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August 29, 2008

McCain Picks Gov Sarah Palin (Alaska) For His VP

 A few minutes ago John McCain announced that Sarah Palin who has been Governor of Alaska for two years will be his running mate.  Palin seems to be a very charming woman.

My first honest thought was ‘they don’t look comfortable together’.

My second though was how she is going to adjust to the mainland; in particular Washington, D.C.

My third thought was does Palin have the knowledge necessary to whisper corrections into McCain’s ears when he makes his gaffes like Lieberman does? Does Palin have National Security experience? How educated is Palin on the issues? Does Palin have Foreign Relations experience?

Is Palin just a ‘pawn’ to get the women vote? (That’s a redundant question). Does McCain think that the female vote is transferable from Hillary to ANY woman?

By selecting Palin, McCain proves that he is putting his ambitions ahead of those of our country. He has stated both recently and previously, that he would chose a running mate that shared his views and principles. She certainly fits his requirements. What he did NOT do was put the nation’s interests first – he selected an individual that is not qualified to succeed him in the event of an unfortunate tragedy. Is this sound mature thinking and judgment? This is all about me first.

Before becoming Governor of Alaska Palin was Mayor of Wasilla, a town of about 8,000. As someone who has visited and LOVEs Alaska, I can tell you that this will be a huge transition from Alaska to the lower 48.  Every town in Alaska is real small town rural living even in its capital Anchorage – where everyone knows everyone.  Anchorage has a population of approximately 270,000 people and that is about 50% of the population of the entire state of Alaska which is about half of a million people.  So Palin will be going from governing Alaska that has 500,000 people to co-governing America which has 301 million people.  The state of Illinois has 13 million people; the state of Delaware has 1 million people. What a promotion!

Living or working in a city like New York you see that much people in 5 blocks.  In Los Angeles you see that much people on Robertson Boulevard at lunch time.  In Miami you see that much people lazing around South Beach at any given minute – day or night.  In D.C. you see that much people walking around Georgetown at lunch time.

John McCain has had 4 bouts with cancer – is Palin prepared to be President if something happens to McCain?

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August 27, 2008

117 More Banks In Trouble. Are Your Deposits Insured?

The FDIC reported that the number of banks on the “problem bank” list grew to 117 during the second quarter. That’s the highest level since the middle of 2003.

 There were 90 banks on the problem list in the first quarter of this year. The FDIC chairman also said that list is going to grow. In fact, analysts say that there could be up to 150 bank failures on the horizon. Unfortunately the FDIC keeps the list private and will not share the information with the public.

Let’s put this in perspective – the FDIC insures more than 8,000 thrifts and banks. And this is nothing like what we saw during the late 1980s and early 1990s, when more than 1,000 financial institutions failed amid the savings-and-loan crisis (which John McCain was a part of).

Generally small and mid-size banks are more at risk – that’s because they may not be able to raise enough money if they are in trouble. If you’re looking to put your money somewhere safe, go with larger, more familiar banks.

Since the FDIC doesn’t release the names of banks that are in trouble, but you can check the health of your own bank. Check out bankrate.com. This site will have a safe & sound rating system that can help you get a picture of your bank’s health.

If you want more detailed information about your bank’s financials, you can go to ambest.com.

Some signs to look for:

Pay attention to massive job layoffs or cutback in services at your bank.

1.    If your bank doesn’t accept new loan submissions that’s a HUGE red flag.

2.    If you start to see generous CD yields advertised – that could be a sign that the bank is in trouble. That’s because banks are trying to entice people to keep their money at the bank and get new deposits. 

If you are within the limits of FDIC-insurance coverage with an FDIC-insured bank, you shouldn’t panic. The worst move you could make is pulling your money out of a regulated institution and holding the cash yourself.

The FDIC is not required to reimburse you for anything above the covered amount. But there are some cases where you’ll be ok. For example, you may qualify for more than $100,000 if there are accounts in different “ownership categories.”

For example, your share of any joint account at a bank is insured up to $100,000 separately from accounts you hold in your name alone.

And the bank can also choose to pay for uninsured deposits if it raises enough money after selling off the banks assets. 

Are your deposits insured?  Find out by going to: http://www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/index.html

 

August 25, 2008

Introducing MICHELLE OBAMA — Phenomenal Woman!!!

  Michelle Obama (nee Robinson) was born on January 17, 1964 – she’s 44 years old.  She was raised by her parents.  Her Father suffered from Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system (CNS). MS can cause numerous physical and mental symptoms, and often progresses to physical and cognitive disability. Despite suffering from MS Mr. Robinson worked and supported his family and rarely took a day off. Her Mother Marian Robinson stayed home and nurtured her family.

 Michelle was raised in a one-bedroom apartment on Chicago’s South Shore, a predominantly black neighborhood. The South Side has mostly single-family homes and has endured a reputation as being poor and crime-infested.  The neighborhood ranges from impoverished to working class mostly blue collar residents.

Michelle shared a “bedroom” with her brother Craig, but it wasn’t much of a bedroom. It was actually the living room with a divider down the middle since the family could not afford a larger apartment.

  Michelle’s parents demanded academic excellence and Michelle and her brother excelled in school.  After high school Michelle received a scholarship to Princeton where she majored in sociology.

Princeton was Michelle’s first step into a diverse America since before then her life was centered around Chicago’s South Shore.

 Michelle arrived at Princeton before her roommate.  When her roommate, a white southerner, arrived on campus her roommate’s mother was in shock and angry that her daughter would have a black roommate and immediately requested that her daughter get a different roommate.

I was not at Princeton with Michelle Obama but I can imagine some of her experiences at blue blood Princeton.  She must have been shunned too many times to remember, most likely wasn’t asked to join a sorority and was most likely excluded from most social activities.  But she persevered and graduated with cum laude honors in 1985.

From there she attended Harvard where she earned her law degree in 1988, one year ahead of her husband-to-be, Barack, whom she hadn’t met as yet even though they attended the same law school.

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August 22, 2008

Olympics: GOLD for Jamaica Men 400m Relay Team. Yet Another World Record!

 In yet another mind-boggling display of speed, Usain Bolt set another world record and won another Olympic gold medal, and this time got to share the glory with his Jamaican teammates.

 Both Bolt and Asafa Powell blew away the field over the last two legs of the 400-meter relay leading Jamaica around the track in 37.10 seconds to break the 16-year-old world record by 0.3 seconds.

Bolt is now 3-for-3 in these Olympic sprints — as in three gold medals and three world records.

The bonus is that he got to bring Powell along for the ride. Powell held the world record in the 100-meter dash for about three years before Bolt broke it in May, but he is also well known for his history of poor performances in the biggest meets.

 In this one, Powell got to do the honors, running the anchor leg, taking a clean handoff from Bolt and crossing the line almost a full second ahead of Trinidad and Tobago‘s Richard Thompson to secure his first Olympic medal.

The Jamaican quartet, which also included Nesta Carter and Michael Frater, eclipsed the old 400 relay mark of 37.40 set by the United States at the Barcelona Olympics in the 1992 and tied by the U.S. at the world championships a year later.

Bolt added that to the records he set in winning the 100 meters (9.69) and 200 meters (19.30) in Beijing.

The Jamaicans were nearly a full second faster than relay silver medalists Trinidad and Tobago, which finished in 38.06. Japan took the bronze in 38.15.

The Jamaica women’s relay team failed to hand off the baton in the third leg of the relay and did not complete the race. We are VERY PROUD of the women team!!!

Jamaica is 4 out of 5 in their sprint events.

  Team Jamaica now has a total of 10 medals: 6 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze.

   

Congratulations Team Jamaica!!!

August 20, 2008

Olympics: Usain Bolt of Jamaica Sets NEW 200 Meter World Record. Clocks 19.30 Seconds – Makes History!

 On the eve of his birthday, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt made history.  He won the GOLD for the 200 meter by four body lengths on the world’s biggest stage at the Olympics in Beijing, China. He smashed Michael Johnson’s 12 year record of 19.32 seconds – Bolt won in 19.30 setting another world record!!!

21 year old Bolt became the first man ever to break the world record in both the 100 and 200 at the same Olympics and the first since Carl Lewis in 1984 to win the sprint double.

 Bolt had already won the race halfway through, but unlike his record-setting performance in the 100 four nights before, there was no animated celebrating until he crossed the line. He went hard all the way, looking at the clock down the stretch, leaning at the line, knowing that Michael Johnson’s revered mark was within reach.

Bolt had been accused of jogging through the line in his heats but the Jamaican said he would run flat out in the final and he delivered on that promise with fascination!

He blasted out of the blocks and was already well clear of the field going into the bend at the Bird’s Nest stadium.

The Olympic 100m champion accelerated away down the straight, gritting his teeth as he chased down gold and the record that Johnson set 12 years ago in Atlanta.

 When he saw the number come up — a number that never has before been displayed in a human race — he raised his arms, then fell flat to his back, arms and legs outstretched, and basked in the roar of the Bird’s Nest crowd.  Bolt now has three world records – this one, the 100 meter from Saturday and the one from Randall Island, New York in May when he broke the 100 record the first time.

A version of “Happy Birthday” played over the public-address system as he took off his gold shoes and wrapped the Jamaican flag around his shoulders like a scarf.

The race for the other medals was a little dramatic. Churandy MARTINA of Netherlands Antilles finished second behind Bolt and American Wallace Spearmon came in third.

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August 13, 2008

Russia to America: “Pick Sides”. Georgia to McCain: “Action Not A Bunch Of Words “.

 Relations between Russia and the U.S. have become exceptionally tense. Russia has thrown out a challenge to the United States, daring President George W Bush to “choose” between Washington’s relationship with Georgia and its future ties with Moscow.
 
In what appeared to be calculated defiance of the United States and the European Union, which mediated a ceasefire deal struck less than 24 hours earlier, early Wednesday, Moscow sent its forces to occupy the Georgian town of Gori, just 50 miles from the capital Tbilisi.

President George W Bush said the move had “damaged relations” between America and Russia and demanded that Moscow “keep its word” over the ceasefire. 

“To begin to repair the damage to its relations with the United States, Europe and other nations, and to begin restoring its place in the world, Russia must keep its word and act to end this crisis,” Bush said.

But Russia retorted that America, which has a staunch ally of Tbilisi’s pro-western government, would have “to choose” between building a relationship with Georgia or Russia.

“We understand that this current Georgian leadership is a special project of the United States, but one day the United States will have to choose,” said the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili earlier Wednesday called for John McCain and other American leaders to do more for Georgia in their response to the conflict in his country.

“Yesterday, I heard Sen. McCain say, ‘We are all Georgians now,’ ” Saakashvili said on CNN’s American Morning. “Well, very nice, you know, very cheering for us to hear that, but OK, it’s time to pass from this – from words to deeds.”

 

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August 11, 2008

Russia/George War: Is Russia Trying To Rebuild The Soviet Union?

 Map of Russia as it exists today.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said Russian forces had effectively cut his country in half. Russia captured the central city of Gori and its armored vehicles rolled deep into western Georgia on Monday, seizing a military base and several towns and opening a second front of fighting. The State Department said it has evacuated more than 170 U.S. citizens. Poland and other former Soviet satellites have expressed deep anxiety that the escalation of fighting signals Russia’s willingness to use force to dominate the newly democratic region.

  Map of the Soviet Union when it controlled the entire Eurasia region.

From 1945 until dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 – a period known as the Cold War – the Soviet Union and the United States of America were the two world superpowers that dominated the global agenda of economic policy, foreign affairs, military operations, cultural exchange, scientific advancements including the pioneering of space exploration, and sports – including the Olympic Games and various world championships.

Initially established as a union of four Soviet Socialist Republics, the USSR grew to contain 15 constituent or “union republics” by 1956: Armenian SSR, Azerbaijan SSR, Byelorussian SSR, Estonian SSR, Georgian SSR, Kazakh SSR, Kirghiz SSR, Latvian SSR, Lithuanian SSR, Moldavian SSR, Russian SFSR, Tajik SSR, Turkmen SSR, Ukrainian SSR, and Uzbek SSR.

It seems that Russia is ready to reclaim what they believe to be theirs.  This could escalate into something very scary especially since Russia is now claiming that America is helping Georgia.

Russia is not Iraq – they will fight America if they think it’s necessary.  Scary!

Also see: https://letustalk.wordpress.com/2008/08/10/russiageorgia-war-how-america-has-lost-its-world-influence/

 

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