Wednesday, April 29, 2009

President Barack Obama's 100 Days of Devastatingly Swift Success

100 Days of Devastatingly Swift Success
by (more by this author)
Posted 04/29/2009 ET

To mark President Obama’s 100th day in office, I’m going to say something you might find unexpected, even shocking:

President Obama’s first 100 days have been spectacularly successful.

President Obama is the strongest domestic Democratic President since Lyndon Johnson. His ability to get Democrats in Congress to give him things that undermine their own power is impressive.

In just 100 days, President Obama has been devastatingly effective in moving forward swiftly the most radical, government-expanding agenda in American history.

Successfully Moving to a European Model of Government Control

At home, in everything from his economic policy to his energy policy to his just-announced science policy, President Obama has successfully moved the country from a traditional American model of entrepreneurship and private initiative to a European model of regulation and government control.

Abroad, he has succeeded in his apparent goal to be the un-George W. Bush; replacing aggressive, if sometimes flawed, American leadership with a humbled, weakened America on the world stage.

Judged by these standards, President Obama’s first 100 days have been a remarkable success.

Getting Congress to Give Him Things That Undermine Their Own Power

The Obama record in the first 100 days includes three instances of spectacular political impunity:

• Under the guise of “economic stimulus” he was able to pass a $787 billion gift for his liberal special interest base. And he did it so quickly that no member of Congress was able to read it before they voted.
• After campaigning on a pledge to end earmarks, he signed an appropriations bill loaded with 8,000 earmarks -- and paid no political penalty.
• President Obama has kept congressional Democrats marching with him in lockstep. House Democrats tow the party line an amazing 94 percent of the time and Senate Democrats vote Democratic 91 percent of the time.

Two Historic Bureaucratic Power Grabs

In these first 100 days, the Obama Administration has achieved two historic bureaucratic power grabs:

• President Obama has transformed the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) into giant engines of unsupervised spending. Together, they’ve spent the equivalent of the entire federal budget for 2007, without having to disclose where the money went.
• Just two weeks ago, the President presided over an unprecedented bureaucratic power grab when his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ruled that greenhouse gases pose a threat to public health. This seemingly innocuous decision opens the door to wholesale regulation of American life by government. The threat is so great that politicians and activists are using the specter of an out-of-control EPA to force Congress to pass a $1 trillion to $2 trillion energy tax in the form of cap-and-trade legislation.

In Foreign Policy, Weakness and Self-Delusion

The Obama 100 days record also includes remarkable weakness and self-delusion overseas:

• In an attempt to overcome anti-Americanism abroad by agreeing with it, President Obama has gone on a global apology tour, labeling America as “arrogant, dismissive and derisive” in front of foreign audiences.
• President Obama has unleashed a domestic war over the meaning of guilt by caving in to the anti-American left and leaving the door open to prosecuting Bush Administration officials over the interrogation of terrorists who plotted to kill Americans.
All Other Obama “Accomplishments” Are Only a Prelude to His $3.5 Trillion Budget

But all these successful expansions of government at home and retractions of American leadership abroad are merely a prelude to President Obama’s looming crowning achievement: His 2010 budget which remakes our health care system, remakes our energy system, raises taxes and forecasts an amazing $9 trillion increase in the national debt.

As I write this, Democrats in Congress are fashioning a deal to pass the budget’s provisions on health care by preventing Republicans and moderate Democrats from having a voice in the debate.

Think about that. The Obama-Reid-Pelosi political machine is going to pass legislation that fundamentally affects every single American -- as well as 17 percent of our economy -- by cutting the elected representatives of half of all Americans out of the process.

If they succeed, the budget will be President Obama’s most enduring -- and devastating -- accomplishment.

Will the Future Bring Change We Can Believe In? Or a Change in What we Believe?

One thing is clear at this point in President Obama’s presidency: His control of Washington Democrats has been so masterful, and his policies so successful, that he has officially claimed ownership of the American economy.

Going forward, it won’t be possible to continue to place blame on former President Bush and the Republicans. If President Obama fails, it will be his failure and his alone.

As for us, the “success” of the first 100 days of the Obama presidency raises a threatening possibility.

As my daughter and columnist Jackie Cushman put it, if we’re not careful, instead of change we can believe in, we’re going to have change in what we believe.

It’s something to ponder for the next 1,361 days.

Your friend,

Newt Gingrich

Newt’s Quick Links
• I testified opposite former Vice President Al Gore before the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week on climate change legislation establishing a cap-and-trade system to tax energy. Needless to say, there were some fireworks. You can watch my testimony here.•

I am proud to announce that four CHT Members were listed as “Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare.#1 - Angela Braly, President and CEO of WellPoint, Indianapolis #14 - Karen Ignagni, President and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans #17 - Rosemary Kennedy, Chief nursing informatics officer at Siemens Healthcare, Malvern, Pa. #18 - Michelle Molden, President and CEO of the Piedmont Heart Institute, Atlanta I encourage everyone to nominate an individual (by May 8) for the “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare”.

• I want you to be the first to know about a new book I’ve written with my daughter, Jackie Gingrich Cushman. It’s called 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours. Jackie and I had a lot of fun working with people like Rush Limbaugh and General David Petraeus to share our thoughts on how to live a successful and happy life. 5 Principles for a Successful Life won’t be out until May 12, but you can pre-order now here.

Mr. Gingrich is the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and author of "Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World That Works" and "Winning the Future" (published by Regnery, a HUMAN EVENTS sister company).

Click here to have the Newt Gingrich Letter sent to you every week

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Behold New York City in 2259!


Look at the Montage of the present New York City.
Can you imagine what it will look like in 2259?
See the future below.

28 Apr 2009 08:00 Africa/Lagos


What Will New York Look Like in 2259?

Procedural Inc. now provides an impressive 3D scenario of a futuristic New York. CityEngine customers and trial users can freely download the city example to explore, modify and use it. As an additional highlight, the 2009.1 CityEngine release will be presented at this year's FMX 09 conference (Stuttgart, May 5th- 8th).

LOS ANGELES, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Procedural Inc. has announced the high quality 3D city example NYC 2259, which is available for free download. NYC 2259 is the extrapolation of New York City 250 years into the future, inspired by Luc Besson's great sci-fi movie The Fifth Element. The example features grammar rules and assets to create highly detailed futuristic skyscrapers as well as flying cars.


Procedural Inc., an innovative software company located in Zurich, Switzerland, is creator of the world's foremost procedural modeling technology. With the CityEngine, Procedural Inc.'s graphics experts have developed a radically different 3D application that allows professional users in entertainment, architecture and urban planning to efficiently create 3D city models.


Behold New York City in 2259!

"We are very happy to deliver this cool example to our clients and trial users. Usually, such detailed cities are made in months of tedious modeling work for one angle of view only, but with the CityEngine you can modify and re-generate the whole city within minutes" says Pascal Mueller, CEO Procedural Inc. "And in case there are plans for a sequel to The Fifth Element, I hope Luc Besson knows now where to get the city backdrop for it."


A "Making of" video of the New York example is available online at: http://www.procedural.com/cityengine/provided-examples/new-york-city-2259.html


And there's more good news for 3D professionals in need to create city models: the new version of the CityEngine will be launched in May! The 2009.1 release will be presented for the first time in public at FMX (Stuttgart, May 5th- 8th) in the scope of the workshop "The Future of 3D City Modeling". The presentation will take place on Tuesday, May 5th, 11:00am, Room Karlsruhe and will broadcasted live via Procedural TV: http://www.procedural.com/company/procedural-tv.html. In addition, the CityEngine 2009 will be showcased at Procedural Inc.'s booth during the whole conference.


Availability


The CityEngine can be purchased online and a free 30-day trial version is also available for download at http://www.procedural.com/. The software can be purchased via Procedural Inc.'s website, or by telephone order at +41 76 720 3303.


CityEngine is a registered trademark of Procedural Inc. Other product and company names herein are trademarks of their respective owners.


High-resolution images:
http://www.procedural.com/company/press_room.


For more information, press only:
Procedural Inc.
Dominik Tarolli
+41 79 563 3881
dominik.tarolli@procedural.com


Source: Procedural Inc.

CONTACT: Dominik Tarolli of Procedural Inc., +41-79-563-3881,
dominik.tarolli@procedural.com


Web Site: Procedural Inc.


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Monday, April 27, 2009

Immigrant Unemployment at Record High

27 Apr 2009 06:00 Africa/Lagos

Immigrant Unemployment at Record High

Rate now exceeds native-born, a change from recent past

WASHINGTON, April 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies finds immigrant unemployment (legal and illegal) was higher in the first quarter of 2009 than at any time since 1994, when immigrants were first separated out in the monthly data. This represents a change from the recent past when native-born Americans tended to have higher unemployment rates. The findings show that immigrants have been harder hit by the recession than natives. Although data on immigrants is collected, it is generally not published by the government. This report is one of the few to examine this data.


The report, entitled Trends in Immigrant and Native Employment is embargoed until Wednesday midnight, for publication on Thursday, April, 30. Advance copies are available to the media. The study will be available online at: www.cis.org.


The report also contains employment data for Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington State.


The report is coauthored by Dr. Steven Camarota, the Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies and Karen Jensenius a Research Demographer at the Center.


For more information, contact Steven Camarota at (202) 466-8185 or sac@cis.org


The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institute


that examines the impact of immigration on the United States.


Source: Center for Immigration Studies

CONTACT: Steven Camarota, +1-202-466-8185, sac@cis.org


Web Site: http://www.cis.org/




To see more releases from Center for Immigration Studies, Click Here


This company's web site http://www.cis.org/

N.B:

Many cities, including Washington D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Jersey City, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Baltimore, Seattle, Portland, Oregon and Portland, Maine, have adopted sanctuary ordinances banning police from asking people about their immigration status.

history of immigrants immigrant facts

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Painter Michael D'Antuono To Unveil Controversial New Work in NYC's Union Square on Obama's 100th Day in Office


"The Truth" by Painter Michael D'Antuono which will be unveiled on President Obama's 100th Day in Office at NYC's Union Square. (PRNewsFoto/NOAH G POP FAM) NEW YORK, NY UNITED STATES 04/24/2009

24 Apr 2009 18:35 Africa/Lagos

Painter Michael D'Antuono To Unveil Controversial New Work in NYC's Union Square on Obama's 100th Day in Office

Can You Handle 'The Truth'?

NEW YORK, April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Michael D'Antuono may raise more questions than answers when he unveils his highly controversial new painting, "The Truth" on the South Plaza of NYC's Union Square on the 100th day of Barack Obama's presidency. The artist's politically-, religiously- and socially-charged statement on our nation's current political climate and deep partisan divide has been privately raising eyebrows (and voices) since its creation.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090424/NY04985)

The 30" x 54" acrylic painting on canvas depicts President Obama appearing much like Jesus Christ on the Cross; atop his head, a crown of thorns. Behind him, the dark veil being lifted (or lowered) on the Presidential Seal. But is he revealing or concealing and is he being crucified or glorified?

D'Antuono insists that this piece is a mirror; reflecting the personal opinions and emotions of the viewer; that "The Truth" like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. D'Antuono expects that individual interpretations will vary as widely as they do in the political arena. The work will be seen by one viewer at a time behind a voting booth-inspired public installation.

Until now, Mr. D'Antuono has chosen to paint purely non-political subject matter, opting instead for iconic celebrity portraits and hard-luck romantic narratives. However, now the artist feels the need to make a statement. "Aided by the media, politics has taken a nasty turn in the last decade and I firmly believe that this is one of the underlying causes of our nation's current problems," says D'Antuono.

"The Truth" will be on exhibit on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the South Plaza of Union Square Park at 14th Street in New York City.

Contact:
Noah G POP
Executive Director
noahg@noahgpop.com
646.413.2366


Link to Media Collateral:
http://www.noahgpop.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=7

About Michael D'Antuono


Michael D'Antuono studied in New York and Paris earning a B.F.A. from the prestigious Parsons School of Design. He was an art director for the advertising agency DMB&B creating award winning national campaigns including one that ran for 20 years and a freelance illustrator working for major ad agencies and national publications before deciding to bring his skills to the world of fine art. His work has been shown in New York, Las Vegas, Aspen and California.

Website: http://www.dantuonoarts.com/
Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090424/NY04985
http://photoarchive.ap.org/
AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN8
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com

Source: NOAH G POP FAM

CONTACT: Noah G POP, Executive Director, noahg@noahgpop.com,
+1-646-413-2366

Web Site: http://www.noahgpop.com/

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NEWSWEEK Presents "TO BOLDLY GO ... HOW 'STAR TREK' TAUGHT US TO DREAM BIG."


In the May 4 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, April 27): "To Boldly Go ... How 'Star Trek' Taught Us to Dream Big." A Trekkie writes about the new "Star Trek" movie and how the old favorite can speak directly to our place and time. And a former "Star Trek" writer reveals what it was like working with creator Gene Roddenberry. Plus: FBI Agent Ali Soufan speaks out about torture; Jonathan Alter on Obama's 100 days and summer movies. (PRNewsFoto/Newsweek) NEW YORK, NY UNITED STATES 04/26/2009.

26 Apr 2009 18:44 Africa/Lagos


NEWSWEEK Media Lead Sheet/May 4, 2009 Issue (on Newsstands Monday, April 27)

COVER: "TO BOLDLY GO ... HOW 'STAR TREK' TAUGHT US TO DREAM BIG." Contributor Steve Daly writes about the upcoming "Star Trek" movie, the 11th in the franchise, which opens next week. He writes that it's the Spock plot strands that give the new movie its best shot at once again commanding the zeitgeist. Mr. Spock's cool, analytical nature "feels more fascinating and topical than ever now that we've put a sort of Vulcan in the White House. All through the election campaign, columnists compared President Obama's unflappably logical demeanor and prominent ears with Mr. Spock's. But as Spock's complicated racial backstory is spun out in detail in the new 'Trek'--right back into childhood--the Obama parallels keep deepening. Like Obama, Spock is the product of a mixed marriage (actually, an interstellar mixed marriage), and he suffers blunt manifestations of prejudice as a result. As played by Zachary Quinto, the young Spock loves his human mother, but longs to assimilate completely into his Vulcan father Sarek's ways, eschewing messy emotions the way all Vulcans do." He writes that if Obama watches the movie, "I can imagine he might feel a special empathy for Spock's position, given the chattering class's insistence that he needs to show more emotion, too."


http://www.newsweek.com/id/195082

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090426/NY05401 )


"Vulcans Never, Ever Smile." Former "Star Trek" writer Leonard Mlodinow writes about creator Gene Roddenberry's role in the television sequels. "We saw Gene only occasionally. We were told that when we did see him, we had to take whatever advice he gave us, whatever we thought of it." He writes that sometimes Roddenberry "would remind us of simple things, like the fact that Vulcans don't smile. Other times he'd explain how human nature will have evolved, that personal acrimony will have been conquered, so there could be no conflict among the crew. Some writers tried to sneak in a little conflict anyway, so you didn't have to depend on heavily armed two-headed aliens."

http://www.newsweek.com/id/195083

TERROR: "'We Could Have Done This the Right Way'." Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff reports on FBI agent Ali Soufan, who was known as one of the bureau's top experts on Al Qaeda, and what he saw in 2002 during interrogations of terror suspects, especially Abu Zubaydah. Soufan had a reputation as a shrewd interrogator who could work fluently in both English and Arabic. Now a security consultant who spends most of his time in the Middle East, Soufan decided to tell the story of his involvement in the interrogations publicly for the first time. "I've kept my mouth shut about all this for seven years," he says. But now, with the declassification of Justice Department memos and the public assertions by Dick Cheney and others that "enhanced" techniques worked, Soufan decided to speak out. "I was in the middle of this, and it's not true that these [aggressive] techniques were effective," he says. "We were able to get the information about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a couple of days. We didn't have to do any of this [torture]. We could have done this the right way."

http://www.newsweek.com/id/195089

THE PRESIDENT: "Where Everybody Knows Your Name." White House Correspondent Holly Bailey reports on President Obama's difficult adjustment to his new life inside the White House bubble. He is hardly the first president to complain about the change. But he seems to have had a tougher time adjusting than Bill Clinton or even George W. Bush, in part because he can still remember what it was like to be a normal person. His temperament has also made the adjustment difficult. Though outgoing in public, Obama was an only child and spent a lot of time alone. That hasn't changed. "He likes solitude, where he can just take a moment and collect his thoughts and breathe," says a close Obama friend. "And in this job, there is none of that."

http://www.newsweek.com/id/195086

BETWEEN THE LINES: JONATHAN ALTER: "Scoring Obama's First 100 Days." Senior Editor and Columnist Jonathan Alter gauges how successful President Obama's first 100 days in office have been. "With the help of the economic crisis, Barack Obama has put more points on the board than any president since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, and his public investment greatly exceeds Roosevelt's in constant dollars," Alter writes. He writes that even if you think Obama's wrong, he deserves high marks for articulating a new vision and getting Congress to act. Alter wrote a book about how FDR's debut transformed the country. A president's first few months in office do offer clues about whether he has the tools to handle the job. "More practically, it's very tough to regain your footing if you stumble out of the gate. You can recover politically, but the chance for great domestic leadership is gone." Join Jonathan Alter for a Live Talk at noon, ET, Wednesday, April 29, on Newsweek.com.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/195087

POLITICS: "Last of the True Believers?" Senior Writer Andrew Romano profiles South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who has boldly threatened to reject up to 25 percent (or $700 million) of South Carolina's stimulus funds unless a reluctant Republican-dominated legislature sets aside a matching sum of state money to pay down its debt. (He has accepted the rest.) Sanford insists that he "can live with" the cash not coming to South Carolina, which opponents say will cost thousands of teachers their jobs. For Sanford, 48, whose term-limited tenure as governor ends in 20 months, it's a chance to test the principles that have animated his 15 years in the arena--sustainable spending, smaller government--and perhaps seize a spot on the national stage as the most prominent of what he calls the "true conservatives."

http://www.newsweek.com/id/195088

NATION: "Rebranding Hate in the Age of Obama." Washington Correspondent Eve Conant reports on the growing concern about the rise and strength of racists and hate groups in the Age of Obama. This spring, the Southern Poverty Law Center released its annual "Year in Hate" report, which outlines that in 2008 the number of hate groups rose to 926, up 4 percent from 2007, and 54 percent since 2000. (The SPLC doesn't measure the number of members in the groups). The economic downturn and the election of Obama "present unique drivers for right-wing radicalization and recruitment," stated an April Homeland Security intelligence report. The groups are moving out from the fringe and toward the mainstream and are having some success.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/195085

RUSSIA: "Medvedev's Moscow Spring." Moscow Bureau Chief Owen Matthews and Special Correspondent Anna Nemtsova report that Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev, a year after being sworn in, has finally begun to depart from the hardline policies of his predecessor, Vladimir Putin. He has begun publicly overturning some of Putin's key policies, rolling back repressive legislation and paying attention to the government's critics rather than trying to silence them. "We all want to believe that our ruler is generous, fair and kind," says journalist and human-rights activist Svetlana Sorokina. "Now we're seeing the first signs that he is." After a decade of being frozen out, activists say they're floored by the recent thaw.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/195077

INTERVIEW: New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini. Senior Diplomatic Correspondent Lally Weymouth talks to Roubini, who was nicknamed "Dr. Doom" after a 2006 speech in which he said the global bubble was going to burst. "Next year, I believe that the growth rate is going to be 0.5 percent for the U.S. Even if we are technically out of a recession, we are going to feel like we are in a recession. The bottom of the economy is not going to be in three months, but rather toward the beginning or middle of next year."

http://www.newsweek.com/id/195053

BUSINESS: "Banks' Bogus Recovery." Senior Editor Rana Foroohar writes that despite all the recent headlines about bank earnings being up in the first quarter, it would seem that the worst of the financial crisis had passed. "Smart investors know better," she writes. "At the core, this financial crisis has been driven by uncertainty--about who's holding what, how much it's worth and when it might blow up. A careful look at the banks' profit news quickly reveals that there's still plenty of uncertainty lurking on the balance sheets of top banks."

http://www.newsweek.com/id/195099

TECHNOLOGY: "The Tragedy That Won't Fade Away." Assistant Editor Jessica Bennett reports on the Catsouras family of Orange County who are spending thousands of dollars in legal fees in an attempt to stop strangers from displaying grisly photographs of 18-year-old Nikki Catsouras, who was killed in a car accident in 2006. The accident was so gruesome the coroner wouldn't allow her parents to identify their daughter's body. But the photos made it to the Internet and are circulating virally on the Web and are a daily torment for the family. Their effort to stop the photos has turned into a case about privacy, cyber-harassment and image control. The Catsouras' story is unique in that it touches on so many of the ways the Web has become perverted: as an outlet for morbid curiosities, a space where cruel behavior suffers little consequence and an uncontrollable forum in which things that were once private--like photos of the dead--can go public in an instant.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/195073
Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090426/NY05401
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com
AP Photo Express: PRN3

Source: Newsweek

CONTACT: Katherine Barna, +1-212-445-4859, Katherine.Barna@Newsweek.com,
Grace Huh, +1-212-445-5831, Grace.Huh@Newsweek.com, both of Newsweek

Web Site: http://www.newsweek.com/

NOTE TO EDITORS: To book correspondents, contact Katherine Barna at 212-445-4859--Katherine.Barna@Newsweek.com--or Grace Huh at 212-445-5831--Grace.Huh@Newsweek.com. Read the issue and Web exclusives at www.Newsweek.com.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Nieman Journalism Lab: How the Web Dominated the Breaking News Pulitzer Prize

24 Apr 2009 17:01 Africa/Lagos

Nieman Journalism Lab: How the Web Dominated the Breaking News Pulitzer Prize

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The three newspapers honored by the Pulitzer Prize Board for Breaking News all shared a common thread: They used the web as their primary outlet, not ink-on-paper.


The New York Times -- which won the prize -- and finalists the Houston Chronicle and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch each shifted to a web-first mentality when faced with big breaking news. That was true whether the news was a prostitution scandal (Times), a hurricane (Chronicle), or a shooting (Post-Dispatch).


"We cover news any way people need news," Chronicle editor Jeff Cohen told the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard. We cover it online, analog, digital, straight media -- any way you can serve it up, our staff is serving it up."


In-depth analysis of each of the Pulitzer finalists can be found at:


New York Times Wins Pulitzer Prize


Breaking News Winners


The Nieman Journalism Lab is a project at Harvard University to figure out the future of quality journalism online. Its site is http://www.niemanlab.org/.


Source: Nieman Journalism Lab

CONTACT: Joshua Benton, director of Nieman Journalism Lab,
joshua_benton@harvard.edu


Web Site: http://www.niemanlab.org/


Middle East Opinion on Obama's First 100 Days


There is success for Obama with overall opinion of the US from a Middle Eastern perspective improving by 42%.

24 Apr 2009 07:00 Africa/Lagos

Middle East Opinion on Obama's First 100 Days

DUBAI, April 24/PRNewswire/ -- A recent survey by the market research company Real Opinions in the Middle East on the first 100 days since US President Barack Obama was inaugurated shows that although the image of the US and leadership on the global stage has improved, performance on issues closer to home in the Middle East are dividing opinion.


There is success for Obama with overall opinion of the US from a Middle Eastern perspective improving by 42%. This is backed up with 35% believing the leadership of US on the global stage has also improved while 43% believe there is no change and just 9% believe it is actually worse. There are also encouraging signs on the subject of the economy with more than twice as many than his predecessor believing they are more confident with the global economy recovering under his leadership (37% improved, 15% worse).


However, in terms of key issues such as Middle East stability, the opinion is more closely divided with 20% believing it has improved and 14% believing it has become worse.


Dan Healy, the CEO of Real Opinions who conducted the survey commented 'Breaking some of these results down to the areas directly impacted by recent events such as those in the Palestinian Autonomous Area (PAA), 19% believed Middle East stability has worsened, 17% believe it has improved while just over half believe it has not changed (54%). When it came to the issue of the Palestinian & Israeli situation, 30% in PAA thought this was worse under Obama's leadership, which is twice as many as those who thought it had improved on 14%. For half of these respondents, they don't believe there is any change between Presidents Bush and Obama.


Healy added, "The overall acceptance of the image of U.S. has greatly improved but in terms of some key issues in the Middle East there is very little change. I think it's safe to say that under Bush's leadership and policies the goodwill and the favourable disposition towards the U.S. in the Middle East eroded away and now it's a new chapter, like a love affair, rekindled, very much awakened and I think it's a window of opportunity to leverage this favouritism in terms of policies to tackle some of these issues."


Research on the eve of the US presidential election showed the Middle East very much in favour of Obama over his then rival McCain in terms of being perceived as the best person capable of handling these key regional issues. Healy added "With the election of Obama, many have raised expectations in the Middle East of a change being made to policies and this appears to be transferring into dissatisfaction for some with the perception of little change being made by the time of this study."


On the eve of these results being released was the announcement by US officials that leaders of Egypt, Israel and Palestinians have been invited for talks in Washington in a new push for Middle East peace.


Healy commented 'Overall, these results suggest there is certainly a dramatic and favourable image change for the US in the Middle East with Obama as leader over the last 100 days. In terms of policy on some key Middle Eastern issues, there is certainly room for an improvement and this might be about to change with this invitation for talks.'


Research Methodology


The survey was conducted in both Arabic and English online from 10th to 20th April with n=2,789 respondents in the Middle East. Respondents were from the Real Opinion online panel and the results have approximately a 2%+/- margin of error with a CI of 95%.


About Real Opinions


Real Opinions is a full-service market research company, specialising in online media, with global and Middle East research expertise and best practice. Based in Dubai and London, Real Opinions has proven ability to help strategically guide communication, insight and assess the effectiveness of campaigns.


Real Opinions is an accredited member of ESOMAR, an international organisation for market research. For more information about us and this study, please visit http://www.real-opinions.com



Q. The US President Barack Obama will soon have been in office for 100
days and this is often a time to assess a political leader's progress.
Please rate how you believe the following has changed under his
leadership.

Leadership of US on global stage

Total UAE Bahrain Algeria Egypt Iraq Jordan Kuwait

Base: All 2789 334 51 191 487 32 251 54
respondents
Minimum % % % % % % % %
Base: 20
(**), Small
Base: 50
(*)

Improved 35 52 35 23 35 47 25 39
Worse 9 8 12 8 6 6 10 9
No change 43 30 45 51 45 44 51 41
Don't know 13 10 8 18 14 3 14 11


Lebanon Libya Morocco Oman PAA Qatar Saudi

Base: All 37 44 288 27 116 32 538
respondents
Minimum % % % % % % %
Base: 20
(**), Small
Base: 50
(*)

Improved 59 32 31 33 32 38 36
Worse 3 2 11 15 11 13 10
No change 32 59 47 37 44 47 39
Don't know 5 7 11 15 13 3 15


Sudan Syria Tunisia Yemen Iran

Base: All 72 151 39 38 7
respondents
Minimum % % % % %
Base: 20
(**), Small
Base: 50
(*)

Improved 40 25 33 39 29
Worse 10 7 5 21 0
No change 40 54 46 29 43
Don't know 10 14 15 11 29


Palestinian & Israeli situation

Total UAE Bahrain Algeria Egypt Iraq Jordan Kuwait

Base: All 2789 334 51 191 487 32 251 54
respondents
Minimum % % % % % % % %
Base: 20
(**), Small
Base: 50
(*)

Improved 12 13 8 10 10 16 12 17
Worse 21 15 20 23 22 13 25 13
No change 58 60 67 56 60 63 55 61
Don't know 9 12 6 11 8 9 9 9

Lebanon Libya Morocco Oman PAA Qatar Saudi

Base: All 37 44 288 27 116 32 538
respondents
Minimum % % % % % % %
Base: 20
(**), Small
Base: 50
(*)

Improved 16 9 14 7 14 13 11
Worse 11 18 24 33 30 22 22
No change 62 68 55 56 51 59 58
Don't know 11 5 8 4 5 6 9

Sudan Syria Tunisia Yemen Iran

Base: All 72 151 39 38 7
respondents
Minimum % % % % %
Base: 20
(**), Small
Base: 50
(*)

Improved 8 11 15 18 0
Worse 15 19 21 26 0
No change 71 62 54 45 86
Don't know 6 7 10 11 14


Iran nuclear issue

Total UAE Bahrain Algeria Egypt Iraq Jordan Kuwait

Base: All 2789 334 51 191 487 32 251 54
respondents
Minimum % % % % % % % %
Base: 20
(**), Small
Base: 50
(*)

Improved 28 28 35 30 25 34 25 28
Worse 13 11 14 10 12 25 13 9
No change 43 46 41 36 45 34 48 46
Don't know 17 15 10 24 17 6 14 17

Lebanon Libya Morocco Oman PAA Qatar Saudi

Base: All 37 44 288 27 116 32 538
respondents
Minimum % % % % % % %
Base: 20
(**), Small
Base: 50
(*)

Improved 46 20 30 44 28 31 23
Worse 11 11 13 11 20 19 14
No change 32 50 41 41 35 38 46
Don't know 11 18 17 4 17 13 17

Sudan Syria Tunisia Yemen Iran

Base: All 72 151 39 38 7
respondents
Minimum % % % % %
Base: 20
(**), Small
Base: 50
(*)

Improved 36 28 38 39 71
Worse 7 14 5 5 0
No change 42 42 38 29 14
Don't know 15 16 18 26 14


Middle East stability

Total UAE Bahrain Algeria Egypt Iraq Jordan Kuwait

Base: All 2789 334 51 191 487 32 251 54
respondents
Minimum % % % % % % % %
Base: 20
(**), Small
Base: 50
(*)

Improved 20 20 31 13 15 22 17 26
Worse 14 11 6 13 17 9 16 9
No change 56 58 55 59 59 69 58 59
Don't know 10 11 8 15 10 0 9 6

Lebanon Libya Morocco Oman PAA Qatar Saudi

Base: All 37 44 288 27 116 32 538
respondents
Minimum % % % % % % %
Base: 20
(**), Small
Base: 50
(*)

Improved 38 14 22 26 17 25 21
Worse 8 14 15 26 19 28 14
No change 46 66 53 33 54 38 53
Don't know 8 7 10 15 9 9 12

Sudan Syria Tunisia Yemen Iran

Base: All 72 151 39 38 7
respondents
Minimum % % % % %
Base: 20
(**), Small
Base: 50
(*)

Improved 22 29 10 29 14
Worse 14 11 23 18 14
No change 58 52 51 45 57
Don't know 6 8 15 8 14


Confidence with global economy recovering

Total UAE Bahrain Algeria Egypt Iraq Jordan Kuwait

Base: All 2789 334 51 191 487 32 251 54
respondents
Minimum % % % % % % % %
Base: 20
(**), Small
Base: 50
(*)

Improved 37 46 37 28 38 41 35 37
Worse 15 10 8 15 14 16 18 19
No change 33 31 37 30 35 34 32 28
Don't know 16 13 18 27 13 9 15 17

Lebanon Libya Morocco Oman PAA Qatar Saudi

Base: All 37 44 288 27 116 32 538
respondents
Minimum % % % % % % %
Base: 20
(**), Small
Base: 50
(*)

Improved 41 27 35 37 41 50 37
Worse 5 14 19 30 10 16 15
No change 35 41 31 19 30 25 32
Don't know 19 18 15 15 18 9 16

Sudan Syria Tunisia Yemen Iran

Base: All 72 151 39 38 7
respondents
Minimum % % % % %
Base: 20
(**), Small
Base: 50
(*)

Improved 40 26 33 50 14
Worse 14 15 21 21 14
No change 33 43 36 16 43
Don't know 13 16 10 13 29


Overall opinion of US

Total UAE Bahrain Algeria Egypt Iraq Jordan Kuwait

Base: All 2789 334 51 191 487 32 251 54
respondents
Minimum % % % % % % % %
Base: 20
(**), Small
Base: 50
(*)

Improved 42 53 49 37 42 53 39 44
Worse 10 9 6 7 9 6 10 6
No change 30 25 35 30 31 31 34 39
Don't know 19 14 10 26 18 9 18 11

Lebanon Libya Morocco Oman PAA Qatar Saudi

Base: All 37 44 288 27 116 32 538
respondents
Minimum % % % % % % %
Base: 20
(**), Small
Base: 50
(*)

Improved 51 30 37 33 44 44 41
Worse 3 7 13 33 12 16 10
No change 24 32 31 15 23 19 30
Don't know 22 32 19 19 21 22 19

Sudan Syria Tunisia Yemen Iran

Base: All 72 151 39 38 7
respondents
Minimum % % % % %
Base: 20
(**), Small
Base: 50
(*)

Improved 40 40 46 50 57
Worse 6 9 18 8 0
No change 32 32 18 21 29
Don't know 22 18 18 21 14





Inquiries
Dan Healy
CEO - Real Opinions
UK: +44(0)7509038788
inquiry@real-opinions.com

Source: Real Opinions

Inquiries: Dan Healy, CEO - Real Opinions, UK: +44(0)7509038788, inquiry@real-opinions.com

Click to view Slideshow of President Barack Obama in Iraq.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sojourner Truth Becomes First African American Woman With a Memorial in United States Capitol


Sojourner Truth

22 Apr 2009 08:00 Africa/Lagos

Sojourner Truth Becomes First African American Woman With a Memorial in United States Capitol

WASHINGTON, April 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On April 28, 2009 American history will be made. The National Congress of Black Women, Inc. (NCBW) will introduce Sojourner Truth (1797 – November 26, 1883) as the first African American woman to have a memorial bust in the United States Capitol building amidst hundreds of guests. After nearly a ten year effort spearheaded by the late Dr. C. Delores Tucker, former chair of NCBW, the memorial has been completed by current National Chair, Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. and members of NCBW.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090422/DC03198LOGO)

The Celebration of Truth campaign will include: The unveiling of the Sojourner Truth bust, a presentation of "Ain't I A Woman," by long time NCBW supporter and actress, Cicely Tyson. Music will be led by Lomax Spaulding, Yolanda Adams and Dorinda Clarke Cole at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center Emancipation Hall.

More than 250 donors, sponsors, guests and members of NCBW will attend a celebratory Sojourner Truth Memorial Donors Luncheon at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, DC following the events at the U.S. Capitol. At the Donors Luncheon, the program includes a Sojourner Truth dramatic presentation by singer/actress MZuri Moyo and a monologue by Brenda Strong, the narrator on ABC's Desperate Housewives. Special music composed for the occasion will be provided by gospel recording artist Lomax Spaulding.

"This accomplishment has been a struggle, but at the National Congress of Black Women, we have learned that it is from our struggles that we gain our victories. We never gave up no matter what stood in our way. This bust of Sojourner Truth in the U.S. Capitol is an honor to all women, and will forever serve as a part of our history that celebrates the right to vote for all women," says Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq., National Chair of NCBW.

Williams further says, "The movement to bring Sojourner Truth's memorial to the Capitol began more than 10 years ago. The effort began with my predecessor, the late Dr. C. Delores Tucker and NCBW members. Dr. Michelle Battle, our former COO, did a yeoman's job to help us make this happen, and we are grateful to her and all who helped to make this day possible. We thank Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rep. Diane Watson and their staffs who played key roles in this effort. We are also grateful to finally see 'Truth in the Capitol' getting the recognition she truly deserves. We could not have done this without our many donors from all over the country."

Presenting co-sponsors of the Sojourner Truth Memorial include: Ford Motor Company, Shell Oil Company, Wal-Mart, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Capitol City Links, YWCA USA, Senator Ed Brooke, Events of the Heart and the Obama Family.

"Sojourner Truth inspired generations of women to demand equality and who later would dare to reach for the ballot. Her Memorial, the first to a black woman in the U.S. Capitol, is a milestone, not just for African Americans and women, but for all Americans," says President Barack Obama.

Supporters and Sponsors of Bill H.R. 4510 and the Sojourner Truth Memorial include: U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, Rep. Diane Watson, Senator Arlen Specter and many more. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, Rep. Major Owens, Senator Carl Levin and Senator Chris Dodd also supported the earlier efforts to place Sojourner Truth in the Capitol.

About NCBW

The National Congress of Black Women (NCBW) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by the late Shirley Chisholm and the late Dr. C. DeLores Tucker. NCBW is dedicated to the educational, political, economic and cultural development of African American Women and their families. NCBW provides opportunities for women in leadership and decision-making positions in government, nonprofit organizations and the private sector. For more information about The National Congress of Black Women, visit: www.nationalcongressbw.org

For more information about the Sojourner Truth Memorial Donors' Luncheon or to RSVP to attend the Celebration of Truth Events, please contact Ivy K. Pendleton at (800) 956-4514 x 111 or e-mail:ikp@thepublicists.com.

If you are a member of the media and would like to cover this event, please register for media credentials at: http://www.thepublicists.com/media_registration.php
Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090422/DC03198LOGO
http://photoarchive.ap.org/
AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN4
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com

Source: National Congress of Black Women, Inc.

CONTACT: Media, The Couture Agency, media@thepublicists.com; or Ivy K.
Pendleton, Publicist, +1-202-216-9668 x111, fax, +1-202-216-9744

Web Site: http://www.nationalcongressbw.org/


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Society of Professional Journalists Sets Public Meeting on Media Ethics

22 Apr 2009 01:00 Africa/Lagos


Society of Professional Journalists Sets Public Meeting on Media Ethics

CLEVELAND, April 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Do you want to voice criticisms or questions about the ethics of the news media? The Society of Professional Journalists, the nation's largest journalism group by membership, will give you a chance to do just that -- and near home, too.

Vent your views and learn about the ethics of journalists at a Town Hall meeting for the public and journalists at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, at the Doubletree Hotel Downtown Cleveland, 1111 Lakeside Ave.

A panel of journalists from broadcast, online and print media will respond to questions about media ethics or lapses from the public. They will also shed light on how journalists weigh ethical concerns in the minute-by-minute rush to produce the news.

Sponsors of the event are the Society of Professional Journalists and the Cleveland Chapter of SPJ. The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation of SPJ is providing funding for the program. The program is one of 12 Town Hall sessions SPJ is producing as part of an effort by its national ethics committee to create greater dialogue between the media and the public and broaden the public's understanding of journalism ethics.

The program is free. RSVP by 5 p.m. April 24 to ensure adequate seating. To register, contact Tom Moore, SPJ Cleveland secretary-treasurer, at 440-454-3282 or tmoore56@msn.com,

Moderating the program will be Tom Merriman, an attorney, broadcast investigative journalist and an ethics fellow at The Poynter Institute, a news media training and research center.

Panelists include Ted Diadiun, reader representative, The Plain Dealer; Rita Andolsen, news director, WKYC-TV3; Steve FitzGerald, online journalist, founder of LakewoodBuzz.com and content manager for the ChannelFuse online forum network, and M.L. Schultze, news director for WKSU, 89.7 FM. An additional panelist is invited.

SPJ Cleveland's website is http://www.spj.org/cleveland/.

PR Newswire is the official news distribution source for the Cleveland Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Source: Cleveland Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists

CONTACT: Tom Moore of Society of Professional Journalists,
+1-440-454-3282, tmoore56@msn.com


Monday, April 20, 2009

Newsweek: "'How Could I?': The Confessions of Eliot Spitzer"


The April 27 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands April 20), "'How Could I?': The Confessions of Eliot Spitzer," paints a revealing portrait of the fallen New York Governor, his emergence from exile, and his struggle to understand why he did what he did-and what he should do now. Plus: President Obama's decision to release CIA memos on torture; the return of the family bank; what it's like being black at Princeton today; David McCullough on saving the Brooklyn Bridge, and, in "Health for Life," the latest research on the science of forgetting. (PRNewsFoto/NEWSWEEK) NEW YORK, NY UNITED STATES 04/18/2009

19 Apr 2009 18:25 Africa/Lagos


NEWSWEEK: Media Lead Sheet/April 27, 2009 Issue

(on newsstands Monday, April 20)


COVER: "'How Could I?': The Confessions of Eliot Spitzer." Drawing on weeks of interviews with the fallen New York governor, Senior Writer and Political Correspondent Jonathan Darman paints a revealing portrait of a wounded political animal, his emergence from exile and his ongoing struggle to understand why he did what he did -- and what he should do now. Spitzer tells Darman that, when he hired a prostitute, he knew he was doing something wrong. "No question about that." Did he know what the risk was? "Yes." Spitzer was silent for a moment and then, without further prompting, offered an explanation: "I'm not going to say anything that ... should be thought to be an excuse for anything. But there's got to be some element to its being a result of tension and release. And that builds up." When asked if his reemergence meant he could run again for office, Spitzer responded, "I don't know if I could, but I can tell you that is not what this is about." Darman notes, "For those not skilled in politician-speak, note that he didn't say no."



http://www.newsweek.com/id/194590

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090419/NY01232 )


PERISCOPE: "Piracy: The Danger of Escalation." President Obama's decision to authorize the Pentagon to kill three Somali pirates who took an American sea captain hostage sent shudders through the world's shipping and insurance industries, reports Investigative Correspondent Mark Hosenball. Because the pirates are motivated chiefly by money, maritime experts say, they have -- at least until now -- taken good care of the crews they hold captive. A document retrieved from a ship hijacked last year contained a "list of written rules" of conduct pirates had to follow, according to a maritime security expert. The document included a series of "punishments" to be imposed on any hijacker who struck a hostage. Industry experts say the only solution to piracy is the creation of a viable Somali government back on dry land.


http://www.newsweek.com/id/194625


JUSTICE: "The Lawyer and The Caterpillar." Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff and Editor-at-Large Evan Thomas report on President Obama's decision to release the Justice Department's documents spelling out the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA and permitted by Department of Justice lawyers. Though administration officials declared that CIA interrogators who followed Justice's legal guidance on torture would not be prosecuted, that does not mean the inquiries are over. Senior Justice Department lawyers and other advisers, who declined to be identified discussing a sensitive subject, say Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. has discussed naming a senior prosecutor or outside counsel to investigate whether CIA interrogators exceeded legal boundaries -- and whether Bush administration officials broke the law by giving the CIA permission to torture in the first place.


http://www.newsweek.com/id/194595


JUSTICE: "The Long Arm of The Law." Contributing Editor Stuart Taylor Jr. and Editor-at-Large Evan Thomas report on Harold Hongju Koh, who will likely be confirmed by the Senate as the top legal adviser to the State Department. But his rather abstruse views on what he calls "transnational jurisprudence" deserve a close look because -- taken to their logical extreme -- they could erode American democracy and sovereignty.


http://www.newsweek.com/id/194651


INTERNATIONAL: "'Bring Me My Machine Gun'." Africa Bureau Chief Scott Johnson and Special Correspondent Karen McGregor report on South Africa's likely new president, Jacob Zuma, the head of the ruling African National Congress who is facing only token opposition in this week's election. Zuma, who revels in his tribal roots, will be the first real African president, which can be troubling. The continent is littered with the wreckage of countries that were driven into the ground by similarly charismatic postcolonial leaders. He is extraordinarily intelligent, despite his lack of formal schooling. But he's inheriting some vast challenges: crime-ravaged cities, a reeling economy and the ongoing AIDS crisis.


http://www.newsweek.com/id/194586


BUSINESS: "Main Street Money." Senior Editor Michael Hirsh reports on the Welter family in Valparaiso, Indiana, who opened First National Bank, grew the business as a family and then ended up selling it to a bigger bank. Now, 61-year-old Chuck Welter -- who was fired in 2006 by his own brother in part for hewing to traditional banking values during the subprime-mortgage mania -- wants a fresh start in banking. Once seen as a fuddy duddy even by his own family, he finds himself very much in vogue, in a retro kind of way. In recent months Welter and his daughter Katy became one of a handful of investor groups across the country to gain approval for a national charter for a new bank from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. While America's global banking industry is not going to start acting like community banks, the government seems intent on promoting traditional practices.


http://www.newsweek.com/id/194579


SOCIETY: "Black in The Age Of Obama." Senior Writer Andrew Romano and Special Correspondent Aku Ammah-Tagoe report on what life is like now at Princeton University, in "post-racial" America, where race isn't supposed to matter anymore. Except when it does. Initially linked to Barack Obama, the term "post-racial" has now expanded to encompass the era his election has ushered in. But in the real world, post-racialism is something of a mirage. For most Americans, it's little more than a convenient cable-news catchphrase. It's only at places like Princeton, a selective, self-sufficient institution, that anything even remotely resembling a post-racial America is supposed to have taken shape. Two of the first multigenerational African-American families to pass through Princeton discuss how life on the front lines of racial progress has changed over the past four decades.


http://www.newsweek.com/id/194592


HEALTH FOR LIFE: "To Pluck a Rooted Sorrow." Senior Writer Claudia Kalb examines the latest research on the science of forgetting: how and why we lose memories. Researchers are raising the stakes: can certain memories be intentionally targeted and changed, maybe even eradicated? Scientists who study this are transforming what we know about how our brains process the images and sounds and feelings we encounter. One day, the research might lead to innovative treatments for conditions like posttraumatic stress disorder and addiction. But there is also plenty of debate over the science of forgetting. Is it ethical? Is it real? Dr. Eric Kandel, a Nobel Prize winner in the field, says science must move forward but "removing memory gets into dangerous territory. We have to think about it very carefully."


http://www.newsweek.com/id/194583


IDEAS: "Sexual Masters of the Universe." With the release of an exhaustive new biography on William Masters and Virginia Johnson -- the couple behind Masters and Johnson, the biggest brand in postwar sex research -- Senior Writer Andrew Romano looks back and explores what exactly the beaded, bearded, braless sexual revolution has to do with America's current attitudes toward copulation. He concludes that although "rescuing sex from the ancient mists of myth, mystery and religiosity left America a happier and healthier place," our attempts to liberate sexual pleasure from the grip of old-fashioned love had the opposite effect. Millennials are surprisingly turned off by -- or at least not especially excited about -- the prospect of loveless sex.


http://www.newsweek.com/id/194642


BOOKS: "Rat, Toad and Mole Get Footnotes." Senior Writer Jeremy McCarter reviews two new annotated versions of Kenneth Grahame's "The Wind in the Willows." He writes that although the volumes are laden with buzz-killing trivia, they offer insights that burnish the book. Sometimes because of their efforts and sometimes in spite of them, Grahame's weird masterpiece seems as charming as ever -- but also sadder, more enduring and more necessary.


http://www.newsweek.com/id/194578


/PRNewswire -- April 19/


Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090419/NY01232
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN1
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com
Source: Newsweek

CONTACT: Katherine Barna, +1-212-445-4859, Katherine.Barna@Newsweek.com,
or Grace Huh, +1-212-445-5831, Grace.Huh@Newsweek.com, both of Newsweek


Web Site: http://www.newsweek.com/


NOTE TO EDITORS: To book correspondents, contact Katherine Barna or Grace Huh. Read the issue and Web exclusives at www.Newsweek.com.


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FRC's Tony Perkins Challenges Sebelius' Integrity, Deep Ties to Late-Term Abortionist George Tiller

20 Apr 2009 01:54 Africa/Lagos

FRC's Tony Perkins Challenges Sebelius' Integrity, Deep Ties to Late-Term Abortionist George Tiller

WICHITA, Kan., April 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins today released the following statement at a news conference held across the street from infamous late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller's clinic in Wichita, Kansas.


(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080930/FRCLOGO )


Perkins, a leading advocate of the sanctity of pre-born life, urged opposition to the nomination of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as revelations continue to emerge showing deep financial ties to the abortion industry.


"Nowhere are the strong ties between the Obama Administration and the abortion industry more clearly seen than in the nomination of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for Secretary of Health and Human Services," Perkins said. "The depth of Gov. Sebelius' money connections to late-term abortionist George Tiller is well-known in Kansas. Now, the rest of the nation is becoming more aware as new details reveal that she has built her career with abortion industry money, including money derived from the aborting of unborn babies who could survive outside their mother's womb.


"Few if any pro-abortion politicians have received the large amount of money she has obtained from abortionists, including at least $ 35,000 in personal and PAC contributions from Dr. Tiller and another $ 200,000 that he donated to ProKanDo, a political action committee (PAC) dedicated to defeating her pro-life gubernatorial opponent.


"These connections are sordid. But there is another question whose answer we have a right to know: Did Gov. Sebelius deliberately hide these ties from Congress and the country at large?


"Her tax problems and a failure to report political contributions derived from a late-term abortionist invite serious questions about her integrity. If we can't trust Gov. Sebelius to be open and honest about her political contributions, how we can trust her to administer and improve our health care system and the largest department in the federal government?


"Issues of integrity, judgment and moral values combine to make the Sebelius nomination not just troubling but unacceptable. It is time for the Governor to withdraw her name from contention from this essential policy-making role and save both the President and the nation further embarrassment," Perkins concluded.


Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080930/FRCLOGO
Source: Family Research Council

CONTACT: J.P. Duffy, +1-202-679-6800


Web Site: Family Research Council


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Piracy: Old Crime in New Century

17 Apr 2009 20:04 Africa/Lagos

Piracy: Old Crime in New Century

World's Leading Authority on Piracy Offers Insight

NEW YORK, April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The capture and rescue of Maersk Alabama's Captain Richard Phillips and the continued brazen hijacking spree by Somali pirates has riveted the world. For Angus Konstam, one of the world's leading authorities on piracy, the drama was an old tale in new clothing. In his recent book, Piracy: The Complete History (Osprey), Konstam connects the dots between the colorful age of piracy popularized by "Pirates of the Caribbean" and modern piracy. Konstam, who has written over 50 books on naval warfare and piracy, reminds readers that despite their romantic image, pirates were always dangerous and disruptive. He explains, "I enjoyed the Jack Sparrow movies as much as the next person, but they're pure fiction. You see how it took the full force of the U.S. government and its navy to ward off this current threat. Such has it always been in the war against piracy and pirates."


In Piracy: A Complete History, Konstam reveals how this is not the first time pirates have plagued shipping in the Indian Ocean. He writes, "Much like today, in the late 1690s through the 1720s, the Indian Ocean was the most lucrative pirate destination in the world. They found a pirate's dream--rich and poorly protected prizes, a range of suitable hideaways to evade pursuers, and a collection of European trading companies too busy fighting each other to worry about the threat of pirates."


Konstam cites several successful campaigns against piracy giving clues on to how to attack the current problem. "Modern-day pirates now enjoy all the advantages of technology--radios, radar, satellite navigation, automatic weapons and high-performance boats. As in the past, there is a lack of regulation on the high seas due to a shortage of interest, international goodwill and resources. A concerted international effort will be required to rid the world of this scourge." Konstam adds, "Just as today, successful pirates have always been a daunting threat."


Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, Konstam, who studied at the Universities of Aberdeen and St. Andrews, is a former naval officer, an underwater archeologist and museum curator. He advised the archeologists excavating Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge, appears nationally on TV and is featured on PBS's "Secrets of the Dead: Blackbeard's Lost Ship," April 22, 2009.


Available Topic Expert: For information on the listed expert, click appropriate link.


Angus Konstam


Source: Angus Konstam

CONTACT: Katharine Carroll, Osprey Publishing, New York,
+1-914-788-1005, or mobile, +1-914-715-4777, ktc2000@aol.com


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Broken Windows and Somali Pirates

Broken Windows and Somali Pirates
by (more by this author)
Posted 04/15/2009 ET


Today I want to discuss what Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Police Chief William Bratton’s success in lowering crime in New York City has to do with the piracy issue today. But first, let me give you three reasons to go out and be a part of a Tax Day Tea Party TODAY:

• If you’re a 50-year old-with a college degree, you will pay approximately $81,000 over your working life just to pay the interest on the debt in the Obama budget.


• If you’re a 40-year-old, you’ll pay $132,000.


• And if you’re a 20-year-old, just starting out after college, you will pay a whopping $114,000 just to service the interest on the debt created by the Obama budget.To find a Tax Day Tea Party to attend today, visit.taxdayteaparty.com or teapartyday.com.

More about who else will be attending and what’s at stake in a moment.

Navy Seals: 3, Somali Pirates: 0

The good news came on Easter Sunday. All Americans said a prayer of thanks when three eagle-eyed Navy Seals freed American Captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates with just three shots. By simply doing their job, honorably and effectively, these remarkable men set the right standard for a civilized world. And give credit to President Obama for authorizing the use of force to protect the captain. But are you ready for the bad news?

Here it is: The Seals’ show of strength and leadership was a singular event in a dangerous world.

In New York In the 1970s, Civilization Was Giving Way to Predators

Do you remember New York City in the 1970s? It seems like every other car parked on the street had a sign posted in its window that said: “No Radio.”These “No Radio” signs were a white flag of surrender to the rampant crime that terrorized New York in the 1970s. They were a signal that the criminals were winning; the ultimate sign of the weakness of civilization in the face of the uncivilized: Predators, aggressors and thieves.

Much like New York 30 years ago, the world today is full of predators and aggressors constantly testing the limits of what they can get away with. They prey on the weak and the innocent. And the signal they are receiving from America and the civilized world is that there are no consequences for their bad behavior.

Hanging Up a “No Radio” Sign in the International ArenaWe are back to hanging up “No Radio” signs. And the Somali pirates are just the latest example.

• North Korea fires a long-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear weapon deliberately on the day the President is giving a big speech on nuclear disarmament, and the civilized world wrings it hands and talks about legal conventions.

• The Iranian dictatorship cheerfully announces that is has 7,300 centrifuges to make nuclear bombs and nothing happens.• Hamas fires a few more missiles into Israel and everyone ignores it.

• Pakistan transfers power to the Taliban in its North West Frontier and the world stands idly by.

• There’s a Mexican drug war going on that barely makes the newspapers.

• And as Rich Galen points out, there are still approximately 260 hostages being held by Somali pirates.

Two more ships were seized Tuesday. But you never hear about them because they’re not Americans.

Strength Works Against Predators -- Weakness Only Invites More Predation

As mayor, Rudy Giuliani, along with his police commissioner, William Bratton, transformed New York by doing something very simple in conception but very difficult in execution.Giuliani and Bratton cleaned up crime in New York by showing that strength works against predatory aggressors.

Weakness only invites more predatory aggression.Mayor Giuliani and Commissioner Bratton were inspired by a theory developed by social scientist James Q. Wilson and criminologist George Kelling called the “broken windows” theory.

If Criminals Believe There are No Consequences, More (And Worse) Crime Will Follow

The Broken Windows theory simply states that if a building has a broken window that is not fixed, the message is sent that no one cares. Vandals believe there will be no consequences for their bad behavior, and consequently, worse behavior will follow.

However, fixing the broken window sends a message that people care about their community and are watching, which deters crime. Giuliani and Bratton acted on the insights of the Broken Windows theory to transform New York from one of the most dangerous cities in America to the safest big city in the country by treating minor crimes like vandalism, prostitution, and loitering like broken windows. They deployed police to where they were most needed using the CompStat (computer statistics) system. And instead of tolerating these crimes and showing weakness to criminals and would-be criminals, the police showed strength. They instituted a “zero tolerance” policy for so-called minor crimes. When other criminals witnessed this show of strength, they were deterred. Citizens, meanwhile, felt safer walking the streets and taking the subway. They took more responsibility for their neighborhoods and helped make them safer as well.


In New York, restoring a sense of order to the streets meant that police didn’t have to spend all their time responding to actual crime. Their show of strength inspired citizens to care more for their own communities and deterred criminals from committing crimes in the first place.


President Obama Should Take a Lesson from the Wilson, Giuliani, Bratton and Reagan PlaybookThis is a lesson that all those who now dismiss the Somali pirates as “distractions” would do well to learn.


It’s a lesson that Ronald Reagan, in addition to Mayor Giuliani and Commissioner Bratton, well understood. As Callista and I tell in our new movie, Rendezvous with Destiny, the time America spent under the presidency of Jimmy Carter was a four-year lesson in the perils of weakness.


Ronald Reagan moved America from weakness to strength with astounding speed, and the end of the existential threat to America of the 20th century, the Cold War, was the result.President Obama should take a page from James Q. Wilson, Rudy Giuliani, William Bratton and Ronald Reagan’s playbook: Strength works. Weakness fails.


We need a strategy to end piracy. Do You Know What Your Obama Debt Number Is?As I mentioned at the beginning of this newsletter, all of us will be forced to pay for President Obama’s record-setting budget increases -- as will our children and grandchildren.


By 2019, President Obama’s budget will have added over $9.4 trillion to the federal debt. And like any form of debt, such as a home mortgage or car loan, this debt comes with a steep debt load. Just like paying off the interest on a credit card, every young American will be responsible for not only paying the principal on President Obama’s budget, but will also have to shoulder the interest payments.


How much will you have to pay? How much will your kids owe? American Solutions has put together an Obama Debt Calculator to determine how much President Obama’s deficits will cost you over your working life. Just go here, enter your age, your current salary, and get your Obama Debt Number.


I Will Be At the New York Tax Day Tea Party at City Hall at 8:30 pmAnd when you’re done, take the time -- make the time -- today to come out to a Tax Day Tea Party in your area.


I will be at the New York City Tea Party at City Hall at 8:30 pm.My friend and Fox News host, Sean Hannity, will be at the Atlanta Tea Party.


To find a Tax Day Tea Party near you, you can visit taxdayteaparty.com or teapartyday.com.And don’t forget to bring your Tax Day Tool Kit, which you can download at americansolutions.com/teaparty.


Let’s make this Tax Day the day Americans stopped just paying up and started fighting back.


Your friend,




Newt’s Quick Links
Last Wednesday, at an event sponsored by the Center for Health Transformation’s Missouri Project, I had the opportunity to join a bipartisan group of local and state leaders, employers, and healthcare experts in Missouri to discuss drastically improving our healthcare system. We discussed issues from combating Medicaid fraud to restructuring the reimbursement rates of physicians. It has been clear with the Center for Health Transformation’s state projects that people all over this country want to be more engaged on transforming healthcare. You can learn more at healthtransformation.net.

On Greta van Susteren’s show last week, I suggested that those who are upset by President Obama speaking at Notre Dame should organize on the same day as his speech a nationwide series of events in support of the right to life. You can watch it here.
On the same show, we also discussed how better roads are key to Afghanistan’s future. Watch it here.

Mr. Gingrich is the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and author of "Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World That Works" and "Winning the Future" (published by Regnery, a HUMAN EVENTS sister company).Click here to have the

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