Obama Opens Criminal Probe Of Goldman

From a gleeful Associated Press:

140,000 petition signatures asking Attorney General Eric Holder for a criminal investigation of Goldman Sachs are displayed during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Wednesday, April 28, 2010.

Feds open criminal probe of Goldman

By Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer

April 30, 2010

WASHINGTON – Stepping up the pressure on Goldman Sachs two days after its executives were grilled and publicly rebuked by lawmakers, the Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation of the Wall Street powerhouse over mortgage securities deals it arranged.

At least the Associated Press admits that this is a matter of “stepping up the pressure” – albeit, inadvertently. Perhaps Mr. Obama will send in SWAT teams next.

The criminal inquiry follows civil fraud charges filed by the government against Goldman two weeks ago and as Congress pushes toward enacting sweeping legislation aimed at preventing another near-meltdown of the financial system.



Communists Protest Capitalist Wall Street

From a cheering Associated Press:

Workers march on Wall Street, protest big banks

By Cristian Salazar, Associated Press Writer Fri Apr 30

NEW YORK – Thousands of workers and union leaders marched on Wall Street on Thursday to express their anger over lost jobs, the taxpayer-funded bailout of financial institutions and questionable lending practices by big banks.

The rally was organized by the AFL-CIO and an association of community groups. It included a diverse mixture of union workers, activists, the unemployed, and homeowners threatened by foreclosure.

"These guys are like pirates," said small business owner Karen Casamassima, of New York, who called for "economic patriotism" and held up a sign depicting a jewel encrusted skull with the words, "Financial Terrorists."

Hmm. What an odd thing to have on a poster.



Why Isn’t The Recession Declared Over?

From a strangely un-exultant Reuters:

U.S. economy grows 3.2 pct in Q1

WASHINGTON, April 30 (Reuters) – The U.S. economy grew at a slightly slower-than-expected pace in the first quarter, held back by inventories and exports, but resurgent consumer spending offered evidence of a sustainable recovery, a government report showed on Friday.

Gross domestic product expanded at a 3.2 percent pace, the Commerce Department said in its first estimate — marking three straight quarters of growth as the economy climbs out of the worst recession since the 1930s.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast GDP, which measures total goods and services output within U.S. borders, growing at a 3.4 percent rate in the first three months of 2010 after a 5.6 percent growth pace in the fourth quarter.



How Self Absorbed Is Washington, DC?

How insular? Eleven of the Politico’s twelve ‘Top Stories’ are concerned with the upcoming White House Correspondents dinner:

POLITICO Top Stories

1. House GOP boosts Djou in Hawaii
House Republicans mount a behind-the-scenes effort to push Charles Djou over the finish line.

2. At 96, WHCA goes ecological
Association’s green efforts come amid frustrations in the D.C. environmental community.

3. The evolution of D.C.’s premier event
It’s the party that (almost) everyone loves to complain about but that (almost) everyone clamors to get into.

4. The high-wattage party circuit
For Washington’s social set, the weekend has become a hallmark of the year.

5. The man in the middle
POLITICO sits down with Jay Leno, who is making his fifth appearance at the annual dinner.

6. Networking with the stars
It’s no secret why pols go to the correspondents’ dinner, but what’s in it for the celebs who attend?



Forget Teddy – Obama Okays Wind Farm

From the New York Post:

Big blow to Kennedys

Prez gives OK for Cape Cod wind farm


April 29, 2010

Ted Kennedy must be spinning in his grave!

The Obama administration has given the green light for the nation’s first offshore wind farm off the pristine coast of Cape Cod — a surprise move in direct opposition to the wishes of the mighty Massachusetts political icon who helped propel the president to power.

US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made the announcement yesterday in Boston, capping a nine-year federal review process that pitted the liberal Kennedy clan — whose Hyannis Port compound is near the future wind farm — against fellow Dems and some environmental groups.

A month before he died, Ted Kennedy — who was one of President Obama’s earliest backers — wrote the president a letter begging him to stop the wind farm from being erected.



AP: Backlash Against AZ Law Is Growing

From those whippers up of hysteria at the Associated Press:

Day laborers, faith, immigrant and civil rights advocates gather to make posters, T-shirts and banners for use in Saturday’s planned immigration rally at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) headquarters on Thursday, April 29, 2010, in Los Angeles. Banner reads in Spanish: "We’re All Arizona."

Backlash against AZ law is growing

Lawsuits target AZ law amid calls for boycotts

JONATHAN J. COOPER and PAUL DAVENPORT, Associated Press Writers

Friday, 30 Apr 2010

PHOENIX (AP) – Backlash against a new Arizona law cracking down on illegal immigration is broadening from the political arena as opponents file lawsuits, entertainers and other countries denounce the measure and protesters chant for a boycott of the state at an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game in Chicago.



ACLU Gins Up The ‘Astroturf’ Against AZ

Here is the latest bit of ‘grassroots’ activism from ACLU:

What Happens in Arizona Stops in Arizona.

Arizona’s new law is a watershed moment for its blatant disregard of America’s most fundamental values of fairness and equality.

Only a vigorous rejection of this dangerous, un-American law will prevent it from spreading to other states.

There are numerous reports that state lawmakers elsewhere are already considering bills similar to that of Arizona’s. Even if you think your elected representatives and governor are sympathetic on this issue, they need to hear from you that you will not tolerate a dangerous racial profiling law in your state. Please write your state representatives and governor now.


Don’t let our state become Arizona

[Please personalize your message]

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to express my outrage about the bill that was just signed into law in Arizona.



AZ Law Brings About Reforms In Mexico

From an unappreciative Associated Press:

Mexico acknowledges migrant abuse, pledges changes


April 29, 2010

MEXICO CITY — Amnesty International called the abuse of migrants in Mexico a major human rights crisis Wednesday, and accused some officials of turning a blind eye or even participating in the kidnapping, rape and murder of migrants.

The group’s report comes at a sensitive time for Mexico, which is protesting the passage of a law in Arizona that criminalizes undocumented migrants.

The Interior Department acknowledged in a statement that the mainly Central American migrants who pass through Mexico on their way to the United States suffer abuses, but attributed the problem to criminal gangs branching out into kidnapping and extortion of migrants.

Which, of course, is an outright lie.



UN Puts Iran On ‘Women’s Commission’

From Fox News:

Mr. Obama sheds tears for women’s rights leader, Dorothy Height.

U.N. Elects Iran to Commission on Women’s Rights

April 29, 2010

NEW YORK — Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged "immodest."

Just days after Iran abandoned a high-profile bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council, it began a covert campaign to claim a seat on the Commission on the Status of Women, which is "dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women," according to its website.

Buried 2,000 words deep in a U.N.



Obama Wants To Soften Iran Sanctions

From the Washington Times:

White House seeks to soften Iran sanctions

By Eli Lake

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Obama administration is pressing Congress to provide an exemption from Iran sanctions to companies based in "cooperating countries," a move that likely would exempt Chinese and Russian concerns from penalties meant to discourage investment in Iran.

The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act is in a House-Senate conference committee and is expected to reach President Obama’s desk by Memorial Day.

"It’s incredible the administration is asking for exemptions, under the table and winking and nodding, before the legislation is signed into law," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican and a conference committee member, said in an interview. A White House official confirmed Wednesday that the administration was pushing the conference committee to adopt the exemption of "cooperating countries" in the legislation.



Suntanned Women To Be Arrested In Iran

From the UK’s Telegraph:

Suntanned women to be arrested under Islamic dress code

Iran has warned suntanned women and girls who looked like "walking mannequins" will be arrested as part of a new drive to enforce the Islamic dress code.

by Damien McElroy and Ahmad Vahdat
27 Apr 2010

Brig Hossien Sajedinia, Tehran’s police chief, said a national crackdown on opposition sympathisers would be extended to women who have been deemed to be violating the spirit of Islamic laws. He said: "The public expects us to act firmly and swiftly if we see any social misbehaviour by women, and men, who defy our Islamic values. In some areas of north Tehran we can see many suntanned women and young girls who look like walking mannequins.



Wind Farm Co To Lay Off 1/3rd Workers

From the ‘windmills of the mind’ of the Associated Press:

Transformator station and wind energy plants at the offshore wind energy park Alpha Ventus are pictured in the North Sea, about 45 kilometres (27 miles) north of the island of Borkum April 26, 2010.

Wind energy company to lay off workers at SD plant


April 28, 2010

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A company that makes and repairs wind turbine blades said Wednesday it is laying off about one-third of the work force at its plant in the eastern South Dakota town of Howard.

Knight & Carver Wind Group Inc. is laying off 16 of the Howard plant’s 55 workers this week, and the firm might temporarily close the plant in about a month, said Gary Kanaby, a company vice president in San Diego.



La Raza Demands More Cash For Latinos

A press release from the National Council of La Raza (‘The Race’):


Data Support Immediate Need for Policies to Improve Financial Stability and Opportunities

April 28, 2010

Washington, DC—Targeted approaches to stem the crises Latino children face are needed to protect the nation’s future according to an online database and report released today by NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, and coauthored by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB).

The data book, America’s Future: Latino Child Well-Being in Numbers and Trends, highlights the urgent need for policies that will improve the prospects of the 16 million Latino children in the U.S., 59% of whom live in low-income or poor families.



AP: Illegal Aliens To Leave Over AZ Law!

From an outraged Associated Press:

Illegal immigrants plan to leave over Ariz. law


April 28, 2010

PHOENIX — Many of the cars that once stopped in the Home Depot parking lot to pick up day laborers to hang drywall or do landscaping now just drive on by.

Arizona’s sweeping immigration bill allows police to arrest illegal immigrant day laborers seeking work on the street or anyone trying to hire them.

It won’t take effect until summer but it is already having an effect on the state’s underground economy.

"Nobody wants to pick us up," Julio Loyola Diaz says in Spanish as he and dozens of other men wait under the shade of palo verde trees and lean against a low brick wall outside the east Phoenix home improvement store.



Swat Team Deployed Against Tea Partiers

From Illinois’ Quincy Herald Whig:

About 200 tea party members make their feelings known during president’s Quincy visit

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

April 28, 2010

Quincy Tea Party members wanted President Barack Obama to know they were present Wednesday afternoon during his appearance in Quincy.

About 200 people protesting Obama’s policies loudly chanted "USA, USA" as his motorcade made its way out of the Oakley-Lindsay Center, then sang "Hey, hey, hey, goodbye" as the vehicle went by.

The participants were vocal but well-behaved as they stood on the north side of York Street across from the OLC.

"Having the president come is really something," organizer Steve McQueen said. "But we do not agree with all the policies of Obama and the current Congress, and we wanted to make sure he knows we are here."

The crowd carried signs with messages ranging from "Give Us Liberty Not Debt" to yellow flags saying "Don’t Tread On Me."

Urged on by people with megaphones, the crowd shouted slogans, among them "Remember in November" and "You work for us."

Tea party groups protest government spending and policies infringing on personal freedoms.



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