Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Paterson: Obama administration can't get anything done due to fear of GOP

Gov. Paterson laughs during a public appearance on Tuesday.

Days after the Obama administration told him it would rather he not run for election next year, Gov. Paterson seemed to send a little payback on Tuesday.

While saying he understands why the Obama administration is involving itself in New York politics, Paterson noted the White House's inability to get key legislation passed in the first months of his presidency.

"If you look at it from their perspective, they haven't exactly been able to govern in the first year of their administration the way other administrations have, where you would theoretically have a period in which the new administration is allowed to pass some of the needed pieces of legislation," Paterson said.

Paterson blamed the partisan politics of Washington.

From the White House's view, losing any Democratic governors or congressional seats will create further problems for Obama's agenda.

"That's why ... in order to accomplish their health care plan, their energy plan, the other ideas that they have for America that really are transformative, they've had to look at who is going to be voting, who can actually help them," he said.

Read more:

With Pressure From Congress, Big Banks Move to Curb Overdraft Fees

For months, Congress has had its eyes on reining in the overdraft fees tacked on by many banks when consumers — often unbeknownest to them — exceed their balances with debit card purchases. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced a consumer protection bill earlier in the year, and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) has vowed to follow suit later this fall.

Yesterday, that threat paid dividends, as two of the nation’s largest banks — Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase — announced plans to revamp their debit card policies voluntarily to add some of the consumer protections being pushed by the lawmakers. From The New York Times:

Bank of America said it would allow current customers to turn off the ability to spend when their account hits zero, starting Oct. 19. Next June, the bank plans to limit the number of times each year that current customers can overdraw their accounts when using a debit card at a store. It will let new customers choose whether they want overdraft protection when they are opening their account.

Chase would eliminate another controversial practice by which the banks reorder a customer’s debit purchases according to amount, rather than chronology — a scheme that creates more overdraft fees, which currently average upwards of $30 a pop.

The moves are not insignificant. Overdraft fees, which have grown steadily in recent years, are estimated to bring in more than $38 billion to the banks in this year alone, according to Moebs Services, an Illinois-based financial research firm.

Still, you can bet that Democrats will want to mandate the consumer protections, rather than leaving them to the discretion of the banks to install.

Yankees celebrate playoff berth, beat Angels 6-5

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Yankees were in no position to celebrate when the Texas Rangers’ loss to Oakland clinched New York’s return to the postseason. Brett Gardner and his teammates were too busy blowing a five-run lead over the Angels at the time.

A ninth-inning rally keyed by a player with no postseason resume made certain the Yankees didn’t back through a door that was slammed in their faces last fall.

Gardner singled, stole second base on a pitchout and scored the tiebreaking run on Alex Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly in the ninth, and the Yankees secured their 14th playoff appearance in 15 seasons Tuesday night with a 6-5 victory over Los Angeles.

Rodriguez homered and drove in three runs before Mariano Rivera earned his 41st save for the Yankees, who were guaranteed a return to the postseason about 55 minutes before the last out in Anaheim when the Athletics finished Texas 9-1.

“You always want to get something like this by shaking hands at the end of it,” Rodriguez said. “(No big) celebration, just shaking hands with the guys and giving a few hugs. It feels good to be in, but we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”

Derek Jeter and his teammates are back in the postseason after staying home last fall in manager Joe Girardi’s debut campaign. The Yankees won 17 playoff series and four World Series titles in a 13-year span after 1994, but New York hasn’t won a championship since 2000 or even a playoff series since the 2004 division series, losing four straight.

The Full Story

Kansas Football Players Fight Kansas Basketball Players

Midnight Madness is less than a month away and everybody’s preseason No. 1, Kansas, has its first problem: Starting sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor got jacked last night, apparently by members of the KU football team. Taylor suffered a dislocated thumb and is out for 3-4 weeks.

A source said one group of players was entering the union as another group of players was exiting, arguing ensued, and punches were thrown. Police had no comment on the matter Tuesday night.

We’re guessing this has to do with the Jayhawks’ football team only being ranked 20th, and the Jayhawks’ hoops team being one of the elite programs in the country. The student union-showdown reminds us of the scene in Swingers where Sue whipped out a gun (8:30 mark) on “House of Pain.”

Chynna Phillips Confirms Mackenzie Phillips Affair

Mackenzie Phillips and her father, Jon Phillips.

In her new memoir, actress Mackenzie Phillips scandalously and disturbingly reveals that she had a 10-year affair with her father, musician John Phillips.

It's an outrageous claim, but likely (and sadly) not an untrue one.

Mackenzie's half-sister, Chynna Phillips, backs her up all the way.

Chynna, of the hit 90s group Wilson Phillips, shares her side of the sad tale, recalling how she once got a call from Mackenzie, now 49, in 1997.

This was 11 years after the affair had ended. Mackenzie Phillips spilled to Chynna, now 41, all about how their father had an affair with her.

"She said, 'I don't know why, but I just really felt the need to call you and tell you something that I think you need to know,'" Chynna Phillips said.

The Full Story

Gadhafi Hijacks Spotlight at U.N

In his address to the General Assembly of the United Nations today, Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi railed against the Security Council, saying it should be called the "Terrorism Council" because the countries with permanent seats are not democratically elected and use their power to "terrorize" developing nations.

After briefly congratulating President Barack Obama on his first United Nations appearance as president, Gadhafi launched into an attack of the United Nations charter and the makeup of the Security Council, saying the institutions are outdated and unfair. The Libyan president said the U.N.'s General Assembly was "like a d├ęcor" for the permanent members of the Security Council.

The five permanent members of the Security Council are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. All five hold veto powers. There are an additional 10 rotating members on the Security Council, including Libya, whose membership ends this year.

"This is terrorism," Gadhafi said through a translator. "Anyone who says 'I am higher than the General Assembly' should leave and be alone."

Paterson predicts $3 billion budget deficit

Leaders meeting sets the stage for cuts

ALBANY -- Gov. David Paterson said he expects the current estimated budget deficit of $2.1 billion to grow to around $3 billion before the end of the fiscal year, adding urgency to his call for legislative leaders on both sides to set aside partisanship and posturing in order to enact a series of midyear cuts.

Paterson emphasized that figure wasn't a "hard" number, but said that upcoming budget reports would lend greater clarity to the size of the gap.
With Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch by his side, the newly clean-shaven Paterson asked the four leaders of the Senate and Assembly to bring their economic staffers together to begin working through ideas to be acted upon in a special session -- the date for which could be announced as early as next week.

In general, the tone of the meeting was collegial and largely free of the back-biting that hampered many such meetings over the past year.

Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson, in his first solo appearance at a leaders meeting, said his conference needed a better sense of the size of the deficit to avoid "government by guesswork."

"We need real numbers ... so we can find real savings," Sampson said.

Sampson's Senate leadership colleagues, Temporary President Malcolm Smith and Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr., did not attend the meeting in the Capitol's Red Room.

Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos reiterated his hope that midyear cuts would fully involve members of his conference, unlike the crafting of the 2009-2010 budget. Skelos and Sampson seemed to be in agreement that whatever fiscal measures are taken should not add to New Yorkers' tax burden -- a sentiment that Paterson agreed with.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he was preparing his conference for "tough choices."

"We are required to provide our working families, our children in the classrooms, our elderly, those citizens ... who go to us for last resort" in times of crisis, he told the governor. " ... We're prepared to roll up our sleeves and work with you."

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb expressed frustration that the governor failed to respond to his earlier calls for a leaders meeting.

"The voters are upset and mad we aren't taking actions ... that we haven't met this summer to address these issues," said Kolb.

Kasparov crushes Karpov on first match day in Valencia

The first day of the match between the two K-legends in Valencia evoked mixed feelings all over, but did put Garry Kasparov in the lead by a comfortable margin of 2-0. Remarkably, Anatoli Karpov lost both games on time. Report, games and many photographs.
Before saying anything about the actual match, let’s not forget what’s being celebrated here this week: the birth of modern chess in the 15th century in Valencia. To commemorate this event, five lectures were being held today as part of the festivities.

The presentations, however, were sometimes quite difficult to follow for the spectactors. This was partly due to the high technical level of some of the lectures, which could hardly be followed by the live translator (who’s doing an excellent job, by the way), let alone by the mostly uninitiated audience, but also by the amateurish setup of some of the presentations.

In our view, the most interesting lecture was given by dr. Ulrich Schaedler from Switzerland, who explained various aspects of the Book of Games manuscript of Alphonse X – a manuscript, it should be noted, that has nothing to do with Valencia at all. We’ll return to the lectures in a separate post.
The Full Story

NY Times Writer Worries That Mother Nature Not Cooperating With Global Warming Agenda

Come on, Andy... 'fess up.

Admit that you have been reading NewsBusters, particulary the story posted by your humble correspondent on Sunday about how the U.S. media has been ignoring observations of a noted climate scientist, Professor Mojib Latif of Germany's Leibniz Institute, that we are entering a period in which the earth is likely to cool for a period of one to two decades.

The very day after the NewsBusters story was published, New York Times writer Andrew Revkin by strange "coincidence" decided to mention Professor Latif and his inconvenient observations about global cooling. Poor Andy sounds more than a bit peeved that Mother Nature is just not cooperating with the global warming dogma:

The world leaders who are meeting at the United Nations to discuss climate change on Tuesday, are faced with an intricate challenge: building momentum for an international climate treaty at a time when global temperatures have been stable for a decade and may even drop in the next few years.

The Full Story

FCC's Diversity Czar: 'White People' Need to be Forced to 'Step Down' 'So Someone Else Can Have Power'

Mark Lloyd is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s Chief Diversity Officer, a.k.a. the Diversity Czar. And he has in a recently discovered bit of archive audio goodness detailed his rather disturbing perspective on race, power and the American system.

(Audio located below the fold, courtesy of and Naked Emperor News)

This is of course in addition to Lloyd's rather disturbing perspective on the First Amendment.

"It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of speech or the press. This freedom is all too often an exaggeration. At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies.

"[T]he purpose of free speech is warped to protect global corporations and block rules that would promote democratic governance."

And Lloyd's rather disturbing perspective on Venezuelan Communist dictator Hugo Chavez's "incredible...democratic revolution." To go with Lloyd's bizarre admiration for the thuggishly fascistic manner in which "Chavez began to take very seriously the media in his country."

We have said repeatedly that Lloyd is a man myopically focused on race. What is revealed here is more than just that. Listening to excerpts of his offerings at a May 2005 Conference on Media Reform: Racial Justice reveals a man that finds great fault with our nation's power structure - as he defines and sees it. And in his racially-warped, finite pie worldview, too many white people sit alone in the too few spots atop the heap. They're "good white people," mind you, but ...

Media Dozes While Social Security Is on the Verge of Negative Cash Flow

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air had the catch of the day yesterday when he revealed, based on Congressional Budget Office internal projections distributed to Congress during the summer, that the Social Security system will spend more cash than it takes in during the government's next fiscal year ending September 30, 2010. Read about it there, or here, because you won't see the establishment media acknowledge the existence of these revelations.

Morrissey isn't clear as to when the report was prepared, but if it dates back to July or even early- mid-August, it's possible that Social Security will show a measly positive cash flow of less than $10 billion when the dust settles on the current fiscal year that will end next week, compared to +$72 billion a year ago. That's because the decay in Treasury's cash collections during the current quarter has been that bad.

Obama Disappoints NBC By 'Falling Short' on 'Climate Change,' Fret Expectations 'Dashed'

By Brent Baker

A lover's quarrel emerged Tuesday night in the media's love affair with President Barack Obama. He disappointed NBC by failing, at the UN's “Summit on Climate Change,” to go far enough on global warming. “President Obama's being accused of falling short on the environment today with the whole world watching,” Brian Williams teased NBC Nightly News. Williams framed his lead story through the prism of the left as he fretted that, “in the eyes of a lot of environmentalists,” Obama “fell short.” Worse, while other nations are “ready to change, ready to get cleaner, President Obama's speech left a lot of people wanting more.”

Reporter Anne Thompson wistfully recalled that “when Barack Obama became President, many in the world hoped the U.S. would take a leadership role in stopping climate change” and so “that led to big expectations for today's speech -- expectations that were quickly dashed.” Thompson asserted “the world wanted to hear President Obama make a commitment to specific cuts in carbon dioxide emissions. Instead of action, it got talk” and, in the ultimate insult a journalist can deliver, she rued how Obama had “one line that sounded a lot like his predecessor, George W. Bush, who refused to agree to emission cuts without similar actions from India and China.”

The Full Story

NBA Officials: Is The Lockout So Bad?

The NBA has locked out it's officials for the first time since 1995. The league is expected to employ D-League and WNBA refs for the start of the season.

The NBA official, a recent victim of great controversy and contempt, has been a position marred by game fixing and player favoring.

It seems every spring we question the decisions made by the officials. And close fan observation provided by detailed taping of each game has made the league's referees more mortal and subject to blatant mistakes.

In a sport that moves as fast as men's basketball, it's easy to understand how referees can make mistakes and miss calls. Slow motion instant replay has made bad calls and missed calls more obvious and more subject to public scrutiny.

Modern technology coupled with the aging of veteran referees (Dick Bavetta will turn 70 on December 10th) makes every game a topic of debate.

Lets face it. The NBA official may be less trusted than our country's politicians at this point.

So, why not bring on the fresh blood? We have been calling for David Stern to clean house since the "Donaghy Debacle" of 2007.

With the start of preseason coming in less then two weeks, the problem with the league replacing its officials for the start of this season is that the timeline given to get them trained is less then adequate.

Wouldn't it be ironic if less experienced replacement officials actually do a better job than the regular goons in grey?

Only time will tell but I can honestly say, though I respect the old time veteran refs, I will not miss watching grandpa Bavetta sprinting up and down the court at 70 years of age.

He may not be the quickest official in the league but Bavetta's stamina on the court sure makes me look bad.

US town bans Libyan leader's tent

US officials have ordered workers to stop the construction of a tent for Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi near New York, a local attorney says.

The erection of the tent "violated several codes and laws of the town of Bedford", attorney Joel Sachs says.

It also emerged the Bedouin-style tent was being set up on property rented from real estate mogul Donald Trump.

Col Gaddafi had reportedly planned to use the tent for entertaining during the UN General Assembly in New York.

Libyan officials have so far not publicly commented on the issue.

Col Gaddafi - who arrived in New York on Tuesday - traditionally shuns official residences during his trips abroad.

Trump's statement

Bedford town attorney Joel Sachs said officials had given "a stop work" order to teams pitching Col Gaddafi's tent in the town, about 30 miles (48km) north of New York.

There is no such thing as diplomatic immunity when it comes to complying with local laws

Read Full Story

Obama to address world at UN

NEW YORK — US President Barack Obama takes center stage at the UN General Assembly Wednesday, with a call to action and a warning that facing the world's many challenges cannot be "America's endeavor alone."

"Those who used to chastise America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the world's problems alone," Obama tells world leaders gathered here, according to excerpts of the speech released by the White House.

"We have sought -- in word and deed -- a new era of engagement with the world. Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges," the president says.

White House aides billed the speech to heads of government and delegations in the UN chamber as a "historic" address that will lay out a "new direction" in US foreign policy.

In the excerpts, Obama outlines a series of grim scenarios from melting ice caps, nuclear weapons and protracted conflicts, to "extremists sowing terror in pockets of the world."

"I say this not to sow fear, but to state a fact: the magnitude of our challenges has yet to be met by the measure of our action," says Obama.

In another day on the diplomatic high wire, Obama will also meet Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev, a week after abandoning a missile shield in Eastern Europe but denying that "paranoid" objections from Moscow were the reason.

Full Story