Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Ciara……..

Ciara

Birthday: October 25, 1985
Hometown: Austin, Texas

How You Know Her: A repeat offender on our Hot 100 List (20052007 and2009), this singer has been delivering hits ever since her first single, “Goodies.” Yum. And thanks to her smash hit, “1, 2 Step,” we know how to do slightly more than just stand on a dance floor. Where was she when we were in middle school?! Her third album, 2009’s Fantasy Ride, peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard charts, and featured the song “Love Sex Magic,” garnering her a Grammy nomination. We never want to get off this fantasy.

More……..

May 20, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Entertainment, Media, Music, Updates, Women | , | 4 Comments

Is Rand Paul 25% ahead in the Kentucky Senate race…or 1%?

Nate Silver over @ FiveThirtyEight. has an interesting piece on the Rand Paul lead in the new Rasmussen poll…….

Unless you’ve been asleep for the past 24 hours……

You know that Rand Paul has run into a buzzsaw over his comments about the 1964 Civil Rights Bill……

Silver questions the Rasmussen 25% lead right off the bat…then correctly questions whether Paul is gonna have those numbers after the last 24 hours anyways…..

Pollster’s combined average has Paul ahead only by 1%…..

What’s the story here?

From Silver…….

I don’t quite know what to make of the new Rasmussen poll showing Rand Paul 25 (!) points ahead of fellow primary winner Jack Conway in Kentucky.

Paul has had a bad 24 hours in the Beltway media environment. Do I think that has any relevance whatsoever for Kentucky, a state which is culturally about as far removed from the Beltway as you can get? No, not really; it may even be a contrarian indicator. Nor is it unusual to see candidates get bounces after primary victories, although they often prove to be fleeting.

But. Rasmussen had shown a particularly large house effect in this race. Whereas the Pollster.com trendline of all non-Rasmussen polls had shown Paul ahead by just 1 point, Rasmussen’s trendline had him up by 15, even prior to this poll being released.

There’s More…

May 20, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Polls, Projections, Updates | , , , | 7 Comments

Daily Manila……Wall Street Exit?……

And the easy money on Wall Street began to exit today.

There is plenty of cheap real estate to invest in.

Plenty!

“Many lawmakers contend that speculation in derivatives, including by large banks, contributed to the 2008 crisis.”

Did they bring back the junk bond? Come on. They “forgot” something again.

May 20, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Manila @ PoliticalDog, Media, Men, Politics, Projections, The Economy, Updates | , | Leave a comment

The Senate passes the Wall Street Financial Reform Bill 59 to 39…….

I told ya they would do it……

Now the two houses bills must be reconciled……

The key Senator on the vote was Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown. along the rellaible….Senator’s Snowe and Collins…..

They went along with Democrats……..and Brown bargined for protection for the Boston Based Mutual Funds companies in the bill…..

(That is how it’s done folks….)

Democratic leaders were working to set a final vote on the bill late Thursday. Mr. Reid said he would like to vote Thursday, “in the best of all worlds.” But it remained possible the vote would be delayed until Friday.

Only 51 votes are needed for the bill to pass in the final Senate vote. The 60-40 vote earlier Thursday made final passage in the Senate very likely.

The legislation, in broad terms, is designed to close the regulatory gaps and end the speculative trading practices that contributed to the 2008 financial-market crisis, which prompted federal regulators to engineer a series of taxpayer bailouts of financial institutions.

The legislation would restrict bank trading in complex financial instruments known as derivatives, which are often used by companies to hedge against changes in commodity prices or interest rates. Many lawmakers contend that speculation in derivatives, including by large banks, contributed to the 2008 crisis. The bill includes provisions that not only would create more oversight of the derivatives market but possibly force banks to spin off their derivatives-trading operations.

The bill would also create a new system and authority for regulators to liquidate large failed institutions. And it prohibits the government from propping up large institutions in the future with public money.*

The bill would create a regulator—within the Federal Reserve—with the mandate to protect consumers from abusive financial practices across a range of products, from home mortgages to credit cards. The regulator would have independent rule-making authority. But the agency’s rules could be reviewed—and blocked after the fact—by a council of regulators created by the legislation to protect the financial system more broadly against risky activities.

The bill would also restructure the way financial companies of all sizes are overseen. The Federal Reserve would have new powers to regulate the country’s largest financial firms, regardless of whether they are banks.

The legislation consolidates the country’s national bank and thrift regulators into one agency to prevent companies from shopping for lighter supervision. It would also clear the way, for the first time, for the government to audit certain emergency-lending programs at the Fed……

More……..

* Don’t bet on this one….If they need to to they’ll figure out to get around it……

May 20, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Law, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , | 3 Comments

Defense Secretary Gates loses another one…..The House Armed Services Committe goes ahead with a second F-35 engine …….

F-35 Lightning II

Defense Secretary Gates is putting himself in a position to be the next Obama employee to resign….

He has come out forcefully against funding a second engine option for the F-35 Lighting , ‘everything’ Fighter….

Congress really does care what he thinks….

He has mentioned that the he thinks the President has his ‘back’ on this one and would veto* the whole defense spending bill to make the point….

I wouldn’t bet on this…..

The President simply doesn’t need this fight on ‘defense jobs’ issue…..

The House members have also mentioned cost competition factors….

U.S. lawmakers are moving ahead with their pledge to fund the F136 alternate engine for the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet, inserting funding in the House Armed Services Committee’s markup of the 2011 defense authorization bill.

Made by a GE/Rolls-Royce team, the engine would compete with Pratt & Whitney’s F135.

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., said May 19 during the markup that “competition is warranted and critical and costs nothing more, according to the GAO.”

F136 supporters on Capitol Hill say competition could save millions of dollars by driving engine costs down and ensuring high quality from the engine-makers.

GE officials lauded the committee’s move.

“Given the enormity of the JSF program, competing engines on the aircraft is the best way to put the acquisition reform act into action,” said David Joyce, CEO of GE Aviation. “With the growing concern over cost overruns in defense programs, competition continues to be the best cost-control mechanism.”

The Pentagon is fighting the idea, saying an alternate engine will save no money and that it is a distraction for the troubled F-35 program. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said he will recommend that President Obama veto the bill if it has alt-engine funds.

In addition to funding development work on the engine, the markup orders the Pentagon to budget for the engine in 2012.

The markup also takes a step to force DoD to actually use the funds authorized for F136 development by limiting F-35 development funds in 2011 “to 75 percent until the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics certifies that all funds for development and procurement of the F-35 competitive propulsion system have been obligated,” Air Land subcommittee chairman, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., said…….

The buy has bipartisan support and will keep the British happy also…..

They will purchase about a 100 of the jet fighters……

More……..

* Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday expressed confidence that President Barack Obama would veto the defense authorization bill over a backup engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Gates has repeatedly said, including in congressional testimony, that he would strongly recommend the president veto any defense bills that continue the development of the secondary F-35 engine, made by General Electric and Britain’s Rolls Royce.

“I obviously did not issue the statement that I did in my testimony on the Hill without talking with the president first,” Gates said during a Pentagon conference Thursday. “I try not to climb too far out on a limb without knowing nobody is back there with a saw.”

House defense authorizers on Wednesday greenlit another $485 million for the development of the GE-Rolls Royce engine that the Pentagon and White House do not want.

If the final House version of the 2011 defense authorization bill maintains the secondary engine funds it would be the first step in what is likely to be a months-long standoff between the Obama administration and Congress.

But Gates indicated that Obama would follow through on the veto recommendation.

“We will have to see at the time if the decision has to be made, but he [Obama] was fully aware that I was going to make that statement, and frankly I think that if he were not prepared to substantiate that he probably would have waved me off at the time,” Gates said.

The House could take up the authorization bill as early as next week. The Senate Armed Services Committee has yet to write its version of the bill. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) strongly supports the second engine, but faces opposition from Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the ranking member, and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). Pratt & Whitney, the primary engine-maker, is based in Lieberman’s state and the company has lobbied for years to remain the sole engine-maker for the newest fighter jet…..

More……..

Right after Gates left the Commmittte vote FOR the second engine…..

May 20, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics, Projections, The Economy, Updates | , , , | 7 Comments

Dennis Blair…….. the Director of National Intelligence resigns…….

FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2009 file photo, National Intelligence Director-designate Dennis Blair delivers his opening statement on Capitol Hill in Washington, during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on his nomination. Sources say that Blair is resigning. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Sometimes things should remain the same….

Blair’s immediate resignation is about being passed over on a trip to Pakistan that ended up being taken by CIA Director Panetta and National Security Advisor James Jones….. The long term reason has to do with two things….

Number 1…….Adm Blair is a quiet ..Behind the scenes guy…..

During ever terrorist incident, NW 235, Times Square and others…..Jones has NOT been the ‘Go To ‘ Guy….

Because of that..He has suffered in the media and Administration’s eye…..He’s not been a strong beauricratic player…

Number 2……And I believe this the root cause…..

There really shouldn’t be  Director of National Intelligence.

The job should handled by the CIA Director …as it has been done in the past……

“The position was a political fix after 9/11 to address the fact that agencies assigned to protect this country through intelligence gathering ….From the NSA to local Police didn’t really talk to each other….and couldn’t connect the dots in the 9/11 plot…..The role of controlling the nations intelligence agencies was the CIA Director’s…….

The DNI was supposed to correct all that…..

The Director of National Intelligence (DNI), is the United States government official subject to the authority, direction and control of the President, who is responsible under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 for:

Under 50 U.S.C. § 403-3a, it is desired that either the Director or the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence be an active duty commissioned officer in the armed forces or have training or experience in military intelligence activities and requirements. No more than one officer can hold either position during the same term. The statute does not specifically state what rank the commissioned officer will hold during his tenure in either position, but trends lean towards an officer holding the rank of a four-star general or admiral. The current DNI is retired Navy four-star admiralDennis C. Blair.

On July 30, 2008, President Bush issued Executive Order 13470amending Executive Order 12333 to strengthen the role of the DNI.”

The Formation of the office has done NO SUCH THING…..


The fact is……..

Critics say compromises during the bill’s crafting led to the establishment of a DNI whose powers are too weak to adequately lead, manage and improve the performance of the US Intelligence Community.In particular, the law left the United States Department of Defense in charge of the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. (The limited DNI role in leading the US Intelligence Community is discussed in the Intelligence Community article.)

In addition, The DNI has no budgetary control over any of the agencies…….

It has no role in actually fielding assets….

And it is actually at the mercy of what ever those agencies ‘it talks to’ choose to tell it…..

I n fact the DNI has been the loser in several ‘dust-ups’ with CIA Director Panetta…….

The last one before the trip Blair was cut out of (at the President’s direction ) was the effort to have A DNI Station Chief in embassies all over the work=ld that would be in-charge of ALL intelligence gathering in country…..Blair lost that one to CIA Director Panetta also…..

To be fair the CIA Director Panetta is an old Washington hand…who was a Congressman from California and a Chief of Staff to President Clinton…..

Blair had no chance from the jump against those odds….aAndto be honest the idea of the DNI never really has found a home in DC , where beauricrats fight cut throat battles to keep their power….

Obama and Congress should do themselves and the tax payers a favor…… and dismantle the whole thing and send it back to the CIA….. where it belongs…….

More……..

May 20, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Travel, Updates | , , , , | 7 Comments

Has She The Wright Stuff?….From The Oligarch Kings……

How strange.  Janet Rampton Warburton, the daughter of a former Governor of Utah Calvin Rampton, is urging Democrat voters to dump Democrat Representative Jim Matheson, himself the son of another former Governor of Utah Scott Matheson, in favour of what looks like a complete outsider.

Claudia Wright has forced Jim Matheson into a June 22 run-off in the primaries.  Fun or what?  Because Claudia comes over a deal more liberal than you’d expect most Utah politicians to be.  For starters she is an openly gay woman who lives with her partner.

But, and for the genealogically minded – this is the one killer fact, she is also noted everywhere you look, in papers, or on the web, as being the great, great grand-daughter of Brigham Young.  And way out (it never gets more way out than Utah) west that’s like saying you are descended from Moses.

Because in Utah you are.

Brigham Young is the big figure in the history and mythology of the coming of the Mormons to Salt Lake City.  His name is everywhere and portraits and statues are legion.  So far so good, but does that in itself mark her for interest in a blog on oligarchical political families?  It is also certainly true that Brigham had something between 27 and 60 wives and even I haven’t a clue how many children that produced, which alone might mean a fair family vote if they all stand behind the family candidate!

What might be less clear to outsiders is that shouting “Brigham Young knew my great great granny” also means “I am an oligarch”.

More……..

May 20, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Family, Government, Media, Men, Other Things, Politics, Polls, Projections, Updates, Women | , , | 2 Comments

Daniel…..Reviewing Tuesdays Primaries with Unofficial Election Results: 3. Pennsylvania……

Hello Folks!

Let Review Tuesdays Primaries a bit with Unofficial Election Results:

3. Pennsylvania (Keystone State)

Democratic Senate Primary

Pennsylvania State Board of Elections with 99,98 % of Precincts reported

U. S. Rep. Joseph A. “Joe” Sestak  564,632 Votes =  54,0 %
Incumbent Senator Arlen Specter  481,705 Votes =  46,0 %

Republican Senate Primary

Former U. S. Rep. Patrick J. “Pat” Toomey  667,490 Votes =  81,5 %
Peg Luksik  151,882 Votes =  18,5 %

Pennsylvania 12th Congressional District Special Election

Pennsylvania State Board of Elections with 100 % of Precincts reported

Mark Critz (Democrat)  70,915 Votes =  52,6 %
Tim Burns (Republican)  60,740 Votes =  45,1 %
Demo Agoris (Libertarian)  3,158 Votes =  2,3 %

Races for November

Pennsylvania Governor

State Attorney General Tom Corbett (R)
Allegheny County Executive Daniel “Dan” Onorato (D)

United States Senate

U. S. Rep. Joseph A. “Joe” Sestak (D)
Former U. S. Rep. Patrick J. “Pat” Toomey (R)

PA 1st Congressional District

Incumbent U. S. Rep. Bob Brady (D) is running Unopposed

PA 2nd Congressional District

Incumbent U. S. Rep. Chakah Fattah (D)
Rick Hellberg (R)

PA 3rd Congressional District

Incumbent U. S. Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D)
Mike Kelly (R)

PA 4th Congressional District

Incumbent U. S. Rep. Jason Altmire (D)
Keith Rothfus (R)

PA 5th Congessional District

Incumbent U. S. Rep. Glenn Thompson (R)
Michael Pipe (D)

PA 6th Congressional District

Incumbent U. S. Rep. Jim Gerlach (R)
Manan Tivedi (D)

PA 7th Congressional District (Open)

Attorney Pat Meehan (R)
State Representative Brian Lentz (D)

PA 8th Congressional District

Incumbent U. S. Rep. Mike Murphy (D)
Former U. S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R)

PA 9th Congressional District

Incumbent U. S. Rep. Bill Shuster (R) is running Unopposed

PA 10th Congressional District

Incumbent U. S. Rep. Chris Carney (D)
Tom Marino (R)

PA 11th Congressional District

Incumbent U. S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D)
Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta (R)

PA 12th Congressional District

Incumbent U. S. Rep. Mark Critz (D)
Businessman Tim Burns (R)

PA 13th Congressional District

Incumbent U. S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D)
Dee Adcock (R)

PA 14th Congressional District

Incumbent U. S. Rep. Mike Doyle (D)
Melissa Haluszczak (R)

PA 15th Congressional District

Incumbent U. S. Rep. Charlie Dent (R)
Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan (D)

PA 16th Congressional District

Incumbent U. S. Rep. Joe Pitts (R)
Lois Herr (D)

PA 17th Congressional District

Incumbent U. S. Rep. Tim Holden (D)
Dave Argall (R)

PA 18th Congressional District

Incumbent U. S. Rep. Tim Murphy (R)
Dan Conolly (D)

PA 19th Congressional District

Incumbent U. S. Rep. Todd Platts (R)
Ryan Sanders (D)

Daniel G.

May 20, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Daniel G @ PolitcalDog, Government, Media, Men, Politics, Projections, Updates, Women | , | Leave a comment

Reshma Saujani and Carolyn Maloney at Baruch College……

carolyn maloney red.jpg

[ Maloney and Saujani ]

The two women keep at their campaign for New Yorks 14th House District seat that covers a slice of Manhattan and Northern Queens….

The young ethnic ..in tuned with the Queens voters and the old time (18 years ) incumbent who has the political connections…..

Ooops…… Did I say incumbant?

Was that a bad word?….

Here’s a piece on a session they had at Baruch College a few days ago……

Ah, That’s Maloney country…….

The Primary is September  14……….

Update……Maloney releases an internal poll with a  75 to 17%  Maloney lead and 17% undecided…..(Ouch! )

Inside a cavernous recital hall at Baruch College, young congressional hopeful Reshma Saujani took to the podium to give her stump speech to a skeptical crowd.

About 70 people–including State Senator Liz Krueger and former Congresswoman Liz Holzman–had gathered for a candidate’s forum sponsored by five of the district’s political clubs, groups that are almost certain to endorse Ms. Saujani’s opponent, nine-term incumbent Carolyn Maloney.

“I know that a lot of people in this room probably are not sure why I’m running and strongly support Carolyn Maloney,” said Ms. Saujani, after detailing her personal political evolution, from her parents’ flight from Idi Amin, to her recent work in the Clinton and Obama campaigns. “And I think the Congresswoman has done a tremendous amount for this district in the past 18 years. She’s actively fought for women’s rights and she’s actively fought for 9/11 workers.

“I’m running because I have some ideas I want to put out there. I think the world has changed, I think the district has changed.”

Ms. Saujani highlighted four key planks of her campaign: jobs and the economy; immigration reform; Wall Street reform; and education reform.

Nothing that you’ve said sounds any different than what Carolyn Maloney has been doing for us for the last 18 years,” said Charles Buchwald, a local district leader, during a question-and-answer session after the speech. Another questioner accused Ms. Saujani–who is 34 and has spoken about the importance of having a young woman of color in Congress–of running a campaign based on ageism.

Ms. Saujani replied that–while the people in the room might feel like their voices are being heard–her campaign is trying to reach those, especially in the younger generation, who don’t feel like they’re a part of the political process. And she acknowledged that might not appeal to the audience.

“Look, you guys aren’t going to endorse me. President Obama–I wasn’t even in the running for his endorsement. We’re not the establishment candidate,” Ms. Saujani said.

“When I thought about running in November, I didn’t know doors were going to be shut on me before I had a chance,” Ms. Saujani explained. “I thought, ‘Hey, there’s two Democrats running, this is New York, the only elections we really have are primaries, these are the only elections we have, and people will at least listen to me before they’ve made a choice.’

“Ninety-five percent of the time that hasn’t happened, but it happened here today–even if maybe you did know what you were going to do before you heard from me.”

…………………………………

An hour later, with Ms. Saujani long since gone, Ms. Maloney entered from the back and took a seat in the crowd. She gave her hair a few quick brushes, while lieutenant governor candidate Chris St. Lawrence finished his speech.

Ms. Maloney was introduced to warm applause, and detailed the House’s recent achievements–from her own consumer protection bill to the long struggle to pass the president’s health care bill. She called the latter “thrilling.”

“As all of you know, all politics is local,” she said, citing the federal money she’s brought back to the district–in the form of the Second Avenue Subway, and the Queens-Manhattan Connector.

One question posed to her was about whether a federal immigration law would supercede Arizona’s law; another was–the questioner admitted–“more of a thank you than a question” for helping to relieve school over-crowding.

Ms. Maloney never mentioned a primary. She never mentioned Ms. Saujani.

More……..

May 20, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates, Women | , | Leave a comment

US Stocks drop…..The Market has the European Financial Jitters……

[0520stock]

We are just one big world community , Huh?

We sneeze they get a cold…..

They get an infection…we get a fever…….

Worry over Europe persisted as unions went on strike in Greece and investors remained concerned that trading regulations like those introduced this week in Germany could be adopted in other countries.

“Confidence and patience are beginning to wear thinner” as no new solution emerges to calm the euro zone’s turmoil, said Tim Evnin, equity portfolio manager at Evercore Wealth Management.

“The global interdependence is terrific when everything’s working,” he said, “It works in both directions. We can’t immediately disassociate ourself with parts of the world that are doing badly.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 277 points, or 2.6%, to 10168, in recent trading. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index fell 32 points, or 2.9%, to 1083. Earlier selling intensified after the measures broke below their 200-day moving averages, at 10258 and 1102, respectively. The S&P 500’s slide through 1100 was a key psychological move that fueled more selling, traders noted.

The measure was also on pace to post a correction of 10% from its 2010 high last month, along with the Nasdaq Composite, which was recently down 73 points, or 3.2%, at 2225. If the S&P 500 remains below 1096 through the close, and the Nasdaq is still below 2278, the measures will be down more than 10% from their 52-week closing highs reached in late April.

Sectors with the greatest global exposure posted the biggest drops, led by the material and industrial sectors as investors worried that international demand might decline……

More……..

May 20, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , , | 4 Comments