September 11th, 2010
By Warner Todd Huston
Governor Chris Christie responds to a teacher’s question during a town hall meeting at Raritan Township. Discusses the teachers’ union and the need for shared sacrifice. September 8, 2010.
September 11th, 2010
Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Governor of California, exchanged jibes on the social networking site Twitter
While flying over Alaska on his way to Asia, Gov Schwarzenegger couldn't help but take a lighthearted jab at the state's former governor.
He posted a Twitter message on Thursday night that made a sarcastic reference to an infamous remark Mrs Palin during the 2008 presidential campaign.
He said he was "looking everywhere but can't see Russia from here."
His post prompted a tart response from Palin, who was a vice presidential candidate for the Republicans.
On Friday, the former Alaska governor wrote her own Twitter message that said: "Arnold should have landed; I could have explained our multi-billion dollar state surplus & US energy security efforts. What's he been up to?"
California has a $19 billion budget deficit.
Schwarzenegger, also a Republican, was leaving for a weeklong trade mission to China, Japan and South Korea.
September 11th, 2010
For 25 years, legendary Wall Street strategist Byron Wien, now with The Blackstone Group, has held summer meetings with high net worth individuals to get their outlook on the global economy and investing. This year’s group, totaling fifty individuals and including more than 10 billionaires, was decidedly pessimistic on the U.S. economy, investment opportunities and the Obama administration.
“They saw the United States in a long-term slow growth environment with the near-term risk of recession quite real,” said Wien, in a commentary to Blackstone clients. “The Obama administration was viewed as hostile to business and that discouraged both hiring and investment. Companies and entrepreneurs were reluctant to add workers because they didn’t know what their healthcare costs or taxes were going to be.”
The strategist, whose “Ten Surprises” predictions for the New Year became required reading on Wall Street when he was at Morgan Stanley, declined to name the participants in this year’s two so-called benchmark lunches. However, the gatherings, which typically take place out on the eastern end of Long Island, have included in the past such investing legends as George Soros, Julian Roberson, and James Chanos, according to an account of one such lunch in 2007 by The Financial Times.
“The economic pessimism expressed by the wealthy is completely understandable,” said Jim Iuorio, a trader with TJM Institutional Services. “From the start of the campaign that led up to the ‘08 election, the wealthy have been depicted as villains by the Democratic party. Even though the political tide seems to be turning, real change is months or years away.”
Stocks are off their August lows this month and many traders, including Iuorio, attribute some of those gains to this changing political tide. Still, President Obama re-emphasized in a press conference today that extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy was not in his stimulus plans.
A massive reduction in the consumer debt load, a workforce without the right skills for the jobs of tomorrow, and too high labor costs relative to other countries “are not problems that are likely to be solved any time soon,” wrote Wien of the attitude of the people at the lunches, which took place in two groups on successive Fridays last month. “Only a few investors thought the Standard & Poor’s could reach 1200 next year.”
So what are the billionaires buying if this environment continues? Wien said “vacant office building,” “farmland” and “Africa” were some of the ideas thrown out. Not too many things for the regular investor.
“Billionaires have little in common with the retail investor in terms of investment options,” said Stephen Weiss of Short Hills Capital. “They don’t rely on mutual funds or stock/bond picking for return unless it is very concentrated. Their investments are generally more strategic and negotiated in businesses or other assets such as commercial real estate.”
To be sure, the folks at Wien’s lunches certainly have the most money at stake, but that hasn’t meant they were always correct. As The Financial Times chronicled in August 2007, only George Soros and one other big investor believed the economy was headed into a recession or a bear market. Now, we know those two men, not the consensus, were correct.
The scary part this time is that it seems from reading Wien’s commentary that there were not many dissenters.
“The lunches were over about three-fifteen,” wrote Wien to end the piece. “I didn’t get the feeling anyone there was rushing out to place an order before the close based on what was said.”
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September 11th, 2010
By BETH FOUHY
They will read the names, of course, the names of every victim who died in the Sept. 11 attacks. The bells will ring. And then that moment of unity will give way to division as activists hoist signs and march, some for and some against a planned mosque two blocks from ground zero.
This 9/11 is more political and contentious than the eight before it, with grieving family members on opposite sides of the mosque battle.
The debate became so heated that President Barack Obama felt the need to remind Americans: "We are not at war against Islam."
It was uncertain Friday whether hushed tones would replace the harsh rhetoric that threatened to overshadow the commemoration of the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pa.
The son of an anti-Muslim pastor in Florida confirmed that his father would not _ at least for now _ burn copies of the Quran, a plan that inflamed much of the Muslim world and drew a stern rebuke from Obama. But Terry Jones got on a plane and landed in New York on Friday night. Jones has said he wants to meet with the imam behind the proposed mosque.
Surrounded by a throng of police, Jones declined to comment to reporters who waited for him at LaGuardia Airport and followed him to a waiting cab.
"I'm talked out," he said.
Activists in New York insisted their intentions were peaceful.
"It's a rally of remembrance for tens of thousands who lost loved ones that day," said Pamela Geller, a conservative blogger and host of the anti-mosque demonstration. "It's not a political event, it's a human rights event."
The site of the proposed mosque and Islamic center is already used for services, but it was padlocked Friday, closed until Sunday. Police guarded the block, and worshippers were redirected to a different prayer room 10 blocks away.
More than 2,000 supporters of the project, waving candles and American flags, held a vigil near the proposed Islamic center's site Friday evening instead of Saturday, saying they wanted to avoid entangling the mosque controversy and the Sept. 11 observance.
Organizers "believe that tomorrow is a day for mourning and remembrance," said Jennifer Carnig, a spokeswoman for the New York Civil Liberties Union, one of the vigil's sponsors.
Stephanie Parker, daughter of 9/11 victim Philip L. Parker of Skillman, N.J., said she came to the vigil because she's troubled by what she sees as people wrongly equating all of Islam with the extremists who attacked the trade center, and by the way the furor surrounding the mosque has become entangled with the attacks' anniversary. She has previously spent those anniversaries with her family.
"I think the anniversary is being overshadowed," Parker, 21, a senior public relations major at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said in an interview as she relighted a candle that kept blowing out in a breeze.
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota called for devoting Sept. 11 to honoring victims and the first responders who worked to save them _ not the Islamic center controversy.
"It is not proper or right to distract from honoring those heroes and remembering those victims. Not doing anything else than that tomorrow," Ellison, who is Muslim, told the crowd. "And yet we know the possibility of that is real."
For Jones, pastor of a 50-member Pentecostal church in Florida, it was to be a day to burn the Quran. He backed off that threat after drawing angry protests across the Muslim world, a call from the secretary of defense and impassioned pleas to call it off from religious and political leaders and his own daughter.
"There will be no Quran burning tomorrow," Jones' 29-year old son, Luke Jones, told reporters outside his father's Gainesville church Friday. He added that he could not predict what might happen in the future.
Terry Jones had previously said he would cancel his plan if the leader of the planned New York Islamic center, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, would agree to move the project to another location.
Jones claimed Thursday that an imam in Florida had told him the mosque would be moved. That imam later said Jones was mistaken, that he had only arranged a meeting with Rauf in New York on Saturday.
Rauf, however, said that wasn't true, either, that he had no plans to meet with Jones, although he added in a statement Friday that he is open to seeing anyone "seriously committed to pursuing peace."
The carefully worded text seemed to leave open the possibility of a meeting, but only if Jones proved himself to be a serious peacemaker. With that caveat, it would seem unlikely that the imam would meet with a man whose threat to desecrate the Muslim holy book stirred anger and protest and even some bloodshed in the Islamic world.
In Afghanistan, 11 people were injured Friday in scattered protests of Jones' plan. Only a few thousand people attended those rallies and no large-scale demonstrations were reported elsewhere. In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, cleric Rusli Hasbi told 1,000 worshippers at Friday prayers that whether or not Jones burns the Quran, he has already "hurt the heart of the Muslim world."
As on other 9/11 anniversaries, official ceremonies were planned at the three locations where the terrorists struck. Obama will be at the Pentagon, Vice President Joe Biden will go to New York, and first lady Michelle Obama and former first lady Laura Bush will travel to Shanksville.
Obama told a White House news conference that Sept. 11 would be "an excellent time" for the country to reflect on the fact that there are millions of Muslims who are American citizens, that they also are fighting in U.S. uniforms in Afghanistan, and "we don't differentiate between 'them' and 'us.' It's just 'us.'"
Biden will attend the largest commemoration, at a park near ground zero, where 2,752 people were killed when Muslim extremists flew planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Houses of worship in the city will toll bells at 8:46 a.m., when the first plane struck the north tower, and three more times to mark the moment the second plane hit the south tower and to observe the times each tower fell.
Activists are organizing a pair of rallies _ one against the planned Islamic center, one supporting it _ to follow the official ceremony.
Sally Regenhard, who lost her firefighter son, Christian Regenhard, planned to attend the morning ceremony and the anti-mosque protest.
"The purpose is to speak out and express our feelings that this mosque, the location of it, is a grievous offense to the sensitivity of 9/11 families," Regenhard said. "There's nothing political about people who want to speak out against something they think is so wrong, so hurtful and so devastating."
But Donna Marsh O'Connor, whose pregnant daughter, Vanessa, was killed in the attacks, supports the mosque. She said she strongly opposes the anti-mosque rally and the political motivations behind it.
"It's more of the same hate-mongering and fear-mongering that's been going on for years," O'Connor said. "People have a right to free speech. But if they're talking about sensitivities to 9/11 families, why are they rallying and doing events on a day we should spend thinking about those we lost?"
John Bolton, who was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, was expected to send a videotaped message of support to the anti-mosque rally, as was conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart. Anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who advocates banning the Quran and taxing Muslim women who wear head scarves, plans to address the crowd in person, as do a handful of Republican congressional candidates who have made opposition to the mosque a centerpiece of their campaigns.
Also Saturday, former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was expected to observe the anniversary in Alaska with Fox News TV host Glenn Beck.
New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan spoke out Friday against Saturday's planned New York protests, saying Sept. 11 "has become a holy day in our community and our nation."
"We must never allow Sept. 11th to become a time for protest and division," he added. "Instead, this day must remain a time for promoting peace and mutual respect."
September 10th, 2010
One has to wonder when the Media, along with the now daunted Liberals, will somehow begin casting aspersions on those of the "Right" for spawning yet another terrorist incident. The most recent attack came from an angry Leftist "environmental wacko" who was apparently suffused with issues. The terrorist in question, James Lee, who was summarily executed on the spot, was apparently angry at the Discovery Channel for mystifyingly spawning public antipathy towards global warming, overpopulation, energy misuse and many of the other typical elitist, hot-button issues of the increasingly misinformed Left.
We did, however, note that one particular CNN Anchorman seemed almost apologetic, regarding Lee's plight in trying to save the planet from the Discovery Channel, who was not quite so ingratiating when the shoe was on the other foot in the past as it regards Fox News and terrorism.
We were most relieved to understand that Lee must have utilized the dreaded "green bomb" which, in typical green fashion, failed in its designed function. Regardless, as with the IRS plane bomber, and the recent New York City car bomber, we Conservatives have been waiting to see how some ranting Progressive will somehow turn this incident, yet again, into an indirect result of the Tea Party's rise.
Media Champions Islam While Government Turns In Arizona?
Do Conservatives fault the Left for the tragic misguidance of their disciples? Certainly not! Although we should point out that terrorism seems now to belong predominately to the camp of either the radical Left or their ideological cousins, the Authoritarian Religious Sects (of which the Media has opted now to gallantly champion). Indeed, we will look forward to the updated Homeland Security watch-list as it regards this new and verifiable threat, which should point to many of its own ideological Leadership's supporters as suspect. But as we wait for the Government to A.P.B. this budding threat, we must also note that our fearless leaders have not been sitting back on their heels as the economy continues its tragic meltdown.
In fact, certain members of the US Government have been very, very busy creating unprecedented history--but in so doing, they have also maintained their seeming ultimate goal of refusing anything that might have any realistic chance to actually improve the US economy and get millions of Americans back to work.
This particular bit of history would be in reference to the US State Department's "reporting" of the State of Arizona to the United Nation's Human Rights Commission under the obvious approval of a sitting--or worse, vacationing-- President Obama. Most of us are now aware of this well-trodden fact; however, not many are actually talking about the various sub-implications of all of this.
So, what are the sub-implications, you might ask? Simple, never in the history of the United States has either a State Department or a sitting Secretary of State or certainly a US President ever even considered reporting their own country to a world governing organization such as the United Nations for any so-called Human Rights violations. Obama has now, rather comically, become the "Messianic Snitch" of his own people, and I am referring to Americans, not Kenyans, although according to Jay Leno, one in five disappointed Kenyans now believe that Obama was born in Hawaii.
Obama's Cherry Tree
This particular UN/Obama brand of self-flagellating impudence glares even further when one notes that the Arizonan Legislature was simply mirroring Federal law. Did the Federal Government also report itself, we should ask? Doubtful, for those who are walking the path of Governmentology Mysticism can certainly do no wrong.
So what does it all mean to we, the huddled masses of unwashed hayseeds? Well, to this individual it could mean all sorts of things, the first being that once this particular fact has saturated into the populace's consciousness, the President's polling numbers will, no doubt, sink that much further--not to mention Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's. And one must remember, those poll numbers are a measure of the President's mandate to both the Media and Congress.
Why did the United States essentially report itself? I have heard and seen a number of both plausible and implausible explanations as to the Administration's inexplicable rationale. One of the most plausible would be that the United States Government is trying to lead, by example, those other Nations of the world, who in a fit of introspection will also now report themselves and then immediately "repent" and mend their ways, and we shall all--then--live happily ever after "the world over." But of a secondary note, this does seem to repeat the stream of assorted Obama apologies on behalf of the US-- to the world--for our own bedeviled shortcomings as seen by the unapologetic left--to which we would rejoin: Speak for yourself Mr. Obama--you are certainly not speaking for your Countrymen....