on Inaugural Night

Well, the news is slowly creeping out. No wonder Barack and Michelle are trying to stay fit, 10 balls in one night!!! Is this a record? No, Bill and Hillary danced through 14 balls in 1997.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee -- trumpets, please! -- is hosting 10 official balls on the night of Jan. 20.

These, ladies and gentlemen, are the only parties where Barack Obama, Joe Biden and their wives are guaranteed to appear, albeit for a quick wave and onstage dance.

Six of the balls will be held at the glamorous, escalator-studded Washington Convention Center. The other four will be at the National Building Museum, Union Station, the Washington Hilton Hotel and the D.C. Armory. A committee spokesman confirmed the locations last night.

So, expect them to attend the Illinois Ball and the Delaware Ball. Yes, those two states are a lock, everything else will be rolled out as the JCCIC confirms everything.


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Barack Obama's Weekly Radio Address (Video and Transcript)

Note: This is his holiday address, released early.


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Spending down, Unemployment and Lack of Jobs up

Well, the real band aid is finally off the wound and it is oozing puss. No peroxide can cure this pain, anytime soon.

I don't know about you, but my spending has been cut in half for Christmas. Anything bought in the icebergslim house is by CASH ONLY, if I can not pay for it that way, it is not getting purchased.

Several reports released Wednesday provided more evidence that consumers are cutting back on spending and companies are eliminating jobs in the face of a deepening recession.

Consumers cut spending for a fifth straight month in November and their incomes shrank, according to a government report that pointed to deepening recessionary pressures.

The Commerce Department said spending fell by 0.6 percent after falling even more steeply by 1 percent in October. Incomes contracted by 0.2 percent after a slight 0.1 percent gain in October, reflecting the strain that rising unemployment is putting on Americans' ability to spend.

I have a friend who lost her job and filed for unemployment. She said it took her 4 hours to file on the phone, since she opened her claim on line. I went to Illinois Unemployment page and they have extended the hours to file your bi-weekly claim.

That tells me several things, that unemployment has risen in Illinois and that so many are filing claims that they must extend the hours to accommodate the in flux of phone calls.

The MSM and more so the Bush Administration have tap danced around how bad things are for more than a solid year, even with solid evidence in their faces. The economists and Bush Administration has finally said the "R" word, for recession, but we already KNEW THIS. Let's try for the "D" word for Depression.

Yes, depression for the job loss in this country. It is staggering. More than half a million a month and IT.IS.CLIMBING. This is the real fear of the forthcoming Obama Administration, if they can not start to turn these numbers around in the next couple of years, the goodwill for this administration will be very strained. (This is why the Obama Stimulus package must be passed through congress, but that is another story I will write about later) And every single person who has a job, should be concerned about the monthly job loss in this country, because it can eventually affect you.
Meanwhile, the government says new claims for unemployment benefits increased more than expected last week as layoffs spread throughout the economy.

The Labor Department says initial requests for jobless benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 586,000 in the week ended Dec. 20, from an upwardly revised figure of 556,000 the previous week. That's more than the 560,000 economists had expected.

The number of initial claims is the highest since November 1982, though the work force has grown by about half since then.

Since people are watching the dollar, those with jobs trying are trying to pay off any unnecessary debt, like credit cards, etc., this means that any big ticket items like automobiles are just not being purchased at all.

We have some hard times coming and there are folks out there who are really in financial despair. Bush and Cheney can do all the goodbye tours they want, but in the end there is too much evidence to attempt or try to change the history these two atrocious individuals wrote. They had a chance and they failed. It is as simple as that and nothing they do or say at this point can change it. The wars, the economy, the incompetence, Katrina, illegal wiretapping, job loss, home mortgage mess, credit crunch, politicizing the Justice Department, Valarie Plame scandal, US Attorney scandal, bailout money, etc., all happened on their watch and their is NOTHING that they can say or do to change the mess they created internationally and domestically.

I have had my share of presidents and their administrations that I did not care about, but Bush and Cheney have taken loathing a president and their administration to new heights. I just cannot WAIT for both men to leave and I NEVER want to see or hear from them again for as long as I live.

That is the God's Honest truth.


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The Independent, Middle Shifted Away from the Republicans in 2008 (Video)

Interesting, but we knew this, especially after the Palin pick.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Obama and the babies (photo)

Beautiful photo mirage. h/t jedreport

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All about the Obamas in Hawaii (Video)

At least he is "Fit for Office"

I agree, the kids should be OFF LIMITS. Secret Service needs to tighten it up.

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Inauguration Seating Map

h/t DemConWatch

Full View of Map

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Madoff Investor dies, by possible suicide after losing 1.4 billion

This is sad, but I think it will not be the only story like this.

The total shock of what Bernie Madoff did has had a roller ball effect. This effect is not just for the rich, but many middle class who invested but did not know their whole life savings was with Madoff, many charities and non-profit organizations are closing their doors due lack of funds from philanthropists and because Madoff wiped out many of these charitable organizations.

If anyone out there thinks Bernie Madoff was the only one, think again. As I stated when Indy-Mac went down, there were more banks ready to collapse, the same thing with the Madoff scandal. He was not the only one running a ponzi scheme.

French money manager Thierry de la Villehuchet died of a likely suicide in his New York office early Tuesday morning. His death has been confirmed by the medical examiner. He had cuts on his arms, blood everywhere and sleeping pills nearby, detailed below.

Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet was found sitting at his desk at about 8 a.m. with both wrists slashed, New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said. A box cutter was found on the floor along with a bottle of sleeping pills on his desk. No suicide note was found...

Read more, here.

Obama Team names more National Security Staff

No surprise.

Today, President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden announced the nomination of key members of their national security team, including James B. Steinberg for Deputy Secretary of State, and Jacob Lew for Deputy Secretary of State, and the appointment of Thomas E. Donilon as Deputy National Security Advisor and Antony “Tony” Blinken as National Security Advisor to the Vice President.

President-elect Obama said, “The team that we have assembled is uniquely suited to meet the great global challenges facing us today. They join a strong team of leading experts and accomplished managers and I look forward to working with them in the years ahead.”

Vice President-elect Biden said “Tony Blinken has been my most trusted advisor on the most important issues we’ve faced in the areas of national security and international affairs over the past six years. His broad experience in foreign policy and his sound judgment will be invaluable to me and to the President-elect in addressing the challenges ahead.”

More information, bios here.

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Obama Report on Blagojevich: "Much to do about nothing"

Well, the report is out. And it is much to do about NOTHING.

What caught my eye is that Obama was interviewed by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and heard the tapes. If anyone on his team did anything inappropriate, that person would be gone by now, so this exonerates everyone, as Obama indicated all this time. In other words, it shuts down the media and rabid right, because there is nothing there.

Also, Obama never spoke with Blagojevich on the phone AT ALL. Obama as everyone else in Illinois knew that Blagojevich was under investigation by the feds, so what is the use talking to Blagojevich on the phone? Blago is pure political poison.

Rahm Emanuel spoke twice with Blagojevich to give him heads up that he accepted the job, Chief of Staff for President-Elect Obama, to discuss names for his seat in his district and gave some names to recommend for Obama's senate seat, including Valerie Jarrett. Also, found out it was true, as Obama stated, that he wanted Jarrett in the White House and she withdrew her name. Emmanuel also spoke to Blagojevich's Chief of Staff, John Harris several times. The conversations were about Obama's senate seat, and Emanuel had the authorization of Obama to conduct these conversations. Emanuel released four names that Obama considered qualified for his seat, in one conversation: Dan Hynes, Tammy Duckworth, Jan Schakowsky and Jesse Jackson, Jr. (Remember the JJJ not on Obama's list? Well, we know how rumors start and how rumors end up being wrong) In another conversation with Harris additional names came up: Lisa Madigan, Cheryle Jackson.

Lastly, the only thing that could happen to start a media frenzy is if anything was omitted by the Obama Team, and I doubt this very much. Remember, it was Fitzgerald who asked the Obama Team to hold off from releasing this report, so what Obama knows then Fitzgerald know. Obama and Emanuel are on vacation, Obama in Hawaii and Emanuel in Africa, if this was so pressing and dire wouldn't there be a sense of urgency here?

This "what did he know, when did he know it" is over for the press, time to move along.

Transcript of Conference Call with Craig, Gibbs
Huffington Post
Read full report, here.

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More Barack Obama and Michelle Obama Staff Picks

More names rolling out....

Today, President-elect Barack Obama announced several key additions to his White House staff including Cassandra Butts, Deputy White House Counsel; Elizabeth Sears Smith, Deputy Cabinet Secretary; Shawn Maher, Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs for the United States Senate; Dan Turton, Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs for the United States House; Camille Johnston, Director of Communications for Michelle Obama; Katie McCormick Lelyveld, Press Secretary for Michelle Obama and Semonti Mustaphi, Deputy Press Secretary for Michelle Obama.

Get bios and more information, here.

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Bah Humbug, Shoplifting is UP, while jobs are DOWN

I have law enforcement in my family and have some close friends who are the 5.0, Po-Pos, the Law, etc.

Another conversation this weekend with family members was, be careful while out shopping, better yet, do it on line because crime is up.

Yeah, crime is up, while folks don't have a job, losing homes, unemployment has expired, children are hungry, yeah, crime is up.

Recently laid off from a job building trailers in Elkhart, Ind., Mr. Johnson came up a dollar short at Martin’s Supermarket last month when he went to buy a $4.99 bottle of sleep medication. So, “for some stupid reason,” he tried to shoplift it and was immediately arrested.

“I was desperate, I guess,” said Mr. Johnson, 25, who said he had never been arrested before. As the economy has weakened, shoplifting has increased, and retail security experts say the problem has grown worse this holiday season. Shoplifters are taking everything from compact discs and baby formula to gift cards and designer clothing.

Buying sleep medication, why? Because when you don't have a job, no money, you are depressed and will do anything. Some people won't go to the levels as stealing a bottle of $4.99 sleep medication, but others will either contemplate it or will do as Mr. Johnson did.
Much of the increase has come from first-time offenders like Mr. Johnson making rash decisions in a pinch, the authorities say.

You would think that the police force would be the most secure job out there, think again.
“More people are desperate economically, retailers are operating with leaner staffs and police forces are cutting back or being told to deprioritize shoplifting calls,” said Paul Jones, the vice president of asset protection for the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

The problem, he said, could be particularly acute this December, “the month of the year when shoplifting always goes way up.”

Two of the largest retail associations say that more than 80 percent of their members are reporting sharp increases in shoplifting, according to surveys conducted in the last two months.

As bad as this is, it will get worse. There is a lot of bah-humbug this year, and it starts with lack of jobs in this country. Until that is fixed, until jobs are stopped being shipped out of this country for two bucks an hour and a bag of rice, the retail industry will end up being another segment waiting for a welfare check by the government.

Why not!!! The government is busy giving out bailout checks to just about any industry that shows up, why not the retailers??? These folks are getting more consideration than the average american worker, so why not!!!

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morning joe: Banks won't tell how bailout money was spent (video)

In other words, F and U, to answering any questions on how the money was spent or NOT spent. Unbelievable. Congress is equally to blame for just forking over money to these institutions with NO OVERSIGHT on how the money was spent. These institutions should not get ONE MORE PENNY of the remaining 350B of the TARP funds. Just, unbelievable.

with Bob Herbert of the New York Times

with Chuck Todd and Carlos Watson

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Obama to take Oath of Office on same bible as Abraham Lincoln

This is classy.

Barack Obama will be sworn into office with the same Bible that Abraham Lincoln used for his first inauguration in 1861.

The move further extends the parallels that Mr. Obama has drawn with Lincoln since he announced his candidacy for president in February 2007 in Springfield, Ill.

I know kumbaya sounds corny, but he is our kumbaya president. He does not like drama, fighting, in-fighting, etc. He is fine with disagreeing, but looks for common ground.
This will be the first time an incoming president has used Lincoln’s Bible, which is part of the collection at the Library of Congress. (New presidents are not required to swear in on a Bible, but most have done so, and most use their own family Bible.)

Whether we may agree with Obama's stance or not, it is a refreshing outlook from the eight years of Bush/Cheney dominance, which carried the attitude of "you are with us, or against us." This is what the international community has been waiting for, a president who is pragmatic, a listener, and one that many can work with.

And using Abraham Lincoln's bible is just awesome, at least to me.

Pictures of Lincoln Bible

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More bailouts? Even states like California?

I was talking to relatives this weekend and one thing is certain, everyone believes that the airline industry will be BACK knocking at the door for bailout money Yes, even though this industry has been in the red BEFORE 9/11, they will have their hands out to President Obama, too.

Virtually every sector of the aviation industry is pressing an expansive request for help in the upcoming economic stimulus bill, including proposals some groups have sought for a long time.

The joint request is coming from groups representing the major U.S. airlines, private pilots, airports, business aviation and airplane manufacturers large and small. Congress is expected to act on the stimulus legislation in January.

It is funny, when these industries are doing well, heavy in black ink, they are pro-business, anti any government regulations, don't want the feds in their business, all about capitalism when it suits them. Now, that this industry has been tanking for some time, these industries have no problem or qualms marching up to Capitol Hill and requesting for funds to keep them relevant.

If they expect the American Public to be ok with this, think again. Main Street has YET seen any relief or bailout for millions of Americans in the mortgage crunch, but the government can whip out a check and help these industries at a drop of a hat? Something still stinks in the whole equation here.

Now, I read yesterday that property developers want a bail out. This industry is for commercial property.
Some of the biggest U.S. property developers are asking for government money in the face of $160 billion in maturing commercial mortgages next year, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

About $530 billion in commercial mortgages are due for refinancing over the next three years, with $160 billion due for payment next year, according to Foresight Analytics, the Journal reported.

And with credit hard to come by and cash in commercial property drying up, companies want government assistance.

The thing is this; when you start bailing companies out expect everyone else to have their hands out, too. And let us not forget how the banks got bailout money, took it and are still SITTING on it, because they are not giving out loans to anyone. At least that was the whole purpose of giving banks bailout money, to ease the financial crisis, but instead they are only thinking of THEMSELVES.

Finally, we come to the State of California.

Let us not forget that California has been going down for some time now and Governor Schwarzenegger has been forewarning many of the financial instability in his state. Well, the shutdown of California government is real.
California's chief financial officer warned Monday that the state would run out of money in about two months as hopes of a Christmas budget compromise melted into political finger-pointing by the end of the day.

Seems like all talks with the California legislation has gone up in smoke.
"Yesterday we sat there for hours and we worked through it step by step and we made some great progress," the governor said during a morning news conference in Los Angeles. "So we feel like if we do that two more times like that, I think we can get there ... before Christmas Eve or Christmas Day."

The thaw didn't last long, as legislative leaders later in the day criticized Schwarzenegger and indicated their work was done until the start of the New Year.

The governor faulted lawmakers for "failing to take real action" in addressing the state's budget deficit but said he will continue working with them on a solution that includes spending cuts, new revenue and an economic stimulus plan.

Now a lot of this is all about negotiations from the governor and the state legislators, but one thing is critical in this state, they need money to survive and they needed it yesterday.

If the State of California somehow gets any money from the federal government, expect other states to line up right behind Cali with their hands out, too.

Well, 'tis the season to be jolly.....

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Al Franken poised to win the Minnesota Senate Recount

This process has been long and tedious, filled with one or the other going to court on something, now it is about to end. And it looks like Al Franken will come out on top, but don't jump for joy, yet. Expect Senator Norm Coleman to take this fight as far as it can go. While it is apparent it will be a while before anyone is either appointed or elected to the Illinois senate seat, going to court can be just as long.

In the latest piece of evidence that Al Franken is the favorite to win the Minnesota recount, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has come up with a new number for where this should end up, based on an analysis of a draft state report: Franken ahead by 48 votes, a margin of 0.00164% out of over 2.9 million cast, and at the upper end of the Franken camp's own claim of a 35-50 vote edge.

Again, look for more filings of motions to the Minnesota courts, especially and it does look like, Coleman will not concede any time soon.
But this won't be the end. There is still continued legal wrangling over the Coleman camp's claim that enough absentee ballots were accidentally double-counted to put Franken artificially ahead -- which the state Supreme Court is hearing tomorrow -- and the Franken camp's long-running issue about an estimated 1,600 absentee ballots that were never counted to begin with. This thing appears on track to last up to the first week of January, if not longer.

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Jim Cramer on Hardball, blasts banks for lack of transparency in bailout money (video)

Of all things, Americans should be outraged at these financial institutions and their lack of not following through to help mortgage strapped homeowners. Why should they? Their only matter is the bottom dollar.

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Basketball is coming to a White House near you


Basketball is coming to your nearest White House.

Say what you want, cry if you like, but it is coming and those in mourning, will just have to accept it.

The NBA, yes that dubious organization is jockeying for position with the next POTUS. It is called we are your friends and if the POTUS loves basketball, everyone else will too. Damn, the NBA media mind is working already. No shame, in the hustle game.

During the campaign, Mr. Obama said he planned to replace the White House bowling alley -- installed by Richard Nixon in 1969 -- with an indoor basketball court. (There is a tiny outdoor court at the White House adjacent to the tennis court on the southwest side.) National Basketball Association officials have reached out to members of the transition team to offer their services in installing a regulation court at the White House.

If "there is an upgrading of the basketball facilities at the White House, you can be assured that the NBA and the players will be there," says NBA Commissioner David Stern.

I am totally confident the Stern will be the first one cheezin' with O and wanting to get 'in' on the new basketball court.

Now, the bowlers are in tears. Hey, it is the prerogative of the president for his workout vice. This job is stressful enough, a daily workout is MANDATORY.

"It would be a sad, sad day" if Mr. Obama scrapped the bowling lane, says Jim Sturm, president of the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America and owner of two bowling centers in Charleston, W.Va. "I think his political analysts ought to take a long look at removing [it]. It could have a long-term impact on his political prospects."

Political fallout on a bowling alley? Please. This alley was put in the White House by Richard Nixon, bowling was his vice. If Obama wants a basketball court, why not? There is not one on the premises, with exception of a very lame half court (if that) and it is a PAIN to bundle up all the secret service, with all those gas guzzlin' SUVs, shutting down the streets and lanes in DC, just so he can go to the YMCA for 40 minutes. Would it be an inconvenience to Obama? No, but ask the others who are trying to work out, or get around in the city and have to deal with this on the daily. Their answers would be much different.

And basketball request time?
Whether bowling stays or goes this is clearly basketball's moment. Basketball fans outside the president-elect's inner circle are clamoring for the chance to join a White House game. "The big buzz is pickup," says Gil Jackson, head basketball coach at Howard University. "People are already posturing as to how they'll get in on those games. Myself included."

Requests for pickup games are expected to go through White House chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel's office. Mr. Emanuel, or someone on his staff, would screen the requests, with Mr. Obama getting the chance to assemble his own weekly games.

It is Obama time. He is a young man who loves physical activity. Nice to see this back in the White House.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Michelle and the Obama Girls in Hawaii Pictures

Now here comes SASHA FIERCE...............

Other Obama Pics Here
Obama out with his girls

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Rick Warren scrubs site of anti-gay rhetoric

Rick Warren is definitely a lightening in a bottle, since the decision was made to invite Warren to give the invocation at the Inaugural.

This controversy has elevated, both that is Obama and Warren, to be criticized from the left and the right. But many who are Warren followers and they are in the 10s of millions, see this as a promise by Obama for tolerance, communication, openness and a leader who will listen.

Personally, I would not have picked Warren, just as I would not have gone to his forum back in August, which was disastrous for Obama, in my opinion. But it is not my opinion to make. It is Obama's.

Any good will from the LGBT community is tainted by this pick. Was this a thoughtless pick, or was this just a honest mistake? I don't know, but I do know that politicians make mistakes, and this was a big one for Barack.

The good thing is that Warren must be getting the message, by scrubbing his site. Maybe, he is getting a message that all people should be included, though you may not agree with them, or maybe it just looks awfully bad to have a renown pastor, who will not even allow gays to join his church. Talk about exclusivity.

At any rate, I see Obama and Warren in bed together, that is the political bed. Both are in a position where the invite can not be recanted. Both must stand up on the podium, together, different in so many ways, and show non-partisanship to the American public.

For many, this controversy is nothing. Sadly, it is true. But for so many others, this is everything. Yes, it is true.

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Is the Secret Service doing its job?

Many are salivating at Obama, his gams and abs, but many are wondering how in the HELL did this photographer take these pictures? Or even get close?

Well, the photographer was walking along the beach (it is public property) and he was about 200 feet from the Obamas.

The Bush "Shoe" incident sent questions and shivers about the Secret Service protection and their job. Remember, this organization is the one who should not be surprised or shocked at anything. So, why was this photographer, who is paparazzo allowed such close access?

And I am sure the Obamas while used to this, are probably pissed. This is their vacation time, after a long and arduous primary and election season. Plus, it is the secret service who is suppose to make sure this stuff does not happen. Right?

Reporters, photographers and television camera operators traveling with the Obamas have been banned by the Secret Service from approaching the oceanfront estate in nearby Kailua where the family is vacationing. But an enterprising paparazzi photographer wearing a Hawaiian shirt apparently strolled along the beach, saw the Obamas, took out his long-lens camera and started shooting.

The photographer was less than 200 feet from the Obamas, said Frank Griffin, co-owner of Bauer-Griffin, the California-based paparazzi agency that snapped the shots. But the Secret Service agents guarding the property did not ask the photographer to leave the beach.

"There was tacit approval that he was able to shoot what he could shoot. It's a public beach," Griffin said in a telephone interview Monday with The Washington Post. He declined to identify the photographer, but said he is a contractor who lives in Hawaii and whose family has a house not far from the Obama's vacation property.

"The guy just walked along there. He had a camera in his hand. He wasn't hiding behind the bushes. He took some pictures. Everybody saw him. And then he walked off," Griffin said. "It was as simple as that."

Griffin added that the Secret Service "didn't seem to mind."

"He wasn't hiding behind the trees, he wasn't on a boat and he wasn't doing anything that we are used to doing," Griffin said.

Again, a public beach, so the Obamas just have to get used to what may seem like "privacy" invasion. But for someone to be less than 200 feet from the Obamas, sorry it is scary and unacceptable.

Pics and link, here.

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Condi racking up in the jewelry department

Diamonds are a girls best friend....well, to some....

President George W. Bush's foreign policies may be unpopular in the Middle East, but Arab leaders showered his top diplomat with jewelry worth far more than a quarter of a million dollars last year.

While Bush himself didn't fare nearly as well, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice raked in at least $316,000 in gem-encrusted baubles from the kings of Jordan and Saudi Arabia alone, making her one of top recipients among U.S. officials of gifts from foreign heads of state and government and their aides in 2007.

In January, Jordan's King Abdullah II gave Rice an emerald and diamond necklace, ring, bracelet and earrings estimated to be worth $147,000, according to the State Department's annual inventory of such items released Monday just in time for Christmas.

The king and his wife, Queen Rania, also gave Rice a less expensive necklace and earrings along with a jewelry box valued at $4,630, the document shows.

Not to be outdone, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia presented Rice with a ruby and diamond necklace with matching earrings, bracelet and ring worth $165,000 in July. The inventory also includes a $170,000 flower petal motif necklace the Saudi monarch gave to Rice in 2005, which the department says was not previously disclosed.

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O-MY!!! Obama in Hawaii Pictures

Feet don't fail me now......O has been WORKING OUT...the abs, my friends, the abs......

Look at all the police protection for the O.....h/t baurer griffin for more pics, can't stop the paparazzi

Michelle and the girls pics here
Obama out with his girls


I AM SASHA FIERCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is the Secret Service doing its job?

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