Friday, July 31, 2009

Obama's revealing body language

Very revealing picture:

American Thinker Blog: Obama's revealing body language (updated and expanded))

I am stunned that the official White House Blog published this picture and that it is in the public domain. The body language is most revealing.

Sergeant Crowley, the sole class act in this trio, helps the handicapped Professor Gates down the stairs, while Barack Obama, heedless of the infirmities of his friend and fellow victim of self-defined racial profiling, strides ahead on his own. So who is compassionate? And who is so self-involved and arrogant that he is oblivious?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Disaster in the Making?


Thomas Sowell :
After many a disappointment with someone, and especially after a disaster, we may be able to look back at numerous clues that should have warned us that the person we trusted did not deserve our trust.

When that person is the President of the United States, the potential for disaster is virtually unlimited.

Many people are rightly worried about what this administration's reckless spending will do to the economy in our time and to our children and grandchildren, to whom a staggering national debt will be passed on. But if the worst that Barack Obama does is ruin the economy, I will breathe a sigh of relief.

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Obama Is Tanking: Is It Unemployment … or Is It Him?

What a difference a month makes:

Pajamas Media » Obama Is Tanking: Is It Unemployment … or Is It Him?
The president is taking a nosedive in the polls.

Averages from and illustrate a dramatic decline in his approval rating and and an increase in disapproval marks. Among independent voters, the two lines are converging. In Rasmussen and Zogby, the two trend lines for all voters already have crossed.

As Sam Youngman reported, the last month has been the worst of Obama’s presidency:

The Obama administration, which was flying high a month ago after pushing through a climate change bill in the House, has since been dealt a series of setbacks and is struggling to regain its footing.

After the climate bill passed 219-212 on the afternoon of June 26, there was a feeling that the White House could get much of its agenda through Congress in 2009.

A month later, there are doubts that President Obama will even achieve his number one priority of health care reform, much less cap and trade, immigration reform, and a regulatory revamp of the financial sector.

There are two explanations — the economy or something more systemic. Ben Stein thinks it is the latter:

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Project 048: China's Secret Aircraft Carrier Command?

This will get Japan building a stronger navy:

The Jamestown Foundation
According to information circulated in the Chinese media, during the meeting between Chinese Defense Minister General Liang Guanglie and Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada on March 20, wherein General Liang confirmed China's intent to develop aircraft carriers, a mysterious unit was reportedly present at the meeting. The “048 Engineering Command" is purportedly an inter-agency task force within the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) responsible for developing "special large military ships" or aircraft carriers (, March 22; Nownews, March 21).

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The China Bubble's Coming -- But Not the One You Think


 Foreign Policy
Financial commentators are obsessively debating whether the recent rise in the Chinese stock market means there's a bubble -- and if so, when it's going to burst.

My take? Who cares! What happens to the broader Chinese economy is what we should really be watching. It will have a far-reaching impact on the rest of the world -- much more far-reaching than a decline in stocks.

Despite everything, the Chinese economy has shown incredible resilience recently. Although its biggest customers -- the United States and Europe -- are struggling (to say the least) and its exports are down more than 20 percent, China is still spitting out economic growth numbers as if there weren't a worry in the world. The most recent estimate put annual growth at nearly 8 percent.

Is the Chinese economy operating in a different economic reality? Will it continue to grow, no matter what the global economy is doing?

The answer to both questions is no.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Invention allows pregnant women to hold models of their unborn babies

Will this be another nail in the pro choice position?

Times Online
Pregnant women are being given the chance to hold life-size models of their unborn babies, thanks to an invention that converts data from ultrasound and MRI scans.

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Gallery invites visitors to deface Bible

This is just another long line of anti-Christian art.  Honestly it doesn't bother me that much, it just shows us how the times have changed.  It also demonstrates that most people have no concept of what Christianity is, which doesn't make the church look all that good.

Here's the take away line:
A Catholic Church spokesman said: "One wonders whether the organisers would have been quite as willing to have the Koran defaced".

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Researcher Condemns Conformity Among His Peers

The dangers of group think:

TierneyLab Blog -
“Academics, like teenagers, sometimes don’t have any sense regarding the degree to which they are conformists.”

So says Thomas Bouchard, the Minnesota psychologist known for his study of twins raised apart, in a retirement interview with Constance Holden in the journal Science.

Journalists, of course, are conformists too. So are most other professions. There’s a powerful human urge to belong inside the group, to think like the majority, to lick the boss’s shoes, and to win the group’s approval by trashing dissenters.

The strength of this urge to conform can silence even those who have good reason to think the majority is wrong. You’re an expert because all your peers recognize you as such. But if you start to get too far out of line with what your peers believe, they will look at you askance and start to withdraw the informal title of “expert” they have implicitly bestowed on you. Then you’ll bear the less comfortable label of “maverick,” which is only a few stops short of “scapegoat” or “pariah.”

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mother Knows Best

Now he's lost Susan Estrich:

Rasmussen Reports™:
The president is "not familiar" with the bill. No one can explain how it will work yet, as Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., told a contentious town meeting. There are various plans, and negotiations are still in the early stages.

But whatever it is, we should be for it.

Am I missing something?

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FACT CHECK: Obama's health care claims adrift?

Even the AP isn't buying aspects of Obamacare.

Yahoo! Finance
President Barack Obama's assertion Wednesday that government will stay out of health care decisions in an overhauled system is hard to square with the proposals coming out of Congress and with his own rhetoric.

Even now, nearly half the costs of health care in the U.S. are paid for by government at all levels. Federal authority would only grow under any proposal in play.

A look at some of Obama's claims in his prime-time news conference:

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What the West Bank Actually Looks Like

Definitely not what we usually hear:

Commentary »
Last week, the New York Times published an article about “signs of hope” in the West Bank (and in the city of Nablus in particular) that refreshingly breaks with the standard narrative of Palestinian desperation and misery. The Israeli military recently closed down its checkpoint into the city, along with other checkpoints elsewhere in the territories. The economy is growing instead of contracting. Downtown is full of shoppers. Islamist scolds have backed off. Police make sure passengers have fastened their seat belts.

It sounds like Nablus has more or less become a normal Middle East city.

Earlier this year in Jerusalem, Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh told me how much the West Bank surprises visitors now. “The other day,” he said, “someone came for the first time ever to this part of the world, and he called me and asked me to take him to Ramallah. So I drove him to downtown Ramallah, and we stopped there. The man was shocked. He said, ‘Where are the refugee camps? Where are the mud houses? Where’s the poverty?’ I said, ‘Why are you asking me these questions?’ He said, ‘I’m shocked. Look how nice it is.’ ”

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Obama’s Sinking Approval Ratings Are Even Worse Than They Look

This is not good if even the MSM are writing negatively about the President:

Having come into office with an ambitious agenda to remake America, Barack Obama is discovering that time is not his friend. According to the latest USA Today/Gallup poll, Obama's approval rating has dropped by nine points, down to 55 percent from where it was when he first entered the White House six months ago.

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The Blue-State Meltdown and the Collapse of the Chicago Model


The American, A Magazine of Ideas
On the surface this should be the moment the Blue Man basks in glory. The most urbane president since John Kennedy sits in the White House. A San Francisco liberal runs the House of Representatives while the key committees are controlled by representatives of Boston, Manhattan, Beverly Hills, and the Bay Area—bastions of the gentry.

Despite his famous no-blue-states-no-red-states-just-the-United-States statement, more than 90 percent of the top 300 administration officials come from states carried last year by President Obama. The inner cabinet—the key officials—hail almost entirely from a handful of cities, starting with Chicago but also including New York, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco area.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Voters scared of Obama’s rushed ‘experiments’

The push back against the health care boon doggle is getting fierce:

Voters scared of Obama’s rushed ‘experiments’ | Washington Examiner
With one word Monday, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele helped the GOP get back in the fight over health care and the entire Obama agenda. The word was “experiment.”

Monday, July 20, 2009

Health Care Bill Directs HHS Secretary to Develop 'Standards for Measuring Gender'--As Opposed to 'Male' and 'Female'

This is interesting:
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s health care legislation will give the Health and Human Services secretary the authority to develop “standards of measuring gender” -- as opposed to using the traditional "male" and "female" categories -- in a database of all who apply or participate in government-run or government-supported health care plans.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

"EMP 101" A Basic Primer & Suggestions for Preparedness

This would make life difficult:

The Silver Bear Cafe

EMP is shorthand for Electro Magnetic Pulse. It is a rather unusual and frightening by - product when a nuclear bomb is detonated above the earth's atmosphere. We all know that our atmosphere and the magnetic field which surrounds our planet is a thin layer which not only keeps us alive, but also protects us from dangerous radiation from the sun. On a fairly regular basis there are huge solar storms on the sun's surface which emit powerful jets of deadly radiation. If not for the protective layer of our atmosphere and magnetic field, those storms would fry us. At times though, the storm is so power that enough disruptive energy reaches the earth's surface that it drowns out radio waves and even shorts electrical power grids...this happened seve ral years back in Canada.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Obama no longer stressing August deadline for passing health reform bill

This is good news:

Obama no longer stressing August deadline for passing health reform bill - Jonathan Martin -
In his most recent remarks, President Obama has stopped mentioning what had been his mantra — that the House and Senate finish their health-care bills by the August recess — and switched to a less specific call to fast action.

The increased flexibility follows resistance by key senators in both parties to what they have called an "artificial deadline."

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What's Next, Mr. President -- Cardigans?

Its as if Obama hit the self destruct button rather than the reset button:

Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie -- Obama's Domestic Agenda Teeters -
Barely six months into his presidency, Barack Obama seems to be driving south into that political speed trap known as Carter Country: a sad-sack landscape in which every major initiative meets not just with failure but with scorn from political allies and foes alike.

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What's really behind Obama's sudden plea for troubled health reforms today

His health care reform is in trouble and he knows it:

What's really behind Obama's sudden plea for troubled health reforms today | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times
Friday afternoons and evenings -- as we've mentioned here previously -- are usually a dumping ground for political news its originators do not want noticed much. Especially entering warm summer weekends.

The flip side of that adage is that there's rarely much competition for the news at those times. Tah-dah! Not by accident Friday nearly an hour late but what else is new, President Barack Obama (despite the shattering death of his beloved teleprompter earlier this week) staged an unscheduled media availability to insert himself into the news.

Not much competition, so he got lots of coverage. And since he walked out afterward without deigning to take any questions, there was no chance of anything else detracting from the message he wanted to insert: Healthcare now!

The president knows his keystone program is in deep trouble and losing momentum. That's why his organization is sending out all those e-mails and organizing local discussion groups to mobilize grassroots support and why he drags the subject into everything he talks about. Why he even dragged it into a speech Thursday night celebrating the NAACP's centennial. And he'll no doubt focus on the same subject in his weekly address tomorrow (Text here as always at 3 a.m. Pacific Saturday).

"Now is not the time to slow down," he pleads.

Curse of the Email-Forwarders

A lot of truth here:

CRN.Info and Analysis » Blog Archive » Curse of the Email-Forwarders
Maybe I’m just unlucky, but I don’t think so.

I remember getting my first email account, almost two decades ago. We didn’t even call it ‘email’ - it was just an app on the VAX that passed messages back and forth between us engineering students. It wasn’t until a few years later that some of the usenet discussion groups I replied to got me added to some spammer lists.

Spam sucked (and still sucks, though we have much better tools to deal with it now). But one variety of ’spam’ sprung up soon after I got my first home email account - the ‘email-forwards’ (EFs).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Nearly all my professors are Democrats. Isn't that a problem?


Nearly all my professors are Democrats. Isn't that a problem? |
Eugene, Ore. - When I began examining the political affiliation of faculty at the University of Oregon, the lone conservative professor I spoke with cautioned that I would "make a lot of people unhappy."

Though I mostly brushed off his warning – assuming that academia would be interested in such discourse – I was careful to frame my research for a column for the school newspaper diplomatically.

The University of Oregon (UO), where I study journalism, invested millions annually in a diversity program that explicitly included "political affiliation" as a component. Yet, out of the 111 registered Oregon voters in the departments of journalism, law, political science, economics, and sociology, there were only two registered Republicans.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Economy Is Even Worse Than You Think

I really hope this isn't correct:

Average length of unemployment highest since 1948. -
The recent unemployment numbers have undermined confidence that we might be nearing the bottom of the recession. What we can see on the surface is disconcerting enough, but the inside numbers are just as bad.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate for job losses for June is 467,000, which means 7.2 million people have lost their jobs since the start of the recession. The cumulative job losses over the last six months have been greater than for any other half year period since World War II, including the military demobilization after the war. The job losses are also now equal to the net job gains over the previous nine years, making this the only recession since the Great Depression to wipe out all job growth from the previous expansion.

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Learning from a cop-killer: the lessons of "Baby Face" Nelson

Long, but worth the read:

Learning from a cop-killer: the lessons of "Baby Face" Nelson | American Handgunner | Find Articles at BNET
Situation: Struggling to be the "alpha" in a gang of cop-killers, this one particularly enjoys it.

Lesson: The gunman who killed more FBI agents than any single criminal in history did so with six "S-es": Stealth, Surprise, Sophisticated weapons, Splitting when overmatched, Spotting his opponents sooner, and a degree of Skill uncommon among criminals.

In the many years of research from which this continuing feature is drawn, I've been able to learn a few things. One is the dynamics of human violence are timeless. Another is those who understand their enemies have a much better chance of defeating them. With that in mind, let's go back to what historian John Toland called the "Dillinger Days."

Time to tackle the real evil: too much debt

Unemployment hit 9.7% today, here are some of the problems: / Comment / Opinion - Time to tackle the real evil: too much debt
The core of the problem, the unavoidable truth, is that our economic system is laden with debt, about triple the amount relative to gross domestic product that we had in the 1980s. This does not sit well with globalisation. Our view is that government policies worldwide are causing more instability rather than curing the trouble in the system. The only solution is the immediate, forcible and systematic conversion of debt to equity. There is no other option.

Our analysis is as follows. First, debt and leverage cause fragility; they leave less room for errors as the economic system loses its ability to withstand extreme variations in the prices of securities and goods. Equity, by contrast, is robust: the collapse of the technology bubble in 2000 did not have significant consequences because internet companies, while able to raise large amounts of equity, had no access to credit markets.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Who Wrote Audacity of Hope?

I'm still not convinced, but this is very compelling:

American Thinker: Who Wrote Audacity of Hope?
In previous articles on the subject of President Obama's writing skills, I have focused on his 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father, not his 2006 book, Audacity of Hope for one reason: Dreams, according to esteemed British author Jonathan Raban and others, captures Obama's "authentic voice."

On the strength of Dreams, Raban called Obama "the best writer to occupy the White House since Lincoln." Raban is in good company. "I was astonished by his ability to write, to think, to reflect, to learn and turn a good phrase," said Nobel prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison of Dreams. "I was very impressed. This was not a normal political biography.''

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It's Getting Cold Out There


Rasmussen Reports™: The Most Comprehensive Public Opinion Data Anywhere
No wonder skeptics consider the left's belief in man-made global warming as akin to a fad religion -- last week in Italy, G8 leaders pledged to not allow the Earth's temperature to rise more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

For its next act, the G8 can part the Red Sea. The worst part is: These are the brainy swells who think of themselves as -- all bow -- Men of Science.

The funny part is: G8 leaders can't even decide the year from which emissions must be reduced. 1990? 2005? "This question is a mystery for everyone," an aide to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said.

And while President Obama led the charge for the G8 nations to agree to an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in industrial nations by 2050, the same Russian aide dissed the standard as "likely unattainable."

No worries, the language was non-binding. Global-warming believers say that they are all about science, but their emphasis is not on results so much as declarations of belief.

Faith. Mystery. Promises to engage in pious acts. Global warming is a religion. While Obama was in Italy preaching big cuts in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, he was losing some of his flock in Washington. The House may have passed the 1,200-page cap-and-trade bill largely unread, but Senate Democrats are combing the fine print and not liking what they see. As Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said of the bill, "We need to be a leader in the world but we don't want to be a sucker."

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

How Ricci Almost Disappeared

Fascinating and a little scary:

National Journal Online -- The Ninth Justice -- How Ricci Almost Disappeared
For all the publicity about the Supreme Court's 5-4 reversal of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's decision (with two colleagues) to reject a discrimination suit by a group of firefighters against New Haven, Conn., one curious aspect of the case has been largely overlooked.

That is the likelihood that but for a chance discovery by a fourth member of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, the now-triumphant 18 firefighters (17 white and one Hispanic) might well have seen their case, Ricci v. DeStefano, disappear into obscurity, with no triumph, no national publicity and no Supreme Court review.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Obama’s Enlightened Choice

Read this and think, what if there were religious persecution in this country?  Seems we have plenty as it is.

Commentary » Blog Archive » Obama’s Enlightened Choice
President Obama — in an inspired move — named Dr. Francis Collins head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Collins is one of the world’s leading scientists. He is a physician-geneticist known in part for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and for his leadership of the Human Genome Project. (Collins served as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the NIH from 1993-2008.)

The New York Times reports, however, that a couple of objections have been raised to the choice of Dr. Collins. According to the Times:

The first is his very public embrace of religion. Dr. Collins, who was not raised with any religious training, wrote a book called “The Language of God,” and he has given many talks and interviews in which he has described his conversion to Christianity as a 27-year-old medical school intern. “I came at this from a position of ignorance,” he said. “I came at it from an intellectual point of view.” Religion and genetic research have long had a fraught relationship, and some in the field are uneasy about what they see as Dr. Collins’s evangelism.

This is an example of the sometimes subtle and sometimes overt bias against people of religious faith. Collins’s critics speak as if Obama had named the President of Westminster Theological Seminary as head of NIH instead of one of the world’s greatest scientific minds and a man of sterling scientific credentials. Dr. Collins being a person of faith — and in particular, of the Christian faith — seems to alarm some people in the scientific world, despite there being nothing in Colins’s body of work that would cause anyone to think twice about how his faith might negatively impact his work at NIH. The mere fact that Collins embraced Christianity and is viewed as an “evangelical” is itself considered grounds for suspicion.

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Heavy Fighting in the Philippines: Another Forgotten War

From Michael Yon:

Big Hollywood » Blog Archive » Heavy Fighting in the Philippines: Another Forgotten War
Until recently, Afghanistan was called “The Forgotten War.” The dramatic domestic, regional, and international politics of the Iraq war largely eclipsed the fact that our people were fighting just as hard in Afghanistan. Although we’re paying attention to AfPak now, off the radar screen an important and related fight has been unfolding in the Philippines.

Coffee 'may reverse Alzheimer's'

Drink up!

BBC NEWS | Health | Coffee 'may reverse Alzheimer's'
Drinking five cups of coffee a day could reverse memory problems seen in Alzheimer's disease, US scientists say.

Ideologically, Where Is the U.S. Moving?

From Gallup:

Special Report: Ideologically, Where Is the U.S. Moving?
Despite the results of the 2008 presidential election, Americans, by a 2-to-1 margin, say their political views in recent years have become more conservative rather than more liberal, 39% to 18%, with 42% saying they have not changed. While independents and Democrats most often say their views haven't changed, more members of all three major partisan groups indicate that their views have shifted to the right rather than to the left.

Arab Festival 2009: Sharia in the US

This is a video of David Wood and Nabeel Qureshi asking questions at Arabfest, Dearborn. The date is June 21st, 2009. There was a booth at the festival which had a banner titled "Islam: Got Questions? Get Answers." From their table, we picked up a pamphlet claiming that Islam promotes peace. We noticed that it was full of poor logic and errors, so we decided to make a video refuting it. We went to the booth that gave us the pamphlet to give them the opportunity to defend their claims. Security, however, stepped in and forced us to turn off our camera.

We left the booth, received advice from police, and found out that the actions of the security guards were illegal. We went back to the booth to record a potential answer again. Realizing that the Muslims present had no answer, we left.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

The eternal meaning of Independence Day

Thought provoking, read the whole thing:

Power Line - The eternal meaning of Independence Day
On July 9, 1858, Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas gave a campaign speech to a raucous throng from the balcony of the Tremont Hotel in Chicago. Abraham Lincoln was in the audience when Douglas prepared to speak. Douglas invited Lincoln to come join him on the balcony to watch the speech. In his speech Douglas rang the themes of the momentous campaign that Lincoln and Douglas waged that summer and fall for Douglas's Senate seat.

Douglas paid tribute to Lincoln as a "kind, amiable, and intelligent gentleman, a good citizen and an honorable opponent," but expressed his disagreement with Lincoln's June 16 speech to the Illinois Republican convention that had named him its candidate for Douglas's seat. In that speech Lincoln had famously asserted that the nation could not exist "half slave and half free." According to Douglas, Lincoln's assertion was inconsistent with the "diversity" in domestic institutions that was "the great safeguard of our liberties." Then as now, "diversity" was a shibboleth hiding an evil institution that could not be defended on its own terms.

Douglas responded to Lincoln's condemnation of the Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision -- a condemnation that was the centerpiece of Lincoln's convention speech. "I am free to say to you," Douglas said, "that in my opinion this government of ours is founded on the white basis. It was made by the white man, for the benefit of the white man, to be administered by white men, in such manner as they should determine."

Lincoln invited Douglas's audience to return the next evening for his reply to Douglas's speech. Lincoln's speech of July 10, 1858, is one of his many great speeches, but in one respect it is uniquely great. It concludes with an explanation of the meaning of this day to Americans with matchless eloquence and insight in words that remain as relevant now as then.

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Obama Inquisition on climate change

Hope and Change...

Hot Air » Blog Archive » The Obama Inquisition on climate change
Barack Obama promised to return science to its “rightful place” in government, but at least on climate change, it seems that Obama has the Inquisition in mind as the government model. When a dissenting voice at the EPA warned that the global-warming theories on which Obama had predicated his policies were falling apart, the administration did not champion a scientific approach to the debate. Instead, it took the ages-old method of silencing the scientist, as Kimberly Strassel reports:
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Teenage Jobs Wasteland

Major take away...

Teenage Jobs Wasteland -
But Lopez Eastlick says there is another major factor: rising minimum wage requirements. Minimum wage increases raise the bar for entry-level employment. From 1997 until 2007, the minimum wage stood at $5.15. Congress raised it to $5.85 in 2007, to $6.55 last year, and in July it is scheduled to increase again to $7.25.

In June 2006, 7 million teens were working. Since the wage hikes and recession kicked in, 1.4 million of those jobs have disappeared. For African-American teens, the job market is even worse--their unemployment rate is 38%.

"For teens who are not in the work force, as many as 10 years later there are financial impacts to that. Ten years later, if you were not employed, you're lagging behind your peers," says Lopez Eastlick. "There's an invisible curriculum you learn from having a job."

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

ACORN Rent-A-Mob Thugs to Harass Lenders in 14 Cities Tuesday


The American Spectator : AmSpecBlog : ACORN Rent-A-Mob Thugs to Harass Lenders in 14 Cities Tuesday
ACORN, which played a starring role in creating the subprime mortgage crisis, plans to add insult to injury by harassing lenders across the nation with protests tomorrow in an effort to coerce them into supporting President Obama's Making Home Affordable foreclosure-avoidance program.

Austin King, director of ACORN Financial Justice, sent out a press release today advising of the demonstrations that are planned as part of its "Homewrecker 4" campaign. The four financial companies targeted are Goldman Sachs, HomEq Servicing, American Home Mortgage, and OneWest. Read the whole document here.