Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy Dies Today

Massachusetts Senator Dies at 77 After Cancer Battle

Edward M. Kennedy, one of the most powerful and influential senators in American history and one of three brothers whose political triumphs and personal tragedies captivated the nation for decades, died late Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass., at age 77. He had been battling brain cancer.

Complete Coverage: Edward M. Kennedy

Edward Klein, author of "Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died," and many other bestselling biographies about the Kennedy family, was online Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 1 p.m. ET to discuss the lawmaker's career, personal life and legacy.


Edward Klein: I Edward Klein here. I'm the author of a number of Kennedy books -- five -- including my latest "Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died." Look forward to your questions and hearing your opinions as well.


Boston, Mass.: What would Kennedy say was his greatest professional achievement and deepest professional disappointment?

Edward Klein: I think he would list several achievements as his favorite including prescription Medicaire, Part B, and also NO Child Left Behind, which he forged with President George W. Bush, and as a far as his disappointments are concerned I think he would list the failure to pass health-care reforem as number one.


Washington, D.C.: Did Sen. Ted Kennedy serve in the military?

Edward Klein: Yes, he served for two years as a buck private in the military police.


Moore?: After whom was Edward Kennedy given the middle name Moore?

Edward Klein: Both his first name and middle name came from his father's best friend, Edward Moore.


College Park, Md.: A lot of the coverage so far has seemed to indicate that of Bobby, JFK and Ted, Ted was the "most significant" of the three brothers in terms of achievements. Some of this attribution must be due to the fact that Ted outlived his brothers by quite a bit.

In terms of looking at the most productive period of Ted's life, comparable in length to JFK and Bobby's political careers, how does Ted stack up against them?

Edward Klein: Ted did live a much longer and fuller life than his brothers. And in terms of passing legislation, there's no contest, he's number one. However, John F. Kennedy's handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis was certainly an historic achievement of the first accord.


Central Virginia: I'm sure the obvious question is: Who can replace Sen. Kennedy? I mean this in two ways. What person currently in the Senate is as powerful as he was? He made friends with both parties and was a well-respected man. And who do you think is a possibility to replace him in Massachusetts?

Edward Klein: In Massachusetts it may come down to a intra-family feud between Sen. Kennedy's wife Vickie and his nephew Joseph Kennedy II. As for the Senate, there are a lot of very good senators but none with that special, artful touch that Ted Kennedy had.


London, U.K.: Is it true that Kennedy asked Sen. Robert Byrd to be his vice president during the 1980 campaign? If so, do you think it was a serious offer?

Edward Klein: As far as I know, Sen. Kennedy never asked anyone to be his vice president since Sen. Kennedy never got the nominaton in the first place and so was in no position to offer the number two spot.


Dallas, Tex. : Mr. Klein, Will Sen. Kennedy be remembered for his important social legislation or his vote against the Iraq war? Was he correct in comparing Iraq to Vietnam?

Edward Klein: Personally I think Sen. Kennedy will be remembered more for his domestic achievements than for his foreign positions and policies. From my perspective he was wrong to equate Iraq with Vietnam.


Washington, D.C.: As a liberal who came of age during the Reagan era, I've always been comforted by Sen. Kennedy's presence in the Senate. How was he able to maintain his influence and get laws passed during long stretches when the opposition had power in Congress, the White House, or both? Could anyone replicate some of his successes? Or has that time passed with him?

Edward Klein: Sen. Kennedy acquired his reputation as a great senator because of his place in the opposition, not in spite of it. He refused to accept the role of an impotent democratic liberal in an era of republican ascendancy and he managed to induce many of his republican colleagues to join him in legislation that served both of their interests.


Boston, Mass.: Do you know if Kennedy had completed his memoirs and if or when they will be published? Do you think they might contain the full truth about Chappaquiddick or was the memory just too painful for him to revisit?

Edward Klein: I seriously doubt that Sen. Kennedy is going to bare all in his forthcoming memoirs which he did complete before he died.


Richmond, Va.: This may not be the best time to ask this question, but was it ever learned exactly what happened the night Mary Jo Kopechne died at Chappaquidick in 1969, and why Ted Kennedy waited so long to inform the police? Did Ted make any attempt to rescue her? Was it believed that she knew some dark secret about the Kennedys? There was no railing on the bridge he drove off of at night, right?

Thank you.

Edward Klein: The full story of Chappaquiddick will never be known. Sen. Kennedy and his colleagues decided to avoid indictment for manslaughter at all costs and therefore they fudged over many details. What can be said, however, is that he shamefully failed to notify the authorities that he had driven a car into the water and that a young lady was unable to escape from that watery tomb. He waited nine hours to report the accident and if he hadn't been a senator and a Kennedy he surely would have been indicted by a grand jury for manslaughter.


Charleston, S.C.: Mr. Klein,

How do you explain the transformation of Sen. Kennedy, for Republican politicians, from a symbol of left-wing liberalism to be feared, mocked and ridiculed to a well respected, powerful consensus builder? Has he always been viewed in that manner by insiders? Has his illness and advancing age led these Republicans to publicly proclaim him as this fence-mender and reach-across-the-aisle Senator?

Edward Klein: He gained his reputation among Republicans gradually and over many, manye years. At one point he was called "the Democrat that Republicans love to hate," and his very name on a campaign letter brought in lots of contributions from his enemies, but as the years passed and it became clear that he was one of the hardest working senators on Capitol Hill, he gained the respect and affection of his political enemies who learned to work with him affectionately.


San Diego: Did Senator Kennedy ever make "peace" with Jimmy Carter?

Edward Klein: No. There mutual dislike never abated. They rubbed each other the wrong way, they approached politics from totally different directions, they didn't trust each other, their staffs took glee in criticizing each other and perhaps most important of all they espoused very different philosophies. Carter was a conservative Democrat and Kennedy was a liberal Democrat and never the twain did meet.


Washington, DC: What happened to his first wife and mother of his children? Is she still alive?

Edward Klein: Joan Kennedy is still alive though she is not in good mental or physical condition. She has never been able to conquer her alcoholism and as a result of her self-destructive behavior her children got a court order from a judge appointing a guardian for their mother.


washingtonpost.,com: This concludes our discussion with Edward Klein today. For more discussion about Sen. Kennedy, come back at 3 p.m. to talk to Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn of The Washington Post.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

German government gives green light for swine flu vaccination program

Germans could begin receiving the vaccine against the H1N1 virus as soon as the end of September, said Health Minister Ulla Schmidt.

The decision on Wednesday by the federal government paves the way for Germany's biggest mass vaccination in postwar history. The country has already ordered 50 million doses of vaccine, which is still undergoing clinical tests.

That would immunize up to a third of the population against the virus, which is more commonly known as swine flu.

The first to be vaccinated will be people with chronic illnesses or immune disorders, pregnant women, healthcare workers and emergency services personnel. Vaccination should be free of cost for everyone with private or public health insurance.

Depending upon how many people are vaccinated, the program will cost the government and private insurers between 600 million euros ($852 million) and one billion euros.

The details of how to carry out the immunizations, such as whether they will be administered by public health offices or by personal physicians, are being left up to each German state.

So far there have been about 12,500 confirmed cases of swine flu in Germany. 300 to 500 new infections are reported every day, Schmidt said.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A $4,000 car from GM?

The company sees a market for an ultra-low-cost compact, a segment automakers are focusing on after the plunge in sales in North America and Western Europe.

By The Wall Street Journal
General Motors is targeting the emerging ultra-low-cost car market with plans for a compact for around $4,000, possibly producing it in Asia.

More on ultra-low-cost cars
The segment is attracting increasing attention from manufacturers eager to keep sales momentum in developing markets following the sharp slide in car sales in North America and Western Europe.

"When Tata Motors in India came out with their $2,500 Nano vehicle, it put a lot of automakers on the spot," said Nick Reilly, GM's new executive vice president of international operations.

Tata Motors started shipping the much-promoted Nano to domestic customers in July, with a base price of just under $3,000, and executives have talked of selling versions of the car in other emerging markets and in the U.S. and Europe.

"We are not going to make cars that cheap because that is really a specific car for a very specific market that has different emissions standards and specifications than markets like the U.S. and Brazil," Reilly said at a media briefing Friday in Brazil, GM's third-largest market by sales, after China and the United States.

"So we are looking at lower-cost vehicles but do not know yet where it will be made or where will it be sold, though most likely in Asia," he said.

Reilly also said GM saw a market for a car that costs around $4,000. With Chinese partners, GM already makes micro-minivans that it plans to export and is looking to expand that product range.

Reilly said that SAIC GM Wuling Automobile will likely sell significant numbers of vehicles outside of China, though not under the Wuling brand because GM doesn't own the branding rights.

Almost two-thirds of GM sales were outside North America in the first half of the year.

Reilly, former head of GM's Asian business, was chosen last month by CEO Frederick "Fritz" Henderson to oversee all international business from headquarters in Shanghai, in part because of his track record in developing alliances.

"We are getting used to partnerships, and the industry as a whole will see more partnerships forming in 2009," Reilly said, adding that GM wasn't currently looking for partners in other large markets, like India.

The 10 cheapest cars sold in the U.S.: Model Price Model Price

Hyundai Accent - $9,970

Nissan Versa - $9,990

Kia Rio - $11,495

Chevrolet Aveo - $11,965

Smart fortwo - $11,990

Toyota Yaris - $12,205

Kia Spectra - $13,550

Suzuki Reno - $13,839

Hyundai Elantra - $14,120

Pontiac G3 - $14,335

Monday, August 17, 2009

China to Buy $2 Billion worth of US Mortgages

China Investment Corp, the country's $200 billion sovereign wealth fund, is set to pour up to $2 billion soon into the U.S. mortgage system by hiring mandates under the U.S. Treasury-backed Public-Private Investment Plan (PPIP), sources told Reuters.

Under the PPIP program launched earlier this year the U.S. government plans to seed a number of public-private investment funds that would combine taxpayer money with private capital to buy as much as $40 billion in toxic securities from banks.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

CNBC: USD is not looking good.

And while the White House struggles with issues like health care and puts a fiscal policy exit strategy on the back burner, there are big concerns of about the direction of the U.S. dollar.

“I’m deeply worried about the worries of those investors who have invested a lot, really a lot into the dollar” like the Chinese, Japanese, Arabs and Russians, he said.

“If they have second thoughts about the quality of this currency then the dollar is bound to weaken” which means higher long-term interest rates for a country where government debt is approaching 100 percent of gross domestic product, he said.

If that happens, “2010 could be a worrisome year for all of us,” he said.

Click here for rest of Story ...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tampa, FL - Kathy Castor Town Hall Meeting Riot

In Tampa, FL on Aug. 6th Kathy Castor held a town meeting to discuss the Obama Health Care Bill. The meeting quickly erupted into a near riot over the issues surrounding this controversial Bill.

A town hall meeting to discuss President Obama's health care reform descended into shouting and violence in a Tampa, Fla., suburb Thursday as angry opponents clashed with event organizers.

Close to 1,500 people came to Ybor City to attend the town hall-style meeting on health care and insurance reform featuring Democratic State Rep. Bette Reed and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor before the event exploded into a near riot.

According to local media reports, the larger-than-expected crowd gathered outside the Hillsborough County Children's Board building where several hundred people, mostly in opposition to government health care, began to loudly chant and scuffle with organizers posted at doorways after the auditorium filled to capacity.

A freelance videographer was roughed up in an altercation, which damaged his camera equipment and glasses, and at least one man was treated for minor injuries after a scuffle left his shirt partially torn from his body.
"That's the most violent anyone has been towards me," Mark Bishop told WTSP-TV.
"It was surprising to say the least."

Video shot outside the auditorium showed several people holding signs and posters while banging on doors and windows, while others argued face-to-face and were seen screaming at one another in the parking lot as police looked on.

Inside, democratic lawmakers had a difficult time delivering their opening remarks as they were met with shouts of "You work for us!'' "Tyranny! tyranny! tyranny!'' and "Read the bill!" the Tampa Tribune reported.

As tensions rose further, Rep. Castor was escorted out of the town hall by police after Reed encouraged her to leave.
"They're hiding from their constituents. She works for us and needs to listen,'' Karen Jaroch, a homemaker and organizer for the 9-12 Project told the Tribune.
"We said all along our role was to come and give an update on the bill in Congress. That's what Betty Reed asked us to do ... and that's what we did," Castor spokeswoman Ellen Gedalius was quoted as saying.

Opponents said liberal organizers had attempted to allow early admission to those who were seen as favorable to health care plans making their way through Congress, but Reed denied the accusations, saying those brought in were organizers helping to set up the town hall.
"I represent a number of people who ask questions about what's going on with health care, so I thought it would be good to put on a meeting and have the congresswoman come in and give an update," Reed told the Tribune. "When you get to the point of possible violence, you've gone over the edge."
Top White House officials counseled Democratic senators Thursday on coping with disruptions at public events on health care this summer, officials said, and promised the party and allies would respond with twice the force if any individual lawmaker is criticized in television advertising.
In the week since the House began its break, several town hall-style meetings have been disrupted by noisy demonstrators. These episodes have drawn widespread media attention, and Republicans have seized on them as well as polls showing a decline in support for President Obama and his agenda as evidence that public support is lacking for his signature legislation.

About 20 protesters gathered in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Thursday to let Democratic Rep. Scott Murphy know they oppose the health care plans in Washington.
They carried signs saying: "Obamacare Seniors beware! Rationing is here," and "If socialized medicine is best ... why didn't Ted Kennedy go to Canada?" Motorists honked as they drove by.

So far, three House committees have approved health care legislation, and a measure is expected on the floor this fall. One committee has acted, and a bipartisan group of senators on the Finance Committee has been at work for weeks trying to draft a compromise plan.Additional reporting and video at

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Detroit !!

The economic crisis is hitting us all very hard this past year, but some cities have it alot worse off...

I told you Detroit sucks...

Lots of people have heard of Ann Arbor thanks to the University of Michigan, however, not everyone has. Sometimes I just say I’m from the “Detroit area”, which is accurate enough.

People often ask me if Detroit is as bad as it’s portrayed in movies, TV, news, etc. To which I normally say “worse.”

As of now there are over 12,000 abandoned homes in Detroit. The city is hemorrhaging money. Here are some sad facts about a once great city.

1. It’s the only city in the history of the United States to hit a population of over 1,000,000 residents and then subsequently fall back under that number.
2. The city has lost more than half of its population since the 1950’s.
3. Over 30% of the city’s population lives below the poverty line.
4. Over 36 square miles (58 square kilometers) of land sits vacant, which is roughly the size of the city of San Francisco.
5. The city tears down between 1,500 and 2,000 homes a year, which only keeps pace with the problem and doesn’t cut into the backlog of the 12,000 abandoned homes.

Things are getting so bad that people are moving their deceased loved ones’ bodies out of the city into other cemeteries.“Suburbanites are taking the bodies of their relatives out of cemeteries because they’re afraid to come to the city,” Vogel said. “There are about 400 to 500 hundred (being moved) a year which shows you the depth of racism and fear.” You know your city sucks when even the dead people are leaving.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

State Investigating ACORN.

The Louisiana Attorney General has opened an investigation into the community-organizing organization ACORN.

“All we can say is we are investigating,” wrote Tammi Arender, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s office.
“We can't say much else since it's open.”

She encouraged anyone with credible information about ACORN to call investigators at (225) 326-6120.

Gov. Bobby Jindal has been under pressure to investigate the nationwide organization, which is based in New Orleans. The chief complaints involve a case of a nearly $1 million embezzlement by the brother of the group’s founder which was never reported to authorities; the lack of accountability for the millions of dollars in taxpayer dollars that ACORN and its related groups have received over several years; and the potential for public money to be used by partisan affiliates of ACORN.

ACORN and its related Project Vote, a nationwide voter-registration drive, have earned the scorn of commentators and critics, who say the effort was a thinly veiled effort to push Democratic candidates and recruit new dues-paying ACORN members. ACORN workers in several states have been arrested in connection with voter-registration fraud, but the organization itself has not been charged with a crime.

Only last year did most of the 51-member governing board of ACORN learn of nearly $1 million in inappropriate charges to an ACORN credit account by Dale Rathke, brother of ACORN founder and then-leader Wade Rathke. Rather than report the incident to authorities, Wade Rathke worked with a smallgroup of ACORN leaders to arrange for a repayment schedule by his brother. After more than $200,000 was repaid, an outside donor stepped in and repaid the balance.

Even so, news of alleged crime and the quiet handling of the repayment rocked the organization. A splinter of the governing board has broken off and is demanding that the group open its books to public inspection. The Acorn 8 says it wants to return the group to its roots of giving a voiceto and empowering low-income people.

They’re concerned that the organization has moved away from that mission and is improperly getting involved in politics.
The Project Vote effort is a tax-exempt charity, and is not allowed to participate in partisan politics. But an internal report by an ACORN attorney raised questions about whether the registration drive was kept separate from other allowable political activities by ACORN.

According to an October story in The New York Times, the lawyer, Elizabeth Kingsley, “found that the tight relationship between Project Vote and Acorn made it impossible to document that Project Vote’s money had been used in a strictly nonpartisan manner. Until the embezzlement scandal broke last summer, Project Vote’s board was made up entirely of Acorn staff members and Acorn members. Ms. Kingsley’s report raised concerns not only about a lack of documentation to demonstrate that no charitable money was used for political activities but also about which organization controlled strategic decisions.”

Alternatively referred to by critics as “radical” and “mob-like” in its tactics, ACORN bills itself as the nation’s largest grassroots movement, with more than 400,000 members in 110 cities. Its Web site says its membership consists of “low- and moderate-income families, working together for social justice and stronger communities.”

Rarely shy in their tactics, ACORN members have made headlines by storming corporate meetings and board rooms, as well as picketing in front of the homes of politicians, to demand action on their programs they say are aimed at social justice. Before its workers drew attention by submitting bogus voter registrations in the name of Mickey Mouse and the like, the groups was best known for pushing “living wage” ordinances in various cities. Those efforts called on governments and their contractors to pay more than the national minimum wage.

Such an effort in New Orleans resulted in voters approving a first-in-the-nation minimum wage citywide in 2002, setting the bottom at $1 above the national minimum. That measure, however, was struck down in court.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Obama Joker

There is a new poster going around that is depicting Barack Obama photo shopped to look like The Joker, from the Batman comic, and has the word Socialism underneath the picture. It is becoming very popular and is showing up on blogs and news sites around the net. So, with out further ado, here is the picture that has everyone talking or yelling, in some cases...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Birth Certificate Faked ?!?!

Nooo It couldnt be...The previous post I made with the image of the Birth Certificate has some issues....

1) The photograph has three resolutions embedded. The highest resolution is for the paper. The second highest resolution is the fabric background. The lowest resolution is the text.
2) Mis-spelled the name of the village that Obama's father was born in as "Kanyadhinng" instead of Kanyadhiang".
3) Gave the age of Obama's father as "26". He was born in 1936 and thus could not have been older than "25".
4) The certificate number is given as "47,044" which is remarkable considering that Barack Hussein Obama was 47 years old when he was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States.
5) Most damning of all, the font used is Schmutz, which was invented in 1995.Post any of the problems you see here.

Barck OBAMA KENYA birth certificate leaked!

Is this really smoking gun of Obama's Kenyan birth?
Attorney files motion for authentication of alleged 1960s certificate from AfricaPosted:
August 02, 2009
11:55 am Eastern

Original Story

WASHINGTON – California attorney Orly Taitz, who has filed a number of lawsuits demanding proof of Barack Obama's eligibility to serve as president, has released a copy of what purports to be a Kenyan certification of birth and has filed a new motion in U.S. District Court for its authentication.

What will happen if this birth certificate is real?
What about the laws and executive orders and everyone he has appointed to office?
What about all the czars?
Will Joe Biden be president then?
Will there be riots over this?
I'm worried there is going to be chaos...