Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Democrats: Illegals Don't Need to Show ID

Democrats say and do two different things.

When Obama says the healthcare bill will not be available to illegals ... technically it wouldn't but ...

Senators turn back ID requirement for immigrant healthcare
By Jeffrey Young - 09/30/09

Senate Finance Committee Democrats rejected a proposed a requirement that immigrants prove their identity with photo identification when signing up for federal healthcare programs.

Finance Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said that current law and the healthcare bill under consideration are too lax and leave the door open to illegal immigrants defrauding the government using false or stolen identities to obtain benefits.

Grassley's amendment was beaten back 10-13 on a party-line vote.

The bill, authored by committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), would require applicants to verify their names, places of birth and Social Security numbers. In addition, legal immigrants would have to wait five years, as under current law, after obtaining citizenship or legal residency to access federal healthcare benefits such as Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program or receive tax credits or purchase insurance through the exchange created by the legislation.

But the would not require them to show a photo ID, such as a drivers license. Without that requirement, the bill "remains dearly lacking when it comes to identification," Grassley said.
"Frankly, I'm very perplexed as to why anyone would oppose this amendment," he said.But Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman, who represents the border state of New Mexico, said that the type of fraud Grassley said he wants to prevent is highly uncommon.

"The way I see the amendment, it's a solution without a problem," Bingaman said.

Perhaps Mr. Bingaman, you should get some help with your vision. I have to show ID when a police officer stops me, when I go to the DMV, when I use a credit card ... surely when I am receiving medical care for FREE. UNLESS, Mr. Bingaman, there is a reason why you don't want people checked.

I cannot help but wonder, what if, in my delusional world, Congress voted to not ask for ID, thus allowing anyone - legal or illegal, to get medical health coverage - and when those same illegals become legal (which is part of another process the Congress might be considering) they would then vote for my political party, and given the fact they are a significant percent of the population in my community and many others wherever it might be, I want to stay in office, and this is a way to ensure I stay in office. Would you think that too politically driven, without regard for the country, but aiming instead for a self-interest ... that is exactly what Democrats attributed to Bush, without much evidence - yet this issue stands out glaring at you in the face, and Mr. Bingaman, you see a solution without a problem.

I see a problem you refuse to see, for any number of reasons.


Polanski Again

Polanksi according to the Times

[Robert] Harris [the author of the book] defended Polanski, attacking the authorities in Los Angeles for demanding the arrest of the director.


His past did not bother me, any more (presumably) than it did the three French presidents with whom he has had private dinners, or the hundreds of actors and technicians who have worked with him since 1977, or the fans who come up to him in Paris for his autograph.”
Polanski has strong support with at least 110 figures from the film industry, including Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Pedro Almodóvar and Tilda Swinton, having signed a petition calling for his release.


We know much about the 3 past presidents of France - Mitterrand, would be, by most accounts, very close to being a pedophile given the age difference between he and the women and girls he was involved with. None of them are models of anything.

Tilda Swinton - odd one to haul out as a voice, given her very interesting life.

Woody Allen - the pedophile himself.

A list of who's who among the degenerates.


FRANKEN: Elected by ACORN?

Katherine Kersten: Worst trouble with ACORN is at the polls

Nationally, its voter registration is often fraudulent. So what about here?

September 26, 2009

Unless you've been stuck in the Gobi Desert, you've read the headlines about the scandal at ACORN -- the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Earlier this month, ACORN staffers in four states were caught giving not-so-sage advice to two journalists, posing as a pimp and a prostitute, on how to defraud the government, cheat on taxes and wangle a mortgage for a home-based brothel.

ACORN was once the darling of Democrats for its support of every item on the left-wing wish list. Suddenly, its employees can hardly find a Democrat who will answer their phone calls. When the U.S. Senate voted on Sept. 14 to cut off federal housing dollars for ACORN, the tally was a lopsided 83-7.

ACORN's foibles may seem largely irrelevant here in Minnesota, where the organization has so far been able to keep its nose relatively clean.

But ACORN does have a special place in its heart for at least one prominent Minnesota politician. Last year, it showered praise on Al Franken, endorsing his run for the U.S. Senate. Franken returned the esteem: "I'm thrilled and honored to receive this endorsement," he gushed in a press release. He added that he was "more motivated than ever to work with ACORN."

I'm not suggesting that Franken had any association with the folks behind ACORN's recent scandal. Indeed, when the Senate voted to defund ACORN, he got religion and joined the pack.

It's worth recalling, however, that ACORN is best-known for its massive voter-registration campaigns, which focus relentlessly on getting Democrats elected in targeted states. Here its record is appalling -- and goes to the heart of our democratic electoral system.

In October 2008, ACORN announced triumphantly that it had registered about 1.3 million new voters in 18 battleground states, among them Minnesota. A few weeks later, however, the director of Project Vote -- an ACORN affiliate -- acknowledged to the New York Times that election officials had rejected about 400,000 of those, for reasons including duplicate registrations, incomplete forms and (in the Times' words) "fraudulent submissions from low-paid field workers trying to please their supervisors."

Nothing new here. ACORN's registration drives "routinely produce fraudulent registrations," according to a staff report released in July 2009 by the ranking Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The report describes ACORN as "a criminal conspiracy" and details violations ranging from unpaid taxes to a million-dollar embezzlement and cover-up. "To date," the report says, "nearly 70 ACORN employees have been convicted in 12 states for voter-registration fraud."

The latest such scandal broke a few weeks ago, when authorities in Florida accused 11 ACORN workers of falsifying information on 888 voter-registration forms.

In May 2009, Nevada's attorney general charged ACORN and two employees with 39 felonies. Authorities raided ACORN offices after complaints about numerous forms with false addresses and names -- including the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys. Forty-eight percent of forms turned in were "clearly fraudulent," according to a Las Vegas election official. ACORN recruited felons living in transitional housing in Las Vegas to act as canvassers and promised illegal bonuses if they signed up more than 20 new voters a day.

ACORN's practices can make fraud difficult to detect. For example, "at election offices around the country, ACORN workers are famous for waiting until registration deadline to dump thousands of new documents on overworked clerks -- making it harder for them to fully vet the registration forms," according to the New York Post.

As a result, fraud often only comes to light by chance. Fraud "has been discovered by cursory checks or by accident," John Samples, an election expert at the Cato Institute, told the Post. "There's a lot more out there to be discovered."

Here in Minnesota, ACORN has boasted of playing a major role in the 2008 elections. It claims to have registered 43,000 new voters, which it describes as 75 percent of the state's new registrations. Franken's margin of victory in the Senate race was razor-thin: 312 votes out of about 3 million cast. And Minnesota's laws on proof of voter eligibility are notoriously loose. Did ACORN folks pull some fast ones to help get their favorite son Franken elected -- a win that handed Democrats the 60-vote, veto-proof majority that they needed to enact their liberal agenda?

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie assures us that Minnesota's system of voter verification protects electoral integrity.

But here's an uncomfortable fact: Ritchie himself was endorsed by the now-notorious ACORN and elected with its help.


Russia says nyet to sanctions against Iran

When Amadinejad went nuts at the UN blowing smoke up every one's ass, and the UN received a cryptic note informing them of a second secret nuclear center, China and Russia perked up and began talking about sanctions, and Obama immediately stuck a feather in his cap and started dancing yankee doodle ... a little too soon according to a DEBKA story.

Mr. Obama, here is the thing ... say the United States is attacked again, and you show up like Bush did, and pound your fist and add some tears ... the world community will immediately tell you they will do everything they can to stop terrorism, bar none. Then slowly they will begin back-pedaling - they will do anything on days that start with M and as long as those days which start with M happen to be odd numbered, in months that end in Y; otherwise they need to be on days that start with W and are even numbered in months that end with R. If it is anything else, they can't help.

Russia just did this.

Moscow again cool on sanctions, foists restraint on US-led line for Iran

DEBKAfile Special Analysis
September 29, 2009

Two days before the Six-Power bloc-Iranian meeting in Geneva, DEBKAfile's Russian sources report Moscow appears to have taken a step back from the small opening allowed by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev for a fresh round of sanctions against Tehran. Monday night, Sept. 28, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told Russian news agencies that although Iranian's missile exercise was worrying, restraint was needed. An official communiqué urged "Western powers to restrain themselves."

This is a setback to the tactic US president Barack Obama employed for bringing Russia aboard for stringent international sanctions when he announced Sept. 19 that he was scrapping the US missile shield planned in East Europe.

It is also one in the eye for the Netanyahu government and its latest policy of cooperation with international steps for bringing Iran to heel on its nuclear activities. Monday night, foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a television interview: "Israel must not attack Iran's nuclear installations. It must be left to world powers. DEBKAfile's political sources report that Lieberman is increasingly criticized for aligning his policies with those of Moscow.

The Obama administration is working on broadened sanctions in the event that Iran fails to "come clean" on its nuclear activities and deliver on international requirements by the end of the year.

However, two days before Iran's negotiator meets the world powers in Geneva, Iran's atomic energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi made it clear in an interview Tuesday that Iran would never give up its uranium enrichment program. He described the second enrichment plant in a mountain near Qom as very small and explained it had been built underground to protect personnel and instruments in a possible attack. "But this does not mean we believe the worst case will ever come," he said, "because any wrong steps would… start a fire they cannot extinguish."

The sanctions under review in Washington might focus on maritime traffic to and from Iran - including pressure on shipping firms in Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, especially Dubai, to stop doing direct or third-party business with Tehran, and raising insurance premiums. Foreign investments in Iran, its financial and telecommunications sectors and foreign travel might also be targeted for bans.

Earlier plans to ban refined petrol products and gasoline exports to Iran, which could indeed cripple parts of Iran's economic and military capabilities, appear to have been dropped from the Obama administration's review of possible sanctions. The DEBKAfile's Gulf sources report that some of these options were tried unsuccessfully in the past with little impact on Iran's economy - and certainly not on the regime's determined adherence to its nuclear plans, most of all the rapid momentum of uranium enrichment. As in the past, the new steps under review would have to run the gauntlet of international consensus to fully succeed. Some would no doubt fall by the wayside while the bargaining would meanwhile consume time.


Iranian Foreign Minister Visits the US

And how many of you think this was a normal, usual, typical, routine, standard, run of the mill request?

I hope, no one.

This guy, doesn't matter what his name is, wants to come and visit a 'section' that represents Iran, in the Pakistani wing ... and he needs to what, check up on paper clip count? Phone calls being made?

We will eventually find out what he came for ... in political life, nothing is secret, although it may take 1-10 years.

Iranian Foreign Minister Makes Rare Visit to DC

September 30, 2009

ABC News' Kirit Radia reports: The US granted Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki a visa to make a rare visit to the country’s unofficial diplomatic presence in Washington, DC today, the State Department said.

Mottaki was approved to visit Iran’s Interest Section, technically under the auspices of the Pakistani embassy but in a separate building, but there are no plans for US officials to meet with him, according to Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs PJ Crowley.

“There are no plans that he will meet with anyone from the United States government, and I'm not aware of any plans that he would meet with anyone on behalf of the United States government,” Crowley told reporters.

Asked why the US would grant Iran’s top diplomat a visa to come to Washington less than a week after the US and others revealed a secret Iranian nuclear facility and one day before the countries sit down in Geneva to discuss Tehran’s nuclear program, Crowley replied:
“I think we're far more interested in having Iran come tomorrow to Geneva, and we hope that they will be the ones who are offering gestures that they are ready to address the concerns that the international community has. I wouldn't read too much into this. It was a straightforward request, and we granted it.”

Crowley said he believed the request to come to Washington was received and granted within 24 hours of his visit.


Liberalism: Never Say Sorry, Never Apologize, Just Keep on Truckin'

Being a liberal means you never explain or apologize, you simply move on, but if a Conservative does it - you crucify them and pursue the story in the most unrelenting fashion possible.

It doesn't matter if it was 1984 or 1994 - a 15 year old with a 40 year old or 50 year old ... the law is the same, and excusing it with a wave of his hand - something that happened long ago, and if I could do it again I would change it and teachers should have more preparation, and society can benefit from his error ... doesn't sound, to me, like an apology -- it sound slike a defense and excuse.

Head of Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools Expresses Regret for Controversial Incident

September 30, 2009

A senior official of the Department of Education expressed regret today for an incident that happened when he was a young teacher in the late 1980s, saying he should have handled it differently, but that society could benefit from his error.

Kevin Jennings, director of the Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools and founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), has been criticized by social conservatives for a passage in his 1994 book “One Teacher In Ten.” At the time, only a few people knew that Jennings, then a 24-year-old teacher at Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts, was gay. In the Spring of 1988, a young woman who knew Jennings was gay, brought to his office a high school sophomore whom Jennings called “Brewster” in the book.

As Jennings wrote:
“’Brewster has something he needs to talk with you about,’ she intoned ominously. Brewster squirmed at the prospect of telling, and we sat silently for a short while. On a hunch, I suddenly asked ‘What’s his name?’ Brewster’s eyes widened briefly, and then out spilled a story about his involvement with an older man he had met in Boston. I listened, sympathized, and offered advice. He left my office with a smile on his face that I would see every time I saw him on the campus for the next two years, until he graduated.”

Jennings in 2000 told a GLSEN conference that Brewster told him he “’met someone in the bus station bathroom and I went home with him.’ High school sophomore, 15 years old. That was the only way he knew how to meet gay people. I was a closeted gay teacher, 24 years old, didn’t know what to say, knew I should say something quickly. So I finally, my best friend had just died of AIDS the week before, I looked at Brewster and said, ‘You know, I hope you knew to use a condom.’ He said to me something I will never forget, He said ‘Why should I, my life isn’t worth saving anyway.’”

That Jennings knew of a sexually active 15-year-old, of any gender, involved with “an older man” and didn’t take steps to report that relationship to the student’s parents or to authorities has made him a target for criticism -- long before he was put in charge of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.

In July 2004, before Jennings was about to receive the National Education Association’s Virginia Uribe Human Rights Award, Diane Lenning, head of the NEA’s Republican Educators Caucus, protested, suggesting that Jennings “did not report sexual victimization of a student to the proper authorities” and asked "Is it a good idea for NEA to honor as exemplary a teacher who engages in unethical practice?"

Jennings today issued a statement saying, “Twenty-one years later I can see how I should have handled the situation differently. I should have asked for more information and consulted legal or medical authorities. Teachers back then had little training and guidance about this kind of thing. All teachers should have a basic level of preparedness. I would like to see the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools play a bigger role in helping to prepare teachers.”

Education Secretary Arne Duncan issued a statement today supporting his colleague, saying “Kevin Jennings has dedicated his professional career to promoting school safety. He is uniquely qualified for his job and I’m honored to have him on our team.”

Administration officials point out that Jennings has received accolades from the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Association of Independent Schools, the National Education Association, and the Massachusetts Counselors Association, and he has been named to a commission by former Republican Massachusetts Gov. William Weld.

In July, the conservative Family Research Council launched a “Stop Jennings” campaign in which they seized upon not just that one incident with Brewster, but other comments from his past. The liberal Think Progress has issued a fact check of what they call a “right-wing smear campaign” against him by those who oppose homosexuality.

Today’s statement is a departure from the posture Jennings took in 2004, when he protested Lenning’s campaign against him, saying that the “comments and accusations made by Diane Lenning regarding my career while I served as a teacher at Concord Academy were not only personally hurtful but inaccurate and potentially libelous."

It has also been noted that the new head of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools wrote, in his 2007 autobiography, "Mama's Boy, Preacher's Son: A Memoir,” that in his high school years he “got stoned more often and went out to the beach at Bellows, overlooking Honolulu Harbor and the lights of the city, to drink with my buddies on Friday and Saturday nights, spending hours watching the planes take off and land at the airport, which is actually quite fascinating when you are drunk and stoned."

Jennings today said: "I have written about the factors that have led me to use drugs as a teen. This experience qualifies me to help students and teachers who are confronting these issues today.”


Polanski: Hollywood - 'Free Polanski Now'

ABC News

Today, Hollywood is still rushing to Polanski's defense. Directors Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Woody Allen are among dozens in the film industry who have agreed to sign a petition calling for the immediate release of Polanski. In a British newspaper, film producer Harvey Weinstein, who has already signed the petition, called Polanski's original plea deal a "miscarriage of justice."

"Whatever you think about the so-called crime, Polanski has served his time," Weinstein wrote.
Polanski took a deal and pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse and served 42 days in a California jail where he was psychologically evaluated.

From the Daily Telegraph:

Goldberg, star of The Color Purple and Sister Act, said: "I know it wasn't rape-rape. I think it was something else, but I don't believe it was rape-rape.

"He pled guilty to having sex with a minor and he went to jail, and when they let him out he said 'You know what, this guy's going to give me 100 years in jail. I'm not staying'. And that's why he left." Polanski was arrested in Zurich, Switzerland on Sunday and faces extradition to the United States. He fled the US in 1978 before being sentenced for the crime and has been pursued around the globe by prosecutors ever since.


More than 100 film industry figures have now signed a petition calling for the release of Polanski, the acclaimed director of Chinatown, Rosemary's Baby and The Pianist.
They include leading Hollywood figures Martin Scorcese, Woody Allen, David Lynch, Wim Wenders, Pedro Almodovar, Tilda Swinton and Monica Bellucci.

One celebrity supporter, the actress Debra Winger, said it was a "three-decades-old case that is dead but for minor technicalities. We stand by him and await his release and his next masterpiece." Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein said Polanski was a "humanist" who had been the victim of a "miscarriage of justice". He said: "We will have to speak to our leaders, particularly in California. I'm not too shy to go and talk to the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and to ask him once and for all to look at this." However, the views of the Hollywood elite seemed out of step with those of ordinary Americans and they now face a backlash.

It's not rape-rape, it's not a big deal, it was consensual ... these people ... have utterly no moral backbone and the idea of hearing one of them attack President Bush, makes me want to throw up.

It's not rape-rape.

How pathetic.

Your judgment is clouded by the fact you have no ability to judge, by the fact you find geniuses molesting children, and I was not surprised to read Woody Allen's name! Brilliant. We should let them at the children and see what they ...

Oh, that's right, they already have, although it was done very artistically, the need to include a violent rape scene of  Dakota Fanning when she was 11 or younger, occurring off camera ... very appropriate, very artistic, very ... sick.  I would be surprised if Woody Allen doesn't have that film at home.

Polanski and the 13 year old, Polanski and Natasha Kinski - 15, Polanski and any number of children ...

He committed a crime and you don't absolve him simply because.

I do believe he should be freed without jail, but not without consequence. He has been forgiven by the victim, it has been 30 years, and he is a different man. What we aspire with our prison system is punishment for the crime and to have you change your behavior. He has changed his behavior and 30 years excluded from this country is quite a few, plus the forgiveness of the victim, I believe supports Polanski receiving a pardon for his crime, BUT I would never sign a stupid statement to that fact nor show myself as a hypocrite as many are now doing.


Vidal: Call no man happy until he is dead.

Vidal is one unhappy man. By the way Gore - be honest, you know that if Bush had simply stood up and said I am president and we will do this or that, you would have called him authoritarian, on the road to tyranny. But, invoke Lincoln and the same statement and wistfully dream of Obama saying the same, and suddenly a hero is created.

I am a bit at odds on that one sir.

(I have included this bit, not because Vidal has anything useful to say but to pull out in a few years, when we do not have a military dictatorship and show how foolish Vidal was with his dire warnings - like War on Terror.)

From The Times

September 30, 2009

Gore Vidal: ‘We’ll have a dictatorship soon in the US’

The grand old man of letters Gore Vidal claims America is ‘rotting away’ — and don’t expect Barack Obama to save it
Tim Teeman

A conversation with Gore Vidal unfolds at his pace. He answers questions imperiously, occasionally playfully, with a piercing, lethal dryness. He is 83 and in a wheelchair (a result of hypothermia suffered in the war, his left knee is made of titanium). But he can walk (“Of course I can”) and after a recent performance of Mother Courage at London’s National Theatre he stood to deliver an anti-war speech to the audience.

How was his friend Fiona Shaw in the title role? “Very good.” Where did they meet? Silence. The US? “Well, it wasn’t Russia.” What’s he writing at the moment? “It’s a little boring to talk about. Most writers seem to do little else but talk about themselves and their work, in majestic terms.” He means self-glorifying? “You’ve stumbled on the phrase,” he says, regally enough. “Continue to use it.”

Vidal is sitting in the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair, where he has been coming to stay for 60 years. He is wearing a brown suit jacket, brown jumper, tracksuit bottoms; his white hair twirled into a Tintin-esque quiff and with his hooded eyes, delicate yet craggy features and arch expression, he looks like Quentin Crisp, but accessorised with a low, lugubrious growl rather than camp lisp.

He points to an apartment opposite the hotel where Churchill stayed during the Second World War, as Downing Street was “getting hammered by the Nazis. The crowds would cheer him from the street, he knew great PR.” In a flash, this memory reminds you of the swathe of history Vidal has experienced with great intimacy: he was friends with JFK, fought in the war, his father Gene, an Olympic decathlete and aeronautics teacher, founded TWA among other airlines and had a relationship with Amelia Earhart. (Vidal first flew and landed a plane when he was 10.) He was a screenwriter for MGM in the dying days of the studio system, toyed with being a politician, he has written 24 novels and is hailed as one of the world’s greatest essayists.

He has crossed every boundary, I say. “Crashed many barriers,” he corrects me.

Last year he famously switched allegiance from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama during the Democratic nomination process for president. Now, he reveals, he regrets his change of heart.

How’s Obama doing? “Dreadfully. I was hopeful. He was the most intelligent person we’ve had in that position for a long time. But he’s inexperienced. He has a total inability to understand military matters. He’s acting as if Afghanistan is the magic talisman: solve that and you solve terrorism.” America should leave Afghanistan, he says. “We’ve failed in every other aspect of our effort of conquering the Middle East or whatever you want to call it.” The “War on Terror” was “made up”, Vidal says. “The whole thing was PR, just like ‘weapons of mass destruction’. It has wrecked the airline business, which my father founded in the 1930s. He’d be cutting his wrists. Now when you fly you’re both scared to death and bored to death, a most disagreeable combination.”

His voice strengthens. “One thing I have hated all my life are LIARS [he says that with bristling anger] and I live in a nation of them. It was not always the case. I don’t demand honour, that can be lies too. I don’t say there was a golden age, but there was an age of general intelligence. We had a watchdog, the media.” The media is too supine? “Would that it was. They’re busy preparing us for an Iranian war.” He retains some optimism about Obama “because he doesn’t lie. We know the fool from Arizona [as he calls John McCain] is a liar. We never got the real story of how McCain crashed his plane [in 1967 near Hanoi, North Vietnam] and was held captive.”

Vidal originally became pro-Obama because he grew up in “a black city” (meaning Washington), as well as being impressed by Obama’s intelligence. “But he believes the generals. Even Bush knew the way to win a general was to give him another star. Obama believes the Republican Party is a party when in fact it’s a mindset, like Hitler Youth, based on hatred — religious hatred, racial hatred. When you foreigners hear the word ‘conservative’ you think of kindly old men hunting foxes. They’re not, they’re fascists.”

Another notable Obama mis-step has been on healthcare reform. “He f***ed it up. I don’t know how because the country wanted it. We’ll never see it happen.” As for his wider vision: “Maybe he doesn’t have one, not to imply he is a fraud. He loves quoting Lincoln and there’s a great Lincoln quote from a letter he wrote to one of his generals in the South after the Civil War. ‘I am President of the United States. I have full overall power and never forget it, because I will exercise it’. That’s what Obama needs — a bit of Lincoln’s chill.” Has he met Obama? “No,” he says quietly, “I’ve had my time with presidents.” Vidal raises his fingers to signify a gun and mutters: “Bang bang.” He is referring to the possibility of Obama being assassinated. “Just a mysterious lone gunman lurking in the shadows of the capital,” he says in a wry, dreamy way.

Vidal now believes, as he did originally, Clinton would be the better president. “Hillary knows more about the world and what to do with the generals. History has proven when the girls get involved, they’re good at it. Elizabeth I knew Raleigh would be a good man to give a ship to.”The Republicans will win the next election, Vidal believes; though for him there is little difference between the parties. “Remember the coup d’etat of 2000 when the Supreme Court fixed the selection, not election, of the stupidest man in the country, Mr Bush.”

Vidal says forcefully that he wished he’d never moved back to the US to live in Hollywood, from his clifftop home in Ravello, Italy, in 2000. His partner of 53 years, Howard Austen, who died in 2003, collated a lifetime’s-span of pictures of Vidal, for a new book out this autumn, Gore Vidal: Snapshots in History’s Glare (an oddly clunky title). The cover shows what a beautiful young man Vidal was, although his stare is as hawkish as it is today.

He observes presidential office-holders balefully. “The only one I knew well was Kennedy, but he didn’t impress me as a good president. It’s like asking, ‘What do I think of my brother?’ It’s complicated. I’d known him all my life and I liked him to the end, but he wrecked his chances with the Bay of Pigs and Suez crises, and because everyone was so keen to elect Bobby once Jack had gone, lies started to be told about him — that he was the greatest and the King of Camelot.”

Today religious mania has infected the political bloodstream and America has become corrosively isolationist, he says. “Ask an American what they know about Sweden and they’d say ‘They live well but they’re all alcoholics’. In fact a Scandinavian system could have benefited us many times over.” Instead, America has “no intellectual class” and is “rotting away at a funereal pace. We’ll have a military dictatorship fairly soon, on the basis that nobody else can hold everything together. Obama would have been better off focusing on educating the American people. His problem is being over-educated. He doesn’t realise how dim-witted and ignorant his audience is. Benjamin Franklin said that the system would fail because of the corruption of the people and that happened under Bush.”

Vidal adds menacingly: “Don’t ever make the mistake with people like me thinking we are looking for heroes. There aren’t any and if there were, they would be killed immediately. I’m never surprised by bad behaviour. I expect it.”

While materially comfortable, Vidal’s was not a happy childhood. Of his actress and socialite mother Nina, he says: “Give her a glass of vodka and she was as tame as could be. Growing up is going to be difficult if the one person you hate is your mother. I felt trapped. I was close to my grandparents and my father was a saint.” His parents’ many remarriages means that even today he hasn’t met all his step-siblings.

He wrote his first novel, Williwaw, at 19. In 1948, he was blacklisted by the media after writing The City and the Pillar, one of the earliest novels to deal graphically with homosexual desire. “You’ll be amazed to know it is still going strong,” he says. The “JT” it is dedicated to is James “Jimmy” Trimble, Vidal’s first love and, he once said, the love of his life. “That was a slight exaggeration. I said it because there wasn’t any other. In the new book there are wonderful pictures of him from our schooldays. He was a great athlete.” Here his voice softens, and he looks emotional, briefly. “We were both abandoned in our dormitory at St Alban’s [boarding school]. \

He was killed at the Battle of Iwo Jima [in 1945] because of bad G2 [intelligence].”

Vidal says Trimble’s death didn’t affect him. “No, I was in danger of dying too. A dead man can’t grieve a dead man.” Has love been important to him? “Don’t make the error that schoolteacher idiots make by thinking that gay men’s relationships are like heterosexual ones. They’re not.” He “wouldn’t begin to comment” on how they are different.

In 1956 he was hired by MGM, collaborated on the screenplay for Ben Hur and continued to write novels, most notoriously Myra Breckenridge about a transsexual. It is his satires, essays and memoirs — Live From Golgotha, Palimpsest and most recently, Point to Point Navigation — which have fully rounded our vision of this thorny contrarian, whose originality springs simply, and naturally, from having deliberately unfixed allegiances and an enduring belief in an American republic and railing sadness at how that ideal has been corrupted.

Vidal became a supportive correspondent of Timothy McVeigh, who blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 killing 168 people. The huge loss of life, indeed McVeigh’s act of mass murder, goes unmentioned by Vidal. “He was a true patriot, a Constitution man,” Vidal claims. “And I was torn, my grandfather [the Democrat Senator Thomas Gore] had bought Oklahoma into the Union.” McVeigh claimed he had done it as a protest against tyrannical government. The writer Edmund White took the correspondence as the basis for a play, Terre Haute (the jail McVeigh was incarcerated in before he was executed in 2001), imagining an encounter between the bomber and Vidal charged with desire.

“He’s a filthy, low writer,” Vidal says of White. “He likes to attack his betters, which means he has a big field to go after.” Had he wanted to meet McVeigh? “I am not in the business of meeting people,” Vidal says. “That play implies I am madly in love with McVeigh. I looked at his [White’s] writing and all he writes about is being a fag and how it’s the greatest thing on Earth. He thinks I’m another queen and I’m not. I’m more interested in the Constitution and McVeigh than the loving tryst he saw. It was vulgar fag-ism.”

Vidal says that he hates labels and has said he believes in homosexual acts rather than homosexual people. He claims his relationship with Austen was platonic (though they reputedly met at a legendary New York bath-house). He was once quoted as saying that he’d had sex with a 1,000 men by the time he was 25. It must have been a little strange for Austen, Vidal’s life companion, to source those pictures of Trimble, his first, perhaps only, love.

Vidal puts on a scornful, campy voice. “People ask [of he and Austen], ‘How did you live together so long?’ The only rule was no sex. They can’t believe that. That was when I realised I was dealing with a public too stupid by half. They can’t tell the difference between ‘The Sun rose in the East’ and ‘The Sun is made of yeast’.” Was sex important to Vidal? “It must have been yes.”

He is single now. “I’m not into partnerships,” he says dismissively. I don’t even know what it means.” He “couldn’t care less” about gay marriage. “Does anyone care what Americans think? They’re the worst-educated people in the First World. They don’t have any thoughts, they have emotional responses, which good advertisers know how to provoke.” You could have been the first gay president, I say. “No, I would have married and had nine children,” he replies quickly and seriously. “I don’t believe in these exclusive terms.”

Impaired mobility doesn’t bother him — he “rose like a miracle” on stage at the National — and he doesn’t dwell on mortality either. “Either you accept there is such a thing or you’re so dumb that you can’t grasp it.” Is he in good health? “No, of course not. I’m diabetic. It’s odd, I’ve never been fat and I don’t like candy, which most Americans are hooked on.”

There is a trace of thwarted ambition about him. “I would have liked to have been president, but I never had the money. I was a friend of the throne. The only time I envied Jack was when Joe [Kennedy, JFK’s father] was buying him his Senate seat, then the presidency. He didn’t know how lucky he was. Here’s a story I’ve never told. In 1960, after he had spent so much on the presidential campaign, Joe took all nine children to Palm Beach to lecture them. He was really angry. He said, ‘All you read about the Kennedy fortune is untrue. It’s non-existent. We’ve spent so much getting Jack elected and not one of you is living within your income’. They all sat there, shame-faced. Jack was whistling. He used to tap his teeth: they were big teeth, like a xylophone. Joe turned to Jack and he says, ‘Mr President, what’s the solution?’ Jack said, ‘The solution is simple. You all gotta work harder’.” Vidal guffaws heartily.

Hollywood living proved less fun. “If there was a social whirl, you can be sure I would not be part of it.” He does a fabulous impression of Katharine Hepburn complaining about playing the matriarch in Suddenly Last Summer, which he wrote. “I hate this script,” he recalls Hepburn saying . “I’m far too healthy a person to know people like this.” Vidal snorts. “She had Parkinson’s. She shook like a leper in the wind.”

I ask what he wants to do next. “My usual answer to ‘What am I proudest of?’ is my novels, but really I am most proud that, despite enormous temptation, I have never killed anybody and you don’t know how tempted I have been.”

That wasn’t my question, I say. “Well, given that I’m proudest that I haven’t killed anybody, I might be saving something up for someone.” A perfect line: we both laugh.

Is he happy? “What a question,” he sighs and then smiles mischievously. “I’ll respond with a quote from Aeschylus: ‘Call no man happy till he is dead’.”


Michael Moore: Chief Pig in a Poke.

Michael Moore, doing what he does best - bullying.

He is nothing more than a bully. On the other hand ... he is alienating Democrats and causing dissension in the ranks.

The Latest From Michael Moore: 'Rocky and Me'

By Dana Milbank
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Washington Post

Let the fratricide begin!

Michael Moore, in town for the premiere of his new movie, stopped by a rally at the offices of Public Citizen on Tuesday to deliver a stark warning to any congressional Democrats who would dare oppose a government-run insurance plan as part of health-care legislation.

"I and a lot of other people have every intention of removing you from Congress in the next election if you stand in the way of health-care legislation that the people want," the beefy filmmaker roared. "We will come to your districts, and we will work against you, first in the primary, and if we have to, in the general election. . . . You think we're going to go along with you just because you're Democrats? You should think again!"

As it happens, Senate Democrats were across town at that very moment defying Moore. Sen. Max Baucus, a Montanan not susceptible to Moore's charm, was leading an effort to exclude the public option from the health-care legislation.

"My job is to put together a bill that gets 60 votes," the Finance Committee chairman said. "Now, I can count, and no one has been able to show me how we can count up to 60 votes with a public option in the bill. . . . I fear that if this provision is in the bill as it comes out of this committee, it will jeopardize real, meaningful, health-care reform."

The panel held a vote: Baucus, 15; Moore, 8. Later, another vote on another version of a public option was held: Baucus, 13; Moore, 10. Sorry, Michael, but Baucus won't be up for reelection until 2014.

Democrats on the Finance Committee, for the most part, couched their differences in polite exchanges. But there was no disguising the raw schism the bill has created among Democrats.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), sponsor of one of the public option proposals, was discussing the House version of the legislation when Baucus interrupted him. "Let me just split hairs here, Senator, but to be accurate there is no House bill," the chairman said.

"I understand," Rockefeller went on, "but in the parlance of Congress, they passed out some --"
"No, they didn't."

Seconds later, Baucus interrupted Rockefeller again, this time over the pronunciation of the name of a committee aide, Yvette Fontenot.

"We pronounce your last name in very different ways," Baucus said to the aide, requesting the correct pronunciation.

"It's Fahn-ten-oh," Fontenot said.

"Ha!" exulted Rockefeller, who had been correct.

"Very good," conceded Baucus.

"See, we're moving rapidly," needled Rockefeller.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), the panel's ranking Republican, tried to ease the tension. "If it was French, it would be Phone-t'noh," he offered.

Republicans were already certain to vote against any form of government-run health care, so their role consisted mostly of entertainment. Pro-gun Sen. John Ensign (Nev.) blurted out that the number of preventable deaths in the United States would be lower than it is in Europe "if you take out gun accidents and auto accidents." Later, Ensign, whose sexual indiscretions made news recently, gave a sermon on "healthy behavior."

The Democrats usually would have traded insults with the Republican, but this time they had to bicker among themselves. Sen. Bill Nelson (Fla.) asked Rockefeller if he could respond to a charge that his proposal would disrupt the market.

"Yes, I could, but I am not going to," Rockefeller answered. The Floridian rephrased his question, and Rockefeller repeated: "I maintain my answer, not to be unresponsive but fundamentally to be unresponsive because I want to focus on my amendment."

"Okay, but my question is about your amendment," Nelson pointed out.

"I will not answer that question," Rockefeller answered.

Rockefeller soon became snippy with Sen. Kent Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat who -- sadly for Moore -- won't face reelection until 2012. Rockefeller scolded Conrad for bringing up his proposal to create nonprofit health cooperatives instead of government insurance.

"I didn't bring it up -- I responded to a question," Conrad protested.

"Well, in the eye of the beholder," Rockefeller grumbled.

"No, let's be clear: I did not," Conrad said.

Next Rockefeller fought with Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), who said the West Virginian's proposal would include a plan administrator. "Not true," Rockefeller broke in. "That's wrong." After an aide whispered in his ear, Rockefeller backed down.

Had Michael Moore been invited to address the committee, he probably would have told the Democrats, as he told Public Citizen, that they are "beholden to these health insurance companies, the hospital corporations, the hospital chains."

Rockefeller, who with a net worth north of $60 million is less skeptical of capitalism than Moore, argued to his colleagues that "Adam Smith would have cooked up this amendment." To Baucus, he said: "I understand the chairman has a responsibility to count votes and all the rest," but "I don't want to get to a point where process makes more difference than people."

After several minutes, Baucus broke in with a weary voice. "Senator Rockefeller?"

Rocky, ignoring his fellow Democrat, kept on talking.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Iran, Israel, Obama, and Russia

Prognosticator or Just Lucky

Iran, 2004: We want nuclear for energy only, peaceful purposes, it is our right. UN can come and look, we are open and honest.

Israel: Iran cannot be allowed to get nuclear weapons.

US: Iran wants nuclear energy, not weapons. Restrain yourself, calm down.

Iran, 2007: We have a right to have nuclear energy and no one can say otherwise. We will sell our waste to Russia and France. UN can come and look, we are open and honest.

Israel: Iran cannot be allowed to get nuclear weapons.

US: Iran wants nuclear energy, not weapons. Restrain yourself, calm down.

Iran, 2008: We will not sell our nuclear waste to Russia and France, and we have a right to nuclear weapons. UN can come and look, we are open and honest.

Israel: iran cannot be allowed to get nuclear weapons.

US: Iran wants nuclear energy, not weapons. Restrain yourself, calm down.

Iran, 2009: We have several sites and never told you, we have a nuclear weapons and we have medium range missiles that can hit Europe and Israel, we are looking for an ICBM.

Israel: Iran has these weapons and they pose a threat to Israel.

US: Restrain yourself, calm down, let's talk, we will talk to Iran.

Now, if you are Israel, what would you do? Listen to Obama and allow the rest of the Middle East to get nuclear weapons?


The Media: Can't be any more clear

The media filed papers with everyone who would listen - they argued their case in the various media forums, they lamented the loss of life and their simple interest in showing the cost of war at home.

They couldn't have been acting politically could they.

Without Bush, media lose interest in war caskets

By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
September 29, 2009

Remember the controversy over the Pentagon policy of not allowing the press to take pictures of the flag-draped caskets of American war dead as they arrived in the United States? Critics accused President Bush of trying to hide the terrible human cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"These young men and women are heroes," Vice President Biden said in 2004, when he was senator from Delaware. "The idea that they are essentially snuck back into the country under the cover of night so no one can see that their casket has arrived, I just think is wrong."

In April of this year, the Obama administration lifted the press ban, which had been in place since the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Media outlets rushed to cover the first arrival of a fallen U.S. serviceman, and many photographers came back for the second arrival, and then the third.
But after that, the impassioned advocates of showing the true human cost of war grew tired of the story. Fewer and fewer photographers showed up. "It's really fallen off," says Lt. Joe Winter, spokesman for the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Center at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where all war dead are received. "The flurry of interest has subsided."

That's an understatement. When the casket bearing Air Force Tech. Sgt. Phillip Myers, of Hopewell, Va., arrived at Dover the night of April 5 -- the first arrival in which press coverage was allowed -- there were representatives of 35 media outlets on hand to cover the story. Two days later, when the body of Army Spc. Israel Candelaria Mejias, of San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, arrived, 17 media outlets were there. (All the figures here were provided by the Mortuary Affairs Operations Center.) On subsequent days in April, there were nearly a dozen press organizations on hand to cover arrivals.

Fast forward to today. On Sept. 2, when the casket bearing the body of Marine Lance Cpl. David Hall, of Elyria, Ohio, arrived at Dover, there was just one news outlet -- the Associated Press -- there to record it. The situation was pretty much the same when caskets arrived on Sept. 5, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 22, 23 and 26. There has been no television coverage at all in September.
The media can cover arrivals only when the family gives its permission. In all the examples above, the families approved, which is more often than not the case; since the policy was changed, according to the Mortuary Affairs Office, 60 percent of families have said yes to full media coverage.

But these days, the press hordes that once descended on Dover are gone, and there's usually just one organization on hand. The Associated Press, which supplies photos to 1,500 U.S. newspapers and 4,000 Web sites, has had a photographer at every arrival for which permission was granted. "It's our belief that this is important, that surely somewhere there is a paper, an audience, a readership, a family and a community for whom this homecoming is indeed news," says Paul Colford, director of media relations for AP. "It's been agreed internally that this is a responsibility for the AP to be there each and every time it is welcome."

Colford says the AP has a photographer who lives within driving distance of Dover and is able to make it to the arrivals, no matter what time of day or night. As for the network news, it's not so simple; a night arrival means overtime pay for a union camera crew. And then there's the question of convenience. "It seems that if the weather is nice, and it's during the day, we get a higher level of media to come down," says Lt. Winter. "But a majority of our transfers occur in the early evening and overnight."

So far this month, 38 American troops have been killed in Afghanistan. For all of 2009, the number is 220 -- more than any other single year and more than died in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 combined.

With casualties mounting, the debate over U.S. policy in Afghanistan is sharp and heated. The number of arrivals at Dover is increasing. But the journalists who once clamored to show the true human cost of war are nowhere to be found.

media whores

Monday, September 28, 2009

Euros and Trash

There is an assumption in this article. I do not doubt Ms Rosenthal's desire to offer another voice, but in the end, it is not much different than talking around an issue - it is because it is and because it is, I believe it and because I believe it, and all the evidence supports it, it must be and consequently because it must be, it is and ergo I believe it.

Europe has NOT met ANY of its standards set by Kyoto since the enlightened world signed off on Kyoto - they are all over the limits.

Europe is the EU and the EU includes Germany and Sweden and France and ... and they all exceeded their limits.

If a country exceeds its limits and a country is comprised of people, then the people have exceeded the limits and Sweden is no model for very much.

Another argument and Ms Rosenthal outlines it - WE are not Europe, thankfully. If we were, we would be as pathetic as those countries with their insipidly pathetic governments. We are much more - it is not Europe producing great anything any more - it is the United States. From technology, medicine, industry, military protection, and entertainment and the arts - we are the model - and that definition of us, is in part linked to our lifestyles, our liberties, our behavior.

If we were cramped in a 1200 sq ft apartment, using a train or subway, I am quite sure Americans would view living quite differently and our role in the world. Expectations for human behavior would decline as we lose sight of a standard we seek all men to rise to, and instead we all fall to the lowest levels.

What Makes Europe Greener than the U.S.?

Mon Sep 28, 2009

By Yale Environment 360 - Yale Environment 360
By Elisabeth Rosenthal

It was late and raining this summer when I approached the information desk at Stockholm's Arlanda airport to inquire about how best to get into the city center. "The fastest is the train, but there are also busses," the guide said.

"Are there taxis?" I inquired, trying hard to forget the reminders on the Arlanda website that trains are "the most environmentally friendly" form of transport, referring to taxis as "alternative transportation" for those "unable to take public transport."

"Yes, I guess you could take one," he said, dripping with disdain as he peered over the edge of the counter at my single piece of luggage.

I slunk into the cab, paid about $60 and spent the 45-minute ride feeling as guilty as if I'd built a coal-fired plant in my back yard. (Note: the cabs at Arlanda are hybrids.) Two days later, although my flight left at 7 a.m., I took the Arlanda Express. It cost half as much and took 15 minutes to the terminal.

Europe, particularly northern Europe, is far more environmentallyconscious than the United States, despite Americans' sincere and passionate resolution to be green. Per capita CO2 emissions in the U.S. were 19.78 tons according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, which used 2006 data, compared to 9.6 tons in the U.K., 8.05 tons in Italy, and 6.6 tons in France.

Why have Americans made so little headway on an issue that so many of us feel so strongly about? As a U.S. journalist traveling around Europe for the last few years reporting on the environment, I've thought a lot about this paradox.

There is a fair bit of social pressure to behave in an environmentally responsible manner in places like Sweden, where such behavior is now simply part of the social contract, like stopping at a stop sign or standing in line to buy a ticket. But more important, perhaps, Europe is constructed in a way that it's pretty easy to live green. You have to be rich and self-absorbed, as well as environmentally reckless and impervious to social pressure, not to take the Arlanda Express.

In Europe it is far easier to channel your good intentions into action. And you feel far worse if you don't. If nearly everyone is carrying a plastic bag (as in New York City) you don't feel so bad. But if no one does (as in Dublin) you feel pretty irresponsible.

Part of the problem is that the U.S. has had the good fortune of developing as an expansive, rich country, with plenty of extra space and cheap energy. Yes, we Americans love our national parks. But we live in a country with big houses. Big cars. Big commutes. Central Air. Big fridges and separate freezers. Clothes dryers. Disposable razors.

That culture - more than Americans' callousness about the planet - has led to a lifestyle that generates the highest per capita emissions in the world by far. Per capita personal emissions in the U.S. are three times as high as in Denmark.

But even as an American, if you go live in a nice apartment in Rome, as I did a few years back, your carbon footprint effortlessly plummets. It's not that the Italians care more about the environment; I'd say they don't. Butthe normal Italian poshy apartment in Rome doesn't have a clothes dryer or an air conditioner or microwave or limitless hot water. The heat doesn't turn on each fall until you've spent a couple of chilly weeks living in sweaters. The fridge is tiny. The average car is small. The Fiat 500 gets twice as much gas mileage as any hybrid SUV. And it's not considered suffering. It's living the dolce vita.

My point is that the low-carbon footprints depend on the infrastructure of life, and in that sense Europeans have an immediate advantage. To live without a clothes dryer or AC in the United States is considered tough and feels like a sacrifice. To do so in Rome - where apartments all include a clothes-drying balcony or indoor rack and where buildings have thick walls and shutters to help you cope with the heat - is the norm.

In many European countries, space has always been something of a premium, forcing Europeans early on to live with greater awareness of humans' negative effects on the planet. In small countries like the Netherlands, it's hard to put garbage in distant landfills because you tend to run into another city. In the U.S., open space is abundant and often regarded as something to be developed. In Europe you cohabit with it.

Also, in Europe, the construction of most cities preceded the invention of cars. The centuries-old streets in London or Barcelona or Rome simply can't accommodate much traffic - it's really a pain, but you learn to live with it. In contrast, most American cities, think Atlanta and Dallas, were designed for people with wheels.

Still, I still marvel at the some of the environmental strategies I've witnessed in Europe.

In old Zurich, for example, to discourage waste and reduce trash, garbage collection has long been limited to once a week (as opposed to three times a week in much of New York); recyclables like cardboard and plastic are collected once a month in the Swiss city. Since Zurich residents live with their trash for days and weeks at a time, they naturally try to generate less of it - food comes with no packaging, televisions leave naked from the store.

As I nosed around the apartment of a Swiss financial planner, she showed me the closet for trash. A whole week of her life created the same amount as the detritus of one New York takeout Chinese meal.

Likewise, in Germany, I've seen blocks of townhouses that are "passive" houses - homes so efficient they do not need to be heated. And an upscale suburb that had banned cars from its streets; you could own a car, but it had to be kept in a garage at the edge of town where parking spaces cost over $30,000 a year, meaning that few people owned cars and those who did rarely used them for small daily tasks like shopping.

Both were upper-middle-class neighborhoods, but I was struck by how different these German suburbs felt compared to their U.S. socioeconomic counterparts. Houses are smaller and few are detached. A passive house has to be under 2,000 square feet and basically box-like in order to make it energy efficient. "If someone feels like they need more than 2,000 square feet to be happy, well that's a different discussion," a passive house architect said.

Many Americans regard these kinds of approaches as alien, feeling we could never go there. I'm not sure. The Europeans I meet in these places are pretty much just like me, inclined to do the right thing for the environment, but insistent on a comfortable life.

There is nothing innately superior about Europe's environmental consciousness, which certainly has its own blind spots. In Italy, where people rail against genetically modified food, people routinely throw litter out of cars. In Germany, where residents are comfortable in smaller energy efficient homes, there is still a penchant for cars with gas-guzzling engines and for driving fast on the autobahn.

I believe most people are pretty adaptable and that some of the necessary shifts in lifestyle are about changing habits, not giving up comfort or convenience. Though I initially railed about the hassle of living without a dryer or air conditioning in Rome, I now enjoy the ritual of putting laundry on the line, expect to sweat in summer, and look forward to the cool of autumn.


Obama: It's just that important ...

Remember, during the campaign - he attacked Bush for not putting more troops into Afghanistan, he attacked Bush for not getting bin Laden, for not spending the energy on the real war - in Afghanistan ...

U.S. Commander of Afghanistan only talked to Obama once

By Amanda Carpenter
Sept. 28, 2009

The military general credited for capturing Saddam Hussein and killing the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq says he has only spoken to President Obama once since taking command of Afghanistan.
“I’ve talked to the president, since I’ve been here, once on a VTC [video teleconferece],” General Stanley McChrystal told CBS reporter David Martin in a television interview that aired Sunday.

“You’ve talked to him once in 70 days?” Mr. Martin followed up.

“That is correct,” the general replied.

[To read the rest of the article, click on the title link.]

Obama cares

Germany: Lower Tax Rates and Terrorism

From Sweden to France, Germany to Austria, Switzerland to Italy, and even Spain ... European countries are moving away from heavy taxation and toward a more business friendly environment. And then there is the US, where Obama has declared war on wealth ... whether it is taxing, raising taxes, or demanding banks open their books to inspection so as to allow taxation ...

Merkel Wins Majority for Tax-Cut Coalition in German Election

By Tony Czuczka and Brian Parkin

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she’ll press ahead with tax cuts and labor-market deregulation after winning re-election with enough support to govern with the pro-business Free Democrats.

With Germany struggling to recover from the deepest economic slump since World War II, voters spurned plans by Merkel’s Social Democratic challenger to raise taxes on top earners. Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s SPD had its worst postwar result in what he called a “bitter day” after sharing power with Merkel for four years and governing for the previous seven.

“There’s a clear sentiment in favor of economic changes, especially on income taxes,” Tilman Mayer, head of the Bonn- based Institute for Political Science, said in an interview. “Voters have turned their back on grand coalition-style compromise politics.”

Merkel, 55, said on ARD television that talks on forming a coalition with the Free Democrats will proceed quickly, and her focus will be on creating jobs in Europe’s biggest economy. She dismissed the FDP’s call for a complete overhaul of the tax system, saying she wanted to be seen as the “chancellor of all Germans” and won’t let her new junior partner dictate policy.

During the campaign, she pledged to pursue deregulation, extend the life of nuclear-power plants and introduce across- the-board tax cuts of 15 billion euros ($22 billion).

[To read the rest of the article, click on the title link]

There was no mention of the fact three warnings were given to Germany by al qaida - if Merkel was re-elected ... al qiada would attack. Merkel has been re-elected and she will govern with a comfortable margin.

We will now watch as Germany is attacked by the same blood-thirsty murderers that attacked the United States ... and Obama will arbor and demand, be repulsed by, and angry ... and will send the FBI and police and inspectors and ... but he will not do what he should do, because he does not understand the nature of our enemy.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

California Population: Take Note

California also saw a decline in the number of people coming to partake of its sand and sea. A mere 1.3% of California residents moved in from out of state in 2008. That's off from 1.4% in 2007.

For years, Americans have been fleeing the Golden State. The population kept growing only because of foreign immigration and births. All through the 2000s there has been a net loss in domestic migration, with 800,000 more Americans leaving than moving in during the three years ended in 2007. As it became more difficult to sell homes, that out-flow eased. That, combined with the newcomers, meant the population fell by only 144,000 in 2008.


Iran, India, Pakistan, Venezuela ... and all we have is Obama

Who is next? My guess, Pakistan will push for the same destructive power. Obama will sigh.

Iran will upgrade and has missiles that can reach into Europe, Venezuela will seek to have nuclear weapons, Brazil will begin the process, Saudi Arabia will inform the world it is looking to the generations to follow and will begin energy independence from oil, by building 2 light-water nuclear reactors.

The world is a much smaller place and more deadly than ever before, and the least experienced president sits in the White House with a staff of amateurs.

India raises nuclear stakes

By James Lamont in New Delhi and James Blitz in London
September 27 2009

Financial Times

India can now build nuclear weapons with the same destructive power as those in the arsenals of the world’s major nuclear powers, according to New Delhi’s senior atomic officials.

They said India had built weapons with yields of up to 200 kilotons, which would be considered a “proper strategic deterrent” by the global community. A nuclear weapon above 50 kilotons is considered high yield. India’s enhanced capability gives it a considerable edge over Pakistan, its nuclear-armed arch-rival.

India’s declaration came as Iran launched war games on Sunday, testing short-range missiles, just days after announcing it had been building a second uranium enrichment plant. Western governments seized upon this as further evidence that Tehran was in breach of UN obligations.

India’s move follows heated domestic debate about whether its last nuclear tests in 1998 were successful. K Santhanam, a senior scientist at the Defence Research and Development Organisation, had disputed the thermonuclear test at the Pokhran range in Rajasthan, claiming the yield was lower than had been expected.

The debate has fuelled speculation that India might be getting ready for another nuclear test, a proposition that some in the international security community consider seriously.

A test would also raise tensions with Pakistan and jeopardise a newly signed civilian nuclear deal between New Delhi and Washington.

India, which has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, started developing its nuclear arsenal in 1974. New Delhi is estimated to have manufactured weapons-grade plutonium for at least 100 warheads. Senior Indian officials have insisted that the 1998 tests were successful and deny the need for anything more than computer simulations to gauge the yield of nuclear weapons.

“The May 1998 tests were fully successful in terms of achieving their scientific objectives and the capability to build fission and thermonuclear weapons with yields up to 200 kilotons,” said R Chidambaram, the government’s principal scientific adviser and former chief of the Atomic Energy Commission.

Military experts expressed scepticism about whether such a powerful weapon could be successfully deployed without greater testing.

Pakistani analysts, meanwhile, were sanguine in the face of Indian claims. “The bottom line is that Pakistan benefits from the knowledge that it has enough nuclear assets to ward off the threat of a nuclear attack,” said Shahid ur Rehman, author of a book on the lead-up to Pakistan’s own nuclear test in 1998.

Barack Obama, the US president, appealed at the UN General Assembly for more countries to embrace the NPT. He has proposed that countries, such as India, join as non-nuclear weapons states. India vigorously rejected his proposal in a letter to the president of the UN Security Council.

Additional reporting by Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad


All the Money in the World = $60 trillion

He should meet up with the attorneys in Egypt suing Israel for all the money in the world.

Man sues B of A for "1,784 billion, trillion dollars"

Fri Sep 25, 2009
By Joe Rauch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dalton Chiscolm is unhappy about Bank of America's customer service -- really, really unhappy.

Chiscolm in August sued the largest U.S. bank and its board, demanding that "1,784 billion, trillion dollars" be deposited into his account the next day. He also demanded an additional $200,164,000, court papers show.

Attempts to reach Chiscolm were unsuccessful. A Bank of America spokesman declined to comment.

"Incomprehensible," U.S. District Judge Denny Chin said in a brief order released Thursday in Manhattan federal court.

"He seems to be complaining that he placed a series of calls to the bank in New York and received inconsistent information from a 'Spanish womn,'" the judge wrote. "He apparently alleges that checks have been rejected because of incomplete routing numbers."

Chin has experience with big numbers. He's the judge who sentenced Bernard Madoff to a 150-year prison sentence for what the government called a $65 billion Ponzi scheme.

Bank of America Corp faces real legal problems, including New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's threat to sue its chief executive and a judge's embarrassing rejection of a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Yet the money Chiscolm wants could dwarf all the bank's other problems.

It's larger than a sextillion dollars, or a 1 followed by 21 zeros. Chiscolm's request is equivalent 1 followed by 22 digits.

The sum also dwarfs the world's 2008 gross domestic product of $60 trillion, as estimated by the World Bank.

"These are the kind of numbers you deal with only on a cosmic scale," said Sylvain Cappell, New York University's Silver Professor at the Courant Institute for Mathematical Sciences. "If he thinks Bank of America has branches on every planet in the cosmos, then it might start to make some sense."

Judge Chin gave Chiscolm until October 23 to better explain the basis for his claims, or else see his complaint dismissed.


Obama, Son of, Khadafi donations.

Obama adminstration set to give $400K grant to Kadhafi family charities

September 26, 2009
Columbia Independent Examiner
Darren Pope

The Obama administration has promised $400,000 in taxpayer money to two Libyan charities run by the family of Mohammar Khadhafi. The grant will be split evenly between the Kadaffi Development Foundation, which is run by Kadhafi’s son, Saif, and Wa Attassimou, an organization run by Kadhafi’s daughter, Aisha.

Saif Kadhafi was invovled in the negotiations for the release of Pan Am Flight 103 bomber Abdel Baset Megrahi. Megrahi, who has terminal brain cancer, was granted a compassionate release by Scotland and was welcomed as a hero upon his return to Libya.

U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, R-IL, has asked the Obama administration to withdraw the grant.
"Just weeks after the Kadhafi family celebrated the return of a terrorist responsible for the murders of 189 Americans, the U.S. taxpayer should not be asked to reward them with $400,000," Kirk wrote to the president. "For the sake of the victims' families who have endured so much pain these last few weeks, I ask you to withdraw your Administration's request."

The BBC describes the The Kadhafi Development Foundation as "a charity which tries to project a new and positive image of Libya."

The grants are part of a $2.5 million Libyan aid package.

Meanwhile, a Reuters report says the U.S. State Dept. is reconsidering sending the $2.5 million in aid to Libya, including to foundations run by the Libyan leader's sons, after lawmakers on Thursday asked it to cancel the plan.

"The celebration that President (Kadhafi) recently held in honor of ... the only man convicted in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, showed just how little remorse (he) has for the terrorist attacks that killed 270 civilians," Rep. Nita Lowey and Rep. Kay Granger wrote in a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and obtained by Reuters.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the department was rethinking the funding.

"The decision to appropriate the money was made some time ago but, in light of recent events, we will be taking another look at these decisions," Crowley said.

[Want to bet - the US will go ahead with these 'donations' quietly, after everything has calmed down.]


Roman Polanski: Arrested 30+ years after the fact

This happened under a Democratic president. Imagine if it had happened while Bush was president ... what the liberal Hollywood elite would be doing, at this very moment, the blogs, the posts, the newspaper columns denouncing Bush for politicizing an issue over 30 years old.

As of this moment, the only denunciations have come from France and Poland.

Now why would Switzerland arrest him NOW. Polanski has gone to Switzerland more than twelve times in the last eight years and never was he stopped. NOW he is stopped.

Anyone interested - look up Switzerland and tax and bank and US, using Google.

Hmmm. Political.

But Obama is a Democrat, it couldn't be.

What will happen is, the process will occur, he will be extradited or agree to return voluntarily, with backroom agreements. He will appear in court where the sentence will be ... and he will have to pay fines, perhaps labeled as a sex offender, ordered to report his presence when he is in the country .... and then a petition will be given to Obama (if it has not already) and a pardon or commutation will be given (depending on the outcome of the court trial).

What should happen is ... this should be dropped. Mr. Polanski has spent over 30 years exiled from this country. When he was last here, it was only 8 years since his wife had been murdered.

He has paid enough, and justice was done. He is not the same man.

Let's see what happens.

: )

Anger in France and Poland after Polanski arrest

PARIS, Sept 27, 2009
By Crispian Balmer

PARIS, Sept 27 (Reuters) - France's political elite rallied to the defence of Roman Polanski on Sunday, calling on Switzerland to free the 76-year-old film director rather than extradite him to the United States. Artists and film makers also urged the release of Polanski, who faces charges of having sex with a girl of 13 in 1977, accusing Switzerland of being overzealous in pursuing the case.

Polanski was due to receive a prize for his life's work at the Zurich Film Festival on Sunday, but was arrested on a 1978 U.S. arrest warrant after arriving in Switzerland on Saturday.

French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said he was "stunned" by the news, adding that both he and French President Nicolas Sarkozy wanted to see the acclaimed director returned swiftly to his family.

"(Mitterrand) profoundly regrets that a new ordeal is being inflicted on someone who has already known so many during his life," the culture ministry said in a statement.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner also issued a statement, saying he had spoken to his Swiss counterpart to demand that Polanski's rights were fully respected and that a "favourable" solution be rapidly found.

Polanski holds French citizenship and is married to French singer actress Emmanuelle Seigner. He has spent much of his life here since fleeing the United States in 1978, but regularly visits countries where he does not expect extradition woe.

Robert Harris, a British novelist who said he had been working with Polanski for much of the past three years writing two screenplays, expressed outrage over the arrest.

"I am shocked that any man of 76, whether distinguished or not, should have been treated in such a fashion," he said in a statement, adding that Polanski had often visited Switzerland and even had a house in Gstaad.

"It is hard not to believe that this heavy-handed action must be in some way politically motivated," he said.

Born in Paris, Polanski moved to Poland with his Jewish family when still a toddler shortly before World War Two. His mother died in a Nazi concentration camp, but Polanski avoided capture and spent his youth in Poland before moving to the West.

His ties with Poland are still strong and Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said he might appeal directly to the United States over the case.

"I am considering approaching the American authorities over the possibility of the U.S. president proclaiming an act of clemency which would settle the matter once and for all," Sikorski was quoted as saying by the PAP news agency.

Poland's film-makers' association also rose to his defence.

"We do not understand why the Swiss invited Polanski to a film festival, where he was to have received a life's achievement award, and then arrested him," said association president, Jacek Bromski.

"We regard that as a scandalous situation and an example of incomprehensible overzealousness."

[Bin laden - it took justice this long to catch up to Polanski, but the American system eventually did .... and you are at the top of the list, and not for molesting young girls - although we could add that to the charges.]


Make Mine Freedom - 1948

American Form of Government

Who's on First? Certainly isn't the Euro.