Saturday, April 30, 2011

Donald Trump's racial discrimination problem

Apr 28, 2011
Donald Trump's racial discrimination problem
In the 1970s, he was sued by the feds for not renting to African-Americans
By Justin Elliott

In an episode early in Donald Trump's career, his New York real estate company was sued by the federal government for discriminating against potential black renters. After a lengthy legal battle, it ultimately agreed to wide-ranging steps to offer rentals to nonwhites.

The little-remembered case provides crucial context for the current discussion centering on Trump and race. The celebrity businessman made news last month when he declared, "I have a great relationship with the blacks. I've always had a great relationship with the blacks."

He has recently come under fire for attacks on President Obama that critics have described as racially tinged. CBS anchor Bob Schieffer, for example, said Wednesday there is "an ugly strain of racism" in Trump's recent (baseless) accusations that President Obama should not have been admitted to Columbia. Also yesterday, Trump told a black reporter, unprompted, "Look I know you are a big Obama fan."

The discrimination case began in the earliest days of Trump's career, when he was still in his 20s.

Fred Trump, Donald's father, was, unlike his son, a self-made man. He made his fortune by building thousands of units of middle-class housing in Brooklyn and Queens. But in the early 1970s, Donald was made president of the family company.

One of Donald's first challenges came in October 1973, when the Justice Department hit the Trump Organization with a major discrimination suit for violating the Fair Housing Act. The Times reported:

... the Government contended that Trump Management had refused to rent or negotiate rentals "because of race and color." It also charged that the company had required different rental terms and conditions because of race and that it had misrepresented to blacks that apartments were not available.

The journalist Gwenda Blair reported in her 2005 Trump biography that while Fred Trump had sought to combat previous discrimination allegations through "quiet diplomacy," Donald decided to go on the offensive. He hired his friend Roy Cohn, the celebrity lawyer and former Joseph McCarthy aide, to countersue the government for making baseless charges against the company. They sought a staggering $100 million in damages.

A few months after the government filed the suit, Trump gave a combative press conference at the New York Hilton in which he went after the Justice Department for being too friendly to welfare recipients. He "accused the Justice Department of singling out his corporation because it was a large one and because the Government was trying to force it to rent to welfare recipients," the Times reported. Trump added that if welfare recipients were allowed into his apartments in certain middle-class outer-borough neighborhoods, there would be a "massive fleeing from the city of not only our tenants, but communities as a whole."

A federal judge threw out Trump's countersuit a month later, calling it a waste of "time and paper."

Writes Blair in her book:

Donald testified repeatedly that he had nothing to do with renting apartments, although in an application for a broker's license filed at the same time he said that he was in charge of all rentals...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

McCain's Birth Abroad Stirs Legal Debate

McCain's Birth Abroad Stirs Legal Debate
His Eligibility for Presidency Is Questioned
Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee, was born on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone
By Michael Dobbs
Washington Post
May 2, 2008

The Senate has unanimously declared John McCain a natural-born citizen, eligible to be president of the United States.

That is the good news for the presumptive Republican nominee, who was born nearly 72 years ago in a military hospital in the Panama Canal Zone, then under U.S. jurisdiction. The bad news is that the nonbinding Senate resolution passed Wednesday night is simply an opinion that has little bearing on an arcane constitutional debate that has preoccupied legal scholars for many weeks.

Article II of the Constitution states that "no person except a natural born citizen . . . shall be eligible to the office of president." The problem is that the Founding Fathers never defined exactly what they meant by "natural born citizen," and the matter has never been fully tested in court. At least three pending cases are challenging McCain's right to be sworn in as president.

Jurists on both sides of the political divide, consulted by the McCain campaign, insist that the issue is clear-cut. They argue that McCain is a natural-born citizen because the United States held sovereignty over the Panama Canal Zone at the time of his birth, on Aug. 29, 1936; because he was born on a U.S. military base; and because his parents were U.S. citizens.

But Sarah H. Duggin, an associate law professor at Catholic University who has studied the "natural born" issue in detail, said the question is "not so simple." While she said McCain would probably prevail in a determined legal challenge to his eligibility to be president, she added that the matter can be fully resolved only by a constitutional amendment or a Supreme Court decision.

"The Constitution is ambiguous," Duggin said. "The McCain side has some really good arguments, but ultimately there has never been any real resolution of this issue. Congress cannot legislatively change the meaning of the Constitution."

Senators sympathetic to McCain's position, including Democrats Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.), dropped an earlier attempt to quell the eligibility controversy with legislation. McCaskill acknowledged in an interview that there is "no way" to completely resolve the question short of a constitutional amendment, a cumbersome process which could not be concluded before November.

She described the nonbinding resolution, which she sponsored, as "the quickest, clearest and most efficient" way for the Senate to send a message to the courts that McCain has the right to be president.

One person who disagrees with that premise is New Hampshire resident Fred Hollander, who has filed a suit in U.S. District Court claiming that the Republican candidate is "not a natural born citizen." In an attempt to prove his argument, the 49-year-old computer programmer filed a subpoena last month seeking McCain's birth certificate.

The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees citizenship services, declined to hand over copies of the document, saying the subpoena was improperly served.

In his autobiography, "Faith of My Fathers," McCain writes that he was born "in the Canal Zone" at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Coco Solo, which was under the command of his grandfather, John S. McCain Sr....

Friday, April 22, 2011

Priorities in the Land of the Free

Apr 19, 2011
Priorities in the Land of the Free
By Glenn Greenwald

Millions of Americans are without jobs and are having their homes foreclosed. The U.S. is currently fighting three out-in-the-open wars (or, if you prefer, one war, one occupation, and one kinetic humanitarian intervention) and several other covert ones. Financial and political elites are preparing to tell Americans (quite unpersuasively) that they have to sacrifice Social Security, Medicare and other entitlements because the U.S. debt is so large and unmanageable that it threatens to subvert America's superior creditworthiness. And we're constantly told that civil liberties erosions are necessary to combat the Great Menace of Domestic Terrorism. So what is our political class focused on, and to what are law enforcement resources being devoted? First, there's this, from a couple weeks ago:

Nearly half of the members of the U.S. Senate are urging Attorney General Eric Holder to step up federal prosecutions of adult pornography...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Penny wise and pound foolish? The cost of not helping the homeless

Click on the following link to see the original story, which is full of terrific links:

Morning Report: The Half-Million-Dollar Transients
April 21, 2011
by Randy Dotinga

Seven homeless people in the county annually cost taxpayers more than half a million dollars each. Another 16 transients cost $250,000 to $500,000 every year. Now, advocates are launching a program to help people like them find a place to live and stop requiring so much care.

"It's more expensive to ignore the problem than confront the problem," said the commissioner of the United Way's Plan to End Chronic Homelessness yesterday. The numbers are pretty amazing: Just seventeen of the transients "had an average of 16 ambulance rides, 17 emergency room visits and five inpatient medical stays a year," the NCT reports."The cost is estimated at $218,552."

So far, though, only a few homeless people have been helped. In part, that's because the transients in need aren't easy to find.

A 2006 New Yorker article by Malcolm Gladwell tells a similar story of a homeless man who cost Nevada more than a million dollars. He spoke to NPR about it, too.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Let’s Not Be Civil

Let’s Not Be Civil
New York Times
April 17, 2011

Last week, President Obama offered a spirited defense of his party’s values — in effect, of the legacy of the New Deal and the Great Society. Immediately thereafter, as always happens when Democrats take a stand, the civility police came out in force. The president, we were told, was being too partisan; he needs to treat his opponents with respect; he should have lunch with them, and work out a consensus.

That’s a bad idea. Equally important, it’s an undemocratic idea.

Let’s review the story so far.

Two weeks ago, House Republicans released their big budget proposal, selling it to credulous pundits as a statement of necessity, not ideology — a document telling America What Must Be Done.

But it was, in fact, a deeply partisan document, which you might have guessed from the opening sentence: “Where the president has failed, House Republicans will lead.” It hyped the danger of deficits, yet even on its own (not at all credible) accounting, spending cuts were used mainly to pay for tax cuts rather than deficit reduction. The transparent and obvious goal was to use deficit fears to impose a vision of small government and low taxes, especially on the wealthy.

So the House budget proposal revealed a yawning gap between the two parties’ priorities. And it revealed a deep difference in views about how the world works.

When the proposal was released, it was praised as a “wonk-approved” plan that had been run by the experts. But the “experts” in question, it turned out, were at the Heritage Foundation, and few people outside the hard right found their conclusions credible. In the words of the consulting firm Macroeconomic Advisers — which makes its living telling businesses what they need to know, not telling politicians what they want to hear — the Heritage analysis was “both flawed and contrived.” Basically, Heritage went all in on the much-refuted claim that cutting taxes on the wealthy produces miraculous economic results, including a surge in revenue that actually reduces the deficit.

By the way, Heritage is always like this. Whenever there’s something the G.O.P. doesn’t like — say, environmental protection — Heritage can be counted on to produce a report, based on no economic model anyone else recognizes, claiming that this policy would cause huge job losses. Correspondingly, whenever there’s something Republicans want, like tax cuts for the wealthy or for corporations, Heritage can be counted on to claim that this policy would yield immense economic benefits.

The point is that the two parties don’t just live in different moral universes, they also live in different intellectual universes, with Republicans in particular having a stable of supposed experts who reliably endorse whatever they propose.

So when pundits call on the parties to sit down together and talk, the obvious question is, what are they supposed to talk about? Where’s the common ground?

Eventually, of course, America must choose between these differing visions. And we have a way of doing that. It’s called democracy.

Now, Republicans claim that last year’s midterms gave them a mandate for the vision embodied in their budget. But last year the G.O.P. ran against what it called the “massive Medicare cuts” contained in the health reform law. How, then, can the election have provided a mandate for a plan that not only would preserve all of those cuts, but would go on, over time, to dismantle Medicare completely?

For what it’s worth, polls suggest that the public’s priorities are nothing like those embodied in the Republican budget. Large majorities support higher, not lower, taxes on the wealthy. Large majorities — including a majority of Republicans — also oppose major changes to Medicare. Of course, the poll that matters is the one on Election Day.

The Ox-Files: 'Mass cow sacrifices by aliens' sent White House into panic, FBI records reveal

The Ox-Files: 'Mass cow sacrifices by aliens' sent White House into panic, FBI records reveal
By Richard Hartley-parkinson
Daily Mail
13th April 2011

Cows were sacrificed by aliens sending the White House into a panic declassified FBI files have revealed.

It is claimed that more than 8,000 cows were abducted by UFOs before they were mutilated and thrown back down to earth over the southern United States during the 1970s.

The memo is one of thousands of previously unreleased classified files that the bureau has made public in a new online resource called The Vault.
Close encounters of a herd kind: Farmers continue to believe their cattle are being targeted by extraterrestrial beings

Close encounters of a herd kind: Farmers continue to believe their cattle are being targeted by extraterrestrials

The files detail how the aliens took trophies from their victims in the form of body parts and in some cases they drained the animals entirely of their blood.
Cattle Star Galactica: Some of the cows were mutilated by aliens

Cattle Star Galactica: Some of the cows were mutilated by aliens

One investigator's theory was that 'these animals are picked up by aircraft, mutilated elsewhere and returned and dropped from aircraft.

'Identical mutilations have been taking place all over the south west. whoever is responsible is well organised with boundless technology, financing and secrecy.'

When news of the cow abductions reached the White House in 1979, there was fear.

'The materials sent to me indicate one of the strangest phenomenon in my memory,' said the then US Attorney General Griffin Bell in a letter to senator Harrison Schmitt, according to The Sun newspaper.

Mr Schmitt represented New Mexico, where countless incidents were reported at a ranch in Dulce, a small town in the north of the State.

In one case an 11-month old bull was dropped close to someone's house from an aircraft and its sex organs had been removed.

The police report about the incident said: 'The bull sustained visible bruises around the brisket seeming to indicate that a strap was used to life and lower the animal from the aircraft... flesh underneath the hide was pinkish in colour.

'A probably explanation for the pinkish blood is a control type of radiation used to kill the animal... both the liver and the heart were mushy. Both organs had the texture and consistency of peanut butter.'

Un-bull-eivable: The FBI has put hundreds of files online so that people can access them more easily

FBI agents were dispatched to farms across the country upon reports to probe the abductions.

A report from the farm in Dulce during 1976 said that a suspect aircraft had landed and left three pod marks in a triangular shape.


* Could aliens be living on planets deep within black holes?
* Trial of suspected Nazi mass murderer John Demjanjuk could be based on fabricated evidence, FBI claims

A further report commissioned in 1979 added: 'The Department of Justice advised that their criminal division has been aware of the phenomenon of animals being mutilated in a manner that would indicate such acts were performed by persons as part of a ritual or ceremony.'

The FBI added that other possible theories for the mutilation of the animals was as a result of biological warfare or 'unidentified objects' were to blame.
Fact or fiction: A memo sent regarding the Roswell incident in 1947 said that three 'flying saucers' were found that contained the bodies of alien pilots

Fact or fiction: A memo sent regarding the Roswell incident in 1947 said that three 'flying saucers' were found that contained the bodies of alien pilots

The documents about the cows is just one among thousands of files released by the FBI.

Another secret document released as part of the projects detailed how police and army officers witnessed a UFO exploding over Utah in April 1949.

The top secret document reveals how an army guard, a policeman and a highway patrol, who were all miles apart, each saw a UFO, which they said exploded over mountains near Logan, north of Salt Lake City.

The FBI investigated whether it could teach its agents to see through walls, one memo details.

In the document, written by agent WA Branigan in July 1957, it says that if extrasensory perception could be mastered then the 'possibilities are endless.'

It continues that the Bureau cannot afford to not investigate further, so later that month they held a secret meeting with William Foos.

Foos claimed he could make the blind see and did a stage show where his blindfolded daughter would read a book.

However an investigation revealed the blindfold contained tiny holes and the demonstrations were concluded as 'merely tricks.'

Another file released involves FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and details of the infamous Roswell incident in 1947.

The memo claims that the air force recovered three 'flying saucers' which contained the bodies of alien pilots.

The aliens were described as being 3ft tall with human like bodies, which were dressed in a fine metallic cloth.

The memos from Hoover are the only evidence that the Roswell incident did in fact take place - and the names of the FBI staff involved have been withheld...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

For Super Rich, Taxes Keep Falling

For Super Rich, Taxes Keep Falling
April 17, 2011
ABC News' Kevin Dolak reports:

With just one day left for Americans to file their tax returns, the super wealthy can look forward to paying significantly less than they would have two decades ago: Since 1992, the average federal income tax actually paid by the wealthiest 400 households in the country has fallen from 26 percent to 17 percent.

But why, if the top income tax rate in the U.S. is 35 percent, are the very, very wealthy paying such a small percent of their income into taxes? Short answer: tax breaks. There are built-in tax breaks in every bracket that everyone can take advantage of, including breaks for having children, paying a mortgage and furthering education.

According to Washington, D.C.-based think tank Tax Policy Center, the number of tax breaks is so high that this year it is estimated that 45 percent of households will not pay any taxes whatsoever.

Roberton Williams explained to The Associated Press the conundrum that leads to these tax-free households.

"It's the fact that we are using the tax code both to collect revenue, which is its primary purpose, and to deliver these spending benefits that we run into the situation where so many people are paying no taxes," Williams said.

This has led to efforts to overhaul the tax laws on both sides of the political aisle, and today on “This Week with Christiane Amanpour,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner accepted that disagreements remain with Republicans on the scope of how to reform the tax.

"We have very big disagreements on what the right balance is," Geithner said. "The things we're going to disagree on for some time, we can take more time to resolve."

However, he said he does not believe fundamental deficit reduction can happen without ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, which were extended in a temporary agreement last December, and remain in place in House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan's budget plan passed Friday by the House.

Geithner said he thinks the deficit can be reduced without raising taxes on the middle class, by ending tax loopholes and deductions that primarily go to wealthier Americans who itemize their tax returns.

"Those benefits, even like the mortgage interest deduction that lets people have two homes, pretty expensive homes … if you target them on the most fortunate Americans, they can afford to take a little bit larger share of the burden," Geithner said. “They can afford to do that, and it's the responsible thing to do for the economy."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Patriotic Millionaires": Raise our taxes, please!

Apr 13, 201
"Patriotic Millionaires": Raise our taxes, please!
Republicans insist that raising taxes on anyone would be catastrophic. But some of the most affluent disagree
By Justin Elliott

Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength, a group of dozens of the wealthiest Americans that formed last year during the fight over whether to extend the Bush tax cuts, is now jumping into the budget battle just as President Obama is expected to call for an end to the Bush cuts on the rich.

"For the fiscal health of our nation and the well-being of our fellow citizens, we ask that you increase taxes on incomes over $1,000,000," the group writes in a new letter to Obama, Harry Reid, and John Boehner. "We make this request as loyal citizens who now or in the past earned incomes of $1,000,000 per year or more."

Last year, Obama signed a bill to extend the Bush tax cuts after originally proposing that the two highest tax rates return to 36% and 39.6%, up from the Bush tax cut levels of 33% and 35%.

One of the signatories of the new letter, film and television producer Linda Gottlieb, explained her participation to me this morning: "For me to be sitting and hoarding my money is insane," said Gottlieb, whose producer credits include Dirty Dancing and who now teaches at NYU's Tisch school. "We all give to charity, but that's not the same as creating a more equitable society."

Gottlieb said she has been upset by the experience of her grandchildren, who attend a New York City public school where arts education has been cut and parents have had to organize an auction to try to fill the gaps. She added that raising taxes on the wealthiest people would be an important way of reducing the deficit.

"For rich people to moan and groan -- nobody likes to pay increased taxes -- but it's not going to change your life in any important way," she said. "What it can do is help your country."

The millionaires who comprise the group are in the process of reaching out to more of their wealthy peers and may take a trip to Washington at some point down the road, according to Erica Payne of the Agenda Project, the New York-based progressive group that is behind Patriotic Millionaires.

Meanwhile, Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday that any tax increases are a "nonstarter." So expect a big fight on this ahead.

Becoming human: watch the NOVA series from PBS

Watch the full episode. See more NOVA.

Man Convicted in Racially Motivated Church Burning After Election

Man Convicted in Racially Motivated Church Burning After Election
April 14, 2011
Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- A 26-year-old white man was convicted Thursday in what prosecutors said was the racially motived burning of a predominantly black church in the hours after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008.

An all-white, 12-member jury found Michael Jacques guilty of all the charges he faced in the burning of Macedonia Church of God in Christ in Springfield.

Prosecutors portrayed Jacques and two friends who pleaded guilty as racists who were upset at the election of the nation's first African-American president.

Jacques, his lawyer and family said he is not racist and only confessed during a police interrogation because he suffered withdrawal from painkillers.

Prosecutors had said during closing arguments that Jacques' racism reached the "boiling point" when Obama was elected. They said he often used racial epithets, expressed anger that minorities were "taking over" the country and once set a dog on a black person.

Jacques was convicted of conspiracy against civil rights, damage to religious property and use of fire to commit a felony.

"They got it all wrong," Jacques said outside court after the verdict was returned.

His attorney, Lori Levinson, said, "We are very disappointed. We will be appealing."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Smyth said he was pleased with the jury's verdict. Smyth said when the church was burning on Nov. 5, 2008, law enforcement officials hoped it was not arson. "In the few days that followed, our worst fears were confirmed," he said.

Smyth said the government was pleased that all three men had been convicted, two by pleading guilty. Benjamin Haskell was sentenced to nine years in prison in November. Thomas Gleason pleaded guilty last year and awaits sentencing after testifying in Jacques' trial for the prosecution. Both implicated Jacques in the arson.

Jacques could face 10 to 60 years in prison. Smyth said federal sentencing guidelines call for a prison term closer to 15 years, but he said it is too early to say what prosecutors will recommend.

Judge Michael Ponsor revoked Jacques' bail and ordered him to report Friday for detention until sentencing Sept. 15.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether

G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether
Series: But nobody pays that
New York Times
March 24, 2011

General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010.

The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

That may be hard to fathom for the millions of American business owners and households now preparing their own returns, but low taxes are nothing new for G.E. The company has been cutting the percentage of its American profits paid to the Internal Revenue Service for years, resulting in a far lower rate than at most multinational companies.

Its extraordinary success is based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore. G.E.’s giant tax department, led by a bow-tied former Treasury official named John Samuels, is often referred to as the world’s best tax law firm. Indeed, the company’s slogan “Imagination at Work” fits this department well. The team includes former officials not just from the Treasury, but also from the I.R.S. and virtually all the tax-writing committees in Congress.

While General Electric is one of the most skilled at reducing its tax burden, many other companies have become better at this as well. Although the top corporate tax rate in the United States is 35 percent, one of the highest in the world, companies have been increasingly using a maze of shelters, tax credits and subsidies to pay far less.

In a regulatory filing just a week before the Japanese disaster put a spotlight on the company’s nuclear reactor business, G.E. reported that its tax burden was 7.4 percent of its American profits, about a third of the average reported by other American multinationals. Even those figures are overstated, because they include taxes that will be paid only if the company brings its overseas profits back to the United States. With those profits still offshore, G.E. is effectively getting money back.

Such strategies, as well as changes in tax laws that encouraged some businesses and professionals to file as individuals, have pushed down the corporate share of the nation’s tax receipts — from 30 percent of all federal revenue in the mid-1950s to 6.6 percent in 2009.

Yet many companies say the current level is so high it hobbles them in competing with foreign rivals. Even as the government faces a mounting budget deficit, the talk in Washington is about lower rates. President Obama has said he is considering an overhaul of the corporate tax system, with an eye to lowering the top rate, ending some tax subsidies and loopholes and generating the same amount of revenue. He has designated G.E.’s chief executive, Jeffrey R. Immelt, as his liaison to the business community and as the chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, and it is expected to discuss corporate taxes.

“He understands what it takes for America to compete in the global economy,” Mr. Obama said of Mr. Immelt, on his appointment in January, after touring a G.E. factory in upstate New York that makes turbines and generators for sale around the world.

A review of company filings and Congressional records shows that one of the most striking advantages of General Electric is its ability to lobby for, win and take advantage of tax breaks.

Over the last decade, G.E. has spent tens of millions of dollars to push for changes in tax law, from more generous depreciation schedules on jet engines to “green energy” credits for its wind turbines. But the most lucrative of these measures allows G.E. to operate a vast leasing and lending business abroad with profits that face little foreign taxes and no American taxes as long as the money remains overseas.

Company officials say that these measures are necessary for G.E. to compete against global rivals and that they are acting as responsible citizens. “G.E. is committed to acting with integrity in relation to our tax obligations,” said Anne Eisele, a spokeswoman. “We are committed to complying with tax rules and paying all legally obliged taxes. At the same time, we have a responsibility to our shareholders to legally minimize our costs.”

The assortment of tax breaks G.E. has won in Washington has provided a significant short-term gain for the company’s executives and shareholders. While the financial crisis led G.E. to post a loss in the United States in 2009, regulatory filings show that in the last five years, G.E. has accumulated $26 billion in American profits, and received a net tax benefit from the I.R.S. of $4.1 billion.

But critics say the use of so many shelters amounts to corporate welfare, allowing G.E. not just to avoid taxes on profitable overseas lending but also to amass tax credits and write-offs that can be used to reduce taxes on billions of dollars of profit from domestic manufacturing. They say that the assertive tax avoidance of multinationals like G.E. not only shortchanges the Treasury, but also harms the economy by discouraging investment and hiring in the United States...

Saturday, April 09, 2011

House Votes Against ‘Net Neutrality’

House Votes Against ‘Net Neutrality’
New York Times
April 8, 2011

The House of Representatives approved a measure on Friday that would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from regulating how Internet service providers manage their broadband networks, potentially overturning a central initiative of the F.C.C. chairman, Julius Genachowski.

The action, which is less likely to pass the Senate and which President Obama has threatened to veto, is nevertheless significant because it puts half of the legislative branch on the same side of the debate as the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in restricting the F.C.C.’s authority over Internet service.

House Joint Resolution 37, which was approved by a vote of 240 to 179, was spurred by the F.C.C.’s approval in December of an order titled “Preserving the Open Internet.” The order forbids the companies that provide the pipeline through which consumers gain access to the Internet from blocking a user’s ability to reach legal Internet sites or to use legal applications.

But Republicans in the House maintained that the order exceeded the F.C.C.’s authority and put the government in the position of overseeing what content a consumer could see and which companies would benefit from Internet access.

“Congress has not authorized the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the Internet,” said Representative Greg P. Walden, an Oregon Republican who sponsored the resolution.

The F.C.C. order “could open the Internet to regulation from all 50 states,” Mr. Walden said, and was little more than the Obama administration’s attempt to use the regulatory process “to make an end run around” the Court of Appeals ruling.

Representative Henry A. Waxman, a California Democrat, warned of dire consequences should the resolution be approved. “This is a bill that will end the Internet as we know it and threaten the jobs, investment and prosperity that the Internet has brought to America,” Mr. Waxman said.

It is likely that Democrats in the Senate can defeat the measure, but by no means is that certain. The joint resolution was initiated under the Congressional Review Act, meaning that it cannot be filibustered and requires the support of only 30 senators to bring it to the floor.

President Obama courted Silicon Valley supporters during his campaign by promising to enact a “net neutrality” provision, as the F.C.C.’s Open Internet order is known. Advisers to the president have said that he will veto the resolution; it would then take a vote by two-thirds of each house of Congress to override the veto.

Is Barack Obama actually not in this photo of Barack Obama?

The president's grandparents,
and his knee

Apr 7, 2011
Is Barack Obama actually not in this photo of Barack Obama?
Conspiracy theorist Jack Cashill and the mystery of the president's knee Video
By Alex Pareene

Jack Cashill, the right-wing journalist currently winning the national game of "'prove' the most outlandish thing you possibly can about Barack Obama" with both his theory that Bill Ayers ghost-wrote "Dreams From My Father" and his claim that the president's father was actually Jimi Hendrix, dropped a bombshell today: Barack Obama is not actually in a photo of Barack Obama and his grandparents.

As Cashill explains:

In his definitive 2010 biography of Barack Obama, "The Bridge," New Yorker editor David Remnick features a photograph of a dapper young Barack Obama sitting between his grandparents on a Central Park bench.

The bench is real. The grandparents are real. The wall behind them is real. Barack Obama is not. He has been conspicuously photoshopped in. Who did this and why remains as much a mystery as Obama's extended stay in New York.

The video evidence:

So, yes, this is actually just a picture of Barack Obama's grandparents hanging out in New York, where they did not live and where Obama was attending college, without their grandson, who was I guess secretly in Pakistan, at the time. I think that's what has been definitively proven here. Obama was being a Marxist Muslim in Pakistan.

But unmentioned by Cashill is the single most insidious part of this deception: While Barack Obama is nowhere to be found in the unretouched version of this photo, his knee is still in between his grandparents.

What was Barack Obama's knee doing in New York, while the rest of him was in Pakistan, and Indonesia? Dealing drugs? Why are mainstream journalists afraid to ask tough questions about the president's detachable knee? The people have a right to know!

(An alternate theory: Is Barack Obama actually fading from this photo because he accidentally prevented his parents from falling in love while traveling through time? And if so, doesn't Obama teaching his father Jimi Hendrix how to play guitar based on listening to Jimi Hendrix records present a paradox?)

Cashill was just recently on "Fox & Friends" in order to promote his reporting on the president's mysterious background. His work has also been endorsed by Andrew Breitbart and the National Review's Andrew McCarthy.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Muslims' unique love of violence?

Apr 4, 2011 19:05 ET
Primitive Muslims' unique love of violence
By Glenn Greenwald

University of Tennessee Law Professor Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds, today, echoing so many by lamenting the compulsive violence of Muslims:

It’s hard to keep track of all the barbaric behavior emanating from that part of the world.

Glenn Reynolds, November 23, 2010, on his prescription for dealing with North Korea:

If they start anything, I say nuke ‘em. And not with just a few bombs. They’ve caused enough trouble -- and it would be a useful lesson for Iran, too.

Glenn Reynolds, November 4, 2006, on how to deal with the Muslim world:

It's also true that if democracy can't work in Iraq, then we should probably adopt a "more rubble, less trouble" approach to other countries in the region that threaten us.

Glenn Reynolds, February 13, 2007, on how to deal with Iran:

We should be responding quietly, killing radical mullahs and iranian atomic scientists . . .

Glenn Reynolds, September 11, 2001, on responding to the 9/11 attacks:

GEORGE BUSH IS NOW THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD:. . . Now, if he wants to nuke Baghdad, there is nobody to say him nay -- and damned few who would want to...