Ok, so, this is total crap, we sit the kids down to watch 'The Charlie Brown Christmas Special' and our muslim president is there, what a load.....try to convince me that wasn't done on purpose. Ask the man if he believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and he will give you a 10 minute disertation [sic] about it....w...hen the answer should simply be 'yes'....
"He's going to help us in day-to-day security and, especially, with an eye toward... the Olympic Games," said Sergio Cabral, the governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, after eating lunch with Giuliani [on Thursday].
Security crackdowns in Rio de Janeiro have often amounted to police raids on the sprawling shantytowns, home to a third of the city's population, where drug traffickers have ensconced themselves. The resulting gun battles have killed scores of innocent bystanders -- predominately poor and working-class residents of the favelas -- thus contributing to the stunning 2,069 murders that happened in Rio last year. Yes, the traffickers themselves are ruthless, exerting a mafia-like control over the shantytowns they occupy and burning buses full of civilians to retaliate against police pushback. But Brazilian police have fed the cycle of violence by acting outside the law, committing extrajudicial killings and massacres that human rights groups and the U.N. itself have denounced. (Off-duty police officers have even taken to forming their own gang-like militias, which now control some 15 percent of Rio's slums.) It's a legacy of Brazil's oft-forgotten military dictatorship, whose worst atrocities were often carried out by the country's division of "military police" and who were never held accountable for their crimes. As a result, certain divisions of the military police have continued to act with impunity in an otherwise burgeoning democracy -- and the favela crackdowns bring out their worst instincts.
Such police "occupations" -- as Brazilian authorities call them -- have continued under Rio's new mayor, Eduardo Paes, a centrist elected on a law-and-order platform. Having clinched the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, Paes will likely have carte blanche to do what he wants on the security front.
Labels: John McCain
We need to start over. We need to fix what's really wrong in health care and we need to protect what's really great. What's really great is if you're really sick anywhere in the world, this is the best place to be sick, it just costs too much.
President Obama shifts his focus to the double digit unemployment rate on Thursday, teaming up with members of his administration for a White House jobs summit. The event will be held on the eve of the monthly report on job losses, which in last month’s study showed an October rate of 10.2 percent unemployment.
Mr. Obama is scheduled to speak at the opening of the summit, then moderate a discussion at the closing session. In between, a who’s who of the executive branch will lead their own talks — among others, Energy Secretary Steven Chu on green jobs, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on small businesses and the combo of Treasury Secretary Ray LaHood and Peter Orszag of the Office of Management and Budget on creating jobs through infrastructure projects.
As The Times’s Jackie Calmes reports, the summit comes as the White House is considering dipping into funds earmarked to bail out banks to aid those seeking jobs. The administration’s discussions with lawmakers, Ms. Calmes writes, “reflect the Democrats’ effort to balance concerns for the high federal budget deficit and a costly, crowded domestic agenda, including an effort for further economic stimulus measures that is likely to exceed $100 billion.”
The New York State Senate decisively rejected a bill on Wednesday that would have allowed gay couples to wed, providing a major victory for those who oppose same-sex marriage and underscoring the deep and passionate divisions surrounding the issue.
The 38-to-24 vote startled proponents of the bill and signaled that political momentum, at least right now, had shifted against same-sex marriage, even in heavily Democratic New York. It followed more than a year of lobbying by gay rights organizations, who steered close to $1 million into New York legislative races to boost support for the measure.
Senators who voted against the measure said the public was gripped by economic anxiety and remained uneasy about changing the state's definition of marriage.
"Certainly this is an emotional issue and an important issue for many New Yorkers," said Senator Tom Libous, the deputy Republican leader. "I just don't think the majority care too much about it at this time because they're out of work, they want to see the state reduce spending, and they are having a hard time making ends meet. And I don't mean to sound callous, but that's true."
The defeat, which followed a stirring, tearful and at times very personal debate, all but ensures that the issue is dead in New York until at least 2011, when a new Legislature will be installed.
Tiger Woods received a traffic citation for careless driving that will cost him $164 and four points on his Florida license, but the Florida Highway Patrol said during a news conference Tuesday it had no evidence to pursue any criminal charges in connection with Woods's single-car crash outside his Windermere, Fla., mansion Thanksgiving night.
"With the issuance of this citation, the Florida Highway Patrol has concluded the investigation," FHP troop commander Cindy Williams said without taking any questions.
A second woman has stepped into the spotlight in the Tiger Woods controversy – and this one whole-heartedly claims that she and the champion golfer had an affair.
Jamie Grubbs, a cocktail waitress who appeared on the VH1 show Tool Academy, tells the British tabloid the Sun that she and the pro golfer had a 31-month fling that included around 20 sexual encounters, the first just days before Woods's wife, Elin Nordegren, gave birth to the married couple's first child.
"He told me just last month, 'Quietly and secretly we will always be together,' " Grubbs, 24, says.
Life & Style reports that Kalika Moquin, a Las Vegas marketing manager, is the latest woman to be connected to Tiger Woods. Reports of Moquin follow rumors about Rachel Uchitel and Jaimee Grubbs, both of whom have been linked to Woods romantically in the past week.
The strongest public option on the table -- the House's version -- would serve a couple million folks and cost a bit more than private insurance. It's worth having, for reasons I've argued over and over again. But a lot of things are worth having. It isn't decisive, or even obviously relevant, to the bill's success or failure. If the bill is "worthless," then it's worthless in the presence of the public option. And if it's not worthless, it's not worthless in the absence of the public option.
Which leaves us arguing over the meaning of the word "worthless," I guess. This is a bill that cuts premiums costs. That extends insurance coverage to more than 30 million Americans. That cuts the deficit. That establishes an expectation for near-universal health-care coverage. That really digs into delivery-system reforms. That takes the first, halting steps away from the fee-for-service system. That makes better insurance cheaper for the poorest Americans. If passed, it will be, without doubt or competition, the largest piece of progressive social policy since Lyndon Johnson established Medicare and Medicaid. If this isn't worthwhile, then progressives should pack up and go home, because nothing Congress passes in the foreseeable future will even come close.
I confess I do not feel those highest hopes. I do not share his confidence in American military and civilian power to turn the roiling region of Afghanistan and Pakistan into something less threatening. I see no reason after the last eight years to see how this can happen, even with these new resources. But if you rule out withdrawal right away, then this seems to me to be about the smartest strategy ahead. But I see absolutely no reason to believe that it will mean withdrawal of any significant amount in Obama's first term.
So here's what it comes down to: This option might be a good idea if it worked, but the chances of its working are slim (though not zero); all the other options seem to be bad ideas, but they might cost less money and get fewer American soldiers killed (though not necessarily).
No, one doesn't envy Obama, who inherited this war, a war that was mismanaged and then neglected entirely, or so it seemed, by his predecessor. Whatever he chooses to do won't be good enough and will be criticized by armchair presidents around the world, including by his critics on both the left and the right. My own views place me to his left, but I remain realistic enough to know that the war can't, and won't, end anytime soon. It's now a matter of finding a way out while not giving up and pulling out until sufficient progress has been made or until some sustainable level of peace, security, and stability has been achieved in divided and war-torn country with no history of peace, security, or stability.
Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Dubai World began talks with banks to restructure $26 billion of debt, including $3.5 billion owed by property unit Nakheel, and said the remainder of its liabilities are on “a stable financial footing.”
Debt from subsidiaries including Infinity World Holding, Istithmar World and Ports & Free Zone World will be excluded from the negotiations, Dubai World, one of the emirate’s three main state-related holding companies, said in a statement. The cost to protect Dubai debt against default fell to the lowest since Nov. 25. Dubai’s main equity index dropped 6.6 percent.
Dubai is seeking to delay payments on less than half its $59 billion of liabilities, easing the potential damage to banks recovering from $1.7 trillion of losses and writedowns from the global crisis. Shares worldwide recovered some of the losses suffered since Dubai announced it would seek a “standstill” agreement on all of Dubai World’s debt as the Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 600 gained 1.2 percent and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index showed the first back-to-back gains in two weeks.
There have been so many lies and distortions pointed out in Sarah Palin's Going Rogue since it was released last week that her memoir has already become something of a gag line.
But perhaps the most embarrassing gaffe so far is her mis-attributed quote to UCLA basketball legend John Wooden.
As the epigram to Chapter Three, "Drill, Baby, Drill," Palin assigns the following remarks to the Hall of Fame hoops coach:
Our land is everything to us... I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember our grandfathers paid for it -- with their lives.
Only the quote wasn't by John Wooden. It was written by a Native American activist named John Wooden Legs in an essay entitled "Back on the War Ponies," which appeared in a left-wing anthology, We Are the People: Voices from the Other Side of American History, edited by Nathaniel May, Clint Willis, and James W. Loewen.
Here's the full quote:
Our land is everything to us. It is the only place in the world where Cheyennes talk the Cheyenne language to each other. It is the only place where Cheyennes remember the same things together. I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember our grandfathers paid for it -- with their life. My people and the Sioux defeated General Custer at the Little Big Horn.
Oops! That's not quite the sentiment that Sister Sarah was trying to convey as she guzzled down sugar-free Red Bull and cranked up Toby Keith's "How Do You Like Me Now?" while jumping on her patriotic high horse at the opening of the third chapter.
There's also no small amount of irony in the quote, given Palin's abysmal record on Alaska Native issues during her truncated term as governor.
I was a huge UCLA basketball fan as a kid. Whenever the Bruins came to the Bay Area, I did whatever I could do to snag a ticket. I loved to watch Wooden coach. But I never figured the Wizard of Westwood as an advocate for radical land distribution.
Obviously this one slipped by Sister Sarah and her crack team of investigative journalists Lynn Vincent, Meg Stapleton and Ivy Frye, as well as all those dutiful fact checkers at HarperCollins. Obviously, they didn't get the quote from anything Wooden ever wrote, but from a cute little web site called The Quote Garden. Isn't that sweet?
Okay, I was a little leery reading Palin's book and wondering if she really had read Aristotle and Plato. Somehow I didn't think so. But I thought, maybe, just maybe, she might have read Sir John. Apparently not.
This is an act of terror and murder against an already beleaguered minority, and Warren is an accessory to it. As a powerful figure in distributing AIDS funding in Uganda, he cannot bring himself to oppose a law that would condemn someone in a gay relationship to death, and imprison him or her for touching another human being, and inciting a wave of informing on family members and friends and acquaintances in order to terrify a sexual minority. This alleged man of God cannot speak out on this - except to protect his own p.r. His schtick of actually being the nice evangelical -- a schtick that got him to Obama's inauguration -- is a lie. If he cannot condemn this fascist act of violence against a tiny minority of vulnerable human beings, then his position in this struggle is clear enough.
He lies. He has taken sides, whenever possible, to stigmatize, demonize and now physically threaten the lives of gay people in his own country and abroad. And his silence on this issue means the deaths of others. Warren needs to come out and condemn this law as evil, which it is. And to stop hiding his own enmeshment with the most virulent forms of fundamentalist hatred under the veil of media-savvy benevolence.
The reverberations continue from what the University of East Anglia says was the illegal dissemination of thousands of files from its Climatic Research Unit (CRU). Over the weekend university officials put out an update saying 95 percent of the raw land-surface temperature data in question have been available to scientists and skeptics for several years, although Roger A. Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado, Boulder, said he was told differently as recently as August. (Realclimate.org posted the locations of various data sets.) He credited the university and climate center for moving now to be clearer about the data archives and to provide more access. “When the data is available in its original form those skeptical of climate science can then do the temperature math themselves out in the open where everyone can see their work,” Dr. Pielke wrote on Sunday. “If the global numbers come out as CRU has presented over the years, then it will strike a blow to skepticism about global temperature trend records produced by CRU and restore a good deal of credibility to this area of climate science.”