Posts Tagged ‘President of the United States’

Jon Stewart’s Crusade To Restore Sanity

In Health and Environment, International Econnomic Politics, Law & Regulations, Learning, National Economic Politics, Philosophy, Uncategorized, Views, commentaries and opinions on 28.10.10 at 21:50

Comedian Jon Stewart – who yesterday was announced as the most influential man of 2010 – is now crusading to restore sanity in the US. The so-called “Rally to Restore Sanity” is scheduled to take place on the National Mall in Washington DC on Saturday. Stewart is expecting more than 100.000 americans to participate at his rally.

“What does the journalists of the 21st century have to know about listening to the crowd? And how can he or she break through the information overload to reach the public?”

Paley Center for Media

Jon Stewart is seeking to reintroduce the concept of playing nice with his upcoming Rally to Restore Sanity.   Rather than the name-calling and anger that seems to increase with every political season, Stewart is asking everyone to take it down a notch with a meeting of opposing views coming together in “respectful disagreement”. Basically it’s the reintroduction of playground rules – always play nice, no name-calling, no yelling, and when it’s all done shake hands and go home on friendly terms.

The Rally, which will take place on October 30 in Washington DC, is calling for “the people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard; and who believe that the only time it’s appropriate to draw a Hitler mustache on someone is when that person is actually Hitler,” to come together and discuss the issues that truly impact our lives (minus the political discord).

“The only time it’s appropriate to draw a Hitler mustache on someone is when that person is actually Hitler.

Also a satellite rally also will take place in Los Angeles.

However,  the details on the event are limited, Associated Press and  Matt Friedman reports:

More influential Than Obama

On Wednesday, Mr. Stewart was announced as the most influential man of 2010.

The award is based on a poll conducted by with half a million readers voting, along with the staff of the magazine.

The host of Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” rise to the top of the list this year, amongst 49 other prominent men from politics, sports, entertainment, technology and philanthropy.

On the following placed on the most-influential-list are;  Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Apple’s Steve Jobs and artist Kanye West, according to Reuters.

“The “Daily Show” is our youths’ most trusted source of information and its host the most trusted man in America,” says in a statement.

When it comes to the US President, Mr. Barack Obama only reach place number 21 on the list.

The President is said to be guest at the “Daily Show” tonight. Thursday.

Other notables included James Franco (No. 7), Jay-Z (No. 13), George Clooney (No. 18), designer-turned-director Tom Ford (No. 23), Eminem (No. 24), Ben Affleck (No. 25), Zach Galifianakis (No. 29), Old Spice guy Isaiah Mustafa (No. 30), Justin Timberlake (No. 33), Hugh Jackman (No. 36), Christopher Nolan (No. 40), Leonardo DiCaprio (No. 43), former JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater (No. 48) and comedian Russell Brand (No. 49).

“These are the men history will remember as having defined 2010,” according to AskMen.

Good For Democracy?

Stewart’s fellow Comedy Central late-night host, Stephen Colbert, came in at number 11.

Stewart and Colbert was named as the “real winners” of last years presidential election in the US, after their intensive coverage of the candidate’s campaigns.

Several surveys confirm that the majority of young Americans gets their news and general information, mainly, from the “Daily Show”.

Gone are the days when the Brahmins of the news industry dictate what the audience should know.

This was the topic of a debate at ForaTV earlier this year.

“The loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard.”

Ira Glass with the National Public Radio (NPR) argues that the program, while good satire, is a poor substitute for actual, in-depth news coverage.

Journalists Rachel Davis Mersey and Ted Anthony defends the “Daily Show”.

Rachel Davis Mersey is an assistant professor of journalism at the Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Ted Anthony is Assistant Managing Editor for The Associated Press.


Related by The Swapper:

Jon Stewart Takes On Obama’s Chief Economic Advisor

Daily Show: Jon Stewart Finds Humor In The Foreclosure Crisis

Jon Stewart vs Jim Cramer

Please, Give This Man An Award!


Le Monde File Lawsuit Against President Sarkozy For Spying

In Health and Environment, International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics on 14.09.10 at 13:08

Le Monde has filed a lawsuit against President Nicolas Sarkozy‘s office for using the country’s counter-intelligence services to track the French newspaper’s sources. Sarkozy’s office is being accused of having hunted down the source who talked to the paper about alleged illegal party funding by the country’s richest woman, L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

“The presidency emphasizes the fact that it has never given the slightest order to any service whatsoever.”

The Elysee

Je ne sais rien ...

In a front-page editorial published on Monday, the newspaper say they are suing the president’s administration for violation of the secrecy of sources, accusing Sarkozy of having ordered the national intelligence service to track down the source who talked to Le Monde about alleged illegal party funding by the country’s richest woman, L’Oreal heiress  Liliane Bettencourt.

Police sources are telling Le Monde that counter-espionage officers have looked at the telephone records of a justice ministry official to find out if he have spoken to reporters.


The official has now been removed from his duties, accused of having released restricted information and sent on a minor legal mission in the French Guyana.


France’s national police chief, Frederic Pechenard, reject the claims saying that the probe was legal and that the evidence was collected through a “legitimate investigation of the origin of leaks.”

Mr. Pechenard confirms that domestic intelligence services have been involved, as their mission is to “protect the security of institutions.”

However, Le Monde claims the spying is illegal because it violates a law protecting journalists’ sources – a law proposed by Mr. Sarkozy and enacted in January this year.


Meanwhile, Mr. Sarkozy’s cabinet firmly rejected any connection to the case.

“The presidency emphasizes the fact that it has never given the slightest order to any service whatsoever,” the Elysee says in a statement.

Le Monde quotes intelligence sources who says Mr. Sarkozy was furious at the leak published mid-July and ordered an investigation by the Direction Centrale du Renseignement Interieur (DCRI).

DCRI is a umbrella division of the internal security organization, created two years ago in an attempt to de-politicize  the country’s security services.

Liliane Bettencourt


The leak exposed labor minister Eric Woerth lobbying Ms. Bettencourt’s wealth manager for a job for his wife.

Five months later, the wealth manager was awarded the Legion d’honneur, a top French honor.


This investigation is still ongoing and now looking into Mr.  Woerth’s alleged conflicts of interest, among other accusations is tax evasion and illegal party funding.

The scandal has dented Mr Woerth’s credibility as he prepared to present a key pension reform to parliament.

A fresh set of nationwide union strikes are due on 23 September against the reforms, while Mr Sarkozy’s popularity – close to a record low – has only slightly improved following his clampdown on Roman camps.

Leaked documents published last week by Le Monde describes in detail how the Romans should be targeted “with priority.”

Le Monde has been on a collision course with the center-right government of Mr. Sarkozy ever since the traditional newspaper was taken over this summer by a trio of left-leaning millionaires, the EUobserver writes.

"This is to balance the newspapers, Mr. Minister .. or for your personal use?"

Related by the Econotwist:

Media Freedom Threatened In Most European Countries

EU Hunts For Journalist’s Sources

European criminals and politicians taking “libel tourism” trips to UK

Estonia Put Pressure On Journalists

Estonian Newspapers Protesting With Blank Front Page

Warns Against Euro Zone “Elite”

EU Lobbyists Complains Over Unfair Treatment


Manufacturer Direct espymall


Anti Spam

Romania's Pension Cuts Ruled As Illegal

In Financial Markets, Health and Environment, International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics, Views, commentaries and opinions on 26.06.10 at 12:19

Now all these governmental emergency measures are getting really interesting;  first we have a judge overruling the US President‘s ban on deep sea drilling, and now we have a court overruling a governments austerity measures. What’s next? Will the EU Parliament rule the 750 billion euro bailout package as illegal according to the Maastricht Treaty?

“This will be a big blow to the government of Prime Minister Emil Boc.”

Nick Thorpe

A top court in Romania has ruled out a pension cut demanded by the country’s government as part of a deficit-cutting financial austerity measure, BBC reports.

The government wanted to cut state pensions by 15%, as well as slashing wages and welfare allowances.

But the Constitutional Court said the pension cut was unconstitutional, a ruling which cannot be appealed.

The decision was reached hours after dozens of Romanian citizens stormed the presidential palace to get an audience with President Traian Basescu.

Riot police repelled them from the palace.

The court did not publish its reasoning behind the ruling, but unions say pensions partly funded by worker contributions to are protected by the constitution.

Romania wants to cut spending to qualify for a $20bn loan from the International Monetary Fund.

That may now be delayed, and this will be a big blow to the government of Prime Minister Emil Boc, BBC’s Nick Thorpe reports.

The austerity plan negotiated by the government with the IMF aimed to cut the national deficit from 7.2% of output to 6.8%.

Ministers hoped to achieve that by cutting pensions by 15% and wages by 25%.

CDS Blow-up

CDS blew up today and closed +30 to 410 basis points for Dracula’s host country, and +20 to 360 bps for the country that served as the reverse engineering center of the former Communist Bloc – Bulgaria.

So now we wait until the Greeks starts involving their legal constitutions, and ask the logical question why their pensions are allowed to be cut by as much as 30%.

And for the EU parliament to finish its investigation of the process that led the the EU Commission‘s questionable decision to set up a 750 billion euro emergency fund.

Related by the Econotwist:

Romania: Largest Protests Since Ceausescu

Desperation Gets A Grip: Greece Puts Islands Up For Sale

Pressure On Spain To Cut More

Banks Protesters Storm Irish Parliament

E.U. Parliament To Investigate Euro Zone Bailout

Bundesbank Suspects A French Conspiracy

EU Officials Fears Second Depression And War

Why Optimists Are Wrong About The Euro Zone


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Yara Gives Up On Terra Merger

In Financial Markets, International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics on 12.03.10 at 08:52

Norwegian Yara International have decided to back out of the bidding war on the American company Terra Industries, Yara says in a market statement Friday morning. Terra will have to pay Yara USD 123 million for breaking up the engagement. At Oslo Stock Exchange the Yara shares slides.

“Terra would be a perfect fit to Yara and attractive at our proposed valuation, but we will not increase our offer that was first accepted by the Terra Board.”

Jørgen Ole Haslestad

Yara International ASA (Yara) has notified Terra Industries Inc. (Terra) that it will not propose an improvement to the cash merger agreement signed 12 February by Yara and Terra.

As announced March 10th, Yara has received a notification from Terra Industries Inc. (Terra) that the proposal from CF Industries is, in Terra’s view, a superior proposal to the merger agreement signed by Yara and Terra.

“The merger agreement may be terminated under certain circumstances, including if Terra receives a superior proposal, as that term is defined in the merger agreement, provides advance notice to Yara and Yara does not match the superior proposal within five business days,” Yara International says in a market statement Friday morning.

“If Terra terminates the merger agreement under such circumstances, Yara will be entitled to a USD 123 million break-up fee payable concurrently with merger agreement termination,” Yara points out.

“Terra would be a perfect fit to Yara and attractive at our proposed valuation, but we will not increase our offer that was first accepted by the Terra Board. The growth ambition of Yara will be carried out for the future on the same value generating basis as the company has done successfully in the past. US remains an attractive market for us and we will continue to search for opportunities to grow our business in the region. We remain the global leader in the fertilizer industry, and there will be more opportunities around the world to grow our business further”, Jørgen Ole Haslestad, President and CEO of Yara International ASA says.

According to the short statement,  Yara continues to use all appropriate efforts to consummate the merger and reserves all rights under the merger agreement until such time, if ever, as the merger agreement is terminated in accordance with its terms.

Here’s the statement from Yara International.

Yara Information Memorandum with Appendices

Yara Board Statement of Responsibility

Stocks Slide

At Oslo Stock Exchange the Yara shares slides to NOK 252, from NOK 254, in the opening trade.

Yara’s share price have been falling lately on concern that the Terra-merger would be a very costly affair for the Norwegian fertilizer producer.

The benchmark index (OSEBX) is up 0,6 percent.

Related by the Econotwist:

Terra-Yara Deal In Jeopardy

Yara Sign Cash Merger Agreement With Terra

Analysts Lost In (Norwegian) Woods

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Wars Filling Norwegian Order Books

In Financial Markets, Health and Environment, International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics on 20.02.10 at 14:00

The U.S. military is ordering more and more products from the Norwegian company Kongsberg Gruppen, newspaper Dagens Næringsliv reports.

“The frame of the eight billion is utilized fully, and the U.S. Army has increased the scope further that can give orders  for between three and four billion kroner.”

Walter Qvam

“We started 2010 with a nearly 20 billion order backlog. We now expects to increase staffing in the group as a whole,” President and CEO of Kongsberg Gruppen Walter Qvam says to the newspaper.

Last year more military provider operating income by almost 25 percent.

The U.S. military uses the Norwegian products to warfare in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

A framework agreement with the Americans from 2007 of eight billion for the purchase of remote-controlled weapons stations in the vehicle, has become a pure order, writes DN.

“The frame of the eight billion is utilized fully, and the U.S. Army has increased the scope further that can give the order for between three and four billion,” Qvam says.


Related by the Econotwist:

U.S Pilot Crash Plane Into IRS Building

2010 Analysis: Warns Against Social Unrest

Norway’s Prime Minister Fears Social Unrest

Update: 1920-similarities

“A Breakdown In Our Values”

Germany In Favour Of Creating European Army

China: “Mother of All Black Swans”

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Obama Unveiling $3.8T Federal Budget Blueprint

In Financial Markets, International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics on 01.02.10 at 17:09
President Barack Obama speaks to a joint sessi...
Image via Wikipedia

The $3.8 trillion budget blueprint President Obama plans to submit to Congress on Monday calls for billions of dollars in new spending to combat persistently high unemployment and bolster a battered middle class.

But it also would slash funding for hundreds of programs and raise taxes on banks and the wealthy to help rein in soaring budget deficits.

Source: The Washington Post

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Obama To Reset His Political Agenda

In Health and Environment, International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics, Views, commentaries and opinions on 27.01.10 at 16:47

When President Obama appears before Congress and the nation on Wednesday night to deliver his State of the Union speech, his goals will be to reset his agenda, assure his demoralized party that he has not given up on key priorities and try to convince a skeptical public that he can still change Washington.

“We’ll have to look and see what the president’s talking about cutting”

Larry Reid

(Article in English, link to original post)

Although Senate Democratic leaders released a blueprint for a new jobs bill on Tuesday, lawmakers bickered over what to include in the package. The Senate’s rejection Tuesday of a bipartisan deficit commission also highlighted deep divisions within the party over how aggressively to tackle a federal budget crisis that will inevitably require tax increases and spending cuts, The Washington Post writes.

The president will call for a 6.2 percent increase in education spending over last year, including up to $4 billion as part of an effort to revamp the George W. Bush-era programs that expanded testing to measure student progress, aides to the president said Tuesday.

Senior aides said Obama will link the increase in education funding to his calls for school reform. They said his proposals fit into a broader effort by the White House to focus scarce resources on the nation’s long-term economic health.

Read the full post here.

Watch video here.

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A non-agreement on nothing

In Health and Environment, International Econnomic Politics, Views, commentaries and opinions on 19.12.09 at 13:29

Friday evening, said U.S. President Barac Obama that it is achieved “meaningful and enestårende” climate agreement after negotiations on overtime in Copenhagen.  But the so-called agreement does not contain anything concrete. See for yourself.

U.S. President Barack Obama told the press late Friday night that it had achieved a “meaningful and unique agreement” between the world’s heads of state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 2050.

In addition, it agreed to create a climate fund of 100 billion dollars to be used for mitigation in developing countries.

The agreement was presented in Copenhagen for talks on overtime between the U.S. and China.

– For the first time in history have all the major world economies come together and accepted its responsibility to act against the looming climate change, said Obama, according to international news agencies

Not binding

– The agreement is not legally binding, but what it does is to allow each country to show the world what they are doing, and it will be agreed from each country that we are in this together. We will see who meets, and who do not meet, the common commitments that have been put forth, “said Obama.

– We know that the measures we do not have sole NOK to get where we need to be by 2050, but that is why this should be the first step.

Obama thinks there are nødvending with a legally binding agreement, but that one could not sit to wait for everyone to agree on details.

X-and Y-agreement

The agreement is not legally binding and it is up to each country if they want to sign or not,

Those who write under is committed only to participate in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – individually or collectively – with 80 per cent towards 2050.

Each country can even fill out the percentage they will reduce their emissions by up to 2020 – X percent compared to 1990 and Y per cent compared to 2005.

According to the agreement, specific targets and commitments specified in a new agreement by 2016.


Politicians disappointed – environmentalists outraged

There are apparently no one – except Obama – who is satisfied with the agreement.

“Let’s be honest, this is not a perfect agreement. It does not remove the climate pressures, climate change threat to humanity”, said EU president, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told a news conference on Friday night.

“Our future is not for sale. I regret to inform you that Tuvalu can not accept this document,” said Ian Fry, who represents the small øystaten in the Pacific Ocean is likely to disappear in the ocean if sea levels rise as much as feared.

Fry calls the document a betrayal of biblical proportions.

“It looks like we have been offered 30 pieces of silver to betray our people and our future.”


Greepeace: “Copenhagen is the site of a crime today, and the culprit is the wild flight to the airport. There is neither the goal for emissions cuts or a legally binding agreement,” said John Sauve from the British division of Greenpeace.

Friends of Earth: “The agreement a miserable failure, and says that the rich countries thus have condemned millions of the world’s poorest people to starvation, suffering and loss of life as the climate changes ahead.” Det sier organisasjonens leder Nnimmo Bassey.

“Ansvaret for dette katastrofale resultatet ligger direkte hos de rike landene,” It says the organization’s leader Nnimmo Bassey.

“The responsibility for this disastrous outcome is directly in the rich countries,”

World Development Group: “The summit has been the only chaos from beginning to end, and finally ended in a shameful and monumental failure to judge one million around the world to indescribable suffering,” says Tim Jones in the WDG.

“To say that this agreement at any way is historical or meaningful is to fake the fact that it is empty of content. It is in reality meaningless. “

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