Thursday, July 29, 2010

President Obama on the View, Girlie Man?

"The View": Obama Talks About His iPod, Lindsay Lohan and His Daughters - Celebrity Circuit - CBS News

President Obama's musical tastes were just one of the lighter things talked about during his appearance on "The View."

After the first part of the interview dealt with jobs, the economy and the war in Afghanistan, the "View" co-hosts moved the conversation towards less heavy topics - like his taste in music.

You name a song, I've got it," President Obama said. "I've got Jay-Z on there, I got Frank Sinatra on there, Maria Callis..." But when Joy Behar mentioned Justin Bieber, he responded, "I do not have Justin Bieber on there."The interview also tested his pop culture knowledge - the president said he knew Lidnsay Lohan was in jail, but sidestepped a question about Mel Gibson's latest troubles ("I haven't seen a Mel Gibson film in a while") and claimed to not know who Snooki was -- though others have pointed out the president did reference the "Jersey Shore" star in a joke at the White House Correspondent's Dinner back in May.
The president also talked technology, saying that while he has his Blackberry, the 10 people who have his e-mail address are careful what they send him.
"Nobody wants to send me the real juicy stuff," he said. "It's all very official."
His recent vacation with his family in Maine was another topic of conversation - he said it was the "rose," or highlight, of his past month.
"We went on bike rides and hikes," he said. "You know, the girls are getting old enough now where they're not quite teenagers yet, so they still like you. But they're full of opinions and ideas and observations and it's just a great age. Malia just turned 12 and Sasha just turned 9.And it couldn't have been a better couple of days."
Sounds like one of the girls?

President Obama looks comfortable with the women of the view.

Obama: Our first female president

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

If Bill Clinton was our first black president, as Toni Morrison once proclaimed, then Barack Obama may be our first woman president.

Phew. That was fun. Now, if you'll just keep those hatchets holstered and hear me out.
No, I'm not calling Obama a girlie president. But . . . he may be suffering a rhetorical-testosterone deficit when it comes to dealing with crises, with which he has been richly endowed.

It isn't that he isn't "cowboy" enough, as others have suggested. Aren't we done with that? It is that his approach is feminine in a normative sense. That is, we perceive and appraise him according to cultural expectations, and he's not exactly causing anxiety in Alpha-maledom.

We've come a long way gender-wise. Not so long ago, women would be censured for speaking or writing in public. But cultural expectations are stickier and sludgier than oil. Our enlightened human selves may want to eliminate gender norms, but our lizard brains have a different agenda.
We could say that Obama displays many tropes of femaleness. I say this in the nicest possible way. I don't think that doing things a woman's way is evidence of deficiency but, rather, suggests an evolutionary achievement.

So is President Obama a man's man or a girlie man?

Don't Be Economic Girlie Men!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Arizona Law: Judge Ignores Rule Of Law

Federal judge blocks key parts of Arizona immigration law SB 1070

A federal judge in Phoenix on Wednesday blocked key provisions of Arizona's controversial immigration law from taking effect as scheduled Thursday, granting in part an injunction requested by the Obama administration.

U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton ruled that the injunction would apply to the portion of the state law that requires police to try to determine the immigration status of a person they arrest, stop or detain while enforcing other laws if they reasonably suspect the person is in the United States illegally.

Bolton said in her 36-page ruling that it was "not in the public interest" for Arizona to enforce provisions that preempt federal enforcement of immigration law.

Also put on hold were parts of the law requiring foreigners to apply for or carry certain documents, making it a state crime for undocumented workers "to solicit, apply for or perform work," and mandating verification of the immigration status of any arrested person prior to release, the ruling said.

Illegal Foreigners don't need to apply.

For example, Section 2(B) of S.B. 1070 states very clearly that:

For any lawful stop, detention or arrest made by [an Arizona] law enforcement official…in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance…where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien and is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable effort shall be made…to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation. Any person who is arrested shall have the person’s immigration status determined before the person is released.

This paragraph could not be clearer – the immigration status of individuals who have been arrested for some other crime will only be checked if the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” that they are an illegal alien. Yet the federal judge reads the second sentence of this paragraph without reference to the first as supposedly requiring that the immigration status of all arrestees must be determined, despite Arizona’s claims to the contrary. In other words, she completely ignores the first sentence and then claims that checking the immigration status of all arrestees would be an impermissible burden on the federal government.

Here, Judge Bolton failed to give the State the respect it was due on this issue. Indeed, it is strong evidence of an activist judge straining to find a way to stop a law that she does not like from a policy (not a legal) standpoint. It is also completely contrary to federal law that specifically requires federal officials to “respond to an inquiry by a…State, or local government agency, seeking to verify or ascertain the citizenship or immigration status of any individual.” (8 U.S.C. §1373). How can Judge Bolton rationally conclude that Arizona is placing an impermissible burden on the federal government to respond to citizenship verification requests when federal law mandates that the feds respond to such requests? The judge’s reasoning is foolish – she is treating the Obama administration’s enforcement priorities (or lack of enforcement priorities) as if they are federal law. Arizona’s law does not conflict with federal immigration law, although it may conflict with the Obama administration’s policies. But policy conflicts do not result in federal preemption. Judge Bolton’s reasoning also conflicts with a very recent First Circuit Court of Appeals decision, Estrada v. Rhode Island, that upheld the right of state law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of individuals detained for other reasons such as a traffic stop, as well as other precedents.

Unlikely Supporter of Arizona Immigration Law

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Arizona Immigration law Boycott Fails - Arizona Hotels Thriving Despite Boycotts Over Immigration Law

Arizona's tourism industry has a target on its back, but the widespread boycotts over the state's immigration law might not be hitting the mark.

Recent data compiled by a market research group show hotel bookings across the state -- as well as in tourism hot spots Phoenix and Scottsdale -- have been on the rise the past two months.

The numbers could dispel warnings from local officials that Arizona stands to lose a fortune and dampen the chances that cities and organizations will be able to compel the state to reverse its immigration law by choking its economy with a sanctions-style business boycott.

Fundamentally, the boycotts have been unsuccessful," said Barry Broome, president of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

The data from hotel industry research firm STR showed that for the state of Arizona, hotel occupancy was up 5.7 percent in May and up 8.3 percent in June compared with the same time a year ago.

In Phoenix, occupancy was up 10.6 percent in June; in Scottsdale, it was up 10.7 percent for the same period. Revenue also was up, with Arizona hotels raking in $148 million last month -- up more than 11 percent from a year ago.

Protesters in Arizona.

June 02, 2010|By Garrett Therolf and Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
By a 3-2 vote the board moves to suspend county-funded travel to the state, possibly terminate contracts with Arizona-based companies, and divest the county pension fund of Arizona state and municipal bonds. Residents attending the meeting spoke out on both sides of the issue.

After heated debate, Los Angeles County supervisors voted 3 to 2 Tuesday to boycott Arizona in response to the passage of its controversial illegal immigration law, a decision that came the same day the Los Angeles Unified School District condemned the law.

The boycott suspends county-funded travel to Arizona unless the county's chief executive determines that county interests would be seriously harmed. It also calls for a report within two weeks on how the county might terminate contracts with Arizona-based companies and orders the divestiture of Arizona state and municipal bonds by the county's pension fund.

But some of those campaigns ran into glitches along the way, watering down the impact. Los Angeles exempted from the boycott a contract with an Arizona company that provided its red-light cameras. The Los Angeles City Council also is reportedly considering another exemption for airport taxi company Super Shuttle, based in Arizona.

The council is to discuss whether to allow a $1.13-million, one-year contract extension for Scottsdale-based Blue Van Joint Venture, operator of Super Shuttle, which serves Los Angeles International Airport, according to City News Service.
The red light cameras record traffic violations and are intended to deter people from running red lights, causing potentially fatal accidents. The program earned Los Angeles a reported $6 million in 2009. An expansion of the contract, which expires June 30, would cost the city $2.3 million.  

Los Angeles thought by Boycotting Arizona it would hurt them financially. But when it come to money they are the ones who caved.

LA Mayor Backs Arizona Boycott

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Gulf oil spill disappearing by fast-breeding bacterial microbes

Gulf oil spill: Where has the oil gone? -

Since BP capped the renegade Macondo well at the center of the Gulf oil disaster 12 days ago, the oil slick has shrunk to about 10,000 square miles from 80,000 square miles in just a matter of weeks.

The reduction has amazed scientists who are tracking the spill and raised many questions about where all the oil has gone. An 800-vessel skimming fleet that weeks ago pulled in 25,000 barrels of oil a day could barely find 50 barrels a day late last week. That means much of the up to 3 million barrels suspected to be remaining in the Gulf has largely gone off the radar.

It's clear the Gulf is doing what Louisiana State University biologist Ed Overton calls "Mother Nature's work" in breaking down the patchy oil. Oil-eating bacterial microbes are working at a fast pace. But scientists are still unsure of the longer term environmental impact. Many fishermen are convinced that much of the oil is suspended in the water column or has drifted to the bottom, where it's impacting oyster beds, crab herds, and spawning fish schools.

As oil now becomes harder to find, BP is considering whether to shift the Vessels of Opportunity program, a BP initiative that's employed hundreds of out-of-work fishing crews, from oil collection to oil detection missions in order to keep them working.

Nuke the oil spill: Could nuclear bomb be answer for huge leaks as at US Gulf coast?

In the next act of the drama of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, two of the most important heroes don't look like heroes. They are just thin green stalks, sticking out of grass too wet to stand on. They are cordgrass and wiregrass, common species that wave in the winds in south Louisiana's coastal marshes. Except, in some places, they aren't waving anymore: Where oil has sloshed into the marshes, their stalks are matted and gooey and on their way to death.

Thankfully, this is not wimpy grass.

Scientists say many oiled plants will simply shed dead stalks and put up new ones. If those are killed by another slug of oil, it will put up others.
It's already happening. One recent day, Alexander Kolker of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium went out onto the state's Barataria Bay to look at heavily oiled patches of grass. In among the black, he said, there were little spots of green.
New shoots, already pushing up through the oil. Mother nature at work.

Now they can not find the oil slick.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Unemployment Extension Passed Paid for by the Taxpayers.

Unemployment Filibuster Broken - ABC News

Boosted by the swearing-in of new West Virginia Sen. Carte Goodwin, the Senate today voted to restore and extend jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, ending a lengthy stalemate.

By a vote of 60-40 the Senate succeeded in passing the jobless aid measure just minutes after Goodwin formally became a member of the Senate. Democratic Senators in the chamber erupted in applause when Goodwin cast the decisive vote.

For weeks the Senate had been locked in a standoff on helping the nation's jobless, with both parties supporting an extension of the benefits but disagreeing on how to pay for them. Democrats argued that helping 2.5 million unemployed Americans is an emergency as the country rebounds from recession, but Republicans balked at the bill's $34 billion price tag, contending that adding tens of billions of dollars to the government's soaring deficit is fiscally irresponsible.

Republicans failed on four occasions to offset the cost of the bill with funds from the government's massive stimulus program, while Democrats struck out five times in their attempts to pass the measure. Two Republicans -- Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins -- today sided with Democrats, while Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson backed the GOP's approach.

Harry Reid knows what is best for you.

Dems refuse compromise to extend unemployment benefits

Democrats have been painting Republicans as unsympathetic to the long-term unemployed who will be unable to collect benefits, but Democratic leaders have rejected several offers by the GOP to vote for the bill if at least some of it is paid for.

"My concern is that the Democrats are more interested in having this issue to demagogue for political gamesmanship than they are in simply passing the benefits extension," said Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, who offered a deal that was rejected by Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Voinovich told Reid he would vote for extending benefits if at least half of the extension could be paid for with unused money from the $787 billion stimulus package.

After the bill failed, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., offered a compromise that would extend benefits for two months and pay for it fully with unused stimulus funding. But Reid turned it down.

Earlier this week President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid both blasted Republicans for blocking the jobless help.

"It's time to stop holding workers laid off in this recession hostage to Washington politics. It's time to do what's right, not for the next election, but for the middle class," President Obama said in the Rose Garden. "We've got to stop blocking emergency relief for Americans who are out of work. We've got to extend unemployment insurance."

But the top Senate Republican countered that it was Democrats who were playing political games at the expense of unemployed Americans.

Democrats don't care about the people just the power.

Should Unemployment Benefits be Extended?

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Financial Oversight Reform President Obama what is in it?

Congress Passes Financial Oversight Reform -

WASHINGTON — The sweeping expansion of federal financial regulation approved by Congress on Thursday and now headed to President Obama’s desk reflects a renewed mistrust of financial markets after decades in which Washington stood back from Wall Street with wide-eyed admiration.

The bill, heavily promoted by Mr. Obama and Congressional Democrats as a response to the 2008 financial crisis, cleared the Senate by a vote of 60 to 39, largely along party lines, after weeks of wrangling that allowed Democrats to pick up the three Republican votes to ensure passage.

The vote was the culmination of nearly two years of fierce lobbying and intense debate over the appropriate response to the financial excesses that dragged the nation into the worst recession since the Great Depression.

The result is a catalog of repairs and additions to the rusted infrastructure of a regulatory system that has failed to keep pace with the expanding scope and complexity of modern finance.

Place to keep your money

The legislation will be carried out mostly by the same federal workers who were on duty as the financial system collapsed. The new consumer bureau, for example, mostly will be staffed with employees transferred from the consumer divisions of the existing banking regulators.

Administration officials said they were confident that placing those employees under new leadership, and granting them new powers, would produce better results.

It creates a council of federal regulators, led by the Treasury secretary, to coordinate the detection of
to the financial system, and it provides new powers to constrain and even dismantle troubled companies.

Democrats divided initially over how to pursue that goal. Some pushed to break apart large banks and curtail risky kinds of trading. Others sought a grander overhaul of federal regulation. The administration’s approach, which prevailed, instead is focused on giving existing regulators additional powers in the hope that they will produce better results.

The legislation is painted in broad strokes, so like actors handed a script, those regulators have broad leeway to shape its meaning and its impact.

This reform will foster that innovation, not hamper it,” Mr. Obama said Thursday.

In the hope
that they will produce better results. Sounds like a great law?

FinReg: More Harm Than Good?

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Oil rig leaves the Gulf of Mexico as President Obama claims he is Business Friendly.

First rig sails away over deep-water drilling ban | Business | - Houston Chronicle

WASHINGTON — Diamond Offshore announced Friday that its Ocean Endeavor drilling rig will leave the Gulf of Mexico and move to Egyptian waters immediately — making it the first to abandon the United States in the wake of the BP oil spill and a ban on deep-water drilling.
And the Ocean Endeavor's exodus probably won't be the last, according to oil industry officials and Gulf Coast leaders who warn that other companies eager to find work for the now-idled rigs are considering moving them outside the U.S.
Devon Energy Corp. had been leasing the Endeavor to drill in the same region of the Gulf as BP's leaking Macondo well, which has been gushing crude since a lethal blowout April 20.
But Diamond announced Friday it will lease the rig through June 30, 2011, to Cairo-based Burullus Gas Co., which plans to send the Endeavor to Egyptian waters immediately.

Deep Water Rig

Gibbs defended the moratorium, promising an immediate appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Gibbs said President Barack Obama believes that until investigations can determine why the spill happened, continued deepwater drilling potentially exposes workers and the environment to "a danger that the  president does not believe we can afford."

Obama imposed the moratorium on offshore drilling after the BP oil spill along the Gulf Coast, saying the government rashly concluded that because one rig failed, the others are in immediate danger, too. The Interior Department had halted approval of any new permits for  deepwater drilling and suspended drilling of 33 exploratory wells in the Gulf.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama believes strongly that drilling at such depths does not make sense and puts the safety of workers "at a danger that the president does not believe we can afford."

President Barack Obama said he and his administration have pursued a “fundamentally business-friendly” agenda and are “fierce advocates” for the free market, rejecting corporate criticism of his policies. “The irony is, is that on the left we are perceived as being in the pockets of big business; and then on the business side, we are perceived as being anti-business,” Obama said in a
Feb. 9 interview in the Oval Office with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands tomorrow. “You would be hard-pressed to identify a piece of legislation that we have proposed out there that, net, is not good for businesses,” he added. He predicted that legislation he will sign this year would cut corporate taxes by about $70 billion.
“Whether we can get it through Congress is always a question because, as we have seen throughout this year, we have a political process in Washington right now that is a little dysfunctional,” Obama said.

This is one thing I agree with President Obama, "The White House is a little dysfunctional right now".

Obama's Gulf Oil Spill

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