Saturday, March 14, 2009

Michelle Obama, Superhero



It's all here

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President Obama meets President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva of Brazil


President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva discussed the economy, energy and the environment Saturday during their first White House meeting.

Both leaders said the Oval Office sit-down was productive and they looked forward to seeing each other at the Group of 20 nations meeting in London early next month, followed by the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad in mid-April.

"I have been a great admirer of Brazil and a great admirer of the progressive, forward-looking leadership that President Lula has shown throughout Latin America and throughout the world," Obama said after the meeting.

"We have a very strong friendship between the two countries but we can always make it stronger," he said.

Silva said one of the points he raised was "the importance of President Obama's election and what it represents to the world and, especially to Latin America."

He said he and Obama "are truly convinced" that decisions coming out of the G-20 can resolve the economic crisis.

In a lighter moment, Silva said he tells people at rallies in his country that he prays more for Obama than he does for himself. With so many problems facing Obama in his short time in office, "I don't want to be in his position," Silva said.

To which Obama added: "I'll tell you what. You sound like you've been talking to my wife."





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FLOTUS, Michelle Obama's First 50 Days (Video)



h/t JJP

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Just Blame Bush for it ALL

It is hard for anyone to not blame the former administration. Let's be real here, does anyone think the economy just all of a sudden fell of the cliff since Obama took office? Remember the emergency meeting of congress with former Treasury Secretary Paulson and the need of 700 billion dollars to save Wall Street? Let's not talk about how Bear Stearns went into demise, then Lehman Brothers fell off the cliff. And of course, AIG and the many banks lined up needed cash to just stay afloat.



The job numbers were eroding during Bush's tenure, but he was too stubborn and full of it to admit the "R" word for recession. Bush's administration spent this country into the deficit it is in now. So, to be honest, he left this country in far worse shape than better economically and internationally.

Blaming Bush? Not a hard one to do.
It hasn't taken long for the recriminations to return — or for the Obama administration to begin talking about the unwelcome "inheritance" of its predecessor.

Over the past month, Obama has reminded the public at every turn that he is facing problems "inherited" from the Bush administration, using increasingly bracing language to describe the challenges his administration is up against. The "deepening economic crisis" that the president described six days after taking office became "a big mess" in remarks this month to graduating police cadets in Columbus, Ohio.

"By any measure," he said during a March 4 event calling for government-contracting reform, "my administration has inherited a fiscal disaster."

Obama's more frequent and acid reminders that former president George W. Bush left behind a trillion-dollar budget deficit, a 14-month recession and a broken financial system have come at the same time Republicans have ramped up criticism that the current president's policies are compounding the nation's economic problems.

The above emphasis is mine, but does anyone disagree with that? The fact is that is what former President George W. Bush left to the Obama Administration. No wonder he was running to get away from the "kleeg lights".

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Presiden Obama's Weekly Radio Address, March 14, 2009 (Video and Transcript)

Reversing a Troubling Trend in Food Safety



Transcript

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Friday, March 13, 2009

CBS Evening News with Katie Couric hits it out of the park on the "Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer" (Video)

NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, etc.....to just IGNORE IT....bad call......now NBC "big wigs" tells producers of all the shows NO MENTION OF CRAMER?........Did Network Drink Wall Street Kool-Aid? and to view the whole Stewart, Cramer show down, view it all here.




And White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on the CNBC vs. Daily Show Fight


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Madoff net worth over 823M....that is a damn shame...

When is he and his family going to pay back those they SCAMMED from and when is the court system going to INSIST they do so....

Newly filed court documents show Bernard Madoff and his wife had a net worth of more than $823 million at the end of last year. The document detailing the Madoffs' assets was contained in papers his lawyers filed Friday in an effort to get him freed on bail.

The document shows the Madoffs owned four real estate properties worth $22 million and had $17 million in cash and a $7 million yacht, among other assets.

Madoff was sent to jail Thursday after he pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts, including securities fraud. His $10 million bail was immediately revoked.

The 70-year-old Madoff faces up to 150 years in prison at a June sentencing.

Double DAMN SHAME..... for real.....

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FLOTUS, Michelle Obama on Good Morning America , "It hurts military families on food stamps...."(Video)




First lady Michelle Obama wants military families to know they have a friend in the White House, she told "Good Morning America's" Robin Roberts in an exclusive interview today at Fort Bragg, N.C. -- her first network television interview since her husband took office.

"It hurts. It hurts," the first lady said of hearing about military families on food stamps. "These are people who are willing to send their loved ones off to, perhaps, give their lives -- the ultimate sacrifice. But yet, they're living back at home on food stamps. It's not right, and it's not where we should be as a nation." read more here

h/t jimstaro

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Jon Stewart, The Daily Show vs. Jim Cramer, CNBC, March 12, 2009 (Video)

This was the best take down of CNBC, Cramer you will ever see. All these talking cable moderators including morning joe or joke, should just STFU when it comes to Jon Stewart.


Part One


Part Two


Part Three

And now the OUTTAKES minus the bleeps...


Outtake One


Outtake Two


Outtake Three

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President Obama's Dedication of the Abraham Lincoln Hall (Video)


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Thursday, March 12, 2009

It is over for Cramer and CNBC to some extent.

I sat in utter awe at the tenacity, seriousness and the keepin' it real attitude of Jon Stewart. Stewart reminded me of the time he was on CNNs now defunct Crossfire and his mocking of Tucker Carlson.

I give Jim Cramer just one credit, that's for showing up. He should have canceled. If you have not seen this show, after watching it you would agree. He should have canceled.

Jim Cramer should have allowed Jon Stewart, who is one of the current greatest satirists, to have his say about CNBC and let it go, even if it took a personal hit on him. This was one bus Cramer should have let ride by without getting on and paying the fare. But he didn't. His pride and reputation meant too much.

Cramer responding to Jon Stewart was the nailing in his coffin. Tonight Jim Cramer is six feet under.

I don't understand why these so-called "media consultants, commentators, analysts" get their panties in a bunch when a comedian mocks them. When you have satirists, comedians like Jon Stewart, David Letterman, etc. go after you, just STFU and let it ride. Folks remember McCain and how Letterman destroyed him because he LIED about an emergency back to Washington, DC? Did Cramer not get that memo?

Cramer going on NBC and then morning joe was not only a joke, but more fuel to a heated fire for Jon Stewart. Stewart not only mocked and made Cramer look more like a fool, but Joe Scarborough the morning joke of his show was called out. One thing for morning joke, the next day he showed restrain for a "white and bitter" guy. He got the message from Jon Stewart the night before and drank a cup of STFU the next day.

Lastly, Stewart's whole montage from the beginning was about the irresponsible reporting of CNBC and other financial news organizations. They are not interested in reporting on the up and up because they are afraid that they will not have access to these CEOs. The sad part about all of this is that financial news organizations as, CNBC, have also been played by these CEOs. These CEOs have had a platform, sounding board to pump their companies up while dumping their stock for the millions, leaving shareholders high and dry. That is the real ponzi scheme on Wall Street.

After watching Jon Stewart tonight, everyone should be DONE with listening to these gas bags on CNBC. I remember growing up when my parents read the financial section and THEY picked the stock based on their own investigation.

Maybe it is time for us to start using our brains, follow our own intuitions and make our own deals. We all could do a hell of a lot better than follow the likes of Cramer and CNBC which will drive you over a cliff, a financial cliff that is.

cross-posted @ Daily Kos

Full Video and Outtakes of Jon Stewart vs. Jim Cramer

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South Carolina don't have a pot to piss in, but does their governor care?

Governor Mark Sanford has been leading the crusade against the stimulus bill. Sanford will refuse money to extend unemployment in his state and deny unemployment for part time workers. South Carolina is one of those southern states that is at the bottom or scraping the bottom of the barrel in just about everything, especially education. Remember, the young African-American girl, Ty'Sheoma Bethea of Dillon, South Carolina? She was featured during President Obama's Joint Session of Congress speech. She is a young woman who attends a school over 100 years old in South Carolina. This school has no air conditioning, the building shakes when the train goes by, total disrespect to the students, parents and the faculty that have to teach in such abominable conditions. Young Ty'Sheom wrote to President Obama asking that some of the stimulus money go to her dilapidated school. But South Carolina has the "holier than thou" Governor Mark Sanford to deny stimulus money. He does not think the state needs any stimulus money, especially when the education of his people is scraping the bottom of the barrel. Sorry, rolleyes here, but the man don't have a pot to piss in, nor a window to throw it out of. His state is at the bottom for practically EVERYTHING in comparison to other states. Turning this money away for possible higher political aspirations, to have the tag "the most conservative" is the most selfish thing Sanford can do. But this is on South Carolinians, it is up to them to ask when is enough really enough.

Sanford and the Republican-led General Assembly have cut the state's budget three times since last summer by a total of $871 million, or 13 percent -- among the deepest reductions in the nation.

The cuts have limited state agencies' ability to help the growing numbers of people in need. The state's Medicaid program, for instance, is reducing mental health counseling, cancer screening and dental coverage.

The reductions are constricting the private sector's capacity, too. The Department of Social Services has pared its contracts to nonprofit groups by an average of 10 percent, reducing funding for emergency shelters and employment training programs.



While other states have looked to Washington for assistance, Sanford has been a foremost critic of the federal economic stimulus package. Yesterday, he challenged the law's intent, announcing that he will ask the White House for a waiver to use $700 million -- the part of South Carolina's share of the money over which he has direct control -- to lower the state's debt, instead of putting it toward new spending.

Asked whose mission it is to help the widening pool of people in financial pain, the governor said that such aid "has to be leveraged through church, civic and private hands. . . . If you take care of the need in government circles, you dissipate the ability of civil society to take care of that need."

Timothy Ervolina, president of the United Way Association of South Carolina, worries that the web of philanthropic and nonprofit groups may not be able to fulfill the governor's expectations. Ervolina has watched fundraising fade at United Ways across the state, even as calls pour in to their crisis hotlines.

"Policymakers have said, 'You guys are just going to have to step up to the plate.' I hear that," he said. "But when I step up to the plate and no ball even is coming at you, it's pretty hard to make a hit."

He added: "We are increasingly taking on the role of a community grief counselor. Something has got to give, and that something is going to be people's lives."

[snip]

As in Washington, residents of Columbia have viewed their city as recession-proof -- aside from the state government, it is home to the main campus of the University of South Carolina; big banks, insurance companies and hospitals; and Fort Jackson, the Army's largest basic-training site. So they have been stunned as Columbia's unemployment has rocketed up -- 11.7 percent in November, 13.1 percent in December, 14.1 percent in January.

Amid the job losses, lives are coming unglued. Sheila Turman turned to Columbia's largest food bank, Harvest Hope, a few weeks ago -- the first time in her 52 years she had ever asked a nonprofit for help.

"I was hungry," she said. "You don't know how I wanted a glass of milk."

Turman had worked steadily since she was 15, until she was laid off from her job as a leasing agent at her apartment complex before Christmas. Two weeks after she missed her February rent payment, an eviction notice came. She borrowed a neighbor's car to go to the Department of Social Services to try to get food stamps. But after waiting more than 2 1/2 hours, she had to leave to return the car.

"That wasn't even to apply," she said. "That was to get an appointment to apply."

At Harvest Hope, she was given bread, milk, lettuce, six eggs, sugar and a big box of hot dogs. Staff member Cheryl Davis also handed her a list of nonprofit groups to call for more emergency assistance.

"I called every one," Turman said. One group couldn't help because it serves the working poor and she doesn't have a job. An organization that helps pay utility bills said it was out of money.

She tried the Salvation Army. Overwhelmed by requests, the charity now sets just one day a month for people to schedule appointments. Turman was told to call back on the designated day. They weren't giving out appointments at the moment.

Unlike in Rust Belt communities, where economic erosion is an old story, or in towns where a dominant employer has shut down, the loss of jobs here in Columbia and across South Carolina is diffuse, a sagging of a broad swath of the local economy. According to the state's Employment Security Commission, the nearly 43,000 jobs that vanished from South Carolina in January included almost 12,000 in retail, and about 6,000 each in manufacturing, hospitality, and professions and business.

For more than a year, Sanford has had a public spat with the commission. The governor contends that unemployment is not as severe as the official statistics show. He says the commission has refused to examine questions he has raised: the impact on the figures, for instance, of retirees who work part-time. "Do you guys," he said rhetorically of the commission, "have any clue of what your numbers are?"

Still, Sanford said that, in his state, "there absolutely are people in pain, and absolutely empathy with those people." To help them, he said, "there ought to be a social compact" that is defined "more broadly than simply government."

It is that view that guided his decision to ask the White House to use $700 million of the state's federal stimulus money to retire debt rather than on fortifying social programs or on other state spending -- and, if the administration refuses, to reject the money altogether. "We believe it is . . . financially reckless," he said in announcing his decision, "to borrow from future generations to attempt to address today's economic problems."

Not all state legislators like what South Carolina is doing. "Nonprofits have felt the hammer, because we do not have the money to give them," said Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D), a social worker by profession who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee. "The private sector can't do it. In a lot of cases they are suffering as well."

Sanford wants to use the federal money from the stimulus bill to pay his debt down? While his people are hungry, unemployment has skyrocketed? Anyone got a WTF pill laying around?



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FLOTUS, Michelle Obama at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (Pictures, Video)

FLOTUS, Michelle Obama at North Carolina Army Base













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Madoff off to jail. THANK GOD!!! (Video)

This man is despicable of the worst caliber. For anyone who thinks that he pulled this scam off without the help of his family are living under a rock. Anyone complicit with Madoff should go to PRISON. INMATE #61727054



And his wife, Ruth Madoff, the one who was taking millions of dollars out prior and trying to HIDE money. What about her?



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Bernie Madoff to plead guilty today.....

Thank God!! Now can this guy to to JAIL!!!!





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Obama signed that spending bill, minus the cameras from the Today Show (Video)



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Michael Steele's tenure at the RNC looks shorter by the day

Michael Steele continues to contradict not only himself, but the RNC platform. Steele gave an interview to GQ's Lisa DePaulo and he continues to make the base uncomfortable.

On hip-hop....

I was kinda expecting hip-hop to be playing in here today.
Aw, sh—. It’s on my, uh, computer there. I haven’t pulled it up yet, but I’ll get a little bit goin’ in a second or two.

Who do you listen to?
I actually listen to a cross section, because I like to hear what the medium is saying, what the voice is.

But do you have a favorite?
P. Diddy I enjoy quite a bit.

Do you want to rethink that?
[laughs] I guess I’m sorta old-school that way. Remember, I came of age with the DJ and all this other stuff, so I’m also loving Grandmaster Flash, and that’s not hip-hop, but… Um, you know, I like Chuck D. And I always thought Snoop Dogg was—he just reminded me of the fellas back home. So I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed him.

On why few nonwhite Americans don't support the GOP

Why do you think so few nonwhite Americans support the Republican Party right now?
’Cause we have offered them nothing! And the impression we’ve created is that we don’t give a damn about them or we just outright don’t like them. And that’s not a healthy thing for a political party. I think the way we’ve talked about immigration, the way we’ve talked about some of the issues that are important to African-Americans, like affirmative action… I mean, you know, having an absolute holier-than-thou attitude about something that’s important to a particular community doesn’t engender confidence in your leadership by that community—or consideration of you for office or other things—because you’ve already given off the vibe that you don’t care. What I’m trying to do now is to say we do give a damn.

But how are you going to change that perception?
You change it by force of personality, you change it by force of will, and sometimes you change it by force. [laughs]

Say what?
You go and you say, [pounding desk] “You will find tools that you will put in place, structures that will allow and embrace more diverse people to come to the party.” But this is the thing to keep in mind: Opening up the party, and making it more accessible, and making it more relevant, does not mean that I need to backslide on what I believe or what values we hold. We are a party; we are the conservative party of this country. We are a party that values life, born and unborn. We value hard work, individual rights, and liberties. We value the individual—to go out and carve out a dream for themselves. We value free-market and free-enterprise solutions. We value smaller government. We think the less government in your life, the better off you are as an individual and a family.

and the main part of the GOP platform, abortion

L: How much of your pro-life stance, for you, is informed not just by your catholic faith, but by the fact that you were adopted?


M: Oh, a lot. Absolutely. I see the power of life in that. I mean, and the power of choice! The thing to keep in mind about it, uh, you know, I think as a country we get off on these misguided conversations that throw around terms that really misrepresent truth.

L: Explain that.

M: The choice issue cuts two ways. You can choose life or you can choose abortion. You know, my mother chose life. So, you know, I think the power of the argument of choice boils down to stating a case for one or the other.

L: Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?

M: Yeah. I mean, again, I think that's an individual choice.

L: You do?

M: Yeah. Absolutely.

The RNC platform on abortion is as follows:
Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.

I don't know if Steele did not get the memo or understand it, but much of what he is talking about is very contradictory to what the GOP platform is and has been. Let's be frank here, does anyone see the GOP snappin' off to the hip-hop urban and suburban tunes to gather votes? Does anyone see them changing in the near future their attitudes towards the Hispanic community or African-Americans? And let's not even talk about the young. They are so out of touch and tune, the youth in this country have turned this party totally on ignore.

Sure, the GOP wants you to be down with them, but they have offered nothing to get down with them about. Not if you continue to talk the same old stale crap that we have heard for the past eight years.

Steele's opinion on abortion is right, it is a woman's right to choose, but he is associated with a party that is definitely not down with that thought process.

Steele is part of a growing number of GOP moderates that have no say in the Republican Party, for that it will be extremely difficult for him to remain Chairman. I give him 6 months.



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Folks finding it hard to keep up with credit card payments

And let's not even start with these card companies raising interest rates, even if you are paying on TIME and don't carry a large balance!!

US consumers are having increasing problems making credit card payments in another sign of economic stress, according to new banking industry data.

Fitch Ratings said in a report Tuesday that credit card delinquencies hit a new record for the second straight month in January, with 4.04 percent of consumers at least 60 days late.

"Record credit card delinquencies are just the latest sign that US consumers are under considerable levels of stress," said Fitch's Michael Dean.

"The latest numbers point to even higher default rates and worsening consumer credit quality measures in the coming months."

Credit card issuers typically charge off bad debt after 180 days of delinquency or within 60 days of a bankruptcy filing.

The rise in delinquencies indicates that chargeoffs, at 7.40 percent as of January month end, are likely to rise significantly in the near term, according to Fitch.

"As the unemployment rate accelerates and consumers' ability to service their debt weakens, Fitch anticipates that gross chargeoffs will surpass 8.5 percent by mid-year and approach 9.0 percent by year end," said Fitch consumer analyst Cynthia Ullrich.

Some analysts say the problems in credit cards could deal another blow to a banking industry already reeling from the meltdown in real estate, and that the industry issued too many cards and too much credit to consumers unable to afford them.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Obama's Drug Czar Choice, Gil Kerlikowske (Video)

Announcement by Vice President Joe Biden. More information, here.



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FLOTUS, Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton together to honor recipients of the International Women of Courage Awards (Pics/Video)

Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton shared a stage for the first time today at a State Department event honoring recipients of the International Women of Courage Award.




h/t michelle obama watch







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Ari Fleischer defending George W. Bush on Hardball with Chris Matthews (Video)

The Bush Administration left this country with one of the worst economic disasters, two wars with the Iraq War destroying the Middle East region which we NEVER should have invaded, and disastrous domestic policy that will take years to fix. But Ari Fleischer will defend the Bush Administration until the end. The video makes one just shake their head.



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Republicans wake up!!! King Rush is draggin' you down.!!!

New poll out on Rush Limbaugh by Democracy Corps does not bode well for the Republican Party.

With King Rush as the Republican face and mouthpiece he has turned off the independent voters and moderate Republicans.

...a new national survey from Democracy Corps and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner finds that Limbaugh weighs down heavily on an already weakened Republican Party – putting Republican leaders and their party’s conservative base voters out of sync with not only Democrats and independents, but even the bloc of moderate Republicans.

And the young voters? They don't like King Rush, at all.
It does not help that some of the key voters in the 2006 and 2008 elections, like younger voters, are particularly uncomfortable with Limbaugh’s politics.

Again, many voters think the Republican Party is dated, not current and has no fresh ideas or leaders to offer. Well, they don't.
62 percent of voters, including a similar percentage of moderate Republicans, say that the Republican Party is embracing the “same old ideas and leaders it has relied on for the past 20 years” rather than seeking out new leaders and fresh ideas.

But the base, LOVES King Rush!!
Conservative Republican voters, however, embrace Limbaugh, giving him a very high favorability rating; they say he shares their values and urge Republican leaders to defend him when he is criticizing President Obama.

Base only does not equal winning national elections. We just witnessed that with Barack Obama winning over John McCain. And lastly the voters view King Rush negatively by a two-to-one margin.

Republicans this is not good at all. If you can not reign in King Rush, he will be looked upon continually as your MOUTHPIECE.

So, what are you going to do about it? Starting with the Republican D.C. crowd who cowtows to King Rush everytime he talks into his microphone in Florida. What are you going to do?

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President Obama announces earmark reform plan (Video)



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Jim Cramer is a fraud and should be FIRED. CNBC is a joke. (Video)

Cramer is PROUD of his stock manipulation. That video is astonishing.

This same Jim Cramer rallied Bear Stearns on television, told folks to hold onto that stock and it tanked to 2 bucks a share. He also was the one with his shock and awe on those now "worthless" internet stocks, telling folks to hold onto to the stock that is now toilet paper. Just amazing that this joke is still running around here, giving financial advice.

This from Huffington Post.

Here are some gems:

-On manipulating the market: "A lot of times when I was short at my hedge fund, and I was positioned short, meaning I needed it down, I would create a level of activity before hand that could drive the futures,"

-On falsely creating the impression a stock is down (what he calls "fomenting"): "You can't foment. That's a violation... But you do it anyway because the SEC doesn't understand it." He adds, "When you have six days and your company may be in doubt because you are down, I think it is really important to foment."

-On the truth: "What's important when you are in that hedge fund mode is to not be doing anything that is remotely truthful, because the truth is so against your view - it is important to create a new truth to develop a fiction," Cramer advises. "You can't take any chances."

Since he is in a pissing contest with Jon Stewart and dragged the morning joke, Joe Scarborough in this, he needs to sit down and shut up, but more importantly he is totally discredited. Who is listening to this guy? I sure wouldn't if I lost my money listening to him about holding onto Bear Stearns stock.

And of course, Cramer on video blabbing away, all the above:



The Jon Stewart-Jim Cramer fight

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Jon Stewart puts Jim Cramer, CNBC, and Joe Scarborough on BLAST!!! (Video)

Again, Cramer and Scarborough are NO MATCH for Stewart. Keep the pissing match going, and Stewart will continue to expose your ass-hattery. for real. More from Stewart on Cramer, here.





Read Cenk Uygur on the anger of Cramer and Scarborough

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Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) schools them AGAIN on morning joe (Video)

or should it be morning joke? Anyway, Lady Claire should be the next POTUS, she is that good.



And I have to weigh in on Joe Scarborough who is trying to whip up hysteria around Obama and his movement on the financial market, or banks. These banks need to have stress tests and decisions need to be made on which ones will survive. No one expects Obama to snap his fingers and make irrational decisions, we had that from the last administration and we saw what happened. Obama has been in office what, 50 days? And Joe Scarborough is trying to make him appear or seem inept? The only one who is inept is the morning joke, himself, Scarborough.

Give Obama time, he was given this bullshit by the Bush Administration, period. And Scarborough the public KNOWS THIS.

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Bristol Palin breaks off engagement because she does not want to be associated with "WHITE TRASH?"

Can we say pot calling the kettle black?

Some folks really got nerve. nuff said.

Who didn't see this coming? Star magazine reports that Sarah Palin's 18-year-old daughter, Bristol, has broken off her engagement with her child's father, Levi Johnston. His sister Mercede told the tabloid that "Levi tries to visit Tripp every single day, but Bristol makes it nearly impossible. She tells him he can't take the baby to our house because she doesn't want him around 'white trash'!" She also claims that Bristol ended their relationship more than a month ago, despite Palin's daughter proclaiming all was well in an interview last month with Greta Van Susteren. Their child, Tripp, is two months old. If the report is true, what will Levi do with the tattoo of Bristol's name he has on his ring finger?

Source
AP

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Top Performances on American Idol 8, March 10, 2009

Off Topic: Ok, this is my thang, American Idol. It was Michael Jackson night. Jackson is one of the hardest performers to sing, but here are my favorites. First, Danny Gokey from Milwaukee, WI. Singing PYT, he LAID.IT.OUT.



Adam Lambert from San Diego, CA, sang "Black or White". One of the best performances I have ever watched on American Idol. This man needed to be in the recording studio, YESTERDAY. He was that GOOD.



Lil Rounds from Memphis, TN, sang "The Way You Make Me Feel". She made this song her own, with that bluesy funk on that song. Girl can sing.



Kris Allen from Arkansas, sang "Remember the Time". I liked it and the dude can sing.



These were the memorable performances for me. The ones who are in the bottom? Anoop Desai and Jorge Nunez. Both totally forgettable and lackluster.

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Jim Cramer, CNBC, don't get into a pissing match with Jon Stewart (Video)

Folks like Stewart, Leno, O'Brien, David Letterman have a daily bully pulpit called a TV SHOW. And with their daily bully pulpit, they will expose and call these asshats out on the DAILY....for real....ask Cramer or that Rick Santelli....



And Rick Santelli? Dude, has run with his tail between his legs after being called out everywhere. Of course, by Jon Stewart and Matt Lauer of the Today Show.



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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bernie Madoff, to plead guilty for now....62B in fraud and growing....



The picture says it all about Madoff. At least Madoff is looking at 150 years in jail, and this is being KIND.

Madoff Story Here

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Congress Approves the Spending Bill

This is another large one.

Congress on Tuesday cleared for President Barack Obama's signature a $410 billion measure to fund the government, a measure denounced by most Republicans as an example of reckless spending.

The Senate approved the measure by voice after it cleared a key procedural hurdle by a 62-35 vote. Sixty votes were required to shut down debate.

Obama will sign the measure Wednesday, the White House said, but he will also announce steps aimed at curbing lawmakers' penchant for pet projects.

The $410 billion bill is chock-full of lawmakers' pet projects and significant increases in food aid for the poor, energy research and other programs. It was supposed to have been completed last fall.

Source

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Citigroup on its way up?

Well, the CEO says for the last two months the bank has operated in a profit. Really? Does this mean the government money helped them? Or is this on their own, for real.

Call me skeptical. I want them to operate in the black, on the up and up, but as long as Citigroup has to take money from us and until they start to repay the money, my verdict is out on Citibank. In other words, they have bad assets on the books and will continue to need propping up.

Embattled Citigroup Inc. surprised Wall Street Tuesday with news that the bank company has operated at a profit in the first two months of the year. But despite the upbeat news, Congress and the Fed continue to review strategies for dealing with a further deterioration of the troubled global banking giant.

Citigroup CEO Vikram Vikram Pandit said late Monday in a memo to employees and clients that during the first two months of this year the bank had its best performance since the third quarter of 2007, when the credit crisis first triggered a wave of losses in the industry.

Pandit's memo said the company had generated $19 billion in revenues in January and February "excluding externally disclosed marks." A Citi spokesman said the company arrived at the profit figure by subtracting $8.1 billion in expenses for the two-month period, along with taxes and any one-time gains or losses. The spokesman did not provide details on those items.



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President Obama's Speech on Education (Video and Transcript)

Obama's speech was at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce



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Obama's Back to School Speech to Students, September 8, 2009


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Let the banks fail? (Video)

There is a lot of sentiment out there for this, but the reality is that if let Citibank fail, the run on all the banks in this country would be catastrophic. Do I like these banks? Hell to the naw. I think their management and superior attitude is what got them here, but do we want the run on all banks in this country? Do we want long lines to get our money out? And if you have more than 250K in a bank, do you want to lose it? The reality is that this whole economic meltdown was coming. When Bear Stearns went down that was the "light bulb" on, but many in this country and the Bush Administration did not think anything of it. And these blow hard senators for "let the banks fail", where were they and their sentiments about what was really happening? Enjoying their Bush tax cuts, of course.



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Michelle Obama has come a long way from "the afro wearin', gun totin', fist bumpin'" wife. She is the runway lady on the next issue of The New Yorker


From Michelle Obama Watch


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Obama to give major speech on education

The video and transcript will be posted later.

Since taking office on January 20, Obama has been working his way through his lengthy to-do list, from declaring the beginning of the end of the war in Iraq to expanding healthcare coverage and tackling climate change. At the same time his administration is battling to deal with a deepening recession.

On Tuesday it is the turn of education. Obama has repeatedly stressed the importance of a good education and warned that the United States risks losing its competitive edge in the 21st century global economy if it does not produce better-educated citizens.

Just over half Americans have only a high school diploma. In addition to the country's poor high school drop-out rates, half of American university students drop out before completing their education.

In a speech to the U.S. Congress last month, Obama declared these statistics were "a recipe for economic decline" and vowed to ensure that every child in the United States had access to a "complete and competitive education."

"We know the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow," he said.

'CRADLE TO CAREER'

Officials said Obama will deliver the speech to the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington on Tuesday and would lay out how his administration plans to improve education from "cradle to career."

They said he would challenge U.S. states to adopt more rigorous standards of education, especially in reading and math. He would also explain how he plans to reward good teachers, redesign federal aid programs for students, and turn around underperforming schools.

Obama will note the large gap between the best and worst performing states with respect to reading and math, the administration officials said in a briefing.

Obama, however, is not proposing to make it compulsory for states to raise education standards and will rely instead on boosting education spending in several areas, including early childhood education, to achieve the desired results.

Including $81 billion set aside for education in the $787 billion economic stimulus package, Obama plans to nearly triple spending on education in the 2010 fiscal year, which begins on October 1.

That would mean the Education Department's budget for next year would total $127.8 billion, up from $46.2 billion in 2009.

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Obama reviewing Bush's past Presidential signing statements

Interesting....

President Barack Obama ordered federal agencies to get legal reviews of statements that his predecessors, including George W. Bush, used to challenge parts of new laws they viewed as unconstitutional.

Obama, in a two-page memorandum he issued yesterday, also preserved the right to rely on the so-called signing statements to make similar challenges.

“In a way, he’s saying, ‘Yes, we’re not going to accept this body of presidential law by the previous presidents,’” said Phillip Cooper, a professor at Portland State University who has studied signing statements. “But he’s serving notice that he may make use of the presidential signing statement as a device.”

Obama’s memorandum instructed federal agencies to ask the attorney general’s office for guidance before relying on a past signing statement as a reason to disregard a statute’s provision. He said there can be “no doubt that the practice of issuing such statements can be abused,” words that signaled his latest break from Bush’s approach to executive authority.

Obama said he would attach signing statements to legislation “only when it is appropriate to do so as a means of discharging my constitutional responsibilities.” He also laid out a set of principles that will govern his use of signing statements.

Signing statements should “not be used to suggest that the president will disregard statutory requirements on the basis of policy disagreements,” Obama said in the memorandum.

“He is at least saying what’s he’s not going to do,” said Cooper. read more here....

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Obama reverses stem cell policy (Video and Transcript)



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Michelle and Oprah on "O" Magazine (Video)



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60 Minutes, Your Bank Has Failed (Video)

While we are saving these big banks, we are allowing the little ones to falter. Folks, we are loosing banks WEEKLY, this is bad. Is your money safe?



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Will the Obama Administration Save GM?

I know how important the auto industry is to many in this country. For many having parents work at the auto plant was the example of middle class living and wages. Now, this industry is dying a slow death.

I have stated that I don't think the Obama Administration will save all of the big three, that they will let one fail, I think it will be GM. Ford Motors Company is far more stable financially than GM.

Is this a good thing? No. Will it create more job loss? Yes. But if the Obama Administration takes this approach to possibly let GM demise, they must take this direction for the banks in this country. We can't save them all. Citigroup, we, the tax payers now own 36% of this financial organization, which means we have money invested heavily in this bank. What about the other banks? Are we going to save them all? I don't see it. Bank stress tests much be done on these banks and decisions made.

Now the Obama Administration will have information on GM from their fact finding team. Personally, I don't think it will be good news.

The field trip wraps up nearly three weeks of fact gathering by the team since General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC submitted their rescue plans to the Treasury Department in the hopes of winning billions more in government loans. Ford Motor Co. is not seeking government aid.

Top Treasury Department advisers Steven Rattner and Ron Bloom, who are leading the auto task force, plan to use the day in Detroit to clarify an array of lingering questions surrounding the companies' rescue plans, which many analysts have criticized as overly optimistic. The team will also meet with the United Auto Workers union to discuss its willingness for deep compromises over wages, staff cutbacks and funding for its retiree health plan.

While in Detroit the auto team plans to tour production and engineering facilities and to test drive the Chevy Volt, GM's electric car that is the centerpiece of its technology push. The visits will feature the GM Technical Center and the Chrysler Dodge Truck Center. The team will then hold discussions with GM and Chrysler officials, as well as top representatives from the UAW.

The weeks ahead are filled with peril for both the White House and the auto makers as administration officials face a March 31 deadline for deciding whether to give the companies nearly $22 billion more in federal assistance.

Political pressure is mounting against an open-ended bailout of GM and Chrysler, with strong support in many quarters for the companies to reorganize through bankruptcy. But with the nation's unemployment rate now over 8%, President Obama and his team are wary of undermining the UAW and sending another economic shockwave through the heart of the country's industrial belt.

Again, if we don't save the auto industry and let one of the big three fail, don't continue to throw money at these banks, who were just as irresponsible in management as the auto industry. We are in a very messy tangled web, financially in this country.

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Mexico's drug war can bring immigration, protectionism from back to front for Obama Administration

I don't know about you, but when my niece stated that she wanted to vacation in Cancun for her college break, my sister and I said, "NO." With all that is happening South of the Border and the Mexican government in chaos against the drug cartels, at this point just "No Way."

In Mexico, it is hard not to work for the government on the up and up. Not when you have the Mexican drug cartel who can buy your information out and promise you safety for your family. Not when the drug cartel can offer you much more money than what you are making now as a police officer. It is hard, especially when poverty in Mexico is much more grave than in the United States and has been that way for a very long time.

The war of the drug cartel versus the Mexican government is real and is easily spilling into the United States. As things are hot and heavy in Mexico, don't think it can not heat up here and the discussion of immigration but more importantly protecting this country will not heat up as well.

Bodies stacked in the morgues of Mexico's border cities tell the story of an escalating drug war. Drug violence claimed 6,290 people last year, double the previous year, and more than 1,000 in the first eight weeks of 2009.

Each bullet wound or broken bone details the viciousness with which the cartels battle a government crackdown and each other. Slain policemen lie next to hit men in the rows of zipped white bags.

Workers toil up to 12 hours a day, sometimes seven days a week, to examine the remains. When Tijuana coffin makers fell behind during the December holidays, the morgue there crammed 200 bodies into two refrigerators made to hold 80.

"There are times here when there are so many people, so many cadavers, that we can't keep up," says the Tijuana morgue director, Federico Ortiz.

Tijuana is on the border of San Diego, California. And the Obama Administration is concerned.
Evidence that Mexico's drug wars are now affecting the US is growing:

•Kidnappings are a growing problem in Phoenix, local and federal law enforcement officials report, as rival Mexican traffickers fight over smuggling routes and safe houses on the Arizona side of the border.

•A drug gang wreaking havoc on Ciudad Ju├írez, Mexico, announced publicly it would have no qualms about pursuing the city's mayor across the border to El Paso, Texas, where the mayor moved his family for safety.

•The Justice Department last week announced the arrests of 52 additional people in a two-year operation from California to Maryland that has netted more than 700 suspects linked to the Sinaloa drug cartel.

•Mexico's drug-trafficking organizations have a presence in at least 230 US cities and "constitute the largest threat to the US" in terms of crime and illegal narcotics distribution of all such organizations, according to the Department of Justice's National Drug Threat Assessment 2009.

"There's no question the consistency and intensity of violence on the Mexican side of the border has led to an increase in violence on our side," says Roderick Ai Camp, an expert in Mexico's military at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif.

With everything happening in this country, just another issue which has been festering to pile on. And if you missed the 60 Minutes segment on this issue last week, here it is again.



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