Category Archives: politics

White House not happy with school lunch ads starring Obama girls

There were 14 ad banners at Washington D.C.’s Union Station on August 4 that the White House wanted to disappear. A young girl is featured asking, “President Obama’s daughters get healthy school lunches. Why don’t I?”
The White House may want the ads gone but they are within the right of free speech. While the administration has said that using the daughters of President Obama infringes on their private life, the ads only ask a legitimate question. ABC Blogs reports:

“We’ve been very clear I think from even before the administration started that their two girls would have a very private life, and we want to protect that private life and their privacy,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said this morning when asked about the PCRM posters. “And we hope that others will be respectful, as many in the media have been, about not using the girls as a publicity stunt.”

No one though is speaking on behalf of the eight-year-old Jasmine Messiah of Miami-Dade who is featured in the ad asking a very real question of the government. Why do some children reap the benefits that all children deserve? The ads are from the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) who are lobbying for healthy lunch programs within the nation’s school systems. CBS Blogs reports:

“The contrast is not with the daughters,” Dr. Neal Barnard says of the controversial poster, pointing out that Sasha and Malia’s names and pictures are not in the ad. “The contrast is with the school the president’s daughters are able to patronize. Sidwell Friends is able to offer health nutritious meal options.” Veggie burgers are offered alongside hamburgers, vegetarian chili is served next to meat chili with higher cholesterol, he says. “Go a mile away to any school in the district” and what options are there to a bologna-and-cheese sandwich? he asks. “What’s left? Nothing. Nothing at all.”

Little Jasmine brings her own lunch to school by the way in order to have fruits and vegetables. MSNBC quotes the young girl:

“Sometimes I bring in broccoli and carrots and my friends are like, ‘Ewww, this is disgusting,’ ” she told The Miami Herald. “But I think if they tried it more, they’d like it.”

Jasmine is wise. The United States is dealing with a nation of children that have unhealthy diets. At this point one in three will deal at some point in their lives with diabetes. Changing the diets of children in the school could lead to a healthier nation. The campaign by PCRM points out the fact that the average school is pushed to serve high-fat, high-cholesterol foods. This is in spite of the knowledge that a low fat, vegetarian diet helps prevent obesity, heart disease and diabetes. The federal child nutrition legislation does not have provisions in place to support vegetarian meals in schools. News 8 reports that the ads will remain in place at Union Station until August 31.

Opinion: Let’s All Get A Kenyan Birth Certificate

Do you have a Kenyan birth certificate? It’s not hard to get one with the Kenyan Birth Certificate Generator. All it takes is a few minutes to fill out the details and you can be Kenyan or make a Birther’s version of President Obama’s birth document.
This past weekend ‘Birther’ Orly Taitz said she had the real birth certificate of President Obama showing Kenya as the nation he was born in. It was a forgery. The real document that she was using was for David Jeffrey Bomford who was born in April 1959 in Australia. Salon reports:

“That is ridiculous. Little old person in Adelaide, the President of the United States. I don’t know whether to laugh about it or not, be worried about it,” Bomford said. “It is interesting, someone from here being involved in a conspiracy — that is so funny …. It’s definitely a copy of my certificate. It’s so laughable it’s ridiculous.”

There is plenty of software on the Internet to produce fake documents. Of course Taitz is not admitting to committing the crime of fraud when it comes to the fake documents that she paraded over the Internet early this week. President Obama’s birth certificate has been public since June 2008. That hasn’t stopped the Birthers from looking into any dark corner to find something that will prove their claims. Each claim gets wilder. Obama is a closet Muslim. Obama is Kenyan. Obama runs with scissors. One day we may even hear a rumor that Obama plays with dolls. Perhaps we should all make our own Kenyan birth certificates and be part of the Birthers’ 15 minutes of fame.

The leaders behind the ‘birther’ movement

The Internet has been the site of a group that would like to throw the current president of the United States out of office for not being born in the USA. The group has been dubbed the ‘birthers.’ But who are they and why are they spreading lies?
The ‘birthers’ are a few men that are intent on using the Internet as a means of spreading lies about President Obama’s birth. While his birth certificate has been approved and the fact that security clearance would be required in a bid for the highest office in the land these people are trying to create discord in the nation. Anthony Martin of Chicago was the first to head to court demanding to see the original birth certificate in Hawaii. He was denied. Perhaps had he been allowed the ‘birthers’ would have faded away with their tails between their legs. Instead the movement grew. Anthony not only went on the rampage over Obama’s nation of birth but tossed out to the media that Obama’s religion background was Muslim. The Kansas City Star reports:

“I would like to claim the role of ringmaster in this birth certificate circus,” Martin said last week on his Web site. “From the first day I began writing about Barack Obama’s secret life five years ago, Obama has obstructed access to the truth about himself. Obama’s sycophants in the media and government have tried to protect him from the truth and the facts of his life.”

While Martin admits that he has doubts about the claims to a Kenyan birth he has not stopped his online campaign. Martin is also known for his anti-Sematic comments.

“I am able to understand how the Holocaust took place, and with every passing day feel less and less sorry that it did.”

Ms. Orly Taitz is another on the “birthers’ wagon. She is a lawyer and dentist out of Orange County, Califorina. She has the means to not only file lawsuits but to travel around the nation spouting her claims that Obama is not a citizen. She also asks for people to fund her accounts on PayPal. She is behind the lawsuit where an officer in the Army Reserve wanted to not serve in Afghanistan because of the birthers claims. The Army excused the man saying he could back out because he was a volunteer. Taitz claims she has proof of a Kenya birth but won’t show it. The Kansas City Star quotes her:

“I don’t need to prove anything,” she said. “He’s the one that needs to provide proper evidence that he is qualified to be president.”

Another lawsuit filer is Philip Berg of Pennsylvania. He’s known for his conspiracy theories, including a lawsuits against every male Bush for two generations for the government’s alleged involvement of the 2001 attacks (9/11). He is also against Taitz saying that she should be disbarred. Jerome Corsi fights as a birther with the pen. He’s a writer at WorldNetDaily. There is now a ‘breaking news’ story on a Kenyan birth certificate.

“It’s a fake document,” he said on Fox News. “I’m convinced it’s a forgery,” he said on

Corsi was one of the authors of “Unfit for Command.” The book attacks John Kerry, one of the 2004 Democratic presidential nominees. He doesn’t just give it to the Democrats though, targeting Bush for allegedly surrendering U.S. sovereignty to the new North American Union. The union would put the three nations of North America into one governing body. These people though could not have spread their views without help. The movement also shows the power of the Internet when it comes to gathering like minded people in smear campaigns. Not only is the Internet pushing the ideas onto the public. CNN has been known to host the leaders. Rush Limbaugh has joked about the questions over where Obama was born. This movement doesn’t appear to be going away soon. Those behind it are known for filing lawsuit after lawsuit. The question is will they make a huge difference in the general population.

Cheney’s memoir due in 2011

Threshold Editions, a division of Simon and Schuster has signed a book deal with former Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney’s memoir is due to be released a few months after President George W. Bush’s is due to hit the stores.
The book, yet to be titled will cover his career in government from when he served as President Ford’s chief of staff through his Bush years. The book will also cover Cheney’s involvement as chief executive officer of the oilfield services provider, Halliburton Co.

AP quotes Cheney:

“I’m persuaded there are a lot of interesting stories that ought to be told,” Cheney said. “I want my grandkids, 20 or 30 years from now, to be able to read it and understand what I did, and why I did it.”

Cheney is said to be writing the book in longhand and on his computer with the help of his daughter Liz Cheney.

Generally books written by vice presidents do not attract much public interest. In the case of Dick Cheney however, it is expected that his memoir will be a best seller.

Its speculated that the deal will fetch Cheney about $2 million.

“He knows he’s called Darth Vader,” said Simon & Schuster’s Carolyn Reidy. “He’s aware of how he’s been portrayed. But I didn’t feel any defensiveness when I met with him. I remember thinking, `I can see why four presidents gave him very responsible jobs in their administrations.'”

CIA involvement with the 1953 Iran coup affects the future

Iran and the US have a long history when it comes to politics. On June 4, 2009 President Obama admitted the CIA was involved in the 1953 Iranian coup. The past is very important when it comes to current conditions with the Middle Eastern nation.
As far back as 1953, the CIA has been playing in the background of the Middle Eastern nation working on overthrowing the government. The overthrowing of Iran’s government was the first for the CIA.

The puppet masters made sure their were tentacles well placed within the money pits of oil. They laid out who would be the prime minister’s replacement and used propaganda within local media to achieve their objectives.

The wheels had been set in motion in 1953 when Iran’s Parliament voted to nationalize the oil industry. Britain was the first to place sanctions in place as Dr. Mohammed Mosadegh was elected prime minister.

Mosadegh refused to cave in to demands.

At the time, the Americans decided to study the situation, as it was feared the Soviets would be in power in Iran.

Those tentacles were able to work well when in March 1953 a general from the Iranian army approached the American Embassy about helping out an army-led coup.

Within a month the Iran fund was as $1 million to be used in any way to take Mosadegh out of power.

The New York Times reports:

“A shah-General Zahedi combination, supported by C.I.A. local assets and financial backing, would have a good chance of overthrowing Mosadegh,” officials wrote, “particularly if this combination should be able to get the largest mobs in the streets and if a sizable portion of the Tehran garrison refused to carry out Mosadegh’s orders.”

By May 1953, the CIA sent Dr. Wilber to Cyprus to make the initial coup plans. The meeting between Wilber and Norman Darbyshire, chief of the Iran branch of British intelligence left both sides not trusting the other nor that of the ability of General Zahedi to be able to pull of the coup.

Regardless of the doubts the CIA’s Tehran station started a gray propaganda strike passing out anti-Mosadegh cartoons in the streets and working the local press with negative articles.

The plot was in motion even though the final approval had yet to come from President Eisenhower and the Shah was reluctant as a warrior.

The British met in June with the American intelligence officials putting the last touches on the strategy. Soon Kermit Roosevel was on the scene in Tehran to direct the proceedings.

The Shah proved to be a problem from the start. While the CIA had directed him to stand fast and allow the agency to work behind the scenes stirring up unrest and getting General Zahedi appointed as prime minister.

On July 11 Eisenhower signed off on the plan. Early in August the pressure was stepped up by the CIA. Operatives from Iran pretended to be Communists issued threats to Muslims leaders. At least one prominent Muslim was also bombed by CIA agents in the guise of Communist.

On August 4 the results of a referendum was rigged to be in Mosadegh’s favor. The New York Times reported on the same days that the prime minister had won with 99.9 percent of the vote.

The New York Times reports:

“On Aug. 3rd,” the secret history says, “Roosevelt had a long and inconclusive session with the Shah,” who “stated that he was not an adventurer, and hence, could not take the chances of one. “Roosevelt pointed out that there was no other way by which the government could be changed and the test was now between Mosadegh and his force and the Shah and the army, which was still with him, but which would soon slip away.”

On August 13, the Shah signed decrees saying that he would support an army based coup backing General Zahedi. The stage was set.

On August 15, 1953 the coup began in Iran. It failed within hours because of loose lips. Tehran radio was the first to announce that a failed coup against the government had been attempted.

“Headquarters spent a day featured by depression and despair,” the history states, adding, “The message sent to Tehran on the night of Aug. 18 said that ‘the operation has been tried and failed,’ and that ‘in the absence of strong recommendations to the contrary operations against Mosadegh should be discontinued.'”

On August 19, the coup did take place. As the Moscow radio was telling of the American failure in Iran the reality was the Mosadegh government was in tatters.

“It was a day that should never have ended,” the C.I.A.’s secret history said, describing Aug. 19, 1953. “For it carried with it such a sense of excitement, of satisfaction and of jubilation that it is doubtful whether any other can come up to it.”

Obama’s admission that the CIA was involved in the coup was the first time a sitting U.S. president owned up to the involvement.

AFP reported:

“For many years, Iran has defined itself in part by its opposition to my country, and there is in fact a tumultuous history between us,” the US president said.

“Since the Islamic revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against US troops and civilians. This history is well known.

“Rather than remain trapped in the past, I’ve made it clear to Iran’s leaders and people that my country is prepared to move forward. The question now is not what Iran is against, but rather what future it wants to build.”

Because of the past, the United States has to tread carefully when it comes to current conditions in Iran. Any movements that could point to CIA involvement could prove to be disastrous for future foreign policy in the Middle East.

Slamming To The Word White House Style

For the first time ever slam poetry was in the House. The White House, that is. On Tuesday night the First Family hosted the poetry event for 100 people.

Last year Obama promised while on the campaign trail that he would bring poets and musicians into the White House to “open up the White House and remind people this it is the people’s house.”

He has already made good that promise with concerts by Fergie, Stevie Wonder, Sweet Honey in the Rock and Earth Wind & Fire since taking office. Tuesday night though was the first Poetry Slam, a form of poetry that takes the word and brings it out with energy as the verses are performed.

Tonight’s event features James Earl Jones; poet Mayda Del Valle, novelist Michael Chabon, jazz musicians ELEW and Esperanza Spalding and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, not the average mix for the urban poetry form.

NBC New York reports:

“It’s an incredible honor any time to receive an invitation from the White House and President Obama,” said Arizona Rep. Krysten Sinema, who is among the 100 people invited to attend the event. “But to see our nation’s talent and be a part of history at the first-ever White House Poetry Slam is amazing. I’m very excited to be a part of this moment.”

FEMA evicting Katrina trailer dwellers at end of May

t doesn’t matter though that FEMA programs meant to house those in the trailers have failed to do what they have been funded to do. May 31 is the last day the trailers will be allowed for the still homeless Katrina victims. They may not have a place to go but FEMA isn’t interested, at the end of May families must leave the trailers that the agency rented out to victims of Katrina. Letters have been sent and received by the residents saying to vacate their trailer on May 30 or face legal action.

The New York Times reports:

“All I can say is that this is a temporary program, it was always intended as a temporary program, and at a certain point all temporary programs must end,” said Brent Colburn, the agency’s director of external affairs. He said there would be no extensions.

More that 4,000 Louisiana homeowners have only gotten money to rebuild their homes in the last six months. They are the lucky ones, many more haven’t any funding to help them rebuild their damaged homes. There hasn’t been time nor the money for those victims to have their former homes ready by the deadline that will take away their temporary housing at the end of May.

The promised 500 Katrina Cottages have yet to make it onto streets. Meant to replace the FEMA trailers they each cost $25,000 to build. Despite a $74.5 million grant to get the homes finished in time for those living in the trailers no one will be moving from their trailer to a cottage. reports:

In their responses to the audit, the LRA and Cypress offered similar explanations: It’s not our fault, and we’re making progress.

Rep. Neil Abramson, D-New Orleans, called that “typical finger-pointing that accomplishes nothing.”

“It’s taken a long time, and we’re just not getting anything done,” Abramson said. “It’s the typical government bureaucracy at its slowest.”

At this point the homes should be finished by September 17, 2009 according to FEMA. Of course LRA Executive Director Paul Rainwater has backed away from 500 to 300 units as a more realistic goal.

Construction has only begun on two sites: one in Baton Rouge and another at Jackson Barracks in New Orleans. The Jackson Barracks units will house state Military Department employees.

NOLA reports:

Rainwater said Monday, “We are making progress in the program, with infrastructure under construction at Jackson Barracks, slabs poured and framing under way at sites in Baton Rouge and environmental reviews well under way in other locations.”

The Katrina Cottages are part of the Road Home program for single-family homeowners.

It’s not just those in the trailers that will be out on the curb at the end of May, those being housed in hotels are also about to lose their funding.

Most of those still in the trailers and hotels aren’t able to just run out and get a good paying job to help keep a roof over their heads after the levees broke during Hurricane Katrina. Those still in the trailers are mainly the elderly, disabled or both, including double amputees, diabetes patients, the mentally ill, people prone to seizures and others dependent on oxygen tanks.

The New York Times highlighted the plight of Phillipp Seelig, 70. He is a retired handyman who expects to be living on an empty lot when FEMA hauls away the trailer he’s been residing in at the end of May.
He didn’t release the needed grant to elevate his home to the required height until December. His duplex should be ready to live in around July.

“They had helped me out up until this point, and I couldn’t believe that they suddenly decided, no, we’re not going to let you finish the house, we’re just going to take the trailer, and you can sit here on an empty lot,” said Philipp Seelig.

The government’s stance is that they have bent over backwards to help people get housing and that they just haven’t taken it.

Those interviewed by the New York Times have a different story. Take the case of Troy Porter, 47, who has been in a hotel since last June. He suffers from depression.

“The only time I’ve seen FEMA workers was in the last couple of weeks, where they come and give you the paper saying this month is your last month,” Mr. Porter said. “They handed you the paper, and they turned around and walked off.”

Last year a program to unveil a more intensive caseworker system for those in temporary housing by the Louisiana Recovery Authority never made it past the paper. Now that authority is asking homeless service groups to help those who will be homeless at the end of the month.

FEMA is saying that it has offered to sell the trailers to residents for as little as $300. That is the opposite of what those in the trailer say is happening. They are asking to buy their trailer and being told they can’t do that.

Jane Batty, Mr. Seelig’s longtime tenant, who has her own trailer next to his, was not surprised. “There is only one way to categorize this kind of behavior: it’s crazy making,” she said. “They’ve always had a different answer or had a different ploy to get us out of trailers that we had already agreed to buy.”

Canadian Prime Minister Makes Surprise Afghanistan Trip

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made a surprise trip to Kandahar Airfield on Thursday. While visiting the troops he warned that the increase of NATO troops in the area will lead to more violence.
This was Harper’s third visit to Kandahar.

The increase of 17,000 soldiers from the United States will allow Canada to be more effective Harper said while touring the military post.

CP 24 reports:

“The addition of American troops will allow us to do everything we’re doing now but on a much bigger scale and able to multi-task more effectively,” he said.

Harper used the time to emphasis the key development projects that are being undertaken by Canadian soldiers.

CBC reports:

Harper said that when the Canadian mission began in 2002, the Taliban had been running Afghanistan as though it were a medieval country.

“Those dark desperate days have ended. You have brought hope to those who have none,” Harper said at an appearance at Kandahar Airfield.

Harper visited the Dahla dam project that Canada has committed $50 million to help rebuilt along with the roads and waterways that are connected to it. The residents of the area rely on the dam for irrigation.

The Vancouver Sun reports:

Achievements “have not come without a cost,” Harper acknowledged in his address to soldiers. “Canada has paid dearly for this mission with our most precious asset, our brave sons and daughters . . . As prime minister, the phone calls that I make to the families of the fallen are the most difficult part of my job.”

Harper announced that Canada will also be sending $2 million in aid for UNICEF to use for education for the estimated 18,000 children in Kandahar.

Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walter Natynczyk and Ron Hoffmann, Canada’s ambassador to Afghanistan joined Harper on Thursday.

“Canada was spread thin in the past,” Hoffmann told reporters as the prime minister handed out coffee to soldiers nearby.

“There has not been sufficient forces on the ground to do this job,” Natynczyk later added.

“We’ve been trying to do this job with about 40,000 troops. That is totally insufficient.”

Study: Canada’s Latest Bunch of MPs Have Less Education

Who says the common man can’t rule the land? In Canada the latest MP’s are less educated, less experienced and more non-ethnic their counterpoints in the United States. A study says they are also more likely to have business in their background.
The Public Policy Forum report says that the last election brought in a batch of MPs that have less than five years total experience in politics. Only three per cent of MPs have more than 15 years of experience and almost all of those are Liberals.

One small change that the last election changed was ethnic diversity or lack there of.

Education wise about two-thirds of MPs do have a university degree. In the United States 93 per cent of representatives have at least one degree.

Being elected in Canada doesn’t require as much money which may pinpoint why Canada’s MPs may have more middle class representatives than in the United States. It costs about $62,000 to run a campaign in Canada for MP. Most House seat campaigns in the United States fall just short of $800,000.

While fresh ‘blood’ in Parliament keeps the system fresh some critics wonder if it’s for the best.

The Canadian Press reports:

“We have very few career politicians currently in our Parliament and most of our MPs are new in terms of their experience. They’re still learning the ropes. And that might in part explain the partisanship and rancour that we see in the House of Commons today.”

David Mitchell, president of the Public Policy Forum cites “an unprecedented level of partisan acrimony and a high degree of distrust between elected representatives and the federal public service.”

“With 75 per cent of our politicians knowing only these dynamics of minority Parliament, has our political culture been altered? Is this a positive development?

“I think some important questions are raised.”

Doctor of Political Science Stephen Purdy talked to Digital Journal on the telephone about his thoughts of the findings. In his opinion “real life experience in the community service sector is the most important element when it comes to becoming an MP, regardless of education background. While education can be important element in the politics of it all the point of an MP is to be a true representative of their riding and for those in office to know what the people at home need and want. They need to be able to work for the people. Law and business degrees can be important but just as important is knowing the inner workings of their communities.”

Dr. Purdy also said that there are similarities between the United States House and the Parliament of Canada as they are both democracy in action.

The lack of experience that may be facing today’s Parliament isn’t as much a concern for Dr. Purdy as if the MPs don’t stick around long enough to bring about changes that are needed.

“In the best of both worlds there would be those who have the education and those who have the real life work experience within communities forming the government.”

Supreme Court Justice David Souter Retiring

For more than 18 years Supreme Court Justice David Souter has sat on the nation’s highest court. Source says he might be retiring at the age of 69 in June when the current court recesses.
Souter has been on the Supreme Court since 1990 when then President George H.W. Bush appointed him. He proved to be a moderate judge to the disappointment of many conservatives.

Filling Souter’s seat will be President Obama’s first Supreme Court appointment. The last seat filled was Samuel Alito in 2006 by President George W. Bush.

Souter’s announcement was a surprise to Washington. While the announcement was a surprise it is known in Washington circles that Souter much prefers the quiet of his quiet home to the life he leads in Washington D.C.

The Rhodes Scholar earned his law degrees at Harvard University. He rose through the ranks becoming New Hampshire’s attorney general in 1976 and became a state court judge in 1978. In 1990 he was on the federal appeals court in Boston just a few months before he was picked by President Bush for the Supreme Court.