Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for April 2nd, 2009

Trouble in paradise: allegations of Indonesian vote fraud

Posted by Charles II on April 2, 2009

Patrick Guntensperger, ATimes:

There is a rising risk that Indonesia’s next elected government will face an immediate legitimacy crisis if mounting complaints about manipulation of official voters’ lists are challenged by losing parties and candidates. That contentious prospect threatens to make next week’s legislative and July’s presidential polls the rockiest of the country’s decade-old democratic era.

Recent revelations that 27% of the names on the official voters’ list were fraudulent in the November 2008 gubernatorial elections in East Java province have cast a shadow over hopes for a smooth democratic transition at the polls. Police investigators in the pivotal province determined that of the 1.2 million names on the official voters’ list, over 345,000 were underage, fictitious, dead or otherwise ineligible to cast ballots. …Indonesia’s Independent Election Supervisory Committee (KIPP) and the Indonesian Voters Committee (KPI) have also alleged high-level fraud and manipulation of lists for political purposes.

Posted in international | 3 Comments »

What Was That Again About Foreign Leaders Pushing Around Obama?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 2, 2009

I think that particular meme just got shot down — Obama just pulled off one heck of a negotiation and kept both China and France (not to mention Germany) from walking away from the table:

France and other European nations have been pushing for rules and regulations to apply to various tax havens; Germany’s Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck has said “these tax havens are also places where unregulated financial market deals are made.”

But Chinese leaders fear a crackdown would hurt banking centers in Macao, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Other countries agree, though they are less outspoken publicly.

The exchange between Sarkozy and Hu got so heated, said a source — who is not a member of the Obama administration — it was threatening the unity of the G-20 leaders’ meeting.

Obama first pulled aside Sarkozy and discussed possible compromises; then he did the same for Hu; then he brought both men together to work out the final deal. It’s not 100% of what either guy wanted, but it’s a good starting point. Something similar could be said for the conference as a whole. There will be another G-20 later on this year; we’ll see what gets addressed then

Posted in China, France, infrastructure, international, President Obama | Tagged: | Comments Off on What Was That Again About Foreign Leaders Pushing Around Obama?

Expect Republican Opposition

Posted by MEC on April 2, 2009

“Expect Republican opposition” is a statement that applies to pretty much everything the Obama Administration does.

Specifically, though, I expect the Senate Republicans to stall as much as they can on the nomination of Robert M. Groves to head the Census Bureau.

Groves is a former Census Bureau associate director of statistical design, serving from 1990-92. He has spent decades researching ways to improve survey response rates….

When he was the bureau’s associate director, Groves recommended that the 1990 census be statistically adjusted to make up for an undercount of roughly 5 million people, many of them minorities in dense urban areas who tend to vote for Democrats.

Republicans won’t want a full and accurate count of the U.S. population anymore than they wanted a full and accurate count of Florida votes in the 2000 Presidential election. And for the same reason.

Posted in Obama Administration | 1 Comment »

Republicans In Disarray!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 2, 2009

— Watch as John “Get Off My Lawn!” McCain dukes it out with Mitch McConnell over who has the right to submit The Official GOP budget.

— Meanwhile, John Boehner’s April Fool’s Day elaboration of his original Underpants Gnome budget (the one that served to widen the fissures in the already-fractious Republican House Caucus) is, as Bob Cesca notes, insane.

— Catch a falling star: Sarah Palin, who not too long ago was being hailed as The Savior of the Republican Party and the front-runner for the GOP’s 2012 presidential nomination, has run into a spot of trouble lately. John McCain, the guy who lifted her from obscurity in Alaska, now says he won’t endorse her for 2012 — ouch. What’s more, She’s been booted from being the headliner at a key Republican shindig this coming June (and booted in favor of Newt Gingrich, of all people). Palin’s falling approval ratings (and her rising negative ratings) might could have something to do with this. So, of course, could the fact that she’s a high-handed egotistical lightweight who has finally hit her Peter Principle point.

Posted in budget, Congress, John McCain, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Sarah Palin, Silly Republicans | Comments Off on Republicans In Disarray!

The Good News Thread

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 2, 2009

I knew about some of this stuff, but not all of it:

The stock market has had its best month in six years…that is right the “disasterous” (snark) Obama policies have rocketed the stock market up in the last 30 days since his policies have begin to take effect.  After declining for a record 6 quarters in a row, the market took an Obama rebound as people actually believe that President Obama is great and will help our country back on track……

  1. Consumer spending rises 2 months in a row….That is right after falling 4.3% under the previous POTUS GWB in 2008, consumer spending is turning around and actually rising.  This is no April fools joke, the tide is turning.…

3.Consumer confidence is rising according to Gallup…After a dreadful 2008 of falling consumer confidence, a new Gallup poll suggests that consumer sentiment is starting to turn around and get better…are we at happy days yet….certaintly not but it is a sign of light at the end of the tunnel……

  1. Durable Goods orders rebound in February…Another sign of an improving economy is the purchase of what are called “Durable Goods” that is large appliances, automobiles, electronics and consumer equipment…generally stuff that are long-lived consumer assets.  We enjoyed the biggest increase since December 2007 of 3.4%…and Obama policies are making that happen as well….…

  1. Sales of new homes rose the fastest rate 10 months…That is right, after finally electing a great POTUS and a Democratic congress, finally there is some movement in the depressed housing market as sales increased 4.7%.  Yes there was a decline in prices from last year too, but increased demand is the first step to price stabalization.…

  1. There were 4.4 million new jobs filled in January and 3 million news job postings made…Despite the fact that unemployment is going up and will for some time (unemployment is always a lagging indicator as firms add workers slowly as recessions end) there is robust hiring in certain industries and the government…the government jobs you can personally thank the Democrats and Barack Obama for those new positions……

  1. Low interest rates and increased liquidity have boosted mortgage applications and creating new jobs…Thanks to the Obama administration’s decisive attack to revive our banking system crippled by the GWB administration we have the lowest mortgage interest rates in 2 generations and so much increased demand for mortgages and re-financing that some banks are actually hiring instead of laying off employees……

  1. Banks are paying back TARP funds earlier than scheduled…Thanks to improving economic conditions and tough scrutiny on banks as well as executive compensation, 4 banks have already paid back 100% of the TARP funds with interest.  That is right, the Obama policies (as well as his much maligned Treasury Secretary) have made money for the taxpayers already on 4 banks that repaid the TARP funds……

  1. Solar company revenue increased 69%…Thanks to Obama’s commitment to green eneregy initiatives, this small company has had significant increase in revenue that includes a government contract.  Such a government investment would have been unheard of in the GWB we only like carbon-based energy regime……

  1. More reasons to be optimistic about the economic future…Obama’s decisive action to fix the GWB recession has yeilded almost immediate results in economic terms including…Banks turning profitable, Money velocity is up, Airline traffic is better than expected, Stock rally is showing in the broader markets (Russel 5000), The tax cuts started to get into paychecks today of middle class Americans, Obama keeping most of his promises, and more great stuff to come……

Oh, and they’re hiring at Hanford to do cleanup of nuke waste, thanks to the stimulus money.

Posted in Good Causes, Good Things | 2 Comments »

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