Thursday, January 26, 2012
Posted by Hollywood at 11:16 AM
In the increasingly rough Republican campaign, no candidate has wrapped himself in the mantle of Ronald Reagan more often than Newt Gingrich. “I worked with President Reagan to change things in Washington,” “we helped defeat the Soviet empire,” and “I helped lead the effort to defeat Communism in the Congress” are typical claims by the former speaker of the House.
The claims are misleading at best. As a new member of Congress in the Reagan years — and I was an assistant secretary of state — Mr. Gingrich voted with the president regularly, but equally often spewed insulting rhetoric at Reagan, his top aides, and his policies to defeat Communism. Gingrich was voluble and certain in predicting that Reagan’s policies would fail, and in all of this he was dead wrong.
But the most bitter battleground was often in Congress. Here at home, we faced vicious criticism from leading Democrats — Ted Kennedy, Christopher Dodd, Jim Wright, Tip O’Neill, and many more — who used every trick in the book to stop Reagan by denying authorities and funds to these efforts. On whom did we rely up on Capitol Hill? There were many stalwarts: Henry Hyde, elected in 1974; Dick Cheney, elected in 1978, the same year as Gingrich; Dan Burton and Connie Mack, elected in 1982; and Tom DeLay, elected in 1984, were among the leaders.
But not Newt Gingrich. He voted with the caucus, but his words should be remembered, for at the height of the bitter struggle with the Democratic leadership Gingrich chose to attack . . . Reagan.
The best examples come from a famous floor statement Gingrich made on March 21, 1986. This was right in the middle of the fight over funding for the Nicaraguan contras; the money had been cut off by Congress in 1985, though Reagan got $100 million for this cause in 1986. Here is Gingrich: “Measured against the scale and momentum of the Soviet empire’s challenge, the Reagan administration has failed, is failing, and without a dramatic change in strategy will continue to fail. . . . President Reagan is clearly failing.” Why? This was due partly to “his administration’s weak policies, which are inadequate and will ultimately fail”; partly to CIA, State, and Defense, which “have no strategies to defeat the empire.” But of course “the burden of this failure frankly must be placed first on President Reagan.” Our efforts against the Communists in the Third World were “pathetically incompetent,” so those anti-Communist members of Congress who questioned the $100 million Reagan sought for the Nicaraguan “contra” rebels “are fundamentally right.” Such was Gingrich’s faith in President Reagan that in 1985, he called Reagan’s meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev “the most dangerous summit for the West since Adolf Hitler met with Neville Chamberlain in 1938 in Munich.”
Posted by Hollywood at 9:20 AM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
In an interview with Rock Cellar magazine, Stone was asked if an economic collapse would lead to the fall of the American “empire.”
“I think it’s a given,” Stone said. “There’s no way that we can continue this spending spree. In fact, I think in many ways the most interesting candidate — I’d even vote for him if he was running against Obama — is Ron Paul. Because he’s the only one of anybody who’s saying anything intelligent about the future of the world.”
Stone is also known for embracing some of far-left’s most notorious figures, such as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
Posted by Hollywood at 11:42 AM
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Brian Maloney at the Radio Equalizer believes that Smiley has finally gotten his "mind right" about criticizing Obama. His evidence is the fact that the Smiley & West show edited out critical remarks about Obama made by actor/singer Harry Belafonte on the satellite re-feed of the show.
Here is the transcript of the censored portion of the Harry Belafonte interview which was discovered by Maloney:
HARRY BELAFONTE: When I think of Barack Obama and I think about all that is at stake here I’ve really long since left talking about how many terms he will be as a president. My question is what legacy will he leave having had the opportunity to serve under such hugely dramatic circumstances and boggled the mind and boggled people’s thinking and had such a huge impact on the universal state of things.
And how could he have had such a splendid opportunity to do more than most presidents would have ever been able to do and he let that opportunity slip away from him. And I am very cautious of the fact of those who thinks that he has some hidden agenda and that if only he could be given a second term for us to see the new light new things will be revealed. A new efforts will be made to take us to a place other than where we have been and where we languish.
I just don’t trust that. I don’t think that a safe way an accurate way to look at the scenario. I think if there was the kind of moral compass serving Barack Obama in the way we had all hoped, the moral force would have helped him make choices. The absence of that force in his equations the absence of that barometer to guide him when he has to make these decision which are hugely complicated, especially from the political perspective. He should have come to the table with things that I think would have helped us in this moment of crisis.
Maloney speculates about the reasons for censoring out this controversial portion of the interview:
So what's the problem, is it simply too close to the election? Is Smiley attempting to tone things down after the MLK disinvite? Or was it something in particular Belafonte said? If we find out you'll be the first to know.
And if Tavis Smiley can come up with a plausible explanation for this blatant censorship we sure would like to know. Oh, and if Smiley is worried about future White House invites, your humble correspondent would recommend that he show up in disguise for events like the Alice in Wonderland party next Halloween. Humpty Dumpty or the Mad Hatter? Your choice Mr. Smiley.
Posted by Hollywood at 9:04 AM
Friday, January 6, 2012
December’s jobs report, however, is expected to reinforce what appears to be a clear improvement in hiring, while still at a sluggish level. Economists are expecting nonfarm payroll growth for last month of about 155,000, when accounting for layoffs of roughly 25,000 public sector workers.
“In general, economic growth looks like it’s been a bit better in the last two to three months, so that’s generally correlated with hiring. Weather was very mild so that would tend to help things like construction hiring,” said Tilton. Goldman Sachs economists’ forecast of 175,000 nonfarm payrolls is among the highest for the December report, which will be released at 8:30am ET Friday.
Mesirow Financial chief economist Diane Swonk expects to see 155,000 jobs added to December nonfarm payrolls and an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent. “It’s a particular wild card this month because they are doing annual revisions of seasonal factors,” said Swonk, who notes the adjustment could add an unexpected boost for the numbers.
She too expects the December report to be better than those in some of the coming months, as Europe’s debt crisis continues and Washington budget and tax talks come back into focus.
“I’m looking at a slowdown in growth as we move into 2012 from the fourth quarter… we’ve gotten an uneven recovery that’s accelerating. That’s kind of like ‘a glass half full,’” she said. “I think we’re going to have some rocky months ahead. I think we’re going to have a slowdown in growth in the first half of the year with Europe still volatile, wreaking havoc on the stock market. Keeping volatility high just keeps people gun shy from hiring more.”
“If we can get between 100,000 and 200,000 (monthly nonfarm payrolls) for the whole year, that would make me extremely happy,” she said.
Economists are mostly dismissing the ADP report for December, which showed that 325,000 private-sector jobs were added. The report is impacted by seasonal factors and has been overinflated in December before. But Swonk said an important element of that report showed that more than 80 percent of the new jobs were from small business, a trend that was also apparent last month.
“That’s good news and that story continues to grow,” she said. “I think that’s very important, and it’s one we want to keep momentum on, and that’s small business formation … That’s seen a real turn.”
On the negative side, the layoffs of public workers continues and now it’s shifting back to the federal payroll as opposed to state and local government workers.
“We’ve got postal workers. We’ve got veterans. We’ve got defense coming,” she said. She estimates 25,000 public-sector layoffs will be included in the December employment report.
Credit Suisse economist Jonathan Basile said an area that may show improvement is transportation, reflecting holiday hiring by parcel-delivery services. “They hire massively in December and then they cut that workforce in January,” he said.
He expects to see a total of 150,000 nonfarm payrolls. Basile does see a positive in the unemployment claims, and he notes the weekly number is more closely tied to the employment report than it has been in the past. The number has been below 400,000 for the past month.
“When you dip below 360,000, it’s really in solid positive territory for jobs. It really diminishes the chances that jobs cuts are on the table,” he said.
Improvements in the jobs report has already come as the unemployment claims dipped. “It wasn’t the hiring side that was doing the work. It was the firing side,” he said.
Posted by Hollywood at 8:44 AM