Jan 24, 2009

Poll: global warming priority ranks last

Economy and jobs top all other priorities in 2009 according to the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, taken this month.

Immigration, health care and environment slip down the list.

Respondents showed a cooling on global warming which came in dead last.


Baby buggy on ice

People take a trip across the frozen lake Ammersee, near to the village of Herrsching, southern Germany, during cold winter weather.

(AP Photo)

Clothier Hartmarx files for bankruptcy

Hartmarx has filed for federal bankruptcy reorganization.

The largest maker of men's tailored clothing in the U.S. traces its roots to 1872, when brothers Harry and Max Hart opened a men's clothing store in Chicago.

In recent years, the company struggled as casual dressing eclipsed the need for suits. Tight credit markets and a retreat in consumer spending, especially for luxury clothing, dealt the company its latest blow.

Hartmarx makes business, casual and golf apparel under brands that include Hart Schaffner Marx, Hickey Freeman, Sansabelt and Christopher Blue.

The Company's Canadian and other non-U.S. affiliates have not sought bankruptcy protection.


Jan 23, 2009

When will we learn who he is?

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

A 2009 Inauguration survivor group formed

This is surely a U.S. presidential inauguration first: an inauguration survivors group!

An article in the Los Angels Times is titled, Inauguration visitors who were trapped underground air grievances.”

People with purple tickets to Tuesday’s inauguration ceremony squeeze into a tunnel beneath the National Mall. Some later said the entrance gate to the purple area was closed, seemingly abandoned by security personnel

Many holders of purple tickets spent hours in a tunnel under the National Mall instead of witnessing Obama's swearing-in. Officials are investigating what went wrong.

Even as Dianne Feinstein (pictured) apologized to the distressed visitors they formed a survivors group on Facebook called Survivors of the Purple Tunnel of Doom. As of Thursday evening there were 3,950 members.

Diane Feinstein, a Democratic Senator from California, is head of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, which was responsible for the event.

It is reported that Feinstein is planning to run for Governor of California when Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger must step down due to term limits.

The inauguration fiasco will give Feinstein opponents useful ammunition pointing out her questionable organizational skills.

Link to the LA Times report here.

Obama tells GOP stimulus objectors ‘I won’

Washington politicians are quickly learning just where the arrogant new president stands.

Obama listened to Republican gripes about his stimulus package during a meeting with congressional leaders Friday morning - but he also left no doubt about who's in charge of these negotiations.

"I won," Obama noted matter-of-factly, according to sources familiar with the conversation.

The Republicans had valid objections about the Obama stimulus package because it is not so much a stimulus, as it is a massive transfer of wealth from the politically unconnected to the politically connected.

The stimulus package will be a giant piggy bank for greedy politicians and for the friends of greedy politicians.


A “Democratic Sarah Palin” picked for Hillary replacement

New York Governor Dave Paterson (upper picture), showing a brazen independent streak, defied the liberal wing of his Democratic Party yesterday by choosing a little-known Congresswoman to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as New York's junior senator.

Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (lower picture) is more like Sarah Palin than limousine liberal politicians that New York usually sends to Washington.

Gillibrand is an attractive mother with a great personality. She even backs the NRA and is against the bailouts and gay marriage.

The decision was a major rebuff to some of the state's best-known Democrats interested in Clinton's seat, including Attorney General and former federal Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo.

Sources said "at least five" members of the state's Democratic congressional delegation called Paterson to protest the possibility of Gillibrand's selection. One, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of Nassau County, even threatened a primary challenge.


Balancing act

Tokyo firemen display their balancing skills atop bamboo ladders during a New Year demonstration.

Inauguration trivia: Reagan viewership beat Obama

The Obama inauguration ranks second behind the first Reagan inauguration in 1981, but that’s not exactly how it was reported by the Nielsen Wire which said:

Nearly 37.8 million Americans watching at home viewed President Barack Obama’s oath of office and inaugural speech.

This is the most viewed inauguration since the record of 41.8 million viewers who watched Ronald Reagan’s 1981 inauguration.

In their reluctance to give Reagan credit, it was almost like saying Obama came in second while Reagan came in next to last the way the two were compared.

What makes this comparison quite remarkable is that there were 25% fewer people in the United States in 1981 and yet the Reagan viewership was 10% more.


Obama refers to “my Muslim faith”

(click on picture to see video)

Video shows Obama being interviewed by George Stephanopolos during the campaign when Obama said, "...John McCain has not made an issue of my Muslim faith ..."

Stephanopolos then coached... “You mean Christian.”

It would not have been a problem to mention Obama's Christian faith. That's why it is really telling when Obama said "John McCain didn't mention my Muslim faith."

Does this mean Barack Hussein Obama is our first Muslim president?

Democrats to spend $1 Trillion but can’t promise a single job!

Michigan Congressman Dave Camp (pictured) pressed a Joint Tax Committee staffer on how many jobs will be created by the trillion dollars the Obama administration wants to spend in their “stimulus” package.

The simple answer was none!


Jan 22, 2009

First White House press conference - it was ugly

Time Magazine reports on the first White House press conference after the inaugration:

Just watched Robert Gibbs (pictured) first press conference--and yeeesh, it was ugly. A good part of this was the W.H. press corps perpetual, institutional instinct for the capillaries: a whole bunch of time wasted on Obama's retaking the oath of office; a whole bunch of questions looking for the bottom line on tangled policy issues that won't be resolved for months.

But where were all those old questions like, “since the presidency has failed, how does the president plan to…”

Oh, that’s right - I forgot for a moment - there is a Democrat in the White House now. That means all the questions should be “soft balls” now since everyone in the press corps not only voted for Obama but worked hard to get him elected.

Link to first White House press conference here.

Gore losing war: 56% say man not warming planet

The Global Warmist-in-Chief Al Gore (pictured) is losing his propaganda war to convince Americans carbon dioxide is destroying the planet.

Al Gore’s side may be coming to power in Washington, but they appear to be losing the battle on the idea that humans are to blame for global warming.

Forty-four percent (44%) of U.S. voters now say long-term planetary trends are the cause of global warming, compared to 41% who blame it on human activity.

The inconvenient truth is that this is bad news for a man that has bet his reputation on people buying into his junk science.


George Stephanopoulos cried on inauguration day

Why was I not surprised when it was announced that little Georgie boy cried on inauguration day?

(sarcasm on)

Ya know, he really should change his name. Now that Bambie is in the White House, there will be millions of times when reporters will need to key in his name (Stephanopoulos is not easy to type) while reporting every time he drools on the microphone while bragging about his perfect president.

I wonder how the MSNBC political hack twins fared on inauguration day? No doubt Chris Matthews had that thrill go up his leg again and Keith Olbermann probably wet his pants.

(sarcasm off)


NY Times reporters warns of one-term Obama

White House reporters for The New York Times predict that the market collapse will force President-elect Barack Obama to abandon for now many of his campaign promises.

If his stimulus plan "doesn’t work out, he may very well be a one-term president,” said Jeff Zeleny, who covered Obama’s campaign. “It’s hard to imagine that he could be reelected if the economy’s in the exact same position four years from now.”

“A lot of the things he said on the campaign trail you can now dispense with,” said correspondent Peter Baker. “For the moment he has to focus on the economy.”

The Times White House reporters are overlooking the obvious -- the media will downplay all of the Obama negatives, of which there will be many in the next four years.


Hee Ah Lee masterful 4 fingered piano player

This is an inspiring video and story of an accomplished pianist with only 4 fingers!

(click on picture to see video)

Hee Ah Lee was born in Seoul, Korea on July 9, 1985.

At birth she only had two fingers on each hand and no legs below her kneecaps.

When she first began playing the piano at age 7, she didn’t plan to become a pianist. She only wanted to strengthen her hands so she could hold a pencil.

Click here to learn more about the inspiring 23-year-old Hee Ah Lee.

…thanks to Twila for alerting us to this story

Bad hair day on the Riviera

Singer Beyonce performs during the World Music Awards in Monte Carlo November, 2008.

Reuters photo

Time and Newsweek focused on liberal politics

There is an interesting Washington Post report at the link below about the narrowing focus of Time and Newsweek magazines and their downward spiral.

Morale in both shops has been devastated as staffers complain about a blurred identity, lack of direction, management snafus and outsourcing to big-name writers that has left them wondering if reporters still have much of a role.

The days of a “newsmagazine of record” are long gone.

Time and Newsweek are turning out weeklies that are becoming smaller, more opinionated and more liberal.

They are pursuing a more elite audience, in print and on the Web, abandoning the old Henry Luce notion of catering to the masses. It is nothing less than a survival strategy.

Both magazines have moved away from the health and pop culture covers that were so prevalent in the past.

Time ran 19 cover stories on politics last year. Most of the others were on war, the economy and foreign affairs.

Newsweek ran 26 cover stories on politics last year. Two of them were on Michelle Obama!

In a concerted effort to help elect Barack Obama, Time made him Person of the Year and featured Obama on the cover 13 other times.

Newsweek was not far behind with 12 covers featuring Obama.

Link here and here.

Rocky start for disorganized Obama press office

Did Obama hire a bunch of amateurs off the street or did he bring in unqualified cronies?

Disorderly is an understatement to describe the White House press office, where phones are not working and staff names are misspelled on their office doors and desks.

Misspelled name cards, re-programmed phones, mounds of paperwork and general confusion ruled the day as President Obama's press aides gamely navigated their first day on the job Wednesday.

Deputy Press Secretary Jen Psaki's name was spelled Jan' (she joked it read as Yan). Tommy Vietor's name came out Tommy Yietor. And Ben LaBolt was transformed to Ben Lebolt.

Things were so chaotic the first full schedule of the president's activities didn't come out until 12:05 p.m.

There was no briefing from Obama's press secretary Robert Gibbs (pictured).

That won't happen until the phones and computers are up and running.


Jan 21, 2009

About the Obama inaugural address…

An army of clichés marching across the presidential palate” is the title of the report at the link below.

Clichéd, surprisingly dull, naive, and memorable only insofar as it was forgettable.

And that was the polite part of the report.

It was a schizophrenic speech that couldn't quite make up its mind whether we were in a time of peril and doom or simply suffering from national indigestion.

Even though a few Obama supporters swooned and called the speech “momemtous” others thought it was just another campaign speech.

It was an uninspiring speech and everybody knows it - including the news writers who have made a valiant attempt to whitewash the jumble of words.

One Lucianne commenter: “Every pundit and historian I saw interviewed expressed their disappointment. Dr. Krauthammer called it pedestrian.”

One website said it contained numerous grammatical errors.

It was Pablum for the masses as reported here.

Obama delivers overblown rhetoric and dull clichés as though it's the most important thing ever spoken in the English language.

Listening to an entire speech where every sentence is delivered in that manner is akin to fingernails on chalk.

Maybe Obama adds emphasis to the end of each phrase because he is afraid people won’t believe what he is saying otherwise.

Unless a person is part of the "he's gonna pay my mortgage and buy my gas" crowd, the cadence of his speaking style and that verbal tic where the final syllables in some of his sentences fade off -- will turn you off.

One writer wondered if that was to make him sound black when that mattered to him more than it does now. Maybe so.


Rahm Emanuel reacts to inauguration

Photo shows incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel making a rude gesture.

Is he ‘saluting’ his new boss or is he just not taking the inauguration seriously?

Reuters photo by Jim Young

Worst inauguration day drop in Dow Industrial’s 112-year history!

Stocks usually go up on the day a new president is inaugurated. Not this time!

Yesterday, U.S. stocks sank, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its worst Inauguration Day decline sending financial shares to an almost 14-year low.

State Street Corp., the largest money manager for institutions, tumbled 59 percent after unrealized bond losses almost doubled. Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. slumped more than 23 percent on an analyst’s prediction that they’ll need to take steps to shore up their balance sheets.

The Dow’s 4 percent slide was the most on an Inauguration Day in the measure’s 112-year history, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and the Stock Trader’s Almanac.


Deer smuggling: big bucks for big bucks

The Texas Parks and Wildlife reports on the arrest and sentencing of deer smugglers.

A Texas man and a Minnesota man were both sentenced to federal prison terms yesterday for illegally transporting white-tailed deer across state lines.

Robert Eichenour, owner of Circle E Ranch in Grimes County, Texas, to 18 months in federal prison. Eichenour must also serve 36 months probation after his release from prison and pay a $50,000 fine. Brian Becker of Minnesota was also sentenced to 33 months in federal prison and 36 months probation after his release.

The two men were caught smuggling 14 white-tailed buck deer from Minnesota to Eichenour’s ranch in Grimes County.

The plan was for Eichenour to bring in hunters and sell hunts for the trophy Minnesota bucks.

After a lengthy investigation it was determined that, over a four year period, Becker and Eichenour had smuggled in approximately $300,000 worth of white-tailed bucks.

Other investigations continue involving people Eichenour did business with as a permitted deer breeder in Texas.


CBS clobbers Bush in final poll

CBS is well known for “push-polling” to get the results they want.

In their final poll on the final approval rating of George W. Bush, they pushed the number all the way down to 22 percent.

We wonder how low Carter’s final approval rating would have been had CBS used the exact same method then.


The following contains more “truth than poetry.”

(click on picture to enlarge)

Obama slams Bush on Inauguration day

It didn’t take long for Barack Hussein Obama to show his true colors.

The new White House website unveiled by President Barack Obama’s team Tuesday includes a shot at former President Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina.

Under the “agenda” portion of the site regarding Katrina, it reads: “President Obama will keep the broken promises made by President Bush to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. He and Vice President Biden will take steps to ensure that the federal government will never again allow such catastrophic failures in emergency planning and response to occur.”

A classless act from a man who claims to be a uniter and compares himself to Abraham Lincoln!


Jan 20, 2009

Stocks tumble on Obama day

U.S. stock market plunge greets new president.

Link here to the global equity slide on ‘Obama day.’

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

Ted Kennedy has seizure at inaugural lunch

Sen. Edward Kennedy (pictured) collapsed Tuesday afternoon during a luncheon for President Barack Obama in the Capitol's Statuary Hall.

Kennedy, who appeared to be suffering from a seizure, was transported to a hospital.

"Sen. Kennedy had a seizure" which "lasted a while," a Republican House member told CNN.

The member said Kennedy was still experiencing seizures when he was put in a wheelchair and taken out through the Rayburn room, located to the side of Statuary Hall.

Kennedy suffered a seizure in May 2008, while walking his dogs at his home in Hyannisport, Massachusetts.

Three days later, Kennedy's doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said the preliminary results from a brain biopsy showed a tumor in the left parietal lobe, which was responsible for the seizure.

In June 2008, Kennedy underwent a 3½-hour operation at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, to remove a malignant tumor from his brain. Surgeons had reported that the surgery was a success and that Kennedy should suffer no permanent damage from the procedure.

Kennedy, sometimes referred to as the “old lion” of the Senate is a staunch supporter of Barack Obama who shares the Senator’s socialist views.


Did the inaugural address live up to expectations?

Barack Obama faced a challenge to deliver an inaugural address befitting the historic occasion of his election as the nation's first African-American president.

His skill as a public speaker alone did much to elevate expectations. Many thought his speech would rank right up there with other great presidential speeches from the past.

That would be nearly impossible, but that’s not Obama’s fault. When so many people expect so much it is nearly impossible to live up to the unrealistic expectations.

At least he didn’t speak for over two hours using over 8,000 words as did William Henry Harrison in 1841 nor did he only use 135 words as George Washington did in his second inaugural address.

Presidents often try for immortal words but only a few succeed. Jefferson's first inaugural speech declared, "We are all republicans, we are all federalists." Lincoln's second contained the unforgettable words "With malice toward none, with charity for all ..."

What will stand out in Obama’s inaugural address?

New presidential limo: not pretty but safe

New wheels for the new president.

He’s getting a new presidential limo. It’s a tradition. The new president always gets a new car.

You know that Cadillac commercial that says, “When you turn your car on, does it return the favor?”
Well, you might have to be a masochist then to enjoy Barack Obama’s new caddy.

The car can probably fend off fend off asteroids but it sure ain’t pretty!

Car enthusiasts say, “yuck.” Most others call it “the beast.”

A report at the link below says:

It’s got auto enthusiasts singing Daphne and Celeste’s song “U.G.L.Y.”

You remember the lyrics: “U.G.L.Y., You ain’t got no alibi, You ugly! You ugly! Yo mama says you ugly!”

The 2009 Cadillac Presidential Limousine - will replace President Bush’s 2006 model. As you can imagine, it is completely custom built - not something you can buy in your local showroom (if it hasn’t closed down yet).

Now, what happens to the old limo?

You can’t just offer it on Craig’s List or put it on eBay.

In this case, that’s no problem, just give it to Joe.

The veep needs a car so they’re giving it to Biden.


Fiat may take over Chrysler

Italians are poised to do to Chrysler what the German’s couldn’t.

Daimler pumped billions into Chrysler before they gave up. Now it looks like Fiat will take a turn. Will they fare any better?

In an attempt to revive two of the world's storied auto makers, Italy's Fiat SpA and Chrysler LLC are poised to announce a partnership as soon as today in which Fiat could take control of the U.S. company's operations, people familiar with the matter said.

Under terms of a pact that is being hammered out, Fiat is likely to take a 35% stake in Chrysler by the middle of this year. It would have the option of increasing that to as much as 55%, these people said.

Sergio Marchionne pulled the Italian company back from the brink of collapse since taking over in 2004. Maybe he can work the same magic on Chrysler.


Obama oath of office

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

Jan 19, 2009

Farewell Mr. President

Biden offered Sec of State before Hillary

During the taping of the Oprah Winfrey show today, Jill Biden told Oprah that her husband was offered his choice of Secretary of State or Vice President.

So there ya have it - whenever you want to learn what’s on the political grapevine, tune in to the Oprah Winfrey Show!

This revelation came after Vice President-elect Joe Biden told Oprah that after then-Sen. Obama offered the job of VP he asked for some time to think about it and talk it over with his family.

Mrs. Biden interjected: "Joe had the choice of being secretary of State or vice president." She then seemed to realize she'd said something she wasn't supposed to have said.

This can’t be the kind of thing that would please Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.


California out of cash - delaying tax refunds

Looking for a California refund? You may get an IOU instead.

California's controller said Friday he will be forced to impose a 30-day delay on tax refunds and some other payments starting Feb. 1 if lawmakers fail to agree on a plan to erase a nearly $42 billion budget deficit.

More of the story here.

Poignant photo from 1929 stock market crash

(click on picture to enlarge)
A picture is worth a thousand words

Driving? Hang up that phone!

The National Safety Council wants to ban all cell phone use while driving.

The NSC says the use of any mobile device behind the wheel can be a deadly distraction and is asking governors and legislators across the country to make it against the law to talk on the phone and drive at the same time.


Mayor Daley seizes Chicago land for unfunded project

This may be Chicago Mayor Daley’s version of Tip O’Neill’s big dig in Boston and Ted Stevens bridge to nowhere in Alaska with more a more imaginative and self serving method of “bringing home the pork.”

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (pictured) has kicked hundreds of families out of their homes and relocated a cemetery full of buried bodies to build a whopping $15 billion airport expansion Chicago residents oppose, airlines don’t want and he doesn’t have the money to build.

Daley is doing it for a chance at a big chunk of stimulus money under Barack Obama’s pledge to dramatically increase infrastructure spending.

The “O’Hare Modernization Project,” signed by disgraced Governor Rod Blagojevich in 2003, has enabled the city to seize 433 acres of land from surrounding villages under a special “quick-take authority” power given to Daley by the state.

The city even uprooted a 108-year old cemetery, requiring families to find a new home for the 1,500 bodies resting there, in the process of taking some of its first tracts of land.

More of the ‘tax grab’ details here.

Jan 18, 2009

Obama chooses a dog for the White House

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

Watching the stock market

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

Unplugged - Circuit City to close all stores

Anyone with Circuit City gift certificates should plan on using them without delay.

Circuit City, the nation's second-biggest consumer electronics retailer, said Friday it failed to find a buyer and will liquidate its 567 U.S. stores.

It was unclear what would happen to the company's 765 retail stores and dealer outlets in Canada.

The company already closed 155 stores in the U.S. in November and December.


Pricey inauguration during economic collapse

Unemployment is up. The stock market is down. They will spend $150 million on a party anyway.

The price tag for President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration gala is expected to break records, with some estimates reaching as high as $150 million.

Despite the bleak economy, however, Democrats who called on President George W. Bush to be frugal four years ago are issuing no such demands now.

The inaugural weekend of rock concerts and star-studded parties has begun.

The massive costs of security and transportation will be absorbed by U.S. taxpayers.

In 2005, Reps. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., and Jim McDermott, D-Wash., asked Bush to show a little less pomp and be a little more circumspect at his party.

But that was then and this is now.

When a politician is turned into a rock star style icon by an aggressively liberal media, money is no object when planning this inauguration.