Friday, April 13, 2012


The biography of a president who rose from a broken childhood in Arkansas to become one of the most successful politicians in modern American history, and one of the most complex and conflicted characters to ever stride across the public stage. From draft dodging to the Dayton Accords, from Monica Lewinsky to a balanced budget, the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton veered between sordid scandal and grand achievement. Clinton had a career full of accomplishment and rife with scandal, a marriage that would make history and create controversy, and a presidency that would define the crucial and transformative period between the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9-11.

The latest installment in the critically acclaimed and successful series of presidential biographies, Clinton follows the president across his two terms as he confronted some of the key forces that would shape the future, including partisan political warfare and domestic and international terrorism, and as he struggled with uneven success to define the role of American power in a post-Cold War world. Most memorably, it explores how Clinton’s conflicted character made history, even as it enraged his enemies and confounded his friends.
Watch Clinton on PBS. See more from American Experience.

Morgan Freeman Says ‘I’m NOT Marrying My Step-Granddaughter’; Do You Believe Him?

Morgan Freeman is adamant … he has NEVER had a romantic relationship with his 27-year-old step-granddaughter E’Dena Hines … and slams all of the reports to the contrary as “defamatory fabrications.”
Morgan just released a statement responding to recent reports that he and Hines have been dating for roughly 10 years and were planning to get married in the very near future.

Freeman’s rep tells us the actor remained silent for years because he didn’t want to “dignify these stories by commenting” … but now he feels compelled to speak out after the reports were picked up by various “mainstream media” outlets.

In his statement, Freeman says, “The recent reports of any pending marriage or romantic relationship of me to anyone are defamatory fabrications from the tabloid media designed to sell papers. What is even more alarming is that these fabrications are now being picked up by the legitimate press as well.”

E’Dena has also issued a statement … saying, “These stories about me and my grandfather are not only untrue, they are also hurtful to me and my family.”

For the record, E’Dena is the granddaughter of Morgan’s first wife, Jeanette Adair Bradshaw. She and Morgan are not related by blood.

via Morgan Freeman — I’m NOT Marrying My Step-Granddaughter |

Newark mayor rushes into burning home to save neighbor

Corey Booker

Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey, fought off his security detail and ran into a burning house to rescue a trapped woman.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker was taken to a hospital Thursday night for treatment of smoke inhalation he suffered trying to rescue his next-door neighbors from their burning house.
"I just grabbed her and whipped her out of the bed," Booker said in recounting the fire. Booker told The Star-Ledger he also suffered second-degree burns on his hand.
Two years ago, Booker helped shovel his constituents' driveways after a huge snowstorm. Who is this guy, Batman?

Obama’s quixotic wind program

By Rebekah Rast

An integral part of President Obama’s renewable energy plan is wind power.

It paints a nice picture; towering fields of gigantic turbines on an open hillside or small residential windmills atop a house or barn all collecting power from the wind solving all your electricity needs.

Too bad it doesn’t really work all that well on a mass scale.

Wind power only accounts for about 1 percent of all the energy used in the U.S. today. In 2010, it accounted for 2.3 percent of all electricity generated in the U.S. These numbers aren’t low due to a lack of turbine farms in America, they are low because turbines only generate a percentage of their theoretical maximum output—the wind does not always blow.

What’s more ironic from an environmentalist perspective is the fact that these giant turbines (some can reach 400 feet tall and turn at speeds of 200 mph in peak times) kill a half-million birds and bats without penalty every year. Knowing the typical response of true environmentalists, if any other industry other than a “green” one caused that much damage they would be there with a lawsuit threatening to shut it down.

In mass, if wind power seems to kill more birds than it produces energy, why does it remain such an integral component in Obama’s energy plan? Why does America continue to spend millions of dollars on an unstable energy source when there is no shortage of other much cheaper, reliable industries?

The city of Reno, Nev., is probably asking itself the same question.

Windmills were installed in Reno between April and October of 2010 and cost about $1 million out of a $2.1 million federal energy grant given to the city that was part of President Obama’s stimulus package, which passed in 2009.

Unfortunately, to date the turbines haven’t performed well in the city.
Get full story here.

Obama's Blunders: The G.S.A. And The Vegas Vacation

Video by Frank McCaffrey
Get permalink here.

Bernanke’s prophetic warning on debt

By Robert Romano

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has in the past said he opposes a return to the gold standard because it would reduce the central bank’s ability to intervene in the economy, effectively reducing his role to little more than a clerk.

Apparently, he has had little problem since the financial crisis with being the government’s ATM (automated teller machine).
Since Aug. 2007, when the downturn began in earnest, the Fed has more than doubled its holdings of the national debt by some $890.2 billion to $1.681 trillion — effectively monetizing the $15.6 trillion national debt. It already holds more than 10 percent of it now.

Such unprecedented actions by the central bank have not been seen since the World War II, when the national debt last went north of 100 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

It has even led some economists, particularly those in the Modern Monetary Theorists camp, to suppose there is no limit to how much debt the Fed can monetize. As described by the Washington Post’s Dylan Matthews, the theory postulates that “the government can never run out of money. It can always make more.”

In that sense, the central bank is viewed as nearly invincible when it comes to servicing the government’s financing needs.

But, if that were true, why then does Bernanke see the need for fiscal restraint?

Speaking to Congress last year, Bernanke warned that spending and borrowing needed to be brought under control. Said Bernanke, “One way or the other, fiscal adjustments sufficient to stabilize the federal budget must occur at some point.”

He said one way or another, they will happen, it’s just a question of how: “The question is whether these adjustments will take place through a careful and deliberative process that weighs priorities and gives people adequate time to adjust to changes in government programs or tax policies, or whether the needed fiscal adjustments will come as a rapid and painful response to a looming or actual fiscal crisis.”

That’s quite an admission from the Fed head. Here, Bernanke let the curtain drop, if just for a moment, showing his hand.
Get full story here.

Islamists rally in Cairo against Mubarak old guard

Former Vice President Omar Suleiman
CAIRO – Thousands of Egyptians packed into Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday to protest against a run for the presidency by former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, in an Islamist show of strength against Hosni Mubarak’s old guard.

The Muslim Brotherhood – the biggest group in parliament – called the protest after Suleiman announced his candidacy last week. Both Islamists and secular reformists view it as a threat to democratic reform.
“Suleiman, do you think this is the old days?” chanted the protesters gathered in the square, the cradle of the uprising that swept Mubarak from power last year.

Muslim Brotherhood supporters waved the group’s green flag and the red, white and black Egyptian national colors. “The people demand the fall of the regime,” they chanted, a slogan used during the anti-Mubarak uprising. “Down, down with military rule,” they chanted. They also sang the national anthem.

Banners showed Suleiman and Mubarak alongside the Star of David, depicting both as agents of Israel because of policies that included Egypt’s role in enforcing a blockade on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, which borders the Arab state.

Egypt has had a peace treaty with Israel since 1979 but Mubarak’s Middle East policy, in large part managed by Suleiman, became the focus of ever sharper public criticism in his last years in power.

The council of army generals that has been running Egypt since Mubarak was deposed is due to hand power to an elected president on July 1. The vote, Egypt’s first real presidential election, is due to get under way on May 23 and will likely go to a run-off in June between the top two candidates.

Frontrunners include the Muslim Brotherhood’s Khairat al-Shater, ultra-orthodox Salafi sheikh Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, ex-Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa and Ahmed Shafiq, who served as prime minister in Mubarak’s last days in power.

The Islamist-dominated parliament on Thursday passed legislation that would stop both Suleiman and Shafiq from running on the grounds they served in top posts under Mubarak. However, analysts doubt the law will be enacted by the ruling generals, setting the stage for more tension.

In an interview with the state-run al-Ahram newspaper, Suleiman pledged to press ahead with his campaign.

North Korea's rocket launch draws anger, wounds pride (+video)

The G-8 group of countries on Friday condemned North Korea over its attempt to launch a long-range rocket taking a satellite into orbit. The rocket failed shortly after launch and landed in the sea off the South Korea coast.

MSCI Asia ex-Japan off day's peak after weaker China data * Aussie falls as China Q1 GDP grows 8.1 pct, below 8.3 pct forecast * Markets shrug off North Korea rocket launch * European shares likely mixed By Chikako Mogi TOKYO, April 13 (Reuters)

April 13, 2012 China Offers Subdued Reaction to Failed N. Korean Missile Launch Stephanie Ho | Beijing China is calling for calm and restraint following the failed North Korean missile launch. The official Chinese reaction to Friday's North Korean.

North Korea's much-heralded missile launch was a failure yesterday, but the White House still condemned what it felt was a provocative act by the rogue state. North Korea said it wanted to launch a rocket to put a weather.

North Korean rocket launch fails North Korea launches rocket North Korea's much-anticipated rocket launch ended quickly in failure early Friday, splintering into pieces over the Yellow Sea soon after takeoff. North Korea acknowledged in an announcement.

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