Saturday, February 14, 2009

Roland Burris may be done.

Everyone watched the absolute moxie of former Governor Rod Blagojevich as he named Roland Burris to assume Barack Obama's senate seat. Through all of this Burris stated he did not get this seat for favors, but oh-no it seems a document revealed that Blagojevich's brother did ask Burris for campaign fundraising before Burris was named the junior senator of Illinois.

This puts Burris in a not favorable place. Burris stated that no favors were exchanged before the Illinois impeachment committee, but this disclosure may look contradictory.

I am one who would not vote for Burris in the primary in 2010, for one age is a factor for me, as Burris is 71 years old. Burris is contemplating running in 2010, which is fine, but I think it will be a large haul. Since this seat is riddled with controversy, this disclosure does not help Burris.

I still state, legally what we knew then, Burris should have been seated but retaining his seat in 2010 is going to be very difficult.

Raising fresh questions about his appointment to Congress, Sen. Roland Burris admitted in a document released Saturday that former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's brother asked him for campaign fundraising help before the governor named Burris as Illinois' junior senator.

The disclosure reflects a major omission from Burris' testimony in January when an Illinois House impeachment committee specifically asked if he had ever spoken to Robert Blagojevich or other aides to the now-deposed governor about the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama. read more here

Home Page

Republicans really don't want Al Franken seated in Minnesota

The Republicans may be celebrating, but in the background they are gnashing at the teeth. For anyone to believe that the Republicans want this stimulus package to be successful, you need to switch what you are smoking. I really wanted Franken to be seated before this bill had to go through the swinging doors, it would have been easier for Obama and maybe some things may not have been stripped down as it was. Franken is the 59th senator for the Democrats, one from filibuster.

Republicans want Norm Coleman to string it out as long as possible, but things may be wrapping up sooner in the state of 10,000 lakes.

The judges in Minnesota's U.S. Senate trial said in a preliminary ruling Friday that Republican Norm Coleman has not yet shown a widespread problem with absentee voters being denied the right to vote.

The three-judge panel ordered that rejected absentee ballots from 12 of 19 categories should not be counted in the Senate race. Coleman, who is trying to undo Democrat Al Franken's 225-vote lead, had wanted to count ballots in all but three of the categories.

Sure the Republicans stood together, but the moderate section of the group defected to work with the Democrats. Yes, gnashing of the Republicans teeth. And to imagine that Norm Coleman could lose to a comedian and had already lost to a tv wrestler when he was running for governor may be too much for him to take.
Having just seen what President Barack Obama can do with 58 Democrats in the Senate, Republicans are more determined than ever to keep him from getting a 59th.

Especially if the 59th is Al Franken.

Franken, the former comedian, leads Republican Norm Coleman by 225 votes in a “Groundhog Day” of an election that dawned more than three months ago and shows no signs of ending soon.

Which is exactly how Senate Republicans want it. The National Republican Senatorial Committee held a ritzy fundraiser for Coleman in Washington this week, helping him raise the money he needs to keep his legal challenges alive through a trial and then a lengthy legal process if he loses.

Again, the Republicans don't care, nor give a damn, at least most of them. And as it continues, Amy Klobuchar is the only senator representing Minnesota.
Democrat Amy Klobuchar also is eager for it to end. Being the lone Minnesota has been a “challenge,” she told Politico, saying her home-state office has been flooded with phone calls and said her staff has seen its casework double in size.

“Every day I say it will be resolved in a month — then the day changes and I say the same thing,” Klobuchar said.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Rules and Administration Committee that would oversee a dispute in the Minnesota Senate race, expressed confidence that Franken would win the case within a month.

“I would doubt anything is going to change,” Schumer said. “I’d say the odds are very, very, very high that Franken is the winner.”

In the end, it does not look like Coleman has been able to make any ground in turning the numbers around, though his Republican colleagues in the senate have been raising money for the continuing defense. Sometimes it is just better to take the high ground, for the good, in the end you look better. Get that message, Norm?

Home Page

Obama to sign stimulus bill in Denver on Tuesday

Oh, if you did not know, President Obama is back on the road next week. First, to Denver then to Arizona to unveil the housing plan, in helping foreclosed homeowners.

President Obama will sign the economic stimulus bill Tuesday in Denver, Colorado, two senior administration officials confirm to CNN.

Both officials cited a desire to get out of Washington — to go, in the words of one official, “out west in an area hit hard economically, away from the politics of Washington.”

The other official described Denver as “a place that will see the benefits of the bill in hiring workers.”


Home Page

Harold Ford, Jr. for Commerce Secretary?

Well, at least he is a democrat, but I don't know about Ford. But it seems that he wants the job.

Harold Ford Jr. for Commerce Secretary? It's something a few Democrats around town are pushing and, according to sources, the idea of appointing the former Tennessee Congressman is being given serious thought by folks high up in the Obama administration. [NOTE UPDATE BELOW]

On paper, Ford checks a lot of boxes for a an easy-to-confirm nominee for this post: He's a pro-business Democrat (remember, this is Commerce Secretary so the job is to be a promoter of business); he's a former member of the Congressional Black Caucus (you'll recall this whole kerfuffle over control of the census under a Judd Gregg-led Commerce Dept. was started by complaints from the CBC); and he's a practiced spokesperson on TV (the Geithner rollout this week is a reminder that the administration doesn't have enough solid media savvy members of his team who can sell the administration's policies.). read more here.


Home Page

Rush Limbaugh, "Of course I want Obama to fail, I want the stimulus package to fail" (Audio)

Rush Limbaugh continues to spew negative, shyte.

Rush, please move to New Zealand, ASAP.

Home Page

GM (General Motors) Bankruptcy? Not Shocked.


I don't know about the American Automotive Industry. This once vibrant industry just did not, in my mind, keep up with the changing times. The changing times for more fuel efficient cars, this industry opted to stay in bed with big oil and kept producing these huge 30K on up gas guzzlers. Their inability for forward thinking, keeping a pulse on what the public demands and the economy has jettisoned their own industry. I guess I should feel sorry for them, but honesty I just don't.

I remember back in the 70s when the pinch was in for purchasing gasoline for your car. My parents used to drive from gas station to gas station with us little people in tow, sometimes sitting for hours just to get gas. That was a tall tale sign back then, that America needed to break from depending on overseas oil. Did we get that old memo? No.

So, for the past few years we have had to deal with gas prices going up and down. The gas prices are low now, but the trick is ask anyone if they believe that the prices will stay down and the answer is no. Which means many are staying away from purchasing any new cars, but the used car industry is picking up, even demand for used car parts is perking up. This means that Americans are keeping what they got or getting it used.

The automotive industry has made big money on big cars, SUV, etc. These big cars had big price tags on them, to my chagrin some of these vehicles would rate a 20% down payment for a home. I guess that is why I never was into what car I was driving. My only prerequisite was heat, a/c, the car runs, look ok. I am not into stylin' and profilin', I can't afford that. In fact, I know some folks with those big Navigators, Escalades, Yukons that have told the payment centers to come and get their cars. These folks have been hit with job losses, work reduced, strapped mortgage payments and just trying to keep up with daily family life. They have learned a hard way, through repossession that there is nothing wrong with a solid running beater, it will do.

So as GM is continuing to lay off workers, last number 10,000 jobs with our foreign competitors feeling the pinch too, as Nissan cuts 20,000 jobs and Toyota around the corner, we the public are in a position to demand what we want from these companies. The first thought is an affordable automobile that is fuel efficient.

As an American we need to start making, producing things in this country again. The erosion of trade agreements is at an all time low, not to mention China. I have to bring China up because recently my husband had to get a new water pump; he drives a compatible beater, 95 Mercury Mystique. All the bells and whistles still work on this car, but as all older cars you do take a hit from time to time for parts. We have found a very good, fair mechanic who is honest. Well, we had to take this car back three times due to the water pump not working correctly. The mechanic was honest with us, most of the parts for cars now come from China and these parts are less reliable than parts that were made in this country. So, what happens is that the mechanic takes a hit on replacing this failed water pump, which eats into his time for other customers. We must do something about making, creating jobs in this country again.

I am not blinded by how trade works, but I am angered that we have an open door policy with China to ship whatever the hell they wish in this country with little inspection and oversight, due to the U.S. owing trillions to China, mainly to pay for the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. President Obama has a heavy load on his plate to fix this.

As for GM going under or bankruptcy, I do not feel anything right now. We as a country are in such a quagmire of debt that everyone is running to the POTUS for a bailout. The question is this, "Can we continue to do this?" The public perception is negative to Wall Street and the Automotive Industry to some extent. The hard question is do we continue to give these industries money or let them fail? The Obama Administration has already stated that some banks are just going to fail, I think eventually this will happen to some in the Automotive Industry. Taxpayers in the end cannot continue to save private sector industries that have allowed themselves to be run in the ground by inefficient upper management. And if anyone thinks that the public won't have an outcry about more money being dished out to these companies, think again. The outcry will be loud and clear.

General Motors Corp, nearing a Tuesday deadline to present a viability plan to the U.S. government, is considering as one option a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing that would create a new company, the Wall Street Journal said in its Saturday edition.

"One plan includes a Chapter 11 filing that would assemble all of GM's viable assets, including some U.S. brands and international operations, into a new company," the newspaper said. "The undesirable assets would be liquidated or sold under protection of a bankruptcy court. Contracts with bondholders, unions, dealers and suppliers would also be reworked."

Citing "people familiar with the matter," the story said that GM could also ask for additional government funds to stave off a bankruptcy filing.

And the UAL walked from GM concession talks


Home Page

Wall Street is pissed at the moment

While Wall Street is pissed, we the tax payers are happy that the fatcats are made to follow rules and regulations, if they want to borrow our money. If Wall Street finds the new measures in the stimulus bill not to their liking, they can let the door knob hit 'em as they walk out the door with NO MONEY.

I am with millions of Americans just stunned and angered by the no-carish attitude of Wall Street and their business as usual after coming to Capitol Hill begging for money. This is a prime example of a corrupt, yes corrupt culture of excess totally out of touch with the common man. I am all for working hard and making good, we all are, to go further we don't care what kind of bonuses they pay themselves, as long as it is not coming out of our pockets. That is what the power magnets of Wall Street failed to understand. With jobs, businesses, home owners, sliding by the waist side daily, the last thing the American Public will tolerate is a bunch of fatcats living off the high hog on our dime, while they continue their greedy business as usual. It is criminal at this time, especially when we continue to see the Bernie Madoff's of this country swindle folk out of their livelihood and many Americans a paycheck from the street.

Wall Street if you don't like the new rules on borrowing our money, tough shit, don't take the money. Your choice to sink or swim.

The provision, inserted by Senate Democrats over the objections of the Obama administration, is aimed at companies that have received financial bailout funds. It would prohibit cash bonuses and almost all other incentive compensation for the five most senior officers and the 20 highest-paid executives at large companies that receive money under the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.[...]

The pay restrictions resemble those that the Treasury Department announced this month, but are likely to ensnare more executives at many more companies and also to cut more deeply into the bonuses that often account for the bulk of annual pay.

The restriction with the most bite would bar top executives from receiving bonuses exceeding one-third of their annual pay. Any bonus would have to be in the form of long-term incentives, like restricted stock, which could not be cashed out until the TARP money was repaid in full.


The Washington Post, which notes that the measures in the stimulus bill go "much further than restrictions proposed by the Obama administration last week," reports that, not surprisingly, Wall Street is worried about how this will affect its ability to retain top executives...

And Wall Street is worried about retaining top executives? This is a laugh, like the CEO pay cap of $500,000 suggested by President Obama was laughed and mocked at by Wall Street. This suggestion was not laughed and mocked at by the American public, in fact who in America cannot live on $500,000, but more importantly most of America don't even rate $100,000 for a family income. No pity party for Wall Street here, again don't like the rules, don't take the money.

Simple as that.


Home Page

RNC Chairman, Michael Steele, "Don't Trust Us!!" (Video)

AMEN. And here is the right wording of Steele:

“You have absolutely no reason, none, to trust our word or our actions at this point.”

If I was a republican, I would not want Steele running the GOP. I mean, let's be frank, the man has not won one election on his own. Though he may be a moderate republican, he is a gaffe machine running at the temperature of verbal viagra. Just listen below and last week on "This Week" when he says public jobs are NOT REAL JOBS, only private jobs. Yes, "rolleyes" here, when it is the private sector that is laying off thousands of jobs a week.

Home Page

First Cultural Event at the White House is to honor Stevie Wonder

Wonder will receive the Library of Congress award on February 25, 2009.

The White House is planning a concert this month to honor Stevie Wonder, whose music provided part of President Barack Obama's campaign soundtrack.

The White House says the president and first lady Michelle Obama will present Wonder a Library of Congress award on Feb. 25. The concert will be broadcast the next day on PBS as part of its "Performance at the White House" series.


Home Page

President Barack Obama's Weekly Radio Address, February 14, 2009 (Video and Transcript)


Republican Weekly Radio Address, Audio
Republican Weekly Radio Address, Video

Home Page

Friday, February 13, 2009

Senate Passes Stimulus Bill

Expect President Obama to sign this bill next week.

In a major victory for President Barack Obama, Democrats muscled a huge, $787 billion stimulus bill through Congress late Friday night in hopes of combating the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Republican opposition was nearly unanimous.

The Senate approved the measure 60-38 with three GOP moderates providing crucial support. Hours earlier, the House vote was 246-183, with all Republicans opposed to the package of tax cuts and federal spending that Obama has made the centerpiece of his plan for economic recovery.

The president could sign the bill as early as next week, less than a month after taking office.

Supporters said the legislation would save or create 3.5 million jobs. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer conceded there was no guarantee, but he said that "millions and millions and millions of people will be helped, as they have lost their jobs and can't put food on the table of their families."

Vigorously disagreeing, House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio dumped a copy of the 1,071-page bill to the floor in a gesture of contempt. "The bill that was about jobs, jobs, jobs has turned into a bill that's about spending, spending, spending," he said.

The legislation, among the costliest ever considered in Congress, provides billions of dollars to aid victims of the recession through unemployment benefits, food stamps, medical care, job retraining and more. Tens of billions are ticketed for the states to offset cuts they might otherwise have to make in aid to schools and local governments, and there is more than $48 billion for transportation projects such as road and bridge construction, mass transit and high-speed rail.

Democrats said the bill's tax cuts would help 95 percent of all Americans, much of the relief in the form of a break of $400 for individuals and $800 for couples. At the insistence of the White House, people who do not earn enough money to owe income taxes are eligible, an attempt to offset the payroll taxes they pay.

In a bow to political reality, lawmakers included $70 billion to shelter upper middle-class and wealthier taxpayers from an income tax increase that would otherwise hit them, a provision that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said would do relatively little to create jobs.

FLOTUS, Michelle Obama speaks at Howard University in Washington, DC (Video)

h/t jjp

Home Page

President Obama's Speech to Business Council (Speech)

Obama Speech at Caterpillar

Home Page

Obamas going home to Chicago (pictures)

note, the last four pics are the Obamas arriving in Chicago, marine one lands at Burnham Park in Chicago from Chicago O'Hare Airport

Home Page

David Axelrod gives Bush Folks a piece of STFU (Video)

Who right now, on this planet are willing to listen to any former Bush Advisers? Any hands up? The Republican Party could not WAIT for Bush to exit, he was the albatross on their necks since 2006, and now Rove, Card and company got something to say? After they helped 'eff up this country and put us in the predicament we are in?


Home Page

Obama License Plates

Illinois is using the popularity of President Obama to raise money for the Illinois Library Association.
he Land of Lincoln is joining the crowd making a buck off the popular son of Illinois, President Obama. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is selling Obama plates--good only for 60 days--for $50 a pair.

The Illinois Library Association will use the profits to help fund materials for library run summer reading programs for students.

In the first wave, the plates will be sold only to people from Illinois who have autos. For people who don't have cars--no matter where they live-- the souvenir plates can be purchased for $50 after April 17.


The plates, which are temporary and good for 60 days, are available for purchase at for $50 a pair. Proceeds will help support the association's activities including iREAD, the summer reading program for Illinois youth.


The special event license plates, which read "Illinois Salutes President Barack Obama," are unique commemorative plates to be displayed on Illinois vehicles for 60 days, beginning February 17 and ending April 17, 2009. After this date, the Obama license plate will be available for purchase to everyone nationwide to add to his or her Obama collections.


Home Page

House passes the stimulus bill, now to the Senate

Well, no republicans voted on this bill. Obstructionists to the end.

Handing the new administration a big win, the House Friday passed President Barack Obama's $787 billion plan to resuscitate the economy.

The bill was passed 246-183 with no Republican help. It now goes to the Senate where a vote was possible late Friday to meet a deadline of passing the plan before a recess begins next week.

All but seven Democrats voted for the bill — a 1,071 page, 8-inch-thick measure that combines $281 billion in tax cuts for individuals and businesses with more than a half-trillion dollars in government spending. The money would go for infrastructure, health care and help for cash-starved state governments, among scores of programs. Seniors would get a $250 bonus Social Security check.

Told that no Republican backed the measure, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs reacted by citing another number: "3.5 million jobs that we look forward to saving or creating." read more here

Home Page

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Obama Speech at Lincoln Association Banquet, Springfield, IL (Video, Transcript and Pictures)


Lincoln Gala Pictures

Home Page

Leon Panetta confirmed as CIA Director


The Senate confirmed Leon Panetta as director of the CIA on Thursday, placing the nation's top spy agency in the hands of a government veteran valued for his skills as a lawmaker and policy manager rather than an expert at intelligence-gathering and analysis.

The Senate approved President Barack Obama's choice on a voice vote. On Wednesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee sent Panetta's nomination to the full chamber without opposition.

During two days of confirmation hearings last week, Panetta told senators that the Obama administration would not prosecute CIA officers who participated in harsh interrogations even if they constituted torture as long as they did not go beyond their instructions. However, he would not say whether charges would be sought against those who authorized the treatment.

Panetta also said that the Obama administration would continue to transfer foreign detainees to other countries for questioning but only if U.S. officials are confident that the prisoners will not be tortured. Some former prisoners have claimed that they were tortured after the Bush administration handed them over to other countries, a transfer process known as "extraordinary rendition."

"We can protect this country, we can get the information we need, we can provide for the security of the American people and we can abide by the law," he told senators. "I'm absolutely convinced that we can do that."

Besides pledging not to interfere in the CIA's day-to-day intelligence operations, Panetta said he would keep on Deputy Director Steven Kappes and three other top officials at the spy agency. He also said he would encourage differing opinions within the agency and would brief the full House and Senate intelligence committees as much as possible, not just their top members. read more here

Home Page

Ebony Magazine Obama Cover the Best Selling Ever.

Read it here.

Home Page

President Obama's Remarks at the Capitol Rotunda for Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration (Video and Transcript)


Lincoln Gala Pictures

Home Page

Time to move past the Republicans, olive branches go so far

We can toil, argue, posture all day and all night over this Judd Gregg mess, but the bottom line is why this guy was even ASKED to be Commerce Secretary when in the past he wanted the Commerce Department abolished.

One also must question why Gregg dumped this announcement right before Obama was speaking in Peoria, Illinois at Caterpillar about jobs. Talk about stepping all over a message. Oh, we can not forget the Gregg presser, while speaking nice of Obama, repeated that this is a White House that would not work with him. Again, talk about stepping all over the White House.

My thing is this, the Obama Administration needs to work with Republicans who are willing to work in good faith, and so far the good faith thingy has been a bust. The Obama White House can only offer that olive branch, so far. Now, is Obama making inroads in his attempt of bi-partisanship, absolutely, and hopefully it will pay down the road but right now it is a wash.

Many were stating during the Daschle fiasco, that we need Daschle and he will be nominated. In fact, I was very much for Daschle moving aside but acknowledged that he was needed for HHS, but in the end the perception always wins out. The image of Daschle driving around for three years with a free car and driver from a political associate did not look good for many reasons. It made Obama look like a hypocrite because it was these same images of Washington, D.C. fatcats that he campaigned against. Daschle in the end had to go. The Geithner mess, and here we go again about taxes, has weakened him somewhat in his duties as Treasury Secretary. I am sure that will wan out in time, but right now many have scrutiny about his appointment.

The thing is that the Obama White House, if they knew about Gregg, was slow off the mark, AGAIN, in getting ahead of this story. If anyone in the White House knew that Gregg was contemplating removing his name for Commerce and did not reveal that information to the White House Press should be fired.

Perception to the public is everything. Ask Wall Street. Those fatcats are having a very hard time justifying their rich spending habits, on the public's dime, and are squirming to where the money went, which much of it did in bonuses. The Obama White House needs to get ahead of the perception curve, and get out of the campaign mode; they are still figuring this out. The Judd Gregg announcement should never have stepped on President Obama's speech in Peoria, Illinois today, but it did.

Bi-partisanship only works when both sides are working for it. This is not the case here for President Obama. How many times will the Republicans continue to undermine him, while he is frantically trying to woo them in? Barack Obama work with those who want to work with you, everyone else, push them aside. That fraction of the Republican Party will not come around for you; this is something that must be realized so you can move on.

Lastly, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs statement:

"Senator Gregg reached out to the President and offered his name for Secretary of Commerce. He was very clear throughout the interviewing process that despite past disagreements about policies, he would support, embrace, and move forward with the President’s agenda. Once it became clear after his nomination that Senator Gregg was not going to be supporting some of President Obama’s key economic priorities, it became necessary for Senator Gregg and the Obama administration to part ways. We regret that he has had a change of heart".

And yes, the GOP has declared war on Obama. Now I hope the White House will wake up.

Home Page

Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) withdraws name for Commerce Secretary


From the AP:

Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire abruptly withdrew his nomination as commerce secretary Thursday, citing "irresolvable conflicts" with President Barack Obama's handling of the economic stimulus and 2010 census.

"We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy," Gregg said in a statement released by his Senate office.

Gregg, 61, is a former New Hampshire governor who previously served in the House. He has been in the Senate since 1993 and currently serves as the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, where he is known as a crusader against big spending.

He was Obama's second choice to fill the Commerce portfolio.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson withdrew several weeks ago in the wake of a grand jury investigation into alleged wrongdoing involving state contracts. He has not been implicated personally.

In his statement, Gregg thanked Obama for the nomination, and said, "I especially admire his willingness to reach across the aisle."

In citing the stimulus and census, he said, "Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns. We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy."

And Gregg will not run for re-election in 2010:
In a conference call with reporters on Thursday to discuss his withdrawal from the Commerce Secretary nomination, Gregg also said he did not intend to run for reelection in 2010.

Senator Judd Gregg Presser

Home Page

Lincoln Galas, Pictures of the Obamas

President Barack Obama shakes hands David Selby in costume as Abraham Lincoln during the Ford's Theater reopening celebration February 11, 2009 in Washington, DC.

Sprinfield, Illinois pictures of Lincoln Gala up later

Home Page

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Here's Michelle Obama on the cover of VOGUE!!

OK, here is FLOTUS on the March cover of Vogue....

First, the slideshow.....

Second FLOTUS ever to grace the cover!!! And yes, the magazine will be SOLD OUT. More information, here.

Home Page

Thank Goodness!!! A deal has been made on the stimulus package

Damn, that was intense. And states get SOME money and that was slashed.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced agreement on stimulus bill. Moving with remarkable speed, key lawmakers and the White House were working on a $789 billion economic stimulus measure designed to create millions of jobs in a nation reeling from recession.

"Time's getting short," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, one of a handful of Senate moderates whose votes are crucial to the bill's passage.

As if to underscore the urgency, President Barack Obama said machinery giant Caterpillar Inc. plans to rescind some of the 22,000 layoffs the firm recently announced _ once the stimulus is signed into law.

Several Democratic officials said there was an informal deadline of Wednesday afternoon for at least tentative agreement on an overall bill, a time that coincided with a scheduled formal meeting of House and Senate negotiators.

The real decisions were made in Capitol office suites where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other key lawmakers, often joined by White House officials and their own aides, worked late Tuesday night and picked up again in the morning.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the negotiators, said there was agreement to hold the bill to $789 billion, tens of billions below the cost of both the House and Senate bills that had cleared in recent days, and that 35 percent of the total would be in the form of tax cuts.

I am glad the fight is over, but the 3 Republicans forced this deal and slashed much money needed at state and local government. A hard lesson for Obama. Don't show your hand first, give kibbles and bits and then negotiate. In other words, the Democrats had no chip to bargin, in the end. Story here. The Republicans sure had all those "tax breaks" in tact, but everything else was whittled away.


Home Page

Mother of 8, Octuplets, Nadya Suleman launches website for donations

This is a story that won't go away.

The reality is that the mother of 14 needs money and from reports the donations from corporate are not pouring in, due to the backstory of this story.

Octuplet mom Nadya Suleman has launched a website asking for donations for her family of 14 children.

The site features pictures of the eight newborns, with their names and birth weights, drawings of a rainbow, bottle and pacifier, and has two options to donate.

She is accepting monetary donations payable by credit card (MasterCard, Visa, AmEx and Discover taken) and she also given an address to which one can send goods.

The website also contains a section to leave a comment and the following message:

"We thank you for the love and good wishes sent to us from around the world. The octuplets arrived on 1-26-09. They are all healthy and growing stronger by the day."

Suleman no doubt needs help. She has no income, is $50,000 in debt. She also receives $490 a month in food stamps and receives about $600 in disability payments a month for each of the three of her older six children with disabilities. One has ADHD, one had a speech impediment and one has autism, according to NBC's "Dateline" special.


Anyway, here is the link.

Home Page

Negotiations Hot and Heavy on the Stimulus Package

Hot and heavy indeed.

In conference, things are being hammered out. What does need to happen, in my opinion, is money removed from states to keep services going. Remember, firefighters, police, teachers, etc., are important to keep a community safe and going.

Democratic aides said that Obama's negotiating team had prevailed in restoring some lost funding for school construction projects during talks Tuesday, and had also increased aid to state governments above the $39 billion approved in a compromise with a handful of Senate GOP moderates.

Obama's "Making Work Pay" tax credit would be reduced from $500 per worker to $400, with couples eligible for an $800 credit, instead of $1,000, said a Democratic aide close to the talks. This aide spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations are private.

Earlier Tuesday, the Senate sailed to approval of its $838 billion economic stimulus bill, but with only three moderate Republicans signing on and then demanding the bill's cost go down when the final version emerges from negotiations.

Negotiators initially were working with a target of about $800 billion for the final bill, lawmakers said. But GOP moderate Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said Tuesday night on MSNBC's "Hardball" that he was insisting on a figure at around $780 billion.

Baucus had said earlier that $35.5 billion to provide a $15,000 homebuyer tax credit, approved in the Senate last week, would be cut back. There was also pressure to reduce a Senate-passed tax break for new car buyers, according to Democratic officials.


Home Page

Why is this story not a shock?

Ruth Madoff was withdrawing MILLIONS up to her husband confessing to their sons that he was running a ponzi scheme.

The Bernie Madoff story is a sad ending and beginning. Many people from rich to regular joes who saved their money, invested with good faith in Madoff. In return he, and his wife to an extent, used these folks money and spent it on their lavish lifestyle.

I am not against anyone working hard to make good. That is the American Dream. The problem is greed and the wanting of more, which makes many of these white collar criminals. Now we have many folks out there out of their life savings and yes, this is part of the economy, too.

Lastly, we, individuals need to read up on investing money and start investigating these firms that we put our money with. We need to know EXACTLY where our investment dollars are going and not just through "feeders". We need to know the name of the firms, companies our money is being invested with. Yes, the investment part of all this debacle needs MAJOR OVERSIGHT.

Massachusetts' top securities regulator said on Wednesday that the wife of accused financial swindler Bernard Madoff took out roughly $15 million from an account managed by Cohmad Securities days before her husband was arrested and charged with securities fraud.

Meanwhile, a person familiar with money manager Bernard Madoff's case said a deadline to indict him on fraud charges has been extended by 30 days.


Home Page

America, now Western Europe? (Video)

A tale of two Republicans.

The Republican Governors are lining up behind Obama, while the Republicans in Washington, D.C. are clueless, still.

h/t JedReport

Home Page

Nadya Suleman, mother of octuplets, eight and total mother of 14 (Video, Dateline NBC)

A story that won't go away. Read more.

Home Page

Obama to keep Fitzgerald

Totally agree on this move.

Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney in Chicago who brought criminal fraud charges against Rod Blagojevich, will be staying in his job in the Obama administration, even though he was appointed to the position by President George W. Bush.

U.S. attorneys are political appointees. The normal practice, when there's a change of political parties in the White House, is for the incoming administration to replace all 93 U.S. attorneys with appointees from the new president's party. For now, the Obama administration has asked the current Republican-appointed U.S. attorneys to remain in their posts while it considers how many to retain.

But Fitzgerald will not be asked to move on. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois has recommended that Eric Holder, the new attorney general, keep Fitzgerald. That suggestion was "positively received," according to officials at the Justice Department and Sen. Durbin's office.

Fitzgerald has been the U.S. attorney in Chicago since 2001. His spokesman had no comment on Fitzgerald's future.


Home Page

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Joe Scarborough of morning joe, ducks his tail between his legs (Video)

What does that mean? Well, Scarborough of morning joe fame has been hammering Obama on the stimulus package and how he and it will FAIL. But the LIGHT has come SHINING through and the Gallup Poll has Obama 67% in favor of handling the stimulus. So, what does Joe do? He changes his tune, praising Obama.

In the end, Joe Scarborough needs to get out of Washington, D.C. He still plays the partisan games on television like he is still in congress, but things have changed since he was last there. Finally, this should be a shot across his bow that though folks may watch his show in the mornings, don't mean they follow or agree with him.

Yes, Joe Scarborough, you do not know what you are talking about.

Home Page

Obamas Cocktail Hour

Looks like the Obamas will make Wednesday the "cocktail party" day.

Why not? I have gone to many cocktail parties and this is where folks unwind, you get to know them, can talk business, make contacts, etc. For President Obama it is a commitment to continue to reach across the aisle, continue to work on bridges in relationships, and get to know members of congress.

Style and fun has come back to the White House.

Since moving into their new digs, the first couple has hosted a half-dozen gatherings — from bipartisan cocktail receptions to a public open house to the more intimate Super Bowl party two Sundays ago — ending many of their days past midnight. Most recently, on Wednesday, the Obamas opened the White House doors to House caucus leaders from the moderate Blue Dog Democrats and the Congressional Black Caucus. White House aides say the couple hopes to make the Wednesday cocktail parties a tradition.

Friends say the Obamas are looking to maintain the dizzying social calendar they had in their pre-White House days, while using their knack for socializing to find new friends and win hearts on Capitol Hill and in other Washington power centers.

“They want to replicate the same kind of environment they had in Chicago,” said a longtime friend of the Obamas, adding that White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers is “the perfect person” for the job because she knows the couple’s former life inside out and is “designing the calendar to reflect the kinds of things they like to do.”

“If there was a party or an event [in Chicago], they were there,” the friend said. “They’ve always liked to go to lots of restaurants and be a part of the community. Now they want to be a part of D.C.”

“Barack and Michelle have always been interested in the details of people’s lives,” the confidant said, calling them “people people.” “They know who’s engaged to whom, what people’s spouses do for a living, all about their parents, where they grew up, names of children.”

The president, the friend added, “likes to be in the know.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill, one of the president’s closest friends in the Senate and a guest at a recent White House party, said Obama likes a mixed crowd because he “knows if he’s around people like that, he won’t get everything sugarcoated. He wants to make sure he stays grounded and wants to hear the good, the bad and the ugly.” read more here

Home Page

FLOTUS, Michelle Obama reads to children at DC Social Services Center (Video)

First lady Michelle Obama says it is important to think about where you've come from and how you can give back.

That's one of the messages she carried with her Tuesday on a visit to a local social services center, where she got down on the carpeted floor to read with toddlers and, separately, chatted up a group of teenagers who later said they were surprised to have received such a high-profile visitor.

Asked why she came to Mary's Center, Mrs. Obama said she was raised to believe that "what you get, you give back." She said she wants to do that in Washington, as she did when living in her native Chicago, now that the District of Columbia is her home.

She touched on her middle-class upbringing and told them how each of her successes helped her become a more confident person.

"I have in some way been where you are," she told the 13 teenagers who sat with her in chairs arranged in a circle. She said she thinks it's important for young kids "to see me, not the first lady, to see that there is no magic to me sitting here." read more here

It is this quote that I love the most:
"Hello, little people. What's going on," she said as she entered the room. "First of all my name is Michelle and I'm married to the president of the United States. Do you know his name?"

"Barack Obama," shouted 5-year-old Anais Ngako.


Home Page

Porn Star, Stormy Daniels wants to run against Senator David Vitter

Senator David Vitter (R-LA) is the most hypocritical person sitting in the senate right now. His love of the DC Madam and New Orleans prostitutes is no surprise, but he ran on the mantra of "family values." Now with 2010 around the corner, there are those in his own party ready to try to knock him out. Here comes Stormy Daniels. A porn star.

Stormy Daniels is a walking reminder of what Vitter is trying to run away from. In fact when his number came out on television as part of the DC Madam story, he literally did RUN AWAY.

Anyway, here is Stormy.

Is she serious? I don't know, but she is getting ready for a listening tour for Louisiana. Again, a damn reminder to Vitter of his sins.

Now I believe more is needed to take Vitter down and I am sure there are others out there who are credible and far more qualified, but Stormy is just the kind of hotmess that brings all of Vitter's sins back to front.

Daily Kos

Home Page

Michelle Obama on the cover of Vogue Magazine

The magazine is out February 17, 2009. She is only the second First Lady to grace the cover.

It's official: Michelle Obama is the first lady of American fashion, appearing on the cover of the March issue of Vogue.

Every first lady since Lou Hoover — save Bess Truman — has been featured in the high-fashion magazine, but Mrs. Obama is only the second to grace the cover. She appears wearing a magenta silk sheath dress by Jason Wu, who also designed her inaugural gown.

Vogue's editor at large Andre Leon Talley called his interviews with Mrs. Obama ahead of President Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony "one of the best experiences of my life."

"She's so accessible, natural and normal. There's nothing affected about her," he said.

Much of the eight-page feature inside is devoted to Mrs. Obama's self-described role as "mom in chief" to 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha.

"I'm going to try to take them to school every morning, as much as I can," she said. "But there's also a measure of independence. And obviously there will be times I won't be able to drop them off at all. I like to be a presence in my kids' school. I want to know the teachers; I want to know the other parents."

Being Vogue, though, the conversation eventually turns to clothes.

Mrs. Obama said she is aware of how her wardrobe is being scrutinized, but she makes no apologies for her choices — even the Election Night combination of ripped-from-the-runway, fashion-forward dress and plain-Jane cardigan.

"I'm not going to pretend that I don't care about it," she said. "But I also have to be very practical. In the end, someone will always not like what you wear — people just have different tastes."

She did choose outfits for the Vogue photos from labels she has worn before: Wu, who made her inaugural gown; Narcisco Rodriguez, the designer of that Election Night dress; and J. Crew, which she and her children have famously worn.

Most cover models have their clothes chosen for them by Vogue, or at least editors work as advisers. Not this time.

"She doesn't need any help. She loves fashion and knows what works for her," Talley said. "She's never had a conversation with me about, `What do you think?' or `How did this look?' And I'm glad for that."

More information from Washington Post, the photos were taken during the Obamas stay at the Hay-Adams Hotel, Annie Leibovitz was the photographer.


Home Page

Obama Administration overturns Bush-era offshore drilling plan

Smack that one all the way DOWN....

The Obama administration on Tuesday overturned another Bush-era energy policy, setting aside a draft plan to allow drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

"To establish an orderly process that allows us to make wise decisions based on sound information, we need to set aside" the plan "and create our own timeline," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced in a statement.

Alleging that the Bush administration "had torpedoed" offshore renewable energy in favor of oil and natural gas, Salazar said he was extending the public comment period by 6 months.

"The additional time we are providing will give states, stakeholders, and affected communities the opportunity to provide input on the future of our offshore areas," he said.

Salazar also ordered Interior Department experts to compile a report on the Outer Continental Shelf's energy potential — not just oil and gas, but also renewables like wind and wave energy.

"In the biggest area that the Bush administration’s draft OCS plan proposes for oil and gas drilling — the Atlantic seaboard, from Maine to Florida — our data on available resources is very thin, and what little we have is twenty to thirty years old," he said. "We shouldn't make decisions to sell off taxpayer resources based on old information." read more here

Home Page

President Obama Town Hall Meeting in Ft Myers, FL (Video and Transcript)

The Enthusiastic College Student

Woman (Henrietta Hughes) who needs a house, living in a vehicle and park


Home Page

FLOTUS, Michelle Obama visits the Department of Interior, February 9, 2009 (Video)


Michelle pics @ Dept of Interior

Home Page

GM cuts 10,000 jobs

The pink slips continues.....

General Motors Corp. is planning to slash another 10,000 salaried jobs this year, saying the cuts are unavoidable with a government restructuring deadline looming and industrywide sales in one of the worst downturns in history.

The Detroit-based automaker said Tuesday it will reduce its total number of white-collar workers by 14 percent to 63,000. About 3,400, or 12 percent, of GM's 29,500 salaried U.S. jobs will be eliminated.

Most of the company's remaining salaried employees will have their pay cut.

In its plan to Congress submitted late last year, GM said it would have to reduce both salaried and hourly positions so that the company could become viable for the long term. The company said it plans to reduce its total U.S. work force from 96,537 people in 2008 to between 65,000 and 75,000 in 2012, but it did not specify how many of the surviving jobs would be salaried or hourly.

GM has dramatically downsized both its salaried and hourly work forces in recent years. Since 2000, GM's salaried work force has shrunk by 33 percent from its 2000 high of 44,000 people.

At the same time, the number of hourly workers has plunged by more than half _ to about 63,700 people at the end of last year from 133,000 in 2000.

Most of the cuts announced Tuesday are expected to take place by May 1. GM said the cuts will vary by global regions depending on staffing levels and market conditions.


Home Page

Senate passes the stimulus bill

Now it goes to conference, with both sides (House and Senate) at the table to negotiate the final bill. The bill then goes to final vote in the House and Senate. Hopefully this bill will be final next week.

President Barack Obama's economic recovery plan has passed the Senate and is on its way to difficult House-Senate negotiations.

Just three Republicans helped pass the plan on a 61-37 vote and they're already signaling they'll play hardball to preserve more than $108 billion in spending cuts made last week in Senate dealmaking. Obama wants to restore cuts in funds for school construction jobs and help for cash-starved states. read more here

Home Page

Secretary of Treasury, Timothy Geithner's Speech Unveils Bank Bailout Plan (Video and Transcript)


Financial Stability Plan

Home Page

President Obama's Press Conference, February 9, 2009, (Full Video and Transcript)

White House YouTube


Home Page

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Obamas had a good time at Camp David

I figured they would.

“It was beautiful,” he told reporters on board Air Force One on Monday as it jetted to Indiana for his first real road trip as president. “The girls just had a great time. They had a lot of fun. You can see that during the summer it’s going to be a nice place to spend a lot of time. Hit a few golf balls. Played a little basketball.”

Mr. Obama said his daughter, Sasha, brought a friend along for the Saturday overnight visit and added that a friend of his and Michelle’s came along with two children. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Mr. Obama’s personal aide, Reggie Love, also made the trip, possibly serving as the president’s hoops partner during the weekend.

Camp David, founded as Shangri-La by Franklin D. Roosevelt and later renamed by Dwight D. Eisenhower after his grandson, can be a rare refuge for presidents who find themselves cooped up in the White House. Some presidents made much use out of the resort, both for the chance to wander around nature without a massive entourage and for political purposes to woo members of Congress or foreign leaders. read more here

Home Page

Obama ahead of the Republicans in the Polls

The continuous bickering, pointing fingers, being obstructionists are not sitting well with the American Public, especially when many are losing jobs, losing homes, and are in dire straits. The Republicans can play this game all they want, but this is the same game that put them in the wilderness weeds.

Seventy-six percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Monday gave Obama a thumbs-up on how he's performing his duties, while 23 percent disapproved.

[snip] Sixty-four percent of those polled said the current bill being debated in the Senate would help the economy a lot or somewhat, while 36 percent felt that the package would not help the economy much or at all.

"The public may be lukewarm on the stimulus package because they only see limited benefits from it," Holland said. "Sixteen percent say it would help the economy a lot, but 48 percent foresee only some improvements if the bill passes."

Obama is out there selling this stimulus package because he must. The support has softened on this bill and he must explain to the public not only why it is important, but what this bill will do for you, the average joe and joesetta.

Tomorrow President Obama is in Florida, being introduced by Governor Charlie Crist (R-FL) who is behind Obama 1000% for this stimulus package, as many other Republican governors are across this country. That alone says something, it says that states across this country are unable to balance their budgets, unemployment numbers are soaring, money is running out and time for partisan gridlock must be set aside.

And here is what the Gallup Poll looks like for Obama:

And the independents:
In addition, a 51% majority of independents say it is critically important to pass a stimulus bill, 27% say it is moderately important, and only 17% say it's not important. The numbers among the Republican base, as we might expect, are wildly different: Only 29% say it is critically important, 37% say it's important but not critically so, and 31% say it's not important.

Let's get this stimulus package passed. Enough of the nastiness and gridlock of Washington, D.C.

Gallup Poll

Treasury Secretary Geithner's Bank Bailout Plan (Video)

Secretary Geithner will have a presser tomorrow to unveil this bank bailout plan.


Home Page

GOP on the Rush Limbaugh bandwagon all the way!!!

Again, do we really think the GOP/Republicans want this stimulus package to work? Do we? They are obstructionists, even to the core of sacrificing their own districts and states. Instead of coming to the table in good faith, they have done everything not to work in good faith. We must remember these are the same cast of characters who pushed the Bush Administration's bills through without a thought. They are responsible for where we are now, almost off the cliff economically.

After giving the package zero votes in the House, and with their counterparts in the Senate likely to provide in a crucial procedural vote today only the handful of votes needed to avoid a filibuster, Republicans are relishing the opportunity to make a big statement. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.) suggested last week that the party is learning from the disruptive tactics of the Taliban, and the GOP these days does have the bravado of an insurgent band that has pulled together after a big defeat to carry off a quick, if not particularly damaging, raid on the powers that be.

"We're so far ahead of where we thought we'd be at this time," said Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), one of several younger congressmen seeking to lead the party's renewal. "It's not a sign that we're back to where we need to be, but it's a sign that we're beginning to find our voice. We're standing on our core principles, and the core principle that suffered the most in recent years was fiscal conservatism and economic liberty. That was the tallest pole in our tent, and we took an ax to it, but now we're building it back."

Core principles? Like reducing a surplus by President Clinton to an over trillion dollar deficit under President Bush?

Sorry, these folks have no credibility at all when it comes to the economy. They sat there in denial as over 10,000 homes were in foreclosure daily, did not think the economy was in a tailspin, and God forbid saying the "R" word, "Recession."

In the end, we still see Rush Limbaugh taking hold of the Republican Party, with message and tone. And we say, continue on Rush, you did a hell of a job in 2006 and 2008!!


Home Page