Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sen. Kerry wants to ban assault weapon imports because of drug gang violence in Mexico

How Sen. John Kerry made this asinine connection is unclear. Sen. Kerry made the call for an import ban while part of a Congressional panel conducting hearings in El Paso on Monday. According to chron.com, Kerry is shocked to see killings and beheadings "just a stone's throw across the Rio Grande from where we're sitting this morning." He did not explain how banning weapons importing will prevent killings and beheadings in the U.S.

Sen. Kerry makes push for tighter gun control

EL PASO — The United States does not need to send troops to the border in response to Mexico's drug war, nor is Mexico in danger of becoming a failed state, law enforcement officials told a congressional panel.

Witnesses testifying before members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in El Paso on Monday urged the lawmakers to bolster law enforcement in the region, increase aid to Mexico and push it to reform institutions whose weaknesses have been exposed by their struggle with drug-trafficking gangs.

At Monday's hearing, committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said he had been shocked to see killings and beheadings "just a stone's throw across the Rio Grande from where we're sitting this morning."

Across the border, thousands of Mexican soldiers patrol Ciudad Juarez, which saw about 2,000 murders in 14 months.

Kerry called for a ban on the imports of assault rifles, such as the AK-47, into the United States. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., opposed the idea. (excerpt) read more at chron.com

Buy your smokes before midnight

The 62 cent Federal tobacco tax takes effect at midnight. Barack Obama promised not to raise taxes on anyone who wasn't wealthy(less than $250 thousand a year.) Luckily for Obama, all smokers make more than $250 thousand a year.

Federal tobacco tax increase effective April 1st

Federal tobacco tax increase effective April 1st Tue, 31 Mar 2009 18:02:00 EST

Update: Some misinformed individuals think Obama only promised not to raise income taxes on those making less than $250,000 a year. That is incorrect. He promised not to raise any taxes on those making less than $250,000. Watch the video and see for yourself. Obama wins the "pants on fire" award for raising cigarette taxes.

Pakistani Taliban threaten attack on U.S. that will amaze the world(video)

Pakistan's Taliban chief has claimed responsibility for Tuesday's deadly assault on a police academy. He said he wanted to retaliate for U.S. missile attacks on the militant bases on the border with Afghanistan. Baitullah Mehsud also vowed to "amaze everyone in the world" with an attack on Washington or even the White House.

Pakistani Taliban threaten attack on U.S.(video)

The commander of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility Tuesday for a deadly assault on a Pakistani police academy and said the group was planning a terrorist attack on the White House. (March 31))

Chinese have carrier killer super missile

The Pentagon is convinced the Chinese have a 'carrier killer' super missile developed. This missile is a modified Dong Feng 21. The size of the warhead would allow this missile to do severe damage to a carrier. Due to this new threat, the U.S. Navy has changed its strategy over the past several months to focus on improving the capabilities of its deep sea fleet and developing anti-ballistic defenses.

Report: Chinese Develop Special "Kill Weapon" to Destroy U.S. Aircraft Carriers

U. S. Naval Institute
March 31, 2009

With tensions already rising due to the Chinese navy becoming more aggressive in asserting its territorial claims in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy seems to have yet another reason to be deeply concerned.

After years of conjecture, details have begun to emerge of a "kill weapon" developed by the Chinese to target and destroy U.S. aircraft carriers.

First posted on a Chinese blog viewed as credible by military analysts and then translated by the naval affairs blog Information Dissemination, a recent report provides a description of an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) that can strike carriers and other U.S. vessels at a range of 2000km.

The range of the modified Dong Feng 21 missile is significant in that it covers the areas that are likely hot zones for future confrontations between U.S. and Chinese surface forces.

The size of the missile enables it to carry a warhead big enough to inflict significant damage on a large vessel, providing the Chinese the capability of destroying a U.S. supercarrier in one strike.

Because the missile employs a complex guidance system, low radar signature and a maneuverability that makes its flight path unpredictable, the odds that it can evade tracking systems to reach its target are increased. It is estimated that the missile can travel at mach 10 and reach its maximum range of 2000km in less than 12 minutes. (excerpt) read more at usni.org

Obama legal pick wants US under international law

In what may be the most controversial pick of his administration, President Obama chose Harold Koh to be the State Department's legal adviser. In that job, Koh would forge a wide range of international agreements. Koh was the Dean of Yale Law School until recently. He believes judges should interpret the Constitution according to other nation's legal "norms." This could apply Sharia law in US courts if other nations adopted it.

JUDGES should interpret the Constitution according to other nations' legal "norms." Sharia law could apply to disputes in US courts. The United States constitutes an "axis of disobedience" along with North Korea and Saddam-era Iraq.

Those are the views of the man on track to become one of the US government's top lawyers: Harold Koh.

President Obama has nominated Koh -- until last week the dean of Yale Law School -- to be the State Department's legal adviser. In that job, Koh would forge a wide range of international agreements on issues from trade to arms control, and help represent our country in such places as the United Nations and the International Court of Justice.

It's a job where you want a strong defender of America's sovereignty. But that's not Koh. He's a fan of "transnational legal process," arguing that the distinctions between US and international law should vanish. (excerpt) read more at nypost.com

Monday, March 30, 2009

Conficker worm set to strike on April 1

Make sure your virus software is up to date and back up your important files.

Computer worm set to strike(video)

Little Rock, AR - FOX16 Top Stories of the day -- Computer worm set to strike

Would you want a teacher to talk bondage with your 11 year old?

An Italian primary school teacher did exactly that. She also discussed sadomasochism and genital piercings with 11 year old children during a sex education class. This is why sex education should be taught by parents, not school teachers. Parents have a much better idea of the maturity level of their children. While it is true some parents may lack the knowledge or skill to properly teach sex education, that is a better argument for adult education than sex education in the classroom for children.
Teacher talked bondage with 11-year-olds

NOVARA, Italy, March 30 (UPI) -- Parents are pushing an Italian primary school to fire a teacher after she discussed genital piercing with 11-year-olds during a sex education lecture.

Vincenzo Guarino, headmaster of the school in the northern Italian city of Novara, said the teacher displayed "serious naivety" when she failed to realize that "certain subjects and language can be used in a class of 15-year-olds but not 11-year-olds," ANSA, the Italian news service, reported Monday.

"It's true that she was only answering questions but there are ways of discussing these things," Guarino said to ANSA.

Parents said the teacher discussed subjects with the students including bondage, sadomasochism and genital piercings after a discussion about masturbation was taken off-subject.

Obama guarantees GM and Chrysler warranties

President Barack Obama guaranteed GM and Chrysler warranties in an address today. How will he deliver on that promise? In 2007 the average GM warranty was estimated to cost $548. Based on an estimated 3.5 million vehicle production for GM and Chrysler in 2009, the cost liability is about $2 billion for vehicles to be produced this year. When past model years are considered, the total liability may be around $5 billion or more. The government certainly has enough of our tax dollars to back that mount up. However, that is not the problem. If Chrysler or GM were to be liquidated, many of their parts suppliers would go bankrupt. Many parts would not be available for months, if ever. If the price was right, someone would eventually manufacture replacement parts where possible. In many cases, it may not be feasible. If a supplier is liquidated, their dies may be scrapped. Replacement dies could run hundreds of thousands of dollars and make each limited run replacement part cost hundreds of dollars more than normal. There could also be patent issues keeping others from manufacturing duplicate parts. President Obama has made a bold claim. There is serious doubt that he can deliver on that claim. Read Obama's warranty promise (excerpt from yahoo.com.)

It is my hope that the steps I am announcing today will go a long way towards answering many of the questions people may have about the future of GM and Chrysler. But just in case there are still nagging doubts, let me say it as plainly as I can -- if you buy a car from Chrysler or General Motors, you will be able to get your car serviced and repaired, just like always. Your warrantee will be safe.

In fact, it will be safer than it's ever been. Because starting today, the United States government will stand behind your warrantee.

NY Times killed "game changer" story linking Obama to Acorn before the election

In October, the New York Times killed a "game changing" story linking Obama to Acorn and Project Vote. We always knew about Obama's work with Acorn as an attorney. Now we know they were sharing lists and collaborating on fund raising.
'New York Times' Spiked Obama Donor Story
Congressional Testimony: ‘Game-Changer’ Article Would Have Connected Campaign With ACORN
By Michael P. Tremoglie, The Bulletin
Monday, March 30, 2009
A lawyer involved with legal action against Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) told a House Judiciary subcommittee on March 19 The New York Times had killed a story in October that would have shown a close link between ACORN, Project Vote and the Obama campaign because it would have been a “a game changer.”

Heather Heidelbaugh, who represented the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee in the lawsuit against the group, recounted for the committee what she had been told by a former ACORN worker who had worked in the group’s Washington, D.C. office. The former worker, Anita Moncrief, told Ms. Heidelbaugh last October, during the state committee’s litigation against ACORN, she had been a “confidential informant for several months to The New York Times reporter, Stephanie Strom.”

Ms. Moncrief had been providing Ms. Strom with information about ACORN’s election activities. Ms. Strom had written several stories based on information Ms. Moncrief had given her.

During her testimony, Ms. Heidelbaugh said Ms. Moncrief had told her The New York Times articles stopped when she revealed that the Obama presidential campaign had sent its maxed-out donor list to ACORN’s Washington, D.C. office.

Ms. Moncrief told Ms. Heidelbaugh the campaign had asked her and her boss to “reach out to the maxed-out donors and solicit donations from them for Get Out the Vote efforts to be run by ACORN.”

Ms. Heidelbaugh then told the congressional panel:

“Upon learning this information and receiving the list of donors from the Obama campaign, Ms. Strom reported to Ms. Moncrief that her editors at The New York Times wanted her to kill the story because, and I quote, “it was a game changer.” (excerpt) read more at The Bulletin

Hat tip to Gateway Pundit

GM and Chrysler plans are not 'viable'

The Obama Administration is rejecting the viability plans GM and Chrysler were required to submit by March 31, 2009. They are giving Chrysler 30 days to arrange a merger with Fiat. GM is getting 60 days to do a complete restructuring. GM CEO Rick Wagoner has resigned at the request of the Obama Administration. There does not seem to be any criticism of the UAW from the Obama Administration. The UAW was a strong supporter of Obama during last years Presidential election. There was a requirement for the UAW to accept wages and benefits comparable to the transplant auto factories. So far, little progress has been made on that issue. Due to the intransigence of the UAW, bondholders have balked at writing off large portions of GM's debt.
GM, Chrysler have no 'viable' plans: US task force

General Motors and Chrysler have failed to lay out viable plans for their ailing companies, the White House said Monday, in a tough review which could shake up the nation's key auto industry.

In two separate reports, a task force set up by President Barack Obama analyzed the future prospects for both companies and warned they had failed to comply with the terms of a 17.4 billion dollar government bailout.

Obama is due to unveil his plan for the future of the key industry at 11:00 am (1500 GMT) Monday with both companies seeking an additional 21.6 billion dollars to survive the economic downturn which has sent global car sales plunging.

The task force concluded both companies had failed to meet the conditions for the bailouts by a March 31 deadline, and as a result neither company had "satisified the terms of its loan agreement." (excerpt) read more at breitbart.com

Obama authorizes more debt spending in 45 days than Ronald Reagen did in eight years

The Congressional Budget Office found that the ten year deficits of the Obama Administration plan will be about $2.3 trillion higher than the $6.97 trillion the White House has projected. Can the US withstand that level of debt? We expect this level of debt from Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico, but they are considered countries at risk of debt default. If the current level of spending continues, this country may go broke trying to service the debt. How can our children and grandchildren ever hope to pay this off?
Obama's Fuzzy Math
A trillion here, a trillion there . . .
by Stephen Moore
04/06/2009, Volume 014, Issue 28

In his press conference last Tuesday, Barack Obama said that America must reject the "borrow and spend" policies of the past in favor of a strategy of "save and invest." Sounds good. So why is Obama proposing to borrow and spend more than any president in the history of the republic? Already in the first 45 days of his administration, the federal government has authorized more debt spending than Ronald Reagan did in eight years in office.

Then last week the Democrats' own Congressional Budget Office found that the ten-year deficits of the Obama plan will be about $2.3 trillion higher than the $6.97 trillion the White House is projecting. This is the policy of the party that was swept back into power in 2006 and 2008 promising a return to an era of fiscal responsibility.

Welcome to the Obama doctrine. It is built on the high stakes economic gamble that the public and the bond markets will tolerate trillions of dollars of borrowing to pay for massive expansions in government spending on popular income transfer programs. The corollary to this doctrine is that the left will create a political imperative to jack up tax rates to pay for higher spending commitments made today.

But the news on the red ink front is much worse than the president or even the CBO's budget report suggests. If all of Obama's "transformational" policy objectives--from global warming taxes to universal health care to doubling the Department of Energy's budget--are enacted, the debt is likely
to increase from about 40 percent of GDP today to close to 100 percent of GDP by 2018. The ten-year debt is likely to be at least $6 trillion higher--or more than one-half trillion of higher deficits a year from now until forever--than the Obama budget projects.

These are uncharted levels of debt for the United States--though not for such high-flying nations as Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico. (excerpt) read more at weeklystandard.com

Sunday, March 29, 2009

GM CEO Wagoner resigns at Obama Administration request

GM CEO Rick Wagoner has agreed to resign at the Obama Administration's request. Wagner was not the best choice for CEO of GM at this time and his departure will be celebrated by many in the auto industry. The other half of the problem is UAW President Ron Gettelfinger. Will the Obama Administration call on Gettelfinger to resign? Would he be half the man Wagoner is if his resignation would help?
GM CEO resigns at Obama's behest

The Obama administration asked Rick Wagoner, the chairman and CEO of General Motors, to step down and he agreed, a White House official said.

Wagoner's departure is one of the remarkable strings attached to a new aid package the administration plans to offer GM.

The White House confirmed Wagoner was leaving at the government's behest after The Associated Press reported his immediate departure, without giving a reason.

On Monday, President Obama is to unveil his plans for the auto industry, including a response to a request for additional funds by GM and Chrysler. (excerpt) read more at politico.com

N.C. Police: 6 dead in shooting at nursing home(video)

The gunman was among those injured. Also, a police officer was hurt. Our prayers go to the families. This facility specialized in Alzheimer patients. The motive is unknown.

N.C. Police: 6 dead in shooting at nursing home


Police say six people have been killed and three injured in a shooting at a North Carolina nursing home. (March 29)

Could your PC, mobile phone and IPOD be searched for illegal downloads at airports?(video)

That is exactly what could happen under Acta, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. This agreement is currently being actively pursued among the G8 nations. The purpose of the Acta agreement is to prevent illegal downloading and ripped copyrighted movies. Big brother may soon be waiting when you get off the plane.

Bobby Jindal defends Rush "wants Obama to fail" statement

Bobby Jindal defended Rush Limbaugh's "wants Obama to fail" statement without prompting. "It depends on what he's trying to do," Jindal told a crowd of about 1,200 Republicans at the National Building Museum. He pointed out Republicans should want to Obama to fail when he keeps the United States indebted to China, taxes Americans to fund abortions in foreign countries, taxes private businesses or allows public union elections. Jindal stated Republicans should want Obama to succeed when doing things like "cutting earmarks."
Jindal: Want Obama to fail? Depends
Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 11:49 AM by Domenico Montanaro
Filed Under: Republicans

From NBC's Claire Luke
WASHINGTON -- Since Rush Limbaugh said he wants President Obama to fail, Republicans have been asked repeatedly if they share the sentiment.

Last night, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, unprompted, offered his answer.

"It depends on what he's trying to do," Jindal told a crowd of about 1,200 Republicans at the National Building Museum, gathered for a fundraiser for the National Republican Campaign Committee, which supports GOP candidates running for Congress. Jindal spoke just minutes before President Obama took to the podium for his nationally televised prime-time news conference.

Answering yes to the question of wanting Obama to fail seems like treason, Jindal said, adding that Democrats wanted to see President Bush fail.

If the president does what Jindal agrees with -- like cutting earmarks -- then he said he wishes Obama success. But if the president, as Jindal perceives, keeps the United States indebted to China, taxes Americans to fund abortions in foreign countries, taxes private businesses or allows public union elections, then, Jindal said, Republicans should want Obama to fail in those measures.

"We are loyal to the United States, but we don't have to be loyal to every policy," he stated. "We can't allow policies like those of European socialism." (excerpt) read more at firstread.msnbc.msn.com

Famous Congressional Tweets

Congress and Washington are embracing the new micro-blogging site Twitter. They have not all grasped the power or implications of the medium. Here are some famous Congressional tweets complied by csmonitor.com

Less than ten days later, Blumenauer did it again. This time, however, he was just responding to a tweet. A tweet from Senator John McCain.

McCain dubbed Blumenauer’s “Oregon Solar Highway” earmark as the porkiest of all pork.

Bluemenauer responded: “McCain wasnt familiar with a blackberry right? Hows he supposed to understand a solar highway utilizing right-of-way to generate solar power.”


Then there was the Congressman who tweeted his trip to Iraq. The problem was, no one was supposed to know about it. It was a secret trip.

“Just landed in Baghdad,” blabbed Michigan Congressman Pete Hoekstra. “I believe it may be the first time I’ve had BlackBerry service in Iraq.”


Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake attempted sarcasm in one of his tweets.

“Pres Obama assured us tonight that he “doesn’t believe in big government.” Dang, that’s a relief!”

Environmental nuts in California want to ban your big screen TV

Environmental nuts in California want to ban your big screen TV and they are in control of the California Energy Commission. The CEC plan proposes to ban about 200 television models. The plan was outline in a a dry-sounding reported entitled, “December 2008 Draft Efficiency Standards for Televisions”. I wonder if they will ban Obama's teleprompter on his next visit to California?
California To Ban TV: But Not For Good Reason (like there’s nothing decent to watch)
by Chuck DeVore

Why is it that many government agency names are oxymoronic? How much new water has the California Department of Water Resources delivered in the past couple of decades? How much energy has the federal Department of Energy or the California Energy Commission produced or encouraged?

It should come as no surprise that in 2009, an era when the L.A. Basin’s air quality bureaucracy, the SCAQMD, wants to ban dark cars because they need more air conditioning in the summer, that the California Energy Commissariate is drafting an order to outlaw TVs. (Perhaps if our TVs had one state-approved channel they would relent.)

Why is the California Energy Commission (CEC), a Gov. Jerry Brown creation, wanting to ban television sets? Well, it seems that a honking 48-inch plasma screen, that bright symbol of the bygone days of conspicuous consumption and purveyor of drooling vacuity, uses too much electricity, and electricity production makes too much greenhouse gas emissions (at least in America, where half of our electricity comes from coal - in France, a plasma screen would emit nary a CO2 molecule as the TVs there are nuclear powered). (excerpt) read more at bighollywood.breitbart.com

Obama fielded 'softballs' from campaign supporters at first 'online' town hall

Five of the six people allowed to ask Barack Obama a question at his first 'online' town hall were identified as campaign supporters. The affiliation of the sixth person is not known. This contrasts to what White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told the Post that Obama has said, "I think it's important to engage your critics ... because not only will you occasionally change their mind but, more importantly, sometimes they will change your mind." Obama is not going to engage his critics unless he knows the question in advance and has a prepared answer on his teleprompter. Even then, he will not answer some questions.
Obama's deck stacked in billed 'open' forum
President picks campaign supporters to ask questions at 'online' town hall

By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

In an event billed as an opportunity for the American people to ask questions of an "open" and "transparent" administration, the only fully identified inquirers plucked from the audience, it turns out, were Obama campaign supporters.

But according to a Washington Post report, those audience members the president chose included "a member of the pro-Obama Service Employees International Union, a member of the Democratic National Committee who campaigned for Obama among Hispanics during the primary; a former Democratic candidate for Virginia state delegate who endorsed Obama last fall in an op-ed in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star; and a Virginia businessman who was a donor to Obama's campaign in 2008." (excerpt) read more at worldnetdaily.com

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bobcat enters a bar in Arizona and bites patrons(video)

A bobcat entered a bar in Arizona and bite two patrons(video). Was the service too slow? My guess is the bobcat wanted a Bambi's Iced Tea.

Patrons of the Chaparral Bar in the central Arizona community of Cottonwood were attacked by a bobcat and two men were bitten by the animal after it wandered inside.

Jim DeMint Discusses Flaws of National Service Act

This video is almost 15 minutes long, but it is well worth spending the time to hear Jim DeMint discuss S 277; the National Service Act. He explains why volunteer programs work in private society, but do not work well under government control. He talks about Americans dependence on the government. Over half of Americans are now dependent on the government according to Senator DeMint. This program(if enacted) will become the 14th largest employer in the US. Based on current government bureaucratic inefficiency, we can not expect this program to be well managed or effective. Do we really want more government involvement in our lives?

Hat tip Read My Lipstick Network

The Red river in North Dakota is set to crest at 43 feet Sunday

The Red river in North Dakota is set to crest at 43 feet Sunday. This is three feet above the old record set 112 years ago. Residents in Fargo and other towns are battling bitter cold while manning sandbag lines. Many residents have been forced to evacuate. In his weekly radio address, President Obama spoke of the disaster.
"We will do what must be done to help," the president said. He repeatedly praised volunteers stockpiling sandbags and building levees, saying "their service isn't just inspirational—it's integral to our response."

Volunteers are pouring into the area and doing a great job. President Obama and his administration are not doing anything of significance yet.

River Flooding Sat, 28 Mar 2009 02:22:00 EST WILX.COM

Friday, March 27, 2009

UK dumps Gillispie

The University of Kentucky decided to dump basketball coach Billie Gillispie. You can be a nice guy or be a winner. Billie Gillispie was neither.
Gillispie out as Kentucky opts for coaching change
Mar 27 05:36 PM US/Eastern
AP Sports Writer

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Impatient for a winner and a coach who embraced all the things that come with running college basketball's all-time winningest program, Kentucky fired coach Billy Gillispie on Friday. Saying the Wildcats deserve a leader who understands "this is not just another coaching job," athletic director Mitch Barnhart and president Lee Todd made the unusual decision to dismiss Gillispie less than two years after he was hired to replace Tubby Smith.

"He's a good basketball coach," Barnhart said. "Sometimes it's just not the right fit and that's my responsibility."

It's a move Barnhart felt was necessary following a couple of turbulent seasons in which the Wildcats struggled to improve under their hard-working but sometimes aloof head coach.

Hired to rejuvenate a program after Smith bolted for Minnesota, Gillispie struggled to find any consistency on the court or off it.

Gillispie went 40-27 in two seasons with the Wildcats, including a 22-14 mark this year that tied for the second-most losses in the program's 106-year history. A stumble down the stretch left the Wildcats out of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991.

Yet Gillispie's problem went beyond wins and losses.

Barnhart said rebuilding years are expected when a new coach is hired. The trouble were "philosophical differences" between the university and Gillispie on the role the school's coach plays in the fabric of a fan base that refers to itself as Big Blue Nation. (excerpt) read more at breitbart.com.

Weekend open thread.

Promote your blog or any topic in this thread. Leave an active link for SEO. Thread closed.

Do you really want these people running your healthcare or pension plans?

In a report released this week, the GAO found horrible inefficiency at the Department of Labor. They mishandled 9 of 10 test cases. They failed to return one complainant's calls for 4 months, then told him it would take 8 to 10 months to begin an investigation.
Labor Agency Is Failing Workers, Report Says

Published: March 24, 2009

The federal agency charged with enforcing minimum wage, overtime and many other labor laws is failing in that role, leaving millions of workers vulnerable, Congressional auditors have found.

In a report scheduled to be released Wednesday, the Government Accountability Office found that the agency, the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, had mishandled 9 of the 10 cases brought by a team of undercover agents posing as aggrieved workers.

In one case, the division failed to investigate a complaint that under-age children in Modesto, Calif., were working during school hours at a meatpacking plant with dangerous machinery, the G.A.O., the nonpartisan auditing arm of Congress, found.

When an undercover agent posing as a dishwasher called four times to complain about not being paid overtime for 19 weeks, the division’s office in Miami failed to return his calls for four months, and when it did, the report said, an official told him it would take 8 to 10 months to begin investigating his case. (excerpt) read more at nytimes.com

Watch Congressman Price (D-NC) tear into the GAO in a Congressional hearing yesterday. This country needs more Democrats like Congressman Price.

Obama and team talk of more job losses and auto bailouts

In an online town hall meeting yesterday, President Obama warned job losses would get worse this year. Also, Obama tells the auto industry they need to share the pain of restructuring among manufacturers, bondholders, unions and suppliers..

Meanwhile, his auto task force signals willingness to loan more money. Chrysler and GM are asking for another $22 billion. The task force hinted that the money could be held back to force the stakeholders to come to a deal. The statements by Obama and the auto task force suggest unions and bondholders are still far apart on a deal. The deadline for a final deal was to be March 31, 2009. Don't expect the Obama Administration to get tough and hold the auto executives and the UAW to it. If GM and Chrysler could not reach a deal with the UAW and bondholders by March 31, 2009, they were supposed to be required to return the previously lent money and be forced into bankruptcy.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Crazy North Koreans prepare for missile..err.. satellite launch

North Korea continues preparation for a long range missile launch. They threaten to build nuclear weapons if anyone objects.

North Korea readies missile, makes new threat
By Jonathan Thatcher

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said on Thursday that if the international community punishes it for next month's planned missile launch it will restart a nuclear plant that makes weapons grade plutonium.

The secretive state this week put a long-range missile in place for a launch the United States warned would violate U.N. sanctions imposed on Pyongyang for past weapons tests.

The planned launch, seen by some countries as a disguised military exercise, is the first big test for U.S. President Barack Obama in dealing with the prickly North, whose efforts to build a nuclear arsenal have long plagued ties with Washington.

North Korea warned that any action by the U.N. Security Council to punish it would be a "hostile act." (excerpt) read more at reuters.com

The perfect vacation

This woman needs to spend some time in the Betty Ford clinic.
Woman arrested 3 times in 3 days for drunk driving
Thursday, March 26, 2009

A 60-year-old Washington woman arrested for drunken driving three times in three days while vacationing in Wisconsin has been sentenced to a month in jail. The woman was arrested first at 2 p.m. March 11, 2008. A deputy saw her try to drive out of a ditch, wearing only one shoe and had a blood-alcohol level of 0.21, authorities said. The legal driving limit is .08.
More News

Twenty-four hours later, the woman was arrested after her car got stuck in snow in a park campground that was closed for the winter. The woman told an officer she had had four or six cups of wine.

"I am still finishing up the box of wine in my car from yesterday," authorities reported she told the officer.

Authorities found a box of Black Fox wine in the car.

The woman spent 12 hours in jail. She was released and headed west, but was arrested a short time later after someone reported her driving "all over the road," according to a police report.(excerpt) read more at sfgate.com

After solving all the country's problems, the Senate turns to how college football bowl games are determined

Now that the economic crisis is solved and the national defect is under control,the Senate has turned to the pressing issue of how the college football bowls are chosen. We can sleep well knowing this countries serious problems have been successfully addressed. They should look into why that crazy woman in Florida couldn't get any Chicken McNuggets at McDonalds next.

Senate Antitrust Panel Investigates Fairness of BCS Process

WASHINGTON (AP) - Everyone from President Barack Obama on down to fans has criticized how college football determines its top team. Now senators are getting off the sidelines to examine antitrust issues involving the Bowl Champion Series.

The current system "leaves nearly half of all the teams in college football at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to qualifying for the millions of dollars paid out every year," the Senate Judiciary's subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights said in a statement Wednesday announcing the hearings. (excerpt) read more at breitbart.com

Obama criticized President Bush for using state secrets card, then plays the state secrets card

Candidate Barack Obama criticized President Bush for using the 'state secrets' privilege. Now that he is in the White House, he is playing the same card.
Handling Of 'State Secrets' At Issue
Like Predecessor, New Justice Dept. Claiming Privilege
By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 25, 2009; Page A01

Civil liberties advocates are accusing the Obama administration of forsaking campaign rhetoric and adopting the same expansive arguments that his predecessor used to cloak some of the most sensitive intelligence-gathering programs of the Bush White House.

The first signs have come just weeks into the new administration, in a case filed by an Oregon charity suspected of funding terrorism. President Obama's Justice Department not only sought to dismiss the lawsuit by arguing that it implicated "state secrets," but also escalated the standoff -- proposing that government lawyers might take classified documents from the court's custody to keep the charity's representatives from reviewing them. (excerpt) read more at washingtonpost.com

Israeli Air Force bombed convoy in Sudan during Operation Cast Lead

CBS is reporting that the IDF bombed a supply convoy in Sudan killing 37 people and destroying 17 trucks during Operation Cast Lead. The convoy was reportedly loaded with supplies and weapons for Hamas. The Sudanese government has yet to officially blame - or even acknowledge - the strike.
CBS: Israeli planes bombed arms convoy for Hamas in Sudan

As Israeli troops battled Palestinian gunmen during Operation Cast Lead in an attempt to end the threat posed against southern Israel, IAF warplanes were conducting a similar mission far from the border with the Gaza Strip, a CBS report revealed on Wednesday.

According to the report, unidentified American officials told the station that in January, Israeli planes bombed a convoy of trucks carrying arms destined for Hamas through Sudan.

"Israeli intelligence is said to have discovered that weapons were being trucked through Sudan, heading north toward Egypt, whereupon they would cross the Sinai Desert and be smuggled into Hamas-held territory in Gaza," the sources told CBS. "Israeli aircraft carried out the attack". (excerpt) read more at JPost.com

Hat tip to The Jawa Report

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Former Commerce Secretary nominee Senator Judd Gregg accuses Obama of bankrupting America

On the Hannity show, former Commerce Secretary nominee Senator Judd Gregg accused Obama of bankrupting America.

Sen. Judd Gregg Continues to Bash Obama- Says He's Bankrupting US

The CBO projects Obama's budget deficit for 2009 will hit $2 trillion. This far outstrips anything former President Bush ever proposed. President Obama severely criticized former President Bush for doubling the deficit on January 6, 2009.

Will your ISP block your Internet if you are accused of file sharing?

That is exactly what the Recording Industry Association of America has asked Internet providers to do. Apparently, some are willing to cooperate. Under this plan, if the RIAA accuses you of illegal file sharing, you will have your Internet service terminated after receiving warnings. This practice is already underway in some other countries. Illegal file sharing is wrong, but having the RIAA as the judge and jury is a violation of American's rights. This plan would only be fair if businesses in the music industry have their Internet terminated if they falsely accuse someone.

AT&T first to test RIAA antipiracy plan

AT&T, one of the nation's largest Internet service providers, confirmed on Tuesday the company is working with the recording industry to combat illegal file sharing.

At a digital music conference in Nashville, Tenn., Jim Cicconi, a senior executive for AT&T, told the audience that the ISP has begun issuing warning notices to people accused of pirating music by the Recording Industry Association of America, according to one music industry insider who was present.

Early Wednesday morning, an AT&T spokeswoman confirmed that Cicconi made the statements.

In December, the RIAA, the lobbying group of the four largest recording companies, announced the group would no longer pursue an antipiracy strategy that focused on suing individuals, but rather would seek the help of broadband providers to stem the flow of pirated content. The RIAA said an undisclosed number of ISPs had agreed to cooperate but declined to name them. In January, CNET News reported that AT&T and Comcast were among the group. (excerpt) read more at news.cnet.com

Democrats want to scrap Obama's $400 tax rebate in 2010

Why do Democrats hate tax cuts so much? Senate Democrats are planning to get rid of the $400 per person tax rebate that Obama asked for in the stimulus in a year and a half. Americans have not yet received any of this small rebate before talk of cancellation begins. Democrats like to pretend they only want to tax the rich, but ,in truth, they want to tax everyone to the maximum extent possible. The last Democrat to believe in tax cuts for anyone was John F. Kennedy. They don't make democrats like him anymore.
Senate Democrats to scrap Obama's $400 tax credit
Mar 24 07:24 PM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - A top Democrat in the Senate announced a budget blueprint Tuesday that would scrap Barack Obama's signature tax cut after 2010 and blends sleight of hand with modest restraint on domestic programs to cut the deficit to sustainable levels.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., promises to reduce the deficit from a projected $1.7 trillion this year to a still-high $508 billion in 2014. But to do so, he assumes Congress will let Obama's "Making Work Pay" tax credit delivering $400 tax cuts to most workers and $800 to couples will expire at the end of next year. Those tax cuts were included in Obama's stimulus package. (excerpt) read more at breitbart.com

Domain name change to Bluegrass Pundit is complete

The domain name change to Bluegrass Pundit is now complete. All web traffic is being diverted to Bluegrass Pundit from the old blogspot address. Unfortunately, my blog rolls did not transfer over. I am in the process of resetting them up. Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Specter to vote against 'card check"

Arlen Specter said today he would vote against cloture on EFCA(card check.)This will make it very difficult to get the current bill through the Senate. Some moderate Democrats may oppose the bill too.
Specter delivers death blow to 'card check'
By Kevin Bogardus
Posted: 03/24/09 02:30 PM [ET]

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) announced Tuesday he will oppose card check, giving an apparent death blow to the most important congressional issue to organized labor.

Specter made the dramatic announcement in a floor speech. His opposition means Democrats can count on a maximum of 59 votes to move the bill forward, one short of the 60 required to clear Senate rules.

Winning 59 votes would require Democrat Al Franken to beat Republican Norm Coleman in the still-contested Minnesota Senate race. Democrats also would have to count on holding the rest of their votes, and several centrists have raised doubts about the bill.(excerpt) read more at thehill.com

Woman allegedly steals boob job

The economy has sunk to such a low level, a woman stole someones identity to get larger breast implants and other cosmetic work. She disappeared after the surgery and failed to return for follow up visits. The removed breast implants had a serial number that was tied back to her. Police have now apprehended Yvonne Pampellonne. I wonder if she will have to return her current implants?
Alleged SoCal Boob Bandit Busted

It was a serial number on discarded implants that led authorities to the real identity of the alleged SoCal Boob Bandit and may have been the tip police needed to take her into custody

Yvonne Pampellonne, 30, allegedly used a fraudulent identity to pay for liposuction and a breast implant exchange, according to the Huntington Beach Police Department.

The Laguna Niguel woman is accused of opening a line of credit in someone else's name in September 2008, having the procedures and then never showing up for any follow-up appointments, police said.(excerpt) read more at nbclosangeles.com

'Card Check' compromise in the works?

Three large US companies floated a compromise idea for 'card check'(EFCA) last week. The general reaction from other business leaders has been negative. The 70/50/30 proposal would move 'card check only' elections to the 70% threshold. Many business leaders pointed out unions currently only call an election when they reach the 65% signed card level. They say unions will just hold out for the 70% number instead of calling a secret ballot election. Surprisingly, unions often lose the election when they have 65% cards signed. Many workers sign a card, but later decide to vote against unionization. Union leaders were also cool to the proposal. They think they can get the Employee Free Choice Act passed in it's current form since Democrats control Congress and Barack Obama has pledged his support.

EFCA Compromise: An Update

Two sources familiar with discussions say that the alternatives to "card check" being circulated by companies like Whole Foods, Costco and Starbuck do not include what's become known as the 70/50/30 proposal, which would effectively permit card-check elections only when 70% of a company's eligible employees agree to join a union. The 70/50/30 proposal, the brainchild of DC labor lawyer Jay Krupin, was considered by the companies but rejected, according to one of the sources. The sources would not say what alternatives the companies are actually proposing, and there's no way to know whether partial compromises would attract the attention of lawmakers nervous about the Employee Free Choice Act. (excerpt) read more at politics.theatlantic.com

Need to ‘Rework This Whole Thing’

Those were the words of Democratic Senator Bill Nelson of Florida when he discussed President Obama's budget. The extra $2.3 trillion in defect found by the CBO is worrying him. Perhaps, he realizes spending like a 'drunken sailor on leave' will not fly well back home at the next election.

Sen. Bill Nelson on Obama Budget: Need to ‘Rework This Whole Thing’
By Mary Lu Carnevale

Sen. Bill Nelson, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, said the Obama budget will have to be revised in light of the latest Congressional Budget Office projections.

The Florida Democrat said in an interview on Fox News Channel this morning that “we’re going to have to go back and rework this whole thing, and that’s going to be done this week in the Budget Committee.” He later added that “Kent Conrad, our chairman of the Budget Committee, is definitely going to have to be Merlin.” CBO numbers released Friday show federal deficits over the next decade will exceed President Barack Obama’s projections by $2.3 trillion. (excerpt) read more at Washington Wire

Las Vegas brothels want to be taxed

A Nevada legislator has proposed a $5 per session tax on prostitution in Nevada. Surprisingly, the brothels are receptive to the idea. Their lobbyist even volunteered to be taxed in the run up to the session. This must be an attempt to make them seem more mainstream.

Proposed bill would tax prostitution at $5 per session
Senator says bill could bring $2 million a year to state coffers
By Cy Ryan

CARSON CITY – Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas, proposed a tax on prostitution today that he says could raise $2 million a year for the state.

Patrons of prostitutes — both legal and illegal — would pay an extra $5 tax per session under the bill, which Coffin said was his idea alone.

In the runup to the legislative session, a lobbyist for the state’s legal brothels volunteered to be taxed, an effort that some said would guarantee their continued survival. Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley turned down the industry, effectively killing the effort.

“I think we will support it,” George Flint, a spokesman for the state’s brothel industry, said of Coffin’s bill. (excerpt) read more at lasvegassun.com

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dodd's Wife a Former Director of an AIG Controlled Company

This could explain how Chris Dodd missed those bonuses in the AIG bailout legislation. Let's hope the voters oust Senator Dodd in 2010. Recent polling suggests he is in trouble.
Dodd's Wife a Former Director of Bermuda-Based IPC Holdings, an AIG Controlled Company
By Kevin Rennie

No wonder Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn) went wobbly last week when asked about his February amendment ratifying hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses to executives at insurance giant AIG. Dodd has been one of the company's favorite recipients of campaign contributions. But it turns out that Senator Dodd's wife has also benefited from past connections to AIG as well.

From 2001-2004, Jackie Clegg Dodd served as an "outside" director of IPC Holdings, Ltd., a Bermuda-based company controlled by AIG. IPC, which provides property casualty catastrophe insurance coverage, was formed in 1993 and currently has a market cap of $1.4 billion and trades on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol IPCR. In 2001, in addition to a public offering of 15 million shares of stock that raised $380 million, IPC raised more than $109 million through a simultaneous private placement sale of 5.6 million shares of stock to AIG - giving AIG a 20% stake in IPC. (AIG sold its 13.397 million shares in IPC in August, 2006.)(excerpt) read more at realclearpolitics.com

Massachusetts learns universal health care is expensive

Massachusetts learns universal health care is very expensive. They set up a program for near universal health care three years ago. Now, Massachusetts health care costs are skyrocketing and the bill is coming due. Their plan to control costs is to stop paying for the quality of care and start paying for prevention. That will be comforting to Massachusetts residents fighting cancer or other serious diseases now.
Massachusetts Faces Costs of Big Health Care Plan
By Kevin Sack

BOSTON — Three years ago, Massachusetts enacted perhaps the boldest state health care experiment in American history, bringing near-universal coverage to the commonwealth with Paul Revere speed.

To make it happen, Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, made an expedient choice, deferring until another day any serious effort to control the state’s runaway health costs.

The day of reckoning has arrived. Threatened first by rapid early enrollment in its new subsidized insurance program and now by a withering economy, the state’s pioneering overhaul has entered a second, more challenging phase.

Thanks to new taxes and fees imposed last year, the health plan’s jittery finances have stabilized for the moment. But government and industry officials agree that the plan will not be sustainable over the next 5 to 10 years if they do not take significant steps to arrest the growth of health spending. (Excerpt)read more at boston.com

Alaska's volcano erupts

After several weeks of close watching, Alaska's Mount Redoubt has finally erupted. The danger to Alaska's populated areas is unclear, but the ash cloud is close to the larger cities of Alaska.
Watch Mt. Redoubt live
Volcano cam 1
Volcano cam 2
Alaska volcano Mount Redoubt erupts 3 times

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska's Mount Redoubt volcano has begun erupting.

Geologists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory say the volcano erupted three times late Sunday and early Monday, with the largest eruption sending a plume of smoke some 50,000 feet above sea level.

Mount Redoubt is roughly 100 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Geophysicist John Power says "this is a fairly large eruption, close to the larger cities in Alaska."

He says no cities have yet reported any ash fall from the volcano, but noted that it's still early. (excerpt) read more at google.com/hostednews/ap

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Video of Cargo plane crash in Japan

Here is the video of the Fedex plane crash in Japan. You can see the plane roll onto it's side and burst into flames.

Raw video: FedEx cargo plane crashes in Japan

A FedEx cargo plane has crashed on landing at Tokyo's international airport and burst into a ball of flames. A pilot and co-pilot were aboard the plane Monday but their safety could not immediately be confirmed. (March 22

Hugo Chavez calls Obama an "ignoramus"

Don't you just love it when the far left attacks the left.
Venezuela's Chavez calls Obama "ignoramus"

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama was at best an "ignoramus" for saying the socialist leader exported terrorism and obstructed progress in Latin America.

"He goes and accuses me of exporting terrorism: the least I can say is that he's a poor ignoramus; he should read and study a little to understand reality," said Chavez, who heads a group of left-wing Latin American leaders opposed to the U.S. influence in the region.

Chavez said Obama's comments had made him change his mind about sending a new ambassador to Washington, after he withdrew the previous envoy in a dispute last year with the Bush administration in which he also expelled the U.S. ambassador to Venezuela. (excerpt) read more at reuters.com

Just when you thought things could not get any worse in Mexico

Rural villagers are resorting to digging moats around their towns to keep pistoleros in SUVs from riding in and kidnapping villagers. Although the Mexican Federal authorities are responding, they are too slow.
Rural Mexican villages dig moats to repel gangsters
Ditches don’t always deter raids, but federal troops can’t be spared
Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle

CUAUHTEMOC, Mexico — Little town, big hell.

That proverb about turmoil in small communities has never seemed truer than in this gangster-besieged village and a neighboring one in the bean fields and desert scrub a long day’s drive south of the Rio Grande.

Since right before Christmas, armed raiders repeatedly have swept into both villages to carry away local men. Government help arrived too late, or not at all.

Terrified villagers — at the urging of army officers who couldn’t be there around the clock — have clawed moats across every access road but one into their communities, hoping to repel the raids.

“This was a means of preservation,” said Ruben Solis, 47, a farmers’ leader in Cuauhtemoc, a collection of adobe and concrete houses called home by 3,700 people. “It’s better to struggle this way than to face the consequences.” (excerpt) read more at chron.com

Maher and Olbermann accuse conservative talk radio of "whipping up" fringe elements of society

Maher and Olbermann accused conservative talk radio of "whipping up" fringe elements of society Friday.
Maher: Listening to people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck these days, I cannot figure out whether these right wingers are more dangerous when they're in power or when they're out of power, because when they're out of power, you know their paranoid, their paranoia goes off the charts. This Glenn Beck guy, I wouldn't even give him the time of day except he's a big star now on Fox and a lot of people believe, and he's talking about FEMA concentration camps.

Olbermann: Yeah...

Maher: He says we are headed toward socialism, totalitarianism...

Olbermann: Yeah...

Maher:...beyond your wildest imagination, but apparently not beyond his wildest imagination.

Then, they invoked memories of Tim McVeigh.
Maher: You know I would never be the person who says that you have to watch what you say because some borderline nut...no really...I'm not for that. No, no, that's an argument that's given a lot. You can't say this because a borderline might take it and then do this. I'm sorry but that's the price of living in a free speech country and I do want to live in one because I make my living at it. Okay. But you know I must say Tim McVeigh in 1995 if you recall, this was the same kind of talking that made him blow up that building.

If anyone is "whipping up" the "fringe" elements of Society, it is them. See the video here.

Failed bank sues FDIC

In a slap in the face to American taxpayers, Washington Mutual Inc has sued the FDIC for $13 billion dollars. We should file criminal charges against the officers of these failed banks. Perhaps we could teach them some humility.
Washington Mutual sues FDIC for over $13 billion

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Washington Mutual Inc, the failed U.S. savings and loan, has sued the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp for well over $13 billion in connection with the loss of its banking operations, which was acquired by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

In a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the thrift's former parent accused the FDIC of having on January 23 made a "cryptic disallowance" of its claims, prompting the lawsuit.

Obama Administration is abandoning demand for UAW to accept wage parity with transplants

The Obama Administration is abandoning the demand for the UAW to accept wage parity with transplant auto manufacturers. According to Bloomberg.com, Steven Rattner, the Treasury’s chief auto adviser said,

The phrase "on a path" is so vague there is now a mile wide loophole for the UAW to jump through. The Bush Administration demanded the UAW accept a wage and benefit package at the level of the transplant auto manufacturers as part of the government bailout of GM and Chrysler. So far the UAW has only offered token concessions. According to bloomberg.com, Steven Rattner also said $22 billion more in bailout money may not be enough.

Meanwhile, GM has not concluded negotiations with bondholders and the UAW according to CEO Rick Wagoner.

GM and Chrysler should be allowed to go into chapter 11 bankruptcy. The taxpayers have thrown enough money at what is shaping up to be a bailout of the UAW and bondholders.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Your medical marijuana is safe from Feds(video)

Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder is changing the federal policy for medical marijuana. The federal government will not target medical marijuana distributors anymore. I foresee a large rush to the family doctor's office after this knowledge becomes widespread.

Holder signals a shift in marijuana policy(video)

The top U.S. Lawyer, Eric Holder, has signaled a change on medical marijuana policy, saying federal agents will target marijuana distributors only when they violate both federal and state law.

Obama throws his grandchildren under the bus

The CBO projects President Obama's budget will cause $1 trillion a year in deficits for a decade. That will create $10 trillion in additional national debt for our children and grandchildren to try to pay off. They will have to accept very high taxes or extreme cutbacks in government services to cope with that staggering amount. This is a shameful dereliction of our responsibilities.
$1 trillion deficits seen for a decade with Obama plan
Economy can't support ambitious policies, congressional office says
Associated Press

WASHINGTON–U.S. President Barack Obama's budget would generate unsustainably large deficits averaging almost $1 trillion (U.S.) a year over the next decade, according to estimates released yesterday.

The new Congressional Budget Office figures predict Obama's budget will produce $9.3 trillion of red ink over 2010-19. That's $2.3 trillion worse than the administration predicted in its budget last month.

CBO says the deficit under Obama's policies would never go below 4 per cent of the gross domestic product, figures that economists agree are unsustainable. By the end of the decade, the deficit would exceed 5 per cent of gross domestic product, a dangerously high level. (excerpt) read more at thestar.com

Obama to Iran-Let's be friends. Iran to Obama-buzz off

Barack Obama sent a video message to Iran's leaders urging the two countries to try to solve their differences. The Iranians were unimpressed.
Iran's top leader Khamenei shuns Obama overtures

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has dismissed overtures from US President Barack Obama, saying Teheran doesn't see any change in American policy toward its government.

Khamenei's comments Saturday were the first top level reaction to Obama's video message to Iran on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian new year.

Speaking to tens of thousands of people in the holy city of Mashhad, Khamenei asked how Obama could congratulate Iranians on the new year while the US continues to accuse the country of supporting terrorism and seeking nuclear weapons.

On Friday, lower level officials in Iran remained defiant in the face of Obama's video address. (excerpt) read more at jpost.com

Auto parts supplier bailout will fail

The Obama Administration has committed $5 billion of TARP money to try to prop up the "Big Three's" supplier base. Under this program, suppliers to GM and Chrysler will be able to sell their parts to an intermediary if they are willing to pay a 3% premium. GM and Chrysler will have to pay $250 million each to join. Ford is declining this program. If GM and Chrysler are going to file chapter 11 soon, this might help the suppliers, who are very dependent on them, to survive a few more months until the bankruptcy is resolved. However, this will not be a long term solution to the problems of the auto parts suppliers. They are losing money on ever part they sell due to low volume and years of price squeezing by the auto manufacturers. This will make them less profitable. For instance, if they are losing $1 on a $20 auto part now, they will lose $1.60 under this program. They might be able to withstand this for a short time period, but long term this will force them into bankruptcy sooner or later. If GM and Chrysler quickly go into chapter 11 bankruptcy, then the suppliers will be able to drop this surcharge as soon as the bankruptcy judge arranges regular payments for their product. Perhaps that is the real plan.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sarah Palin wants to decline $416 million in stimulus money

Sarah Palin has proposed that Alaska should decline $416 million in stimulus money. She is concerned about the conditions that are attached. Kudos to her for taking what will be an unpopular stance with many people.
UPDATED: Palin passing up $416 million for Alaska
Alaska Dispatch
Mar 19, 2009

Gov. Sarah Palin proposed today that of the estimated $930 million in the federal stimulus for Alaska, the state accept just $416 million. U.S. Sen. Mark Begich says he's "disappointed" by the governor's proposal. Murkowski, on the other hand, "applauds" the decision.
"I applaud the Governor for taking the transportation and other infrastructure funding because this will create jobs in Alaska. The law requires the Governor to certify that the stimulus funds be used to create jobs and foster economic growth," Murkowski said in an email. "The Governor has made her decision and now the Legislature will have an opportunity to review the decision."

Palin says that many of the federal dollars the state should reject come with strings attached. The state would have to maintain some programs, for example, after the federal funding dried up, she said. (excerpt) read more at alaskadispatch.com

Obama throws another gutter ball

Barack Obama compared his poor bowling to the "Special Olympics" during a visit to the Jay Leno show. He was soundly criticized for the remark and quickly apologized. He should have taken his teleprompter with him.
Obama apologizes for remark
By JONATHAN MARTIN | 3/19/09 11:05 PM EDT Updated: 3/20/09 5:00 PM EDT

After comparing his bowling to the Special Olympics on "The Tonight Show" Thursday, President Obama called Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver to apologize before the program even aired.

“He expressed his disappointment and he apologized, in a way that was very moving,” Shriver said on ABC's “Good Morning America.” “It’s important to see that words hurt, and words do matter. And these words that in some respect can be seen as humiliating or a put-down of people with special needs do cause pain, and they do result in stereotypes." (excerpt) read more at politico.com

Here is the Barack Obama Special Olympic comment video.

Weekend open thread

Weekend open thread. Promote your blog or any topic. Leave an active link for SEO. This thread will close at 9:00 PM Sunday night 3/22/09. Thread closed.

Name change in process

The Intellectual Redneck will be transitioning to the custom domain name of Bluegrass Pundit over this weekend. All your old bookmarks, favorites and links will continue to work after the change. You may want to make new ones later. The content of this blog will remain the same. I feel that "Bluegrass Pundit" better represents the point of view of a native Kentuckian. Thanks for your understanding during this change.