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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blaming the Voters

Democrats embrace the Chris Farley school of political motivation.

The Wall Street Journal/Opinion Journal
* REVIEW & OUTLOOK
* SEPTEMBER 29, 2010

Democrats seeking to boost voter turnout this fall are beginning
to sound like the late comedian Chris Farley's portrayal of a
"motivational speaker" on Saturday Night Live.

Farley's character sought to inspire young people by announcing
that they wouldn't amount to "jack squat" and would someday be
"living in a van down by the river."

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, who prefers sailing vessels to
vans by the river, recently tried out the Farley method.

Said Mr. Kerry, "We have an electorate that doesn't always pay
that much attention to what's going on so people are influenced
by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what's happening." Bay State voters are surely thrilled to be represented
by a man so respectful of their concerns.

This week President Obama chimed in with another uplifting message about the American electorate.

Mr. Obama told Rolling Stone that the tea party movement is financed and directed by "powerful, special-interest lobbies." But this doesn't mean that tea party groups are composed entirely of corporate puppets.

Mr. Obama graciously implied that a small subset of the movement is simply motivated by bigotry.

The President said "there are probably some aspects of the Tea Party that are a little darker, that have to do with anti-immigrant sentiment or are troubled by what I represent as the President."

The tea party is now supported by a third of the country in some polls.

Perhaps advocates for smaller government shouldn't take Mr. Obama's comments personally. In the new Democratic attacks
on the voting public, not even Democrats are spared.

Vice President Joe Biden recently urged the party's base to "stop whining" and "buck up," a message echoed by Mr. Obama in his Rolling Stone interview.

The President demanded that his supporters "shake off this lethargy," warning that it would be "inexcusable" for liberals
to stay home on Election Day.

Mr. Obama added that "if people now want to take their ball and
go home, that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place."

Making the case for left-wing voters to show up in November,
Mr. Obama told Rolling Stone that he is presiding over "the most successful administration in a generation in moving progressive agendas forward."

We'd agree, but his problem is that most Americans don't like that agenda and millions of voters in both parties wanted him to oversee an economic expansion instead.

Blaming the voters is not unheard of among politicians, but usually they wait until after an election.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870388240457552
0044037709702.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop=

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Google!

Hari Shanker looks at the record growth of one of the biggest wonders of the web world and feels that the secret of its success comes from following the motto 'Don't be evil'.

By Hari Shanker
Posted On Sep 27, 2010

Bill Gates is a ‘founder’ of Google.

As outrageous as it seems, the notion is not far from the truth.

Had Bill Gates not invested $6 million and helped construct ‘William Gates Computer Science’ at Stanford University ‘to invest in the future’, Larry Page and Sergey Brin would never have collaborated
in their third storey office at ‘Gates 360’.

Bill had no idea that the facility he helped build, so as to get the leading students of Stanford to work for ‘Microsoft’, would actually pave way to the birth of his biggest competitor - Google.

And we wouldn’t be celebrating the 12th Birthday of Google today.

Larry and Sergey - Doctoral students at the Stanford university came from entirely different backgrounds. But they connected instantly.

The duo worked towards a better search engine that delivered more efficient results, using an algorithm which is now called PageRank, for their PhD thesis.

Soon, they rolled out their first search engine, queerly named
‘Backrub’ (since it analysed backlinks to provide better search results).

The search engine, hosted on the Stanford network, grew exponentially in size. Brin and Page decided to have a name
as big as the search engine, quite literally.

Thus was born ‘Google’ - a play on ‘googol’ - a number that
had one followed by a hundred zeroes.

Brin and Larry immediately registered the domain name - ‘google.com’ on 15th September, 1998. And, the company
was incorporated this day, 12 years ago.

From then on, the company registered record growth.

Google received accolades for its path-breaking search technology. It was soon listed by the PC Magazine as the ‘search engine of choice’ in its top 100 websites of 1998. The big bucks and success came soon after.

Google started its Palo Alto office in 1999 and received funding from leading venture capitalists. Even search engine giant Yahoo signed up for Google’s search technology.

Meanwhile, Google launched ‘Adwords’ - targeted online advertisements for consumers. It proved to be a successful
revenue model - attributing for 95% of Google’s revenues even now.

‘Google Image Search’, ‘Google News’ and ‘Froogle’ (now Google Checkout) were launched in the following years to roaring success. Not many know that the man behind Google News is an Indian - Chennai-born Krishna Bharat.

Google launched its blogging service - ‘Blogger’, in 2003, after acquiring it from Pyra Labs. ‘Google Adsense’, launched in the same year, helped publishers get a share of Google’s huge ad revenue pie.

The 2004 IPO (Initial Public Offering) was a huge milestone for the company.

GMail - Google’s email service and Orkut - the social network, came into existence soon after. ‘Google Maps’ and ‘Google Talk’ - the chatting service, were born soon. ‘YouTube’ - the video sharing service that has taken the world by storm, became a part of Google in 2006.

2007 saw Google announcing its mobile operating system - Google Android, which now runs on many smartphones.

The company launched its own web browser - Google Chrome, in 2008. Along with the browser came the Operating System - ‘Chrome OS’ is a cloud-based operating system which is in the pipeline.

Google even launched its own phone - ‘Google Nexus One’, in association with HTC Corporation. It has now taken search to
the next level with its latest offering - ‘Google Instant’.

Today, the company has 20,000 employees and a presence in all major countries of the world. With annual revenues of over $235 billion a year, it is one of the top corporate entities in the world.

Phenomenal, for a company just 12 years old. Beating even established giants like Microsoft, the company has indeed
conquered dizzying heights. ‘Alexa’ - a company that ranks
websites as per their popularity has Google at the top of its list.

“Don’t be evil” - Google’s motto is quite simple.

Perhaps, the secret of Google’s success is that it follows this motto religiously. Google believes in keeping its services free, even while launching revolutionary products.

GMail - Google’s email service created quite a wave with its 1 GB space. This was at a time when no email service provider offered more than 6 MB of storage. Competitors immediately took note, and today, almost every email service provider offers huge mail boxes.

Google is touted to have one of the best work environments. It walks the talk, even at its workplace, thanks to which, Google
has some of the best minds in the world working for it.

The company has always been a people centric organisation, always striving to bring out the best - a fact evident by widespread positive reviews of almost all its products.

‘Googlers’ even have a wacky sense of humor - evident by its famous ‘April Fool Hoaxes’.

Every year, since 2000, Google has released innovative ‘products’ every 1st of April. Some of these include ‘Google TiSP’ - a ‘Toilet Internet Service Provider’ and ‘Google Gulp’ - a fictitious drink that ‘increases the drinker’s intelligence’.

Google periodically substitutes the logo in its homepage with innovative ‘Doodles’ - which included a full fledged PacMan game
to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the game. Google has in fact released a doodle celebrating its 12th anniversary.

Not many are aware of the existence of Google’s philanthropic arm Google.org, which specialises in technology-based philanthropy. Google.org makes use of Google’s expertise in information and technology to develop products that address global challenges.

Some of them include the ‘Google PowerMeter’ - a free energy monitoring tool, ‘Google Earth Engine’ - a service that helps
monitor the planet and ‘Google CrisisResponse’ - which monitors how effectively a crisis or a calamity has been responded to.

Google also invests in environment-friendly technologies like
Hybrid Cars.

Nevertheless, Google has had its share of failures - namely, ‘Google Catalogs’ (a product listing service), ‘Google Answers’ (a question-answer based system), ‘Jaiku’ (a competitor to twitter) among many others that failed to take off.

‘Google Wave’, an online collaboration tool that drew a lot of attention of late, was one among its biggest debacles. The recent ‘google blackout’ in China also hit Google hard.

Besides, there have been many debates about privacy issues posed by Google. Being one of the biggest web service providers in the world, Google has access to billions of terabytes of user-generated data -- many of them sensitive.

Some critics even put forth arguments that Google could literally dominate the world with all the data at hand. Others accuse Google of ‘dumbing down’ today’s generation.

Taking into account all its criticisms and flaws, fact remains that Google has actually changed our lives forever. For the time being, let’s keep all these brickbats and accusations at bay.

Let’s respect the spirit of Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt
(The CEO of Google) and the 20,000-odd Googlers who strive to bring a smile to our faces, ‘without being evil’...

Happy Birthday, Google!

hari.shanker@yentha.com

http://www.yentha.com/news/view/4/1536

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Obama's no-good, very bad week

Obama’s no-good, very bad week
By Liz Goodwin
Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:35 am ET

The woman who told President Obama she was "exhausted" of defending him on CNBC on Tuesday set the tone for what has
turned into a pretty bad week for Obama and his restless base.

"Quite frankly, I'm exhausted. Exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the man for change I voted for, and deeply disappointed with where we are right now," Velma Hart told the president in a televised question and answer session.

"I've been told that I voted for a man who said he was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class. I'm one of those people and I'm waiting, sir, I'm waiting. I don't feel it yet."

Obama answered the question deftly, defusing the tension with a few jokes and then touting some of the legislative changes that he says will help her and other middle-class families.

But as Obama supporter Jesse Jackson told The Daily Beast, Hart looks like "canary in the mine" for Obama and his team, showing that even some of those who enthusiastically voted for him in 2008 are losing confidence, which may prevent them from going out and voting this November.

Then on Wednesday night, Obama was heckled by angry AIDS protesters at a Democratic fundraiser in New York--not usually
a place where a Democratic president would have to worry about getting a hard time. (In other not-so-good news, the president couldn't fill the space, even with rock-bottom ticket prices.)

Obama got annoyed with the protesters, who wanted more funding for AIDS prevention and treatment as well as a repeal of the military's ban on openly gay service. He said he had raised funding for AIDS prevention, and then said those angry about don't ask, don't tell would be better off mounting protests at GOP events.

"But hold on a second. But hold on a second. Think about--think about what happened in Congress two days ago where you got 56 Democrats voting to debate this issue, and zero Republicans. And as a consequence, some of those signs should be going up at the other folks' events," he said.

Just last night, "Daily Show" host and frequent Obama-defender Jon Stewart told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that he's "saddened" that Obama hasn't done more to change Washington.

"I think people feel a disappointment in that there was a sense that Jesus will walk on water and no you are looking at it like, 'Oh look at that, he's just treading water' I thought he'd do a better job," he said.

Meanwhile, if Stewart's disenchantment weren't enough of a blow, the artist Shepard Fairey, who had created the iconic "Hope" portrait of Obama during the 2008 campaign, told the National Journal in an interview today that, while he still regards Obama favorably, he has felt some "disappointment" with the president's performance as well.

The younger voters who flocked to Obama's campaign "wanted somebody who was going to fight against the status quo," Fairey
told Aamer Madhani of the National Journal's Hotline blog. "And I don't think that Obama has done that."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20100924/el_yblog_upshot/obamas-no-good-very-bad-week

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Silence of the Lambs

from tony whitcomb
to congressionalblackcaucus@mail.house.gov
cc stacy ming
date Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 12:07 PM
subject Fwd: Obama Top Contributors
mailed-by gmail.com

Dear Congressional Black Caucus:

My Investors in Expotera and I, are now openly wondering, would
any of the below information in regards to the rather large campaign contributions made to President Obama, and to the Democratic Party, by Microsoft, and by my former boss/business partner,
Mr. Jon Devaan, "Devann" have anything to do with The Congressional Black Caucus, refusal to acknowledge and/or respond, to the numerous e-mails that we have now sent directly to your Organization, over the past two years in regards to Expotera?

I am not an Attorney, but it is normal/legal, for a private citizen
like my former boss/business partner, Mr. Jon Devaan, "Devann"
to be able to make multiple, rather large campaign contributions to President Obama, and to the Democratic Party, under two different spellings of his last name, and would any of this have anything to do with The Congressional Black Caucus, refusal to acknowledge and/or respond, to the numerous e-mails that we have now sent directly to your Organization, over the past two years in regards to Expotera?

Sincerely,

Tony Whitcomb
Founder/CEO Expotera

Jon Devaan Political Campaign Contributions 2008 Election Cycle Contribution Totals

Download all contribution records for this person from 1999 to present To a Spreadsheet or Other File Type

2010 Transaction Count/Amount0/$0
2008 Transaction Count/Amount3/$33,100
2006 Transaction Count/Amount5/$13,300
2004 Transaction Count/Amount12/$50,000
2002 Transaction Count/Amount3/$3,000
2000 Transaction Count/Amount4/$4,000

Download all contribution records for this person from 1999 to present To a Spreadsheet or Other File Type

Jon Devaan Contribution List in 2008

Name & Location Employer/Occupation Dollar Amount Date Primary/General Contributed To

DEVAAN, JON MEDINA, WA 98039 MICROSOFT/SENIOR VP OF ENGINEERING
$28,500 03/31/2008 P DEMOCRATIC SENATORIAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE - Democrat

DEVAAN, JON S MEDINA, WA 98039 MICROSOFT CORP./EXECUTIVE
$2,3000 3/12/2007 P AL FRANKEN FOR SENATE - Democrat Farm Labor

DEVAAN, JON S MEDINA, WA 98039 MICROSOFT CORP./EXECUTIVE
$2,3000 3/12/2007 G AL FRANKEN FOR SENATE - Democrat Farm Labor

http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/jon-devaan
.asp?cycle=08

Jon Devann Political Campaign Contributions 2008 Election Cycle Contribution Totals

Download all contribution records for this person from 1999 to present To a Spreadsheet or Other File Type

2010 Transaction Count/Amount0/$0
2008 Transaction Count/Amount2/$30,800
2006 Transaction Count/Amount0/$0
2004 Transaction Count/Amount0/$0
2002 Transaction Count/Amount0/$0
2000 Transaction Count/Amount0/$0

Download all contribution records for this person from 1999 to present To a Spreadsheet or Other File Type

Jon Devann Contribution List in 2008

Name & Location Employer/Occupation Dollar Amount Date Primary/General Contributed To

Devann, Jon S Mr.MEDINA, WA 98039 Microsoft Corp/Executive
$28,5000 7/25/2008 P OBAMA VICTORY FUND - Democrat

DeVann, Jon S MEDINA, WA 98039 Microsoft Corp/Executive
$2,300 12/27/2007 P OBAMA FOR AMERICA - Democrat

http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/jon-devann
.asp?cycle=08

Barack Obama (D)Top Contributors this table lists the top donors to this candidate in the 2008 election cycle.

University of California $1,591,395
Goldman Sachs $994,795
Harvard University $854,747
Microsoft Corp $833,617
Google Inc $803,436
Citigroup Inc $701,290
JPMorgan Chase & Co $695,132
Time Warner $590,084
Sidley Austin LLP $588,598
Stanford University $586,557
National Amusements Inc $551,683
UBS AG $543,219
Wilmerhale Llp $542,618
Skadden, Arps et al $530,839
IBM Corp $528,822
Columbia University $528,302
Morgan Stanley $514,881
General Electric $499,130
US Government $494,820
Latham & Watkins $493,835

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=
N00009638

Monday, September 20, 2010

Blah, Blah, Black Sheep, Have You Any Votes?

Obama urges blacks to vote and "guard the change"
By Alister Bull
Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:15 am ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, seeking to
fire up an important part of his support base ahead of November's elections, told black leaders on Saturday he wanted their support to "guard the change" he was delivering.

"I need everybody here to go back to your neighborhoods, and your workplaces, to your churches, and barbershops, and beauty shops.

Tell them we have more work to do. Tell them we can't wait to organize. Tell them that the time for action is now," he told the Congressional Black Caucus.

The words of America's first black president showed a deliberate effort to recapture the enthusiasm that had helped him win the White House in 2008, after polls showed African- Americans much less likely to vote than whites this year.

"It's not surprising that a lot of people may not be feeling that energized or that engaged right now," he told an annual awards ceremony hosted by the organization representing black members
of the U.S. Congress.

"A lot of folks may be feeling like politics is something they get involved in every four years when there's a presidential election, but they don't see why they should bother the rest of the time," he said.

Republicans could make big gains in November as high unemployment and slowing growth turns voters away from
Obama's Democrats, potentially costing them control of Congress.

A Gallup survey in early September found only 25 percent of blacks had given 'quite a lot' or 'some' thought to the November 2 congressional ballot, compared to 42 percent of whites.

This represents a much larger gap than during the presidential election in 2008, when the two groups were about equal in their intention to cast a ballot.

High turnout in the African-American community, together with the enthusiastic support of young voters, was a striking feature of the 2008 election and an important part of Obama's strategy in securing the White House.

Success in repeating at least part of that performance in the upcoming midterm poll, when voter turnout is traditionally low,
could make a big difference to congressional Democrats running in close races. All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 37 of 100 Senate seats are up for grabs.

"The last election was a changing of the guard -- now we need to guard the change," Obama said.

(Editing by Eric Walsh)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100919/ts_nm/us_usa_elections
_obama

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Disappearing Middle Class

The Disappearing Middle Class
By Jeremy Meister
September 19, 2010

In the clutter of arguments over Ground Zero mosques, conservative-versus-RINO primaries, and whether or not we should push more
"stimulus" through Congress, another problem is going on very quietly in Flyover Country.

The middle class in America seems to be disappearing, and there is no mystery as to why.

Karl Marx hated the middle class, or the "bourgeoisie," as he called them. His Communist Manifesto is nothing more than a rant about the evils of this group and how they have inflicted harm and damage to everyone around them through colonialism and ingenuity.

Marx stated that people should do things by hand. The lower class should be happy with their lot in life. And the balance between the lower class and their upper-class leaders is upset by the injection of the middle class and its struggles to carve out its niche.

The perfect society was gone with the rise of the bourgeoisie upstarts.

Marx and Engels envisioned a return to the simpler time, where a vast lower class was ruled by its betters. Not surprisingly, they saw themselves as leading the underlings to the new paradise.

The idea of "Communism" was a state where the Ruling Class would own all property in a society. The lower class would work for their uppers, allowed to use the property of the state.

Since an immediate grab would be both hard and unpopular, there would be a transitionary state where the ruling class would gradually begin taking property under its yoke.

This phase would be called "Socialism."

This is the phase that the current U.S. government is going through. The Obama administration has already taken control of the banks, the auto makers, and the student loan program.

With its health care law, it is now in position to start demanding ownership of the hospitals and doctors. With the financial reform law, the administration can begin putting its boot of ever-increasing weight on the necks of business.

All of this is being done to cater to the lower class. It gives politicians a populist talking point and a way of getting reelected.

One of the biggest stated reasons for passing health care: 30 million are uninsured. The opinions of the other 280 million citizens don't matter, nor should they, since their opinions are tainted by "greed" (the single biggest sin of the bourgeoisie).

The reason for seizing the auto makers: to bail out "working class families" who again are said to be struggling against "greed."

The reason for financial reform: to alleviate the "reckless practices" of that place which were caused by "greed." Same goes for the student loan program. Same goes for almost everything this government is doing.

The byproduct of this Socialization is the shrinking of the middle class. When you punish people for working hard, those people will stop working so hard. When you reward people for doing nothing, then you're going to have more people sitting around doing nothing.

It's simple logic.

True: all these bailouts are transfers of wealth -- not from the rich to the poor, but from the working middle class to both the upper
and lower classes. The ends are taking care of themselves at the expense of the middle. It's been an ongoing effort for decades.

Consider the college and university system. "The poor" are given all kinds of special considerations on college applications. It's one of the driving ideas of affirmative action. The government is helping out,
"redistributing" money to the bottom.

"The Rich" can use their money and influence to get in. The middle class gets no special consideration or privilege. Because they do work hard, they get to work harder -- and the Ruling Class calls this
"justice."

Housing is another good example. Our government decided that people who couldn't afford houses should get them. The people of the Ruling Class got a campaign issue that they could show their voters at home: see, we're doing something about racism in housing sales.

The Ruling Class's careless actions caused housing prices to inflate. Honest, hardworking middle-class people found it harder to obtain the American Dream as prices skyrocketed. Meanwhile, the lower class found it easier to get a home.

And when the bubble popped, the well-connected upper class looked to their friends in the government to bail them out -- again, with the middle class's money. Lower-class people who couldn't afford their dwellings got to keep them. Everybody won...except the middle class.

One of the more insidious projects on the Ruling Class's list of projects is the plan to take 401ks from private individuals so as
to bail out labor union pensions.

The responsible middle class, who has worked diligently for years collecting money for retirement is on, the threshold of having it taken away so that irresponsible friends of the Ruling Class can
have their budget hole plugged.

Are the rewards for obeying the laws and playing by the rules? Our government, which made all kinds of promises to the bourgeoisie decades ago, is now breaking those agreements. What good will a new promise be?

The rhetoric of the Ruling Class doesn't meet the reality. After all, President Obama lectures Americans about wealth redistribution even as he and his family are taking expensive holidays and playing golf.

Bill Ayers now works for the very government he advocated destroying in the '60s and '70s. Head of the Treasury Tim Geithner
is a tax cheat even as he pledges a crack down on people who avoid taxes. It's not just people, either -- entire issues can be involved.

Amnesty for illegals is a good example: the plan is to reward lawbreakers by giving them what they want.

Why? Because they are poor. If the middle class protests by refusing to give these people housing or jobs, or by turning them in to the proper authorities, then middle-classers get in trouble.

But this is not hypocrisy. It's Marxism on the move. The upper and lower classes are working against the middle.

Successful bourgeoisie become upper class. The Ruling Class despises competition. The lower class doesn't like seeing people leave their ranks. It's an unholy alliance and class warfare at its
most vicious.

"Redistribution of Wealth" -- the Ruling Class isn't talking about
its own wealth. Why is a government composed of millionaires so opposed to cutting taxes in any way, shape, or form? Simple: those laws won't apply to them.

Why would the media back all kinds of laws and regulations on speech/press? The media will have friends on those boards. They
will be able to do and say things their competition will not.

Why did health care go through even with so many opposed?

Congress, the president, and other Ruling-Classers are exempt. The entire system is being rewritten to insulate the Ruling Class, just as Marx advocated.

It could be argued that the American Revolution was a middle class uprising.

The colonial leadership was not made up of the aristocratic elite. Early American leaders thought like middle-classers. They wanted
to use their businesses to improve themselves.

This is why they wanted free trade and lower taxes. This is also why they added provisions to the Constitution banning titles of nobility and added amendments forbidding the government from seizing property.

These are the protections being eroded in the modern day. And this is what the Tea Party is really mad about.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/09/the_disappearing_midd
le_class.html

Friday, September 17, 2010

At, "This moment"

One in seven Americans is living in poverty, Census shows

By Carol Morello
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 16, 2010; 3:08 PM

One in seven Americans is living in poverty, the highest number
in the half-century that the government has kept such statistics,
the Census Bureau announced Thursday.

Last year was the third consecutive year that the poverty rate climbed, in part because of the recession, rising from 13.2
percent in 2008 to 14.3 percent, or 43.6 million people, last year.

Asians were the only ethnic group whose poverty rate did not change substantially; every other race and Hispanics experienced increases in poverty rates.

In addition, 51 million Americans were uninsured, as the number of people with health insurance dropped from 255 million to less than 254 million -- the first decrease since the government started keeping track in 1987.

The number would have been worse because 6.5 million fewer
people got insurance through their jobs, but it was offset by a
leap in government-backed health insurance.

More than 30 percent of Americans now get coverage from the government.

"Given all the unemployment we saw, it's the government safety net that's keeping people above the poverty line," Douglas Besharov, a University of Maryland public policy professor and former scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Associated Press.

The grim statistics reflect the depth of the recession that began almost three years ago and could have an impact on midterm elections less than two months away.

"These numbers should be a wake-up call," said Peter Edelman, a Georgetown University professor and co-director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy.

"These are deeply disturbing numbers."

At organizations where the unemployed come to get help finding a job or seek food, the numbers were no surprise.

"In the decade I've been doing this work, this is a low point," said Jason Perkins-Cohen, executive director of the Job Opportunities Task Force in Baltimore.

"We're getting a real feeling of desperation. For sheer numbers, it's a new, unhappy world."

At the nonprofit Action Though Service in Prince William County late Thursday morning, the shelves of the agency's pantry were starting to empty, as the line for help snaked out the door with a few dozen people seeking assistance.

Prince William resident Carol Williams said she has come to the shelter once a month since January, when she was laid off from
her job at United Medical Center due to budget woes.

"I worked since I was 15, and, now, for the first time I don't have a job and I can't feed my family," said Williams, 55. "I have a degree; doesn't matter. The jobs aren't there."

Williams said she has been applying for dozens of jobs a week and had about 20 interviews since January.

"I think people are scared to hire someone who is not working," she said, adding there also is just a lot more competition because of the high unemployment rate.

A single mother, Williams has five mouths to feed -- children and grandchildren-- ranging in age from 17 months to 28. Williams said she was able to raise three sons on her own, but she now turns to the food pantry at ACTS and her father and friends for help.

"We had no bread, no nothing last Friday because the pantry was closed," she said. "Luckily a friend helped me or we would have had no food for the weekend."

Advocates said they're seeing a lot more people like Williams.

"We have definitely seen many more individuals who are very well-
educated, with high degrees, where it's the first time to ever be
in a situation to ever have to ask for help for food or shelter,"
said Vickie Koth, executive director of Good Shepherd Alliance in
Loudoun County.

Koth recalls one family of four in particular, where both parents
were highly educated -- the mother was a lawyer, and the father
was a mortgage broker.

"They were in the business of buying and selling homes, and they had three foreclosures within the same span of time and were homeless for the first time.

"We're full all the time and we turn people away every day, and
that's always been true.

But the types of people that call have changed," Koth said. "Time after time I've heard individuals say, 'I've given to shelters, I've volunteered at food pantries. I've never thought I'd be here myself.' "

Staff writers Jennifer Buske and Caitlin Gibson contributed to this report.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/
16/AR2010091602698_pf.html

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Obama's electoral coalition is crumbling

The swing voters who turned out in droves to support the president aren't likely to back his party in November. Even core supporters express unhappiness with Democrats.

By James Oliphant and Kathleen Hennessey
September 11, 2010

Reporting from Washington — Nearly two years ago, the political world could only marvel at the breadth of voter support for Barack Obama.

The new president had won over voters once thought to have abandoned his party for good. He'd found new reservoirs of
support among groups many thought were tapped out.

He energized a coalition — made up of blacks, women, Latinos, young voters and large numbers of suburbanites — that some believed would keep Democrats in power for years to come.

A scant 20 months later, the Obama coalition is frayed and frazzled.

A majority of those who voted for Obama still approve of the job he is doing. But that number is eroding.

Surprisingly, support for the president among Latinos, young people and women has dropped as much as it has among groups that were considered less likely to stick with the president, such as white males, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

Support among suburbanites has dropped dramatically too, surveys show, while African American voters remain Obama's most loyal constituency and his fiercest defenders.

The trend is familiar to political scientists. A plunge in approval is common after a president enjoys an early honeymoon period. The disapproval of voters from all walks of life and from across the country might be attributed to a sour economy, a sort of national queasiness.

"What we're seeing is a general frustration with the inability of the government to fix the problems more quickly," said Scott Keeter, director of survey research at the Pew Research Center. "This is expressed in anti-incumbent sentiment and negative opinions of the president. This also suggests that improvement in national conditions might be accompanied by an uptick in support for Obama."

For that reason, approval ratings at this point in a presidency are a poor indicator of a president's chances at reelection.

But dozens of interviews with Obama voters across five swing areas show that the warning signals are blinking for the president's party.

Obama voters evince little interest in the midterm election. When they express goodwill toward the president, it rarely extends to his allies in Congress. Many do not consider themselves Democrats.

Pew's survey experts routinely ask respondents to characterize the president in a single word. In their most recent poll, conducted this summer, more respondents than ever answered with the word "disappointing."

Some who threw their lot in with Obama expressed a sense of being let down by the man who promised change and pledged to transform the country. Some attributed that to their own lofty expectations and, perhaps, their naivete. Others pointed to what they saw as his lack of focus on the still-faltering economy.

And some suggested they were simply hoodwinked by a smooth-talking politician.

"What I've come to the realization is that the president was an absolutely fantastic campaigner. He was a perfect preacher-slash-minister-slash-professor," said Peter Gallo, a concert promoter in Raleigh, N.C. "He doesn't have the skill to legislate, to build coalitions. He does not have the skill to bring people in and say,
'Come on and let's get this done.'"

Gallo's words — in various ways — were echoed in Fairfax County, Va., outside Washington; in northern Nevada; in greater Philadelphia; in the suburbs of Ohio; and in a college town in southern Virginia.

All are regions crucial to Democrats. The president will need these voters in two years. His party needs them now.

The fast-growing Raleigh-Durham area was dominated by Obama in 2008. He took up to 70% of the vote in some counties — and helped turn North Carolina blue for the first time since 1976. Now, polls show that Obama's healthcare plan is unpopular and that North Carolina voters are favoring Republicans in state legislative races.

About 2,500 miles away in Reno, Douglas Damon was drawn to Obama, in part, because he saw the candidate as a bridge builder.

"I believe in inclusivity. I believe America is a melting pot. I believed he really represented an opportunity to bring people together," Damon, 64, said from the offices of his beverage manufacturing company in Sparks, Nev.

But Damon is disappointed that Obama hasn't tried harder to work with Republicans. "His leadership skills have been lacking, in my mind," he said. "He seems to dismiss opinions that differ with his vision totally."

Nevada is the setting for a high-stakes fight between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and GOP challenger Sharron Angle. Damon is undecided in that race, and unapologetically calls himself
a RINO — Republican in name only. "I'm totally disgusted with both parties right now," he says.

But many who backed Obama refuse to assign him all of the blame for a struggling economy.

"He inherited substantial problems," said Thomas Kovach, 46, a lawyer who lives in suburban Cleveland. "And no one should have thought those would disappear overnight."

But in a portent of what could happen this fall, Kovach, an independent, said he may vote for Ohio GOP Senate nominee Rob Portman. "It really comes down to the individual," Kovach said.

Obama's pollster, Joel Benenson, argues that swing voters such as Kovach — not the more traditional Democratic constituencies — are the ones most likely to desert the president.

"Swing voters are acting like swing voters," he said. "They swing. They remain very much in play. That's where the decline has been. It's not the core coalition."

But while pollsters may disagree on the numbers, it's clear some members of that core coalition are straying.

"The candidate and his campaign wooed young voters like me with the notion of change and that business as usual would no longer be the status quo," said Jeremy Wintroub, 32, a television producer from Elkins Grove, Pa.

"We were told the influence of lobbies would be blunted; it has not been. We were told that Obama would find a way to work in a bipartisan fashion. His opposition has been totally unwilling to work with him. We were told he would go line by line through the budget and get rid of wasteful spending; instead he appoints a deficit commission made up of fiscal hawks who tell us the sky is falling."

Obama captured the 18-to-29 vote in 2008, suggesting that Democrats had seized the imagination of so-called millennials. But economic hard times have unsettled that calculation, and many of 2008's campus activists have had trouble finding jobs after graduation.

"There's a pessimism," said Courtney Jones, 21, from Virginia Beach, Va. "But you can't go back to blaming Obama. You have
to give him a chance."

If there is a theme among Obama's most steadfast supporters, it's that more patience is required. Nowhere is that expressed more fiercely than in the nation's urban black neighborhoods, even though they are among the hardest-hit by the recession.

One recent Saturday morning, Leona Leonard sat at a folding table in southwest Philadelphia, selling remnants from a recently closed jewelry store at a neighborhood festival. She recalled how it felt to watch an African American sworn in as president.

"I'm lucky to have lived to see it," she said, lifting a hand to her heart.

The 52-year-old mother of six says Obama has not let her down. She supported the passage of the healthcare bill. The joblessness in her city is nearly 12%, but she doesn't blame him for the country's economic woes.

"I know he can't turn this world around in a day," she said. "I wish he'd stand up and tell everybody against him to be quiet. He needs to demand respect."

A whopping 95% of black voters cast their ballots for the president
in 2008. Their support has held more strongly than any other demographic group.

Obama in 2008 also did exceptionally well among the nation's Latinos, although his support there is showing more wear and tear.

Sylvia Rojas, a 35-year-old nurse in Clifton, Va., says Obama lost her with healthcare.

As part of the medical profession, she has heard more than most about the bill and its likely effects, she said. She worries it will have unintended consequences — more paperwork, higher costs, more pressure on an already stressed healthcare system.

"I know he wants what's best for this country, but from what I see happening, that wasn't it," Rojas said. "I am not really proud of my vote."

Obama won 67% of Latino voters, compared with Democrat John F. Kerry's 53% in 2004. The additional support meant a difference of thousands of Democratic votes in places like Nevada and Colorado, where the Latino community is long established, and in pockets of suburban Virginia where immigrants were drawn by economic growth and a lower cost of living.

But those areas, like much of the nation, are in worse shape now than even two years ago.

"There's not enough industry here," said Daniel Peters, a 37-year-
old business consultant from Alexandria, Va. "The cost of living
has risen and jobs have gone and people keep losing their homes
left and right."

But Peters, an Obama voter, says he doesn't blame the president. "He's not going to do it solo. He can only do
so many things. Congress needs to help," he said.

Peters added that he hadn't yet tuned into congressional elections. He's uncertain whether he'll vote.

This is the attitude Democratic organizers are working against.

Latinos, blacks, young voters and women are less likely to take
part in midterm elections than the broader electorate. Compared
with presidential contests, midterm elections draw, on average,
26% fewer voters.

For unmarried women, Latinos and African Americans, the drop-off for midterms is more than one-third. And only about half as many young people turn out, according to data compiled by the polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.

Vijay Oberoi, 59, falls into the endangered-voter category. Two years ago, he knocked on doors for Obama in the neighborhoods around his rented home in Fairfax County, Va., in suburban Washington.

Oberoi, a father of two, has since lost his job as a sales associate
at Circuit City. He remains unemployed, occasionally working as a courier to help pay bills. He recently told his son he could not afford to send him to college.

"I feel really embarrassed. I am his father and I was not able to help him," he said.

Politics are now the furthest thing from the mind of the onetime Obama foot soldier. He doesn't know whether he will vote in November. The president, he said, has let him down.

"How can I be happy? I am lower than the low," he said. "He has to do something for people like me. And he hasn't."

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-obama-coalition-20100912,0,599112,full.story

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cashing In, "Change" My Brother's Keeper?

New Children’s Book Coming from President Obama
ABC News' Jake Tapper reports:
September 14, 2010 8:38 AM

As part of the book deal then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., inked in 2004, Random House today announced the publication of a children’s book by the president, “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters.”

The book will be released on November 16 – roughly two weeks after the midterm elections -- with a 500,000-copy first printing.

“Of Thee I Sing,” which President Obama finished writing in 2008, describes thirteen “groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation—from the artistry of Georgia O’Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington,” the publisher said in a statement. It is illustrated by Loren Long.

Proceeds from the sale of the book, Random House announced,
will be donated to a scholarship fund for the children of fallen
and disabled US troops.

The book will be published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers and is part of the three-book, $1.9 million deal that
then-Sen. Obama reached with Random House through his
powerful attorney Bob Barnett.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2010/09/new-
childrens-book-coming-from-president-obama.html

This moment

from Barack Obama info@barackobama.com
reply-to info@barackobama.com
to Tony Whitcomb
date Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 3:38 PM
subject This moment
mailed-by bounce.bluestatedigital.com

Tony --

When Michelle and I decided that I would run for President, it
was because of a shared belief in the power of community and connection, a commitment to the idea that we are our brothers' keepers.

With your help, that is how I have tried to govern.

Now -- with just 50 days until the November elections --
the progress we have achieved together is under attack.

But I have seen what you can do when the stakes are high, and
I have never been more confident in your ability to deliver.

Tony, I am asking you to take the next step in your support for Organizing for America.

Because this moment is so critical, another supporter has pledged to match any donation you make right now. A $5 donation will become $10.

Will you make a donation today and answer your fellow supporter's pledge to match whatever you can give?

Here's how it works:

-- You choose the amount you are able to give -- and it will be doubled by someone willing to match that amount.

-- You will be able to write a note to the person who matched your donation and let them know why you decided to own a piece of this movement.

There are a lot of people out there who do not believe we can continue this work.

But we've defied the naysayers before. It was supporters like you who stood up and said, I can call my neighbor and ask her to vote.
I can write a letter to my member of Congress. I can volunteer a
few hours to go door to door -- even after a hard day at work.

It was this commitment that ensured millions of Americans will no longer suffer the indignity of inadequate care, simply because an illness came too soon, or a procedure too late.

It was this commitment that allowed us to pass the toughest financial reform regulations since the Great Depression.

And it is with this commitment in mind that I have gone to work every day. Over the coming months, I will continue to fight for
what is right and for what is necessary -- but I cannot do this alone.

Republicans have made it clear what they will do if elected this fall -- attempt to repeal our historic achievements and obstruct progress on the work that lies ahead.

But if we remember what we can build together, we can continue moving America forward.

Today, it starts with you. Your matched donation this month will enable us to execute the largest, most ambitious plan our party has ever run in an election of this kind. It will fund our Vote 2010 efforts in all 50 states. And it will help us stand up to the special interests trying to take over Congress.

It can shake up this fall's elections.

We built this movement with support from people like you, with small donations from millions of donors. And that was a conscious choice -- a choice that required us to demand more of our friends, our neighbors, and ourselves.

A fellow grassroots supporter is asking you to join them today -- and has pledged to match your individual donation.

Please donate $5 or more to help grow this movement in the critical weeks ahead:

https://donate.barackobama.com/Match2010

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Sunday, September 12, 2010

US poverty on track to post record gain in 2009

US poverty on track to post record gain in 2009
By Hope Yen and Liz Sidoti, Associated Press Writers
Posted: Sat Sep 11, 2:13 pm ET

WASHINGTON – The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Barack Obama's watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.

Census figures for 2009 — the recession-ravaged first year of the Democrat's presidency — are to be released in the coming week,
and demographers expect grim findings.

It's unfortunate timing for Obama and his party just seven weeks before important elections when control of Congress is at stake.

The anticipated poverty rate increase — from 13.2 percent to about 15 percent — would be another blow to Democrats struggling to persuade voters to keep them in power.

"The most important anti-poverty effort is growing the economy and making sure there are enough jobs out there," Obama said Friday at a White House news conference.

He stressed his commitment to helping the poor achieve middle-class status and said, "If we can grow the economy faster and create more jobs, then everybody is swept up into that virtuous cycle."

[Related: Obama comments on 'painfully slow' economic growth]

Interviews with six demographers who closely track poverty trends found wide consensus that 2009 figures are likely to show a significant rate increase to the range of 14.7 percent to 15 percent.

Should those estimates hold true, some 45 million people in this country, or more than 1 in 7, were poor last year.

It would be the highest single-year increase since the government began calculating poverty figures in 1959. The previous high was
in 1980 when the rate jumped 1.3 percentage points to 13 percent during the energy crisis.

Among the 18-64 working-age population, the demographers expect a rise beyond 12.4 percent, up from 11.7 percent.

That would make it the highest since at least 1965, when another Democratic president, Lyndon B. Johnson, launched the war on poverty that expanded the federal government's role in social welfare programs from education to health care.

Demographers also are confident the report will show:

_Child poverty increased from 19 percent to more than 20 percent.

_Blacks and Latinos were disproportionately hit, based on their higher rates of unemployment.

_Metropolitan areas that posted the largest gains in poverty included Modesto, Calif.; Detroit; Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.; Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

"My guess is that politically these figures will be greeted with alarm and dismay but they won't constitute a clarion call to action," said William Galston, a domestic policy aide for President Bill Clinton.

"I hope the parties don't blame each other for the desperate circumstances of desperate people. That would be wrong in
my opinion. But that's not to say it won't happen."

Lawrence M. Mead, a New York University political science professor who is a conservative and wrote "The New Politics of Poverty: The Nonworking Poor in America," argued that the figures will have a minimal impact in November.

"Poverty is not as big an issue right now as middle-class unemployment. That's a lot more salient politically right now,"
he said.

But if Thursday's report is as troubling as expected, Republicans in the midst of an increasingly strong drive to win control of the House, if not the Senate, would get one more argument to make against Democrats in the campaign homestretch.

The GOP says voters should fire Democrats because Obama's economic fixes are hindering the sluggish economic recovery. Rightly or wrongly, Republicans could cite a higher poverty rate as evidence.

Democrats almost certainly will argue that they shouldn't be blamed. They're likely to counter that the economic woes — and the poverty increase — began under President George W. Bush with the near-collapse of the financial industry in late 2008.

Although that's true, it's far from certain that the Democratic explanation will sway voters who already are trending heavily
toward the GOP in polls as worrisome economic news piles up.

Hispanics and blacks — traditionally solid Democratic constituencies — could be inclined to stay home in November if, as expected, the Census Bureau reports that many more of them were poor last year.

Beyond this fall, the findings could put pressure on Obama to expand government safety net programs ahead of his likely 2012 re-election bid even as Republicans criticize him about federal spending and annual deficits.

Those are areas of concern for independent voters whose support is critical in elections.

Experts say a jump in the poverty rate could mean that the liberal viewpoint — social constraints prevent the poor from working —
will gain steam over the conservative position that the poor have
opportunities to work but choose not to because they get too much help.

"The Great Recession will surely push the poverty rate for working-age people to a nearly 50-year peak," said Elise Gould, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute. She said that means "it's time for a renewed attack on poverty."

To Douglas Besharov, a University of Maryland public policy professor, the big question is whether there's anything more
to do to help these families.

The 2009 forecasts are largely based on historical data and the unemployment rate, which climbed to 10.1 percent last October
to post a record one-year gain.

The projections partly rely on a methodology by Rebecca Blank,
a former poverty expert who now oversees the census.

She estimated last year that poverty would hit about 14.8 percent
if unemployment reached 10 percent. "As long as unemployment is higher, poverty will be higher," she said in an interview then.

A formula by Richard Bavier, a former analyst with the White
House Office of Management and Budget who has had high rates
of accuracy over the last decade, predicts poverty will reach 15 percent. That would put the rate at the highest level since 1993.

The all-time high was 22.4 percent in 1959, the first year the government began tracking poverty. It dropped to a low of 11.1 percent in 1973 after Johnson's war on poverty but has since fluctuated in the 12-14 percent range.

In 2008, the poverty level stood at $22,025 for a family of four, based on an official government calculation that includes only
cash income before tax deductions.

It excludes capital gains or accumulated wealth. It does not
factor in noncash government aid such as tax credits or food
stamps, which have surged to record levels in recent years
under the federal stimulus program.

Beginning next year, the government plans to publish new, supplemental poverty figures that are expected to show even
higher numbers of people in poverty than previously known.

The figures will take into account rising costs of medical care, transportation and child care, a change analysts believe will add
to the ranks of both seniors and working-age people in poverty.
___

Online:
Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov
Commerce Department: http://www.commerce.gov/

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100911/ap_on_bi_ge/us_poverty
_in_america

Friday, September 10, 2010

We Will Never Forget 9/11/2001

ON THAT DAY

It was a normal Tuesday,
or that's what we assumed.
None of us had a clue of
the evil and hatred that loomed.
We went to work and school
the usual carefree bunch;
Having no idea how our lives
would be changed by lunch.

The first crash was an accident
or so we all had thought.
The second crash woke us up
with the reality it brought.

What kind of person would do such
a thing? We didn't have a clue.
Then...they hit the Pentagon and
our nightmares had come true.

In an instant thousands were killed
and thousands more were lost.
Unknowing victims just doing
their jobs, were forced to pay the cost.

People's lives were changed forever
as friends, and loved ones perished.
In mere moments, we lost the thing
that all Americans cherished.

Policemen, Firemen, rescue workers,
rushed into flames at Ground Zero.
Hundreds of them never came back out,
saving others, they died as heroes.

For years we felt we were as secure
as any country could be.
Sadly it took this tragedy for us to finally see.
Now we try to get back to normal,
whatever we think that is.
Bin Laden tried to end our world
but instead he ended his.

He obviously didn't know the strength
that our country had possessed.
Now we seek Infinite Justice...
with this we are obsessed.

We are not alone in our quest.
Others have joined the fight.
Together we will stamp out
all evil in a show of might!

It won't be short, it may take years,
but in the end they'll pay.
Because...
Americans will never forget
what happened ON THAT DAY!

Written by Norman J. Dove, III


"The United States is under attack" was all I could hear
On the radio and TV, now the nation was in fear.
The bystanders looking pointing above their heads
Family members calling in hopes loved ones weren't dead.
Sirens started blaring, cries were certainly heard
"Oh my God" was the consensus of American words.
Tears started pouring as the television showed the world
The second plane hitting, more like it hurled.

Terrorist attacked in hopes to put us in despair
Pearl Harbor is the only attack for US to compare
The tragedy, the lives lost with no remorse.
Al-Quida received our attention from using blunt force.
After what seemed like forever, the towers started to fall.
People started running, the cameras caught it all.
I remember desperate acts of people falling to their death
I sat in my living room crying, just holding my breath.

"How could this happen, I don't understand
Who could be bold enough to touch on our land?"
I couldn't conceive of the actions taking place
I couldn't imagine the people that were lost that couldn't be replaced.
I thought of our Navy and armed forces making things right
But death could reach my life in their retaliating fight.

The city was covered in dust and smoke
It was so bad you could hear the reporters even choke.
The blanket filled the air and Ground Zero slowly emerged
Those that were inside and heroes that went in were now submerged
Under the drywall, concrete, office supplies and parts of planes
Many will have death of a parent and loved one to explain
To children that were left behind on September 11, 2001
The rebuilding of our Nation has now begun.

Family members gathered, loved ones soon came
To Ground Zero wishing to some how reclaim
That morning, that afternoon, all those days to follow
All the events of America were very hard to swallow.
But we got together and lit a candle, strength in the flame
We stood together with one thing to proclaim
The US isn't falling, we will stand our ground
And when you awoke the next morning patriotism was found.

Flags were flying high on houses across the states
In cars, on buses, on clothes, on anything we could create.
The building may have fallen, but the foundation didn't break
Those that attacked us soon found that mistake.
We as a nation stood as one on that tragic day
And that is how we as a Nation should stay.

To the families, loved ones, and lost... your memory will
never depart.
You touched the Nation, and will remain in our hearts.

By Rachel L. Cobb


We're all different, we're all told,
Some have pennies, some have gold.
Our country was changed by the crash of a plane,
And one man's evil plot to cause damage and pain.
The effect on us was the loss of life,
And many heroes who were sacrificed.
But this helped us to unite,
And kept the light of liberty shining bright.

by: Rikki K


Heroes

As the planes hit the towers
the sirens turned the corner.
Our officers acted so quickly
with a keen sense of honor.

These heroes reacted without fear,
as they searched and climbed the stairs.
Our firefighters, officers, and volunteers,
helped shape a nation that cares.

Without men and women with such character,
our future as a country is bleak.
But with citizens of strength and courage,
America will never be weak.

(author unknown)


As americans we should take a stand,
and replenish what has been taken from our home land.
We saw this happen before our eyes,
all because of terrorists in disguise.
we never thought we'd see the day,
the twin towers would perish away.
That day they did and so many more,
and we never even thought they'd collapse to the floor.
Well, we were wrong, but now we have our turn,
to rebuild our lives, these terrorists will learn.
To this day, 9/11 has been a solemn time,
as nobody could believe why anyone would commit this crime.
From here on out we will remember this day,
and never let the thoughts of our heroes slip away.
As americans we will never forget, we will remember,
yeah we will remember forever.

(author unknown)


WE REMEMBER

We remember the shock
We remember the pain
We remember it all
The towers, the planes
We remember our anger
Our need to lash out
We all wanted justice
Without any doubt
We remember the hope
That more would be found
Buried in the wreckage
Where those buildings came down
We remember the people
Referred to as heroes
All the ones who saved lives
Or died at ground zero
We will never forget
We will always remember
When america changed
That day in september

By Richard J. Beck
Roanoke, VA


About 9/11 I could not believe
the cowardess attack the people received
The odasity to use american made planes
But through it all God's love still reigns
Every time we continue to be thankful
and use the time left to be helpful
This may have occurred on American Soil
Everywhere now it seems even more a Goal
To bless the memory of those who willingly did their part
I am a Canadian whose September 11 neighbours are on my heart.
So taking their example I will help whenever I can
by being of service to my fellowman.
Then even though death comes in haste
the memory of the "finest" will not be a waste.

By Julie Savard


It came so fast, nobody knew
What to say and what to do
Waiting for an answer took too long
As friends and families tried to stay strong
The towers fell as did our tears
We all dealt with our biggest fears
Losing friends and family
Someone who was so close to me
If my uncle was here he would say don't cry
If only I had a chance to say goodbye
I love him so much and will remember this day
To end this off I have to say
September 11th will stay with us forever
and you will see them again, so never say never.

By Dana Mantello


LIFE GOES ON

Thousands of us lost a loved one, family member or friend
And at that moment some of us felt it was the end.
I've lost loved ones before so I know the pain you feel
At first you feel like you're in shock
And none of this is real.
You sit and try to think of the last words that you said
Memories of times both good and bad go flashing in your head.

If there were a warning it would be easier to bear
But in just an instant, dust clouds filled the air.
Mounds of rubble came crashing down; piles of concrete and glass
City streets once full of life were now impossible to pass.

In days to come we searched for survivors
Praying some were found.
The debris of 200 stories was removed slowly
Pound by pound.

Instantly people began to search for family and friends
Photos of loved ones covered the streets of the city
From end to end.
Some gave numbers and addresses others told a story of life.
Of what these people meant to their
Mother, brother or wife.

It's a hard time to get through realizing they're gone
Together we can move past this and see that
LIFE GOES ON.

Written By Norman J. Dove III

http://www.9-11heroes.us/911-poems.php

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Whatever Happened to Obama's Army?

Whatever Happened to Obama's Army?
By Jay Newton-Small
Thursday, Sep. 09, 2010

What happened to Barack Obama's once vaunted political machine?

The outfit that put upwards of 8 million volunteers on the street in 2008 - known as Organizing for America - is a ghost of its former self. Its staff has shrunk from 6,000 to 300, and its donors are depressed: receipts are a fraction of what they were in 2008.

Virtually no one in politics believes it will turn many contests this fall. "There's no chance that OFA is going to have the slightest impact on the midterms," says Charlie Cook, who tracks congressional races.

Neglect is to blame.

After Obama was elected, his political aides ignored the army he
had created until it eventually disappeared. No one was in charge; decisions were often deferred but rarely made.

By the time they realized they needed more troops, says longtime consultant Joe Trippi, "their supporters had taken a vacation from politics." (See Mark Halperin's take on the coming Republican tsunami.)

So earlier this year, when the White House gave OFA a whopping $30 million - more than half of the party's entire budget for 2010 - senior Democrats suspected a hidden agenda.

Several tell Time that OFA boss David Plouffe, who ran Obama's 2008 campaign, is using the cash to rebuild an army for 2012
under the cover of boosting turnout in 2010.

OFA is putting staff into such states as Virginia, North Carolina and Arizona, which have few close statewide races this fall but which are all prime targets in an Obama re-election campaign. "This is totally about 2012," Cook says. (See how Obama became Mr. Unpopular.)

Plouffe denies the charge. "I couldn't object more strongly," he says. Plouffe notes that OFA volunteers knocked on 200,000 doors in late August - an impressive number, but only a tenth of what it could do in 2008.

Not even sorcery may be able to rekindle the excitement many first-time voters showed back then. "The popularity of the President with these voters is not a transferable asset," says Jamal Simmons, a Democratic strategist.

"I don't think it's realistic that they would ever be able to replicate the unbridled enthusiasm. It's like a first kiss: you can never experience it twice."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/08599201697300

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Law of Change

Even America's liberal elites concede
that Obama's Presidency is crumbling

By Nile Gardiner
Last updated: September 8th, 2010

Democrats in Congress are no longer asking themselves whether
this is going to be a bad election year for them and their party.

They are asking whether it is going to be a disaster.

The GOP pushed deep into Democratic-held territory over the summer, to the point where the party is well within range of
picking up the 39 seats it would need to take control of the House.

Overall, as many as 80 House seats could be at risk, and fewer
than a dozen of these are held by Republicans.

Political handicappers now say it is conceivable that the
Republicans could also win the 10 seats they need to take back
the Senate. Not since 1930 has the House changed hands without
the Senate following suit.

Is this a piece from National Review, The Weekly Standard, The
Wall Street Journal or Fox News.com, all major conservative news outlets in the United States? No.

It’s a direct quote from yesterday’s Washington Post, usually
viewed by conservatives as a flagship of the liberal establishment inside the Beltway.

The fact The Post is reporting that not only could Republicans
sweep the House of Representatives this November, but may
even take the Senate as well, is a reflection of just how far the mainstream, overwhelmingly left-of-centre US media has moved
in the last month towards acknowledging the scale of the crisis facing the White House.

To its credit, The Washington Post has generally been ahead of
the curve compared to its main competitors such as The New York
Times in reporting President Obama’s travails, but its striking
front page coverage of the “Democrats’ plight” and talk of a
possible GOP Senate win (regarded as fantasy just a fortnight ago)
was a bold step for a publication that is probably read in every
office of the Obama administration.

The Post also ran another headline yesterday on its front page – “Republicans making gains ahead of midterm elections” – which would undoubtedly have sent a shudder through the White House.

It carried a new poll commissioned jointly with ABC News,
which showed public faith in Barack Obama’s leadership has
fallen to an all-time low, with just 46 percent approval.

The Washington Post-ABC News survey revealed high levels
of public unease with President Obama’s handling of the
economy, with 57 percent of Americans disapproving, and
58 percent critical of his handling of the deficit.

For most of the year, America’s political and media elites,
including the Obama team itself, have touted the notion of
an economic recovery (which never materialised), significantly underestimated the rise of the Tea Party movement, and
questioned the notion that conservatism was sweeping America.

It is only now hitting home just how close Washington is to experiencing a political revolution in November that will fundamentally change the political landscape on Capitol Hill,
with huge implications for the Obama presidency.

What was once a perspective confined largely to Fox News, online conservative news sites, or talk radio is now gaining ground in the liberal US print media as well – historic change is coming to America, though not quite the version promised by Barack Obama.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100052779/even-a
mericas-liberal-elites-concede-that-obamas-presidency-is-crumbling/

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Democracy in America Is a Useful Fiction

Democracy in America Is a Useful Fiction
By Chris Hedges
Posted on Jan 25, 2010

Corporate forces, long before the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, carried out a
coup d’├ętat in slow motion. The coup is over. We lost.

The ruling is one more judicial effort to streamline mechanisms for corporate control. It exposes the myth of a functioning democracy and the triumph of corporate power. But it does not significantly alter the political landscape.

The corporate state is firmly cemented in place.

The fiction of democracy remains useful, not only for corporations, but for our bankrupt liberal class. If the fiction is seriously challenged, liberals will be forced to consider actual resistance, which will be neither pleasant nor easy.

As long as a democratic facade exists, liberals can engage in an empty moral posturing that requires little sacrifice or commitment.

They can be the self-appointed scolds of the Democratic Party, acting as if they are part of the debate and feel vindicated by their cries of protest.

Much of the outrage expressed about the court’s ruling is the outrage of those who prefer this choreographed charade. As long as the charade is played, they do not have to consider how to combat what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls our system of “inverted totalitarianism.”

Inverted totalitarianism represents “the political coming of age of corporate power and the political demobilization of the citizenry,” Wolin writes in “Democracy Incorporated.”

Inverted totalitarianism differs from classical forms of totalitarianism, which revolve around a demagogue or charismatic leader, and finds its expression in the anonymity of the corporate state.

The corporate forces behind inverted totalitarianism do not, as classical totalitarian movements do, boast of replacing decaying structures with a new, revolutionary structure. They purport to
honor electoral politics, freedom and the Constitution. But they so corrupt and manipulate the levers of power as to make democracy impossible.

Inverted totalitarianism is not conceptualized as an ideology or objectified in public policy. It is furthered by “power-holders and citizens who often seem unaware of the deeper consequences of their actions or inactions,” Wolin writes. But it is as dangerous as classical forms of totalitarianism.

In a system of inverted totalitarianism, as this court ruling illustrates, it is not necessary to rewrite the Constitution, as fascist and communist regimes do. It is enough to exploit legitimate power by means of judicial and legislative interpretation.

This exploitation ensures that huge corporate campaign contributions are protected speech under the First Amendment.

It ensures that heavily financed and organized lobbying by large corporations is interpreted as an application of the people’s right
to petition the government.

The court again ratified the concept that corporations are persons, except in those cases where the “persons” agree to a “settlement.”

Those within corporations who commit crimes can avoid going to prison by paying large sums of money to the government while, according to this twisted judicial reasoning, not “admitting any wrongdoing.”

There is a word for this. It is called corruption.

Corporations have 35,000 lobbyists in Washington and thousands more in state capitals that dole out corporate money to shape and write legislation. They use their political action committees to solicit employees and shareholders for donations to fund pliable candidates.

The financial sector, for example, spent more than $5 billion on political campaigns, influence peddling and lobbying during the past decade, which resulted in sweeping deregulation, the gouging of consumers, our global financial meltdown and the subsequent looting of the U.S. Treasury.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America spent $26 million last year and drug companies such as Pfizer, Amgen and Eli Lilly kicked in tens of millions more to buy off the two parties. These corporations have made sure our so-called health reform bill will force us to buy their predatory and defective products.

The oil and gas industry, the coal industry, defense contractors and telecommunications companies have thwarted the drive for sustainable energy and orchestrated the steady erosion of civil liberties. Politicians do corporate bidding and stage hollow acts of political theater to keep the fiction of the democratic state alive.

There is no national institution left that can accurately be described as democratic. Citizens, rather than participate in power, are allowed to have virtual opinions to preordained questions, a kind of participatory fascism as meaningless as voting on “American Idol.”

Mass emotions are directed toward the raging culture wars. This allows us to take emotional stands on issues that are inconsequential to the power elite.

Our transformation into an empire, as happened in ancient Athens and Rome, has seen the tyranny we practice abroad become the tyranny we practice at home. We, like all empires, have been eviscerated by our own expansionism.

We utilize weapons of horrific destructive power, subsidize their development with billions in taxpayer dollars, and are the world’s largest arms dealer.

And the Constitution, as Wolin notes, is “conscripted to serve as power’s apprentice rather than its conscience.”

(Page 2)

“Inverted totalitarianism reverses things,” Wolin writes.

“It is politics all of the time but a politics largely untempered by the political. Party squabbles are occasionally on public display, and there is a frantic and continuous politics among factions of the party, interest groups, competing corporate powers, and rival media concerns. And there is, of course, the culminating moment of national elections when the attention of the nation is required to make a choice of personalities rather than a choice between alternatives. What is absent is the political, the commitment to finding where the common good lies amidst the welter of well-financed, highly organized, single-minded interests rabidly seeking governmental favors and overwhelming the practices of representative government and public administration by a sea of cash.”

Hollywood, the news industry and television, all corporate controlled, have become instruments of inverted totalitarianism. They censor
or ridicule those who critique or challenge corporate structures and assumptions.

They saturate the airwaves with manufactured controversy, whether it's Tiger Woods or the dispute between Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien.
They manipulate images to make us confuse how we are made to feel with knowledge, which is how Barack Obama became president.

And the draconian internal control employed by the Department of Homeland Security, the military and the police over any form of popular dissent, coupled with the corporate media’s censorship, does for inverted totalitarianism what thugs and bonfires of books do in classical totalitarian regimes.

“It seems a replay of historical experience that the bias displayed by today’s media should be aimed consistently at the shredded remains of liberalism,” Wolin writes.

“Recall that an element common to most 20th century totalitarianism, whether Fascist or Stalinist, was hostility towards the left. In the United States, the left is assumed to consist solely
of liberals, occasionally of ‘the left wing of the Democratic Party,’ never of democrats.”

Liberals, socialists, trade unionists, independent journalists and intellectuals, many of whom were once important voices in our society, have been silenced or targeted for elimination within corporate-controlled academia, the media and government.

Wolin, who taught at Berkeley and later at Princeton, is arguably
the country’s foremost political philosopher. And yet his book was virtually ignored.

This is also why Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich and Cynthia McKinney, along with intellectuals like Noam Chomsky, are not given a part in our national discourse.

The uniformity of opinion is reinforced by the skillfully orchestrated
mass emotions of nationalism and patriotism, which paints all dissidents as “soft” or “unpatriotic.”

The “patriotic” citizen, plagued by fear of job losses and possible terrorist attacks, unfailingly supports widespread surveillance and the militarized state. This means no questioning of the $1 trillion
in defense-related spending.

It means that the military and intelligence agencies are held above government, as if somehow they are not part of government. The most powerful instruments of state power and control are effectively removed from public discussion.

We, as imperial citizens, are taught to be contemptuous of government bureaucracy, yet we stand like sheep before Homeland Security agents in airports and are mute when Congress permits our private correspondence and conversations to be monitored and archived.

We endure more state control than at any time in American history.

The civic, patriotic and political language we use to describe ourselves remains unchanged. We pay fealty to the same national symbols and iconography. We find our collective identity in the
same national myths. We continue to deify the Founding Fathers.

But the America we celebrate is an illusion. It does not exist.

Our government and judiciary have no real sovereignty. Our
press provides diversion, not information. Our organs of security
and power keep us as domesticated and as fearful as most Iraqis.

Capitalism, as Karl Marx understood, when it emasculates government, becomes a revolutionary force.

And this revolutionary force, best described as inverted totalitarianism, is plunging us into a state of neo-feudalism, perpetual war and severe repression.

The Supreme Court decision is part of our transformation by
the corporate state from citizens to prisoners.


Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent, writes
a column published every Monday on Truthdig. His latest book is “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.”

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/democracy_in_america
_is_a_useful_fiction_20100124/

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Dear Jon Letter

minneapolis craigslist > hennepin co > community
> local news and views please flag with care:

miscategorized
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A Dear Jon Letter
Date: 2010-09-05, 3:32PM CDT
Reply to: comm-eb5nz-1938137070@craigslist.org

Dear Jon: (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/devaan/)

Why do you and all of your evil little minions, down at implex.net, fmj law, sierra-bravo, and dark places elsewhere, keep flagging all
of our posts listed on Craigslist, in regards to Expotera:

flagged & removed: 1936986234 (local news and views) The Devil's Advocate(s) Sun, Sep 5, 2010 at 8:17 AM

flagged & removed: 1937368755 (local news and views) The Law of Contradiction Sun, Sep 5, 2010 at 9:08 AM

flagged & removed: 1937369605 (local news and views) The Law of Excluded Middle Sun, Sep 5, 2010 at 10:14 AM

flagged & removed: 1936995216 (local news and views) David and Goliath Sun, Sep 5, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Jon, you and your minions, have billions of dollars and the latest in state-of-the-art technology available to all of you, yet instead of putting up a Blog, similar to Expotera's, to try to counter all of our verifiable objective evidence, and easily proven arguments of guilt against all of you, Jon, you and your minions, just continue to flag
all of our posts, out on Craigslist?

Jon, I know, "The Truth Hurts" and in closing, "I have not sent you this letter because you have no knowledge of what is true, but because you have knowledge, and because that which is false has nothing in common with that which is true" because, "No Lie is of The Truth." 1 John 2:21

Sincerely,

Tony E. Whitcomb
Founder/CEO Expotera

Location: microsoft/implex.net
PostingID: 1938137070

it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other
commercial interests

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/vnn/1938137070.html

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

David and Goliath

David and Goliath - Bible Story Summary
By Mary Fairchild, About.com Guide
Scripture Reference: 1 Samuel 17

The Philistine army had gathered for war against Israel. The two armies faced each other, camped for battle on opposite sides of a steep valley.

A Philistine giant measuring over nine feet tall and wearing full armor came out each day for forty days, mocking and challenging the Israelites to fight. His name was Goliath.

Saul, the King of Israel, and the whole army were terrified of Goliath.

One day David, the youngest son of Jesse, was sent to the battle lines by his father to bring back news of his brothers. David was probably just a young teenager at the time.

While there, David heard Goliath shouting his daily defiance and he saw the great fear stirred within the men of Israel.

David responded, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of God?"

So David volunteered to fight Goliath. It took some persuasion, but King Saul finally agreed to let David fight against the giant.

Dressed in his simple tunic, carrying his shepherd's staff, slingshot and a pouch full of stones, David approached Goliath.

The giant cursed at him, hurling threats and insults.

David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied ... today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air ... and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel ... it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands."

As Goliath moved in for the kill, David reached into his bag and slung one of his stones at Goliath's head.

Finding a hole in the armor, the stone sank into the giant's forehead and he fell face down on the ground. David then took Goliath's sword, killed him and then cut off his head.

When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. So the Israelites pursued, chasing and killing them and plundering their camp.

Points of Interest from the David and Goliath Story:

Why did they wait forty days to begin the battle? Probably for several reasons. Everyone was afraid of Goliath. He seemed invincible. Not even King Saul, the tallest man in Israel, had stepped out to fight.

Also, the sides of the valley were very steep. Whoever made the
first move would have a strong disadvantage and probably suffer
great loss. Both sides were waiting for the other to attack first.

David chose not to wear the King's armor because it felt cumbersome and unfamiliar. David was comfortable with his simple slingshot, a weapon he was skilled at using.

God will use the unique skills he's already placed in your hands, so don't worry about "wearing the King's armor."

Just be yourself and use the familiar gifts and talents God has given you. He will work miracles through you.

David's faith in God caused him to look at the giant from a different perspective. Goliath was merely a mortal man defying an all-powerful God. David looked at the battle from God's point of view.

If we look at giant problems and impossible situations from God's perspective, we realize that God will fight for us and with us.

When we put things in proper perspective, we see more clearly and we can fight more effectively.

When the giant criticized, insulted and threatened, David didn't stop or even waver. Everyone else cowered in fear, but David ran to the battle. He knew that action needed to be taken.

David did the right thing in spite of discouraging insults and fearful threats. Only God's opinion mattered to David.

Questions for Reflection:

Are you facing a giant problem or impossible situation? Stop for a minute and refocus.

Can you see the situation more clearly from God's vantage point?

Do you need to take courageous action in the face of insults and fearful circumstances?

Do you trust that God will fight for you and with you?

Remember, God's opinion is the only one that matters.

http://christianity.about.com/od/biblestorysummaries/p/david
andgoliath.htm