Saturday, April 30, 2011

But, but, wasn't the Green Economy going to make Spain rich with full employment. Just ask Obama

Greek and Spanish economies falter ahead of expected rise in interest rates

European central bank president Jean-Claude Trichet insists inflation must be quashed

Europe's north-south divide has worsened as figures show Spain and Greece faltering, with rising unemployment and plummeting retail sales. Meanwhile the European Central Bank (ECB) is preparing to raiseinterest rates on the back of a booming German economy.

Spain's unemployment rate jumped to a European record of 21.3% last month while Greece's retail sales dropped more than 10% year-on-year as both countries demonstrated the difficulties of spurring economic growth while implementing severe public spending cuts.

Almost five million workers are out of work in Spain, according to official statistics, despite efforts by the socialist-led government to kick-start the economy and generate jobs. Youth unemployment remains above 40%. The gloom in Madrid was reinforced by retail sales data for March, which showed the country's sharpest decline for more than two years.

Despite the problems facing Spain, Greece and other troubled eurozone nations, the ECB is expected to raise interest rates, possibly as early as next week, after inflation climbed to 2.8%. The inflation figure, published by Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, was up from 2.7% in March.

Central bank president Jean-Claude Trichet said this week that policymakers must quash inflation expectations to avert the risk of wage rises leading to even higher prices, adding: "We have risks of second-round effects."

Inflation has remained above the ECB's goal of just under 2% largely owing to higher oil and food prices. Although the bank expects prices to ease next year, it has been worried enough to start raising rates from record lows, increasing them by 0.25 percentage points this month to 1.25% in order to combat inflationary pressures. Economists predict several more such increases by the year's end.

Trichet is at odds with his counterparts in the US and Britain, who have consistently argued the recovery needs to be firmly entrenched before implementing rate rises. A meeting of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee next week is expected to keep rates on hold at 0.5%, despite inflation reaching 4% and three members of the nine-strong committee voting for a rise last time.

Trichet infamously refused to cut interest rates in line with the Federal Reserve ahead of the banking crisis before being forced to cut radically following Lehman Brothers' collapse in September 2008.

The EU's broad economic sentiment indicator fell significantly, by 2.3 points to 105.1, for the 27-member European Union, weighed down by a sharp drop in Britain's services and retail sectors. The index fell more moderately by 1.1 points to 106.2 for the eurozone, propped up by Germany, France and the Netherlands, the only countries where the index remains above its long-term average.

This is the face of the left in America...nasty, brutish and without manners.

ABC’s The View insults the Queen in cruel display of mockery of the British royal family

Here is the face of the upper west side of Manhattan. They think they're intellectuals because they are masters of the insult.

Privatized social security at work

Chile's Private Social Security System Turns 30

May Day — socialists' paean to class warfare — evokes memories of Soviet tanks in Red Square and leftist radicals rioting. But Chile celebrates the actual empowerment of workers.

May 1 marks the 30 years since Chile became the first nation to privatize its social security system. By turning workers into investors, the move solved an entitlement crisis much like the one America faces today.

"I like symbols, so I chose May Day as the birth date of Chile's 'ownership society' that allowed every worker to become a small capitalist," wrote Jose Pinera, former secretary of labor and social security and the architect of this pension revolution. He is now a senior fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.

What he designed has succeeded beyond all expectations. Yet Congress remains reluctant to adopt anything like it, despite efforts by Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to partially privatize an American system.

Instead of paying a 12.4% Social Security tax as we do here, Chilean workers must pay in 10% of their wages (they can send up to 20%) to one of several conservatively managed and regulated pension funds. From the accumulated savings, they get a life annuity or make programmed withdrawals (inheriting any funds left over).

Over the last three decades these accounts have averaged annual returns of 9.23% above inflation. By contrast, U.S. Social Security pays a 1% to 2% (theoretical) return, and even less for new workers.

Long-Term Boom

History shows that pension funds prudently invested in a diversified portfolio appreciate significantly over long periods of consistent saving. In 1981, the Dow industrials stood at 900; today, despite three market crashes, it's nearly 13,000.

In 2005, New York Times reporter John Tierney worked out his own Social Security contributions on the Chilean model and found that his privatized pension would have been $53,000 a year plus a one-time payout of $223,000. The same contributions paid into Social Security would have paid him $18,000.

The system is doable here, but does require citizen education and political resolve.

First, implicit debts must be made explicit, which most politicians abhor.

Chile decided to compensate workers for money already paid into the system, through "recognition bonds." It financed this via bonds, partial diversions of existing pension taxes, sales of state assets and spending cuts.

Its road was made even easier as economic growth from a system that encourages work, saving and responsibility filled government coffers with new streams of tax revenue.

In the U.S., Social Security already is in bad shape. It's already paying out more in benefits than it gets in payroll tax revenue.

Politicians for decades have raided excess workers' contributions intended to cover baby boomer retirees. They left IOUs, giving the program the right to other government revenue. But that means the Treasury has to issue even more debt.

Those political raids can't happen in Chile — private accounts are legal property, a right Pinera embedded firmly into the 1980 constitution.

As for Social Security, even the IOUs are projected to run out in 2037. If nothing is done, payouts will have to be slashed 22%.

Private accounts could generate better returns to help offset likely benefit cuts.

Thirty countries have adopted a Chilean-style system.

Yet U.S. reform efforts have been timid. Rep. Paul Ryan's "Road Map" called for creating personal retirement accounts with one-third of Social Security funds. But his 10-year House budget did not explicitly address the retirement program.

Given what's at stake, it's surprising that there is no bold proposal to "take the bull by the horns," as Pinera put it, and reform Social Security completely on the Chile model. Missing this is missing a big one.

Is is all about jobs for regulators at the cost of your lifestyle?

Remember when the Environmental Protection Agency’s ban on chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, because they punched holes in the ozone layer, forced refrigerator manufacturers to switch to more environmentally friendly refrigerants?

The bad CFCs were duly replaced with supposedly good hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, which don’t destroy ozone. So everybody stopped worrying about the ticking time bombs in their kitchens that were threatening to destroy the Earth’s protective mantle while keeping the microbrew cold and the organic veggies fresh.

However, it turns out that HFCs require more electricity to produce the same amount of cooling. Who knew? Which means that ozone-saving fridges make bigger carbon footprints than their ozone-destroying counterparts.

Something Must Be Done before the fridge destroys the polar bear! But never fear. The EPA is already on the case.

“The Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department are slowly tightening the rules on appliances, requiring them to do the same work with less and less energy,” writes New York Times blogger Matthew Wald.

So is General “We Don’t Pay No Stinkin’ Taxes” Electric, which has announced a new program with Appliance Recycling Centers of America that will recapture what Wald says are all “the harmful gases that have been locked up years ago in those foam bubbles” of refrigerator insulation.

GE brags that it is the first appliance manufacturer to partner with the EPA on its Responsible Appliance Disposal Program, which pays GE to recycle old fridges, washing machines and other discarded appliances. So GE pays no taxes – and at the same time collects money other taxpayers have paid. Nice work if you can get it.

Meanwhile, in California, consumers who purchased new EPA-approved, energy efficient appliances are apparently having a devil of a time collecting the stimulus-funded rebates they were promised under the federal Cash for Appliances program.

The EPA is now studying whether to forcibly eliminate ice makers from refrigerators because they use too much electricity. These folks won't be satisfied until we're back in the stone age.

They can dish but not take. It's the liberal way

Krauthammer: It's Funny to Hear Liberals Talk About How Awful it is to Delegitimize a President After What They Did to Bush

We've not seen any of Obama's school records so how do we know? Just believe the brown nose media?

Too smart for politics?

Even for DC's worshipful press corps, Washington Post scribe Dana Mil bank's latest column was a doozy.

Hoping to explain why the president appears to be an indecisive waffler, Milbank whelped this whopper:

Obama's too smart for his own good.

That's a new one. But is it true -- is Obama too bright to be president?

Milbank consulted his tea leaves -- and a few social scientists -- to help diagnose Obama's malady:

Genius in the extreme!

"I put Obama on the couch," Milbank wrote, "and came away with a reasonably coherent diagnosis: There's too much going on in the poor guy's head."

Obama's crime is that he's "the very model of the complex thinker" -- always weighing the pros and cons of each issue, like a modern-day King Solomon.

(That is, quite unlike O's troglodyte predecessor, George W. Bush, who was presumably too busy scrawling the Patriot Act on the walls of his cave.)

Quipped one quack: "What distinguishes Obama is the depth and carefulness of his thinking, which renders him somewhat unfit for politics."

Well, if not unfit for politics, then self-evidently unsuited to policy-making.

Still, who can know for sure?

But what if the prez were to release his long-hidden college transcripts?

Hmmm . . .

Oh, Donaaaaald!

He's right up there with that other way to smart President Jimmy Carter. See a pattern here?

Their hatred of W knows few bounds.

Except for ABC, Media Ignore George W. Bush's Mountain Bike Ride with Wounded War Veterans

The Democrat Presidential candidate and fraud

Judge orders John Edwards to answer questions about affair

Obama the lying street thug

Update: Chronicle responds after Obama Administration punishes reporter for using multimedia, then claims they didn't

Update: In a pants-on-fire moment, the White House press office today denied anyone there had issued threats to remove Carla Marinucci and possibly other Hearst reporters from the press pool covering the President in the Bay Area.

Chronicle editor Ward Bushee called the press office on its fib:

Sadly, we expected the White House to respond in this manner based on our experiences yesterday. It is not a truthful response. It follows a day of off-the-record exchanges with key people in the White House communications office who told us they would remove our reporter, then threatened retaliation to Chronicle and Hearst reporters if we reported on the ban, and then recanted to say our reporter might not be removed after all.

The Chronicle's report is accurate.

Continue reading

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Friday, April 29, 2011

It's the unions that have become anti democratic. Keep giving us more reasons to hate unions.

Quote Of The Day: UAW’s Bob King Connects Republican Extremists With Hitler And Mussolini

At a meeting of the Automotive Press Association at the old-money, establishment Detroit Athletic Club in downtown Detroit, a stone’s throw from GM’s headquarters, UAW President Bob King warned Detroit auto journalists not to listen to “extremists in the Republican Party,” just like people in Germany and Italy should not have fallen for Hitler and Mussolini.

“The attacks by what I would call extremists in the Republican Party should be of concern…to everybody who believes in a democracy. We know that anybody who looks at history, looks at any developed nation in the world, the only way that middle classes were built in the United States or Canada or Europe or anywhere else, was because of a strong labor movement and a societal understanding of the importance of the institution of collective bargaining. That workers should have the right to a voice at the table.”

“Can a Hitler be more efficient? Can a Mussolini be more efficient? Can a dictatorship be more efficient than a democracy? Yeah, maybe short-term it is. But for the destruction of the society, the destruction of human rights and the destruction of the democracy we believe in, it’s catastrophic. I hope the press really stands up to defend the people’s democratic right to elect their local elected officials and nobody should have the power, in my opinion, to come in and unilaterally wipe them out and put somebody in there who has no accountability to that citizenry. That’s the antipathy of democracy.”

Nobody invoked Godwin’s Law when King said it. So we won’t either.

Do you need more reasons then this to avoid buying autos made by the UAW?

Chutzpah from a man whose union lives off the public teat for a company that has been fascistically taken over by a government that abrogated the rights of company creditors.

Just imagine of George W Bush had done this?

Federal Court Endorses Warrantless GPS Tracking

No sympathy for the heroin dealer, may he rot but the threat to our privacy and liberty is ongoing and pervasive.

Buy Johnsonville brats and kick these brats to the curb


Fox News reports:

The massive protests against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial budget that paralyzed the state capital for weeks are now headed for the grocery stores.

But instead of marching outside stores with picket signs, protesters are planning more subversive action: placing anti-Walker stickers on products made by businesses they believe support the law that severely limits the collective bargaining power of most state workers.

The law is currently on hold pending a legal challenge.

The Wisconsin Grocery Association is warning its members to be on the lookout for opponents of Walker defacing some products in grocery stores on Sunday.

Walker opponents have urged consumers to boycott companies that have donated to the governor’s campaign.

There’s an effort under way to expand the boycott nationally by placing stickers on products in grocery stores.

Among the targeted products are Johnsonville brats (“these brats bust unions”), Coors beer (“labor rights flow away like a mountain stream”) and Angel Soft toilet paper.

This effort is being pushed by the same pro-union people who boycotted banks and stores whose management gave to Walker’s campaign.

Keep reading…

Explains why the vote for freebies. They actually think they're free

Students Refuse to Sign Pledge to Pay Individual Share of the National

Israel's decision to act swiftly and alone four years ago has undoubtedly done the world a favour.

Bombed Syrian plant 'was nuclear facility site' says energy agency

THE head of the International Atomic Energy Agency has said for the first time that a target destroyed by Israeli warplanes in the Syrian desert in 2007 was the covert site of a future nuclear reactor, countering assertions by Syria that it had no atomic secrets.
The comments came as forces loyal to president Bashar al-Assad continued their punitive crackdown on civilians calling for an end to his authoritian 11-year rule.

Regime forces with tanks began moving in to the city of Latakia yesterday and heavy firing was reported in the city of Daraa, the seat of opposition to President Assad.

In addition, the Damascus suburb of Douma - another hotbed of opposition - was reported to be under a state of siege, with roadblocks around it, and even newly-erected sand barriers.

Previous reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency have suggested that the structure destroyed by Israel could have been a nuclear reactor. Yesterday's comments by IAEA chief Yukiya Amano were the first time the agency has said so unequivocally. Mr Amano spoke during a Paris news conference meant to focus on the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

"The facility that was ... destroyed by Israel was a nuclear reactor under construction," he told a full news conference. "It was a reactor under construction."

Israel has never publicly commented on the strike or even acknowledged carrying it out.

Analysis: IAEA confirmation vindicates Israel's strike

The US has shared intelligence with the agency that identifies the structure as a nearly completed nuclear reactor that, if finished, would have been able to produce plutonium for the fissile core of nuclear warheads.

Syria denies allegations of any covert nuclear activity or interest in developing nuclear arms. Its refusal to allow IAEA inspectors new access to the bombed Al Kibar desert site past a visit three years ago has heightened suspicions that it had something to hide, along with its decision to level the destroyed structure and later build over it.

Drawing on the 2008 visit by its inspectors, the IAEA determined that the destroyed building's size and structure fit specifications that a North Korean-model reactor would have had. The site also contained graphite and natural uranium particles that could be linked to nuclear activities.

The movement by regime forces yesterday into Latakia is significant because the province has strong historical ties to Assad's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Latakia is home to a diverse mix of religious groups, with mostly Sunni Muslims in the urban core and Alawites in the countryside. A sizeable majority of Syrians are Sunni.

In Daraa yesterday, eyewitnesses reported clashes between Syrian army units over the crackdown.
The majority of troops in the Syrian army are Sunni, but most officers belong to the Alawite sect.

One diplomat said soldiers had confronted secret police at least once this month to stop them shooting at protesters.

"No one is saying that Assad is about to lose control of the army, but once you start using the army to slaughter your own people, it is a sign of weakness," he said.

Syria says dozens of soldiers and police have been killed in the unrest - which it blames on armed Islamist groups - and state television has broadcast many funerals, but diplomats say some have been killed by President Assad's own forces.

"The largest funerals in Syria so far have been for soldiers who have refused to obey orders to shoot protesters and were summarily executed on the spot," a senior diplomat said.

Mr Assad sent the ultra-loyal Fourth Mechanised Division, commanded by his brother Maher, into Deraa on Monday.

The Syrian rights group Sawasiah yesterday said the death toll in the six weeks of protests had risen to at least 500.

Analysis: IAEA confirmation vindicates Israel's strike

Key line:
Israel's decision to act swiftly and alone four years ago has undoubtedly done the world a favour.

Do you think this would have come out if that Jew hating bastard ElBaradei were still at the IAEA?

illegal immigration and a nation's right of self protection.

EU: Top court throws out Italian law making illegal immigration a crime

The Hague, 28 April (AKI) - Italy cannot punish illegal migrants with jail, the European Union's Court of Justice said on Thursday. The ruling struck down a key piece of legislation passed by the Italian government to bolster the hardline immigration policies it pledged to implement while in office.

The EU Court of Justice ruled that jailing migrants contradicts an EU directive whose main objective is "to set up an effective policy to drive out and repatriate third country nationals whose stay (in the EU) is irregular, while respecting their fundamental rights," the court said in a statement.

The court is tasked with ensuring that EU directives are interpreted and applied in the same way in all EU countries

Under Italy's 2009 law, migrants who enter Italy illegally and refuse to leave face a prison sentence of from one to four years and fines of up to 10,000 euros, followed by immediate expulsion.

A Italian court in the northern city of Trento had referred to the EU court the case of an Algerian, Hassen El Dridi, who in 2010 was ordered to leave Italy within five days because he did not have a residence permit.

El Dridi ignored the court order and was given a one-year jail term which El Dridi appealed.

The EU court said that following its ruling, judges in Trento should "disapply" the jail terms contained in Italy's immigration legislation.

Italy's interior minister Roberto Maroni said he was "dissatisfied" with the court ruling and was considering taking action against it.

"In the coming days, I will evaluate the consequences of this sentence and see what can be done to remedy it," he said.

"The European Court of Justice's decision leaves me dissatisfied because there are other European countries that have made illegal immigration a crime and have not been censured for this," Maroni said.

"Second, if illegal immigration is legitimised, its decriminalisation together with an EU directive on repatriation will make it impossible to deport migrants," he added.

The ruling was welcomed by the head of the Vatican's migration body, Antonio Maria Veglio.

"The sentence shows attention and sensitivity towards human dignity, even when the human being concerned is in an irregular position," said Veglio.

Time to give the EU the middle finger?

The Keynesian curse still working its voodoo

Stagflaton: It's Back

By Larry Kudlow


Stagflation officially returned today with a nasty GDP report that showed only 1.8 percent real growth, but 3.8 percent for the consumer spending deflator. It’s a mini version of the 1970s: low growth, higher inflation.

Looked at another way, rising inflation is coexisting with high, near-9 percent unemployment. Keynesians argue this can’t happen. They believe strong growth and too many people working leads to high inflation. But they were blown out of the water way back in the ’70s. And their view is hitting another pothole right now.

Supply-siders know that inflation is a monetary problem. Growth is caused by low tax-rate incentives. And the combination of flat tax rates and sound money could produce strong growth with no inflation. Think 1980s and 1990s.


But that’s not what we have now.

The dollar is falling relentlessly and gold is soaring. These market indicators are correctly predicting higher inflation as the Fed creates more excess money than anybody knows what to do with.

Fed head Ben Bernanke yesterday told us that low Q1 growth and high inflation will be “transitory.” How does he know this? Gold has gone up $40 since he started talking at his Wednesday press conference. It’s now at $1,536 an ounce. And the greenback keeps falling. Transitory? Actually, it looks like the whole QE2 pump-priming hasn’t stimulated economic growth, but has stimulated inflation.

And while the Bush tax cuts were extended last December, the sharp dollar decline and the resulting inflation have neutralized the positive effects of continued lower tax rates.

Once again I note the supply-side model is low tax rates and a stable dollar (backed by gold). But low tax rates and collapsing dollar is no good. Neither is overspending and over-borrowing. Nor is the new round of Obama-based tax-hike threats.

And the Treasury Department hasn’t lifted a finger to support the dollar. So the Bernanke Buck keeps tumbling. The White House won’t come to the table for a budget deal. And the economy is showing signs of stagflation.

Thank heavens for profits. Business productivity and profits in the private sector are the saving grace of this whole story. And let me dream that government will just leave businesses alone, and let them continue to support the economy and the stock market.

Because if stagflation is not transitory, businesses may have to tighten their belts once again.

See also:

Some facts Obama would prefer you not know about his birth and parents.

The Obama Lie That Drove the Birther Movement

By Jack Cashill
Newly released documents from Barack Obama Sr.'s immigration file, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, justify "birther" doubts about the nativity story on which Barack Obama based his presidential campaign.

The documents were posted Thursday in an article by Heather Smathers on the Arizona Independent web site. When I checked with Brian Wedemeyer, the Independent's managing editor, he confirmed, "They are legitimate documents."

A memo dated Aug. 31, 1961, from William Wood of the Immigration and Naturalization Services, does verify that Barack Obama, Sr. fathered a son, Barack Obama II, who was born in Honolulu on Aug, 4, 1961. For the record, most birthers of my acquaintance believe that Obama was born in the United States. That is not their issue.

Wood adds, however, that the child is "living with mother (she lives with her parents & subject resides at 1482 Alencastre St.)." He adds that Obama's citizen spouse plans "to go to Washington State University next semester."

This document thoroughly undermines the Obama nativity story, a story that has been told almost as often as Jesus's but with nowhere near the accuracy. Obama led with it in his 2004 convention speech and repeated it in the first sentence of his 2008 speech.

Friendly biographer David Remnick describes this story as Obama's "signature appeal: the use of the details of his own life as a reflection of a kind of multicultural ideal," and he underscores its essential role in Obama's ascendancy.

As Obama told the story in 2004, his father had grown up in Kenya "herding goats." His mother he traced to Kansas, as he always did. "My parents shared not only an improbable love," Obama continued, "they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation."

Obama refined his story for a critical speech in Selma, Alabama in March 2007, a speech that would define his presidential campaign.

"Something happened back here in Selma, Alabama," said Obama. This something "sent a shout across the ocean," which inspired the Barack Sr., still "herding goats" back in Kenya, to "set his sights a little higher."

This same something also "worried folks in the White House" to the point that the "the Kennedy's decided we're going to do an air lift."

Something about Selma apparently inspired Obama to manufacture facts more flagrantly than usual. Obama Sr. grew up speaking English and attending Christian schools. He was working as a clerk in Nairobi, not a goatherd, when he came to Hawaii in 1959. He came not on any formal airlift but as an independent student. The Republican Eisenhower, not the Democrat Kennedy, was the president when he came to the United States.

Although born in Kansas, Stanley Ann Dunham (Ann), Obama's mother, was not exactly Dorothy. She spent her formative years in the Seattle area where she earned the nickname "Anarchist Annie" under the tutelage of her hipster teachers. Selma had nothing to do with Obama's birth in any case. He was conceived four years before anyone outside of Alabama ever heard of the town.

The problems, of course, go deeper. According to divorce papers filed in 1964, Barack Sr. and Ann Dunham married in Wailuku, Maui, on February 2, 1961. One has to wonder, however, whether it was a marriage in anything but name or whether there was a marriage at all.

The immigration authorities certainly wondered. An April 1961 memo notes, "If his USC [United States Citizen] wife tries to petition for [Obama Sr.] make sure an investigation is conducted as to the bona-fide of the marriage."

In his memoir Dreams from My Father, Obama says, "In fact, how and when the marriage occurred remains a bit murky, a bill of particulars that I've never quite had the courage to explore."

No family or friend attended a wedding. In fact, no one in Obama Sr.'s clique seemed to know there was a relationship, let alone a wedding. Clique member Pake Zane could not recall Ann at all.

When current Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie and Zane visited their friend in Nairobi in 1968, Barack Sr. shocked them by never once inquiring about his presumed wife and 6-year-old son.

The facts get more problematic still. After the birth of baby Barry in August 1961, Ann left for Seattle as soon as the doctors cleared her to travel. Once there, she enrolled at the University of Washington, not Washington Sate. Barack Sr. stayed behind in Hawaii.

The apolitical Washington state historical blog, HistoryLink, now confirms Ann's presence in the fall of 1961, identifies her Capitol Hill apartment in Seattle, names the courses she took, and documents an extended stay by Ann and little Barry into the summer of 1962.

If that is not proof enough, the 1961-1962 Polk Directory confirms an "Obama Anna Mrs studt" at the Capitol Hill address.

Somehow, this information escaped Obama's official campaign biography, Dreams, and four book-length biographies I consulted when researching my book Deconstructing Obama. Remnick's 2010 biography, The Bridge, concedes Ann's escape to Seattle but fudges the dates.

Even Janny Scott, the New York Times reporter who wrote the new biography, A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother, plays with the timeline. Ann Dunham promptly became pregnant, Scott writes ina New York Times excerpt, "dropped out of school, married him and gave birth shortly before their union ended." No, based on these documents, the union, if there was one, ended before Obama was born.

By the time mom and son returned to Hawaii in the summer of 1962, Barack Sr. had long since left for Harvard. There was no Obama family, never was, no "abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation" save on the teleprompters at the 2004 convention.

Obama knew all of this when he gave his televised Big-Brotherly talk to America's coerced schoolchildren in September 2009. It did not stop him from dissembling.

"I get it," he told the kiddies. "I know what that's like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother." Does it get lower?

For the last two years or more, many in the birther community knew that Obama's "multicultural ideal" was based on a lie. Knowing that Obama was capable of lying about the first two years of his life, they had no reason to believe he was telling the truth about his birth, especially given the lengths he had gone to in order to protect his birth certificate.

For their part, the major media -- almost to a person -- were doing everything in their power to protect the lie. This was unprecedented on the sunny side of the Iron Curtain. The birthers had absolutely no reason to believe the media.

The media proved especially ignorant in their discussion of Obama's birth certificate. Last week, ABC's George Stephanopoulos set a new media low in his ambush of Rep. Michele Bachmann. In full partisan fury, he waved a copy of Obama's certification of live birth in her face as excitedly as if he had just discovered Al Capone's vault.

"Well I have the president's [birth] certificate right here," crowed the clueless Stephanopoulos, utterly unaware he had no such thing. Worse, what he did have had been floating around the Internet since 2008. "It's certified, it's got a certification number." Neither he nor his media colleagues seemed to know how foolish this spectacle appeared to the millions of Americans who knew better.

Given the historic performance of the president, and of the media, I think our birther friends are allowed a little grace time before they accept this new immaculately conceived certificate of live birth as Gospel. We would hate to have this too prove "fake but accurate."

Disaster in the South

Where's FEMA?

Most surprising, though, was the revelation that CNN, CNBC, and MSNBC are refusing to broadcast 15-second “Atlas” spots. What’s that about?

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Atlas Shrugged’ Producers Intend to Complete Trilogy; CNN & MSNBC Reject Their Ads

Lately, there have been duelling stories in the entertainment press about the future of ”Atlas Shrugged.” With disappointing box office returns, the producers have been asked if they will go ahead and complete the franchise and in one interview we’re being told there will be no trilogy and in another we’re being told that there will. To clear the air, I reached out via email and “Atlas” producers John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow were both good enough to respond with exclusive quotes that should help to calm fears of “Atlas” fans everywhere.

Most surprising, though, was the revelation that CNN, CNBC, and MSNBC are refusing to broadcast 15-second “Atlas” spots. What’s that about?

“I’m going to get a picture of Roger Ebert and Peter Travers and the rest of them so I can wake up in the morning and be reminded what we’re up against,” Aglialoro wrote in an email. “They’re revitalizing me with their outrageousness.” Aglialoro then went on to state that he had been “misunderstood” when he said that the critical drubbing the film took “influenced him to abandon the second and third films in the Atlas Shrugged franchise.” He confirmed that he has ”no intention to go on strike.”

That should come as very good news to the many, many people who obviously enjoyed the film and found it to be something special. Personally, I’ve never seen such polarized reviews before. The critics savaged it and yet everyone who sent a revew into us loved it. The most interesting thing I’ve noticed is that no one was on-the-fence about the film. No one said, “Yeah, it was okay.” People either passionately embraced Part 1 or passionately didn’t. You don’t see a lot of movies like that. So, for those of you who loved it…

“Make no mistake, we want to make Part 2 and Part 3 and we’re committed to finding a way to make it work,” Aglialoro wrote. “There’s a temptation to make the movies expecting to lose money, to say to heck with the critics and invest another $10 million and hope to make some of it back. But to do so would betray Ayn Rand’s principles. This has to be a profitable venture. The challenge is in finding a way to overcome the critics and the rest of the establishment, who are united against us. The most frustrating thing is knowing that there are people who are missing out on an opportunity to enjoy the experience of Atlas Shrugged on the big screen either because of what critics have said or because they just don’t know it’s in theaters because they haven’t heard about it.”

The producers also told me they are “moving ahead with the theatrical release because demand is still high in several markets – [we have the] highest per-theatre gross of movies currently playing in Nashville and Atlanta. We are also continuing with the word of mouth campaign because, as expected, the mainstream media have largely either ignored or attacked it.”

The most interesting development, however, is that in their effort to expand television advertising, MSNBC, CNN and CNBC “have all rejected a 15-second ad for ‘editorial’ reasons [with] no further explanation provided.”

“This unforeseen censorship effectively puts the brakes on our follow-up marketing efforts where we were trying to reach millions of people unaware of the movie being in theaters now,” Kaslow wrote. “We are continuing with the theatrical release because we have great word of mouth and awareness for the movie increases daily.”

You can find “Atlas Shrugged” theatres here and request your local theatre make it available here.

Could it be because CNBC and MSNBC are a part of GE and GE is a wholly owned subsidiary of Obama? CNN wouldn't do anything that upsets the radical left.

It's exactly what a dictator would do with unruly subjects. This is why he's un American

Perry says request for wildfire aid unanswered

FEMA says it's reviewing bid for disaster declaration.

What a family...

Harvard and State Department colluded to get rid of Obama's father

Thomas Lifson
Barack Hussein Obama Senior was forced to leave Harvard in 1964, prior to the completion of his doctoral thesis, according to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act. Jack Cashill comments today on what they tell us about the fairy tale narrative propounded by candidate Obama (II), a story that is demonstrably false, yet was uncritically accepted by the media and political establishments.

The entire cache of documents can be seen here, and they tell quite a story about Obama Senior's truncated academic career. Sally Jacobs of the Boston Globe, writes about the elder Obama's career at Harvard and his subsequent decline and fall. She has biography of the BHO Senior coming out in July, and that should cast further light on Obama's birth certificate father.

The documents released center in the expulsion of Obama Senior from the United States with the active collusion of immigration authorities and Harvard officials, who appear to have jointly concluded the Senior's behavior was so unacceptable as to merit termination of his visa and his residence in Cambridge. They struck me with particular force because I spent well over a decade in residence at the very same Harvard Center for International Affairs that found Obama Senior's behavior wanting. See, for example:

I entered Harvard a mere 5 years after Senior's departure in 1964, and cannot imagine how bad Senior's behavior must have been to engender the sort of issues raised by the authorities. Graduate students were very much on their own when it came to personal life. There would have had to be complaints, or failures to academically perform. There was absolutely no concept of in loco parentis when it came to graduate students. The International Office provided help in finding apartments and the like, but all the foreign students I knew (and I knew many, as I was studying Japanese and Chinese languages and histories) lived their personal lives in private. Now I acknowledge that standards no doubt changed in the turbulent 60s years that separated Obama Senior and me at Harvard. But for a graduate student's private social behavior to come to the attention of academic authorities there must have been some flagrant academic problems or actual complaints.

Note that BHO Senior did complete his oral examinations, which means that he was what was called an ABD -- all but dissertation. The fact that he never completed his thesis bespeaks a level of either discouragement or lack of academic rigor. It is far from unusual for people to fail to finish their dissertations, but normally they receive some sort of support or encouragement from their faculty advisors. The fact that Senior was forced to leave the United States with the active collusion of Harvard demonstrates that he was, in effect, written off by them as a hopeless case, despite the fact that he was originally expected form part of the leadership cadre that would propel newly-independent Kenya forward.

I cannot help but be reminded of the tale told by Jack Cashill in Deconstructing Obama, where BHO Junior found himself unable to complete the manuscript for Dreams from My Father, and turned over his notes and tapes to Bill Ayers for ghosting completion, a fact corroborated by the apolitical biography of Obama Junior published by Christopher Anderson. Like putative father, like son?

Government incompetence

Albany wa$teland

ALBANY -- Not that we're surprised!

Aides to Gov. Cuomo revealed yesterday that they found massive waste in state government -- including 1 million square feet of unused state office space in New York City, nearly 2,000 vendors providing often duplicated products and services, and 425 toll-free phone numbers that haven't been used in months.

They discovered that state agencies rented costly new office space as recently as December -- even as the equivalent of a skyscraper's worth of state-owned and state-rented office space stood vacant -- costing taxpayers more than $30 million a year.

A three-pronged investigation of office rentals, procurement practices, and Internet technology providers turned up dozens of other shocking examples -- from the small to the mega -- of waste, duplication and seemingly inexplicable overpayments.

Through changes being prepared to take effect over the next few months, Cuomo expects to save the state about $50 million. Over several years, that figure is expected grow to more than $1 billion.

Cuomo's aides found the state pays IBM $224 an hour for data-entry personnel working on one project while the state paid another vendor, Keane, $106.32 an hour for what was described as identical services.

They found a state agency paying $3.14 per dozen for medium-tip, blue-ink ballpoint pens, while another state agency paid $8.93 for the exact same product.

"There is no end to the horror stories," said Howard Glaser, Cuomo's director of state operation, who is directing the efficiency probes.

"We buy $3 billion worth of stuff every year and we are the size of a Walmart," Glaser said. "But we buy like we're 100 different 7-Elevens, and that results in wasting a lot of taxpayer money."

The findings of squandered money will be given to Cuomo's newly created Spending and Government Efficiency Commission (SAGE), which is charged with overhauling and streamlining state agencies for the first time since Gov. Al Smith did it in 1928.

Glaser said the state would soon name a "chief procurement officer" responsible for overseeing and coordinating all purchases.

Meanwhile, in another effort to cut costs, Cuomo has unleashed what aides call "SWAT teams" that are seeking to renegotiate existing contracts with some of the state's largest vendors.

The effort is expected to result in $600 million in savings over the next five years.

Government incompetence

Cop gets 'bungle' bundle

An NYPD cop who lost his $52,365 "disability" pension when he was caught doing construction work got it back -- thanks to an unbelievable bureaucratic screw-up.

James Seiferheld, who lives in the tony Westchester town of Armonk, had 12 years on the force when he retired seven years ago with a three-quarters-pay, tax-free pension for "line of duty" injuries he claimed he suffered falling on ice and snow.

His alleged scam was exposed after cops got a tip about his new career and began an investigation. But in a shocking twist, the NYPD refused to take him back for new "medical" reasons -- he was suspected of using cocaine.

The state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, yesterday said it "reluctantly" had to rule that the 47-year-old former Harbor Unit officer is entitled to the money, despite its finding that "the case as a whole is very troubling."

The court's vote was 6-1.

Seiferheld can thank both the trustees of the police pension fund -- and city officials who thought they could strip him of his pension without the trustees' approval.

The trustees first approved Seiferheld's pension in May 2004, accepting his claim that "he suffered from constant pain in his right shoulder and neck, loss of range of motion in his neck and shoulder and pain radiating into his arm, which prevented him from performing police duty," according to court papers.

A month later, however, an NYPD official saw Seiferheld "performing construction work on a daily basis" and ratted him out.

An investigation was conducted and in December 2004 the trustees agreed to re-examine Seiferheld's pension claim.

They referred the case to the NYPD's Medical Board, which concluded in May 2005 that his condition "has improved dramatically."

The trustees referred the case to the Medical Board twice more.

In September 2006, the Medical Board noted that Seiferheld "seems to have made a remarkable recovery from his injury."

Acting on this, the pension trustees voted in April 2007 to return him to active duty.

But on July 6, 2007, he was "medically disqualified" when he was found to have cocaine residue in his hair.

That led the city's Law Department to strip him of his pension on July 12, 2007.

Seiferheld, married with two kids, lost in a lower court, then went to the state Appellate Division, where he won, sparking an appeal by the city to the state's highest court.

The judges rejected the city's appeal, saying the Law Department did not have the authority to unilaterally take his pension.

The ruling said only the trustees could do that.

Not only will he get his yearly pension, he's also seeking the benefits he was denied for the past four years.

"It is clear that given that the termination of his pension was unlawful and improper, he is entitled to the back monies," said his lawyer, Robert Ungaro.

Mayoral spokesman Marc La Vorgna said: "The case shows the complex web of irrational laws that can often protect people who seek to fraudulently gain taxpayer-funded disability pensions."

Who cares it's only taxpayer money, right?