Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Last Call

Oregon Democratic Rep. David Wu is resigning in the wake of an increasingly strange sexual harassment issue with the teenaged granddaughter of a fundraiser that supposedly took place at Thanksgiving last year.

It has been the greatest privilege of my life to be a United States Congressman. Rare is the nation in which an immigrant child can become a national political figure. I thank God and my parents for the privilege of being an American.
Now, however, the time has come to hand on the privilege of high office. I cannot care for my family the way I wish while serving in Congress and fighting these very serious allegations.

The scandal itself is pretty bizarre:

Democratic Rep. David Wu admitted to a senior Democrat that he “did not use good judgment” during a sexual encounter with the teenage daughter of a family friend last Thanksgiving, although he claimed to have “done nothing illegal.”

Wu made the comment to Rep. John Larson (Conn.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, during a 40-minute meeting the two men had Monday afternoon.

Wu refused to answer any press questions about the alleged “unwanted sexual encounter” with the teenage girl as he left the House floor Monday evening

“I’m trying to take care of the interests of my family,” Wu said. He then drove off in the car of Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.).

As of yesterday, Wu was not expected to resign. Then this Survey USA poll came out this morning in his district:

The tide of public opinion in U.S. Rep. David Wu’s congressional district has turned squarely against him after a report that a young woman accused him of an unwanted sexual encounter came to light last week, a KATU News/Survey USA poll found Monday.

In the poll, a full 75 percent of the 500 registered voters surveyed in the 1st Congressional District want the seven-term Democrat to quit when asked if he should remain in office or resign.

Wu it seems is not going to be stupid enough to pull a total Weiner here.  He says he will resign as soon as the debt ceiling problem is resolved, but there's not really any reason for him to stay, the House would still need 217 votes to pass anything even with Wu's resignation.

Anyway, there's no way he would survive this one, and frankly it's the right thing to do.

Home, Home I'm Deranged, Part 25

Case Shiller numbers are in for May, and they are just as dismal as predicted.

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities dropped in the year ended May by the most in 18 months, adding to evidence the housing market is struggling.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities fell 4.5 percent from May 2010, the group said today in New York. The decline matched the median forecast of 32 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

A pipeline of foreclosures and uneven demand will keep prices from rising this year, discouraging new-home construction and delaying a rebound in housing. Shrinking home equity and an unemployment rate at 9.2 percent are weighing on consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.

“Home prices will remain depressed through most of this year, like the housing sector itself,” Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto, said before the report. “Foreclosures are definitely a huge issue. The overhang of unsold homes will take longer to clear as the job market is very soft.” 

The decline is accelerating again.  The housing depression continues unabated.  Should the worst case scenario happen with America's credit rating, the bottom will fall out of the mortgage market and the decline will rapidly pick up speed in its plummet.

Even if it we somehow avoid a downgrade, the housing market will continue to hurt for years.

Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion

This is pretty much the most awful thing you'll read today.

A high school student in Arkansas was blocked from receiving sole valedictorian honors this summer, despite earning the highest G.P.A. in her class and receiving only a single B in her four years at McGehee Secondary School. Kymberly Wimberly’s offense? She’s black. School administrators worried that Wimberly’s accomplishment would result in a “big mess” at the majority-white school, so Principal Darrell Thompson told the student’s mother “that he decided to name a white student as co-valedictorian,” even though the white student had a lower G.P.A. The matter is currently pending in federal court.

Pause.  Rewind.  A black female student makes valedictorian and is denied the honor because it would piss off the racist assholes in her school district.  And yes, she has every right to take this to court and absolutely rip this school district a new one.

But remember, there's no racism in 2011 because we have a black President.

House Broken Senator

This is what Obama has to deal with, ladies and gentlemen.  House Tea Party Republicans like Utah Sen. Mike Lee.

MATTHEWS: Okay, in ten days you want to change the United States Constitution by two-thirds vote in both houses? That’s what you’re demanding.

LEE: Yes. If possible we can’t change the Constitution just in Congress but we can submit it to the states. Let the states fight it out.

MATTHEWS: And you think you’re being reasonable by saying you want a two-thirds vote in the House, which is Republican, and in the Senate which is Democrat. You want the Democratic Senate, by a two-thirds vote, to pass a constitutional amendment or you want the house to come down?

LEE: Yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying and I’ve been saying this for six months.

Yes, Sen. Lee is saying that unless the Senate and President agree to GOP demands, America's "house will come down" and he's fine with this.   He's fine with hundreds of thousands of jobs being lost and our economy going back into recession if not depression because it means he can "win".  He doesn't give a damn about anything except his fanatical ideology.

But these are the leaders we have elected.  I fear for the country at this point.

Thanks For That Whole Risking Your Life Thing... Really

More than 10,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are homeless or in programs aimed at keeping them off the streets, a number that has doubled three times since 2006, according to figures released by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The result is a group of homeless veterans where 70% have a history of combat exposure with its psychological effects, says Pete Dougherty, a senior policy adviser on homelessness at the VA.
As of May, there were 10,476 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans either living on the streets, in temporary housing or receiving federal vouchers to help pay rent for an apartment.

There is some good news about improvements in funding and grants, but this is bothersome.  Nobody has risked more to keep us safe, and they deserve our best support.

Well, You Knew This Was Coming

GENESEO, N.Y. (AP) — Opponents of New York's gay marriage law are suing to overturn it one day after weddings began.
A representative of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and a rabbi say in a lawsuit filed Monday in state court that New York's Senate violated its own procedures and the state's open meetings law when it approved the bill on June 24.
Among other things, the lawsuit claims the Senate prevented lawmakers who opposed the bill from speaking. The suit also says the Senate didn't follow procedures that require a bill to go through appropriate committees before a full Senate vote.
Opponents of New York's gay marriage law had promised lawsuits.
Spokesmen for Senate Republicans and the state's attorney general declined to comment.

I don't get it.  The world as we know it didn't cease to exist.  Married gays did not run out and attack children and animals.  Good people remained good, bad people remained bad, and who they kissed goodnight didn't change that a bit.  I guess the bossy jackasses just aren't happy though.  Rights for everyone is scary as hell to the folks who want control.  

Also, you know it's bad when multiple spokesmen refuse comment on a topic their clients have beat to death in the press.  It means even they know this is a stinker.

America Is Moosing Out

Conservatives have been flogging Sarah Palin's new "documentary", The Undefeated, like it was the second coming.  Sadly, the reality is that the movie has officially bombed out of theaters after just two weeks and is now headed straight to pay-per-view.

Further evidence Sarah Palin has lost her crowd appeal.

The Undefeated, the documentary (propaganda film) Palin commissioned about herself ahead of a possible 2012 run, has already bottomed out at theaters.

The movie received wide release back in June but failed to catch on with the masses, pulling in a measly $24,000 despite opening in 14 Tea Party friendly venues, reports The Wrap.  An Atlantic writer witnessed the empty theater phenomenon firsthand.

In the hopes of making up some of that lost revenue the film's distributor Arc Entertainment is going the pay-per-view route and making the film available  through satellite companies such as DIRECTV, DISH Network and Time Warner Cable.

The Alaskan Grifter tried to insert herself into the debt ceiling argument with a Facebook post, but nobody cared either.  Her fifteen minutes of fame were up fifteen months ago, frankly.  Now she's just crashing and burning.

Dollar For Your Thoughts

No matter what kind of deal results on the debt ceiling, the Republicans have already driven the dollar off the cliff as the greenback hit a new record low against the Swiss franc.

Overall, the Swiss franc was the biggest beneficiary of the demand for safe havens, pushing the dollar to an all-time low of 0.80210 francs on trading platform EBS. The dollar has fallen in three of the last four sessions against the Swiss currency. It last traded at 0.8058, down 1.5 percent on the day.

"While a deal is still likely to be reached in the 11th hour every day that passes is likely to see investors become increasingly unwilling to hold dollar denominated assets," Esiner said.

The euro also fell versus the franc, dropping as much as 1.7 percent, as did sterling. Traders reported heavy selling of the pound ahead of Tuesday's UK gross domestic product data for the second quarter.

The U.S. debt ceiling stalemate, however, helped the euro gain against the dollar. It last traded at $1.4374, up 0.2 percent on the day, according to Reuters data.

Gold too is at record highs thanks to Republican economic terrorism.

Gold surged to a record high and oil and other commodities fell on Monday as investors flocked to safer assets with time quickly running out for U.S. lawmakers to reach a debt deal, raising the prospects for a disastrous default.

U.S. lawmakers appeared further apart than ever on a broad deficit reduction deal that would clear the way for Congress to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling as the clock ticked toward an Aug. 2 deadline.

Failure to resolve their differences in eight days could trigger global economic calamity and downgrade America's Triple-A credit rating.

The uncertainty lifted gold to above $1,620 an ounce, the fifth record high for bullion in less than two weeks. 

Republicans are destroying our currency here on purpose and are hoping you'll blame Obama.  There literally isn't anything they won't do in order to try to "win" in 2012...including destroying the dollar and our economy.

Changing The Law In A New York Minute

With gay marriage now the law in New York, a group of religious leaders are now suing the state because the law violates their constitutional rights and they're demanding an immediate injunction against any more same-sex marriages.

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms filed the lawsuit in state court in Livingston County where one of the plaintiffs, Reverend Jason McGuire, lives.

The lawsuit says it seeks to "preserve not only marriage as the union of one woman to one man, but also our constitutional liberties" which were allegedly violated by the voting procedures in the state assembly during approval of the law.

The group states that it was founded in 1982 by pastors "concerned about religious liberties and moral values in New York State."

Same-sex marriage violates the constitutional rights of people who don't like gay marriage?  That's the worst legal argument I think I've heard in a very long time.  At what point does a judge laugh this one out of the court system?  Furthermore, at what point were the procedures of the New York legislature violated?

This is beyond sour grapes, this is trying to nullify a law just because you don't agree with it.  I hope the legal system is merciless with these fools.


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