Published on April 13 2009

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Published on April 2 2009

Caracas-born Mendoza, 22, who visited the facility March 20-25 along with Miss USA Crystle Stewart, 27, enthused about her Guantanamo trip as an "incredible experience" in a blog entry posted on the Miss Universe website dated March 27, 2009  . "It was a loooot of fun," Mendoza wrote, describing how she and Stewart met U.S. military personnel and took rides around the camp, which is encircled by a barbed-wire fenced, minefields and watchtowers. She said they also visited a bar on the base and the "unbelievable" beach there. "We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how they recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting," she wrote. "I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful," she added.
via Miss Universe says had lot of fun in Guantanamo | Oddly Enough | Reuters.

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Published on March 30 2009

Had a visit here this afternoon from a salesman. Apparently a new local branch of a famous investment firm is opening here in this small town. Is it a bad sign when investment counselors are going door to door like vacuum cleaner salesmen and certain religious groups?

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Published on March 24 2009

A 93-year-old Japanese man has become the first person certified as a survivor of both U.S. atomic bombings at the end of World War II, officials said Tuesday. Tsutomu Yamaguchi had already been a certified "hibakusha," or radiation survivor, of the Aug. 9, 1945, atomic bombing in Nagasaki, but has now been confirmed as surviving the attack on Hiroshima three days earlier as well, city officials said. Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip on Aug. 6, 1945, when a U.S. B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on the city. He suffered serious burns to his upper body and spent the night in the city. He then returned to his hometown of Nagasaki just in time for the second attack, city officials said. "As far as we know, he is the first one to be officially recognized as a survivor of atomic bombings in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki," Nagasaki city official Toshiro Miyamoto said. "It's such an unfortunate case, but it is possible that there are more people like him." via Japanese Man Survived Both Atomic Attacks - CBS News.

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Published on March 22 2009

I've been out of the loop for a few days, due to some busy-making issues here. I haven't looked at the news in days. I haven't even seen a weather report. It's only this afternoon that I've taken a few minutes to look around. I should have just stayed buried. Awhile back, before the election, I got into a "discussion" with an old friend over the candidates for President and VP. It didn't get too heated, but it did point out a few differences in how we looked at our choices. His basic premise went something like this:
"With Obama you get someone of excellent character, intellectual fortitude, a scholarly grasp of the constitution — which is a MAJOR issue ignored by press — in the wake of Bush-Cheney-Rove, and a clear identification with a broader coalition of Americans."
I didn't particularly agree, but... whatever. So, for the last month or so I've been watching somewhat disinterestedly to see some examples of the character and scholarly grasps of this administration. What I see are things like this:
"Here's the problem," Mr. Obama said, "It's almost like they've got -- they've got a bomb strapped to them and they've got their hand on the trigger. You don't want them to blow up. But you've got to kind of talk them, ease that finger off the trigger."
Wait a minute. Did Obama just compare AIG and Citicorp to suicide bombers??? I guess that goes a loooong way towards creating an understanding of this admin's foreign policy, or lack thereof. obamahmadenijad h/t to SCG Maybe if we just bail out Iran, we could take their "finger off the trigger", too. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I'm also probably one of four people in the country who wasn't avidly glued to the tube for the One's appearance on the Tonight Show the other night, in which he gave up this wonderful metaphor for his bowling skills:
I'm just completely jaw-droppingly gobsmacked. What the hell, did his teleprompter fail? Did I just hear our President make a 'tard joke on national TV??? And this from a President whose party platform during the elections seemed to be based on the fact that President Bush, who by the way was not even a candidate, wasn't much of a speaker??? I am despairing more and more each day of the Institute for Tricycle Riding at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. And that's not even getting into the question of the Administration's tenuous grasp on the Constitution. (Thanks to the Chef for that link.)

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Published on March 14 2009

Obama's New Tack: Blaming Bush President Points to 'Inherited' Economy By Scott Wilson Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, March 14, 2009; A01 In his inaugural address, President Obama proclaimed "an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics." It hasn't taken long for the recriminations to return -- or for the Obama administration to begin talking about the unwelcome "inheritance" of its predecessor. Over the past month, Obama has reminded the public at every turn that he is facing problems "inherited" from the Bush administration, using increasingly bracing language to describe the challenges his administration is up against. The "deepening economic crisis" that the president described six days after taking office became "a big mess" in remarks this month to graduating police cadets in Columbus, Ohio. "By any measure," he said during a March 4 event calling for government-contracting reform, "my administration has inherited a fiscal disaster." Obama's more frequent and acid reminders that former president George W. Bush left behind a trillion-dollar budget deficit, a 14-month recession and a broken financial system have come at the same time Republicans have ramped up criticism that the current president's policies are compounding the nation's economic problems. Obama had initially been content to leave partisan defense strategy to his proxies, but as the fiscal picture has continued to darken, he has appeared more willing to risk his image as a politician who is above petty partisanship to personally remind the public of Bush's legacy. His approval ratings remain strong -- above 60 percent, according to the most recent Gallup poll -- but have dropped from their highs almost entirely because of falling support among Republicans since he took office. Upon entering the White House in 2001, Bush pinned the lackluster economy on his predecessor, using the "Clinton recession" to successfully argue in favor of tax cuts that won some Democratic support. But for Obama, who built his candidacy on a promise to rise above Washington's divisive partisan traditions -- winning over many independent voters and moderate Republicans in the process -- blaming his predecessor holds special risks. He will need support beyond his Democratic base as he begins lobbying for his $3.6 trillion budget, which proposes sweeping changes in health care, the energy sector and the public education system. The president did not receive a single House Republican vote for his stimulus plan, prompting some in his administration to view his bipartisan outreach efforts as having little hope of success. And Republicans have seemed only more emboldened in their rhetoric. Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), for example, recently called the borrowing needed to fund the president's economic recovery plans "generational theft." "What the administration is involved in now is the politics of attribution," said Lawrence R. Jacobs, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota. "Each week that goes by with falling job numbers and Republican criticism of the administration's flaws means falling approval ratings. What's the antidote? That the guilty party is George Bush."
via Obama Sharpens His Reminders That He Inherited Fiscal 'Mess' From Bush. poster38916855

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Published on March 14 2009

Piece of the Pi And finally, have some pie on Saturday, March 14, says Congress. The House voted to acknowledge 3/14 on the calendar as "Pie Day." But instead of the sweet treat, it is an ode to the Greek letter symbolizing the math constant that never really ends — but rounds out to 3.14. Excited Congressman, Rep. Brian Baird, gushed to Politico: "I'm kind of geeked up about it." But Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha admitted being a little confused — "We were never good at math in my family. I thought I was voting for P-I-E."
via FOXNews.com - Another Potential Legal Problem for a Key Obama Administration Figure - Special Report w/ Bret Baier.

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Published on March 7 2009

Gee, David. What was your first clue???
Those of us who consider ourselves moderates — moderate-conservative, in my case — are forced to confront the reality that Barack Obama is not who we thought he was. His words are responsible; his character is inspiring. But his actions betray a transformational liberalism that should put every centrist on notice. As Clive Crook, an Obama admirer, wrote in The Financial Times, the Obama budget “contains no trace of compromise. It makes no gesture, however small, however costless to its larger agenda, of a bipartisan approach to the great questions it addresses. It is a liberal’s dream of a new New Deal.”
via Op-Ed Columnist - A Moderate Manifesto - NYTimes.com.

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Published on March 7 2009

Consider that, in the teeth of a devastating recession, Obama has: • Raised taxes on small businesses, the engines of entrepreneurship and job growth • Raised the capital gains tax • Lied about "tax cuts for 95% of Americans", offering instead $13 a week, achieved not through tax cuts, but by changing the federal withholding tables • Destroyed charitable giving by axing the tax breaks for 26% of all giving or $81 billion in 2006 • Proposed a carbon cap-and-trading scheme designed to punish oil companies and further tax consumers Why would Obama inflict these destructive policies while the economy is collapsing? Simple. Each step strengthens the role of government in people's lives.
via Power Line - Is He Doing It On Purpose?.

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Published on March 4 2009

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports: Put a stamp on it -- that’s what the White House says. President Obama announced today that his administration will begin stamping an emblem on projects funded by the economic stimulus package so that people can easily recognize the effects of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. All projects will be stamped with the ARRA logo short for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and lists the recovery.gov website on the emblem. via Political Punch: Emblems to Stamp Projects Funded by the Stimulus Package.
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