Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
FLOTUS, Michelle Obama to deliver commencement speech at D.C. high school and U. of California-Merced
Now, I LOVE that FLOTUS will give an address to a graduating senior high school class. I can't remember the last president doing this and definitely not a First Lady. Kudos to FLOTUS!!
The Office of the First Lady announced today that First Lady Michelle Obama will serve as commencement speaker at two graduations this year. Mrs. Obama will give the commencement speech to high school graduates of Washington Mathematics Science Technology Public Charter, in Washington D.C. She will also deliver the commencement speech to University of California, Merced's first full senior class - the University opened in 2005. UC Merced students actively sought out the First Lady as commencement speaker by writing letters to Mrs. Obama, her office, and her friends and family. Mrs. Obama will address graduates, family members, and faculty at Washington Math and Science Technical High School on June 3, 2009, and the University of California, Merced on May 16, 2009.
More details will be announced at a later date.
This Week With Barack Obama
I happen to catch this, a good roundup of what is coming up next week, like President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama leaving for Europe....
"The Number Zero, Brought To You By The Party Of N-O," It is pretty good.
In response to our Stop Supporting The O’Reilly Harassment Machine campaign, UPS told us yesterday that it was investigating whether to continue supporting O’Reilly’s show. “We are sensitive to the type of television programming where our messages and presence are associated and continually review choices to affect future decisions,” spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg told us.
Today UPS announced it will stop advertising on O’Reilly’s show. Here is the statement UPS emailed out just moments ago:
Thank you for sending an e-mail expressing concern about UPS advertising during the Bill O’Reilly show on FOX News. We do consider such comments as we review ad placement decisions which involve a variety of news, entertainment and sports programming. At this time, we have no plans to continue advertising during this show.
O'Reilly stalking women and threatening to kill folks at MSNBC?
....a mistake, a gaffe? Strategically planned? Who believes this bullcrap? And Keith Olbermann's take on Steele's "master plan"....in other words, Michael Steele spinning himself????
Done laughing, yet?
An IBM employee group, Alliance@IBM, claims many of the jobs are being eliminated so that the company can move the positions to low-cost locations like India, where programmers earn less than half the annual salaries of their U.S. counterparts. IBM officials have not returned calls seeking comment.
IBM has been reducing its U.S. headcount for the past several years while expanding its presence in emerging markets. IBM employed 115,000 workers in the United States in 2008, down from 127,000 in 2006. The company now employs more than 70,000 workers in India.
IBM Cuts Jobs as It Seeks Stimulus Money
Thursday, March 26, 2009
The Republican Party's Budget with NO NUMBERS....from Keith Olbermann and Norah O'Donnell, MSNBC (Video)
A plan, mind you that has no deficit forecast, a plan that relies solely on tax cuts and NO NUMBERS AT ALL. The party of NO kept the comedy rolling along.....
Nora O'Donnell grills Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) on this budget
This was laughable. Really, it was.
Native Chicagoan is relocating to D.C. to continue to work on FLOTUS' tresses.
Johnny Wright met Michelle Obama two years ago, not long after Barack Obama announced his quest for the White House. The hairstylist, then popular in Chicago's Wicker Park area, was called in for an Essence magazine photo shoot -- not that he had to do much with the candidate's wife's hair, he says. Wright and Obama quickly hit it off.
Fortunately for Wright, the Obamas may have moved from Chicago, but they believe in staying true to their roots.
Two months into the Obama administration, Wright has become the first lady's exclusive First Hairstylist, the White House confirmed this week.
"It's exciting, absolutely, doing the first lady's hair," Wright says carefully of the highly competitive gig, over lemon-drop martinis at a National Harbor restaurant. "She's a great lady and I feel privileged to do her hair."
Any juicy details, Mr. Wright? Is she natural or does she relax? Does she color? Is that really her hair? Wright stays mum, then turns to comment on the restaurant's wallpaper color.
That's right. FLOTUS, Michelle Obama is a very high end customer, no secrets should ever be revealed. Wright knows this, I will not be surprised an exclusive contract was signed to get this competing gig.
As it turns out, being the First Hairstylist requires not only special talent with a blow dryer and flat-iron. One also must have a fierce commitment to discretion.
See? I told you so!!! The young man, mere 31, is impressive.
During the campaign, Wright, 31, was called in periodically to style Obama for such important events as the Democratic National Convention in Denver, he says, including the day she gave her speech. And more recently, he says he was called in for her photo session for the much-noted March cover of Vogue magazine.
Since that Essence shoot two years ago, Wright had moved on to the Frederick Fekkai Salon on Melrose Place in West Hollywood. In January, he says, he was notified that Obama wanted him as her exclusive stylist. He says he had become her official stylist by the time he coiffed her for the official White House portrait, in which she smiles exquisitely from beneath a perfect modified bob wearing a designer "little black dress" and double strands of pearls.
Read it all here
Shuster has been on a roll lately, calling the hypocrisy out, especially on the Republican side. Now here is Karl Rove criticizing President Obama of misleading people. He of ALL PEOPLE got a lot of nerve. That is all I can type, watch the video. Shuster puts Rove on serious blast.
I know the Republicans right now are in disarray, acting like a child with out its bottle, and whining constantly, but to regulate the activities of the First Lady of the United States? A tad bit much, for my taste.
House Republicans are pressing for a change in federal law that could force Michelle Obama and future first ladies to do more of their policy work in public. But Democrats warn President Obama may take the attempt personally “as an attack on his wife.”
The GOP effort is being led by the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), whose initial salvo was rebuffed recently at a contentious committee markup session. Under Issa’s amendment, any government policy group that Mrs. Obama or another first spouse regularly participates in would be subject to a law requiring meetings to be announced in advance and, in most instances, public.
At the March 10 markup, Issa’s proposal triggered more than 35 minutes of impassioned debate. I’ve linked video of the exchange below, but Democrats clearly seemed to be recoiling at what some viewed as an effort to target Mrs. Obama.
Rep. William Clay (D-Mo.) suggested President Obama might see the legislation as a personal provocation that could trigger a fight. “Let me… caution my friend from California that, as you’re probably aware, this president is very guarded about his family,” Clay said. “I think that, no matter what you’re intending with this amendment, that the president may view this as an attack on his wife. And I’m just saying, you know, let’s be careful--if we want to open up that can of worms. Let’s not go in that direction.”
“We are trying actually to protect the historic role of the first lady,” Issa insisted, repeatedly invoking the “transparency” mantra of the Obama administration. “I believe this is open government at its finest.”
“What is protection to one person may be just the opposite to another,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) observed.
Where was this amendment when Laura Bush was the First Lady? Surely, she spoke on behalf of her husband. No, she was not as active as First Lady Michelle Obama, but again, she had her issues and she spoke about them. This is just more distraction crap, from the Republicans. I guess you have to try anything when you don't have anything to say.
The video below was recorded and the verbiage of the First Ladies' Amendment is around 10:57.
Obama Courts the Democrats on the Hill
President Obama loped up the stairs inside the Capitol on Wednesday, running a few minutes late for a lunch with Democratic senators. The standing ovation as he entered the room masked an undercurrent of friendly but distinct differences within.
As he presses Congress to keep his ambitious agenda intact, Mr. Obama is navigating multiple constituencies within his party. Centrist Democrats in the Senate are trying to organize into a muscular bloc that is already putting its stamp on the president’s $3.6 trillion budget.
At the same time, liberal groups, with tacit encouragement from the White House, are pushing back, trying to keep Mr. Obama’s core domestic initiatives — on health care, climate change and education — from being watered down in the legislative process.
The divisions are no greater than those that existed within the Republican Party when it was in power, and at this point they do not threaten Mr. Obama’s ability to win the main elements of what he is seeking in his budget.
But they bring to life a paradox of political success: As a party expands its ideological and geographic reach, as the Democrats have in the last two elections, it becomes harder to hold together, forcing its leaders to spend time papering over internal differences even as they confront a smaller but more unified opposition.
Faced with just such a challenge, the White House unleashed a broad offensive on Wednesday, a mix of muscle and negotiation, in an effort to contain the varying viewpoints within the Democratic Party, split the difference and move forward.
The muscle came in new television advertisements urging centrist Democrats, many of whom have a streak of fiscal conservatism that makes them leery of the increases proposed by the president, to support the budget.
The spots are being broadcast in 11 states and urge moderate Republican senators as well as Democrats to support the administration’s budget priorities. The campaign is paid for by Americans United for Change, a group financed largely by organized labor, and was organized with the permission of Democratic strategists close to the White House.
At the same time, Mr. Obama’s former campaign team has urged supporters to call their members of Congress.
One thing I do give the Obama Administration credit for, they try everything when it comes to keeping in touch with the American public. The reason for the credit is because it is easy to get caught up in the "D.C. bubble". Easy to listen to the chatter in D.C. and forget what the folks in the rest of the country are saying. Ask George W. Bush, who hardly ever left Washington, D.C. He left office one of the most out of touch presidents we had.
Today President Obama will participate in an online town hall meeting at 11:30AM EST, voting closes at 9:30A EST.
"Here's how it works,'' explains Mitch Stewart, director of Organizing for America, the permanent Obama campaign that the DNC is overseeing. "President Obama is inviting everyone to ask a question about the economy and to rate other questions up or down.''
Thursday morning, the president will conduct an online "town hall" on the economy and answer some of the most popular questions live.
"This first round will deal with the economy,'' Stewart is telling supporters of the president in an email. "Americans deserve to know what their government is doing to get our economy back on track.''
Many of us, over the years have just turned a blind eye on homelessness. Now, with many Americans one pay check from the streets, the eye is not blind any longer. Tent Cities are popping up all over.
Like a dozen or so other cities across the nation, Fresno is dealing with an unhappy déjà vu: the arrival of modern-day Hoovervilles, illegal encampments of homeless people that are reminiscent, on a far smaller scale, of Depression-era shantytowns. At his news conference on Tuesday night, President Obama was asked directly about the tent cities and responded by saying that it was “not acceptable for children and families to be without a roof over their heads in a country as wealthy as ours.”
I agree. No one should go to bed without a roof over their head, food in their stomach, a job to go to. This country is too wealthy for this, but the reality is that this country has been trending rich vs. poor for years now. Many Americans work harder for their money, while making much less. Inflation has hit the middle class and working class in this country hard. Food prices have shot up in grocery stores all over this country. There was a time that $50.00 could get you a lot for your money in the grocery store, now 100.00 hardly gets you two bags of groceries. And let us not even talk about college. College was pride and a show of elevation in the middle class that your child can go higher with better paying jobs in this country, now college is definitely for the haves (as in money to afford college) vs. the have nots (as in I want to go to college but it is too expensive).
Obama said three things on Tuesday night at his presser, we must tackle education, energy and health care. He is right. If we don't all these Tent Cities popping up it will not be astonishing, but become part of the norm in this country. And that is scary.
***UPDATE*** The person eliminated from the Top 10 is listed at the bottom of this post
Two categories that throw these contestants. Country week and Motown week. Both are on the opposite ends of the spectrum, musically. Smokey Robinson was the mentor this week.
Here are the top performances for me.
Matt Giraud, singing the classic Marvin Gaye song, "Let's Get it On". This song DEFINED Marvin Gaye, to touch it, you better be on. Matt was.
Kris Allen sang "How Sweet it is to be Loved by You". He spinned this song and made it his own. This guy gets better every week.
Allison Irheta sang the Temptations classic, "Papa was a Rolling Stone". She ended the show with a bang. She turned this song, ROCK, and sang it her way, good job.
Anoop Desai sang the Smokey Robinson classic, "Ooooh, Baby, Baby". This song you need to have your falsetto on point and the melody tight. He did a good job with this song.
Finally, Adam Lambert was the most memorable of Motown Week. He sang the classic Smokey Robinson song, "Tracks of my Tears". When he was done, Smokey was in the audience and stood up and gave him a standing ovation. Adam reminds me of Taylor Hicks, but only on this point, he knows how to perform. Hicks was a mediocre singer who knew how to perform, as Adam not only knows how to perform, but understands his instrument and can deliver as Hicks could not.
Michael Sarver eliminated.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I am here in Illinois and the unemployment rate is over 8.6%. This is not good for Illinois because we are close to that double digit, but for Cali to hit 12% this is very bad news.
California's jobless rate will climb to a staggering 11.9 percent between April and June next year, and double-digit unemployment will linger in the nation's most populous state at least through 2011, according to a new economic forecast.
The somber outlook in the quarterly Anderson Forecast from the University of California at Los Angeles, to be released Wednesday, came as the state struggles with a housing meltdown, budget crisis and slack consumer demand that has hurt the retail, manufacturing and trade sectors at the heart of the state economy.
The projected jobless rate would grow to 11.9 percent between April and June 2010, and average 11.7 percent for that year. The figure stood at 10.5 percent in February. Forecasters say it will average 11 percent for 2009.
This is why my sister said no to my niece about vacationing in Mexico and Hillary in Mexico City (Video)
Mexico is getting a bad rap, it is, but when you have an all out war from the drug cartel against the government, you can't go to Mexico. Not tourists.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands with Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa after a news conference at the foreign ministry in Mexico City March 25, 2009.
Clinton: U.S. drug habits fuel border violence
Eric Cantor is an adequate dodge ball player. He can not answer any questions about the Republican Plan. He is now worried about the trillions of dollars on the backs of our children, but certainly was not concerned while giving the previous administration a blank check to spend us to where we are at. Remember he is the same individual that Lawrence O'Donnell expediently took down on morning joe or is it morning joke? Finally, it has got to be hard to go on these shows with absolutely NOTHING TO SAY. Cantor on C-Span, here. Why this is pointed out is that he allowed a caller to say atrocious things about President Obama, while sitting there smirking. Again, this is why people have walked away from the far right wing part of the Republican Party.
This should be interesting, since the White House has toned down its rhetoric towards the very folks that put us in the predicament we are in.
President Barack Obama plans to meet Friday with about a dozen of the U.S.'s top banking chiefs in an unusual gathering designed to discuss the administration's plans to shore up the financial sector. Attendees are expected to include Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), J. P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. (C). The meeting comes as relations between Washington and Wall Street are frayed following last week's furor over bonuses paid to American International Group Inc. (AIG) employees.
At the same time, the administration is relying heavily on private investors and Wall Street banks to implement its various rescue programs and needs to repair its relationship.
(This story and related background material will be available on The Wall Street Journal Web site, WSJ.com.)
Several bank chief executives have openly criticized the White House's handling of the financial crisis, especially its public announcement of "stress tests," designed to measure banks' financial health, that led to a sharp sell off in financial stocks.
Top bank executives often come to Washington but rarely meet privately en masse with top government officials. It is also unusual for the White House to hold such meetings, which are usually handled by the Treasury or Federal Reserve.
Last fall, then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson summoned many of the same top bank executives to Washington and pressured them to allow the government to inject capital into their companies. The meeting Friday is expected to be much less contentious, representing instead an effort by Mr. Obama and his top aides to explain efforts he recently announced to stabilize the banking industry.
Many of the executives will arrive Thursday for a meeting of the Financial Services Roundtable, an industry trade group that represents the largest financial-services companies. The group plans to meet privately with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Thursday night.
Separately, U.K. Prime Minister Gordon met Tuesday with executives from 13 global banks as part of preparations for the Group-of-20 summit in London April 2. A spokesman for the U.K. Treasury said "there was clear agreement about the importance of supporting the global economy, restoring lending by dealing head-on with troubled assets and rejecting protectionism."
Executives meeting with Mr. Brown came from banks including Banco Santander SA (STD), Barclays PLC (BCS), Deutsche Bank AG (DB), Goldman Sachs and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (MTU).
Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana has invited President Obama to speak at its commencement address, he has accepted. Some over on the Catholic side are outraged, based on his social policies, understood, but Newt Gingrich of all persons have absolutely NOTHING TO SAY when it comes to any social policy. Especially from the Catholicism point of view, he has had a notorious habit of dumping wives and setting up the next one, now on wifey number three. Bravo to David Shuster for calling Gingrich's hypocrisy out.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The best part of this presser was Obama's smackdown on Ed Henry of CNN, who kept drilling Obama and kept asking him repeatedly of why he did not reveal the information about AIG, Obama turned and snapped, "I like to know what I am talking about before I speak." The whole room laughed. See below.
Full Video of Press Conference Below
Transcript on Video Here
President Obama holds his first meeting with the leader of one of America's closest allies on March 24, a man whose climb to power in many ways mirrors his own. Like Obama, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd beat an older, more conservative rival to lead his country, riding a wave of opposition to the Iraq War and support for more action on issues such as health care and climate change. Both men are intellectuals from modest backgrounds, they lost fathers to car accidents at young ages, and a series of international crises are filling both their inboxes. Two of those Outback-sized dilemmas are expected to dominate their White House meeting: the global financial meltdown and the deteriorating war in Afghanistan, where Australia has roughly 1,000 soldiers. (Read "A New Face for Australia." read more here......
I had to post this diary from Daily Kos. Why? Because it reeks of common sense. That's why. By diarist marybluesky.
No - he doesn't need to replace Gibbs. He needs a new adjunct press secretary. This position can be titled Press Secretary for response to smear attacks, or maybe Press Secretary for issues that are too dumb to waste our time on. And every time someone complains about Obama using a teleprompter, the only person that will talk to them about their "issue" will be this Adjunct Press Secretary.
Still worried about Obama's birth certificate? Mad about an unwise comment that was apologized for a week ago already? Need to complain about the fashion choices of the first lady? This is your contact. All nit-picking, questions unrelated to policy, and all old, tired, refuted lies will be handled by the new Adjunct Press Secretary, with skin as thick as a elephant and no aversion to calling people stupid (in the most delicate way, of course).
Free up Gibbs - let him just refer dumb questions from Faux "News" directly to the new Adjunct. Let Gibbs and Obama stick to dealing with policy. The Republicans left Obama with plenty to do, and now they seem intent on filling the airwaves with side issues and petty complaints, just to distract the Administration and Congress from the real work that needs to take place. Free them up again with this new position.
And I think pretty much any advice from former monster-in-residence Dick Cheney about how the country should be run now could be handled by the Adjunct Press Secretary, as well as most of what Karl Rove spews. Of course, as soon as your question is referred to this new office, everyone pretty much knows that the formal administration position about you and your question/issue/concern is that you are the real-life version of a website troll.
Instead of Republicans coming up with honest, new, untreaded, original, innovative ideas, they continue to whine, cry, repeat, the same old ad nauseam repeatedly. Until they decide to walk in 2009, they will continue to be left in the dust.
Since former Vice President Dick Cheney feels the need to defend the Bush-Cheney record by going out in the open for an interview, his colleagues in his party feels differently, they just want him to go away.
Congressional Republicans are telling Dick Cheney to go back to his undisclosed location and leave them alone to rebuild the Republican Party without his input.
Displeased with the former vice-president's recent media appearances, Republican lawmakers say he's hurting GOP efforts to reinvent itself after back-to-back electoral drubbings.
Why Cheney emerged recently on CNNs State of the Union is a question mark to many. Cheney left office with poll numbers worse than President George W. Bush. If you have poll numbers that low, would it not make you understand the public is disinterested in whatever you say? And since you decided to talk knowing the poll numbers, the public will turn a deaf ear, as in, they don't want to hear anything you have to say? I mean, I am just using common sense here, but if anyone has a real reason why Cheney should be listened to, go ahead have at it!
Anyway, the Republicans just want Cheney to shut his trap up.
Rep. John Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.) said, “He became so unpopular while he was in the White House that it would probably be better for us politically if he wouldn’t be so public...But he has the right to speak out since he’s a private citizen.”
Another House Republican lawmaker who requested anonymity said he wasn’t surprised that Cheney has strongly criticized Obama early in his term, but argued that it’s not helping the GOP cause.
The legislator said Cheney, whose approval ratings were lower than President Bush’s during the last Congress, didn’t think through the political implications of going after Obama.
Cheney did “House Republicans no favors,” the lawmaker said, adding, “I could never understand him anyway.”
I will give former President George W. Bush this credit, he made his statement on the Obama Administration, "...he deserves my silence." Good job with stating that, because if George W. Bush all of a sudden have anything to say about the Obama Administration, he would be put on media blast. Guaranteed.
Cheney's criticism of the Obama Administration, an administration that has been in office like what, two seconds, is totally out of bounds. Cheney defending the Bush Administration policies, the very ones mind you that have us in the situation we are in is laughable. I know that Bush and Cheney hopes history will be kinder towards them, maybe it will, but right now it really is advisable for Cheney go back to his undisclosed location and STFU. At least that is what republicans are hoping for.
Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), who is running for governor, suggested that past leaders should not be seeking the spotlight at a time when the party is rebuilding and redefining itself, after “hitting bottom” in the devastating losses last November.
“Interpret it however you want to, but what I’m saying is: We should focus on the people that will lead us tomorrow, not the people who led us yesterday,” Wamp said. “With all due respect to former Vice President Cheney, he represents what’s behind us, not what’s ahead of us.”
Finally, Cheney going after Obama keeps that door open and a reminder to the public of how this country sent Bush and Cheney packing with disdain. As George W. Bush ran away from the klieg lights, Cheney still wants the lights on him.
A time for global action
By Barack Obama
Monday, March 23, 2009
WASHINGTON: We are living through a time of global economic challenges that cannot be met by half measures or the isolated efforts of any nation. Now, the leaders of the Group of 20 have a responsibility to take bold, comprehensive and coordinated action that not only jump-starts recovery, but also launches a new era of economic engagement to prevent a crisis like this from ever happening again.
No one can deny the urgency of action. A crisis in credit and confidence has swept across borders, with consequences for every corner of the world. For the first time in a generation, the global economy is contracting and trade is shrinking.
Trillions of dollars have been lost, banks have stopped lending, and tens of millions will lose their jobs across the globe. The prosperity of every nation has been endangered, along with the stability of governments and the survival of people in the most vulnerable parts of the world.
Once and for all, we have learned that the success of the American economy is inextricably linked to the global economy. There is no line between action that restores growth within our borders and action that supports it beyond.
If people in other countries cannot spend, markets dry up -- already we've seen the biggest drop in American exports in nearly four decades, which has led directly to American job losses. And if we continue to let financial institutions around the world act recklessly and irresponsibly, we will remain trapped in a cycle of bubble and bust. That is why the upcoming London Summit is directly relevant to our recovery at home. read more...
1. Al Watan (Gulf States)
2. Arab Times (Gulf States)
3. Asharq Al Awsat (Arab-wide paper in Arabic)
4. The Australian (Australia)
5. Baltimore Sun (United States)
6. Bangkok Post (Thailand)
7. Chicago Tribune (United States)
8. Clarin (Argentina)
9. Corriere della Sera (Italy)
10. Die Welt (Germany)
11. El Pais (Madrid)
12. El Mercurio (Chile)
13. Eleftyropiea (Greece)
14. Estado de Sao Paulo (Brazil)
15. Gulf News (Gulf States)
16. The Hindustan Times/ The Hindu (India)
17. International Herald Tribune (London)
18. Kristeligt Dagblad (Denmark)
19. Le Monde (Paris)
20. Lidove Noviny (Czech)
21. Los Angeles Times (United States)
22. The News (Pakistan)
23. NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands)
24. Saudi Gazette (Saudi Arabia)
25. South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
26. Straits Times (Singapore)
27. Sunday Times (South Africa)
28. Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden)
29. Syndey Morning Herald (Australia)
30. WProst (Poland)
31. Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan)
Monday, March 23, 2009
See what the hate from the ilks of Rush Limbaugh releases? Some crazy, biatch named Tammy Bruce goes straight negative and outrageous. I wonder if she is trying to sell a book, get a tv show, or a radio program? Who knows, but the woman is totally foul and over the line.
Tammy Bruce, guest host for Laura Ingram's radio show, had some harsh words for First Lady Michelle Obama.
Discussing the first lady's visit to a Washington D.C. classroom last week, Bruce incredulously recalled Obama's story about wanting to get A's in school and called out her use of a "weird, fake accent."
"That's what he's married to," Bruce said. "...You know what we've got? We've got trash in the White House. Trash is a thing that is colorblind, it can cross all eco-socionomic...categories. You can work on Wall Street, or you can work at the Wal-Mart. Trash, are people who use other people to get things, who patronize others, who consider you bitter and clingy..."
The Obamas got more class than this biatch, for real. Some folks really have nerve, I mean just nerve. I guess we live in the age of "who can shock, whom the most". As much as I did not care for George W. Bush, I never thought he or his wife, Laura, was a bunch of trash.
Bruce describes herself as, "an openly gay, pro-choice, gun owning, pro-death penalty "progressive feminist" who has voted for presidents as diverse as Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush." Maybe she got confused along the way for the crap she was saying today. Anyway it is words like this that makes folks just shake their heads, "NO" to the Republican Party.
If you want to listen to her rant, right here.
It is a shame we are in 2009 and some folks are still in the 1950/60s frame of mind. Change is a bitch.
Scared for having their names out there, for everyone to read. Fear more than shame is the reason these AIG folks are giving their bonus money back.
I have to hat tip, NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for being all over AIG, like white on rice to give those bonuses back. AIG did not know what hit them when Cuomo went after them, as he is pursuing Citigroup. But don't think that folks, everyday joes and josettas, out there protesting in front of these bonus recipients homes did not intimidate them, it did. Heck it would worry me.
A busload of activists representing working- and middle-class families paid visits Saturday to the lavish homes of American International Group executives to protest the tens of millions of dollars in bonuses awarded by the struggling insurance company after it received a massive federal bailout.
So far 15 of the 20 largest bonuses have been returned, but of course when money is involved EVERYONE is not going to be on the shame train.
Fifteen of the largest 20 bonuses distributed by AIG, totaling about $30 million of their payments, have been returned, according to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
Some of the bonus recipients have refused to give back the payments, others have been unable to be contacted, and other holdouts are still deliberating while they consider the tax ramifications, Cuomo told reporters during a conference call.
And Cuomo played hardball with these AIG folks, he was like Vito Corleone, if they don't want to be on the name revealing list give the money back. And who in their right mind want their name revealed for getting one of those AIG bonuses after you were part of almost destroying this country's financial system?
Though he denied any implicit threat, Cuomo seemed to reveal his negotiation tactics by emphasizing that those who return the money "will no longer be on a list that would ever be revealed."
Governor Patterson is going to have a hard primary next year.
As busy as this woman is with little kids she has endured seven major surgeries, a double mastectomy, reconstructive surgery, and removed her ovaries after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She is a strong powerhouse in congress, a gritty, no-nonsense woman, that you only have to admire her more, after listening to her. Cancer is a scary word for ANY FAMILY, many of us know this have been through it. Debbie, you are a powerful woman. God Bless.
Yes, you can fly to Washington, D.C. with your kids and participate with Barack and Michelle at the annual White House Easter Egg Hunt (yes I know it is Easter Egg Roll, but who calls it that outside of the White House?).
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are pleased to announce the 131st White House Easter Egg Roll. Talented performers, special guests and thousands of visitors from all over the country are expected to attend this year. For the first time, tickets for the Easter Egg Roll will be distributed online so that more children and families from across the United States have the opportunity to experience this event. There will be no ticket distribution on the Ellipse the weekend before the event. More details about the ticketing process are below.
In other words, the average joe's and joesetta's kids can participate, cutting into the "who you know" syndrome on getting a ticket. At least we hope that philosophy is cut into.
For the first time, public tickets for the 2009 White House Easter Egg Roll will be distributed online. Ticketing will be available here beginning Thursday, March 26th.
The tickets, which are timed for entrance and exit to the South Lawn, will be emailed to each confirmed guest and the original must be printed and presented to gain entry to the South Lawn. A maximum of six tickets will be issued per order. Children age ten and under, along with their families are invited to attend. There must be at least one child ten years old or under and no more than two adults per group. Tickets are required for every attendee, including small children and infants, to enter the South Lawn of the White House.
Save that link and go on line, March 26, 2009, to get your tickets.
I am not going to write anything on the bank rescue plan, I am skeptical, but at this point we don't know if it will work or not. Again, we are treading in unfamiliar waters here, the not knowing of what will work. I give Geithner points in having a plan in place and to let us see the specifics, now we have to see if it will work. So, far the markets like it, the dow rallied to 497 points. That is a good thing, so far.
Here is Secretary Geithner's plan for bank rescue.
President Obama on the bank rescue plan
Dow Jones surges to 497 points on Geithner's bank rescue plan
Democrats and Republicans alike, this is what congress cares about, MONEY. This system is a damn shame. These same congress critters are the systemic problem in Washington, D.C. They don't get it. They are the ones living in a bubble called Washington, D.C. and they just don't get it. People have a right to be angry and congress is the real start. This is the hand that is dealt, until the public demand total change it will be business as usual in Washington, D.C.
Former DNC Chair to CNBC. We will see how this works out, but CNBC has been under heavy criticism since Jon Stewart unveiled the network as being hacks, which it is. Anyway, Dean is an attempt to clean that image up, we will see how it works out.
Former DNC Chair Howard Dean will become a regular contributor for the business news network CNBC, a source close to the former Vermont Governor confirms. Dean started his new gig on Monday morning with a guest-hosting appearance on the station.
The move comes at a time when CNBC is under intense pressure to change its format and criticism for its failures to report or foresee much of today's economic crisis. In this regard, Dean -- who worked Wall Street after graduating college, has family ties to the financial sector, but was nevertheless been an early critic of the business practices that contributed to the current recession -- should be a refreshing presence, particularly for progressive economists.
Today, even before the WHOLE PLAN is revealed, we finally get to see Treasury's Bank Rescue plan.
This plan is about all the toxic assets or bad mortgage paper on many of these banks books. Even though the government has already pumped billions into these banks, many are still in great financial strife and are not lending to consumers.
This is a double edge sword for me. I know, realistically that something has to be done to save the financial system in this country. I know if we don't and listen to hacks like morning joe or joke, do nothing that banks in the country will fall harder than we ever knew. On the other hand, I don't like giving these banks, the AIGs, and even the automotive industry a dime. These companies have board of directors, CEOs, CFOs, Executive Directors, all who are in charge of making decisions for their companies. Along with making decisions, they are also responsible for the direction of their companies, along with taking financial risk. Their risk, lack of forecast, and utter greed in the end took their companies down to come banging on the taxpayers door. I don't like it not one iota.
President Barack Obama is between a rock and a hard place. He is damned if he do, damned if he don't. That is the reality. Barack Obama was not elected to NOT DO anything, he was elected to DO SOMETHING. I am a Barack Obama supporter, but I call it like I see it with him. He is a politician first, no doubt about it. And let's talk about the mountainous of problems left from the last administration. First and foremost the economic mess. The Bush Administration turned a deaf ear and eye to the continuous job loss, the crumbling housing market, the instability of the markets, and the fright of the "R" word for recession. They left that. What is happening now, happened on Bush's watch and since last summer has escalated in this country. That is the reality. Bush could not get away from the kleeg lights fast enough.
Lastly, all this concerned trolling on these cable chatter shows is ridiculous. The stimulus package and the unveiled Geithner plan for banks have not even hit the ground running, yet, and you have these doomsday analysts declaring failure. I have not heard one word, looked at a plan, heard anything from the leaders of the Republican party except their continuous "more tax cuts" that will get us out of this financial mess. The other side has offered NOTHING, ZERO, NADA, on how to fix this. These same folks have zero credibility in any criticism here. These same folks gave Bush a blank check to spend this country into the demise we are at now. So, yes, they have a right to be critical but the criticism needs to come after a plan is implemented not before. And morning joke, well, you get what I mean. He continues to perpetrate gloom and doom, but will be the first to turn around and say, "Gee, maybe we did not understand or know what we are talking about." And he is getting, "How much a year to spout that great analysis?" You feel me?
On Monday morning at 8:45 a.m., the Treasury Department announces its long-delayed bank rescue plan, a three-pronged approach which involves, according to Reuters:
1) Low-interest loans to private investors to buy up banks' bad assets.
2) A public-private fund, run by fund managers, to invest in troubled mortgages, "with government capital matching private capital contributions"
3) The Federal Reserve will enlarge the $1 trillion TALF (Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility) to buy assets "weighing on bank balance sheets."
Collaboration with the private sector is a key element of the bank-rescue plan, according to the Wall Street Journal:
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the only way to resolve the financial crisis is to work with the private sector to remove troubled assets clogging banks' balance sheets, even at a time when Wall Street moneymakers are being vilified by the public and politicians.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal Sunday, Mr. Geithner said the government cannot do this alone. "Our judgment is that the best way to get through this is if we can work with the markets," he said. "We don't want the government to assume all the risk. We want the private sector to work with us."
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Three political heavyweights and the founders of Building America's Future - NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA), and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) - meet with President Obama on Friday and join us exclusively to talk about the economy, bailouts, and stimulus. Plus, a special economic and political roundtable with NBC's Tom Brokaw and CNBC's Erin Burnett.
Harry Smith spoke with Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Charles Grassley about the outcome of AIG outrage; White House Economic Advisor Austan Goolsbee discussed banks and the state of Obama's economy.
h/t to Christian Dem in NC
This is an outrageous story, but true. The realm of the ill equipt, manufactured, poorly made Chinese products running rampant in this country is unbelievable. Now, you can't even have a decent night sleep without the following.
Officials are looking into claims that Chinese-made drywall installed in some Florida homes is emitting smelly, corrosive gases and ruining household systems such as air conditioners, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says.
The Florida Health Department, which is investigating whether the drywall poses any health risks, said it has received more than 140 homeowner complaints. And class-action lawsuits allege defective drywall has caused problems in at least three states -- Florida, Louisiana and Alabama -- while some attorneys involved claim such drywall may have been used in tens of thousands of U.S. homes.
Homeowners' lawsuits contend the drywall has caused them to suffer health problems such as headaches and sore throats and face huge repair expenses.
The drywall is alleged to have high levels of sulfur and, according to homeowners' complaints, the sulfur-based gases smell of rotten eggs and corrode piping and wiring, causing electronics and appliances to fail.
"It's economically devastating, and it's emotionally devastating," said Florida attorney Ervin A. Gonzalez, who filed one of the lawsuits. It would cost a third of an affected home's value to fix the dwelling, Gonzalez said.
"The interior has to be gutted, the homeowners have to continue paying mortgages, and they have to pay for a [temporary] place to live," Gonzalez said.
Dick and Nancy Nelson, who say the Florida retirement home they bought new in 2006 has Chinese-manufactured drywall, contend all their appliances with copper are failing, according to CNN affiliate WFTS-TV.
"The washing machine, the dryer, the microwave, a refrigerator -- these are all brand-new appliances, and they're breaking down," Nancy Nelson of Palmetto told the Tampa station. The Nelsons are among those who have complained to the state health department.
In a neighborhood in Homestead, Florida, owners of homes with Chinese-manufactured drywall say the dwellings smell like rotten eggs, especially on humid days, according to CNN affiliate WPLG-TV.
Electronics and appliances with copper components stopped working in short order, and copper pipes and wiring turned black, homeowners told the Miami station.
"My dream has turned into a nightmare," one of the homeowners, Felix Martinez, told WPLG-TV. He said he closed on the home in August 2006.
Wow, the elected officials of this country really care about us, the constituents. There have been millions of complaints about everything China and in some instances horrific side effects because of their products, China is still allowed to pimp, push, prod and get their products into this country. We, the taxpayer end up holding the bag repeatedly.
When is this country going to say enough to China? Oh, that's right, they own too much of our paper, debt, so we talk with a big stick but walk softly around China.
We have been witnessing all the RAGE, OUTCRY, ANGER, being whipped up in a damn frenzy on the Hill. The Republicans and some concerned trolling Democrats have been running to the nearest microphone with their RAGE.
So, as in all bullshit frenzy, money is either the root of all evil or a tool, if used effectively to give these political gasbags a cup of STFU. Here we have these politicians so enraged, but taking bailout out money, the taxpayers money for their political coffers. Does this smell of utter bullshit?
There was plenty of outrage on Capitol Hill last week over the executive bonuses paid out by AIG after getting federal bailout money. But another money trail could make voters just as angry: the campaign dollars to members of Congress from banks and firms that have received billions via the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
While a few big firms, such as Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase, have curtailed their campaign giving, others are quietly doling out cash to select members of Congress, particularly those who serve on committees that oversee TARP. In recent filings with the Federal Election Commission, the political action committee for Bank of America (which got $15 billion in bailout money) sent out $24,500 in the first two months of 2009, including $1,500 to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and another $15,000 to members of the House and Senate banking panels. Citigroup ($25 billion) dished out $29,620, including $2,500 to House GOPWhip Eric Cantor, who also got $10,000 from UBS which, while not a TARP recipient, got $5 billion in bailout funds as an AIG "counterparty." "This certainly appears to be a case of TARP funds being recycled into campaign contributions," says Brett Kappell, a D.C. lawyer who tracks donations. (A spokesman for Cantor did not respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for Hoyer said it's his "policy to accept legal contributions.")
Eric Cantor has been all over TV slamming the Obama Administration, in angst and awe over bailing these corporations out, just in utter OUTRAGE of AIG, but takes money from bailout institutions? Is the pot calling the kettle yet? Oh, and if you think Hoyer and Cantor are the ones just being called out? Don't worry; the list will soon roll out on all these hypocrites.
Cleaning up executive pay for these banks, Wall Stree, should not be required by the government, period. The government should not have any say, AT ALL, about what private institutions do, as long as these companies follow the law. But we are in different waters, at different times.
What AIG did with their carelessness of ramifications to the financial markets in this country is still unbelievable. I know many are just angry, including myself, at the bonuses, but should anyone be surprised? Overall, I am not. President Obama made the best explanation of what AIG did when he sat on the couch chatting with Jay Leno from the Tonight Show. It was a small division of the company, AIG, including some overseas, who gambled the bank and came up very short. In fact some on the board and higher up claimed that they were unaware of what was going on and happened, but believe that if you believe the moon is pink. Thus, it meant that an emergency influx of cash to keep AIG solvent was made in September, 2007, beginning the crap shoot of saving a company that destroyed itself because we were told, "They are too big to fail....."
Here comes the oversight of executive pay.
I feel like this, since Wall Street and these banks are getting taxpayers money than they should be the first to be overhauled. It is these institutions that have put this country where it is at. We must be honest here, what happens to Wall Street affects us down to the very job we have, lost or trying to find. If the financial market is not stable, job freezes will continue, credit will not open up, and what is happening now will continue.
The irresponsibility of these companies has hurt us all. I don't blame folks for being angry at these executives, but the Obama Administration needs to do more. Most of these people need to be fired, removed from their office, so this country can try to move forward, especially with the AIG debacle. The Administration has not handled this well, let's be honest, they have not. I appreciate President Obama and his steadfastness with his Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, but Geithner has shown that he does not have the communicative savvy or the gravitas, yet, for this job.
Geithner is a tossup here, for many. I find his excuse for not knowing about AIG bonuses rather laughable, because he was right there in the fire when all this went down about AIG. Next the lame excuse of AIG and their contracts is another rolleyes. Contracts in this country are broken every single day; ask the automotive industry that is what mediation and courts are for. Lastly, Geithner did not show the gravitas, strength to tell AIG where they can kiss it, in professional terms, of course. How can you tell them where to go, when you were in the kitchen helping to create the stew that gave them the bonuses?
There is a disconnect here. A total disconnect. Too many in this administration have been too close to Wall Street, thus we saw what happened with AIG or what did not happen to AIG. Did the President know all the details, intricacies? No, I do not believe Barack Obama read every single contract regarding AIG, that is what cabinet secretaries and staff are for, but congress did not read all the tall-tell signs about AIG, either. Most in congress have not even read many of these bills that are presented in conference the ones they vote on the floor about, that is what their staff is for. Congress stated that they did not know that the bonus element was removed, some did and has started to come out with the admission of Senator Chris Dodd's involvement. As for the others who knew, it will come out. And, the D.C. outrage is manufactured bullshit, really it is. The premise that they did not know, or understand, is not believable, only laughable.
President Obama has a hard job ahead, extremely hard. One thing I do think he is doing right, that is taking it to the American people, stepping over Washington, DC. D.C. must understand, though they are all about ME, is that the American public is not in the D.C. area. The American Public is the rest of this country. Many are angry about the AIG fiasco, while many do not blame Obama for it. We all must remember, in the end while President Obama is taking the responsibility, all this bullshit was left by the Bush-Cheney crowd. Bring up Bush-Cheney and many on the right will shut up right away. In the end, there is nothing to say about it, because it is true.
Officials said the proposal would seek a broad new role for the Federal Reserve to oversee large companies, including major hedge funds, whose problems could pose risks to the entire financial system.
It will propose that many kinds of derivatives and other exotic financial instruments that contributed to the crisis be traded on exchanges or through clearinghouses so they are more transparent and can be more tightly regulated. And to protect consumers, it will call for federal standards for mortgage lenders beyond what the Federal Reserve adopted last year, as well as more aggressive enforcement of the mortgage rules.
The administration has been considering increased oversight of executive pay for some time, but the issue was heightened in recent days as public fury over bonuses spilled into the regulatory effort.
The officials said that the administration was still debating the details of its plan, including how broadly it should be applied and how far it could go beyond simple reporting requirements. Depending on the outcome of the discussions, the administration could seek to put the changes into effect through regulations rather than through legislation.
One proposal could impose greater requirements on company boards to tie executive compensation more closely to corporate performance and to take other steps to ensure that compensation was aligned with the financial interest of the company.
The new rules will cover all financial institutions, including those not now covered by any pay rules because they are not receiving federal bailout money. Officials say the rules could also be applied more broadly to publicly traded companies, which already report about some executive pay practices to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Hard for any politician to not agree with what the Obama Administration is attempting above. In this bastion climate? When folks are thrown out of their homes, losing their jobs, small businesses cannot get credit? You think congress will not go along with this? They may try, but they better be very careful because the public outrage is hot and on fire.
And Chris Dodd? The banking chairman on the hill?
Well, he has his own problems starting back during the primaries. But, my beef with him has been his coziness with Countrywide and AIG. Too close for my comfort. Hard to regulate and vote against the problematic source that has given you millions for your campaign coffers and who knows what else. Dodd has a hard road next year to win. If he is that much of a liability and knowing Connecticut, maybe he should be primaried out. Dodd has been in that seat for a very long time, maybe it time for fresh eyes. Isn't this what the change campaign was all about?