How is it that people who are here legally, but don't pay federally taxes aren't getting a rebate, but people who are here illegally AND don't pay federal taxes could get a rebate? Lou Dobbs alert: Illegal immigrants may get rebates - The Crypt's Blog -

"In their bipartisan zeal to quickly cut a deal on an economic stimulus bill, GOP lawmakers overlooked something that will certainly inflame the conservative base _ illegal immigrants could receive a tax rebate check from the government.
But late Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee was
scrambling to fix the problem _ contained in the House bill _ by only allowing taxpayers using legitimate Social Security numbers to receive rebates."


Immigrants hit hard by U.S. slowdown and subprime crisis - Yahoo! News
"Both legal and illegal immigrants joined Americans in buying homes they could barely afford when the market spiraled upward and many have been caught with mortgages higher than the value of their homes as prices have slumped in the past year. Just as subprime mortgage payments rose and house prices fell, the economy's slowdown has hurt the construction sector, which employs large numbers of Hispanics and other immigrants."
A new law in Utah is going forward that requires the state AG to count every cost involved with supporting illegal immigrants and request federal reimbursement. So, if the fed isn't going to take action, then they'll have to pay the states for it? Salt Lake Tribune - Immigration reimbursement advances

Marc Fisher - On Va. House Panel, a Stampede Against Illegal Immigration - "Eager to send the message that Virginia is not for illegal immigrants, lawmakers have loaded the General Assembly's session with all manner of ways to make the state unappealing to foreigners who don't have permission to be in the country. If all the bills pass, illegal immigrants would be banned from enrolling in public colleges, barred from getting a mortgage on a house and liable to be fired if they don't speak English at work. There's even a resolution, by Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II, the Fairfax Republican, to ask Congress to initiate a change to the 14th Amendment so that citizenship would no longer be granted automatically to anyone born in the United States. At least one parent would have to be a citizen before a child could be eligible for citizenship at birth."
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The word "recession" is going to be a political tool to get votes for most politicians. For us, it will be a lot more. Casualties of the (Possibly) Upcoming Recession - The Board - Editorials - Opinion - New York Times Blog -For most politicians a recession is more an abstraction than a wrenching reality. For many Americans, however, a recession would mean very real pain.

Memory lane - Paul Krugman - Op-Ed Columnist - New York Times Blog: "Remember when those of us who argued that the United States was in the midst of a serious housing bubble were ridiculed, and told that we were simply motivated by irrational Bush-hatred?"


"Financial markets remain under considerable stress, and credit has tightened further for some businesses and households," the Fed said Wednesday in a statement announcing the rate cut. "Moreover, recent information indicates a deepening of the housing contraction as well as some softening in labor markets."


"In a long, and interesting speech, he characterized what the U.S. and other industrialized nations need to do to combat global warming this way: "We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions 'cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren."
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Detroit mayor says he won't quit - "Addressing the text-message scandal for the first time tonight as he held hands with wife Carlita, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick apologized repeatedly to residents, supporters, opponents, his wife and his sons for what he called 'the embarrassment and disappointment' of the past few days. But he said emphatically he will not resign."

Did he mention the other woman who wasn't his wife that he was seen with just a week ago? His selfishness & greed is evident in his refusal to step down, but its always been evident in the various other scandals he's been involved with ever since taking office. Detroit is going through hard times right now and that city needs an inspiration leader, not one they keep having to forgive.

Granholm says Detroit mayor's TV apology was "agonizing" - NewsFlash - - Detroit Mayor Pleads for Forgiveness for Scandal

The Associated Press: Detroit Mayor Returns to City Hall
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I don't care who you are, you have to love baby pandas. This little guy is so cute, especially when he falls over trying to sit up. Video - Breaking News Videos from - Baby Panda
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Eric Boehlert gives us several reasons why FOX News is in for a difficult 2008. Media Matters - Fox News is in for a very rough 2008

A) CNN's resurgence as the go-to cable destination for election coverage.
B) The incredible shrinking candidacy of Fox News' favored son, Rudy Giuliani.
C) The still-standing candidacy of Fox News nemesis and well-funded, anti-war GOP candidate Rep. Ron Paul.
D) The Democratic candidates' blanket refusal to debate on Fox News during the primary season.
E) Host Bill O'Reilly being so desperate for an interview from a Democratic contender that he had to schlep all the way to New Hampshire, where he shoved an aide to Sen. Barack Obama and then had to be calmed down by Secret Service agents.
F) Former Fox News architect and Ailes confidante Dan Cooper posting chapters from his a wildly unflattering tell-all book about his old boss. ("The best thing that ever happened to Roger Ailes was 9/11.")
G) The fledgling Fox Business Network, whose anemic ratings are in danger of being surpassed by some large city public access channels.
H) Host John Gibson's recent heartless attacks on actor Heath Ledger, just hours after the young actor was found dead.
I) Fox News reporter Major Garrett botching his "exclusive" that Paul Begala and James Carville were going to join Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign, and then refusing to correct the record.
Personally, although Roger Ailes will be bummed, Rupert Murdoch is elated. The Hillary bashing will be more and more in demand the further she goes in this race. Reconditioned BMW Engines for Sale. Remanufactured BMW Engines for sale. Remanufactured and Reconditioned BMW Engines for sale.
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After all the Red candidates spouted off about how they are the new Reagan, the title actually goes to a liberal from Illinois. Here, another conservative Republican who has fallen under the spell of "The Chosen One" tells us why this dude is going to be POTUS. Crunchy Con - Obama is the Democrat's Reagan - Beliefnet And its not because of his liberal politics. It's in spite of them.
The article is expressing something I think is common in a lot of people who disagree with the majority of Obama's politics, including me. Something cool is happening and even though it isn't quite defined yet, everyone wants to be a part of it and he's it. I offer you this picture to bring everyone down to earth. Now would Jesus smoke?

"Look, I don't want a man who believes the things Barack Obama believes to be president. But I've got to confess, he makes me proud of my country. When's the last time you heard from a politician that made you proud of your country? Here's the speech -- spend the next 17 minutes watching it. Whatever you think of Obama, you won't regret listening to this oratory. How any Democratic voter could choose Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama is a mystery to me."
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I haven't posted any Gizmodo items for some time. Here are some of the more interesting:

Food: Cheeseburger in a Can is Both the Best and Worst Thing I've Ever Seen - No, it's just the worst. Gross.
A real Death Ray machine that is known to kill animals from just one beam. A cool machine, but killing animals is foul. We should just use it on rapists. Retromodo: Death Ray Machine Does What Jesus Could Not

I'm going to have to agree. It takes a lot for a Jacuzzi not to look tacky in my opinion, but this one just went all the way in the other direction. Jacuzzi: Amoré Bay Is Most Hideous Jacuzzi Ever Created
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This cat is being patient because it knows this little guy is a baby, but you can see the look on his face is saying, "Will somebody please come get this thing off of me?"
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The Washington Post is an awesome newspaper. The Root

They just started a new online black issues magazine/site where you can read about the latest politicians, issues and news pertaining to African Americans across the U.S. and Africa. You can track your ancestry, read blogs and more. It's a pretty hot site. My favorite part is the update on all the foolishness going on in Detroit with their ridiculous mayor. Good Times.

The site is the brain child of Post Co. Chairman Donald Graham and Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

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In Harlem, Backing Up Bill Clinton - New York Times

"While the blogosphere and commentariat rang this weekend with angry declarations that he had crossed a line in his criticism of Barack Obama, many in Harlem seemed to mull it over, shrug their shoulders and say they understood, even if they didn’t quite agree. “What Bill Clinton said — well, his wife is running for office,” said Tonya Burnett, who was waiting outside the building to visit a city housing office. “He’s got to represent just like she represented when he was running. I don’t think it’s such a big deal."
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Economists rate chance of recession as a 'coin flip' -
"There is a 50-50 chance that the U.S. economy will sink into recession this year, but any downturn will likely be short and shallow, according to a survey of economists out Tuesday. Economists in the USA TODAY survey anticipate that after a marked slowdown in the first half of the year, consumer spending and business investment will pick up later in 2008, and unemployment will rise only slightly from current levels."
US mortgage crisis creates ghost town Shaker Heights is a mostly minority town in Ohio and its supposed to be almost empty due to foreclosures. Houses are being broken into, entire streets are emptying out. Squatters are claiming rights. If you read some of the comments though, the article seems a little sketchy. Either way, it tries to make all the homeowners seem like innocent victims of the bank and some of them likely are, but most of them, like most others who lost their homes bought something they couldn't afford.
Black former home owners in Cleveland as a whole are claiming foul.US blacks see 'financial apartheid' in subprime crisis
"The storm triggered by risky "subprime" loans has left many in ruins, forced out of their modest homes and furious at falling victim to financial dealings that have taken a particular toll on minority families. People of color are more than three times more likely to have subprime loans," concluded the organization United for a Fair Economy in a recent report which estimated that minorities have seen between 163 billion and 278 billion dollars of their equity go up in smoke since 2000."
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Remember this guy? What's his name again? I can't recall, but he's still around and had something to say last night.

Bush's final State of the Union: Boost 'uncertain' economy -
  • Pass $150 billion stimulus package to address economic concern
    Bush vows to veto bills that don't cut earmarks, wants tax cuts made permanent
    Bush touts troop escalation, says 'enemies in Iraq have been hit hard'
    Congressional Democrats say Bush proposals 'too small,' vow to cooperate"
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This is an interesting report, but what is more interesting, and quite disturbing, are the comments beneath it. Report: Black, Hispanic children making gains -

"Black and Hispanic children have made significant gains in health, safety and income over the past two decades, narrowing gaps between them and white children, according to a pioneering report on child development to be released Tuesday. They still fare worse overall than whites, but they're catching up in several areas and are less likely to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, abuse drugs or commit suicide, according to the report. It was sponsored by the Foundation for Child Development, a philanthropy that funds research on children."
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I can't copy & paste or save these, but you have to check out these cutey pies. The puppy kissing the cat is my favorite. Freakin' adorable. Second, I love the baby polar bear. She's a sweety. and who doesn't love babydolphins? Animal Views -
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A decision by Wal-Mart to drop its prices for groceries, electronics and other products by 10-30% is quite brilliant. If there wasn't so much crap in there, I might even make a visit. Wal-Mart chops prices in bid to boost shopping - Jan. 29, 2008. Target Rules!
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"The joint force took over this month from an earlier African Union force of 7,000 that was too small and too poorly equipped. The new one was supposed to be the largest international peacekeeping force ever authorized, with nearly 20,000 more soldiers and police officers, modern helicopters and other advanced equipment.

By the start of this year, barely a tenth of those additional forces were in place, and much of the needed new equipment had not arrived. When the peacekeepers were quickly attacked by Sudanese forces, they had to withdraw without returning fire. The joint force took over this month from an earlier African Union force of 7,000 that was too small and too poorly equipped.

The new one was supposed to be the largest international peacekeeping force ever authorized, with nearly 20,000 more soldiers and police officers, modern helicopters and other advanced equipment.

By the start of this year, barely a tenth of those additional forces were in place, and much of the needed new equipment had not arrived. When the peacekeepers were quickly attacked by Sudanese forces, they had to withdraw without returning fire."
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Imus Sued Over Radio Spots - January 24, 2008 "A Tennessee company is suing Don Imus for $4 million after the radio host allegedly disparaged the firm last year while reading its commercials on his show."

The best practical strategy for reducing abortions is to focus on helping women avoid unwanted pregnancies. Behind the Abortion Decline - New York Times

"Almost two-thirds of the decline in the total number of abortions can be traced to eight jurisdictions with few or no abortion restrictions — New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, California, Oregon, Washington State and the District of Columbia. These are places, notes the Guttmacher Institute’s president, Sharon Camp, that have shown a commitment to real sex education, largely departing from the Bush administration’s abstinence-only approach. These jurisdictions also help women avoid unintended pregnancies by making contraception widely available."
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This number in one state is staggering to me. I do realize that unwed mothers tend to have more children than wed mothers, but still, this lack of family structure is putting children already at a disadvantage, at an even greater one. About 80% of black babies are born to unwed moms

"About eight in 10 black children in Indiana are born to unwed parents -- a start to life that sets them up for problems during adolescence and beyond, according to an Indiana Black Expo report. Indiana's black youths fare significantly worse than Hoosier youths in general across 18 indicators of well-being, such as graduation rates and poverty levels, and do worse than black youths in the U.S, according to the report being released Friday."
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Who is the woman at the head of the most powerful and influential philanthropic organization in the world? And a mommy of two. Melinda Gates goes public - Jan. 7, 2008

"Today, at 43, Melinda Gates is ready to reveal her full self - to go public, so to speak. "I had always thought that when my youngest child started full-day school I'd step up," she says, sitting down with Fortune for her first-ever profile. Although she admits she would prefer to stay out of public view forever, her older daughter got her thinking. "I really want her to have a voice, whatever she chooses to do," she says. "I need to role-model that for her." She is spending more time on foundation work, up to 30 hours a week. "As I thought about strong women of history, I realized that they stepped out in some way."
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Actually it's pretty good news. This dude should just be grateful nobody stomped on him when he did this foolishness...allegedly. Man faces charges over nooses on truck at Jena march -

"A man has been indicted on federal charges for allegedly displaying hangman's nooses from the back of a pickup truck during a civil rights march last year in Jena, Louisiana. Jeremiah Munsen, 18, of Grant Parish, repeatedly drove slowly past a group of marchers gathered at a bus depot in Alexandria, which is near Jena, as they awaited buses to return them to Tennessee, federal authorities said Thursday."
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I had personally never heard of the B-Girl section of until reading this at Stereohyped. But now that I've seen it, thank God BET has put an end to it. Ridiculous. One Small Step For BET, One Giant Step For Womankind / Stereohyped

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Expect some serious fireworks in Atlanta.
My father is a southern Baptist and I can tell you these folks can be pretty hardcore. When he moved to Evanston, IL and started going to 2nd Baptist church, he called them all lightweights. I imagine he would refer to these Baptists, trying to provide a stronger voice for the moderates within their ranks, as lightweights too.

Jimmy Carter has called Baptists (20,000 expected) to Atlanta to try and mend some fences and make room for the moderates who were pushed aside by conservatives in the 1980s. He tried this in the 90s and it was a no go. Dangerous.

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Subprime Crisis Causing Huge Loss of African-American Wealth - NAM

"A new report says the subprime mortgage crisis will cause African-Americans to experience wealth losses of between $71 billion and $122 billion over its duration. The racial bias of subprime mortgage lenders accounts for a 40 percent difference in losses between whites and people of color.This will mark the fifth year that United for a Fair Economy (UFE) has published a State of the Dream report on Jan. 15, the actual date of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday.

This year's report is is available at Foreclosed: The State of the Dream 2008."

As we approach the 79th anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther King Jr., it's important to realize how much ground middle- and working-class Americans have lost in the subprime crisis," said Amaad Rivera, program leader for the Racial Wealth Divide team at UFE and a report co-author. "Our estimates indicate that it will cause the greatest loss of wealth for African-Americans in modern U.S. history."
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For everyone who is sick and tired of hearing about Bill Clinton, the press is trying to Michelle into the whole scene, and for the first time, she left her little girls in Chicago with their grandma and is on the road full force. Michelle Obama Finds Her Voice Too - TIME

While she's no Bill Clinton, Obama does have sharp elbows. One of her more pointed remarks is about how "things have gotten continually worse over my lifetime," implying the Clinton era did little to help "regular folks" like her and her family.
Michelle Obama issues donation appeal -
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NASA: Mystery Creature On Mars Is Wind-Carved Rock - Spotlight News Story - WKMG Orlando

Here is a link to the original NASA picture it was taken from. NASA You can zoom in too. Mars man is in the bottom left corner. He looks furry because its like -180 degrees on that planet. Even if you don't believe it is a martian, which you know it is, its still an awesome cool picture because its Mars, which is 34 million miles away! Look at how clear it is.
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What the damn? My Way News - Mexico City Rolls Out Women-Only Buses

Groping and verbal harassment is an exasperating reality for women using public transportation in this sprawling capital, where 22 million passengers cram onto subways and buses each day. Some men treat women so badly that the subway system has long had ladies-only cars during rush hour, with police segregating the sexes on the platforms.
Mexico Hits Drug Gangs With Full Fury of War - New York Times: "Yet what is happening is less a war than a sustained federal intervention in states where for decades corrupt municipal police officers and drug gangs have worked together in relative peace, officials say. The federal forces are not only hunting cartel leaders, but also going after their crews of gunslingers, like Gulf Cartel guards known as the Zetas, who terrorize the towns they control."
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Are you looking forward to the Olympics? I know I am. China’s Genocide Olympics - New York Times

"The Beijing Olympics this summer were supposed to be China’s coming-out party, celebrating the end of nearly two centuries of weakness, poverty and humiliation. Instead, China’s leaders are tarnishing their own Olympiad by abetting genocide in Darfur and in effect undermining the U.N. military deployment there. The result is a growing international campaign to brand these “The Genocide Olympics."
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Hat Tip: Stereohyped Report: 46% of African American Households Don't Bank .
"In the U.S., 22 million households have no bank account at all. The problem is even worse for African-Americans. "Most of the time that's all you see coming into the check cashing places are African-Americans," says Thompson. According to data gathered by the South Carolina Council on Economic Education, 46 percent of African-American households don't have checking or savings accounts. "It's easier, a lot of banks want to charge you fees," says Thompson."
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Since everyone is sick of her and her husband, Hills is bring out her trump card. How you gonna say something bad about the baby? Right? CNN Political Ticker: Chelsea Clinton steps up role - Blogs from
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Bob Verdi sings the praises of Tiger Woods non-reaction to the whole "lynching" and "noose magazine cover" situation in Golf. Follow Woods' advice: Relax -- He says its because Tiger has class and the media doesn't. Well, get my smelling salts. Whoever told you the media had class in the first place was an idiot. Don't listen to them anymore.

But is Tiger's reaction about class or avoidance? I've gone over the fact that Tiger doesn't want to be associated with anything black many times, so that's a moot point. That is his choice and as much as people don't like it, you can't make him be what you want him to be or what you want to see. He is what he is. You can't force on him a burden he doesn't want. He plays really great golf and does a lot of good through his foundation. I just don't think that his refusal to give in to the media frenzy was a result of class. I'm just saying.
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CNNMoney: Recession 2008: How Bad Can it Get "Many economists are predicting a short, shallow recession. But there's also a significant risk of a more serious economic decline.Economists see risks of severe downturn."
CNNMoney: The price tag on juicing the economy "The Congressional Budget Office estimated Wednesday that the federal budget deficit this year will increase to $219 billion or 1.5 percent of gross domestic product - and even more if increased military funding is approved. And that doesn't count the cost of a stimulus plan. Stimulus will bump that deficit up, but not necessarily dollar for dollar. Here's why: If the stimulus effort works, the increased economic activity will generate federal tax revenue."
Next on the Worry List: Shaky Insurers of Bonds - New York Times "The notion that the failure of even one big bond insurer might touch off a chain reaction of losses across the financial world has unnerved Wall Street."
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I'm too lazy to search for an appropriate pic for this story so just enjoy this little yummie pie.
Someone takes issue with the regular announcement that this election will hinge on Independent voters. Against Independent Voters - New York Times Blog

"Accompanying this announcement is the judgment – sometimes implicit, sometimes explicit – that this state of affairs is to be welcomed, even encouraged: it’s good that the independent voters are making themselves heard and forcing candidates to think outside their partisan boxes. And this judgment itself implies another: independent voters are better, in the sense of being more reflective and less ideological, than voters who identify themselves strongly with one or the other of the two major parties. The assumption is that if we were all independent voters, the political process would be in much better shape."

BTW - We are better and if parties didn't have a reliable base they could count on no matter how they performed or behaved, I strongly believe the process would be in much better shape.
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FOX News' John Gibson set his reputation in stone with me when he urged white people to "have more babies" in order to combat the growth of minority, especially Hispanic, babies in the U.S. POLITOPICS: Too Much Crazy To Wait For Friday. He's very concerned with maintaining a white majority. Good luck with that.

But he's done even worse here, in my opinion, by making fun of actor Heath Ledger on his show. I don't care at all about Heath Ledger. I saw Brokeback and thought it was a good movie, but beyond that, I couldn't even tell you anything about him. However, he was 28 years old and had a little baby. It's a sad thing that he died to most people.

But not John Gibson. Yesterday, Gibson opened his radio show with funeral music and went on to mock and laugh at Heath Ledger, not because he is gay, but because one of the characters he played, in the many he has as an actor, was gay.

"Gibson played an audio clip of the iconic quote, "I wish I knew how to quit you" from Ledger's gay romance movie Brokeback Mountain. Gibson would disdainfully remark, "Well, he found out how to quit you." chuckling, Gibson then played another clip from Brokeback Mountain in which Ledger said, "We're dead," followed by his own, mocking "We're dead" before playing the clip again."
Seriously, that is some BS.
John Gibson made fun of Heath Ledger in Forums in QVC Community
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Richard Thompson Ford's new book, The Race Card: How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Work, has some good points and some not so good points. I do agree that throwing out the "r" label to anything that seems unfair to blacks, dilutes the power of that word and creates "boy yelling wolf" situation.
New Book Says Racism — But G.W. Bush’s — Was To Blame For the Katrina Aftermath / Stereohyped
The Race Card Stanford Law School
Excerpts from The Race Card. - By Richard Thompson Ford - Slate Magazine
"Sellout," Randall Kennedy, racial politics, affirmative action, African-Americans Salon Books

" critical thinkers often face an extra step in the writing process -- we have to separate what we think from what our comrades of color expect us to believe, presume we believe, or would rather we didn't discuss in racially mixed company, in public, or at all. For us to reason independently of Negro orthodoxy -- especially to criticize sacred cows of black America like affirmative action -- means risking banishment from the black community."

It's sad to see Karibu go because it was one of the few book stores that carried a lot of black children's books and because I have done quite a few successful book signings at Karibus in the area. They might have been able to do better if they didn't charge full price for all its books. It's too much cheaper at B&N or Borders. People will forgo saving money to support their own to an extent, but books cost a lot of money.

Black Readers Are Jolted by a Chain's Demise -

Freddie Mills, a security officer who was scanning the aisles as his 2-year-old daughter played nearby, said he was "angry, angry, angry." "Where are we going to get books for our kids?" he said.

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"The Dunaevschis are part of a wave of Venezuelans, mostly from the middle and upper classes, who have fled to the United States as Mr. Chávez has tightened his grip on the country’s political institutions, imposing his socialist vision and threatening to assert greater state control over many parts of the economy.

While many have been able to establish legal residency and obtain a green card, either through business or marriage, others have remained here illegally.

The surge is an example of how the political and social realities of Latin America are immediately reflected on the streets of South Florida, a dynamic that has come to define this region in the past half century."
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Interesting article by Maureen Dowd about Hills, but I don't think anyone expected her to do less than ride Bill all the way to the White House. And with the economy tanking, putting him out there can only help. Two Against One - New York Times. It’s odd that the first woman with a shot at becoming president is so openly dependent on her husband to drag her over the finish line.
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As we all mourn the current state of our 401k and property values, the stock market again went down more than 100 points as soon as it opened today. The reason is because a recession is our destiny. Lou Dobbs explains in his article, Our leaders have squandered our wealth, why neither a fed rate cut nor a stimulus package will do any good. This day has been coming and we have no one to blame but ourselves and our "leaders." He makes a lot of good points. And yes, we will get through it and return to growth because that's what we do, but I do believe that at the end of this recession, the class gap in America to be even wider than it is now and will have reached a point where it is completely irreversible.

"But all of us should recognize that the stimulus package will be inadequate to drive sustainable growth in our $13 trillion economy. An emergency Fed rate cut and an economic stimulus plan are short-term responses to our complex economic problems, nothing more than bandages for a hemorrhaging economy.

Bush, Pelosi, Reid and the presidential candidates of both parties have an opportunity now, and I believe an obligation, to adjust the public policy mistakes of the past quarter-century that have led to this crisis. And only through courageous policy decisions will we be able to steer this nation's economy away from the brink of outright disaster."
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My Way News - Mich. Denies Illegal Immigrants Licenses

"Michigan will no longer let illegal immigrants get driver's licenses, a practice just seven other states continue to allow. Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, who oversees the motor vehicle department, announced the new policy Monday and said it takes effect Tuesday. The new policy also prohibits people who are legal but not permanent U.S. residents from getting licenses. Legislation to allow those on temporary work or student visas to get licenses is pending in the Legislature."
Rising health care costs put focus on illegal immigrants -

"As the debate over the residency status of the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants boils, another battle is simmering over what — if any — benefits they deserve while they're here. Some of the most heated arguments on the issue focus on health care. So far, immigrants are losing."
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I made the HUGE mistake of logging into Fidelity to check my 401k. HUGE mistake! The loss from January 1 - January 16 alone made me want to cry. I am aware that I won't be nearing retirement for more than 30 years, but still I hate to see all the progress in the last year just wiped out. Today, when the clock hits 9:30 am I will not be checking the market. To see the Dow go down 500 points will be too painful. A significant amount of my 401k is in S&P stock because that has paid off incredibly well for over the past 8 years, but it is expected to crash today. Even with the fed cut. Please pray for my and yours 401k. Pre-Market Report
Steven Pearlstein - More Room to Fall -
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On this day that is bound to be gloomy and depressing, here is some entertainment news about people who will be just fine even if the country falls into a depression. The list of Oscar nominations came out today. List of Oscar nominees -

Best Picture - No movies with black people
Best Actor - No black people
Best Actress - No black people
Best Supporting Actor - No black people
Best Supporting Actress - "Ruby Dee, "American Gangster"
Best Director - No black people
Best Foreign Film - Nothing from Africa
Best Art Direction - "American Gangster"
Best Makeup - Norbit
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We need a black-oriented news show now more than every, according to Courtland Milloy. BET used to have one a while ago, but no more. With a black(ish) man running for President, he feels a black news network would be especially helpful. Maybe this is a challenge to OWN or TVOne. Black-Oriented News Could Use a New Golden Age -

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A new book about Condi is coming out and it talks about how she's a survivor and how she has more influence and power than people think. I never doubted her power. I just thought it was influencing the wrong things. Oh, and mustache guy doesn't like her. Condoleezza Rice: An American Life - Elisabeth Bumiller - Book Review - New York Times. "Rice's former deputy Stephen Hadley succeeded her as national security adviser. She helped ensure that her old boss Robert Gates would become defense secretary. The United States is actively pushing for a Middle East peace settlement, negotiating with North Korea and reaching out to Western Europe. And the most that hard-liners like the former United Nations ambassador John Bolton can do is complain that Rice lacks the gumption to stand up for America’s true interests and that Bush "does not supervise her enough."
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People don't talk about same sex rape, but it happens more than you'd think. It's always good to see that some men come forward so that these criminals can be put in jail. Texas Man Guilty of Raping Another Man. The U.S. Justice Department says one in 33 men in the United States has been a victim of a rape or attempted rape, compared with one in six women. Experts say men are far less likely to report a rape because they fear being perceived as weak.
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Fred Thompson preaches isolationism cloaked as compassion. The Gospel of Fred - New York Times Blog

"The “biggest fairy tale” in this year’s Democratic contest may be the hope, expressed with renewed vigor by both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton at Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, that, as the campaign moves forward, they will be viewed as “individuals” and not as representatives of their gender or race. . ."

How Voters Think - New York Times "In reality, we voters — all of us — make emotional, intuitive decisions about who we prefer, and then come up with post-hoc rationalizations to explain the choices that were already made beneath conscious awareness. “People often act without knowing why they do what they do,” Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winner, noted in an e-mail message to me this week. “The fashion of political writing this year is to suggest that people choose their candidate by their stand on the issues, but this strikes me as highly implausible.”"
Republicans in Democrats Clothing - Opinion - New York Times Blog: "Take Mike Huckabee’s television ads on economic policy that strike populist tones about the loss of manufacturing jobs and his stand as the guy who reminds voters “of the guy they work with — not the guy who laid them off.” Or Mitt Romney, who won the Michigan primary with the promise of a $20 billion plan of government support for the auto industry, and is now campaigning in South Carolina on pledges to combat job loss in the furniture and textile industries, “where Washington watched” and failed to act. These are the leading Republican candidates for president? These are the conservatives?"
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On the day that we all remember MLK's work, its nice to reflect that race no longer matters, right? We finally realized that that content of character means more than color of skin. Right?

TIME LIFE has a very nice collection of photo essays from the Civil Rights period. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - Photo Essays - TIME

Google has a cute moniker on its home page:
But this is still my favorite from 2 years ago:

Booker Rising collected a nice video short. Booker Rising: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: In The Name Of Love
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Baby Orangutans & Tigers Playing
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This came a few days late, but whatever. It was a stupid thing to say, but that initial cover up was insulting to the intelligence of an idiot. Now, we get the apology. BET Founder Tells Obama He's Sorry -

"Sometimes in campaigns you get carried away in your zeal to support your candidate. And you say things that are inappropriate and not proper for a campaign that should be based on the issues," said Johnson, a Clinton supporter, in a phone interview on CNN's "The Situation Room." "And that is why I issued this personal apology to Senator Obama. I know Senator Obama. I have a great deal of respect for him. And I'm glad that his campaign has responded and accepted the apology."

Robert Johnson apologizes to Obama - On Politics -
Robert Johnson apologizes to Obama « Major Garrett’s Bourbon Room «
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I think maybe these states and counties are embarrassing the federal government into doing what they should have been doing a long time ago, focus on securing our borders. U.S. tightens ID rules at borders - "Citing a dangerous security gap along the nation's northern border, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Thursday he will begin enforcing new border-crossing rules next month, despite concerns that the rules could confuse and inconvenience U.S. and Canadian citizens.

The new rules, which begin Jan. 31, will put an end to the long-standing practice of allowing so-called 'oral declarations' of U.S. citizenship at the border. Adults who don't have passports will no longer be allowed to simply tell agents they are U.S. citizens. They will be required to show both an identification card, such as a driver's license, and proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate."

Legal Immigrants Facing a Longer Wait - New York Times "Because of an unprecedented surge in immigration applications last summer, legal immigrants will have to wait much longer during the next two years to receive visas or naturalization papers, the top official of the federal agency that issues those documents said Thursday."
Border fence dispute brings Texas showdown - "This week, the Justice Department began legal action against landowners and municipalities who have refused to give government surveyors access to their land."
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I don't know why he's surprised at the negative reaction. The golf world doesn't want to deal with racism at all. When you put it in their face, they can't pretend like it doesn't exist and they will turn on you for that. Golfweek noose elicits strong reaction - Yahoo! News "The editor of Golfweek magazine said he was overwhelmed by negative reaction to the photo of a noose on the cover of this week's issue, illustrating a story about the suspension of a Golf Channel anchor for using the word 'lynch' in an on-air discussion about how to beat Tiger Woods."

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Someone isn't so happy about Oprah Winfrey getting her own TV Channel. Haters! Touch Your Self Help: On Oprah "By acquiring her OWN television network, Oprah Winfrey threatens to not only destroy America, but her saintly public image."
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This is long overdue, but still encouraging news. Military: 75% of Baghdad areas now secure -
I've admitted that I was initially critical of the surge, but it was mostly based on my disappointment of the progress of the war in general. Yes, it is true that Bush should have told Cheney & Rummy to shut up and listened to Powell and McCain to go heavy in the beginning, but the only thing that matters now is that there is progress and some kind of a light at the end of the tunnel. We need to get our men and women home safe. Nothing means more than that.
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Part of Barry's stump speech is about restoring the moral authority America once had around the world. William Kern's piece, at The Moderate Voice, shares how this is possible with an Obama Administration. World leaders are already suggesting that Obama's presidency would make the world give America another chance and wipe out all the damage of the last 8 years. The Moderate Voice » If Barack Obama Becomes President
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So should we just all pack up and move to Mexico now or what? If the wealthy are about to lose everything, then... Wealthy may be next in line in U.S. home crisis Reuters: "But even here, far from the housing crisis' epicenter, high earners with good credit may be heading for trouble as their adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) adjust beyond their means, local real estate agents and others say. In a normal housing market they'd be able to sell, but now they are stuck."
First animal-human embryo trials to go ahead - Times Online "Experiments to create Britain’s first embryos that merge human and animal material will begin within months after a Government watchdog today approved two research teams to carry out the controversial work."
And the Apocalypse will begin two days later.

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Huckabee says this plan is fair and reasonable. Huckabee vows to send all illegal aliens home - - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper. "Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee yesterday continued to move to the right on immigration during this year's presidential campaign, signing a pledge to enforce immigration laws and to make all illegal aliens go home. The pledge, offered by immigration control advocacy group Numbers USA, commits Mr. Huckabee to oppose a new path to citizenship for current illegal aliens and to cut the number of illegal aliens already in the country through attrition by law enforcement — something Mr. Huckabee said he will achieve through his nine-point immigration plan.


Bill Targets Workers Who Speak No English - "Republican state senator from Fairfax County has introduced a proposal that would allow a boss to fire employees who don't speak English in the workplace, which would make them ineligible for unemployment benefits."
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Less abortions and less abortions using risky surgery. Report: Overall abortion rates continue to drop - "The abortion rate in the USA fell to its lowest point in more than 30 years, and the actual number of abortions also continues a steady decline, according to the first new comprehensive data in five years, released today." The report, by the New York City-based Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit that has been tracking abortion since 1974, shows that medical abortions using the drug RU-486 are increasing as a percentage of all abortions. Guttmacher's periodic reports are based on surveys of abortion providers.

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I'm sure there is a "black baby" option in there somewhere. I mean that would really work on Obama. - Rove previews strategies against Clinton, Obama "Karl Rove told a group of state Republican officials Wednesday that while the GOP primaries “are far from over,” each of the candidates can beat the top two Democrats — and the former White House aide then outlined a strategy how."
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When Lawrence Otis Graham came out with his book, Our Kind Of People, a lot of people were upset. They didn't like the idea that all these blue-blooded black folks would never accept them no matter how much money they would make or how famous they would be. They are no different than white blue-bloods. It's not just the money, its the lineage and all about keeping others out, so they feel special. Many took it personally and, although happy to hear about wealthy, prominent black families dating back two centuries, felt it was elitist. I think a lot of people were a little pissed to find out they weren't as "high up" as they thought they were.

Now Graham is making a comeback (not counting his book, The Senator & The Socialite) with a Registry of America's 800 finest black families. People are already in an uproar. There were a lot of people left out of "Our Kind of People" who wanted to let others know they "belong." And there are those who want to know why people like Sean Combs, Will Smith, Michael Jordan or Vernon Jordan won't be included and would not be invited to join (although Vernon's wife does belong in this group, so I guess he does by default).

The promo for the book says, "Who's In: Black Doctors, Lawyers, Bankers & Rich Socialites. Who's Out: Baby Mamas, Basketballers & Ghetto Rap Stars." - Sets a tone, don't you think?

First, my family will NOT be in this Registry, but I know a lot of families in Chicago and a few in D.C. who will. They have mixed reactions. Some of them seem to like the idea they are being put on this higher pedestal, but others don't like the prospect that it will only serve to separate blacks more.

One of my oldest Chicago friends, whose family was mentioned in Our Kind of People, said that her family doesn't like it because they prefer to be kept secret. They say that many whites are uncomfortable with significant black wealth made in any area other than entertaining them in sports, music, movies, etc. As for blacks, as soon as they learn about them, they all want to belong. For example, after Our Kind of People came out, she says dozens of women like NBA wives and others were trying to join Girlfriends and put their kids in Jack & Jill and men wanted to attend Boule events just because they had an Ivy League degree and made six figures. They don't want these people. They enjoy the idea of being exclusive and sort of hidden.

Personally, I think this book will only serve the purpose of becoming a gold-digger's bible.
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It's only January and we have our loser of the year. Pacman Jones has gotten in trouble yet again for...wait for it...hitting another woman and yes, in another strip club. Oh yeah...allegedly. Terence Moore: Pacman Jones gobbles trouble
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One of the things I believe our current/pending recession is going to do is create a finer definition between the classes. People will move from working class to poor and when the economy eventually rebounds, they'll be too far down to get back again. Don't mean to cop John Edwards, but the Two Americas are becoming more and more visible. Blue-Collar Jobs Disappear, Taking Families’ Way of Life Along - New York Times

"Here, where the northern swells of the Appalachians lap the southern fringe of the Rust Belt, thousands of people who long had tough but sustainable lives are being wrenched into the working poor."
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Even some Democrat mayors have sense. Immigrant Driver ID Rejected by O'Malley - "Gov. Martin O'Malley rejected a proposal yesterday to issue separate driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants and legal residents, saying that Maryland should comply with a federal security law by requiring immigrants to prove they are here legally before they can drive."

I'm not trying to make every issue an issue of illegal immigration, but it does apply to the growing wait in ERs today. ER Wait Times Getting Longer -

"In fact, new research found that waiting times in emergency rooms have increased by 36 percent for all patients, to an average of 30 minutes per patient. And the sickest sometimes have to wait the longest: As many as one-quarter of all heart attack patients had to wait 50 minutes or longer before seeing a doctor."

Have you been in an emergency room lately? I went to one last September for some weird stuff and I got right in because of my situation, but the room was packed with people who were crying, bleeding and it was a mess. My brother-in-law's sister works in an emergency room in the south suburbs of Chicago and she says that her ER, as well as ERs all over, get clogged up because of illegal immigrants who don't have health insurance. They come to the ER for things as simple as colds or stomach aches because they don't have a doctor, insurance or I.D. They know they can't be sent away. I will imagine that, all things being equal, areas with less illegal immigrants have shorter ER wait times, as would areas with more poverty.
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While Europe and Japan's, birth rates, reported at 1.3 babies per woman, are basically ensuring the extinction of the natives, America continues to buck the trend of developed countries and breed. Our fertility rate is 2.1 births per woman, which is what experts (experts in what?) say is the magic number needed to replace a population. Hey, as long as it isn't mine, I'm happy. Even FOX New's John Gibson can be happy about this report. At least a few white people are heeding his call to have more babies to keep the Hispanics from taking over America. The bad news is that teen births are increasing as well. Against the Trend, U.S. Births Way Up "The nearly 4.3 million births in 2006 were mostly due to a bigger population, especially a growing number of Hispanics. That group accounted for nearly one-quarter of all U.S. births. But non-Hispanic white women and other racial and ethnic groups were having more babies, too."
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I keep forgetting what Part it is, so I'm just picking random numbers at this point. Today it is 6, tomorrow it will be 56. More of America with its hat in its hand for other countries. It's a humbling experience to be sure. Now Japan is joining the Middle East, Asia and Europe in bailing our companies out in exchange for ownership.
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"A new, highly drug-resistant strain of the “flesh-eating” MRSA bacteria is being spread among gay men in San Francisco and Boston, researchers reported on Monday. In a study published online by the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, the bacteria seemed to be spread most easily through anal intercourse but also through casual skin-to-skin contact and touching contaminated surfaces. "

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Privacy in public is extremely limited, but in public bathrooms, it is even more limited. The ACLU seems to think that its nobody's business if two guys are having sex in the bathroom and if that is what Senator Larry "I am sooo not gay" Craig was doing, he had a right to do it privately. Personally, if I was in a stall and people were having sex in the next stall, I would be a little put out. Backing Craig, ACLU says public bathroom sex is private - On Deadline -
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She's just killin' it. Seriously, the woman will be Google's only real competition in taking over the world. Oprah Winfrey Getting Her Own TV Network
Hmmm, I wonder why the NAACP Image Awards is getting a waiver? Very curious. Actually not, the SAG and Spirit Awards have also gotten the striker's OK to go full blast on the Red Carpet. Planet Gossip - Breaking! NAACP Image Awards Get Strike Waiver
My first baby's daddy chimed in on how his role on 24 may have affected Obama's quest for the White House and to let us know he's behind Barry all the way. I believe that the role of "Wayne Palmer" only hurt Obama's chances. MyFox - Dennis Haysbert: '24' Opened Minds to a Black President

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So the news is that both Barry and Hills are seeking a truce in all this back and forth nonsense. That is smart of them. Neither benefits from this. Hills will be branded a bitter, desperate racist by Obama supporters and Barry does not do well with non-black voters when "race" becomes the central issue. There is nothing to be gained by his supporters painting him as the victim of racial attacks. No one respects, or wants to be led by, someone they feel sorry for. What's new: Obama & Clinton seek truce, supporters keep sparring - On Politics -

Problem is, they can't handle their own business. Their campaigns and supporters, who are the ones who really created this "race war" won't shut up. They've lost sight of what is best for their candidate and fallen into the "just attack the other side" trap that most campaigns seem to eventually fall into. Both sides are going to lose Independents. People wanted CHANGE and what we're ending up with more of the same.
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Let's not forget that we lost an American city in New Orleans and a lot of people have made sacrifices to try and bring it back. The news is no longer interested, but that doesn't mean people aren't. Katrina volunteers come to stay - "Two years after Katrina, the spirit of volunteerism is stronger than ever: 600,000 people headed to the Gulf Coast in Year 2 vs. 550,000 the first year after the August 2005 storm, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that runs AmeriCorps and other volunteer programs. Most are short-termers whose sheer numbers have provided the muscle behind the rebuilding. But the brains are the long-term volunteers who have dedicated at least six months to New Orleans. They provide the expertise needed to direct volunteers to the right work sites, teaching them to drywall and varnish wood."

Just one of the most horrific stories I've heard in a long time. These poor babies. I like Mayor Fenty, but he needs to be taken to task over this. This cannot happen, especially now that we know there were people trying to warn of the danger to this girls. At Least Six D.C. Workers to Be Fired in Jacks Case -

"Mayor Fenty fired six child welfare workers Sunday, saying they "just didn't do their job" in the case of four girls who had not been seen for months before their decomposing bodies were found at home last week after their mother calmly answered the door.
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Good news on the deportation of criminals. Not only will they no longer be supported by taxpayers, but , unfortunately, we need the cells for American criminals. U.S. to Speed Deportation of Criminals in Jail - New York Times

"Federal authorities expect to identify and deport more than 200,000 immigrants this year who are convicted criminals serving time in prisons and jails across the country, the country’s top federal immigration enforcement official said Monday. The effort to speed the deportation of foreign-born criminals is part of a campaign by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement
agency to help federal and state prisons reduce the costs of housing immigrants, the official, Julie L. Myers, assistant secretary of homeland security and head of the agency, said in an interview."


When I ride along the Arizona and Texas borders, there is one thing on my mind. There simply aren't enough black border patrol guards. Then I hear that the Patrol is looking for another 18,000 men and women? What to do? What to do? What would the Army do? Border Patrol to woo black recruits - Houston Chronicle.

"They are confident the Border Patrol's compensation package — which includes pay starting at $35,000 and increasing to $70,000 in three years — will sway black applicants who have historically shunned the agency and today comprise only 1.2 percent of agents guarding the border. The search is part of the Border Patrol's continuing recruiting effort to meet President Bush's mandate of boosting the force to 18,000 agents by December."

It's kind of like the Army, but not.
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Good news for everyone. College has gotten so ridiculously expensive that it seems as if we are returning to the old days when only people with money could afford to send their kids to college. Students are accumulating a ton of debt just to get a 4-year degree, which in today's flat world, is the equivalent of what a high school degree used to be. It's a shame.
Yale Announces Plan To Cut Tuition for Many -
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More on who is buying America and other bad news. I realize that I still have it better than so many, like those living in Michigan, but my 401k is suffering.

Wholesale Prices Rise 6.3 Percent in '07: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
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Remember this guy? He's our current President. Yeah, still. Just in case you had forgotten, ABC reminds us that no one likes him. Yeah, still. ABC News: New Lows in the New Year for Bush Ratings "Just 32 percent of Americans now approve of the way Bush is handling his job, while 66 percent disapprove. Bush's work on the economy has likewise reached a new low. And he shows no gain on Iraq; despite reduced violence there, 64 percent say the war was not worth fighting, 2 points from its high."
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If it's a baby, I love it. If not, this was a waste of time.
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Is it possible that Bill & Hillary think if they can sick their "black supporters" on Obama that it protects them against the backlash? I don't know about Hillary, but Bill is smarter than that. If there is anything you can't take from him, its his skill and intelligence in the political game.

You know a conversation has reached its low when grown adults start using words like "stupid" as is the case with Rep Charles Rangle when referring to Obama's recent statements. He also blamed Obama for making this about race. I will agree that many are taking any criticism by Hillary & Bill as racism based solely on the fact that it could be possibly interpreted as that, but that has nothing to do with if it was actually the intent.

"How race got into this thing is because Obama said ‘race,’” New York Rep. Charlie Rangel, one of the highest-ranking African-Americans in Congress, said in an interview on NY1.

“But there is nothing that Hillary Clinton has said that baffles me. I would challenge anybody to belittle the contribution that Dr. King has made to the world, to our country, to civil rights, and the Voting Rights Act,” said Rangel. “But for him to suggest that Dr. King could have signed that act is absolutely stupid. It's absolutely dumb to infer that Doctor King, alone, passed the legislation and signed it into law."
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Let's just hope there are no arenas full of lions or anything. That tends to get ugly. Huckabee Splits Young Evangelicals and Old Guard - New York Times

"The Harris brothers, 19-year-old evangelical authors and speakers who grew up steeped in the conservative Christian movement, are the creators of Huck’s Army, an online network that has connected 12,000 Huckabee campaign volunteers, including several hundred in Michigan, which votes Tuesday, and South Carolina, which votes Saturday. They say they like Mr. Huckabee for the same reason many of their elders do not: “He reaches outside the normal Republican box,” Brett Harris said in an interview from his home near Portland, Ore."

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Imagine if EVERY SINGLE man, woman and child in America were living in poverty? That's 300 million people. Lives of Poverty, Untouched by China’s Boom - New York Times. "China has moved more people out of poverty than any other country in recent decades, but the persistence of destitution in places like southern Henan Province fits with the findings of a recent World Bank study that suggests that there are still 300 million poor in China — three times as many as the bank previously estimated."

Sexism in the name of God. Interesting story about how women in Israel are harassed by orthodox men for having the awful nerve to do things like wear pants. Yahoo! India News - Israel 'back of the bus' rule sparks religious row
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This is such B.S. that I can't even abide. Bob Johnson tried to paint Obama as being a druggie while Clinton was off fighting for black people. First, she was doing no such thing. Second, WTF with that? It's bad enough that he tried to use a black man w/drugs "in the neighborhood" stereotype, but then he tried to cover it up with some lame excuse that he was referring to Obama's community service. Uhm...I don't have $1.5 billion dollars, but I'm not stupid. An idiot knows better. Look at his statements.

"To me, as an African American, I am frankly insulted the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Hillary and Bill Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues — when Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood; I won't say what he was doing, but he said it in his book — when they have been involved," Johnson said."

You were talking about his community service in Chicago? Yeah, right. And what if he was snorting some coke, which he admitted was a mistake in that same book? The image of black men and drugs weren't so offensive to Bob when he was making millions off of it while running BET? Oh yes, I went there. For someone who's spare time cost him a $1.5 divorce settlement, I would stick with the issues if I was him. Bob Johnson criticizes Obama - Yahoo! News
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Based on the media coverage this back and forth over MLK and race between Clinton and Obama's camps is becoming the issue going into South Carolina. Why am I not surprised that race takes the front stage in the S.C.?
Ultimately this hurts Clinton more than Obama, but it hurts Democrats in the long run. That is unless they go overboard and white female sympathy for Hills makes a comeback. They will also turn away Dems of any race who feel Obama's supporters are complaining about every word that could possibly be construed as racist. Republicans are salivating over this. They don't have any candidates that the people find more interesting than these two, so they only hope they have is that the Dems do themselves in, which let's face it, is their specialty.
Racial tensions roil Democratic race - Ben Smith -
Drugs, race raised in Clinton-Obama fight -
My Way News - Clinton, Obama Clash Over Race Issue
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Nothing about this title, Team Creates Rat Heart Using Cells of Baby Rats - New York Times, sounds good.

Experts not involved in the Minnesota work called it “a landmark achievement” and “a stunning” advance. But they and the Minnesota researchers cautioned that the dream, if it is ever realized, was still at least 10 years away.
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The Largest Pool In The World In Chile
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I know its been a long, long time since I talked about my baby, Tai Shan, but I still love him. He's bigger than my entire apartment, but I'll always remember him as the little cutey pie. He's still a sweetheart and the National Zoo has pictures of him playing around in the snow in December. That's the only time it has snowed in D.C. Giant Pandas at the National Zoo - National Zoo FONZ.

I'll be so sad to see him go. He's on his own now. The zoo has put Mei Xiang with Tian Tian again, so they can mate. I can't wait for her to get pregnant and I hope its a girl. This pic below when he's touching her face and she's looking right into his eyes is probably my favorite. It's so cute.
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Almost everyone has just skipped over Michigan and headed straight to South Carolina, but don't underestimate the anger of the people in Michigan. That state is in a depression. It's unemployment is 7.4%. No other state is above 6%. They have lost jobs that aren't coming back. They've lost their homes to foreclosure. The economy is a serious issue and becoming an even bigger one than Iraq as fears of the coming recession grow. Michigan should not be ignored. Jobs a top concern in Michigan -
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This is a pic of Bey leaving a basketball game with Jay-Z and Kanye West. I posted this picture because she is not caked in makeup and you can actually see her real hairline. This is about the rarest pic on the planet.

99% of the time Bey looks like either a clown or a tranny because she wears so much makeup and has those front lace weaves stretching the sides of her face. She's still pretty, but enough with all the this and that. When she goes more natural, she not only looks prettier (to me at least), but she actually looks her age. Simplicity is more elegant than "fierce." Now if only someone could do something about that hideous fashion line.....
I got this off, so you can click here for a much bigger pic to notice the hairline. Bossip » Archive » Beyonce Jay-Z NYC 11
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Smartest Hunter Ever!
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Drug 'can reverse Alzheimer's symptoms in minutes' News This is London

If this is true it could the beginning of something incredible. You probably know someone who has Alzheimer's. I have a close family friend whose husband has it and he has completely forgotten her. She had to have him put in a home because his behavior would become erratic when he didn't realize where he was or didn't know who she was. They've been married for almost 40 years. It's horrifying to have all that history ripped away from you. I sincerely hope this works.
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I'm just kidding. We all have to get new Driver's Licenses that will allow the government to track our every move. That might be an exaggeration, but you get the point. We'll certainly have some 10th Amendment challenges here. New rules for driver's licenses -

"The Homeland Security Department has spent years crafting the final regulations for the REAL ID Act, a law designed to make it harder for terrorists, illegal immigrants and con artists to get government-issued identification. The effort once envisioned to take effect in 2008 has been pushed back in hopes of winning over skeptical state officials."
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The Republican candidate for president, Ron Paul, is trying to put out the mini-fire about those racist newsletters with his name on it. Ron Paul '90s newsletters rant against blacks, gays -

"'When you bring this question up, you're really saying, 'You're a racist' or 'Are you a racist?' And the answer is, 'No, I'm not a racist,'' he said."

Even David Duke says he's not a racist, so that doesn't mean anything. I'd be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt if he could say who did write it. Regardless, its called the "Ron Paul Political Report" so he has to take responsibility for what was written in his name and that he would hand over the power to write something under his name to someone who felt this way. Obviously, the statements made are by someone who appears to have been very open about their hostility towards blacks.

And this is not about the PC police or people being touchy. The statements are very clear.

"One newsletter, from June 1992, right after the LA riots, says "order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks."
Not cool. To answer that he has no idea who did write them is not an answer either. The "Lake Jackson, TX statement especially makes me believe it was him.

"None of the newsletters CNN found says who wrote them, but each was published under Paul's name between his stints as a U.S. congressman from Texas."
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"A prominent New York Clinton supporter, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, on how Hillary beat Obama in New Hampshire by beating him at retail politics:”It’s not a TV-crazed race. Frankly you can’t buy your way into it,” Cuomo said. “You can’t shuck and jive at a press conference,” he added. “All those moves you can make with the press don’t work when you’re in someone’s living room."

Thanks for the heads up, Rikyrah!
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From Stereohyped, I found this post about black cartoonists who say they are sick of the way newspapers treat their comics. I don't read newspapers. I'm a strictly digital gal, but apparently, papers see all black cartoons as the same because they interchange them. So Monday you get one cartoon and then Tuesday another cartoon in the same spot, while the non-black cartoons get their own slot every day. SUSPECT!!!
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$3 quadrillion dollars? Austin Powers would be proud.

Someone in Baker, Louisiana is either crazy or really, really mad. Katrina's victims ask for huge checks - Yahoo! News

"A whopping $3,014,170,389,176,410 is the dollar figure so far sought from some of the largest claims filed against the federal government over damage from the failure of levees and flood walls following the Aug. 29, 2005, hurricane. Of roughly 489,000 total claims, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it has received 247 for at least $1 billion apiece, including the one for $3 quadrillion.
White firefighters in Buffalo claimed discrimination in favor of black firefighters despite better scores. They won a lawsuit, but a huge thing is going on. The leader of the group got demoted and things are getting worse. Firefighters Claim Racism WKBW - TV Buffalo, New York Local News
There's racism in Massachusetts? Noooooo!!!!!

"More than a year after it convicted a black trash hauler of murder, a jury returned to court for an extraordinary hearing on whether racism influenced its verdict."

Jurors in a Cape Cod Murder Case Testify About Racial Remarks - New York Times

"The defendant in that trial, Christopher M. McCowen, is serving a life sentence for raping and killing Christa Worthington, a white fashion writer from a wealthy family, at her bungalow in Truro in 2002. But three jurors now say that others made racist remarks during the trial; if Judge Gary A. Nickerson of Barnstable Superior Court finds those contentions credible, he could order a new trial."

The best WTF??!! statement of the whole article = "One of those jurors remarked that the bruises on Ms. Worthington’s body, as seen in evidence photographs, were consistent with “if a big black man hit her,” Ms. Bohanna testified."
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Honestly though, can you get addicted to weed? This is all very suspect, but since I thought 23 months was a harsh sentence for a first time offender, let him do it. You know he's going to start smoking right back up when he gets out. - VICK MAY LEAVE JAIL SOONER THAN EXPECTED

"Imprisoned Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick could be getting out of federal prison and back in the NFL by the 2009-10 season after applying for a prison-monitored drug rehabilitation program done only in Leavenworth, KS."
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I copped this list from because I'm too lazy to go in search of this myself. The Great Debaters Leads NAACP Image Award Noms / Stereohyped

Outstanding Comedy Series • “30 Rock” (NBC)• “Everybody Hates Chris” (CW)• “Girlfriends” (CW)• “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” (TBS)• “Ugly Betty” (ABC)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series • Donald Faison – “Scrubs” (NBC)• Dulé Hill – “Psych” (USA Network)• LaVan Davis – “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” (TBS)• Reggie Hayes – “Girlfriends” (CW)• Tyler James Williams – “Everybody Hates Chris” (CW)

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series • America Ferrera – “Ugly Betty” (ABC)• Golden Brooks – “Girlfriends” (CW)• Tia Mowry – “The Game” (CW)• Tichina Arnold – “Everybody Hates Chris” (CW)• Tracee Ellis Ross – “Girlfriends” (CW)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series • Blair Underwood – “New Adventures of Old Christine” (CBS)• Lance Gross – “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” (TBS)• Romany Malco – “Weeds” (Showtime)• Terry Crews – “Everybody Hates Chris” (CW)• Tracy Morgan – “30 Rock” (NBC)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series • Keesha Sharp – “Girlfriends” (CW)• Tonye Patano – “Weeds” (Showtime)• Vanessa L. Williams – “Ugly Betty” (ABC)• Vivica A. Fox – “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)• Wendy Raquel Robinson – “The Game” (CW)

Outstanding Drama Series • “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)• “House” (FOX)• “K-Ville” (FOX)• “Lincoln Heights” (ABC Family)• “The Unit” (CBS)

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series • Anthony Anderson – “K-Ville” (FOX)• Dennis Haysbert – “The Unit” (CBS)• Hill Harper – “CSI: NY” (CBS)• Jesse L. Martin – “Law & Order” (NBC)• Jimmy Smits – “Cane” (CBS)

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series • CCH Pounder – “The Shield” (FX)• Jennifer Beals – “The L Word” (Showtime)• Nicki Micheaux – “Lincoln Heights” ( ABC Family)• Regina Taylor – “The Unit” (CBS)• Wendy Davis – “Army Wives” (Lifetime)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series • Blair Underwood – “Dirty Sexy Money” (ABC)• James Pickens, Jr. – “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)• Mekhi Phifer – “ER” (NBC)• Omar Epps – “House” (FOX)• Taye Diggs – “Private Practice” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series • Audra McDonald – “Private Practice” (ABC)• Chandra Wilson – “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)• Marianne Jean-Baptiste – “Without A Trace”(CBS)• Pam Grier – “The L Word” (Showtime)• S. Epatha Merkerson – “Law & Order” (NBC)

Outstanding Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special • “The Bronx is Burning” (ESPN)• “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” (HBO)• “Five Days” (HBO)• “Life Support” (HBO)• “The List” (ABC Family)

Outstanding Variety – (Series or Special) • “2007 VH1 Hip-Hop Honors” (VH1)• “An Evening of Stars: Tribute to Aretha Franklin” (Syndicated)• “BET Awards” (BET)• “Celebration of Gospel ‘07” (BET)• “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry” (HBO)

Outstanding Children’s Program • “Cory in the House” (Disney Channel)• “Dora The Explorer” (Nickelodeon)• “Go, Diego, Go” (Nickelodeon)• “High School Musical 2” (Disney Channel)• “That’s So Raven” (Disney Channel)

Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s Program – (Series or Special) • Andre Benjamin – “Class of 3000” (Cartoon Network)• Kathleen Herles – “Dora the Explorer” (Nickelodeon)• Kyle Massey – “Cory in the House” (Disney Channel)• Lil’ JJ – “Just Jordan” (Nickelodeon)• Raven-Symoné – “That’s So Raven” (Disney Channel)

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture • Columbus Short – “Stomp The Yard” (Screen Gems)• Denzel Washington – “The Great Debaters” (The Weinstein Co.)• Don Cheadle – “Talk To Me” (Focu s Features)• Terrence Howard – “Pride” (Lionsgate Films)• Will Smith – “I Am Legend” (Warner Bros.)

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture • Angelina Jolie – “A Mighty Heart” (Paramount Vantage) [Ed — WTF?] • Halle Berry – “Things We Lost In the Fire” (Dreamworks)• Jill Scott – “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?” (Lionsgate Films)• Jurnee Smollett – “The Great Debaters” (The Weinstein Co.)• Taraji P. Henson – “Talk To Me” (Focus Features)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture • Chiwetel Ejiofor – “Talk To Me” (Focus Features)• Denzel Whitaker – “The Great Debaters” (The Weinstein Co.)•Forest Whitaker – “The Great Debaters” (The Weinstein Co.)• Nate Parker – “The Great Debaters” (The Weinstein Co.)• Tyler Perry – “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?” (Lionsgate Films)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture • Janet Jackson – “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?” (Lionsgate Films)• Loretta Devine – “This Christmas” (Screen Gems)• Meagan Good – “Stomp The Yard” (Screen Gems)• Queen Latifah – “Hairspray” (New Line)• Ruby Dee – “American Gangster” (Universal)

Outstanding Motion Picture • “American Gangster” (Universal)•“The Great Debaters” (The Weinstein Co.)• “I Am Legend” (Warner Bros.)• “Talk To Me” (Focus Features)• “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?” (Lionsgate Films)
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"According to the I Am Legend star, maths and science were always his strongest subjects."

Will Smith wants to build a computerized classroom. After doing I, Robot, I'm surprised he'd want anything to do with it. I had no idea he'd gotten into M.I.T. Nice. Will Smith plans gadget classroom Absolute Gadget

“I always dreamed of designing a fully computerised classroom,” he told free London paper The Metro. “You could come in and take roll call with fingerprints and then there’d be a keyboard built into the desk and as the teachers talked, their words would come up on a computerised board.”
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I am oddly disturbed by this item, but if I had a cat I would totally get it. CatGenie - The World's Only Self-Flushing, Self Washing Cat Box

CatGenie uses permanent Washable Granules that never need changing
For your cats, it's like using a clean box of cat-comfy, normal-size cat box filler
For you, CatGenie works like a modern washing-drying, cat toilet appliance
After a one-time, simple DIY hook up to water, you're set
Push a button or preset CatGenie Cat Box to start automatically
Used and recommended by veterinarians, nationwide

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Strict immigration law rattles Okla. businesses - "In a matter of weeks, '1804' has become part of the Sooner State's lexicon. It refers to House Bill 1804, the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007, arguably the nation's toughest state law targeting illegal immigrants. Dozens of state legislatures, citing inaction by Congress, have adopted measures aimed at curbing illegal immigration. Oklahoma's new law, which took effect Nov. 1, is particularly far-reaching and has begun sending ripples through the state's economy and its immigrant communities. Besides highlighting the impact of illegal immigration on Oklahoma, the law has made the state a laboratory in the national debate over immigration."
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Princess Z turned this earlier this week and you know her party had to be on because she is very demanding. She's such a big girl now, but this will always be my favorite pic.

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Mike has been weathering a lot of criticism for what some seem as being soft on illegal immigration. I guess he's trying to repair that with his latest statement.

"Mike Huckabee wants to amend the Constitution to prevent children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens from automatically becoming American citizens, according to his top immigration surrogate — a radical step no other major presidential candidate has embraced."

No more anchor babies would go a long way in curbing the sympathy that illegals play on with the public when they get caught and are forced to leave. They assumed that baby(ies) will be their safety net. But this would be a lot harder to get passed than people think. The babies are innocent in all this and being born in America makes you an American. Can we punish these innocent children because their parents wanted to break the law?
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So we all know how last night went down. I guess crying does get you everything you want. It sure worked for me when I was five. So congratulations to what's her name. Obama still kicked ass with his speech. Big Congrats to John McCain for winning decidedly. I really thought his time had come and gone, but maybe he still has life in him yet. No money, but some life. Clinton, McCain bids energized in New Hampshire -

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I didn't even know SWWNBN had a boyfriend. Seriously, who would....let me shut up. I guess even shepherds for the devil need love sometimes. I guess 2.5 months was enough for this self-sacrificing martyr of a guy. NY POST: OVER ALREADY
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You know I wouldn't let our favorite Senator who is totally NOT gay pass by my attention. Sen. Craig to court: Let me withdraw my guilty plea -

"The Idaho Republican argues that a state law related to his misdemeanor conviction is unconstitutional and that it's "manifestly unjust" not to allow him to be given another chance to prove his innocence. A state judge refused on October 4 to allow the senator to withdraw his earlier plea. Judge Charles Porter ruled the plea "was accurate, voluntary and intelligent, and ... supported by the evidence."

Seriously, I still don't think that people should be arrested for suspected sexual behavior. Prostitution is sex in exchange for money. Still, because he's been lying about his sexuality while denouncing gays for more than 25 years, I vote NO, you cannot withdraw your guilty plea. Now resign like you said you would if the judge wouldn't let you.
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A bunch of Hollywood wants to jump the Clinton ship to ride Barry's coat tails. CAUSE CÉLÈBRE: Ready to give Barack the part - Los Angeles Times

The media makes a big deal out of celebrity endorsements and I will agree that Oprah has some pull, but that's only because people respect her. They see her use her brain and her heart in a real way on a daily basis. Most people have no respect for celebrities. They entertain us. And most of what we know about their personal lives would not lead us to follow their lead when it comes to important choices. As a matter of fact, for some candidates, too many celebrity endorsements will hurt them with middle American voters. No, it doesn't make much sense, but bible belt voters will see you as very suspect if all those sodomites support you. And BTW- Everyone in Hollywood is gay to these people. Everyone.
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So we've all noticed the serious crush on Obama the media has had since his campaign for Senator. They don't just like him. They like him like him. Yes, they gave him a little bit of a hard time on the "black enough" thing, his experience, smoking weed in college and such, but let's be serious. Put the conservative pundits aside and you're left with the straight press. They are caught up in the Messiah frenzy as well. Geez, even Joe Scarborough was salivating this morning on his show.
Brian Williams admits it. Journo Love For Obama

"NBC's Brian Williams took to MSNBC today at noon and had this to say:
WILLIAMS: I interviewed Lee Cowan, our reporter who covers Obama, while we were out yesterday and posted the interview on the web. Lee says it's hard to stay objective covering this guy. Courageous for Lee to say, to be honest. The e-mail flood started out we caught you guys, we never did trust you. That kind of thing. I think it is a very interesting dynamic. I saw middle-aged women just throw their arms around Barack Obama, kiss him hard on the cheek and say, you know, I'm with you, good luck. And i think he feels it, too."
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When I first saw this article about pregnant high school girls wanting to take maternity leave from school in the same way women take it from work, I was like "this is pure foolishness." The Denver Post - Birth leave sought for girls. It seems to me like we'd be crossing this line, admitting defeat to the issue of teen pregnancy. Now that I've calmed down, although it still really bothers me, I'm not so sure it is pure foolishness. This would be better than the girls having to drop out and its only fair since the boys don't have to drop out either. Why should girls get punished more?

Getting that high school education can go a long way in preventing poverty, which is the road that most pregnant high school dropouts are on. Also, what about those girls who choose to abort a baby because they don't want it to cost them their education? I know that might be just a few, but it could save some babies. Look, I'm not saying this is a solution. The only solution is to prevent teen pregnancy in the first place through useful sex education and better parental guidance.
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It's going to be 73 degrees today in D.C. so this is for all you sucka's in the midwest.
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As much as I would like to, I'm not counting Hillary out. She has Bill Clinton on her side and he is a winner. The truth is Bill is a narcissist and everything is about him. Therefore, this is his campaign and he doesn't lose; even when he deserves to. Especially when his back is against the wall. He seems to prefer it that way. His criticism of Obama's voting record being the exact same as Hillary's yesterday had the bite of an angry politician and husband. Hills will lose today and she'll lose in South Carolina, but I wouldn't bet against her just yet.

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Bush Admits Economy Faces Challenges - New York Times

Oh really? Thanks for saying so because until you had, no one would have figured this out. Since he's so used to just saying what he wants to hear, for Bush to actually admit that our economy is in a bit of a bind must mean we're well beyond that.

"President Bush, in a marked shift from his usual upbeat economic assessments, conceded here on Monday that the nation faces “economic challenges” due to rising oil prices, the home mortgage crisis and a weakening job market."
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How do you feel about the title of this event? "What's In It For Us?" Who is us? What is it that we want that is exclusive to black people? Civil rights, education, taxes, crime? Everyone is concerned about these things. Either way, I'm just glad BET is doing the special. I just would have not made that the title. BET News Sits Down With 2008 Presidential Hopefuls for a Series of Specials Entitled 'WHAT'S IN IT FOR US?'

"As part of BET Networks' 2008 national election coverage, BET News sits down with the 2008 presidential hopefuls for a series of compelling interviews titled "WHAT'S IN IT FOR US?" For the premiere special, BET speaks with the man on a mission to become the first Black man in the White House, Senator Barack Obama, in the half-hour special WHAT'S IN IT FOR US? BARACK OBAMA AND THE BLACK VOTE, premiering Tuesday, January 8 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. The second special WHAT'S IN IT FOR US? HILLARY CLINTON AND THE BLACK VOTE will air on Tuesday, January 15 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT."
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Joe Gibbs Resigns As Redskins Coach -

"Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs resigned as coach and team president of the Washington Redskins on Tuesday, the Associated Press has learned. A person familiar with Gibbs' decision, speaking on condition of anonymity because the news had not been officially announced, said Gibbs would make his resignation known later Tuesday morning and would discuss it at 3 p.m. news conference."
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This is good news. So now our armed forces can focus on the things that really matter. Many troops openly gay, group says -

"The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a gay advocacy group, says it knows of about 500 gay troops who are serving openly without consequences. "That's the highest number we've ever been aware of," says SLDN spokesman Steve Ralls. "Their experiences point to an undeniable shift in the armed forces."
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Numbers USA has the latest on Democrat Health Shuler's latest immigration bill focused on attrition through enforcement. We must give attention to alternatives like this because it isn't feasible to think we can pack 12-20 million people on bus and just drop them off at the border. It will never happen. Numbers USA
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Which one do you think is going to be the troublemaker?
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What is the motive behind FOXNews exposing which black celebrities are and aren't backing Obama? - Obama: No Cash From Denzel, Spike, Motown, Despite Oprah Backing

I guess if you think all blacks are (or should be) the same, it would be confusing as to why some would and wouldn't support them. Especially after Midas Oprah endorsed him. If you think black people are different and can think on their own who and what they send money too, its a pointless list. And WTF with Motown? I didn't even know Motown was still in business, but I guess, according to Roger Friedman, its worth noting. I wonder if he checked on Ashford & Simpson.
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The inevitable slew of questionable voting machines has begun as it does every election year since the machines came out. I am all for progress, but I am very skeptical of these machines. Especially the ones that won't give you a receipt. A voting machine is a lot easier to hack into and manipulate than a voting box. Voting Machines - Elections - Ballots - Politics - New York Times

This NYTimes article tells the story about one of the machine, that was originally working fine, screwing up in Ohio in 2006:

"Then at 10 p.m., the server suddenly froze up and stopped counting votes. Cuyahoga County technicians clustered around the computer, debating what to do. A young, business-suited employee from Diebold — the company that makes the voting machines used in Cuyahoga — peered into the screen and pecked at the keyboard. No one could figure out what was wrong. So, like anyone faced with a misbehaving computer, they simply turned it off and on again. Voilà: It started working — until an hour later, when it crashed a second time. Again, they rebooted. By the wee hours, the server mystery still hadn’t been solved."
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As New Jersey prepares its "slavery apology" tour across the state, some local politicians aren't really down. This one actually thinks we should be grateful for being enslaved. Bossip » Archive » Quote of the DayYes, that's it. We should put on a "Thank You for enslaving us" tour.

Republican Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll states that blacks should be happy that slavery happened, otherwise we would still be in Africa

“But, on a current note, if slavery was the price that a modern American’s ancestors had to pay in order to make one an American, one should get down on one’s knees every single day and thank the Lord that such price was paid. To the extent that America — or New Jersey — ever owed any kind of debt to anyone, that debt was more than repaid through the blood and suffering of 650,000 federal soldiers who died or were wounded during the war provoked by slavery. No one today need feel the slightest guilt, as no one today participated in the wrong.”
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So I called it. Huckabee and Obama, my favorite choices on each side, won in Iowa. I made a little mistake in saying that Clinton would come in second. She came in third and that's just icing on the cake for me. I bet her campaign manager had a fun night. Tell me again about inevitability?

Last night showed us a couple of things. Republicans are scared. Iowa is a Red state and there were so many Dems there that they had to give up some of their caucus rooms due to fire code violations in the Blue caucus rooms. Tim Russert's task was to check on voters crossing party lines and they were overwhelmingly Republicans who voted for Obama.

More than double the regular caucus voters came out which means that people really want something. Things are really going to change. I loved how Huckabee spent like $2.50 and beat Romney anyway. I loooove how Giuliani got about as much votes as I did. I love how young people voted. Now getting them to vote again in November is another thing. Obama's speech was really good. He falters in his speeches at times, but last night he was on Bill Clinton point. The media totally gives itself away with their love for this guy. They played up the Messiah image, going on and on about how its amazing to be part of something so special. Personally, saying over and over again that you're going to bring change isn't really special at all, but I'm still happy for him.

OpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan: Out With the Old, In With the New
Democrats voted for change, GOP for faith and values -
The Conventional Wisdom Defied -
Obama Takes Iowa in a Big Turnout as Clinton Falters; Huckabee Victor - New York Times
2 Newcomers Jolt Parties’ Status Quo - New York Times
Adam Boulton's Analysis Of Iowa US Election Result Sky NewsPolitics
AFP: Giuliani vows to fight on after bad Iowa showing
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I was happy to see that Iraq & Illegal Immigration were the top two motivators for voters in Iowa, but we also need to hear more from these candidates on our domestic economy.

After a big drop at the beginning of the year, the markets ended up slightly yesterday. But these unemployment numbers are going to drop it. Despite all the craziness in the housing market and foreign companies buying up all our financial institutions, improving job numbers were what economist said would keep us from a nationwide recession, acknowledging that manufacturing states have been a recession for some time now. Payrolls up 18,000 in December; jobless rate jumps to 5% -
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Julia Preston talks about how both legal and illegal immigration are causing a lot of stress to people who apparently didn't read that TIME article on "The Browning of America." Immigration Is Defying Easy Answers - New York Times

"In 1960, census figures show, the largest national group of immigrants was the Italians, accounting for 13 percent of the foreign-born. Today, Mexicans account for one-third of all immigrants. Spanish-speakers make up nearly half of the 37.5 million foreign-born people in the country. Young Latino immigrants have brought Spanish to states that had had little exposure to it, like Iowa and North Carolina. In addition, never before have illegal immigrants settled here in such numbers — an estimated 12 million. Almost 70 percent of those immigrants are Spanish-speaking, coming from Mexico and Central America, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research group."
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We went through a wave a slavery apologies early last year from states like Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia and countless banks and local governments. It looks like we might have some more right now. New Jersey is setting it off from a governmental standpoint and I'm sure some bank somewhere who was originally owned 17 hands ago by a slave owner/trader. So what follows apologies? Demands for reparations, which is really the point.

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Ruben Navarette says all the proclaiming that enforcing illegal immigration laws will make illegals voluntarily go home is a bunch of hogwash. Commentary: Fantasy Christmas gift: Self-deporting immigrants -

"Still, I don't think I'm wrong about this. No one knows for sure what's going on in Arizona. Every Christmas, many illegal immigrants head home to reacquaint themselves with mama's cooking and play Santa Claus by showering relatives with gifts. As the article acknowledges, this tradition could account for some of the exodus. So could the slowing economy, and the fact that -- according to the article -- many people are migrating to other states. Adios Arizona; Hola Colorado, Nebraska, or Minnesota."

I will disagree that they aren't going home. Based on media coverage in the states where enforcement has picked up, the people are actually saying they or their relatives have gone back to Mexico because its not worth living in fear or not being able to find work. I will agree with him that most of those people are just going to other states, which is why we need this to be a federal effort as well as a state effort.
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A Question of Blame When Societies Fall - New York Times Who do you blame when a society falls? If you're crazy, you blame the Jews, but what if there weren't any Jews? There is the ever looming white man, which in terms of Africa would be accurate. Personally, I think power is cyclical. No one group or nation can stay on top forever. Specialists on the fate of human societies think it begins with hostile neighbors and weak trading partners and then goes from there.
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The geek in me just loves space discoveries and activity. Jet From Supermassive Black Hole Seen Blasting Neighboring Galaxy -
"A jet of highly charged radiation from a supermassive black hole at the center of a distant galaxy is blasting another galaxy nearby -- an act of galactic violence that astronomers said yesterday they have never seen before. Using images from the orbiting Chandra X-Ray Observatory and other sources, scientists said the extremely intense jet from the larger galaxy can be seen shooting across 20,000 light-years of space and plowing into the outer gas and dust of the smaller one."
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You'd think anyone with a pea for a brain to understand that two working married people have a better chance at fighting off poverty than a single working mother or father. You'd be wrong. I really don't think a lot of people get it. It's not just about the money. Having a partner to help you deal with the day to day works better and allows you more choices. Although I am reluctant to support any government program that tries to enforce a set of morals, I'm can't be angry at the federal Healthy Marriage Initiative. STLtoday - News - St. Charles

"With African-American marriage rates registering well below those of other races and fears that too many of its young are being lost to poverty and crime, not the altar, they have come to Crumpton to learn how to find and love the right person forever. Last year, two St. Louis nonprofits, Better Family Life and St. Louis Healthy Marriage Coalition, were awarded more than $11 million in grants from the federal Healthy Marriage Initiative to build a rank of marriage educators such as Crumpton to conduct ongoing courses on healthy relationships. The courses are targeted at residents of the city and poor, inner-ring suburbs."
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As much as I support the writer's strike, I was really happy to hear that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert were coming back on January 7th. Those are my two night cap shows and I miss them both. I can see from this NYPost article that maybe the hosts aren't coming back by choice. PETITION TO KEEP STEWART OFF AIR
I don't watch this foolishness, but someone says that she screens the cases so she won't have to deal with blacks. These small claims court shows depend on black ghetto and white trash for their bread and butter, so I doubt it. THR, ESQ. Entertainment & Media Law Blog: Complaint Alleges Racial Screening of 'Judge Judy' Cases
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My father didn't have any illegal immigrant smuggling going on in the apartments he rented to Hispanics in Chicago, but he constantly had to deal with safety code violations because they would allow too many relatives to live in their home. When I was young, I didn't understand it, but now I know about the dynamics of the Hispanic family.

Illegal immigrants smuggled into new homes - "Unable to sell his house in suburban Phoenix's anemic real estate market, Jason Winterholler rented to a couple who paid the deposit in cash and didn't haggle over price. It was a deal he came to regret. The renters were fronts for immigrant smugglers who used the house as a hiding place for illegal immigrants and trashed the home. In October, a police SWAT team drove an armored personnel carrier onto the lawn and raided the house, rounding up nearly two dozen people."
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Using the words "humane" and "executions" together sounds like a wicked oxymoron, but there are more humane ways to execute criminals on death row than what most states currently use; the 3-drug protocol. I had heard that the current method takes longer than expected many times and is quite painful. No, I don't have pity for people who have committed enough heinous crimes that would qualify for death row, but if there is an alternative, it is worth considering. I am extremely conflicted when it comes to the death penalty and I don't know if that would change if a simpler method became the norm, but I'm confused as to why so many states are reluctant to give it try. States Hesitate to Lead Change on Executions - New York Times

"When a state panel recommended last April that Tennessee abandon the three chemicals used in executions across the nation in favor of the single drug usually used in animal euthanasia, the state’s corrections commissioner said no. Though the move would have simplified executions and eliminated the possibility of excruciating pain, the commissioner, George Little, said Tennessee should not be “out at the forefront” of a decision with “political ramifications,” according to recently disclosed evidence in a death row inmate’s lawsuit."
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Our Weekly - White Jurors Continue to Hammer Black Defendants

"John White probably got a mild surprise when the jury in Riverhead, New York convicted him after four days of deliberation of second degree manslaughter. White would have had good reason to be surprised at the verdict. In fact, he had two good reasons. The first was the charge and the circumstances that got him hauled into the docket. White is a middle-aged African -American homeowner with a solid work history and no arrest record. He was charged with shooting a white teen. The teen was part of a mob of teens that allegedly assailed him and his son in front of his Long Island home."
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What's happening in Kenya is really bad. Kenya was one of the more stable countries in Africa, with a growing middle class, an economy and some education. This unrest is making it seem just like any other unstable, unreliable African country. More of the same and no one will care before the world is in Africa fatigue. They're sick of this over and over again all across the continent. Is there no hope for Africa? Opposition calls off Kenya rally; unrest remains -
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So its going down tonight.

Here's a good WAPO article on all the answers we'll get tonight that will only lead to more questions. 8 Questions Iowa Could Answer -

My prediction? Obama wins Dems, with Edwards second and Hillary third
Huckabee wins Reps, with Romney second and McCain third
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I think this is totally fake, but here's the article to support it. It's behind you: Great White stalks ocean canoeist the Daily Mail. It looks more like a nurse shark, which I would believe. I've swam just near one in Hawaii a few years ago. Pretty harmless.
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It was a disappointing game, made even more so because I missed both touchdowns by Illinois. I only got to see the parts where we sucked. Oh well, I know I sound like a mother, but I'm just happy we madeit to the Rose Bowl again.
The Daily Illini: Turnovers costly as Illini fall to Trojans in Rose Bowl

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I'm not surprised he's keeping Judith out of the spotlight, but he can't hide her forever. And he can't hide his family reputation forever either. Standing next to men like Huckabee & Romney, he falls so short on the family values and Judith....don't even get me started. Amid family displays, Giuliani goes solo - The Boston Globe

"For Rudy Giuliani, however, the stretch drive of his pursuit of the Republican nomination has been mostly a solo excursion in recent weeks. His wife, Judith, until late fall a presence as surrogate, fund-raiser, and campaign trail companion, now rarely appears with him. In the past 6 1/2 weeks, she has appeared in public three times, all in Florida, where she is well received."
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"Here comes the world's newest superpower. The rest of the world is gloomily contemplating economic slowdown and even recession. Not in Beijing. China is set to make 2008 the year it asserts its status as a global colossus by flexing frightening economic muscle on international markets, enjoying unprecedented levels of domestic consumption and showcasing itself to a watching world with a glittering £20bn Olympic Games. The world's most populous nation will mark the next 12 months with a coming-of-age party that will confirm its transformation in three decades from one of the poorest countries of the 20th century into the globe's third-largest economy, its hungriest (and most polluting) consumer and the engine room of economic growth."
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WHERE IS SHILOH? Poor Little One is always somewhere off with nannies. You know that is all by Z's design. She runs that whole set and no other girl gets Daddy's attention. Look who's carrying her...again.
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Most Literate U.S. Cities: Minneapolis and Seattle - Yahoo! News

Overall, the top 10 most literate (and wired) cities included:
1—Minneapolis, Minn.
2—Seattle, Wash.
3—St. Paul, Minn.
4—Denver, Colo.
5—Washington, D.C.
6—St. Louis, Mo.
7—San Francisco, Calif.
8—Atlanta, Ga.
9—Pittsburgh, Pa.
10—Boston, Mass.

Minneapolis, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Denver and Washington, D.C., have made the top 10 every year since 2003, when the survey first launched.
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Michael Bloomberg is doing a lot of things differently in New York and I respect his aggressive approach to education. He's also trying to redefine poverty. Bloomberg Seeks New Way to Decide Who Is Poor - New York Times

"The Bloomberg administration, frustrated by the federal government’s Great Society method of determining who is poor, is developing its own measure, which city officials say will offer a more modern and accurate picture of poverty. The 42-year-old federal poverty standard, which is pegged to the annual cost of buying basic groceries, is widely viewed as outdated and off-target. The city’s formula would take into account the money families must spend annually on necessities including rent, utilities and child care. But it would also factor in the value of financial assistance received, like housing vouchers or food stamps."
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More of the Latino gangs in L.A. trying to get rid of blacks in cleansing trend. I am aware that these thugs do not represent the Latino population, but why aren't Hispanic leaders speaking out about this? They are targeting innocent black people, not black gang members. Considering so many of these F13s are illegals, I wonder if more blacks are going to take a stand against illegal immigration. My Way News - LA Gang F13 Accused of Targeting Blacks

An industry that is refusing to acknowledge its end is grasping for straws. The Record Industry now wants to say that downloading a CD, even one that you purchased, onto your computer, even if its only for your use, is against the law. Good luck with that. Download Uproar: Record Industry Goes After Personal Use -
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Arizona firms brace for immigration sanctions law U.S. Reuters
Calif. School Targets Mexican Students
2007 DMN Texan of the Year: The Illegal Immigrant Dallas Morning News News for Dallas, Texas Opinion: DMN 2005 Texan of the Year
Frederick Commissioner Wants to Penalize Illegal Immigrant Hiring -
He'd have a better chance if he was a Commissioner in Virginia, but with Arizona's law going into effect, and reportedly having the immediate effect of illegal immigrants leaving in mass, more local governments are going to move this way.
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What is her problem? What does she hope to gain by this kind of statement? I'm not angry, just disappointed. CNN Political Ticker: Elizabeth Edwards ‘disappointed’ with Michelle Obama

"Elizabeth Edwards isn't happy with what Michelle Obama is saying on the campaign trail about the effects of John Edwards' decision to accept federal matching funds for his presidential campaign. "I'm surprised and disappointed in Michelle," Mrs. Edwards said at a campaign event Monday night."
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