Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Video: Haiti Suffers Devastating 7.0 Earthquake

These poor people. They've suffered for so long despite being in America's backyard. Maybe this President, and Congress, will do the right thing and help rebuild that country. Maybe we take some of that Wall St. bailout money and use it to help the needy Haitians.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Madeleine McCann 'Died In Holiday Apartment'

It is time the irresponsible mainstream press does an expose. The McCanns are guilty of the death of their daughter (most likely accidental). The charade has to be put to an end. Too many people have been snookered for too long.

in reference to:

"A report into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, signed by a police chief, said she had died in the family's holiday apartment, a court has been told.

The lawyer in charge of the original inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance said the report was signed by Tavares De Almeida, who was chief inspector of police at the time Madeleine vanished. Jose Magalhaes e Menezes also revealed that text messages sent by Kate and Gerry McCann were intercepted by police who were suspicious about their role in their daughter's disappearance. But the texts were not considered as part of the investigation because a judge would not allow it."
- Madeleine McCann: Kate And Gerry McCann Arrive In Lisbon For Start Of Goncalo Amaral Libel Trial | World News | Sky News (view on Google Sidewiki)

New York congressman Gary Ackerman in hot water for arranging meeting between US contractor and Israelis

Ackerman is one of the those Congresspeople who should be term limited in November. Here's a perfect reason why.

in reference to:

"A meeting with Israeli officials over a potential business deal stands at the middle of a controversy over whether a US congressman could have violated House ethics rules. Eight years ago, New York Democrat Gary Ackerman arranged for the head of defense contractor Xenonics to meet with Israeli representatives whom the Xenonics head thought might buy the company's high-powered flashlight, already used by the US military. At around that time, Ackerman also received a $14,000 loan from a friend, Sig Zises, that he used to purchase some of Zises's Xenonics stock, according to a statement the congressman released to the media and posted on the New York Daily News Web site, which first reported the story Sunday. A few years later he repaid the loan, with interest, and shortly afterwards sold the stock for a profit, reported as $100,000. Ackerman insisted that he had fully disclosed the details of the transactions in House financial filings. Congressional ethics regulations prohibit members from using their office to promote business efforts. Critics are raising questions about whether Ackerman hoped a deal with Israel would help Xenonics make money."
- NY congressman in trouble for arranging business meeting | International News | Jerusalem Post (view on Google Sidewiki)

Google to end China censorship after e-mail breach

How much do you want to bet that Google backs down. The Internet Giant will claim, at a later date, that they received assurances from the thug rulers in Beijing that they would play nice.

in reference to:

"Google to end China censorship after e-mail breach"
- Google to end China censorship after e-mail breach (view on Google Sidewiki)

Obama wants $33 billion more for wars

He's starting to sound like Bush with his war spending.

in reference to:

"The Obama administration plans to ask Congress for an additional $33 billion to fight unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on top of a record request for $708 billion for the Defense Department next year, The Associated Press has learned. The administration also plans to tell Congress next month that its central military objectives for the next four years will include winning the current wars while preventing new ones, and its core missions will include both counterinsurgency and counterterror operations. The administration's Quadrennial Defense Review, the main articulation of U.S. military doctrine, is due in Congress on Feb. 1. Top military commanders were briefed on the document at the Pentagon on Monday and Tuesday. They also received a preview of the administration's budget plans through 2015."
- Obama wants $33 billion more for wars - White House- msnbc.com (view on Google Sidewiki)

Transcript: The Rachel Maddow Show (1-11-10)

Complete Rachel Maddow transcript for 1-11-10 here:

MADDOW: Republicans are not moving forward on this. They have seized on Senator Reid`s comments. They`re demanding that he resign, saying Mr. Reid should step down because former Republican Majority Leader Trent Lott resigned back in 2002, after Mr. Lott said that the nation would have avoided decades of problems if only we`d elected Strom Thurman when he ran for president on a segregationist platform in the `40s.


THEN-SEN. TRENT LOTT (R-MS), MAJORITY LEADER: When Strom Thurman ran for president, we voted for him. We`re proud of it.


LOTT: And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn`t have had all these problems over all these years, either.


MADDOW: Substantively, what Mr. Lott said and what Mr. Reid said are different. I mean, they`re both obviously embarrassing, but Trent Lott was saying the country would have been better off if we had a segregationist president. Harry Reid was reflecting on the political viability of a black candidate today describing the limits that racism puts on electability. There`s a big difference between the content of the two comments.

Now, Mr. Reid did use language in making his point that if not racist was at least super awkwardly and antiquatedly racial.

Leading the charge against Senator Reid and in the wake of these embarrassing comments has been Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele.


MICHAEL STEELE, RNC CHAIRMAN: It`s inappropriate-- absolutely. So if the standard is the one we saw with Trent Lott as speaker -- as leader at the time, then I think this absolutely falls in that category.


MADDOW: It is, of course, awkward right now to have Michael Steele be the man out front making the case that someone should resign for using racially insensitive language.

Maybe Republicans could have picked someone other than Mr. Steele given Mr. Steele`s own recent.


STEELE: Our platform is one of the best political documents that`s been written in the last 25 years. Honest Injun on that.


MADDOW: Honest Injun.

Does the fact that Michael Steele recently made a really racially insensitive remark on television mean that he can`t be offended by somebody else`s other racially insensitive remark? Of course, it doesn`t mean that. But it does highlight the complications here. It highlights that a politician or a public figure using really inappropriate language about race is not exactly a rare occurrence these days.

And the consequences for people when something like this happens in public, the consequences are all over the map. For example, remember this one?


FORMER GOV. GEORGE ALLEN (R), VIRGINIA: This fellow over here with the yellow shirt, Macaca, or whatever his name is, he`s with my opponent.


MADDOW: The Macaca moment. That was former Republican governor of Virginia George Allen. That single Macaca moment pretty much doomed his run for a Virginia Senate seat and any future political aspirations he might have had.

Then there was former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, waxing ineloquent about the Spanish language back in 2007.


FMR. REP. NEWT GINGRICH (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country, and so they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto.

Federal Reserve earned $45 billion in 2009

Great, the banks are profiting. But what about the American people?

in reference to:

"Wall Street firms aren't the only banks that had a banner year. The Federal Reserve made record profits in 2009, as its unconventional efforts to prop up the economy created a windfall for the government. The Fed will return about $45 billion to the U.S. Treasury for 2009, according to calculations by The Washington Post based on public documents. That reflects the highest earnings in the 96-year history of the central bank. The Fed, unlike most government agencies, funds itself from its own operations and returns its profits to the Treasury. The numbers are good news for the federal budget and a sign that the Fed has been successful, at least so far, in protecting taxpayers as it intervenes in the economy -- though there remains a risk of significant losses in the future if the Fed sells some of its investments or loses money on its stakes in bailed-out firms. This turn of events comes as the banks that benefited from the Fed's actions are under the microscope. Starting at the end of the week, major banks are expected to announce significant earnings and employee bonuses. Anger in Washington is at such a high boil that the Obama administration will probably propose a fee on financial firms to recoup the cost of their bailout, officials confirmed Monday. As it happens, the Fed's earnings for the year will dwarf those of the large banks, easily topping the expected profits of Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase combined."
- Federal Reserve earned $45 billion in 2009 - washingtonpost.com (view on Google Sidewiki)

States drop standards for a high school diploma

Governments should be raising standards not lowering them.

in reference to:

"A law adopting statewide high school exams for graduation took effect in Pennsylvania on Saturday, with the goal of ensuring that students leaving high school are prepared for college and the workplace. But critics say the requirement has been so watered down that it is unlikely to have major impact. The situation in Pennsylvania mirrors what has happened in many of the 26 states that have adopted high school exit exams. As deadlines approached for schools to start making passage of the exams a requirement for graduation, and practice tests indicated that large numbers of students would fail, many states softened standards, delayed the requirement or added alternative paths to a diploma. People who have studied the exams, which affect two-thirds of the nation’s public school students, say they often fall short of officials’ ambitious goals."
- NYT: States drop test standards for diploma - The New York Times- msnbc.com (view on Google Sidewiki)

Report: Dutch ignored law in supporting Iraq war

What promises were made to them?

in reference to:

"An independent commission charged Tuesday that the Dutch government let politics override law when it supported the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, and ignored intelligence that downplayed the threat of Saddam Hussein's weapons program.The report's findings could be damaging to Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. But it said persistent rumors that the Dutch were militarily involvement in the operation were untrue.The report said Dutch intelligence agencies were "more reserved" in their assessments than the government when discussing the program in parliament."
- Newsvine - Report: Dutch ignored law in supporting Iraq war (view on Google Sidewiki)

American spies may have wanted underwear bomber to enter America

Conspiracy theory?

in reference to:

"I’ve had my suspicions for awhile that Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab, who tried to blow up Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day as it pulled into Detroit, was under US intelligence community surveillance. A Nigerian engineer traveling to Yemen to study Shari’a law and Arabic? That’s got to set off some warning bells. Now Josh Rogin reports at Foreign Policy that the State Department, according to a spokesman, may not have been to blame for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab getting a visa into America: “Even where an individual may have some association with terrorism, that doesn’t automatocally mean that a visa should or will be revoked. There may be times when law enforcement may want to allow someone to travel so he can be watched.” “Our intent is not only to take down individuals who are involved with terrorism but to also take down the larger networks in which they operate.”"
- American spies may have wanted underwear bomber to enter America - Michael Roston - Newsbroke - True/Slant (view on Google Sidewiki)

Mexico opens 2010 with one of its deadliest days

When will Congress and this President wake up to the threat on border in the South?

in reference to:

"Mexico opened the new year with what could be its most dubious distinction yet in the 3-year-old battle against drug trafficking — 69 murders in one day. The country resembled a grim, statistical dart board Saturday as law enforcement and media reported the deaths from various regions, including 26 in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, 13 in and around Mexico City and 10 in the northern city of Chihuahua. More than 6,500 drug-related killings made 2009 the bloodiest year since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the cartels in late 2006 and deployed 45,000 soldiers to fight organized crime, according to death tallies by San Diego's Trans-Border Institute. Two weeks into 2010, gang bloodshed is becoming more grotesque as drug lords ramp up their attempts at intimidation. Last week a victim's face was peeled from his skull and sewn onto a soccer ball. On Monday, prosecutors in Culiacan identified the remains of 41-year-old former police officer divided into two separate ice chests."
- Mexico opens 2010 with one of its deadliest days - Yahoo! News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Cell Phone Ban While Driving Gets Big Push

It's simple: punish this behavior

in reference to:

"A new report out Tuesday finds that one out of four crashes is caused by a "cell phone driver" - someone who could be holding the phone or using a hands-free device. Both are equally distracting, experts say. Joe Teater would have been a freshman in college had a 20-year-old woman talking on her cell phone not driven through a red light six years ago and killed him. "We lost Joe as a result of a phone call and you think about that today and it just seems so senseless," Teater's father, David, said. Hoping to educate drivers about just how dangerous it is to talk - and text - behind the wheel, Tuesday the Teaters and others who lost loved ones in cell phone crashes are establishing a national advocacy group modeled after Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Their group is called Focus Driven. According to statistics, crashes caused by drivers using cell phones rose from 636,000 in 2003 to 1.6 million in 2008, CBS News correspondent Kelly Wallace reports."
- Cell Phone Ban While Driving Gets Big Push - The Early Show - CBS News (view on Google Sidewiki)

China to look into AP report of cadmium in jewelry

Just another unsafe product from China.

in reference to:

"A Chinese product safety official says the government will look into findings that dangerous levels of cadmium are being used in exports of children's jewelry following a growing outcry in the United States. Attending a toy safety conference in Hong Kong, Wang Xin of the safety watchdog said Tuesday that his agency only just learned of findings in an Associated Press investigation published Sunday. Wang's comments were China's first official reaction. On Monday, Walmart pulled products cited in the AP report from its stores in the U.S. Lab tests conducted for the AP on 103 pieces of low-priced children's jewelry found 12 items with raised levels of cadmium, which can potentially cause cancer."
- China to look into AP report of cadmium in jewelry (view on Google Sidewiki)

Bomb kills Iran nuclear physicist tied to Mousavi

Like something from a movie.

in reference to:

"A nuclear physics professor who publicly backed Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in the disputed June presidential election was killed Tuesday when a remote-controlled bomb rigged to a motorcycle blew up outside his home. State media identified the victim as Masoud Ali Mohammadi, 50, a professor at Tehran University, which has been at the center of recent protests by student opposition supporters. Before the election, pro-reform Web sites published Ali Mohammadi's name among a list of 240 Tehran University teachers who supported Mousavi. GA_googleFillSlot("news_story_instory");adsonar_placementId=1434709;adsonar_pid=651758;adsonar_ps=-1;adsonar_zw=250;adsonar_zh=225;adsonar_jv='ads.adsonar.com'; The government blamed the bombing on an armed Iranian opposition group that it said operated under the direction of Israel and the U.S. Iran often accuses both countries of meddling in its affairs—both when it comes to postelection unrest and its nuclear program. Israel's foreign ministry had no comment. Reflecting the internal tension that grew out of election, hard-line government supporters called at recent street rallies for the execution of opposition leaders."
- Bomb kills Iran nuclear physicist tied to Mousavi (view on Google Sidewiki)