http://www.wdsu.com/news/23997498/detail.htmlThe federal government is shutting down the dredging that was being done to create protective sand berms in the Gulf of Mexico. [It seems] the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department has concerns about where the dredging is being done.Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser...has sent a letter to President Barack Obama, pleading for the work to continue."Once again, our government resource agencies, which are intended to protect us, are now leaving us vulnerable to the destruction of our coastline and marshes by the impending oil," Nungesser wrote to Obama. "Furthermore, with the threat of hurricanes or tropical storms, we are being put at an increased risk for devastation to our area from the intrusion of oil."* HECK OF A JOB, BROW... er... BARAK!
http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local-beat/Hell-on-Wheels-Fainting-Fracas-as-300-Newark-Bound-Passengers-Diverted-96964514.htmlHundreds of Newark-bound passengers sat for four hours on a tarmac in a stifling cabin after bad weather and union regulations grounded their flight from London in Connecticut. * "UNION REGULATIONS," HUH? NOW WHO COULD HAVE EVVVER ANTICIPATED THAT!?!? (*SMIRK*)To make matters worse, passengers said, the plane's generators shut down for the second time, leaving them with no air conditioning and sweltering temperatures that reached 100 degrees.* FOLKS... SERIOUSLY... THIS COULD HAVE BEEN YOU OR ME. I THOUGHT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAD "FIXED" THINGS SO THAT THIS COULDN'T HAPPEN... (*SMIRK*)* FOLKS... SERIOUSLY... DO YOU SEE A PATTERN HERE? WHETHER IT'S THE OIL SPILL OR AIR TRANSPORTATION, THE GOVERNMENT SEEMS TOTALLY INCOMPETENT. AND YET OBAMA AND THE DEMOCRATS WANT TO GROW GOVERNMENT; OBAMA AND THE DEMOCRATS WANT TO EXTEND GOVERNMENT UNIONIZATION.* FOLKS... THIS ISN'T BITCHING AND MOANING FOR BITCHING AND MOANING'S SAKE. I'M SIMPLY SAYING, DAY IN AND DAY OUT, WEEK IN AND WEEK OUT, MONTH IN AND MONTH OUT YOU'RE READING THESE NEWSBITES. IF YOU WON'T CONNECT THE DOTS...(*SIGH*)
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704123604575323121011316674.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStoriesSen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), one of the chief architects of the financial-regulation overhaul nearing completion in Congress, is pushing for a change that would benefit a bank in her home state of Arkansas.The bank, Arvest Bank Group Inc., of Bentonville, Ark., is predominantly owned by the Walton family, of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. fame, perhaps the most influential family in the state and one of the richest in the U.S.* THOSE DEMS... ALWAYS LOOKING OUT FOR THE LITTLE GUY! (*SNICKER*)Under Ms. Lincoln's proposed change, Arvest would be excused from a provision that could require banks to raise more capital... Other Senate Democrats had intended only to exempt banks with less than $10 billion in capital from the provision. Ms. Lincoln wants to raise that to $15 billion, a threshold that would exempt Arvest. ([Arvest] is the only bank in Arkansas with between $10 billion and $15 billion of assets...)Arvest officials and the Walton family declined to comment.Arvest's chairman, chief executive and president is Jim Walton, one of the four children of the late Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. From 1992 through the first quarter of 2010, Wal-Mart employees and the company's political-action committee have been among Ms. Lincoln's most generous supporters, giving her $85,700, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign finance. The Waltons have owned Arvest for decades.
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/fannie_freddie_still_bleeding_your_Gi7afdhuTskNlC5tACdvfLContrary to what the Obama administration would have you believe, the biggest recipients of taxpayer funds during the financial crisis have not been Wall Street banks - but the toxic twins, mortgage behemoths Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.And the House and Senate are now finalizing legislation to "reform" the financial sector - yet the bill will leave the biggest bailout recipients untouched. In fact, Fannie and Freddie are guaranteed to continue siphoning money from American taxpayers.That's right: The Democratic majority in Congress has made no attempt to reform these two entities, which have already cost us $145 billion. Moreover, Congress and the administration have been hiding the true cost of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from the American public - while also using these off-the-books institutions to funnel money into special loan-modification programs that are also unaccounted for in the federal budget.In 2008, during the height of the financial crisis, the government took ownership of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, injecting cash to keep them afloat. Since the federal government now owns, manages and supplies the capital for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concluded last year that their cost to the American people should be accounted for in the federal budget. Unfortunately, President Obama's Office of Management and Budget ruled differently, preferring not to account for the risk these entities pose.The federal government's explicit commitment to Fannie and Freddie now surpasses $2 trillion. On top of that are $8.1 trillion in Fannie and Freddie securities now outstanding - obligations that both Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner have stated their unwavering commitment to meeting, should Fannie and Freddie need "assistance."Foreign banks and governments hold some $1.3 trillion of those securities, so US taxpayers are on the hook for bailing out foreign governments should Fannie and Freddie default. We may end up sending China alone a check for $454 billion.With the taxpayers as the $10 trillion backstop for these government-controlled misfits, there should be a significant drive in Congress to reform them and reduce the risk to the public. Yet the Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate have blocked every such effort - even the most basic attempts at reform, such as legislation...offered to provide for an accurate accounting of Fannie and Freddie.
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/steiner_missteps_again_0HyUyeig095uVz0uPJtEfLThe [NYS] Board of Regents, which oversees the [State Department of Education] voted yesterday to eliminate Social Studies assessments for students in fifth and eighth grades - ostensibly for budgetary reasons.It beggars belief to think that the department couldn't have kept the test - if it really wanted to: Checking to make sure that little Johnny and Suzie know their presidents and state capitals costs all of $800,000 a year.Do Commissioner David Steiner & Co. really have nothing else they can cut?(And recall that this is the same department that asked to be compensated for new furniture on its first application for federal Race to the Top cash.The [Board of Regents] could have saved the Social Studies test. Why didn't it want to?We have our suspicions.To wit: The weaker the testing system, the less of a threat it poses to the entrenched interests of the educational establishment - who rightly cower in fear of being judged based on actual student performance.Thus, it doesn't inspire confidence that State Education Department consulted the state teachers union as a "stakeholder" before rendering its decision.Funny how students are never stakeholders when these calls get made.It's their education that's imperiled when tests get watered down.But, judging by its actions, the state education bureaucracy just doesn't care.
http://www.creators.com/conservative/michelle-malkin/ken-salazar-gets-a-kick-in-the-you-know-what.htmlIn a scathing ruling issued Tuesday afternoon...[federal Judge Martin] Feldman overturned the administration's radical six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling - and he singled out Salazar's central role in jury-rigging a federal panel's scientific report to bolster flagrantly politicized conclusions. In a sane world, Salazar's head would roll. In Obama's world, he gets immunity.Salazar had - unilaterally and without warning - inserted a blanket drilling ban recommendation into their report. Salazar lied.Salazar committed fraud. Salazar sullied the reputations of the experts involved [in writing the scientific report] and abused his authority.The scientists whose views were misrepresented reportedly received an apology from the evidence-doctoring Salazar, but where are the consequences? Where is the accountability? Feldman soberly illuminated the way the Department of Interior does business in concluding that Salazar's "invalid agency decision to suspend drilling of wells in depths of over 500 feet simply cannot justify the immeasurable effect on the plaintiffs, the local economy, the Gulf region and the critical present-day aspect of the availability of domestic energy in this country." Salazar, with his boss's blessing, imposed the blanket moratorium on Hornbeck and 33 permitted rigs without a shred of threat/safety analysis. (Of course, Hope and Change have always been exercised with Arbitrary and Capricious power.)The White House immediately announced plans to appeal the ruling.
* TWO-PARTER... (Part 1 of 2)http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20100623bc.htmlSuccess breeds confidence, and rapid success spawns arrogance. That, in a nutshell, is the China problem facing Asian states and the West.But no country faces a bigger dilemma on China than the United States because the present American policy simply isn't advancing its objectives.Rising economic and military power is emboldening Beijing to pursue a more muscular foreign policy, as exemplified by several developments - from China's inclusion of the South China Sea in its "core" national interests - an action that makes its claims to the disputed islands non-negotiable - to its vile protests against the Indian prime minister visiting a state of the Indian Union, Arunachal Pradesh, on which Beijing has resurrected its long-dormant claim. * YEAH... THOUGH YOU'RE NOT GOING TO READ MUCH ABOUT IT IN THE AMERICAN MEDIA, CHINA HAS BEEN FLEXING ITS MUSCLES AND IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD THE U.S. UNDER OBAMA (AND SECRETARY OF STATE CLINTON) IS LOOKING WEAKER AND WEAKER. The shift in Beijing's South China Sea position has resulted in its conveying to the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian claimants the message that any discussions between and among them other over their claims would amount to interference in China's internal affairs. But no less significant is that China's expanding naval role and maritime claims are beginning to collide with U.S. interests, including the traditional emphasis on freedom of navigation.Having earlier preached the gospel of its "peaceful rise," China is now beginning to take the gloves off, convinced that it has acquired the necessary muscle. The biggest loser from the global financial crisis, in Beijing's view, is Uncle Sam. That the U.S. remains dependent on Beijing to buy billions of dollars' worth of Treasury bonds every week to finance a yawning budget deficit is a sign of shifting global financial power balance - an advantage China is sure to politically milk in the years ahead.The current spotlight may be on European financial woes. But the bigger picture for Beijing is that America's chronic deficits and indebtedness epitomize its relative decline. * To be continued...
* CONTINUING... (Part 2 of 2)America's economic and military travails are crimping its foreign-policy options vis-a-vis China. Although the Chinese economy is still more dependent for its growth on U.S. economy than vice versa, Washington seems more reluctant than ever to exercise its leverage to make Beijing correct policies that threaten to distort trade, foster huge trade imbalances and spark greater competition for scarce raw materials. By keeping its currency ridiculously undervalued and flooding the world markets with artificially cheap goods, China runs a predatory trade policy that undercuts manufacturing in the developing world more than in the West. However, by threatening to destabilize the global economy, China threatens Western interests. Furthermore, its efforts to lock up supplies of key resources means it will continue to lend support to renegade regimes. The U.N. Security Council's latest Iranian-sanctions resolution is a "win-win" outcome for China because it exempts the key sector that matters to both Beijing and Tehran - energy - and opens the path to greater Chinese aid to, and clout in, Iran.* IN OTHER WORDS, WHILE OBAMA AND CLINTON CARP ABOUT THEIR FOREIGN POLICY "SUCCESSES" THE TRUTH IS THAT WE'RE BEING OUTPLAYED BY THE CHINESE (AND THE RUSSIANS...) AT EVERY TURN THAT MATTERS.The U.S. played a critical role in China's economic rise by not sustaining post-Tiananmen Square sanctions. But the central assumption guiding U.S. policy on China has gone awry — that assisting China's economic rise would help create both a compatible and cooperative partner and political openness within.The challenge the U.S. faces today is to reframe its policy before it becomes too late to resist China's push for a redistributive global order whose institutions and rules respect the centrality of an authoritarian great power.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/23/AR2010062302193.html* AN OP-ED BY HENRY KISSINGER REGARDING PRESIDENT OBAMA'S AFGHANISTAN POLICYThe central premise is that, at some early point, the United States will be able to turn over security responsibilities to an Afghan government and national army whose writ is running across the entire country. This turnover is to begin next summer.Neither the premise nor the deadline is realistic.Afghanistan has never been pacified by foreign forces. At the same time, the difficulty of its territory combined with the fierce sense of autonomy of its population have historically thwarted efforts to achieve a transparent central government.The argument that a deadline is necessary to oblige President Hamid Karzai to create a modern central government challenges experience. What weakens transparent central governance is not so much Karzai's intentions, ambiguous as they may be, but the structure of his society, run for centuries on the basis of personal relationships. Demands by an ally publicly weighing imminent withdrawal to overthrow established patterns in a matter of months may prove beyond any leader's capacities. Afghanistan is a nation, not a state in the conventional sense. The attainable outcome is likely to be a confederation of semi-autonomous, feudal regions configured largely on the basis of ethnicity, dealing with each other by tacit or explicit understandings. American counterinsurgency strategy - no matter how creatively applied - cannot alter this reality.All this leaves only a narrow margin for the American effort. We are needed to bring about the space in which non-jihadist authorities can be established. But if we go beyond this into designing these political authorities, we commit ourselves to a process so prolonged and obtrusive as to risk turning even non-Taliban Afghans against us. America needs a strategy, not an alibi.Afghan strategy needs to be modified... The military effort should be conducted substantially on a provincial basis rather than in pursuit of a Western-style central government. * MY OPINION - WE SHOULD BE OUT OF THE NATION BUILDING BUSINESS.
http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/801-economy/104959-obama-economic-team-pushes-go-to-focus-on-growth-over-deficitsDeficit reduction must take a backseat to policies driving economic growth, according to President Barack Obama’s economic team.That’s the message Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and National Economic Council Chairman Larry Summers want countries attending the G-20 summit to hear. * YOU FOLKS HAVE GOT THE MESSAGE - RIGHT? SPEND! SPEND! SPEND! DEFICITS AND DEBT GROWING BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS. IS THIS WHAT YOU VOTED FOR IN 2006? IS THIS WHAT YOU VOTED FOR IN 2008?Obama last week urged European leaders not to cut off spending, which appeared to provoke a backlash across the Atlantic.German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday announced a budget savings program, and said countries must avoid generating “inflated growth” with deficit spending. The U.K. and Japan on Tuesday announced austerity packages, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is hosting the summit, on Tuesday called on G-20 members to cut their deficits in half. * BUT NOT OBAMA! NOT PELOSI... NOT REID... NOT THE DEMOCRATS! IS THIS WHY YOU PUT THESE PEOPLE IN POWER...??? Summers and Geithner said the G-20 should also focus on establishing a global framework for financial regulation, and to raise living standards for developing countries around the world. * AS AMERICAN LIVING STANDARDS FALL! YES, FOLKS... THAT'S WHAT CAP & TRADE IS ALL ABOUT! OBAMA AND THE DEMS WANT US TO PAY MORE FOR ENERGY, PAY MORE IN TAXES, PAY MORE TO FINANCE INTEREST ON THE EVER-GROWING NATIONAL DEBT.* FOLKS... THIS IS THE "CHANGE" OBAMA WAS TALKING ABOUT! WISE UP!
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/house-races/104885-arizona-dems-urge-obama-not-to-sue-over-border-lawRep. Harry Mitchell (D-Ariz.) on Monday sent a sharply worded letter to President Barack Obama urging him not to sue [his state]:“I believe your administration’s time, efforts and resources would be much better spent securing the border and fixing our broken immigration system,” the two-term congressman wrote in the letter. “Arizonans are tired of the grandstanding, and tired of waiting for help from Washington. … [A] lawsuit won’t solve the problem. It won’t secure the border, and it won’t fix our broken immigration system.”* HEY... DEMOCRATS GET EQUAL TIME HERE ON "USUALLY RIGHT" WHEN THEY'RE RIGHT! (*WINK*)This week Mitchell was joined by two other...[Arizona]...Democrats in expressing public opposition to the administration’s legal strategy. Reps. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) are also urging the administration to reconsider its suit:“Congresswoman Giffords wants more federal agents on the Arizona border, not federal lawyers in court arguing with state lawyers about a law that will do nothing to increase public safety in the communities she represents,” C.J. Karamargin, a spokesman for the congresswoman, told The Hill.Kirkpatrick likewise said the administration should focus on border security:“I am calling on the president and the attorney general to abandon preparations for a lawsuit against Arizona, and to recommit to finding a national solution to fixing this national problem,” the freshman lawmaker said in a statement released Monday. “The administration should focus on working with Arizona to put together a long-term strategy to secure our borders and reform our immigration policy. … The time for talk is over, and the time for action is here.”
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