Saturday, April 24, 2010

Christie has gained 4.5% support in New Jersey.

Chris Christie is being called the "Jersey Reagan" by some, the "Trenton Thunder" by others, but by all positive accounts Chris Christie is doing what Garden State Governors have neglected to do for years upon years: Cut spending. Cut government. Cut unions.

There are no sacred cows in the Garden State anymore, all public officials ranging from overpaid teachers to overpaid police officers are facing the "devourer" of spending. Christie doesn't care about your race, position, creed, position, affiliation, instead he cares about the future of New Jersey, which is bleak unless serious and drastic cuts of government are made.

Conservatives are cheering on Chris Christie from around the Nation, as he could be the example for all Red Republicans in Blue States across the land, but our outsider opinion means nothing, of course it will if Christie ever runs for President, but I'm interested in what the local New Jersey citizens are thinking.

Chris Christie was elected with 48.5% of the vote last November, compared to 44.9% of the vote for his Democratic opponent, and 5.8% for an Independent candidate who failed in his attempt to screw over Christie's electoral chances. Now, according to a recent poll from Rasmussen Reports Christie is enjoying a 53% approval rating, compared to 45% who disapprove of his job, thus far into his first term.

Those approval ratings are not stunning, but the overall reaction to his spending and union cuts have been overwhelmingly positive, regardless of political affiliation. It's true that Democrats will never approve of Christie as a politician or as a Governor, but a lot of them are approving of his policies.

In the end, Christie has gained 4.5% support in New Jersey over the course of six months, even with all of the policies he has been enacting on a regular basis. It's true his approval rating has fallen from "historic highs" of 57% before he was sworn in as Governor, but I also remember the President once enjoyed 70% approval ratings...........

Christie has survived his first three months as Governor (memo to unions - Thanks for not killing Chris Christie) of New Jersey with accomplishments across the board, but we'll see in three years whether or not the voters really approve of his accomplishments. Until then, CUT! BABY! CUT!

GOP Sen. Graham blasts Democratic leader for moving immigration bill ahead of climate change

Graham, of South Carolina, is one of three senators co-sponsoring a comprehensive energy and climate bill scheduled to be unveiled on Monday. But in a letter Saturday to Senate leaders, Graham said he will withdraw his support for the climate measure if Reid moves forward on immigration first.

Graham called Reid's apparent shift toward immigration "a cynical political ploy" that could derail months of effort on climate change.

2nd US Navy SEAL cleared in Iraqi prisoner abuse case

Not guilty." Now, this is a good news.

BAGHDAD (AP) - A U.S. military judge has cleared a Navy SEAL of wrongdoing in the alleged beating of a prisoner suspected of masterminding the grisly 2004 killings of four American contractors in Iraq.
The military says the judge found insufficient evidence to convict Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe on charges of dereliction of duty.
Keefe—one of three SEALS charged in the case—was not accused of assaulting Ahmed Hashim Abed but of failing to prevent the abuse.
The case has drawn fire from at least 20 members of Congress and other Americans who see it as coddling terrorists to overcompensate for the notorious Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

Mexico security official’s convoy ambushed, 4 dead


— Gunmen armed with assault rifles and grenades attacked a convoy carrying the top security official of the western state of Michoacan on Saturday, leaving four dead and 10 wounded in the second brazen ambush in as many days.
Public Safety Secretary Minerva Bautista was recovering from non-life-threatening wounds, said an official of the state attorney general’s office who was not authorized to be quoted by name. Bautista was traveling in a bullet-resistant sport utility vehicle.

The dead included two of her bodyguards and two bystanders. Of the nine people wounded in addition to Bautista, five were bystanders — including two girls ages 2 and 12 — and four were part of Bautista’s security detail.

There was no immediate information on the identity of the attackers, who numbered about 20, or on a possible motive. However, drug violence is common in Michoacan, the home base of La Familia cartel.
Bautista was returning from the inauguration of a fair when her three-vehicle convoy was blocked just after midnight by a truck the attackers apparently used to block the road.

Several hours later, assailants tossed a hand grenade at a police station in the Michoacan state capital, Morelia, about 30 yards (meters) from the state public safety department’s headquarters. The explosion damaged three vehicles, but nobody was hurt.
Mexican drug cartels have been known to target security officials; the acting federal police chief was shot dead in May 2008 in an attack attributed to drug traffickers lashing back at a nationwide crackdown on organized crime.
On Friday, gunmen ambushed two police vehicles at a busy intersection in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, killing seven officers and a 17-year-old boy caught in the crossfire. Two more officers were seriously wounded.
Authorities said the officers had stopped to talk to a street vendor who flagged them down for help. Gunmen suddenly opened fire from behind, then fled in three vehicles.

Hours after the attack, a painted message directed to top federal police commanders and claiming responsibility for the attack appeared on a wall in downtown Ciudad Juarez. It was apparently signed by La Linea gang, the enforcement arm of the Juarez drug cartel. The Juarez cartel has been locked in a bloody turf battle with the Sinaloa cartel, led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
“This will happen to you … for being with El Chapo Guzman and to all the dirtbags who support him. Sincerely, La Linea,” the message read. The authenticity of the message could not be independently verified.

More than 22,700 people have been killed in Mexico’s drug war since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against the cartels

Abbas calls on Obama to impose Mideast peace deal


RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas called on President Barack Obama on Saturday to impose a Mideast peace deal, reflecting growing frustration with what Palestinians see as Washington’s failure to wrangle concessions out of Israel’s hardline government.

In an unusually blunt appeal, Abbas said that if Obama believes Palestinian statehood is a vital U.S. interest, then the American leader must take forceful steps to bring it about.

“Since you, Mr. President and you, the members of the American administration, believe in this, it is your duty to call for the steps in order to reach the solution and impose the solution — impose it,” Abbas said in a speech to leaders of his Fatah movement.

“But don’t tell me it’s a vital national strategic American interest … and then not do anything,” he added.

Abbas spoke a day after meeting with Obama’s special Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, who has tried in vain for more than a year to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table. Abbas says there’s no point in holding talks as long as Israel keeps building settlements on Palestinian-claimed land and refuses to discuss the fate of east Jerusalem, the sector of the city Palestinians claim as a future capital.

Mitchell is expected to hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, their second meeting in three days. However, there was no sign of a breakthrough in this round.

The U.S. has proposed so-called proximity talks, in which Mitchell would shuttle between the two sides, in hopes of ending the stalemate and paving the way for direct negotiations. However, the Palestinians say they won’t engage unless Israel promises not to start new housing projects in east Jerusalem. Netanyahu reiterated earlier this week that he will not freeze construction in the city.

The issue of settlement expansion has emerged as a major point of contention between Israel and the Obama administration.

Israel has resisted U.S. demands for a comprehensive freeze, instead agreeing only to slow construction in the West Bank, but not east Jerusalem. Tensions flared in March when Israel announced plans for 1,600 new homes for Jews in east Jerusalem. The announcement, which came during a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, enraged U.S. officials.

Washington’s failure to get Israel to comply with a settlement freeze — one of the Jewish state’s obligations under a U.S.-backed peace plan first introduced in 2003 — has frustrated the Palestinians.

Israelis and Palestinians have negotiated for nearly two decades, with the U.S. acting as a broker. The outlines of a deal were sketched out a decade ago, by then-U.S. President Bill Clinton, but the two sides never came close to a final agreement.

Under the Clinton plan, the Palestinians would establish a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — the areas Israel occupied in the 1967 Mideast War. Border modifications would enable Israel to annex large West Bank settlements and Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem. Israel would swap some of its territory to compensate the Palestinians for the annexed areas.

The traditional U.S. position has been to act as a mediator, while treating Israel and the Palestinians as equal partners who in the end must make their own decisions. Critics have said this approach does not take into account the imbalance of power — that Palestinians live under Israeli military occupation.

Earlier this month, The Washington Post quoted Obama administration officials as saying the president is considering proposing a new American peace plan for the Mideast.

Since then, however, top U.S. officials have reiterated the traditional view that the final decisions lie with Israelis and Palestinians.

This week, National Security Adviser James Jones told a Washington think tank that “peace must be made by the parties and cannot be imposed from the outside,” but that the U.S. is ready to “do whatever is necessary to help the parties bridge their differences.”

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said “the Israeli position is that we believe the only way to solve the problem is through direct negotiations.”

Abbas, meanwhile, warned in Saturday’s speech that chances for a two-state solution are fading, and that Israelis could find themselves one day — against their wishes — sharing a single state with the Palestinians. He was referring to concerns that Israeli settlement expansion could one day prevent partition of the land.

The Palestinian leader also dismissed the idea of establishing a Palestinian state within temporary borders, in about half of the West Bank. An Israeli newspaper reported earlier this week that Netanyahu made such a proposal, though Israeli and Palestinian officials denied Saturday that Israel formally presented the idea.

A Palestinian state with provisional borders is part of the U.S.-backed “road map” peace plan as an interim step toward full independence. However, the road map never got off the ground and the Palestinians have repeatedly rejected provisional statehood, fearing the temporary borders would become the final ones.

Turning The Corner-The Return of The Silver and Black

For more than a generation, the Oakland Raiders were known as the "winningest team in football". They were a proud team with the highest winning percentage of any team in the NFL. But the Oakland Raiders of the new millenium found themselves in the unusual position of being considered a losing franchise. Seven straight seasons of double-digit losses only added to the frustration of the once-proud Raider Nation. There was the revolving door of ineffective coaches and players. The public ridicule of it's owner, Al Davis, who was considered eccentric by the more moderate of critics and insane by everyone else.

It is a well known fact that people tend to see what they want to see. Therefore, it is not surprising that as the 2009 season ended, the Raiders were once again labeled as failures with their 5-11 record. For weeks, the media projected the imminent departure of head coach Tom Cable. When offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was brought in, it was believed that the handwriting was on the wall.

Well, the handwriting was on the wall, but many were not in a position to understand what the handwriting meant. A closer look at the 2009 season suggested the Raiders were finally turning the corner. The most obvious statistic for 2009 was that 4 of the 5 wins (80%) came against teams that were 8-8 or better. Ironically, the same statistic applied to 2008. However, all 8 wins were won under head coach Tom Cable. In the period 2003-2007, the Raiders won a total of 9 games against teams 8-8 or better. That's a five year period. If you looked at the 2006 and 2007, only 2 wins came against teams better than .500. What all this means is that the Raiders were becoming competitive against better teams which is one of the signs of a turnaround in pro football.

Had the mediots spent some time looking at the last part of the 2009 season, they would have been in a position to understand that change was afoot in the Raiders Nation. Cable benched #1 draft pick JaMarcus Russell after a dismal 2-7 start. The benching obviously had the support of Al Davis. The benching also occurred in the midst of a mediot storm surrounding off-field allegations of abuse by Cable against assistants, ex-girlfriends, ex-wives and Gumby. When Bruce Gradkowski was injured, Cable opted to go with 3rd stringer Charlie Frye rather than returning Russell from the bench. Again, this decision obviously had the approval of Al Davis as well. The hiring of Hue Jackson, far from being a referendum on Cable, was a necessary change for an offensive coordinator. It was exactly what Al and Cable stated.

The off-season saw some interesting activity. Popular running back Justin Fargas was released as were struggling defensive players:Greg Ellis and tackle Gerald Warren. As trade rumors swirled regarding the signing of a veteran quarterback, the Raiders made no moves. In press conferences, Cable made the point that the Raiders were looking to the draft to make changes on both sides of the line. Cable clearly had the look of a man who was part of the action and not a bystander.

The 2010 NFL draft opened with a bang for the Oakland Raiders. While many in the mediot circle believed that the Raiders would select Jimmy Clausen, Bruce Campbell or Anthony Davis, the Raiders surprised everyone by taking the best Middle Linebacker in the draft: Rolando McClain. The Raiders' second round pick (Lamarr Houston) continued to baflle mediot experts who saw the Raiders going for Campbell then. Even more confusing were the statements that Houston, a defensive end from University of Texas, would be converted to defensive end. Was it possible that the Raiders were finally going to address their horrid run defense? As many of the mediots continued to chastise the Raiders for failing to address the offensive line, the Raiders responded by selecting Jared Vanheer in the 3rd round and Bruce Campbell (sensibly) in the 4th round. In four picks, the Raiders had made tremendous strides in addressing team needs and had selected excellent athletes.

As the draft wore on, the Raiders pulled their biggest coup of the day. Prior to the draft, there was talk of the Raiders picking up Washington Redskins quarterback, Jason Campbell, who had a third round tender at the time. As the calls mounted for the Raiders to pick a quarterback prospect, Al Davis, did what Al Davis does best. He traded for Jason Campbell for a 2012 4th round pick! This was a significant accomplishment and the perfect cap to the best 2-3 day period in over a decade.

The mediots didn't see it coming. Many fans didn't see it coming. But many of the Raiders faithful could sense a change amiss. The retention of Cable and his obvious influence with Al. The demonstration that the team was competitive against good teams. The off-season releases and the under-the-radar approach to free agent signings all hinted that something big was coming down the pike.

I have no doubt that this change could be attributed to the potential Al and Cable both saw in the 2009 season. The division is significantly weakened thanks, in part, to the coaching of our two bitterest rivals: San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos. The Raiders were poised to take over the division and Al demonstrated a committment to that charge. Thank You Al Davis and Tom Cable.

by Ben Raiderfan Contributor Written on April 24, 2010

White Robber Disguised as Black Man in Ohio

CINCINNATI, OH - A white man charged in connection with six robberies in the Cincinnati, Ohio area used a full African-American head mask disguise during the crimes.

Conrad Zdzierak was arrested Wednesday after police served a warrant at an area hotel. Zdzierak is charged with six counts of aggravated robbery, including five robberies that occurred in one day.

According to court documents, police found evidence linking Zdzierak to the robberies, including cash that matched the serial numbers of bills stolen from the banks and an African-American full head mask and clothing that matched the suspect description.

Zdzierak's vehicle also matches the description of one seen fleeing the scene of one robbery with red dye smoke coming from it.

Mark Steyn on Democratic strategy and cowardice

As they usually do, the Democrats have picked a non-violent party and tarred it with the extremist brush (that would be Democrats v. Tea Partiers), while ignoring and abasing themselves before a genuinely threatening movement (that would be Democrats v. radical Islamists). And as always, Mark Steyn ties everything effortlessly together. I particularly like his whimsically savage attack on Bill Clinton’s little rhetorical foray into hysterical rhetoric (emphasis mine):

I suppose the thinking runs something like this. All things considered, the polls on Obamacare aren’t totally disastrous, and the president’s approval numbers seem to have bottomed out in the low forties, and when you look at what that means in terms of the electoral map this November, you’ve only got to scare a relatively small percentage of squishy, suburban moderate centrists back into the Democratic fold, and how difficult can that be?

Hence, Bill Clinton energetically on the stump, summoning all his elder statesman’s dignity (please, no giggling) in the cause of comparing tea partiers to Timothy McVeigh. Oh, c’mon, they’ve got everything in common. They both want to reduce the size of government, the late Mr. McVeigh through the use of fertilizer bombs, the tea partiers through control of federal spending, but these are mere nuanced differences of means, not ends.

Steyn also effortlessly eviscerates the various slurs being heaped on Tea Partiers:

For a long time, tea partiers were racists. Everybody knows that when you say “I’m becoming very concerned about unsustainable levels of federal spending,” that’s old Jim Crow code for “Let’s get up a lynching party and teach that uppity Negro a lesson.” Frank Rich of the New York Times attempted to diversify the tea-party racism into homophobia by arguing that Obamacare’s opponents were uncomfortable with Barney Frank’s sexuality. I yield to no one in my discomfort with Barney Frank’s sexuality, but, with the best will in the world, I find it hard to blame it for more than the first 4 or 5 trillion dollars of federal overspending. Eschewing such cheap slurs, Time’s Joe Klein said opposition to Obama was “seditious,” because nothing says sedition like citing the U.S. Constitution and quoting Thomas Jefferson. Unfortunately for Klein, thanks to “educator” William Ayers’s education reforms, nobody knows what “seditious” means anymore.

If only the average liberal was as logical as Steyn. Most of them take the Gospel of Frank Rich and live their lives according to its tenets.

Please read the whole article. It’s one of Steyn’s best, because he understands that everything the media and the politicians are doing to us amounts to one thing:

Imperceptibly, incrementally, remorselessly, the free world is sending the message that it is happy to trade core liberties for the transitory security of a quiet life.


Goldman Sachs e-mails: Yeah, we bet against mortgages

Of course we didn’t dodge the mort­gage mess. We lost money, then made more than we lost because of shorts.
Gold­man Sachs CEO Lloyd C. Blank­fein • In an e-mail regard­ing its role in the mort­gage cri­sis. The e-mail, one of many released by the Sen­ate Per­ma­nent Sub­com­mit­tee on Inves­ti­ga­tions, sug­gests that the com­pany was bet­ting against the fail­ing hous­ing mar­ket and prof­it­ing sig­nif­i­cantly from it – one of the main claims of the SEC’s law­suit against the invest­ment firm. This could be bad news for Gold­man Sachs.