Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hugo Chavez sending Venezuelan ambassor to Washington, DC

We know what the deal is about Obama shaking Chavez hand.

OMG. If he shakes his hand that means the end of democracy here in the U.S.A.!!!!! It means more of the against us countries will rally more against us.

The right wing nuts need to take a vicodin. Barack Obama is not George W. Bush, who happened to destroy all our luster, stature and trust worldwide. Obama is doing what he said he would from the set, broker relationships with these countries to see if we can find a common ground.

We had the old style, fuck 'em up cowboy style in the White House and see where we are at? nuff said. Time to do something new or bring back a throwback theme, how about some good old diplomacy? As we see Secretary Clinton flying worldwide to broker relationships, open doors, we are watching President Obama start to go through the doors.

If this country wanted to continue the George W. Bush style, Obama would be sitting in the senate.

again, nuff said.
h/t to Today With President Barack Obama

As the media is writing that Obama "got punked" or spun by Hugo Chavez, Chavez takes a step in the right direction and says that he'll send a Venezuelan ambassador back to Washington.

It isn't Obama getting punked, it is the media responding to the irrational conservatives who are out of their gourds about Obama shaking Chavez's hand. It was obvious what Chavez was doing and who could blame him? Everyone wants to get next to Obama. It shines a positive light on them. That doesn't mean they're best buds but it's easy for a small mind to start with the socialist rants. If Obama shakes the hand of a socialist, that must mean he's a socialist, according to conservatives. We have to do a better job of educating are kids because we have too many people growing up with but a sliver of a mind.

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Hugo Chavez wants to be Obama's friend (Video)

Chavez gave President Obama a gift, a book.

The Venezuelan's office reported Chavez told Obama: "With this same hand I greeted Bush eight years ago. I want to be your friend."

Chavez is one of those leaders that you keep one eye on your back. Sure, many Latin American leaders are angry at the US, especially for the Cuba situation, for that it is understandable, but with the Bush Administration gone and many hard core anti-Castro folks diminishing, there is no reason for the Obama Administration not to go forward with open dialouge. This 2009, not 1959, the embargo against Cuba should have been lifted YEARS AGO, now it looks like it is heading in that direction.

pssssttttt....the book in question, "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent" was number 60,280 on, Friday, today number 10 on Oprah, move over, there is a new "O" in town.....


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President Obama's Weekly Radio Address, April 18, 2009 (Video)

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President Obama and President Calderon's Press Conference in Mexico City, Mexico (Video)

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Friday, April 17, 2009

The Colbert Coalition's Anti-Gay Marriage Ad (Video)

If you are ready to laugh, here it is. One of the best parodies about Gay Marriage by The Colbert Report

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Colbert Coalition's Anti-Gay Marriage Ad
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorNASA Name Contest

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First Read Week of Politics (Video)

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President Obama at the Summit of Americas in Trinidad and Tobago with Mexico, too (Pictures)

All of Latin America is there......

Obama, Chavez shake hands at Americas Summit


Al Rodgers Pictures

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They Hate Him Because He Is "Black"

This is a must read by Turkana, posted @ Daily Kos. Gives many something to think about and pause. We all know this teabaggin' was a veil reason to rally in contempt against Barack Obama. The thing is this, blatant, outright hate does not wear well on television. Don't believe me? Ask John McCain or Sarah Palin. Their rallies brought the hate out in full force, but it was America who sat and watched and made the decision, "enough of that noise", and voted Obama. Lastly, this is not aimed at the Republicans or GOP, most of them are not on the hate page, but it is that other 1/3 that is running around in that party that makes them more yesterday than ever before. This is 2009, not 1959.

P.S. Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961, his birth certificate has been on line since 2008, but again some bottom feeders will never accept fact, as we see from a teabaggin' protest below.

I deliberately use the word black rather than the words African American. The latter lacks the proper emotional value. It is cultural and geographical. The former is visceral. Bigotry is not subtle. It is primal. It is not about ideas. It is irrational.

He is smarter and more educated and more articulate than they. A self-made man, he represents everything they would claim to value. But he looks different, to them. They hate him because he looks different. They hate him because he is dark. In "Western" "Culture," the very words black and dark have powerfully negative value. They often are used as synonyms for the sinister.

They hated President Clinton, and tried to destroy him. But one of their elected governors didn't talk secession. They didn't talk revolution. They didn't attempt (and miserably fail) to launch nationwide protests against him. Bill Clinton was a lot of things. He was not black.

President Obama is no crazy liberal. He is increasing defense spending. Even Alan Greenspan is suggesting economic solutions more akin to "socialism." Gun lovers have nothing to fear. On policy grounds, we crazy liberals have been criticizing him from day one. The radical right have been lambasting him. With the nation fighting two wars and an economic meltdown, they openly hope he fails. But they are not about policy. They are about hatred. And they hate Obama as they have never hated any president. It's not complicated.

The Department of Homeland Security just warned:
Right-wing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning.

"Extremist" is now a corporate media phenomenon. Glenn Beck? Rush Limbaugh? Ann Coulter? Bill O'Reilly? Faux News?

They hate him not because of policy or politics. They hate him because of who he is. Not like them. By the color of his skin. It's time to stop pretending or excusing or evading the obvious. They hate him because he is black!

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Hannity given a "tall glass of shut up juice" by his own guest (Video)

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President Obama's Op-Ed, "Choosing a Better Future in the Americas"

Choosing a Better Future in the Americas
President Barack Obama

As we approach the Summit of the Americas, our hemisphere is faced with a clear choice. We can overcome our shared challenges with a sense of common purpose, or we can stay mired in the old debates of the past. For the sake of all our people, we must choose the future.

Too often, the United States has not pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors. We have been too easily distracted by other priorities, and have failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas. My Administration is committed to the promise of a new day. We will renew and sustain a broader partnership between the United States and the hemisphere on behalf of our common prosperity and our common security.

In advance of the Summit, we have begun to move in a new direction. This week, we amended a Cuba policy that has failed for decades to advance liberty or opportunity for the Cuban people. In particular, the refusal to allow Cuban Americans to visit or provide resources to their families on the island made no sense – particularly after years of economic hardship in Cuba, and the devastating hurricanes that took place last year. Now, that policy has changed.

The U.S.-Cuba relationship is one example of a debate in the Americas that is too often dragged back to the 20th century. To confront our economic crisis, we don’t need a debate about whether to have a rigid, state-run economy or unbridled and unregulated capitalism – we need pragmatic and responsible action that advances our common prosperity. To combat lawlessness and violence, we don’t need a debate about whether to blame right-wing paramilitaries or left-wing insurgents – we need practical cooperation to expand our common security.

We must choose the future over the past, because we know that the future holds enormous opportunities if we work together. That is why leaders from Santiago to Brasilia to Mexico City are focused on a renewed partnership of the Americas that makes progress on fundamental issues like economic recovery, energy, and security.

There is no time to lose. The global economic crisis has hit the Americas hard, particularly our most vulnerable populations. Years of progress in combating poverty and inequality hangs in the balance. The United States is working to advance prosperity in the hemisphere by jumpstarting our own recovery. In doing so, we will help spur trade, investment, remittances, and tourism that provides a broader base for prosperity in the hemisphere.

We also need collective action. At the recent G-20 Summit, the United States pledged to seek nearly half a billion dollars in immediate assistance for vulnerable populations, while working with our G-20 partners to set aside substantial resources to help countries through difficult times. We have called upon the Inter-American Development Bank to maximize lending to restart the flow of credit, and stand ready to examine the needs and capacity of the IDB going forward. And we are working to put in place tough, clear 21st century rules of the road to prevent the abuses that caused the current crisis.

While we confront this crisis, we must build a new foundation for long-term prosperity. One area that holds out enormous promise is energy. Our hemisphere has bountiful natural resources that could make renewable energy plentiful and sustainable, while creating jobs for our people. In the process, we can confront climate change that threatens rising sea levels in the Caribbean, diminishing glaciers in the Andes, and powerful storms on the Gulf Coast of the United States.

Together, we have both the responsibility to act, and the opportunity to leave behind a legacy of greater prosperity and security. That is why I look forward to pursuing a new Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas that will help us learn from one another, share technologies, leverage investment, and maximize our comparative advantage.

Just as we advance our common prosperity, we must advance our common security. Too many in our hemisphere are forced to live in fear. That is why the United States will strongly support respect for the rule of law, better law enforcement, and stronger judicial institutions.

Security for our citizens must be advanced through our commitment to partner with those who are courageously battling drug cartels, gangs and other criminal networks throughout the Americas. Our efforts start at home. By reducing demand for drugs and curtailing the illegal flow of weapons and bulk cash south across our border, we can advance security in the United States and beyond. And going forward, we will sustain a lasting dialogue in the hemisphere to ensure that we are building on best practices, adapting to new threats, and coordinating our efforts.

Finally, the Summit gives every democratically-elected leader in the Americas the opportunity to reaffirm our shared values. Each of our countries has pursued its own democratic journey, but we must be joined together in our commitment to liberty, equality, and human rights. That is why I look forward to the day when every country in the hemisphere can take its seat at the table consistent with the Inter-American Democratic Charter. And just as the United States seeks that goal in reaching out to the Cuban people, we expect all of our friends in the hemisphere to join together in supporting liberty, equality, and human rights for all Cubans.

This Summit offers the opportunity of a new beginning. Advancing prosperity, security and liberty for the people of the Americas depends upon 21st century partnerships, freed from the posturing of the past. That is the leadership and partnership that the United States stands ready to provide.

This Op-Ed appeared in the following international papers:

Trinidad Express (Trinidad & Tobago)
St. Petersburg Times (USA)
Miami Herald (USA)
El Nuevo Herald (USA)

The op-ed also ran in the following GRUPO DE DIARIOS AMÉRICA (GDA) affiliates across the hemisphere:

La Nación (Argentina)
O Globo (Brazil)
El Mercurio (Chile)
El Tiempo (Colombia)
La Nación (Costa Rica)
El Comercio (Ecuador)
El Universal (México)
El Comercio (Perú)
El Nuevo Día (Puerto Rico)
El País (Uruguay)
El Nacional (Venezuela)

Spanish and Portuguese version here

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Obama Administration to declare greenhouse gases a danger to public health

About time we are respecting SCIENCE in this country, AGAIN.

Having received White House backing, the Environmental Protection Agency was expected to declare Friday that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are a significant threat to human health and thus will be listed as pollutants under the Clean Air Act — a policy the Bush administration rejected.

The move could allow the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases, but it's more likely that the Obama administration will use the action to prod Congress to pass regulations around a system to cap and then trade emissions so that they are gradually lowered.

The EPA last month sent its proposal to the White House Office of Management and Budget, which reviewed and approved it. By law, the decision includes a public comment period before being finalized.

The EPA concluded that six greenhouse gases should be considered pollutants under the 1970 Clean Air Act, which is already used to curb emissions that cause acid rain, smog and soot. read more here.....

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President Obama and Vice President Biden announces High-Speed Rail System (Video)

Vice-President Biden

President Obama

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Teabaggin' Red Necks, AMEN....(Video)

Janeane Garofalo, from Countdown with Keith Olbermann....

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Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on Bush Administration and Torture (Video)

I agree. Letting folks who destroyed this country off the hook sets a horrible precedent. It means, "I CAN DO IT AGAIN, DOWN THE ROAD."

I am sure Obama wants to walk the middle of the road and have aspirations of 2012, but at what cost? If other countries can indict and put the blast on the former Bush Administration for their actions, why can't we?

This is like blasting the banks, which Obama Administration is doing, but in the back room saying, "I got your back." It is foul and don't muster up.

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Obama releases Bush torture memos

Nothing more to add.

As part of an ongoing court case, the Department of Justice released on Thursday memos issued by the Office of Legal Counsel between 2002 and 2005, detailing techniques used for interrogation of terrorism suspects. In doing so, President Obama declared:

"While I believe strongly in transparency and accountability, I also believe that in a dangerous world, the United States must sometimes carry out intelligence operations and protect information that is classified for purposes of national security. I have already fought for that principle in court and will do so again in the future. However, after consulting with the Attorney General, the Director of National Intelligence, and others, I believe that exceptional circumstances surround these memos and require their release."

Certain aspects of the documents are redacted -- including the names of CIA officials -- but the evidence is of enough weight that Senate Judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy already felt compelled to offer the following statement:

These legal memoranda demonstrate in alarming detail exactly what the Bush administration authorized for "high value detainees" in U.S. custody. The techniques are chilling... We cannot continue to look the other way; we need to understand how these policies were formed if we are to ensure that this can never happen again. This is why my proposal for a Commission of Inquiry is necessary.

Read all the memos here

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Don't let the door knob hitcha', Texas (Video)

Governor Rick Perry want to secede from the Union? Go ahead. See what it did in 1861. No more services, nothin' for Texas. Now I know that the citizens probably don't feel this way, but hey, it is up to them to speak up, especially to get rid of that gas bag. Really, treason talk at its highest.

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Obama in Mexico today

Obama is in Mexico today to kick-off a mini trip which will wind up in the Carribean for the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago.

Mexico has major problems right now with the war of the drug cartels on the government, so expect a lot of drug talk today, with emphasis on protecting the borders.

In his second big trip abroad since becoming U.S. president, Barack Obama arrives in Mexico on Thursday to show support for the Mexican government's efforts to fight a devastating drug war and boost security along the U.S. border.

Obama, who made his first foray onto the international stage in Europe earlier this month, will discuss energy and the economy with President Felipe Calderon in Mexico City before heading to Trinidad and Tobago for the Summit of the Americas on Friday.

White House officials played up the symbolism of the stop in Mexico, which is struggling to contain unprecedented criminal violence and combat a drugs war that is spilling over into the United States.

Denis McDonough, the Director of Strategic Communications at the White House's National Security Council, said Obama's visit underscored U.S. support for its southern neighbor at the highest levels.

"It's designed to send a very clear signal to our friends in Mexico City that we have a series of shared challenges as it relates to the economy, as it relates to security, insecurity, the threat of violence, and the impact of drug trafficking on both our countries," he told reporters this week.

The Obama administration is tightening the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent trafficking of U.S. guns to Mexican cartels and is hoping to send Black Hawk helicopters to help Calderon defeat well-armed drug gangs that killed thousands last year.

Obama, a Democrat, hopes to improve relations with Mexico and other Latin American countries during his trip after a deterioration in relations that his advisers blame on Republican former President George W. Bush. read more here.....

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Rush Limbaugh is straight up Un-American, sides with the pirates (Video)

For real. And this is what the Republican Party is about? Shame.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Right-winged extremists, Are they a threat? (Video)

The intelligence community is a flux. But one thing they don't play around with is potential danger to the President of the United States. Now the right-wingers are grasping for anything, hoping for something to stick. And they now question and doubt a report by Homeland Security and tries to twist it that the Obama Adminstration is after THEM and THEIR RIGHTS. From Countdown with Keith Olbermann.


Do they care about this country? Yes, but only if it grease their palms. Calling it the way I see it.

And this is why you should be concerned

One of the best diaries written by my guy, thereisnospoon

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Tea Bag Parties and the HATE for Obama (Video)

Again, the concerned trolling of the Republican Party for the national debt. Where were they when Bush ran not only the damn DEBT up, but ran this country into the ground? But now they are concerned? PUH-LEAZE. Sell that bag of goods to someone who will LISTEN.

Calls Obama a facist

Fox News caught inflating crowd numbers, why am I not surprised at this?

Again, I am not for ginnin' up and spending a bunch of money we don't have, but until there is a real plan to review from the Republicans on the mess Bush left, they are irrelevant.

And last thought. Republicans, we saw the nastiness and hate during the election and you see where it got you. NOT ELECTED.

'nuff said....

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Obamas and Bidens Tax Returns for 2008

Most of the money for Obama, again, from his book sales. Folks, still buying the Obama books.

The White House released the filings for both the President and the First Lady on Wednesday. Combined, the family brought in an adjusted gross income of $2,656,902, mostly from the sale of the President's books. The Obamas paid $855,323 in federal income tax. And they donated $172,050 - or about 6.5% of their adjusted gross income - to 37 different charities.

Here are the notable donations made

$25,000 to the Catholic Relief Services
$25,000 to the United Negro College Fund.
$5,000 to the American Red Cross
$5,000 to the Boys and Girls Club
$5,000 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
$1,000 to Columbia University
$5,000 to the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity
$5,000 to St. Leo's Residence for Veterans
$2,000 to the Haiti Foundation of Hope
$5,000 to the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault

View it all, here.

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Mexico's President Calderon on the future of Mexico (Video)

Remember, President Obama is in Mexico City, tomorrow.

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Shock, Awe, Concern Trolling from morning joke on the Homeland Security Report

Yes, the report of right-wing extremism.

Do, the pumper and dumper of morning joke, not believe that there are folks out there like that? Even ex-military? Remember, Timothy McVeigh?

No one wants to be put in a box, but when you have the likes of the Rush Limbaughs, Glenn Becks, Hannity constantly promoting hate against anything the Obama Administration does, it will resonate with some, that I call "bottom feeders".

Do the majority of Americans feel this way? No, but shows like morning joke or morning joe, who sits up there everyday with his concern trolling ease on a report like this does no justice either. Remember, morning joke, it was your kind that was pumping up that Obama had no backbone when it came to the pirates and we saw what happened in that situation. Unless you get the reports on the daily, we all have to read through the lines, but this I do know for sure as everyone else does, there are extreme individuals out there and if they had their way, Obama would not be here, RIGHT NOW.

Anti-immigration: “Rightwing extremist groups’ frustration over a perceived lack of government action on illegal immigration has the potential to incite individuals or small groups toward violence. If such violence were to occur, it likely would be isolated, small-scale, and directed at specific immigration-related targets.”

Recruiting returning vets: “Rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.”

Gun-related violence: “Heightened interest in legislation for tighter firearms...may be invigorating rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements.”

Gun related violence is on the rise and no one can dispute that, but let's stop with the fake "shock and awe". This is 2009 and the haters are still out there. Read the full report, here.

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Obama Administration to reveal health of top banks

This administration should, especially since we have been dumping money in some of these banks like crazy and they STILL are doing what they want to do with our money with no repercussions in sight.

The administration has decided to reveal some sensitive details of the stress tests now being completed after concluding that keeping many of the findings secret could send investors fleeing from financial institutions rumored to be weakest.

While all of the banks are expected to pass the tests, some are expected to be graded more highly than others. Officials have deliberately left murky just how much they intend to reveal — or to encourage the banks to reveal — about how well they would weather difficult economic conditions over the next two years.

As a result, indicating which banks are most vulnerable still runs some risk of doing what officials hope to avoid.

The decision on handling the stress tests underscores the delicate balancing act by the government, which has spent hundreds of billions to stabilize banks. Despite some signs of improvement in the financial system, many economists remain concerned that banks are still weighed down with toxic assets stemming from the housing downturn.

Until now, the Treasury De-partment has simply said that it will reveal the amounts of any new infusions of capital into banks that regulators judge to be at risk if the economic downturn is prolonged or the economy takes a further dive.

The administration’s hand may have been forced in part by the investment firm Goldman Sachs, which successfully sold $5 billion in new stock on Tuesday and declared that it would use the proceeds and other private capital to repay the $10 billion it accepted from the government in October.

That money came from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, and Goldman’s action was seen as a way of predisclosing to the markets the company’s confidence that it would pass its stress test with flying colors.

Goldman’s action has put pressure on other financial institutions to do the same or risk being judged in far worse shape by investors. The administration feared that details on healthier banks would inevitably leak out, leaving weaker banks exposed to speculation and damaging market rumors, possibly making any further bailouts more costly.

The Goldman move also puts pressure on the administration to decide what conditions will apply to institutions that return their bailout funds. It is unclear if Goldman, for example, will continue to be allowed to benefit from an indirect subsidy effectively worth billions of dollars from a federal government guarantee on its debt, a program the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation adopted last fall when the credit markets froze and it was virtually impossible for companies to raise cash. In ordinary times, regulators do not reveal the results of bank exams or disclose the names of troubled banks for fear of instigating bank runs or market stampedes out of a stock. But as top officials at the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank focused on the intensity with which the markets would look for signals about the nation’s biggest banks at the conclusion of the stress tests, the administration reconsidered its earlier decision to say little. read more here....

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

morning joe to Norm Coleman, "It's Over, Norm. It's Over." (Video)

Norm Coleman, the panel has spoken. The Minnesota Supreme Court will speak as the panel. What is next? Supreme Court? But Norm, the votes ARE NOT IN YOUR FAVOR!!! I know you hate losing to a former satirist, comedian, but it is what it is. IT IS OVER. CONCEDE

And I don't quote morning joke much, but hey, he is right on this one.

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President Obama's Economic Speech, From Georgetown University, April 14, 2009 (Video and Transcript)



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Bo Obama has come home to the White House, to the Obama Family. (Video)

Sorry, I am a dog lover and Bo is a good looking animal.
The Bo Peep Show

NPR: Portuguese Water Dog May Leap In Popularity

And the notorious, Al Rodgers, pics and video with The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan

From the White House Blog....See Barack laughing at Michelle, trying to handle Bo...Oh, boy....they are in for puppy mania!!!!!

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Hidden Unemployment Crisis, This Is Real Folks

Temporary workers, contract workers have always worked with no safety net, especially no health care, or if offered it is so expensive that it is unaffordable. The unemployment numbers are inflated with these workers. No jobs = no health insurance = more unpaid visits to hospitals = higher premiums, all around.

We need comprehensive health care in this country along with livable wages, like, yesterday.

Over the past decade, U.S. businesses increasingly have relied on contract workers as a way to keep a lid on health care and retirement benefit costs and to give them more flexibility to adjust payrolls as conditions change. Now, with the American economy flashing code red, companies from Wall Street to Silicon Valley are casting off temporary workers and freelancers left and right, typically without any severance pay.

While the ability to shed contingent workers helps protect corporate profits, economists say it's a net negative for the economy. That's because while companies may save on labor costs, they aren't likely to use those savings to boost investment with the economy so weak, preferring instead to rebuild their balance sheets.

Meanwhile, the people who lose their jobs will be forced to cut spending drastically, particularly because many of them earn below-average pay and thus have little savings to fall back on. The overall result is a decrease in demand, further depressing the economy. Says Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, president of the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.: "Clearly there is a macroeconomic impact. It begs the question of what our social safety net is all about."

‘Falling through the cracks’
Consider Lauren Bender, a 47-year-old Manhattan resident who for the past eight years has worked on and off developing investment tools for Charles Schwab. That work supplied about 90 percent of Bender's income, which she says kept her "very well compensated." But starting last summer, Schwab pulled the plug on the three projects she was planning to complete, and her income from the brokerage firm has dried up.

Bender is looking for other work so she can meet her monthly mortgage payments of about $3,400 for an apartment she bought two years ago. As a self-employed contractor, Bender is not eligible for unemployment. "It's scary," she says. "I'm at risk of falling right through the cracks." Schwab confirms that it has cut contract workers as part of a broader drive to lower operating expenses by 7 percent to 8 percent this year. read more here.....

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Bo Obama makes his official debut today. (Video)

Yes, all the dirt on the First Dog.


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2,000th Project: Obama speaks on Transportation Projects (Video)

h/t Today With Barack Obama

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Monday, April 13, 2009

"Commander-in-Chief Obama, silenced and humiliated his critics....." (Video)

From Keith Olbermann's Countdown Show, MSNBC......

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Conspiracy Theory: Obama Administration "Brainwashing the Public" (Video)

I kid you not. This shyte from The Ed Show.

Burn the books? These people are nuts.

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Norm Coleman Case Dismissed.

Al Franken will be the NEXT senator from the great State of Minnesota.

Coleman does not have many options left and again, when you don't have the vote total in your favor, not much you can do.

After a trial spanning nearly three months, Norm Coleman’s attempt to reverse Al Franken’s lead in the recount of the U.S. Senate election was soundly rejected today by a three-judge panel that dismissed the Republican’s lawsuit.

The judges swept away Coleman’s argument that the election and its aftermath were fraught with systemic errors that made the results invalid.

“The overwhelming weight of the evidence indicates that the Nov. 4, 2008, election was conducted fairly, impartially and accurately,” the panel said in its unanimous decision.

In rejecting Coleman’s arguments, the panel said the Republican essentially asked it to ignore Minnesota election requirements and adopt a more lenient standard allowing illegal absentee ballots to be counted.

The panel also rejected Coleman’s comparison of Senate election problems to those in the 2000 presidential race in Florida.

Unlike Florida, Minnesota has statewide standards for absentee voting that are “uniform and explicit and apply in every county and city,” the panel wrote.

What next? Franken likely seated by May or June the latest. Coleman will appeal, but it will be swept quickly away finally by the Minnesota Supreme Court. By this time, Franken will be seated in the senate, remember the senate is not the courts. The only stinker is what Governor Pawlenty will do. If he has any aspirations for a higher office, he needs to accept the decision, sign the certificate along with the Secretary of State, and MOVE ON.

h/t Daily Kos

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Obama easing the rules on Cuba

Obama eases up on restrictions for Cuba.

President Barack Obama opened a crack on Monday in a decades-old U.S. embargo of communist Cuba, allowing U.S. telecommunications firms to start doing business there and relaxing other restrictions on the island.

As part of a major shift from the Bush administration's more hardline approach to Havana, Obama lifted limits on family travel and money transfers by Cuban Americans in the United States to Cuba.

The decisions unveiled by the White House do not eliminate Washington's trade embargo against Cuba set up 47 years ago, but it does hold out the prospect for improving ties between the two longtime foes.

"The president has directed that a series of steps be taken to reach out to the Cuban people to support their desire to enjoy basic human rights," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters. "These are actions he has taken to open up the flow of information."

Administration officials said Obama hoped the new measures would encourage Cuba's one-party state to implement democratic reforms long demanded by Washington as a condition for removing sanctions imposed after Fidel Castro took power in 1959.

Shares of companies that stand to gain from a thaw in U.S. ties with Cuba soared on the news, led by Canadian mining and energy company Sherritt International, a major player in Cuba's nickel and oil industry, whose stock rose 24.5 percent.


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White House Easter Egg Roll (Pictures and Video)

I don't care what anyone says, President Obama looks like he is having a BALL!!! After viewing the schedule, I wish I WAS THERE!!!! And more celebs, I mean TOP CHEF celebs.....

Fergie singing the National Anthem


Fergie performing at the Easter Egg Roll (Hunt)

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Obama on the captain's rescue from the pirates (Video)


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Yes, a victory for Obama

I can not reiterate enough all of the "he is not strong enough, he does not know enough, he is weak on national security", well all that "he is not" was totally shut up, yesterday as it emerged that Obama ordered the take out of the pirates and the rescue of American Captain Richard Phillips.

For President Obama, last week's confrontation with Somali pirates posed similar political risks to a young commander in chief who had yet to prove himself to his generals or his public.

But the result -- a dramatic and successful rescue operation by U.S. Special Operations forces -- left Obama with an early victory that could help build confidence in his ability to direct military actions abroad.

On the Sunday news shows, all that was talked about is what Obama was not doing about those pirates and how he was not ready. Well, again the Republican talking points are moot. AGAIN.
Throughout the past four days, White House officials played down Obama's role in the hostage drama. Until yesterday, he made no public statements about the pirates.

In fact, aides said yesterday, Obama had been briefed 17 times since he returned from his trip abroad, including several times from the White House Situation Room. And without giving too many details, senior White House officials made it clear that Obama had provided the authority for the rescue.

"The president's focus was on saving and protecting the life of the captain," one adviser said. Friday evening, after a National Security Council telephone update, Obama granted U.S. forces what aides called "the authority to use appropriate force to save the life of the captain." On Saturday at 9:20 a.m., Obama went further, giving authority to an "additional set of U.S. forces to engage in potential emergency actions."

A top military official, Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, commander of the Fifth Fleet, explained that Obama issued a standing order that the military was to act if the captain's life was in immediate danger.

"Our authorities came directly from the president," he said. "And the number one authority for incidents if we were going to respond was if the captain's life was in immediate danger. And that is the situation in which our sailors acted."

The bold emphasis is mine.

What have we learned about Barack Obama? It is easy as poker. He knows when to show 'em and knows when to fold 'em. He showed this tenacity throughout the Democratic primaries and throughout the general election, yet, folks still underestimate him. Again, from the media to the right wingers, they come up EMPTY or in other words given a cup of STFU.

Yesterday was a good day for President Barack Obama.

He got Bo, the new First Dog; he went to church for Easter Sunday, as he and his family are continuing to find a spiritual house; and he came out looking like the leader we voted for November 4, 2008.

Yep, a good day.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Obama approved special forces to free captain from pirates

Well, some right wingers will explode in shock. Remember, we heard from the primaries through the general election that Barack Obama is not tough enough. Well, obviously many forgot that he said he would protect this country and its citizens. Today the pirates went down and the captain was saved.

A senior US official tells me that President Barack Obama approved a recommendation by Defense Secretary Bob Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen to dispatch special forces to the US scene on Friday.

These special forces were authorized to take action "in extremis" against the Somali pirates holding Maersk Captain Richard Phillips, 53, hostage on a motorized lifeboat off the coast of Somalia.

A senior official tells me that when the fourth Somali pirate was on the Bainbridge ship, Phillips moved to side of the lifeboat to relieve himself.

At that point, U.S. special forces saw their opportunity and took other three pirates out.

Captain Phillips is now safe aboard a U.S. vessel.

It's "going to make a great movie," a U.S. official adds.

Nuff said on that one.

Huffington Post

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Meet the Press, April 12, 2009, (Video and Transcript)

A special holiday weekend roundtable: How has the Obama administration fared on crucial foreign policy tests abroad and under political scrutiny back home? We're joined by The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg; NPR's Michele Norris; Robin Wright, author of the book "Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East"; and The Washington Examiner's Byron York.


MTP Take Two, Webcast

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The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan's advice to the Obamas for Bo

Yes, I watch Cesar Millan's show The Dog Whisperer. It is amazing what tips you can get from this show to correct your own spoiled pet, Lord knows he has helped us in that department.

But, for Bo Obama and the Obama Family here are some Cesar tips:

1. Bo is going to be the world's most famous dog with nearly every bark and misbehavior chronicled. What are the most important training tips for a dog getting all that attention?

Establish leadership from day one! Start off with a nice, long walk. This is the best way to bond with the new dog. Make sure Bo is next to you or behind you. Canine pack leaders walk in front. Establish rules, boundaries and leadership right from the start, and be consistent. Don't send Bo a mixed message. Then, at the end of the day when he is in resting mode, you can share all that affection you've been storing up!

By starting off right, the family can help prevent bad behavior down the road, such as excessive barking, leash-pulling or biting White House reporters.

2. Bo is new, but the house is old and rich in history. How can the Obamas make sure that this new dog doesn't rough up the Lincoln bedroom or the new White House vegetable garden?

Set rules, boundaries and limitations. Let Bo know that certain places are off-limits by claiming the area. Use your body, your mind and your calm-assertive energy to create an invisible wall that the dog is not allowed to cross.

If the family decides an area is off-limits for the dog, the dog should always be supervised in those areas. He should never be left alone there, especially in the first six months.

3. What does Barack Obama's style of leadership as a president tell us about how he'll be as a pet owner?
President Obama is a calm and assertive leader. If he applies those skills to his relationship with Bo, he'll be on the right path and a great role model for the world!

4. The president and first lady have made a point of saying that their daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, will have responsibilities for walking and cleaning up after Bo. Is that realistic?

Absolutely! It is important for the whole family to be involved, and walking is one of the best ways to bond with Bo. It can also help the dog to see the girls as pack leaders, and of course, it is the humans' responsibility to clean up after the dog. The girls are definitely old enough to respect an agreement to walk Bo and clean up afterwards. I would keep the routine very simple and playful.

5. If the Obamas only took one piece of advice from you about raising Bo, what should it be?

Never work against Mother Nature, always work with her. I received this piece of advice from my grandfather, and I keep it in mind every day. Animals need a balanced pack leader, and when they live with us, we can all be balanced pack leaders!

I am telling you that having a puppy is a blast!! They yearn and learn, they get it from us the owners. They can lose their little minds, at times, but there is nothing like having a loving pet, who loves you. To Barack and Michelle, this is a learning curve for you because I think Malia and Sasha, just may have you beat.


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The First Dog, "Bo", will make his official debut at the White House on Tuesday

Bo is a Portuguese Water Dog given to the Obama Girls as a gift by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA).

This secret was slipped out over the weekend and to be honest, this is the one story everyone has been sniffing around for.

The identity of the first puppy -- the one that the Washington press corps has been yelping about for months, the one President Obama has seemed to delight in dropping hints about -- leaked out yesterday. This despite White House efforts to delay the news until the big debut planned for Tuesday afternoon.

The little guy is a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog given to the Obama girls as a gift by that Portuguese water dog-lovin' senator himself, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts. The girls named it Bo -- and let it be noted that you learned that here first. Malia and Sasha chose the name, because their cousins have a cat named Bo and because first lady Michelle Obama's father was nicknamed Diddley, a source said. (Get it? Bo . . . Diddley?)

Bo's a handsome little guy. Well suited for formal occasions at the White House, he's got tuxedo-black fur, with a white chest, white paws and a rakish white goatee.

Clearly, the identity of the dog was information too big to contain. A mysterious Web site called First Dog Charlie published a picture of a Portie yesterday morning, complete with a Q and A with the dog, which it said was originally named Charlie. The celebrity gossip Web site linked to the picture. So much for the big White House unveiling.

For an Obama team that ran a famously tight-knit press operation during last year's presidential election campaign, it was a sign of how tough it can be to keep a leash on information in Washington.

It's not for lack of trying, though. Bo's story starts sometime around the Ides of March. Word on the street was that the White House was going to plant a vegetable garden. Health gurus had been pushing the Obamas to plant seedlings for months, hoping it would set a good example for children everywhere.

A Washington Post food reporter was making calls, probing, pushing. But the White House was mum. Word filtered out that the exclusive had been promised to the New York Times. But the White House offered The Post, the newspaper that cracked Watergate, a mollifier: A puppy exclusive.

These kinds of arrangements get made all the time in Washington. For a while, the puppy deal seemed to be holding up. Sure, reporters here and there nipped at the story. There were hints that the puppy was a gift. There were reports that the Kennedys were involved -- but the senator's press people professed no knowledge. read more here....

Bo, looks like my Havanese, Snoop, only with curly hair. Congrats, Obama Family, you have named your pet, he has taken pictures with you, he is now an "official family member", love him and cherish him.

White House
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