Economic Recovery – New Data 04-16-09

Is the economy on the road to recovery or is someone blowing smoke in your eyes.

My advice, cover your eyes.

The unemployment numbers are up again – that is right – up. The rate of increase has slowed, however, unemployment is still increasing. We have had 8 straight weeks of 600,000+ in unemployment claims. This weeks numbers are slightly smaller than last weeks numbers – but we are still adding huge numbers of newly unemployed. Compared to this week last year, twice as many people filed for unemployment claims this year.

MSNBC will try to tell you things are looking better – “Single-family home construction, while depressed, appears to be leveling off.” http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30244453

Wow, is that misleading.

“Single-family sector actually stabilized in March at an annual rate of 358,000 units, the same as February. Two months of stability could signal that single-family home building is finding a bottom although at a very low level, analysts said.”

Ok, 358,000 units. Three years ago this headline was in the news, “Housing Starts Peak Again in February”, “Total housing starts increased by 0.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2,195,000 million units, setting a new 21-year-record for the second month in a row, the U.S. Commerce Department reported. The February construction pace was 15.8 percent above a year ago.” http://grounds-mag.com/news/housing_february_041205/

385,000 versus 2,195,000. Looks like we have a long way to go.

Things have leveled off OK, at all time low levels. I guess you can read optimism into those numbers, but, even if the current number of starts are doubled, we would only be building 1/4 of the number of houses that were built 3 years ago.

As to the unemployment numbers – “The total number of people remaining on the jobless benefit rolls rose, topping 6 million for the first time. That’s the highest on records dating from 1967.” In 1983 unemployment topped 9.1% http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSTRE51I3CC20090219

Don’t be fooled by earnings reports from Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs, both received Billions in bailout dollars. Both have been allowed to restate the value of “toxic mortages” they have on their books with the recent change in accounting rules.

Goldman Sachs received $13 billions in bailout money. See: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/taxpayer-funded-gs-profits/ , http://www.1440wallstreet.com/index.php/comments/goldman_sends_out_b_team_to_answer_aig_questions/ , http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/2233686/

Goldman Sachs full exposure to these “Toxic Mortgage” assets is unknown. What do the Goldman Sachs numbers mean – no one really knows. http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/2233686/

Former Treasury Secretary Paulson had previously served as CEO of Goldman Sachs where he was paid $12,700,000 in annual salary. http://www2.goldmansachs.com/s/prospectus/Management.html, http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/2233686/

Conservative Journalist Michelle Malkin said it best here: http://michellemalkin.com/2008/09/22/why-henry-paulson-must-be-contained/

Some are calling for criminal investigations. It is about time!

Then there was this report, “J.P. Morgan profit off as provision for bad loans jumps”, “J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. on Thursday said first-quarter profit fell 10% as reserves for consumer loan losses continued to grow alarmingly”. http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/jp-morgan-profit-off-bank/story.aspx?guid=%7B1773E31A%2D43DE%2D4D1D%2DBED7%2DFFA6BA8EAA13%7D&dist=TNMostRead

What do the J.P. Morgan numbers mean? Who knows? With a change in the accounting rules, they could mean anything, or nothing. What is the banks “real” exposure to nonperforming consumer mortgages and credit card debt? How large will the future write downs need to be?

As for the economy. By the numbers, the elevator is still on the way down, but the rate of descent maybe slowing. Unemployment has already surpassed 9% and the Obama Administration projected it would not pass 8.9%. Economists are now projecting an unemployment rate of 11% before winter 2009.

Mortgage foreclosures are scheduled to resume this week as the “voluntary” moratorium on foreclsoures has ended. http://www.predictify.com/q/97687

Remember this, the Stock Market does not measure economic activity. The economy can be in recession and shrinking while the Stock Market is making gains – During the 11 years of the Great Depression the Stock Market closed up in 6 of the 11 years. http://www.nyse.tv/dow-jones-industrial-average-history-djia.htm

Homeland Security’s Napolitano Insults Veterans, Unions, Gun Owners and Pro-life

This is simply unbelievable.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano must resign.

First, the Secretary for Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, order ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) to stop workplace raids. Raids which located, identified and deported illegal aliens and provided operational intelligance which helped indentify the “trafficking” routes used by those who transport not just illegal aliens, but sex slaves, drugs, weapons and potential terrorists into the United States.

Then the good Secretary and the Obama Administration announced a change in the samatics of Obama Government Speak. The term “War on Terror” was abandoned for the term “Over Seas Contingency Operation”. In fact, Administration employees were instructed to discontinue using the terms “terror” or “terrorists” in public. This would appear to be just a matter of semantics, until now. Apparently the use of the term “Terror” and “terrorists” is being reserved for use in conjunction with “Right Wing Extremist”. A “Right Wing Extremist” is anyone who served in the US Military, believes in gun ownership rights, opposes abortion, opposes NAFTA or illegal immigration or believes in many of the other ‘Freedoms” guaranteed by the Constitution. Particluarly offensive is the continued reference to those that oppose abortion as being “White Supremacists”. In Napolitano’s world, if you believe “smaller government” is better than “bigger government” you are a right wing extremists.

A new report from Secretary Napolitano categorizes returning Military Veterans and those individuals that are proponents of “States Rights” or those that oppose the growth of the Federal Government as “Right Wing Extremists”. See the footnote at the end of page 2 of the report, “Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.
http://wnd.com/images/dhs-rightwing-extremism.pdf

As to Veternas and the Constitutional Right to bare arms the report also states, “The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.” On page 2 of 9 of the report, just above the footnote. http://wnd.com/images/dhs-rightwing-extremism.pdf

Just what the heck is she talking about. Veterans have always faced “reintergration challenges” only someone that has never served would fail to grasp that fact. The Secretary of Homeland Security believes it is OK to cast this type of aspersion on the reputation of thoses that have sacrifriced for our Country. The defamation of returning American Service Personnel in this manner clearly exposes the disdain both Napolitano and the Obama Administration hold for our Troops. Wasn’t it just weeks ago that the Obama Adminstrationm proposed having the Troops pay for their service related medical care with private insurance? This is just another outshoot of the liberal anti-military philosophy so common in the 1970s.

Next the report states, “Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to rightwing extremists. DHS/I&A is concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to
boost their violent capabilities.” At page 3 of 9. http://wnd.com/images/dhs-rightwing-extremism.pdf

The report goes on to say, “Disgruntled Military Veterans: assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and
radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.” “After Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, some returning military veterans—including Timothy McVeigh—joined or associated with rightwing extremist groups.” at page 8 of 10.

“A prominent civil rights organization reported in 2006 that “large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces.” at page 8. What Civil Rights organization? ACORN?

Where is the proof? How dare Napolitano compare all US Mititary personnel to McVeigh.

Secretary Napolitano needs to resign today

Next the report turns to a favorite target of the “Left Wing Extermists” like Napolitano, legal gun ownership, when the report states, “Proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans likely would attract new members into the ranks of rightwing extremist groups, as well as potentially spur some of them to begin planning and training for violence against the government. The high volume of purchases and stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by rightwing extremists in anticipation of restrictions and bans in some parts of the country continue to be a primary concern to law enforcement.” What law enforcement orgainzations are those? My local Sheriffs Department encourages citizens to legally own and register weapons.

Is Secretary Napolitano a facist. The Supreme Court of the United states has reconfirmed the right of Americans to own firearms.

Secretary Napolitano must resign.

“a number of economic and political factors are driving a resurgence in rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization activity” …. “the threat posed by lone wolves and small terrorist cells is more pronounced than in past years.”

Is my local VFW meeting a “terrorist cell”? There are a lot of highly trained people in attendance, most own guns, slightly fewer attend church than own guns, I’d bet at least half oppose abortion. They all seem to be in favor of enforcing the immigration laws that are on the books. Somebody better call Homeland Security.

“Rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived loss of U.S. jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors and home foreclosures.”

Oh my gosh, what does “perceived loss of U.S. jobs” mean. Isn’t the unemployment rate a shade below 9%. My liberal democratic friends are talking about the economy too ….. and how they will vote next time around if the Obama “plans” don’t work ….. are these long time Democrats on the verge of becoming “right wing extremists”. http://wnd.com/images/dhs-rightwing-extremism.pdf

“Many rightwing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms ownership and use.” http://wnd.com/images/dhs-rightwing-extremism.pdf

Apparently, anyone who has a different point of view than the Administration is an “extremist”.

Nazi Germany and the Gestapo come to mind …..

“Paralleling the current national climate, rightwing extremists during the 1990s exploited a variety of social issues and political themes to increase group visibility and recruit new members. Prominent among these themes were the militia movement’s opposition to gun control efforts, criticism of free trade agreements (particularly those with Mexico), and highlighting perceived government infringement on civil liberties as well as white supremacists’ longstanding exploitation of social issues such as abortion“. At page 5 of 10 – “Revisiting the 1990’s”. http://wnd.com/images/dhs-rightwing-extremism.pdf

Can you believe this, if you oppose unconsitutional gun control laws, if you are critical of NAFTA, if you are in favor of civil liberties, you are a “Right Wing Extremist”. If you are Pro-Life you are not only an extremist but a “white supremacist” as well. Wow, if you happen to be a Black Christian who opposes abortion, you now qualify as a “White Supremacist”. Only in America as scene through the eyes of the Obama Administration.

“Historically, domestic rightwing extremists have feared, predicted, and anticipated a cataclysmic economic collapse in the United States” … “These teachings also have been linked with the radicalization of domestic extremist individuals and groups in the past, such as violent Christian Identity organizations and extremist members of the militia movement.”

Wow, if you warn that historical precedent indicates that the Obama Economic Recovery plan will fail, if you warned that teh Housing Bubble, like the inetrnet bubble, would “pop”, you are an extremist and this qualifies you to become a member of a “violent Christian Identity organization” like the Klu-Klux-Klan. Never mind that thousands of Economists oppose the Obama Plans on non ideologic grounds, the plan is simply bad economics – but now those Economists are hateful, Right Wing Extremists who are on the verge of becoming domestic terrorists.

“Rightwing extremists were concerned during the 1990s with the perception that illegal immigrants were taking away American jobs through their willingness to work at significantly lower wages. They also opposed free trade agreements, arguing that these arrangements resulted in Americans losing jobs to countries such as Mexico.” At page 6 of 10.

In my circles, the individuals and Groups who spoke out the loudest on these topics were the Unions. Are those groups now “Right Wing Extremists”. What I find incredible is the fact that the author simply denies that the comments are, in fact, true. The presence of 20 million illegal immigrants in the US does act to lower wages in this Country. Manufacturing jobs have been lost to Mexico. Is opposition to NAFTA enough to make you a Right WIng extremist. I’m a conservative and to the “Right” of my friends in Union circles, are they suddenly the “Right Wing extremists?

“Over the past five years, various rightwing extremists, including militias and white supremacists, have adopted the immigration issue as a call to action, rallying point, and recruiting tool. Debates over appropriate immigration levels and enforcement policy generally fall within the realm of protected political speech under the First Amendment, but in some cases, anti-immigration or strident pro-enforcement fervor has been directed against specific groups and has the potential to turn violent.”

Wow, now law abiding American Citizens who call for the enforcement of existing immigration laws are “extremists” and “white supremacists”. Hispanic members of my Community and Church who share my views on immigration will be shocked by this claim. Are we about to become violent, Right Wing Extremists, who will act violently to promote White Supremacy. Terrorists one and all. Gee and I forgot, many of us are Pro-Life too. Call out the National Guard – opps – I suppose we have to watch the Guard too.

“Many rightwing extremist groups perceive recent gun control legislation as a threat to their right to bear arms and in response have increased weapons and ammunition stockpiling, as well as renewed participation in paramilitary training exercises.”

Exactly what gun control legislation are they talking about? This is simply left wing paranoia. Public support for additional gun control measures ia at it lowest levels in 50 years. At present, 66% of the country opposes proposed bans on hand gun ownership. Gee, this makes for a lot of potential terrorists doesn’t it. http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/08/gun.control.poll/

Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Belief, Freedom of Religion, Freedom to Bear Arms, is this the mantra of new “Terroistist”, is this the new “Terrorism” Homeland Security is guarding against.

“When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson. “The Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.” Samuel Adams http://home.earthlink.net/~mmmhiggins/RightBareArms.html

House Republican Leader John Boehner issued this statement, “Washington, Apr 15 – House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement on a Department of Homeland Security report that characterizes veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan as vulnerable for recruitment into “terrorist groups”:“To characterize men and women returning home after defending our country as potential terrorists is offensive and unacceptable. The Department of Homeland Security owes our veterans an apology.“Furthermore, the Secretary of Homeland Security owes the American people an explanation for why she has abandoned using the term ‘terrorist’ to describe those, such as al Qaeda, who are plotting overseas to kill innocent Americans, while her own Department is using the same term to describe American citizens who disagree with the direction Washington Democrats are taking our nation. Everyone agrees that the Department should be focused on protecting America, but using such broad-based generalizations about the American people is simply outrageous.” http://republicanleader.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=122567

Contact Your Congressperson, your Representative and your Senators and tell them that Napolitano isn’t qualified to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Contact them today: http://www.usa.gov/Contact.shtml

 

UPDATE: Top House Democrat Hammers Napolitano:  https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/04/17/top-democrat-hammers-homeland-securitys-napolitano-cites-freedom-of-speech-freedom-of-association/

Secretary Of Homeland Security – Returning Veterans Pose Terrorist Threat

This is simply unbelievable.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano must resign.

First, the Secretary for Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, order ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) to stop workplace raids. Raids which located, identified and deported illegal aliens and provided operational intelligance which helped indentify the “trafficking” routes used by those who transport not just illegal aliens, but sex slaves, drugs, weapons and potential terrorists into the United States.

Then the good Secretary and the Obama Administration announced a change in the samatics of Obama Government Speak. The term “War on Terror” was abandoned for the term “Over Seas Contingency Operation”. In fact, Administration employees were instructed to discontinue using the terms “terror” or “terrorists” in public. This would appear to be just a matter of semantics, until now. Apparently the use of the term “Terror” and “terrorists” is being reserved for use in conjunction with “Right Wing Extremist”. A “Right Wing Extremist” is anyone who served in the US Military, believes in gun ownership rights, opposes abortion, opposes NAFTA or illegal immigration or believes in many of the other ‘Freedoms” guaranteed by the Constitution. Particluarly offensive is the continued reference to those that oppose abortion as being “White Supremacists”. In Napolitano’s world, if you believe “smaller government” is better than “bigger government” you are a right wing extremists.

A new report from Secretary Napolitano categorizes returning Military Veterans and those individuals that are proponents of “States Rights” or those that oppose the growth of the Federal Government as “Right Wing Extremists”. See the footnote at the end of page 2 of the report, “Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.
http://wnd.com/images/dhs-rightwing-extremism.pdf

As to Veternas and the Constitutional Right to bare arms the report also states, “The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.” On page 2 of 9 of the report, just above the footnote. http://wnd.com/images/dhs-rightwing-extremism.pdf

Just what the heck is she talking about. Veterans have always faced “reintergration challenges” only someone that has never served would fail to grasp that fact. The Secretary of Homeland Security believes it is OK to cast this type of aspersion on the reputation of thoses that have sacrifriced for our Country. The defamation of returning American Service Personnel in this manner clearly exposes the disdain both Napolitano and the Obama Administration hold for our Troops. Wasn’t it just weeks ago that the Obama Adminstrationm proposed having the Troops pay for their service related medical care with private insurance? This is just another outshoot of the liberal anti-military philosophy so common in the 1970s.

Next the report states, “Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to rightwing extremists. DHS/I&A is concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to
boost their violent capabilities.”
At page 3 of 9. http://wnd.com/images/dhs-rightwing-extremism.pdf

The report goes on to say, “Disgruntled Military Veterans: assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and
radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.” “After Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, some returning military veterans—including Timothy McVeigh—joined or associated with rightwing extremist groups.” at page 8 of 10.

“A prominent civil rights organization reported in 2006 that “large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces.” at page 8. What Civil Rights organization? ACORN?

Where is the proof? How dare Napolitano compare all US Mititary personnel to McVeigh.

Secretary Napolitano needs to resign today

Next the report turns to a favorite target of the “Left Wing Extermists” like Napolitano, legal gun ownership, when the report states, “Proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans likely would attract new members into the ranks of rightwing extremist groups, as well as potentially spur some of them to begin planning and training for violence against the government. The high volume of purchases and stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by rightwing extremists in anticipation of restrictions and bans in some parts of the country continue to be a primary concern to law enforcement.” What law enforcement orgainzations are those? My local Sheriffs Department encourages citizens to legally own and register weapons.

Is Secretary Napolitano a facist. The Supreme Court of the United states has reconfirmed the right of Americans to own firearms.

Secretary Napolitano must resign.

“a number of economic and political factors are driving a resurgence in rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization activity” …. “the threat posed by lone wolves and small terrorist cells is more pronounced than in past years.”

Is my local VFW meeting a “terrorist cell”? There are a lot of highly trained people in attendance, most own guns, slightly fewer attend church than own guns, I’d bet at least half oppose abortion. They all seem to be in favor of enforcing the immigration laws that are on the books. Somebody better call Homeland Security.

“Rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived loss of U.S. jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors and home foreclosures.”

Oh my gosh, what does “perceived loss of U.S. jobs” mean. Isn’t the unemployment rate a shade below 9%. My liberal democratic friends are talking about the economy too ….. and how they will vote next time around if the Obama “plans” don’t work ….. are these long time Democrats on the verge of becoming “right wing extremists”. http://wnd.com/images/dhs-rightwing-extremism.pdf

“Many rightwing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms ownership and use.” http://wnd.com/images/dhs-rightwing-extremism.pdf

Apparently, anyone who has a different point of view than the Administration is an “extremist”.

Nazi Germany and the Gestapo come to mind …..

“Paralleling the current national climate, rightwing extremists during the 1990s exploited a variety of social issues and political themes to increase group visibility and recruit new members. Prominent among these themes were the militia movement’s opposition to gun control efforts, criticism of free trade agreements (particularly those with Mexico), and highlighting perceived government infringement on civil liberties as well as white supremacists’ longstanding exploitation of social issues such as abortion“. At page 5 of 10 – “Revisiting the 1990’s”. http://wnd.com/images/dhs-rightwing-extremism.pdf

Can you believe this, if you oppose unconsitutional gun control laws, if you are critical of NAFTA, if you are in favor of civil liberties, you are a “Right Wing Extremist”. If you are Pro-Life you are not only an extremist but a “white supremacist” as well. Wow, if you happen to be a Black Christian who opposes abortion, you now qualify as a “White Supremacist”. Only in America as scene through the eyes of the Obama Administration.

“Historically, domestic rightwing extremists have feared, predicted, and anticipated a cataclysmic economic collapse in the United States” … “These teachings also have been linked with the radicalization of domestic extremist individuals and groups in the past, such as violent Christian Identity organizations and extremist members of the militia movement.”

Wow, if you warn that historical precedent indicates that the Obama Economic Recovery plan will fail, if you warned that teh Housing Bubble, like the inetrnet bubble, would “pop”, you are an extremist and this qualifies you to become a member of a “violent Christian Identity organization” like the Klu-Klux-Klan. Never mind that thousands of Economists oppose the Obama Plans on non ideologic grounds, the plan is simply bad economics – but now those Economists are hateful, Right Wing Extremists who are on the verge of becoming domestic terrorists.

“Rightwing extremists were concerned during the 1990s with the perception that illegal immigrants were taking away American jobs through their willingness to work at significantly lower wages. They also opposed free trade agreements, arguing that these arrangements resulted in Americans losing jobs to countries such as Mexico.” At page 6 of 10.

In my circles, the individuals and Groups who spoke out the loudest on these topics were the Unions. Are those groups now “Right Wing Extremists”. What I find incredible is the fact that the author simply denies that the comments are, in fact, true. The presence of 20 million illegal immigrants in the US does act to lower wages in this Country. Manufacturing jobs have been lost to Mexico. Is opposition to NAFTA enough to make you a Right WIng extremist. I’m a conservative and to the “Right” of my friends in Union circles, are they suddenly the “Right Wing extremists?

“Over the past five years, various rightwing extremists, including militias and white supremacists, have adopted the immigration issue as a call to action, rallying point, and recruiting tool. Debates over appropriate immigration levels and enforcement policy generally fall within the realm of protected political speech under the First Amendment, but in some cases, anti-immigration or strident pro-enforcement fervor has been directed against specific groups and has the potential to turn violent.”

Wow, now law abiding American Citizens who call for the enforcement of existing immigration laws are “extremists” and “white supremacists”. Hispanic members of my Community and Church who share my views on immigration will be shocked by this claim. Are we about to become violent, Right Wing Extremists, who will act violently to promote White Supremacy. Terrorists one and all. Gee and I forgot, many of us are Pro-Life too. Call out the National Guard – opps – I suppose we have to watch the Guard too.

“Many rightwing extremist groups perceive recent gun control legislation as a threat to their right to bear arms and in response have increased weapons and ammunition stockpiling, as well as renewed participation in paramilitary training exercises.”

Exactly what gun control legislation are they talking about? This is simply left wing paranoia. Public support for additional gun control measures ia at it lowest levels in 50 years. At present, 66% of the country opposes proposed bans on hand gun ownership. Gee, this makes for a lot of potential terrorists doesn’t it. http://www.gallup.com/poll/1645/Guns.aspx

Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Belief, Freedom of Religion, Freedom to Bear Arms, is this the mantra of new “Terroistist”, is this the new “Terrorism” Homeland Security is guarding against.

“When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson. “The Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.” Samuel Adams http://home.earthlink.net/~mmmhiggins/RightBareArms.html

House Republican Leader John Boehner issued this statement, “Washington, Apr 15 – House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement on a Department of Homeland Security report that characterizes veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan as vulnerable for recruitment into “terrorist groups”:“To characterize men and women returning home after defending our country as potential terrorists is offensive and unacceptable. The Department of Homeland Security owes our veterans an apology.“Furthermore, the Secretary of Homeland Security owes the American people an explanation for why she has abandoned using the term ‘terrorist’ to describe those, such as al Qaeda, who are plotting overseas to kill innocent Americans, while her own Department is using the same term to describe American citizens who disagree with the direction Washington Democrats are taking our nation. Everyone agrees that the Department should be focused on protecting America, but using such broad-based generalizations about the American people is simply outrageous.” http://republicanleader.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=122567

Contact Your Congressperson, your Representative and your Senators and tell them that Napolitano isn’t qualified to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Contact them today: http://www.usa.gov/Contact.shtml

European Leaders Dismiss Obama – Trip All Show No Substance

World Agenda: Nicolas Sarkozy puts Barack Obama in the doghouse.

FROM: THE LONDON TIMES ON LINE

French President Sarkozy is pouring cold water on President Obama’s efforts to recast American leadership on the world stage, depicting them as unoriginal, unsubstantial and overrated. Behind leaks and briefings from the Elysée Palace lies Mr Sarkozy’s irritation at the rock-star welcome that Europe gave Mr Obama on his Europan tour earlier this month.

The American President’s call “to free the world of the menace of a nuclear nightmare” was hot air, Mr Sarkozy’s diplomatic staff told him in a report. “It was rhetoric – not a speech on American security policy but an export model aimed at improving the image of the United States,” they said. Most of Mr Obama’s proposals had already been made by the Bush administration and Washington was dragging its feet on disarmament and treaties against nuclear proliferation, the leaked report said.

“The French President is annoyed by what he sees as the naivety and the herd mentality of the media,” said a journalist who is privy to Elysée thinking.

The French president described the NATO meeting this way, “at the Nato summit in Strasbourg, Mr Obama was meekly yielding to Turkey’s refusal to endorse Anders Fogh Rasmussen as the alliance’s new Secretary-General. It took pressure from Mr Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel of Germany to stiffen him up and change his mind.”

Mr Obama’s favour for Ankara has irked but also helped Mr Sarkozy as his Union for a Popular Movement campaigns for European Parliament elections in June. Mr Sarkozy slapped down the US President on French TV after he publicly called for Turkish entry to the European Union.

Mr Sarkozy’s Europe Minister, accused Washington of backing the northern and eastern EU members by wanting to turn the union into a mere free-trade zone. France and Germany are sticking to their vision of the “political” Europe.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/world_agenda/article6098836.ece

Leave Turkey’s bid to join EU to us, Nicolas Sarkozy warns Barack Obama

The love-in between Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama proved short-lived after the French President warned his US counterpart yesterday to keep his nose out of the issue of Turkey’s membership of the European Union.

President Obama used his first EU-US summit, on the eve of his visit to Turkey, to encourage European leaders to embrace the Muslim country and “anchor it in Europe”. However, Mr Sarkozy, a long-standing opponent of full membership for Turkey, rebuffed the US leader in language that seemed to sour the revival of Franco-US relations.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6041404.ece

Barack Obama fails to win Nato troops he wants for Afghanistan

Barack Obama made an impassioned plea to America’s allies to send more troops to Afghanistan, warning that failure to do so would leave Europe vulnerable to more terrorist atrocities.

The Continent’s leaders turned their backs on the US President.

Britian’s Gordon Brown was the only one to offer help. He offered to send several hundred extra British soldiers to provide security during the August election, but even that fell short of the thousands of combat troops that the US was hoping to prise from the Prime Minister. The British move is a temporary one, intended to allow Obama to “save face” and limit his embarassment over being rebuffed. “The plan is to withdraw them once the election is over.” Mr Brown said. “That the extra troops were only supposed to provide a temporary uplift.”

The derisory response threatened to tarnish Mr Obama’s European tour.

Obama’s presidential charm offensive failed to move fellow Nato countries.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6032342.ece

Obama’s G20 dream fades amid European hostility

Hopes of leading the world out of recession at next month’s pivotal summit in London were undermined yesterday when European leaders flatly rejected calls for a further massive stimulus package.

The London meeting risks being overshadowed by a dispute between Europe and the US over public spending. A series of leaders at an EU summit led by Angela Merkel, the Germany Chancellor, refused yesterday to go along with American calls for greater borrowing and spending by Europe.

“We are doing enough,” said Mirek Topolanek, the Czech Prime Minister, whose country holds the EU presidency.

Merkel, the Germany Chancellor stated, ““It is not time to look at more growth measures. I disagree with this idea completely. The existing measures must work. They must be allowed to develop,” she said.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article5941616.ece

The Obama Administration was further embarassed by the timing of the North Korean Missle Launch, while the President was in Prague to meet with NATO leaders.

As the Chicago Tribune reported: PRAGUE — President Barack Obama, condemning North Korea’s missile launch, today called for a strong international response to deter future advancement of its nuclear program.
“They, I think, have taken a provocative action,” Obama said before heading into a scheduled meeting with the president of the European Union in Prague. “It creates instability in their region, around the world.” “North Korea broke the rules, once again, by testing a rocket that could be used for long range missiles,” Obama said in his speech. “”Words must mean something . . . The world must stand together to prevent the spread of these weapons.”

He didn’t really say, “Words must mean something”, did he. The Obama Administration was proven impotent in this regard. Despite the “huffing and puffing” the Obama Administration could not even get the United Nations to convene an emergency meeting of the Security Council to “reprimand” North Korea for its actions.

“The United Nations Security Council met in a hastily called session to consider official condemnation of the launch, but ended the meeting with no immediate action”. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-north-korea-main6-2009apr06,0,6990607.story

After three hours of talks Sunday afternoon, the Security Council issued a brief statement saying members would spend the next couple of days discussing how to respond to the North Korean launch. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-north-korea-main6-2009apr06,0,6990607.story

An additional “face saving device” for Obama was attempted. “The United States reportedly has floated the idea of a new resolution that would toughen the travel ban and asset freezes on officials involved in the North Korean missile program. But no draft resolutions were being circulated.” The Chinese and Russian envoys are said to have resisted, with at least one member balking at a statement that would even express “concern” over the launch, according to a Western diplomat. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-north-korea-main6-2009apr06,0,6990607.story

In a last attempt at “face saving” the Obama Administration stated that they would rely on future “6 party talks”. “The administration wants to continue the six-party talks and, “through the process, have them [North Korea] come to understand it’s in their interest” to follow the rules, said the official, who requested anonymity.” http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-north-korea-main6-2009apr06,0,6990607.story

The six-party talks aim to find a peaceful resolution to the security concerns as a result of the North Korean nuclear weapons program. There has been a series of meetings with six participating states: the People’s Republic of China; the Republic of Korea (South Korea); the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea); the United States of America; the Russian Federation; and Japan. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-party_talks

Eight days later, long after the NATO meeting had ended, the Security Council met. The statement that was issued was “The statement was a weaker response than a U.N. resolution, which was sought by and the United States but was opposed by China and Russia.” http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-un-un-nkorea-missile,0,2139015.story

North Korea’s response?

North Korea says it will boycott 6-party talks, restore nuclear facilities
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea vowed Tuesday to restore its nuclear facilities and boycott international talks on its atomic weapons program to protest the U.N. Security Council’s condemnation of the country’s rocket launch.

Obama’s european tour? All show, no substance.

Reminds me of a friend’s recent outing to hear an internationally famous Band. The friend shelled out over a $2,000 for two primo seats. The following Monday I asked him over coffee, “so how was the sound system at the concert?”. His love of the band is based on the bands music, specifically the lyrics. In his younger years, my friend dabbled as a lead singer in a band with some regional success. My friend’s response, “the pyrotechnics were unbelievable”. I asked again, “and how was the sound system”. His response, “it really sucked”. Now, my friend knew the venue had bad acoustics to begin with, still his response was, “it sucked”.

All show, no substance.

Obama knew his “venue” in europe, his visit was all show. America needs substance.

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