MSNBC senior political analyst and Time editor-at-large Mark Halperin was suspended on Thursday by the cable network after he called President Obama “a dick” on Morning Joe.
When you tell the truth about Obama on MSNBC, you get suspended.
(Reuters) – President Barack Obama will hold a “town hall” meeting on the U.S. economy and jobs on July 6, the White House said on Thursday, but it will be in the virtual world of Twitter, not a brick and mortar building.Republicans are the people Obama should be talking with about fixing the economy, but he thinks that is “not a conversation worth having.”
The White House used Twitter to announce the event on Thursday and invite potential participants to submit questions.
The White House Twitter account, which has 2.2 million followers, invited questions to a new account “@townhall” marked with the hashtag “AskObama.”
Americans’ pessimism about the sluggish U.S. economy, especially the 9.1 percent jobless rate, may be the biggest obstacle to Obama’s hopes of winning re-election next year.
(Reuters)- Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney accused President Barack Obama on Thursday of failing to understand how to fix the U.S. economy and urged him to focus on jobs instead of playing golf.
"Obamanomics is not working," Romney said, standing in a weed-strewn back entrance to the shuttered American Metal Works plant Obama had visited in 2009 as a potential symbol of economic renewal. It closed early this year.
Taking aim at an issue that could be Obama's key vulnerability in the 2012 election, Romney also launched a 40-second Web video blaming the Democratic president's economic policies for 100,000 job losses in Pennsylvania.
This was Romney's rejoinder to Obama's accusations on Wednesday that Republicans are taking too much time off without working on a deal to avert a government debt default on Aug. 2.
"The president's time is being focused on playing golf and campaigning, campaigning in Pennsylvania today, and blaming. He should be spending his time and his energy working on getting Americans back to work and fixing this economy," Romney said.
"I see the sadness and worry that's creasing his face," she said to a crowd of about 500 at the Pasadena luncheon organized by the Southern California Women For Obama. She described his worth ethic as “tireless,” according to pool reports.According to President Obama's official schedule, he only worked 4 hours per day in May and that includes the time he spent attending awards banquets.
"He reads every word, every memo, so he is better prepared than the people briefing him," she said. "This man doesn't take a day off."
At the President's press conference today, Mr. Obama made frequent references about the Congresses need to "do its job." He also implied that he was hard at work, in Washington and the Congress should be too. An analysis of Mr. Obama's published work schedule raises some questions about the actual level of presidential exertion.Michelle Obama must think golfing is work.
According to the White House, the President doesn't work all that much. During the month of May, which included 21 working days, President Obama claims he worked about 92 hours (91.95 to be exact). That's according to the White House schedule, posted on the whitehouse.gov Website. That equates to an exhausting 4.4 hours per day. Excluding his grueling G8 summit travels during the week of May 23 (when he was forced to endure eight hour work days!), Mr. Obama worked an average of 3.25 hours per day when at the White House in May.
Indeed, the President's schedule is so thin, the White House Communications team sees it necessary to include the Vice President's meetings, when he subs for the President* for padding. For example, on May 3rd and May 17th, Vice President Biden held working breakfast meetings at 7:45 am with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in the President's stead.
(The Hill) — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi praised President Obama for finally jumping into the fray with House Democrats against Republican priorities on taxes, the debt ceiling and job creation.
In a statement after an animated Obama spoke at a press conference on Wednesday, Pelosi (D-Calif.) implied that House Democrats have been fighting alone for their party’s priorities without Obama so far this year.
“Bravo! This is the fight House Democrats have been making for the last six months under the Republican Majority as they move to end Medicare and continue tax breaks for Big Oil,” Pelosi said in a statement.
In his news conference, Obama chastised Republicans on not wanting to raise taxes on the rich, ending tax subsidies on oil companies and for accusing him of not leading on raising the debt ceiling.
In an implicit admission that Israel is so threatened by terrorism that it is not only surrounded by countries and territories that produce terrorists but also unwillingly harbors terrorists within its own territory in a way the most other nations in the world do not, the Obama administration is currently listing Israel among 36 “specially designated countries” it believes “have shown a tendency to promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members.”
Also included on the list–separately from Israel–are the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza, as well as Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, the four nations bordering Israel.
All but five of the nations included on the administration’s “specially designated country” list have majority Muslim populations (see the list below).
The five countries on the list that do not have majority Muslim populations–Kazakhstan (47 percent Muslim), Eritrea (36.5 percent Muslim), Israel (16.9 percent Muslim), the Philippines (5 percent Muslim) and Thailand (4.6 percent)–have had internal problems with radical Muslim terrorists, as reported by the State Department.
(Daily Caller) — In the latest ‘you’ve got to be kidding’ news from the United Nations, North Korea assumed the presidency of the Conference on Disarmament Tuesday.
“Bare months after the U.N. finally suspended Libya’s Col. Muammar Qaddafi from its Human Rights Council, North Korea wins the propaganda coup of heading the world’s disarmament agency,” the executive director of UN Watch Hillel Neuer said in a statement protesting the move. “It’s asking the fox to guard the chickens, and damages the U.N.’s credibility.”
According to the U.N. summary of the meeting, North Korea’s So Se Pyong addressed the 65-member arms control forum, saying that “he was very much committed to the Conference and during his presidency he welcomed any sort of constructive proposals that strengthened the work and credibility of the body.”
“You need to be here. I’ve been here.”Of course, Obama continues his plans for a summer vacation in Martha's Vineyard.
(CBS News) — President Obama offered some harsh words of members of Congress at his news conference Wednesday, saying, “At a certain point, they need to do their job.”
Mr. Obama made the comments in reference to attempts to reach a deal to raise the debt ceiling, which the Obama administration says will be exceeded on August 2. Appearing exasperated, Mr. Obama negatively compared members to his daughters, 13-year-old Malia and 10-year-old Sasha, who he said “generally finish their homework a day ahead of time.”
“They don’t wait until the night before. They’re not pulling all nighters,” he said. “. . . You know, Congress can do the same thing.”
He went on to complain about Congressional Republicans’ calls for him to get more involved in the negotiations, saying that he “met with every single caucus for an hour to an hour and a half each” and “met with the leaders multiple times.”
“They need to do their job,” he said. “Now’s the time to go ahead and make the tough choices. That’s why they’re called leaders.”
He also called for members to “start having to cancel things and stay here” in Washington if there isn’t “substantial progress” by the end of the week.
Mr. Obama then took aim at members for their frequent recesses, saying “they’re in [session] one week, they’re out one week.”
“You need to be here,” he said, directing his comments at members. “I’ve been here.”
(CNS News) – White House visitor logs reveal that President Obama’s political campaign filmed two campaign videos featuring the president — inside the White House.
Federal law prohibits fundraising by the president in offices used for official business. The White House contends that the mansion’s residential areas do not fall under this prohibition, pointing out that presidents have used the White House for fundraising before without violating the law.
According to the logs, two “OFA Taping[s]” were conducted in November 2010, in the White House Map Room – in the residential area of the mansion. The tapings happened before Obama announced his candidacy for reelection.
OFA is the abbreviation for Obama for America, the official name of the president’s campaign. While he was not officially a candidate for reelection when the tapings were made, Obama has maintained his political operation throughout his presidency....
According to federal law, “It shall be unlawful for an individual who is an officer or employee of the Federal Government, including the President, Vice President, and Members of Congress, to solicit or receive a donation of money or other thing of value in connection with a Federal, State, or local election, while in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties.” (Title 18, subsection 607 U.S.C.)
(Politico) — First lady Michelle Obama’s office on Tuesday quickly shot down the suggestion that she has ever publicly voiced support for same-sex marriage, a policy her husband opposes even as the left pressures him to take a stand.It is unclear if Michelle herself ever voiced support for same sex marriage. The same is not true of her husband. Back in 1996, he unequivocally supported same sex marriage.
“Mrs. Obama has never made any public statements about same-sex marriage,” her communications director, Kristina Schake, said in an email to POLITICO.
The response comes after former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, a Democrat, suggested Monday night on CNN that Barack and Michelle Obama may not have the same opinion about gay marriage. McGreevey said of the president: “If he could only listen to Michelle more often” when it comes to his stance on same-sex marriage.
A document has emerged suggesting that Obama had taken more public, liberal stands in the past than had been revealed in the digging of reporters and opposition researchers over two years of campaigning, the latest of several pointing to a rightward shift as he moved into national politics.
In a 1996 questionnaire filled out for a Chicago gay and lesbian newspaper, then called Outlines, Obama came out clearly in favor of same-sex marriage, which he has opposed on the public record throughout his short career in national politics.
“I favor legalizing same-sex marriages,and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages,” Obama wrote in the typed, signed, statement.
But in the article, “The Purposeful Flooding of America's Heartland,” in American Thinker, Joe Herring makes a very strong, well documented case, that the system of dams built in the area to tame the Missouri River and prevent this sort of thing from happening was well conceived and executed: “Some sixty years ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) began the process of taming the Missouri by constructing a series of six dams. The idea was simple: massive dams at the top moderating flow to the smaller dams below, generating electricity while providing desperately needed control of the river’s devastating floods.”
But in the 1990s the plan was hijacked by radical environmentalists with a different agenda: “The Clinton administration threw its support behind the change, officially shifting the priorities of the Missouri River dam system from flood control, facilitation of commercial traffic, and recreation to habitat restoration, wetlands preservation, and culturally sensitive and sustainable biodiversity.”
Herring cites Greg Pavelka, a wildlife biologist with the Corps of Engineers in Yankton, SD, who told the Seattle Times that “this event will leave the river in a ‘much more natural state than it has seen in decades,’ describing the epic flooding as a ‘prolonged headache for small towns and farmers along its path, but a boon for endangered species.’”
(Bloomberg) — The United Auto Workers is trying to hold its first successful organizing drive at a foreign-car factory in the U.S. To succeed, the union has to convince people like Rocky Long.
“I don’t see any problems here. I don’t see how they could help me out,” said Long, who’s worked at the Hyundai Motor Co. (005380)assembly plant in Montgomery, Alabama, for five years. Of the union representatives who came to his home this year, he said, “I really didn’t give them the time of the day.”
UAW President Bob King has pledged to organize a foreign automaker this year to expand its bargaining power beyond the U.S. companies it has negotiated with for seven decades. While Detroit is mostly retooling old plants, overseas car companies are building and expanding U.S. factories. The union is seeking to revive membership ranks that declined 75 percent to 376,612 last year from its peak of 1.5 million.
Standing in his way are rising sales and added investments at Hyundai’s Alabama complex and sites such as affiliate Kia Motor Corp.’s factory in Georgia. Already, King and his organizers are learning that workers at foreign-owned assembly plants, most of which are in the U.S. South, may not be easy to persuade.
“The UAW has to convince workers that they need a union when in fact without a union they got what they consider to be one of the best jobs they’ve ever had: a good manufacturing job with a company that’s expanding,” Gary Chaison, a professor of industrial relations at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, said in an interview.
(Life News) — In a move that generated little media attention or focus, New Hampshire became the latest state to scrap taxpayer funding of the Planned Parenthood abortion business when members of a panel voted to void a $1.8 million contract.Back in the day, Planned Parenthood would teach you how to spot a pimp.
Last Wednesday, on a 3-2 vote, members of the Executive Council rejected a taxpayer funded contract with the abortion business and told a newspaper that it was because Planned Parenthood does abortions and spends large amounts of money paying its administrators huge salaries and lobbying the state government.
The Executive Council voided the contract with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) with Councilor Dan St. Hilaire of Concord casting a vote against the contract along with David Wheeler of Nashua and Raymond J. Wieczorek of Manchester. The Union Leader indicates Raymond S. Burton of Bath and Chris Sununu of Newfields supported funding the abortion business.
While the council approved contracts for legitimate medical centers and organizations, St. Hilaire told the newspaper that Planned Parenthood does abortions and its CEO earns in excess of $250,000 a year. St. Hilaire also cited the fact that most of the services and administration are located outside New Hampshire, in Vermont.
(Chron) — Local veterans and volunteer groups are accusing Department of Veterans Affairs officials of censoring religious speech — including banning the word “God” — at Houston National Cemetery.
In one example cited in documents filed this week in federal court, cemetery director Arleen Ocasio reportedly told volunteers with the National Memorial Ladies that they had to stop telling the families, “God bless you,” at funerals and that they had to remove the words “God bless” from condolence cards.
The new allegations of “religious hostility” by VA and cemetery officials follow on the heels of a controversy over a prayer in Jesus’ name by Pastor Scott Rainey at a Memorial Day service in the cemetery.
The complaint accuses VA of “a widespread and consistent practice of discriminating against private religious speech” at the cemetery.
Ocasio is on vacation and could not be reached for comment. Her assistant, Amanda Rhodes, said the cemetery had no comment.
(Zero Hedge) — There may be those among the less than brainwashed lemmingerati out there who have noticed what, as we have pointed out for the past month when reporting on the various manufacturing and regional Fed indices, has been an epic collapse in the appropriate data series. As John Lohman so kindly demonstrates, the two month implosion has been beyond epic, and while certainly the biggest drop in the past decade, may also be the all time worst ever.
To the point of this post: the last time we had an economic contraction of this magnitude was back in February of 2008, which was two months into the most acute recession in post-depression history. We are confident that once the groupthink wraps its head around the fact that the auto production based renaissance is not coming, and the economy officially tumbles into the commode of Ben Bernanke’s fiat dungeon, the NBER will determine (with an appropriate 12-18 month delay), that the current recession started in April of 2011.
NBC Nightly News, which spent three straight nights mocking Palin on her Revere account, as reported by the MRC’s Rich Noyes, ignored Obama’s mistake, even as Jim Miklaszewski played clips from the very Fort Drum speech in which Obama made his screw-up. While CBS Evening News also covered Obama’s event with the troops they too failed to report Obama’s error. On ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer there wasn’t even a story on Obama at Fort Drum, but they did air bits of a David Muir interview with First Lady Michelle Obama which Sawyer teased this way: “And still ahead, right here on World News, the First Lady talks to David Muir, what she wants for her daughters when they fall in love.”
Ashwaubenon - Gov. Scott Walker signed a two-year $66 billion budget Sunday that will cut nearly $800 million from public schools, expand taxpayer support for private voucher schools, cut taxes for investors and businesses, clamp down on property taxes and put the state's finances in better shape than they've been in for more than a decade.
Using the vast veto powers of Wisconsin governors, Walker struck out dozens of budget provisions, including one that would have allowed bail bondsmen in Wisconsin. He also used his veto pen to bar public employees from collecting pensions unless they work for a state or local government for five years or more, set up new possible limits on a family-planning program and allow state officials to do more no-bid contracts.
As previously announced, the GOP governor also vetoed a provision that would have allowed most fired Milwaukee police officers to continue to receive pay while they appealed their dismissals.
Walker's 50 vetoes were less extensive compared with those issued by previous governors, but that's due largely to the fact that Walker's fellow Republicans run both houses of the Legislature and worked closely with the governor in crafting the legislation. Walker has the broadest veto powers of any governor nationwide, allowing him to strike out entire provisions of the budget or rewrite sections by selectively crossing out words.
Obama administration officials are putting together a team of 'mystery shoppers' to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it.
The move follows increasing alarm over the shortage of primary care doctors.
The administration says the survey will address the shortage and try to discover whether doctors are accepting patients with private insurance while turning away those in government health programmes that pay lower reimbursement rates.
Federal officials predict that more than 30 million Americans will gain coverage under the health care law passed last year.
(Chron) — Homeland Security officials misled the public and Congress last year in an effort to downplay a wave of immigration case dismissals in Houston and other cities amid accusations that they had created a “back-door amnesty,” newly released records show.
The records, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, include a series of internal memos from Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s chief counsel in Houston dated last August ordering attorneys to review all new, incoming cases and thousands already pending on the immigration court docket and to file paperwork to dismiss any that did not meet the agency’s “top priorities.” (Read the documents provided by the federal officials in response to a FOIA request here.)
The secretive review process resulted in the dismissal of hundreds of cases in Houston, most of them involving illegal immigrants who had lived in the United States for years without committing serious crimes.
(WHD) — First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to South Africa and Botswana last week cost taxpayers well over half a million dollars, possibly in the range of $700,000 or $800,000, according to an analysis by White House Dossier.
Many of the trip’s expenses cannot be obtained with specificity, including the cost of local transportation for the first lady, Secret Service protection, the care and feeding of staffers, and pre-trip advance work done by administration officials in South Africa.
But it is possible to estimate some of these costs and put a price tag on one of the major expenses — her transportation to and from southern Africa and her trips between cities there.
(Politico) — The Texas Legislature approved a bill Monday that would both compel the state to push the Obama administration to convert Texas’s Medicaid program into a block grant and defund abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.
The omnibus health bill also includes a number of other controversial provisions, including plans to save $400 million over the next year by increasing the use of Medicaid managed care.
The legislation now goes to the desk of Gov. Rick Perry, who has been generally supportive of both the Medicaid reforms as well as anti-abortion language.
(Mediaite) — Despite all the talk of belt-tightening in Washington, CNN’s Lisa Desjardins dug through many Congressional expense reports and discovered up to $6.1 million was paid out in bonuses to Congressional staff members during the beginning of the year, at the height of talks about a potential government shutdown.Voters don't agree. Congressional approval is down to %8.
Voter approval of Congress' job performance has now fallen to a near five-year low.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only eight percent (8%) of Likely U.S. Voters think Congress is doing a good or excellent job. Fifty-two percent (52%) rate Congress' performance as poor.
(LA Times)- It was imperfectly odd. It was strangely unsettling. It was uniquely American.
On a balmy early Saturday summer evening, the U.S soccer team played for a prestigious championship in a U.S. stadium … and was smothered in boos.
Its fans were vastly outnumbered. Its goalkeeper was bathed in a chanted obscenity. Even its national anthem was filled with the blowing of air horns and bouncing of beach balls.
Most of these hostile visitors didn't live in another country. Most, in fact, were not visitors at all, many of them being U.S. residents whose lives are here but whose sporting souls remain elsewhere.
Welcome to another unveiling of that social portrait known as a U.S.-Mexico soccer match, streaked as always in deep colors of red, white, blue, green … and gray.
STOCKHOLM — At the "Egalia" preschool, staff avoid using words like "him" or "her" and address the 33 kids as "friends" rather than girls and boys.
From the color and placement of toys to the choice of books, every detail has been carefully planned to make sure the children don't fall into gender stereotypes.
"Society expects girls to be girlie, nice and pretty and boys to be manly, rough and outgoing," says Jenny Johnsson, a 31-year-old teacher. "Egalia gives them a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be."
The taxpayer-funded preschool which opened last year in the liberal Sodermalm district of Stockholm for kids aged 1 to 6 is among the most radical examples of Sweden's efforts to engineer equality between the sexes from childhood onward.
Breaking down gender roles is a core mission in the national curriculum for preschools, underpinned by the theory that even in highly egalitarian-minded Sweden, society gives boys an unfair edge.
To even things out, many preschools have hired "gender pedagogues" to help staff identify language and behavior that risk reinforcing stereotypes.
Disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner -- who had to resign after admitting to sexting with multiple women -- went out to lunch with his pregnant wife Huma Abedin yesterday, but seemed to be more involved with whatever was on his BlackBerry.
New York Times columnist David Carr responds to Bill Maher implying Alabama and Kansas are not the “smart states.”
David Carr: “If it’s Kansas, Missouri, no big deal. You know, that’s the dance of the low-sloping foreheads. The middle places, right? [pause] Did I just say that aloud?”
A woman has filed a complaint with federal authorities over how her elderly mother was treated at Northwest Florida Regional Airport last weekend.TSA spokeswoman, Sari Koshetz, should fear burning in hell for this lie.
Jean Weber of Destin filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security after her 95-year-old mother was detained and extensively searched last Saturday while trying to board a plane to fly to Michigan to be with family members during the final stages of her battle with leukemia.
Her mother, who was in a wheelchair, was asked to remove an adult diaper in order to complete a pat-down search.
“It’s something I couldn’t imagine happening on American soil,” Weber said Friday. “Here is my mother, 95 years old, 105 pounds, barely able to stand, and then this.”
Sari Koshetz, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration in Miami, said she could not comment on specific cases to protect the privacy of those involved.
“The TSA works with passengers to resolve any security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner,”
Next, Meade exposes Gore for the hypocrite he really is. Meade claims he doesn't consider Gore a hypocrite. He prefers to use the term "narcissistic glitterati" to describe Al Gore's lack of character.Once out of office, he assumed the leadership of the global green movement, steering that movement into a tsunami of defeat that, when the debris is finally cleared away, will loom as one of the greatest failures of civil society in all time.
Gore has the Midas touch in reverse; objects of great value (Nobel prizes, Oscars) turn dull and leaden at his touch. Few celebrity cause leaders have had more or better publicity than Gore has had for his climate advocacy. Hailed by the world press, lionized by the entertainment community and the Global Assemblage of the Great and the Good as incarnated in the Nobel Peace Prize committee, he has nevertheless seen the movement he led flounder from one inglorious defeat to the next. The most recent, failed global climate meeting passed almost unnoticed last week in Bonn; the world has turned its eyes away from the expiring anguish of the Copenhagen agenda.
The state of the global green movement is shambolic. The Kyoto Protocol is withering on the vine; it will almost certainly die with no successor in place. There is no chance of cap and trade legislation in the US under Obama, and even the EPA’s regulatory authority over carbon dioxide is under threat. Brazil is debating a forestry law that critics charge will open the floodgates to a new round of deforestation in the Amazon. China is taking the green lobby head on, suspending a multibillion dollar Airbus order to protest EU carbon cutting plans.
Not all character flaws are inconsistent with positions of great dignity. General Grant’s fondness for whiskey did not make him unfit for command. Other statesmen have combined great public achievement with failure in their personal lives. Franklin Roosevelt was neither a good father nor a good husband; Edward VII was a better monarch than man.The article is lengthy, but well worth your time to go and read every single word. Walter Russell appears to believe in anthropogenic climate change, but believes Al Gore is a complete failure and the movement needs a new leader. I disagree with those who think the science of global warming is settled. The problem is climate scientists reached a consensus the science was settled before the research even began. Current data does not support the global warming climate models that the "settled science" is based upon. These models have proven inaccurate. The temperature rose 0.7 deg C in the last century. Since we came out of a major ice age 10,000 years ago and a "little ice age" 150 years ago, it might be a good bet the temperature will continue increase in the next 100 years. We don't know what that number will be, but, based on the 0.7 deg C we gained in the last century, the sky is hardly falling.
But while some forms of inconsistency or even hypocrisy can be combined with public leadership, others cannot be. A television preacher can eat too many french fries, watch too much cheesy TV and neglect his kids in the quest for global fame. But he cannot indulge in drug fueled trysts with male prostitutes while preaching conservative Christian doctrine. The head of Mothers Against Drunk Driving cannot be convicted of driving while under the influence. The head of the IRS cannot be a tax cheat. The most visible leader of the world’s green movement cannot live a life of conspicuous consumption, spewing far more carbon into the atmosphere than almost all of those he castigates for their wasteful ways. Mr. Top Green can’t also be a carbon pig.
You can be a leading environmentalist and fail to pay all of your taxes. You can be a leading environmentalist and be unkind to your aged mother. You can be a leading environmentalist and squeeze the toothpaste tube from the middle, park in the handicapped spots at the mall or scribble angry marginal notes in library books.
But you cannot be a leading environmentalist who hopes to lead the general public into a long and difficult struggle for sacrifice and fundamental change if your own conduct is so flagrantly inconsistent with the green gospel you profess.
(RCP) In an interview with CNN, First Lady Michelle Obama thanks the media for their "support" and "kindness."
CNN reporter: "How's the family ready for this [the election]? It's going to be quite vicious, isn't it? How do you prepare for that?"
First Lady Michelle Obama: "You know, it's … we're ready, you know. Our children, you know, could care less about what we're doing. We work hard to do that. Fortunately, we have help from the media. I have to say this: I'm very grateful for the support and kindness that we've gotten. People have respected their privacy and in that way, I think, you know, no matter what people may feel about my husband's policies or what have you, they care about children and that's been good to see."
(White House Dossier) — First Lady Michelle Obama will appear at three fundraisers next Thursday, June 30, bringing to seven the number of fundraisers she has held this month.
The heavy schedule of money raising this far out from Election Day suggests that the Obama reelection campaign is going to make frequent use of the first lady, both to raise money and campaign.
By comparison, former First Lady Laura Bush held 13 fundraisers in all of 2003, the year before George W. Bush’s reelection.
Mrs. Obama’s first fundraiser will be at a luncheon in Boston, followed by two early evening fundraisers in Burlington, Vt.
Much of the cost of Mrs. Obama’s travel will be borne by taxpayers since she has an “official” first lady appearance squeezed in between the Boston and Burlington fundraisers — an event “to show appreciation to the Vermont National Guard and their families,” according to the White House.
President Obama also usually has an “official” event to attend when he travels to raise money. Having such an appearance that defrays costs on the itinerary is common practice for presidents when they travel to fundraisers outside of Washington.
Obama himself will appear at two fundraisers next Thursday in Philadelphia, meaning that between them the Obamas will hold forth at five fundraising events in a single day.
(ABC News) — President Obama today apologized to the family of a Medal of Honor recipient whom he erroneously said was still alive.
On Thursday at Fort Drum, the president told troops from the 10th Mountain Division that he previously “had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously.”
Wrong. Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti was actually killed in Afghanistan on June 21, 2006. In September 2009, President Obama awarded him the Medal of Honor posthumously.
On his Facebook page this evening, Monti’s father, Paul, posted: “FYI — President Barack Obama telephoned me personally this afternoon to apologize for his error in his speech to the 10th mountain division re: Jared’s medal ceremony. Apology accepted.”
Speaking to parishoners at St. Sabina Church earlier this month, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy took to the microphone after Father Michael Pfleger spoke about gun control.
McCarthy said the topic of race is a sensitive issue "because everybody's afraid of race" but that he wasn't afraid to broach to subject.
"So here's what I want to tell you. See, let's see if we can make a connection here. Slavery. Segregation. Black codes. Jim Crow. What, what did they all have in common? Anybody getting' scared? Government sponsored racism."
"Now I want you to connect one more dot on that chain of the African American history in this country, and tell me if I'm crazy. Federal gun laws that facilitate the flow of illegal firearms, into our urban centers across this country, that are killing our black and brown children," he said.
"The NRA does not like me, and I'm okay with that. We've got to get the gun debate back to center, and it's got to come with the recognition of who's paying the price for the gun manufacturers being rich and living in gated communities," McCarthy said.
McCarthy illustrated his point by recalling a crime scene investigation while he was a police official in Newark, New Jersey where five children were shot, two of whom were killed. McCarthy said when he got home, he turned on his television to unwind and find an episode of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" showing.
"She was caribou hunting and talking about the right to bear arms. Why wasn't she at the crime scene with me?"
A woman died from a heart attack caused by shock after waking up to discover she had been declared dead - and was being prepared for burial.
As mourning relatives filed past her open coffin the supposedly dead woman suddenly woke up and started screaming as she realised where she was.
Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov, 49, had been wrongly declared deceased by doctors but died for real after hearing mourners saying prayers for her soul to be taken up to heaven in Kazan, Russia.
Devastated husband Fagili Mukhametzyanov, 51, had been told his wife had died of a heart attack after she'd collapsed at home suffering from chest pains.
Mr Mukhametzyanov said: 'Her eyes fluttered and we immediately rushed her back to the hospital but she only lived for another 12 minutes in intensive care before she died again, this time for good.
(NY Times) — Federal law enforcement officials have arrested two men who they say planned to attack a military processing center here using machine guns and grenades.
The men — Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, also known as Joseph A. Davis, 33, of Seattle, and Walli Mujahidh, also known as Frederick Domingue Jr., 32, of Los Angeles — were arrested late Wednesday and charged with conspiracy to murder federal officers and employees, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and several firearms-related charges.
The processing center, called the Military Entrance Processing Station, is used to help process new enlistees. The building is in an industrial area south of downtown. The government said it also houses a federally run day care center.
Both men appeared in court here in a brief initial hearing on Thursday. Neither spoke beyond saying “yes” when asked to confirm that they lacked money to hire a lawyer. The magistrate judge presiding over the hearing appointed public defenders to represent them.
The 38-page criminal complaint filed against the two suggested that they had not made final plans to carry out the alleged plot. They were frustrated, it said, by American war policies and discussed how to make an attack last as long as possible in order to get the most media attention for their actions.
(NewsTime) — Prince says he respects the “order” of Islamic countries.
The ‘Purple Rain’ singer believes strict Middle Eastern countries which make their laws based on the Muslim religion and dictate what their citizens can do and wear cannot just be dismissed as oppressive and wrong.
In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Prince — who has been a Jehovah’s Witnesses since 2001 — said: “We can’t do what we want to do all the time. If you don’t have boundaries, what then?
“It’s fun being in Islamic countries, to know there’s only one religion. There’s order. You wear a burqa. There’s no choice. People are happy with that.”
(AlterNet) — Tonight, in New York City’s venerable Town Hall, Van Jones, arguably the most visible progressive “organizer” in America, and surely one of the country’s best orators, steps up to assume a bigger role — that of major progressive strategist and visionary. Tonight is Jones’ opening gambit in a large-scale, ambitious effort to create what many hope will be the progressives answer to the Tea Party.
Jones, with major support from MoveOn.org and other groups, will present a big-picture vision for mobilizing progressive forces of many types and stripes under the patriotic umbrella brand of the “American Dream Movement.” The goal is nothing less than a broad “open source” movement of millions who, via organizing, house parties, events, technological savvy, and electoral activity, will attempt to shift America’s focus away from the budget-cut mentality and the protection of big corporations and banks, to the human and economic support of tens of millions of unemployed and downsized Americans, including returning war vets and young people. (The event, which also features musical group the Roots, will be streamed live beginning at 8:15pm EDT on many Web sites, including AlterNet. Tune in tonight.)
(Daily Mail)- O.J Simpson has confessed to Oprah Winfrey that he murdered his former wife, it has been reported.
The talk show host made headlines recently saying that one of her regrets was never having got the shamed former sportsman to confess to the killing.
And it appears her wish may well have come true with reports Simpson has already told one of her producers in an interview from jail that he knifed ex-wife Nicole in self-defence – a confession he will now repeat to the talk show queen during a spectacular televised sit down interview. …
“He told the producer: “Tell Oprah that yes, I did it. I killed Nicole, but it was in self-defence. She pulled a knife on me and I had to defend myself”,’ the insider was quoted as saying.The O.J. Simpson trial was the biggest travesty of justice in modern times. He had motive, left his shoe print and DNA art the crime scene, the bloody murder glove was found outside his residence and the cut in the glove matched a cut on his hand. In-spite of this overwhelming evidence, an all minority jury found him not guilty. They should be ashamed. They should be very ashamed.
“I started wondering if during the night I would be visited by specially trained CIA agents. Could they secretly shoot me with a miniature, slow-acting poison dart?"
(Fox Nation) — Since Hurricane Katrina’s winds died down, Ray Nagin has cast his role as mayor of New Orleans as a me-against-the-world struggle to save his hometown against inept government officials and racist forces, sometimes even laying out vague conspiracy theories to bolster his worldview.
But that perspective has never been laid out as starkly as in Nagin’s self-published memoir, “Katrina’s Secrets: Storms After the Storm,” released Wednesday . . . The former mayor, who left office last year, also admits in the 330-page paperback that the infamously botched nature of the disaster response led him briefly into a state of paranoia. Nagin writes that he suspected the federal government of trying to poison him, and he believed at one point that the city’s wealthiest, most powerful residents were trying to bug his hotel suite. . .
Nagin also worried about becoming a target of sinister forces after his famous Sept. 1, 2005, rant on WWL-AM, which the former mayor writes was prompted by reports that Blanco and U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu and David Vitter had bragged “about how well things were going,” even as evacuees continued to suffer at the Superdome and Convention Center.
“I thought to myself, ‘I’m a dead man! I have just publicly denounced the governor, U.S. Senators, FEMA and the president of the United States,’” he writes. “I started wondering if during the night I would be visited by specially trained CIA agents. Could they secretly shoot me with a miniature, slow-acting poison dart?
(IPT) — Donations to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) no longer are tax deductible after the organization was among 275,000 tax-exempt organizations purged earlier this month by the Internal Revenue Service.
The groups failed to file required annual reports, known as form 990s, detailing their revenues and expenses, for three consecutive years. CAIR had been a non-profit on its own, but in 2007, the IRS approved a separate tax-exempt CAIR Foundation. The foundation never filed any subsequent reports. Both the foundation and CAIR national are on the purge list.
"Barack Obama was selected before he was elected," said Mr. Wright, dressed in black pants and a short-sleeved, African-style printed tunic. "Wall Street selected him. GM, Ford and Chrysler selected him. When you are selected by them, you are beholden to them."
Referencing the Book of Exodus, he warned churchgoers to "Please remember that Pharaoh was black, so not all of your oppressors are white." A chorus of "amen" and a phalanx of arms rose simultaneously into the air in agreement with Mr. Wright.
(Newsmax) — Mitt Romney, the supposed front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, would be trounced in a head-to-head race against either of two yet unannounced GOP candidates, Rick Perry and Chris Christie, a new IBOPE Zogby/Newsmax poll reveals.
In the survey of nearly 1,000 likely Republican primary voters, New Jersey Gov. Christie gets a resounding 62 percent of the vote to Romney’s 19 percent, with the remaining 19 percent not sure.
Texas Gov. Perry gets 55 percent of the vote when matched against former Massachusetts Gov. Romney, who receives 22 percent, with 23 percent not sure.
Significantly, 62 percent of likely GOP primary voters who say they are independents support Christie, and 59 percent support Perry, according to the poll that ended on Tuesday.
(MEMRI) — Following are excerpts from a public address by Egyptian cleric Safwat Higazi, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on June 10, 2011:
Jerusalem will not be liberated through conferences, accords, or agreements. Jerusalem will be liberated only through a sacred march by millions. Millions of young Arabs will set out from all Arab countries in order to liberate Jerusalem once again. This will happen in the near future, Allah willing, whether people like it or not.
Before the [Egyptian] revolution, we would say: “Never mind if we do not live to see victory and the liberation of Jerusalem. The important thing is that we lay another brick on that path. Our children, our grandchildren, or our great-grandchildren will liberate Jerusalem.”
After the Egyptian revolution, I do not say this anymore. Allah willing, we will be liberating Jerusalem ourselves, and we will pray in Jerusalem, Allah willing. We will be the ones to be martyred on the threshold of Jerusalem. We shall not wait for our children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren. Time is pressing. We will be liberating Jerusalem, Allah willing.
WASHINGTON, June 22 (Reuters) — Democratic leaders called on Wednesday for additional spending to boost the sluggish U.S. economy, setting up a fresh hurdle for bipartisan efforts in Washington to head off a government debt default this summer.
Democrats’ demand for new stimulus spending is at odds with the work of negotiators, led by Vice President Joe Biden, who are trying to find trillions of dollars in savings as part of a deal that would allow Congress to sign off on new government borrowing before the U.S. runs out of money to pay its bills.
Those talks, which resumed on Wednesday, have largely focused on spending cuts over the next 10 years. Senate Democrats want the deal to include more money for highway construction, a payroll tax cut and clean-energy subsidies to bring down the 9.1 percent unemployment rate.
(Daily Mail) — Elderly hospital patients who were terrified that they could not summon help from nurses hoped that an electronic alarm would be installed in their day room.
Instead they were given a tambourine to shake.
And in case that broke, a pair of maracas was also supplied as back-up.
One man visiting his mother put the system to the test by rattling the tambourine for 16 minutes – but failed to attract the staff’s attention.
Yesterday the hospital was forced to apologise after an NHS watchdog described the policy as ‘unacceptable’ and criticised it for failing to install a proper alarm system.
Washington (CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ventured into the 2012 presidential waiting game Tuesday, offering up his pick for the Republican presidential nomination."If I had a choice, I would favor Huntsman over Romney," Reid told reporters after a meeting on Capitol Hill. "But I don't have a choice in that race."
When Hillary Clinton famously called for a “reset” of Washington’s relations with Moscow back in March 2009, she should have used the more accurate term, “surrender”. From caving in to Russian demands to scrap plans for Third Site missile defences in eastern and central Europe to signing on to the New START Treaty, US policy towards Russia under the Obama administration has been one wretched give away after another, even stretching as far as handing over sensitive information on Britain’s nuclear deterrent.Dmitry Medvedev:
Is it any wonder that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is now openly calling for Barack Obama’s re-election? In an extraordinary interview with The Financial Times, the Russian leader gives a glowing account of his US counterpart, in a direct intervention in US domestic politics 16 months ahead of the November 2012 presidential election.
Let me tell you that no one wishes the re-election of Barack Obama as US president as I do…
(Daily Caller) — The American Tradition Institute’s (ATI) Environmental Law Center filed a lawsuit Tuesday to force the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to make public ethics records for global warming activist and chief climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies James Hansen — to ensure that he did not use his public position for personal gain.
According to ATI, over the past four years Hansen has earned an estimated $1.2 million from outside opportunities.
ATI hopes to find out if NASA approved Hansen’s external endeavors and if his gain was a result of his “taxpayer-funded employment,” as he allegedly began making this money when he increased his amount of global warming advocacy – specifically in the years following a 2006 “60 Minutes” interview in which the climate scientist accused the Bush administration of “censoring” his warming views.
This is the second time this year the group has sought information of this kind from NASA. In January ATI attempted to obtain records dealing with NASA and Hansen’s compliance with financial disclosure and ethics laws. The agency rejected their request then, arguing that the disclosure was a “clearly unwarranted violation of Hansen’s privacy rights.”Hansen is well known for peddling false data.
(LA Times) — The Obama administration is kicking off a nationwide ad campaign urging seniors to take advantage of free preventive services such as cancer screenings made possible in Medicare by the new healthcare law.
The campaign — featuring television and radio ads in English and Spanish — comes on the heels of a new report showing that less than one in six Medicare beneficiaries have taken advantage of the new benefit since President Obama signed the law last year.
The new law includes numerous provisions to encourage more preventive care, which many health experts believe is critical to controlling long-term health costs.
(The National) — Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government is seeking to divert attention from hardline rivals’ allegations that some of the Iranian president’s allies, including his chief of staff, are involved in black magic and exorcism.
The government is doing so by assuming the leading role in the battle against occult practices and nonconformist ideologies.
Alireza Afshar, acting interior minister in executive affairs, told Nasim Online, a news website, that the ministry had commissioned a non-governmental organisation to identify those engaged in divination and exorcism as well as “deviant schools of thought and false Gnosticism”.
Under Iranian laws various kinds of occultism are punishable by fines and jail terms of up to seven years.
In a later interview Mr Afshar added “devil-worshippers” as subjects of the intended crackdown. Devil-worshipper is the collective term that authorities in Iran often use to refer to underground rock bands and young people dressing unconventionally or “western-style”.
(POLITICO) — The White House says President Obama isn’t focused on his reelection campaign, but tonight he will headline his 29th and 30th fundraisers for the year.
Mark Knoller of CBS News, tabulator of White House statistics, said Obama so far this year has raised money in six states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.
At the same point in former President George W. Bush’s reelection cycle, he had done only three fundraisers, Knoller said.
Obama in 2008 raised more than $745 million, setting a new record for presidential campaign spending. The 2012 effort is expected to generate a billion dollars. The two fundraisers tonight are at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Later this week, Obama will attend two more, in New York City.
(The Globe and Mail)- The United States has little credibility at the negotiating table; China is showing signs of “buyer’s remorse” for commitments already made, and the European Union is desperately trying to save the Kyoto Protocol from a premature death.
Negotiators concluded two weeks of climate talks in Bonn on Friday, providing a sobering view of the political roadblocks on the way to Durban, South Africa, where ministers will meet in December
With the world economy still reeling from financial and debt crises, there is a fading hope that countries will accept a pact that would see greenhouse gas emissions peak by 2015 and then begin to drop. And more important, that they will follow through with their own promised emission reductions.
The UN’s chief climate negotiator acknowledged Friday that economic and political challenges are competing with the scientific urgency of reducing emissions.The thing that should be killing anthropogenic global warming is the data. AGW true believers still claim the science is settled and the refuse to consider recent data. CO2 is still climbing at a steady pace, but the temperature has leveled off. The AGW climate models predicted temperature would rapidly escalate its increase as CO2 rises. That clearly isn't happening. Anyone who can look at the graph posted below and claim CO2 is has a major effect on temperature has left the realm of science and entered Harry Potter's world of magic.