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Friday, November 27, 2009

Obama Pushes Lobbyists Off Federal Advisory Boards

In a little-noticed blog post published on the White House website in September, President Obama's special counsel for ethics and government reform Norm Eisen announced that the administration no longer wanted federally-registered lobbyists appointed to agency advisory boards and commissions.

These appointees to boards and commissions, which are made by agencies and not the President, advise the federal government on a variety of policy areas. Keeping these advisory boards free of individuals who currently are registered federal lobbyists represents a dramatic change in the way business is done in Washington.

As has been reported, the President has made a commitment to close the revolving door that has in the past allowed lobbyists and others to move to and from full-time federal government service. In furtherance of this commitment, the President issued Executive Order 13490, which bars anyone appointed by the President who has been a federally-registered lobbyist within the past two years from working on particular matters or in the specific areas in which they lobbied or from serving in agencies they had lobbied. The aspiration we are announcing today builds on this commitment. While the letter of the President's Executive Order on Ethics does not apply to federally-registered lobbyists appointed by agency or department heads, the spirit does and we have conveyed that to the agencies who are responsible for these appointments.

On Friday, the Washington Post reported that the move "may turn out to be the most far-reaching lobbying rule change so far from President Obama," resulting in "hundreds, if not thousands, of lobbyists" being ejected from federal advisory panels.

Not surprisingly, lobby groups, corporations, and other K Street influencers are up in arms.

Eric Cantor Hosts Another Job Fair That Promotes Jobs Fueled By The Stimulus

On Monday, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) hosted a job fair in his district at Germanna Community College. Like his last job fair in August, Cantor used it as an opportunity to gain positive local press and launch attacks against President Obama.

At the fair, Cantor told reporters that the stimulus has been an “utter failure.” But as the Washington Post has noted, nearly half of the “30 organizations participating” in Cantor’s event “were recipients of the stimulus.”

ThinkProgress attended the event, which attracted more than 600 people. Victor Zapanta produced a video report on Cantor’s stimulus-fueled job fair. Watch it

German military chief resigns over Afghan air strike

Source: Reuters

BERLIN, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Germany's armed forces chief Wolfgang Schneiderhan has resigned, Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said, after accusations the military withheld information about an air strike in Afghanistan.

The Sept. 4 strike was the most deadly operation involving German troops since World War Two, killing 69 Taliban fighters and 30 civilians, according to the Afghan government.

Germany's Bild newspaper reported on Thursday, ahead of a parliamentary debate on extending Germany's 4,500-strong mission in Afghanistan, that videos and a secret military report had clearly pointed to civilian casualties at the time the government and military was denying them.


Couple slips though security to crash state dinner

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

White House crashers named in 16 civil suits

Source: CNN
Washington (CNN) -- The Virginia couple accused of crashing President Obama's first White House state dinner on Tuesday are named in at least 16 different civil suits in Fauquier County, sometimes as plaintiffs, sometimes as defendants.

A trawl through court records on Thursday revealed a more complete picture of Tareq and Michaele Salahi, who have left an extensive paper trail in federal bankruptcy and state court filings.

Stocks Tumble Overseas Amid Fears over Dubai Investment Firm and Weak U.S. Dollar

Thanksgiving No Holiday for World Markets
Source: CBS / AP
(AP) World stock markets tumbled Thursday as investors fretted over the debt problems at Dubai World, a government investment company, and the continuing slide in the dollar, which earlier fell to a 14-year low against the yen.
European markets followed Asia lower with the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closing down 170.68 points, or 3.2 percent, at 5,194.13, having been out of action earlier for over three hours because of technical problems. Germany's DAX fell 188.85 points, or 3.2 percent, to 5,614.17 while the CAC-40 in France was 129.93 points, or 3.4 percent, lower at 3,679.23.
Across all markets, there is a growing awareness that investors may use the upcoming year-end to lock-in whatever profits have been made over the last 12 months.

Gold has been one of the biggest high-flyers over the last few months, having gained over 10 percent in November alone. It continued to rise Thursday as investors bought it up as a safe haven. It hit a new record high earlier of $1,196.8 an ounce, before falling back modestly. By late afternoon London time, gold was down 0.4 percent at $1,182.50 an ounce.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

More Palin Lies: The Trooper in 'Troopergate' Breaks His Silence

Public records from Alaska--some of which have been revealed for the first time--chronicle a half-decade long obsession with Wooten by Palin, her father and, later, by Palin's husband Todd.
"They're like poisonous snakes in the grass who spew nothing but venom," Wooten said. "They just lay in wait and they attack you until you're dead."

The Alaska State Trooper at the center of Sarah Palin's so-called "Troopergate Scandal"--which impeded her run for the vice-presidency and stained her record as Alaska governor--has broken his more than year-long silence since his embattled divorce with Palin's sister, Molly, became a cause celebre during last year's presidential campaign.

After reading passages from Palin's memoirs Going Rogue that deal with his marriage and subsequent divorce, a "fed up" Mike Wooten, 37, who still serves as an Alaska State Trooper in Anchorage, called the book "a pack of lies."

According to Wooten, Palin and her father, Chuck Heath Sr., have "interfered with my life--and my children's lives--for at least the last five years. And it is still going on. I'm done with it."

Characterizing his adversaries as "snakes," Wooten said he has kept quiet long enough. "From this point on I'm speaking my mind," he declared. "I'm speaking the truth. Let the chips fall where they may." He acknowledged that he is considering taking legal action against Palin on multiple fronts.

Although Palin would try to claim otherwise during the presidential campaign, an independent investigation ordered by the bipartisan Alaska Legislative Council (composed of ten Republicans and four Democrats) and conducted by former Republican prosecutor Steve Branchflower, resulted in the finding "that Governor Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act."

The report issued by Branchflower documented more than thirty occasions in which then Governor Palin, her husband Todd or members of her staff tried to influence Alaska's highly regarded Commissioner of Public Safety, Walt Monegan, to fire Wooten. When Monegan refused, Palin fired him instead.

In addition to the finding that Palin "abused" her office, the Alaska Senate cited Todd Palin and nine other state employees for "contempt" for ignoring legislative subpoenas to testify in the Troopergate investigation.

Sarah Palin Shows More Stupidity w/ Bill O'Reilly

Shirin Ebadi: Nobel Laureate's Medal Confiscated By Iran, Norway Claims

Shocking first in the history of the 108-year-old prize
TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian authorities have confiscated Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi's medal, her lawyer and Norway's government said Thursday, in a sign of the increasingly drastic steps Tehran is taking against any dissent.

In Norway, where the peace prize is awarded, the government said the confiscation was a shocking first in the history of the 108-year-old prize.

Ebadi, a human rights lawyer, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts in promoting democracy. She has long faced harassment from Iranian authorities for her activities – including a raid on her office last year in which files were confiscated.

The seizure of her prize is an expression of the Iranian government's harsh approach to anyone it considers an opponent – particularly since the massive street protests triggered by hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed June 12 re-election.

Norwegian authorities were told that Ebadi's peace prize medal was seized "within the last week or so" from a safe-deposit box in Iran along with personal effects including the diploma awarded with the medal, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry said. Spokeswoman Ragnhild Imerslund said Norwegian authorities have been "in touch" with Ebadi since the incident.

Ebadi has criticized the Iranian government's crackdown on demonstrations by those claiming the June vote was stolen from a pro-reform candidate through massive fraud.

Ebadi was out of the country at the time of the vote and has not returned since, saying she is "in an effective state of exile." In the days after the vote, she urged the international community to reject the outcome and called for a new election monitored by the United Nations.

During the past months, hundreds of pro-reform activists have been arrested, and a mass trial has sentenced dozens to prison terms.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Iraq inquiry: Tony Blair told ‘days before invasion’ WMD had been dismantled

Source: UK telegraph
Tony Blair received intelligence that Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction had been “dismantled” 10 days before Britain invaded Iraq, the inquiry into the 2003 war has been told.

The Foreign Office did not believe Iraq had nuclear missiles, but Mr Blair told parliament that Saddam was a threat to security in the Middle East because he still had chemical and biological weapons which could be launched at 45 minutes’ notice.

However, Sir William Ehrman, director of international security at the Foreign Office from 2000 to 2002, told the inquiry: “We were getting in the very final days before military action some (intelligence) on chemical and biological weapons that they were dismantled and (Saddam) might not have the munitions to deliver it.

“On March 10 we got a report saying that the chemical weapons might have remained disassembled and that Saddam hadn’t yet ordered their re-assembly and he might lack warheads capable of effective dispersal of agents.”
Sir William was asked by Sir Lawrence Freedman, one of the Iraq Inquiry’s five panel members, why the last-minute intelligence did not lead to an urgent re-assessment of the decision to go to war.
Sir William replied: “There was contradictory intelligence, so I don’t think it invalidated the point about what weapons he had. It was more about their use. Even if they were disassembled the (chemical or biological) agents still existed.”

The inquiry also heard that ministers were warned there were “huge” gaps in the UK's intelligence about Iraq's WMD programmes.

On whose watch was 9/11 fool, or liar, whatever you want to call yourself?

What a piece of work she is!!!!!!!!
For those with memories as spotty as Perino's, President Bush took office on January 20, 2001. On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people were killed in the U.S. in terrorist attacks coordinated by al-Qaeda. Five people were killed later that year in the anthrax attacks.
Dana Perino, recently nominated by President Obama to the Broadcasting Board of Governors, made an odd claim Tuesday night.

On Fox News, the former press secretary suggested President Obama was playing politics by refusing to describe the massacre at Fort Hood as a terrorist attack. "We should call it what it is," she said.

"We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush's term," she told Sean Hannity. "I hope they're not looking at this politically. I do think that we owe it to the American people to call it what it is." LinkHere

Lest you forget Perino, don't try to change history!!!!!!!

Palin Suggests Reforming Canada’s Universal Health Care System: ‘Let The Private Sector Take Over’

Just when you think she, or her followers can’t get any more stupid, they do.
The scariest part of this is that they are American voters.
Canadian comedian Mary Walsh (playing the character of Marg Delahunty) attended a Sarah Palin book signing in the United States last week and asked the “thrilla from Wasilla, the Alaskan Aphrodite” if she had “any words of encouragement for the Canadian conservatives who have worked so hard to try to diminish that kind of socialized medicine we have up there.”

“Keep the faith and that common-sense conservatism,” Palin said to Walsh, who was being pushed out of the store by bodyguards. “It needs to be plugged into Canadian policies too. Keep the faith!” Palin cried out.

After the event, Walsh waited in the loading dock of the Borders bookstore “close to where Palin’s bus was parked.” Palin came over and energetically encouraged Walsh to “keep the faith” again and suggested that Canada needs to reform its health care system to “let the private sector take over”:

WALSH: Ms. Palin, I tried to ask you a question inside, but I didn’t hear your answer! The Canadians! Ms. Palin!

PALIN: Well, my answer was too keep the faith. My answer was to keep the faith. Cause that common sense conservatism can be plugged-in there in Canada too. In fact Canada needs to reform its health care system and let the private sector take over some of what the government has absorbed. So thank you, keep the faith. LinkHere

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sarah Palin: Fooling None Of The People All Of The Time

Last fall it seemed as if Sarah Palin would light a fuse and cause a social explosion. Behind her beauty-pageant smile lurked the shadow, the dark side of human nature. Her tactic of appealing to the worst impulses of the electorate had a long history in the Republican Party. Indeed, Palin inherited the selfish, mean-spirited values of another politician with a gleaming smile, Ronald Reagan.

When it first dawned in American politics, the shadow was shocking. Values were turned upside down. The AIDS crisis? Ignore it. They deserve what they got. The deficit? Doesn't matter as long as the rich get what they want. Huge unemployment and falling incomes among the working class? Feed them crank social issues so they have someone to hate. Palin breathes this noxious atmosphere like the clear air of Alaska and thrives on it.

Now, however, Palin brings a smile. When she quit her job as governor, it was obvious that someone had whispered in her ear, "You're fading. Soon you'll be a nobody. Grab the money while you can." And so she did, earning a hefty advance, much of which, fittingly, goes to paying off lawsuits related to her ethical violations while in office. The shadow that seemed so dangerous a year ago has been defanged, reduced to spiteful backbiting against the McCain campaign, the very people who gave Palin her spot in the limelight to begin with.

I hope the left will take a deep breath and stop treating Palin like a diabolical force. The American character has always had a large dose of orneriness in it, and the more ornery you were, the farther west you moved. Alaska has a reputation for being an icebox for malcontents. Palin came straight from the source, and countless Americans root for her. In hard times, being the bellyacher-in-chief is a valid role. Hence the rise of Glenn Beck.

But nobody is being fooled. A recent Gallup poll showed that 67% of responders don't want Palin to run for president. Fear of Palin is ill-advised on two counts. First, fear is what the shadow wants. Without it, the shadow has no power. Second, the left needs to learn how to win graciously. The current upheaval in American society, which has been an enormous threat on many fronts, called forth a president and a constituency that knows how to handle crisis. The voices of sanity are prevailing. The solutions that have emerged on all fronts -- economic, social, and international -- represent the best in the American character.

But you can't expect everyone to join the party. As long as we know that Palin is fooling nobody all of the time, the darker side can be tolerated. The shadow is always with us. Today it's on a book tour.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Priceless photos of JFK, Bush found under Fort Worth bridge

Posted on November 23, 2009 at 10:54 AM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- A treasure trove of priceless photographs were recently found dumped under a bridge in South Fort Worth.

Among the found photographs were images of President John F. Kennedy's motorcade just moments before his assassination, a young President George H. W. Bush and Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize.

The photographs were found underneath Interstate 20 and Oak Grove in South Fort Worth by the Code Compliance iIllegal dumping team. The location is a well-known dumping ground monitored by the department.

Whoever tossed the pictures away apparently had no idea they were throwing away history.


Why Craig Had To Go: On Terror, Rahm Prefers The Bush Playbook

Craig Was Delivering On Campaign Promises
Nearly 100 days after Barack Obama entered office, his top White House lawyer, Greg Craig, braced the President's senior advisers for a potentially explosive development. The Administration was preparing to release photographs of suspected terrorists being abused in U.S. custody. On April 16, Craig asked chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to focus on the issue. Emanuel pleaded for more time to bury the release behind other news.

GOP Considers 'Purity' Resolution For Candidates

The New York Times:
The battle among Republicans over what the party should stand for -- and how much it should accommodate dissenting views on important issues -- is probably going to move from the states to the Republican National Committee when it holds its winter meeting this January in Honolulu.
Republican leaders are circulating a resolution listing 10 positions Republican candidates should support to demonstrate that they "espouse conservative principles and public policies" that are in opposition to "Obama's socialist agenda."

Says it all!!!!! these are the uneducated that are voting for the Leader of the Free World, God help us all, go hide yourselves puleese

Specifics Eluded Them
SARAH PALIN BOOK SIGNING - Interviews with Supporters
Tea Party Patriots Attack Family Who Lost Daughter And Grandchild
Midge Hough and the Chicago Tea Party Patriots

A local Tea Party organizer falsely claimed that the couple had made up the story and tried to justify the town hall behavior, according to the Southtown Star.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Spot On!!!!

If It Were Me, I'd Be Embarrassed
It's nice to see that even after the election, conservatives are still playing the "liberal gotcha media" card every time they expose themselves as being shamefully ignorant regarding the issues they care about most.

Last Wednesday, a media firestorm erupted after a seventeen-year-old girl named Jackie was interviewed by MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell while standing in line during Sarah Palin's Michigan book signing. Jackie, wearing a shirt that read, "The US government handed out $700 billion in Wall Street bailouts and all I got was this lousy t-shirt," was caught off-guard when O'Donnell informed her that Sarah Palin was on record as supporting the bailout.

It didn't take long for Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck to feature this clip on their respective shows and praise Jackie while condemning O'Donnell for her pesky questions backed up by fact-based research. Then, Jackie was given a platform to summarize her side of the story by the blog, Red White & Conservative.
Which brings me to my final point: Jackie is seventeen-years-old, she's not seven.

In her piece for Red White & Conservative, she feels the need to drive home the fact that she's only seventeen four separate times, as if that were some sort of defense.

Now, I understand that much of the electorate is made up of low information voters who don't closely follow politics. That's fine -- it's not ideal, but it's perfectly understandable.

But according to her school profile, Jackie is very politically involved. She is an intern with the Michigan Republican Party and is clearly excited and passionate about what her political "role model," Former-Governor Palin, represents. And yet, when she cannot correctly identify one of Palin's most basic political positions, she plays the victim and blames everybody but herself.

Then, conservative members of the media take the bait and praise her as some sort of Republican hero. They are more than happy to glorify this culture of ignorance and hide behind the veil of "elitism" and "media bias" when anyone approaches them with facts.

All I can say is that if Glenn Beck had heard me express my political views and then assumed that I was a thirteen-year-old, I would not lift the paper bag off my head for quite some time
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