Archive for October 2nd, 2009

Key Republican Rips Glenn Beck

Posted on October 2, 2009. Filed under: republican |

(Oct. 2) — Lightning-rod talker Glenn Beck is taking a hit from an unexpected source.
The Fox News host isn’t aligned with any political party, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday, Beck is “aligned with cynicism.” And, the South Carolina Republican added, America isn’t a nation of cynics.
Graham, who spoke at The First Draft of History conference sponsored by The Atlantic, also took at shot at “birthers.” He said those who question President Obama’s citizenship or claim he’s a secret Muslim are “crazy” — and he urged them to “knock this crap off.”
Graham’s remarks came a day after the White House took aim at Beck and Fox, charging they were running a smear campaign against presidential aide Valerie Jarrett and the administration’s campaign to bring the 2016 Olympics to Chicago.
Annoying Obama is just a feather in Beck’s cap, according to National Post’s Matt Gurney. He wonders why the White House decided to get into a fight with a pundit. The administration’s attack gave Beck material for his radio show, on which he said liberals are out to destroy him. He pointed to a ‘Saturday Night Live’ parody of him, saying the media is trying to “Sarah Palin me.”
Despite being the targets of mockery, Palin and Beck have both shown they can sell a lot of books. Beck has millions of fans, but he has no real power to deliver votes, David Brooks wrote in a New York Times op-ed Friday. He said Republicans have bought into the notion before that pundits like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity can mobilize legions of listeners — and they’re making the same mistake again.
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Jobless rate reaches 9.8 percent in September

Posted on October 2, 2009. Filed under: Labor | Tags: , , , , |

By Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

Unemployment rate rises to 9.8 percent in September, as employers cut 263,000 jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in September, the highest since June 1983, as employers cut far more jobs than expected.

The report shows that the worst recession since the 1930s is still inflicting widespread pain and underscores one of the biggest threats to the nascent economic recovery: that consumers, worried about job losses and stagnant wages, will restrain spending. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of America’s economy.

Most analysts expect the economy to continue to improve, but at a slow, uneven pace. Government stimulus efforts, such as the Cash for Clunkers auto rebates, likely boosted the economy in the July-September quarter, but economists worry that growth will slow once the impact of such programs fades.

“Consumers … are going to struggle to increase their income,” said Brian Fabbri, North American chief economist for BNP Paribas. “If they’re struggling, they’re not consuming. That just takes some of the legs out of recovery.”

The Labor Department said Friday that the U.S. economy lost a net total of 263,000 jobs last month, from a downwardly revised 201,000 in August. That’s worse than Wall Street economists’ expectations of 180,000 job losses, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

The unemployment rate rose from 9.7 percent in August, matching expectations.

If laid-off workers who have settled for part-time work or have given up looking for new jobs are included, the unemployment rate rose to 17 percent, the highest on records dating from 1994.

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Kerry blocks DeMint trip to Honduras

Posted on October 2, 2009. Filed under: Honduras | Tags: , , , , , |

By Jordan Fabian

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has blocked Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) trip to Honduras slated to begin Friday, according to DeMint’s office.

But the chairman’s office claimed that the DeMint trip was stopped because the South Carolina Republican is blocking two of President Barack Obama’s nominations: Auturo Valenzuela, Obama’s nominee to be assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and Tom Shannon, the current assistant secretary and nominee to be ambassador to Brazil.

DeMint’s office informed The Hill of Kerry’s decision Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday morning, the freshman Republican announced that he would lead a congressional delegation to Honduras on Friday ahead of the country’s Nov. 29 elections. The U.S. State Department, which acknowledges ousted President Manuel Zelaya as the legitimate ruler of the Central American nation, has said it will not recognize the contests because of ongoing political turmoil.

“No U.S. Senator has yet been to Honduras to assess facts of crisis. [Kerry] & Obama admin using bullying tactics to hide truth,” DeMint, who also sits on the Foreign Relations panel, said on Twitter after he heard the trip would not occur.

Read More – The Hill

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Obama Loses Key Foreign-Policy Adviser

Posted on October 2, 2009. Filed under: America |

Holly Bailey

Big news from the West Wing: Mark Lippert, one of President Obama’s closest foreign-policy advisers, is leaving to rejoin the Navy. Lippert, who is deputy national-security adviser and chief of staff of the National Security Council, has worked for Obama since his first days in the Senate and later advised him during the campaign. Perhaps no one on the foreign-policy team, save for fellow campaign vet and top NSC aide Denis McDonough, is closer to Obama—a situation that has sometimes raised questions about the relationship between Obama and Lippert’s direct boss, national-security adviser Jim Jones. At the height of the 2008 Democratic primary, Lippert, who is a member of the Naval Reserve, was deployed to Iraq but returned to advise Obama and ultimately accepted a top post in the administration. According to a White House official, Lippert is taking “leave” to rejoin the military as a Navy SEAL—though there’s no indication when he’ll return. It’s an admirable career move, but it will no doubt raise questions about the timing—after all, with Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq, Obama’s foreign-policy decisions aren’t getting any easier. McDonough, who handles “strategic communications” for the NSC, is viewed by many as Lippert’s likely successor.

Read More at NewsWeek Blog

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Networks Flip Flop on Jobs

Posted on October 2, 2009. Filed under: Media Bias |

Identical Unemployment Numbers ‘Good’ News for Obama, But ‘All’ Bad under Reagan

A study from the Business & Media InstituteBy Julia A. Seymour


These are tough times. More than 3 million people have lost their jobs just since February 2009 and consumer confidence fell unexpectedly in September. The unemployment rate has spiked from 8.1 percent to 9.7 percent in the first seven months of Barack Obama’s presidency and is expected to climb even higher.

Despite that grim news, the major news networks have spun their unemployment reports into “good news” and presented Obama positively. Journalists tried hard to present rising job losses in the best possible light.

ABC’s Charles Gibson called the loss of 539,000 jobs in April a “marked improvement” May 8, 2009, because fewer jobs were lost than in March. In June 2009, Gibson was talking again about “hopeful” signs in the job numbers as more Americans were out of work.

But flashback 27 years ago to 1982, the unemployment rate was in roughly the same range as it was in 2009. Yet, network reporters consistently presented the U.S. economy under President Ronald Reagan as the “worst of times” by showing people living out of their trucks under a bridge and collecting free food at a food bank.

CBS reporter Ray Brady told a “tale of two cities” on June 4, 1982. He found the “worst of times” in Waterloo, Iowa, where the unemployment rate was the highest in the nation: 25.4 percent. That was nearly 16 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate of 9.5 percent. He contrasted Waterloo’s joblessness with 4.6 percent unemployment in Sioux Falls, S.D. where things were “close to” the best of times.

Brady’s report addressed two very different employment situations, but most 1982 reports focused heavily on places where “desperation has turned to hopelessness.” The unemployment rate under Obama and Reagan was nearly identical, yet they received almost exactly opposite treatment from ABC, CBS and NBC reports. Reagan was mentioned negatively in reports 13 times more often than Obama.

Read more at Business & Media

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Obamas Fail in Personal Pitch to Bring 2016 Olympics to Chicago

Posted on October 2, 2009. Filed under: Olympics |

Obamas Fail in Personal Pitch to Bring 2016 Olympics to Chicago-
Olympic officials eliminated Chicago in the first round of voting from its bid to host the 2016 Summer Games, a surprise failure for President Obama who put his capital behind an enormous campaign.

COPENHAGEN – Chicago was eliminated in the first ballot of voting for the 2016 Olympics on Friday, a stunning defeat for President Obama who put his capital behind an enormous campaign.

Chicago had seemed to pick up momentum in the last few days, with many International Olympic Committee members seemingly charmed by Michelle Obama. But when IOC president Jacques Rogge announced the results of the first vote, Chicago’s name was announced.

Obama’s visit to Copenhagen was the first time a U.S. president made such an in-person appeal.

“I urge you to choose Chicago for the same reasons I chose Chicago nearly 25 years ago — the reasons I fell in love with the city I still call home,” Obama told members of the International Olympic Committee, many of whom he later mingled with as some snapped photos of him on their cell phones.

“And if you do — if we walk this path together — then I promise you this: The city of Chicago and the United States of America will make the world proud,” the president said.

Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo have been making their cases to the IOC for more than a year, but many IOC members were believed to be undecided about which city they would vote for Friday.

Read more at Fox

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Posted on October 2, 2009. Filed under: America | Tags: , , |

Crime: Instead of lobbying Olympics officials to bring the games to his hometown of Chicago, President Obama should be huddling with local officials to figure out how to control violence there.

Some say Chicago is too broke to host the Olympics. Others say it’s too corrupt. Above all, it’s too dangerous. Crime is out of control, and the president shares some blame for the trend.

As an Illinois state senator representing South Side Chicago, he helped pass one lenient crime bill after another — and now he wants to go even further at the federal level.

Chicago is the new Murder Capital USA, passing New York with close to 500 homicides last year.

Teen gang violence is horrific, as the nation witnessed this week with the beating of an honor student outside a South Side high school. Derrion Albert was clubbed to death with a two-by-four, then kicked and stomped by a pack of crazed youth.

Following that, a 14-year-old boy was chased down in the same area and hit with a pipe, fracturing his skull. The teen was found lying in the road in a pool of blood. In the past year, school violence in Chicago has claimed the lives of 30 students.

This violent crime wave has gone unabated since actress Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew were gunned down last year in a triple homicide in Chicago.

As his hometown turned into a killing field, Obama remained silent until the Albert video inconveniently went viral in the middle of his and the first lady’s courtship of Olympic honchos. Now he expresses belated shock through a spokesman.

Maybe there’s a reason for his silence. As a local legislator, Obama was soft on violent gang crime, as we repeatedly noted on these pages before the election. He voted to weaken penalties on gangbangers who deal drugs in schools. He also blocked a bill that would send youth who commit a second violent felony to prison. He fought to keep even the most violent juvenile offenders out of the adult system.

Read the rest of the article at Investors Business Daily

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Leaving Israel With No Choice?

Posted on October 2, 2009. Filed under: America | Tags: , , , , , |

By Michael Gerson

WASHINGTON — On June 7, 1981, Israeli F-15s and F-16s took off for the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq, after the pilots were emotionally briefed that “The alternative is our destruction.” In fact, Prime Minister Menachem Begin had no idea if the raid would stop the Iraqi nuclear program or merely slow it. But slowing it was reason enough.

Since the George W. Bush administration, the American military has assessed that an attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities would only delay the development of its program. “The reality is,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates said recently, “there is no military option that does anything more than buy time. The estimates are one to three years or so.

“But for several months, high-ranking Israeli officials have been telling American visitors that buying time may be worth it. The Osirak raid, after all, turned out to be an unexpectedly decisive blow. And who knows what political changes might take place in Iran during a few years of nuclear breathing space? Not many Israelis would need to be convinced by this argument — a recommendation would go from the chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, to the security cabinet and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Perhaps a dozen people could shake the world.

Clues of Israeli desperation are now so obvious that many have missed them. Netanyahu’s recent speech at the United Nations was generally reported as part of a rhetorical tit for tat with Israel’s bombastic enemies. But perhaps Netanyahu’s impassioned warning against the world’s first Holocaust-denying nuclear state should be taken at face value. Former U.S. Undersecretary of Defense Dov S. Zakheim thinks Netanyahu might have been “setting the stage to say to the world after a strike, ‘I told you so.'”

There is More- Read Real Clear Politics

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