It’s not too often a product comes along with so much potential. A product with so much pent up demand. A product that is significantly cheaper than alternatives. A product that sells so extremely well right out of the gate the potential to turn a very small speculation into a…
America's loss of manufacturing prowess is widely lamented, but what is not widely understood is that our postmodern business culture has perfected the manufacture of a hugely profitable product: the loser. Losers are citizens who have been stripped of[...]
Read The Full Article:
Well, chocolate is the big thing ont he agenda today at the White House, and eggs and children. It will be a frenzied White House lawn, but there’s calm there in the White House, and we saw it over the weekend. I’m thinking we saw evidence that “Yes Pecan” is a good flavor name to represent the Obama candidacy, but that “No Drama Choc-Obama” might be the best Ben and Jerry’s flavor to represent the Obama Presidency given the last couple days. The pirates in Somalia got slammed, as we all know from reading the papers (Inquirer, New York Times) and watching the news, and Captain Richard Phillips is freed unharmed. Certainly this is a triumph for the US, and a triumph for Barack Obama as well, but the way the Obama Administration handled the crisis shows us calm and deliberation and competence. From an analysis piece by the AP:
Since the standoff began, Obama had made no public, in-person remarks on the topic, even declining to answer when questions were shouted at him during a press availability.
He did not call in his cabinet for a high-profile command meeting. He let military and top administration officials do the talking, but even they kept saber-rattling out of the equation.
White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said Obama’s silence should not be interpreted to mean he wasn’t deeply involved. Obama’s public posture was calculated to not raise the temperature on the situation or give the hostage-takers anything to exploit.
So what Obama did was receive regular briefings, sometimes half a dozen a day. He weighed in with two critical decisions letting the military act to save Phillips’ life. And he laid the groundwork for a federal criminal law-enforcement response.
Calm, efficient, competent. The Obama Administration did all the right things in this crisis, and while it is a relatively small crisis, it is a big contrast to the “sky is falling” character of the Bush White House, what with their terror alert color coding and their panicky use of torture, invasion of countries not involved in terror, etc. Big contrast, but not one we should be surprised at. This Obama team has shown consistent competence over the last couple years. The only question right now is how the whack job Republicans will spin this Obama triumph. Certainly at freerepublic.com there is happiness at the outcome, but the whack jobs that frequent the site are taking their shots at Obama, which you can read here. On Redstate the whining is about Obama taking credit for something he had no part in, despite facts, and the conversation is raving over there. I suppose these dimwits are taking after Newt Gingrich and Britt Hume and Glenn Beck when they slammed Obama before this crisis ended. Still, no consistent Republican whack job narrative is forming since this resolution of the crisis yesterday, but we’ve got the blowhard Rush Limbaugh going on the air in a couple hours, and he will likely complain that the captured pirate isn’t being tortured.
Meanwhile, I suggest the new flavor at Ben and Jerry’s to honor Obama should be “No Drama Choc-Obama,” and that it be added to the list alongside “It’s Pecan.” Sure, neither of those two flavors is as entertaining as the flavor suggestions for President Bush, but they are strong and calm and bespeak leadership.
Does anyone have any ice cream flavors to describe the whack jobs out there who can whine about even this triumph? I’m thinking it needn’t be an appetizing name, but should reflect the notions of whininess while also representing the divorce from reality evinced by the whack jobs on the right. On another issue one would be tempted to come up with the ice cream flavor “Teabaggery Dunce,” or somesuch, but no new flavor names are jumping to mind to describe the rank and file whack jobs of the GOP, their base and ugly “base,” as it were. Help me out, wouldya?
Which one of these things is not like the others? Example #1: The Illinois governor?s budget proposal would scale back home visits to ill-equipped first-time mothers, who are given advice over 18 months that experts say is repaid many times over in[...]
Read The Full Article:
Asian shares hit new highs across the board on Friday, highlighted and spearheaded by China markets’ ascension to their highest levels in almost eight months.
The Asian markets reacted sharply to a surge in U.S shares after Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) said it expected to post a record quarterly profit…
Before Capt. Richard Phillips was rescued from Somali pirates, President Obama twice authorized the military to use force to rescue him. “Obama first gave permission around 8 p.m. Friday, and upgraded it at 9:20 a.m. Saturday,” expanding the order “to encompass more military personnel and equipment that arrived in the Indian Ocean to engage the pirates.” The AP writes that Obama passed his first national security test.
The Obama administration plans to “ratchet up pressure on Congress to pass climate change legislation this year by declaring its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the Environmental Protection Agency.” In 2007, the Supreme Court said the EPA could regulate CO2 emissions, and Obama “has given the EPA the green light” to declare them a danger to public health and welfare.
In Afghanistan, Ahmad Wali Karzai a “female provincial legislator was shot dead Sunday in the restive southern province of Kandahar.” A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred as she was heading home from work.
Prosecutorial misconduct in Ted Stevens?s case does not mean he is ?innocent.? One of the jurors in the case, Colleen Walsh, wrote on her blog as if speaking to Stevens, saying: ?You may be innocent on corruption charges which were never brought up. But you are still guilty of not disclosing some of your major gifts to the public.?
“The private student lending industry and its allies in Congress are maneuvering to thwart a plan by President Obama to end a subsidized loan program and redirect billions of dollars in bank profits to scholarships for needy students.” The private loan industry “has begun lobbying aggressively to save a program that has generated giant profits with very little risk.”
I have to say that even I was a little shocked a couple weeks ago when Minnesota kook Michele Bachmann seemed to be calling for the violent overthrow of the government and for violence in a general way to achieve... whatever's bothering her and whichever deluded loons happen to hear her on Fox. I mean we hear it often enough from the marginalized sociopaths in the right-wing media-- irresponsible drug addicts, alcoholics and clowns like Limbaugh, Coulter, Beck and Hannity-- but Bachmann, alas, is a member of Congress, just re-elected in November with 187,817 votes (46%).
Apparently, in Ms. Bachmann's dangerous and distorted world view only she and those who think like her are real Americans. She said as much in the last election cycle.
Her latest tirades, however; should not be tolerated because of the potential for equally disturbed people to respond to her call to be armed and dangerous by acting out violently. Further, she stated, "Thomas Jefferson told us having a revolution every now and then is a good thing and we the people are going to have to fight back if we aren't going to lose our country."
Some people will attempt to hide behind the idea that this is free speech or is just her opinions as a defense. It may be free speech but in many states being a danger to yourself or others with two medical doctors signatures can result in an involuntary placement in a psychiatric unit for evaluation.
If you choose to ignore the obvious psychiatric symptoms then you can't ignore her statements regarding the necessity to become armed and dangerous and the necessity for revolution as examples of seditious and therefore illegal behavior.
Sedition is defined in the dictionary as speech that is deemed by legal authority as tending towards calling for insurrection against established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent or resistance to lawful authority.
In point of fact America is a nation of laws. We just had an election last November 2008 and her party lost the election. Since this was a lawful election the majority of Americans voted for the current administration. That clearly means Ms. Bachmann does not know the Constitution she purports to defend or what democracy she claims to love is.
Since President Obama's inauguration, numerous conservative media figures have called for a "revolution" or have invoked violent rhetoric while discussing the Obama administration or government in general. In addition to encouraging violence, such violent rhetoric has also included suggesting Obama's policies were doing violence to the American people and depicting Obama as a rapist, spousal abuser, or mobster.
Media Matters for America has previously noted that since Obama's inauguration, conservative media figures have made ominous, even apocalyptic claims about the impact policies pursued by Obama and other progressives might have on the United States; warned of impending socialism, fascism, communism, Nazism, McCarthyism, or Marxism under the Obama administration; asserted or suggested that under Obama, U.S. sovereignty may give way to a one-world government; and warned their audiences that Obama's administration will seize their guns.
Teabaggers are having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that "grassroots" demonstrations aren't orchestrated by corporate lobbyists. Understandable-- if you didn't have any experience organizing a demonstration that didn't have millions in free PR from Fox News and well-funded GOP fat cats providing a national infrastructure, you wouldn't know the difference.
Thus, President Obama is being called a ?socialist? who seeks to destroy capitalism. Why? Because he wants to raise the tax rate on the highest-income Americans back to, um, about 10 percentage points less than it was for most of the Reagan administration. Bizarre.
But the charge of socialism is being thrown around only because ?liberal? doesn?t seem to carry the punch it used to. And if you go back just a few years, you find top Republican figures making equally bizarre claims about what liberals were up to. Remember when Karl Rove declared that liberals wanted to offer ?therapy and understanding? to the 9/11 terrorists?
Then there are the claims made at some recent tea-party events that Mr. Obama wasn?t born in America, which follow on earlier claims that he is a secret Muslim. Crazy stuff-- but nowhere near as crazy as the claims, during the last Democratic administration, that the Clintons were murderers, claims that were supported by a campaign of innuendo on the part of big-league conservative media outlets and figures, especially Rush Limbaugh.
...[I]t turns out that the tea parties don?t represent a spontaneous outpouring of public sentiment. They?re AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events, manufactured by the usual suspects. In particular, a key role is being played by FreedomWorks, an organization run by Richard Armey, the former House majority leader, and supported by the usual group of right-wing billionaires. And the parties are, of course, being promoted heavily by Fox News.
But that?s nothing new, and AstroTurf has worked well for Republicans in the past. The most notable example was the ?spontaneous? riot back in 2000-- actually orchestrated by G.O.P. strategists-- that shut down the presidential vote recount in Florida?s Miami-Dade County.
So what?s the implication of the fact that Republicans are refusing to grow up, the fact that they are still behaving the same way they did when history seemed to be on their side? I?d say that it?s good for Democrats, at least in the short run-- but it?s bad for the country.
So kindly enjoy the appearance of our guest stars.TELL PRESIDENT OBAMA TO INVESTIGATE KARL ROVE! For those who don't get the Firefly reference...[...]
Read The Full Article:
Monday, April 13, 2009
Trading activity could be subdued today because of extended holidays in Asia and Europe. The lack of U.S. economic reports could also trigger choppy two-sided trading.
Investors will be watching to see if the stock market can build on the current 5-week rally and especially on…
Mark Gilstrap isn't a State Senator anymore. The people of his district kicked him out on his tail[...]
Read The Full Article: