Friday, February 20, 2009

Bill Clinton: Obama Should Sound More Optimistic on Economy

In an interview on ABC News with Chris Cuomo, Bill Clinton said that Obama needs to sound more optimistic when speaking about the economy. I think Clinton has a valid point. One of the things that always impressed me about Bill Clinton as president was what I perceived as an ability to make the public feel hopeful on the economy when he was first tasked with cleaning up the mess that Bush, Sr. left behind.

“Look, the American people, I think, know the president has tried to reach out to Republicans,” Clinton told ABC News’ Chris Cuomo. “And it takes two to tango. I think there are some of them who really believe that just-say-no politics is good politics.

“It was — briefly, only briefly — in the ’90s. It isn’t anymore,” he added. “So, sooner or later, I think if he just keeps chugging along, just keeps the door open, invite ‘em to every economic conference, invite ‘em to every meeting, eventually, he’ll start getting some votes” in Congress.

Clinton also gave former President George W. Bush a very “harsh review on the economy,” but he placed the blame on the Republicans for “the current fiscal crisis by not moving sooner to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure.”

“I personally believe, based on my experience over the years with the economy, that if we moved aggressively on this home problem a year and a half ago, even a year ago, as much as 90 percent of the current crisis could have been avoided,” he said.

With regard to President Obama’s warnings that “the economy could get worse before it gets better,” Clinton said, “I like the fact that he didn’t come in and give us a bunch of happy talk. I’m glad he shot straight with us.”

But Clinton added, “I just want the American people to know that he’s confident that we are gonna get out of this and he feels good about the long run.”

Clinton thinks Obama should talk to the public in greater depth about the economy.

“I like trying to educate the American people about the dimensions and scope of this economic crisis,” Clinton said. “I just would like him to end by saying that he is hopeful and completely convinced we’re gonna come through this.”

He added that though the economic problems are large, he expects the stimulus money to help.

“I think you will see some good economic news from the stimulus fairly soon,” Clinton said. “I think you’ll start to see people express gratitude for getting the unemployment benefits, the tax cuts and the food stamps. And you’ll see the money flowing through the economy. Then I think you’ll see every state be able to quantify how much better shape they’re in, because of the education and health money.”

Clinton also repeated what he said earlier in the week, that Obama is doing a great job in his first month in office.

President Obama has been tasked with cleaning up a huge mess left behind by the Bush administration. It in some ways seems insurmountable to me, but I think he’s doing a phenomenal job. We all know the economic mess will take longer than we like to turn around. I think that can been stressed while giving the public just a little more optimism and doing more educate the public. Just my 2 cents. I get the feeling that the obstructionist Republicans seem to want those who are struggling to feel they should not be asking for help. That’s just wrong minded in my opinion.

Lior Shlein's Israeli TV comedy skit: Jesus was too fat to have walked on water

Israeli comedian Lior Shlein has raised a ruckus with some truly tasteless humor. We watched the Hebrew skit on a google video clip and to us, it was not funny.

If there was one at all -- Shlein's point to Christians was -- listen to this skit of "Christianity Denial" and try to understand how it sounds to us Jews when you degrade and deny the Holocaust.

This wasn't a very good comedic effort.

Vatican irked by `blasphemous' Israel TV show

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican said Friday it has formally complained to the Israeli government about a private Israeli TV show that ridiculed and blasphemed Jesus and Mary.

In the program, the host farcically denied Christian traditions — that Mary was a virgin and that Jesus walked on water — saying he would do so as a "lesson" to Christians who deny the Holocaust.

It was a reference to the Vatican's recent lifting of the excommunication of a bishop who denied 6 million Jews were killed during World War II. The rehabilitation sparked outrage among Jews....

The Vatican said that in the clip, Mary and Joseph were "ridiculed with blasphemous words and images" that amounted to a "vulgar and offensive act of intolerance toward the religious sentiments of the believers in Christ."

In the show, hosted by well-known Israeli comedian Lior Shlein, Mary is said to have become pregnant at 15, thanks to a schoolmate. It said Jesus could never have walked on water because "he was so fat he was ashamed to leave the house, let alone go to the Sea of Galilee with a bathing suit."

The clip was a sarcastic response to the Vatican's rehabilitation of Bishop Richard Williamson, who said in an interview broadcast on Swedish state TV that no Jews were gassed during the Holocaust and that only 200,000 or 300,000 Jews were killed.

The Vatican's rehabilitation of Williamson sparked outrage that only abated after Pope Benedict XVI met with Jewish leaders at the Vatican last week. During his audience, the German-born pope issued a strong denunciation of anti-Semitism and said it was unacceptable for anyone — particularly a clergyman — to deny or minimize the Holocaust.

The Vatican has demanded that Williamson, a member of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, recant before he can be admitted as a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church. On Thursday, the government of Argentina, where Williamson had been living, ordered him expelled within 10 days. It cited an immigration problem but also said his comments about the Holocaust had profoundly insulted Argentina, Jews and all of humanity.

The British-born Williamson had already been removed as director of the society's La Reja seminary. He has apologized for causing distress to the pope but has not recanted. He has said he would only correct himself if he is satisfied after a review of the evidence, but has said that would take time.

Stoudemire out for regular season after eye surgery

Clearly, this is not how the Suns wanted to start the second half of the season.

The beleaguered Suns announced Friday that Amare Stoudemire was forced to undergo eye surgery to repair a partially detached retina suffered in a Wednesday night rout of the Los Angeles Clippers. It is Stoudemire’s second eye injury since October and the All-Star forward could miss the rest of the regular season.

Stoudemire’s return to physical activity has been estimated at eight weeks by the Suns. He underwent surgery Friday morning, although the club said in a statement that “recovery varies on a case-by-case basis.”

The Suns were just starting to feel a sense of optimism about salvaging something from this painful season after replacing coach Terry Porter with Alvin Gentry on Monday, ringing up 280 points in back-to-back victories over the Clippers and getting the go-ahead Thursday from owner Robert Sarver to keep hold of Stoudemire and Shaquille O’Neal after shopping both this month in an attempt to significantly reduce Sarver’s payroll.

But the injury suffered by Stoudemire when he was poked in the eye during his 42-point game against the Clippers means the Suns will have to try to make the playoffs without him, which was not going to be easy even with a healthy Stoudemire. The Suns awoke Friday as the West’s No. 9 team in an eight-team race with a record of 30-23, one game short of the eighth spot.

This is obviously a huge blow for the Suns, who made the decision to move forward with Stoudemire after trade discussions with a number of teams. It’s going to be tough for Phoenix to make the playoffs without their power forward, and even if he can return in two months, what kind of shape will he be in?

Video Lunch: Amy Goodman Covers Protest Against the New York Post Racist Cartoon

Protests are continuing today outside the offices of the New York Post following the publication of a cartoon that critics say depicts President Obama as a chimpanzee. The cartoon shows a white police officer shooting dead a chimpanzee in the street. His partner, another white officer, says, They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.
After a number of civil rights activists and organizations called for a boycott of the paper, the Post issued an apology of sorts last night.

The apology said in part “It was meant to mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill. Period. But it has been taken as something else - as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism. This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize.” However, there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past - and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback. To them, no apology is due. On Thursday the Rev. Al Sharpton led a protest outside the offices of the Post. These are some of the voices from the protest.

White House Press Secretary Responds to CNBC’s Rick Santelli

By Moe Bedard

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs put CNBC’S Rick Santelli in his place today. Acting more like a rabid dog than a professional journalist, Santelli referred to suffering American homeowners as “losers.” Whereas Santelli feels the White House is awarding “bad behavior” Press Secretary Gibbs and I both feel the plan can and will help homeowners that are near foreclosure and also help homeowners that have consistently made their payments on time but have been forced “underwater” by declining home prices.

“I’m not entirely sure where Mr. Santelli lives or in what house he lives,” said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs during a press briefing. “But the American people are struggling every day to meet their mortgage, stay in their job, pay their bills, to send their kids to school, and to hope that they don’t get sick or that somebody they care for gets sick and sends them into bankruptcy. I think we left a few months ago the — the adage that, if it was good for a derivatives trader, that it was good for Main Street. I think the verdict is in on that.“

“Mr Santelli doesn’t know what he’s. talking about,” Gibbs said a little later. He was responding to a question about public anger at the fact that some people who acted irresponsibly may benefit from the president’s plan, a question which mentioned “that cable rant on the floor of the exchange.”

“Mr. Santelli has argued — I think quite wrongly — that this plan won’t help everyone,” Gibbs said. “This plan will help, by the money that’s invested in Freddie and Fannie, will drive down mortgage rates for millions of Americans.”

Concluded Gibbs, “now, every day when I come out here, I spend a little time reading, studying on the issues, asking people who are smarter than I am questions about those issues. I would encourage him to read the president’s plan and understand that it will help millions of people, many of whom he knows. I’d be more than happy to have him come here and read it.”

Yahoo News

ABC News

Google Earth finds Atlantis

Google Earth images showing what appeared to be a grid of streets on the ocean floor off the coast of Africa were actually tracks left by boat sonar.

The Daily Telegraph caused the brief flurry of excitement among Atlantis hunters by publishing Google Earth pictures on Friday of an unexplained grid on the seabed 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) off the northwestern coast of Africa.

An Atlantis expert told the paper that the grid was located at one of the possible sites of Atlantis, the legendary city described by Greek philosopher Plato.

Google, however, had another explanation.

"It's true that many amazing discoveries have been made in Google Earth -- a pristine forest in Mozambique that is home to previously unknown species, a fringing coral reef off the coast of Australia, and the remains of an Ancient Roman villa, to name just a few," Google said in a statement.

"In this case, however, what users are seeing is an artifact of the data collection process.

"Bathymetric (or seafloor terrain) data is often collected from boats using sonar to take measurements of the seafloor. The lines reflect the path of the boat as it gathers the data," Google said

Rihanna Issues Statement: Thanks fans for support, won’t comment on Brown

Rihanna has finally broken her silence on her beating at the hands of Chris Brown.

In a statement released to the media, Rihanna said that she would not comment on Brown, but did want to thank fans.

“At the request of the authorities, Rihanna is not commenting about the incident involving Chris Brown,” the statement read. “She wants to assure her fans that she remains strong, is doing well, and deeply appreciates the outpouring of support she has received during this difficult time.”

The statement follows growing controversy over the Rihanna assault photo published by TMZ. Los Angeles Police are investigating how the photo was leaked, with suggestions that TMZ may have paid for the official LAPD evidence shot. A police spokesman said an internal investigation could lead to criminal conspiracy charges.


New Jersey Needs a Conservative Change
Steve Lonegan is the conservative leader New Jersey needs now. A fighter for taxpayers, Lonegan froze spending and debt, and kept property taxes far below inflation. A winner at the polls, Lonegan was elected, and then reelected twice, by double-digit margins in a town that voted 64% for Barack Obama. What’s more, Lonegan’s conservative record kept GOP Council control for eleven straight elections. Steve’s not just the best candidate we can run against Jon Corzine, he's the strongest candidate we can run. The time is now!

Press Conference, Trenton State House, Feb 19, 2009




Arrest Made in Alexis Glover Murder Case-UPDATE

A medical examiner has now ruled 13-year-old Alexis Glover's death a homicide.

Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert said Wednesday that the medical examiner's report shows the cause of Alexis Glover's death was drowning and exposure to cold.

Although arrested and released from police custody a little over a month ago, Glover's adoptive mother, who initially told authorities that the girl had run away, has been arrested again.

After local police searched her property, she was charged with felony child neglect and filing a false police report. Further charges are "likely."

A 13-year-old developmentally disabled girl disappeared last Wednesday (Jan. 7) from the parking lot of the Manassas, VA, Central Community Library.

Alexis Glover or "Lexie" was known to just vanish and had previously worn a GPS bracelet for her own safety. Her disappearance launched an extensive police search with dogs, helicopters, posted flyers and volunteers going door-to-door. Because of her condition, it was believed that Alexis was hiding from police, thinking that she was in trouble.

Due to other medical issues, the community searched diligently in hopes of getting her much-needed medication.

Sadly, Lexie's body was found in a creek eight miles away from the library and two days after she was reported missing.

The girl's mom spoke to reporters a few days ago pleading with people to come forward with any information leading to the person(s) connected with her daughter's death.

However, on Tuesday night, 44-year-old Alfreedia Glover, the adoptive mother of Alexis was arrested for felony, child neglect and for filing a false police report.This comes after police searched cars, property, etc.

Police believe that Alexis Glover was murdered at an unknown location, and her body was dumped in Woodbridge. As of now, no murder charges have been filed in Glover's death.
Alfreedia Glover is currently being held without bond.

Jerusalem - Netanyahu Picked to Form Israeli Government

Jerusalem - Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu was chosen Friday to form Israel's next government, Israeli President Shimon Peres' office said.

The decision comes after Avigdor Lieberman, head of the right-wing Yisrael Beytenu party, said he would recommend Netanyahu for the post, but only if he promises to form a "broad-based" coalition government.

In last week's parliamentary elections, no single party won the minimum 61 seats needed to form a government. That means a government of two or more parties is virtually inevitable.

To become Israel's next prime minister, Netanyahu must form a coalition within six weeks or the process will start all over.

The ruling moderate Kadima Party won the most seats in the Knesset, Israel's parliament. But Kadima, led by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, received only one more seat than Netanyahu's conservative Likud Party.

The strong showing of other right-wing parties -- including Yisrael Beytenu and the Orthodox Shas movement -- could give Netanyahu a better chance of forming a coalition government.


Peres began consulting with party leaders Wednesday, and had seven days to decide which party leader would form the next government.

TMZ's Battered Rihanna Photo Spurs LAPD Probe (Photo)

Entertainment website TMZ last night posted what appears to be a photograph of a battered Rihanna — allegedly taken right after her R&B boyfriend Chris Brown beat her. Soon after the picture was posted, LAPD released a statement saying that authorities do not release photographs of victims in domestic violence cases and this "confidential" photo should never have never been made public. Authorities have now launched an internal investigation to find out who sent the shot to the press.

In a statement made by LAPD, which was also posted on TMZ:

Los Angeles: The unauthorized release of a domestic violence photograph immediately generated an internal investigation. At about 7 p.m. on February 19, 2009, the Los Angeles Police Department Media Relations Section began receiving numerous inquiries about the release of a photograph associated with a domestic violence incident that occurred on February 8, 2009, involving entertainer Chris Brown. The photograph appeared on an entertainment website. The photograph has the appearance of one taken during an official domestic violence investigation. The Los Angeles Police Department takes seriously its duty to maintain the confidentiality of victims of domestic violence. The Department launched an immediate internal investigation and subsequently filed a personnel complaint.

A violation of this type is considered serious misconduct, with penalties up to and including termination. Anyone with information concerning the unauthorized release of the photograph is asked to call, during regular business hours, (213) 485-4152. After-hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to our 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247). Callers may also text "CRIMES" with a cell phone or log on to and click on Web Tips. When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with "LAPD." Tipsters may remain anonymous.

Rihanna, who turns 21 today, was allegedly choked, slapped around and bitten by her 19-year-old boyfriend. Brown was arrested and charged with making criminal threats. He’s been released on $50,000 bail and says he’s seeking help from friends, family and church. Rihanna has reportedly been recuperating in her native Barbados.


"The first step towards taking back our state."

TRENTON -- Republican Gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan this afternoon announced a three point plan to improve education, cut taxes and bring back our state's economy.

The Lonegan Plan consists of overturning the Abbott school funding decision by Constitutional Amendment, requiring school vouchers in poorly performing districts and replacing the current progressive income tax with a flat rate.

"New Jersey’s high income taxes are a direct result of the Abbott school funding decisions that must be overturned," Lonegan said. "Half our income tax revenues are squandered in the 31 Abbott districts that have shown no matter how much money they have, they are unable to educate their children," he noted.

"School districts that cannot provide a quality education with the same per pupil aid as other districts will be required to give the parents of those children a voucher to use at the school of their choice within that district."

"Only through competition can we bring better education for every child in the state," added Lonegan. "If everything in those slick NJEA TV ads are true, then they have nothing to fear from competition from the private sector."

Noting that sharp drops in tax revenue will continue throughout the year, Lonegan said this is a direct result of the Progressive Income Tax which Lonegan says must be overhauled and replaced with a Flat Tax.

Lonegan's plan would start with a rate of 2.9% and that rate would be reduced to 2.5% after one year and lowered to 2.1% in the next year.

"The overwhelming majority of homeowners and taxpayers in New Jersey will benefit from this plan immediately between lower marginal rates and increased state aid to suburban school districts," Lonegan said. "Younger taxpayers will benefit as their incomes increase and are no longer taxed at high rates ranging from 3.5% to 8.97% -- not counting the .09% Paid Family Leave tax which I also hope to repeal."

Lonegan, who served three terms as Bogota Mayor before stepping down in 2007, said he was aware that some would attack him for "cutting taxes on the 'rich'."

"It sounds good to say 'tax the rich' but the 'rich' have options including moving to Florida, Nevada or other states with no income tax," Lonegan said. "Then we collect nothing and when the economy crashes the effect is even worse."

"Under our plan, we will replace the Progressive Income Tax with a flat rate that will be lower than New York, Delaware and even Pennsylvania's flat rate of 3.07%,' Lonegan said. "And that’s just in the first year. By getting rid of Abbott and distributing aid on a per student basis, the money will be available for property tax relief for suburban homeowners, or even further state tax rate reductions."

"I believe state tax revenues should be raised for one purpose and that is to run state government, not engage in destructive income redistribution schemes that create the false illusion of something for nothing."

"Those liberals who oppose my plan will make their usual class warfare arguments, but that only works with some people. Others who dream of success reject pandering to class envy and look to what can be in this great country of ours," Lonegan added. "The current plan has failed and the exodus of our friends, neighbors, co-workers and too often employers is proof positive."

"This is an issue Republicans should unite around. Chris Christie, Rick Merkt, Brian Levine and I obviously do not agree on every issue, but on this one, I hope we all can agree," Lonegan added. "Our state's future is on the line and it's time for bold leadership, new solutions and aggressive action to turn our state around and make New Jersey great again."
On to Victory,


Paid for by Lonegan for Governor, Inc.

Is Chris Christie weak on Immigration Laws?

Lou Dobbs Tonight -- CNN -- 4/29/08 // U.S. Attorney Chris Christie is the top federal prosecutor in New Jersey. So when he tells an audience at a community gathering that being an immigrant living in the United States without documentation is not a crime, just a civil offense, people listen and some people become outraged.

Steps to solve the problems:
• No Amnesty.
Providing amnesty again would further degrade the rule of law in this country. It is not right to provide the same benefit of citizenship to those who disregarded our laws as those who regarded them. If we provide amnesty, which laws do we then choose to obey and which ones do we choose to disregard?

• Attrition through Enforcement and a no option deadline:
There is no practical way to deport all the illegal aliens in the United States. However, by removing the employment and entitlement incentives combined with a no option deadline individuals will be self motivated to deport themselves and return through a legal process.

No option deadline: At a specified date in the future, anyone caught in the United States illegally will have no option for future citizenship or the option to participate in a guest worker program. Prior to this deadline, all illegal aliens will have the option to return to their country, and then return to the United States through the proper channels via the citizenship path or a guest worker path. Of course, we will also need to speed up and improve the citizenship process and provide for a guest worker program.
By Daryl Mikell Brooks of Today's News NJ

The Lonegan Tax Reduction and Education Funding Plan

Steve will be announcing a three point tax reduction and education funding plan at a news conference today, Thursday, February 19 at 2 pm at the State House Annex, Conference Room 1. The public is invited.

The Lonegan Plan will focus on three elements: getting rid of the Abbott decision that diverts 60 percent of state school aid to just 31 school districts, bringing vouchers to failing districts and replacing the state's "progressive" income tax with a flat rate on all income that will drop as spending is reduced.

Wednesday was a very busy day, with three events in Mountain Lakes and Summit. By the time most of you read this email, Steve will have appeared on the Fox NY 5 Good Day New York Show (7:00 am Thursday morning). We'll have the video on our web site later in the day. Then, there is the press conference in Trenton and he will be speaking at the Cumberland County Lincoln Day Dinner in Vineland. Keep up with Steve's activities and events by checking his calendar frequently.
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The campaign is in overdrive, keep up by regularly checking Steve's website,, follow him on Twitter, or add him as a Facebook friend.
On to Victory,
The Lonegan Team

Paid for by Lonegan for Governor, Inc.