Monday, August 29, 2011

The Social Poets: Darth Vadar VP Cheney Crosses Bush In New Book



Alex Brandon / AP
Alex Brandon/AP






The Social Poets: Darth Vadar VP Cheney Crosses Bush In New Book: From Denny: Former VP Dick Cheney is out to settle the score with his former boss, President Bush 43. Cheney, often likened to the villain in Star Wars, Darth Vadar, is best known for his reputation as the GOP hatchet man. He is also now literally the man with no heart. What beats inside his chest is a mechanical heart. He plugs himself into the electrical outlet every night. Talk about the creep factor.

In this news clip he contradicts Bush's account of how it happened when he and Bush made the decision to go into Iraq. Yeah? Well, what I remember is the New York Times article back in August of 2001 - before the terrorist attack - detailing how the Pentagon had plans to go into Iraq. That article also discussed how Bush and Cheney told the Pentagon to dust off the plan, take it off the shelf and put it into action. Somehow, that little factoid has escaped public attention all these years.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Social Poets: Funny Jon Stewart Comics Explain American Politics


Photo by Beverly and Pack @ flickr

The Social Poets: Funny Jon Stewart Comics Explain American Politics: From Denny:  It's a wonder that humanity has survived this long considering our political gaffes, weird ineffective policies and dysfunctional governments over the centuries.  Too many selfish egos colliding around Congress like bumper cars at a state fair make our lives as difficult as it is entertaining.

Society must have survived because of the comics that help us laugh at our annoying government while we patiently wait to "throw the bums out" at the next available election. :)  I find Jon Stewart and his stable of fellow funny guys quite refreshing.  Comics sure do have a wonderful way of putting it all into perspective, along with stabbing pins into the hot air pundit and political balloons.

Friday, August 19, 2011

President Obama: Executive Order 13582, Blocking Property of the Government of Syria and Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to Syria


The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Executive Order 13582-- Blocking Property of the Government of Syria and Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to Syria

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, in order to take additional steps with respect to the Government of Syria's continuing escalation of violence against the people of Syria and with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13338 of May 11, 2004, as modified in scope and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13399 of April 25, 2006, Executive Order 13460 of February 13, 2008, Executive Order 13572 of April 29, 2011, and Executive Order 13573 of May 18, 2011, hereby order:
Section 1.  (a)  All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person, including any overseas branch, of the Government of Syria are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in.
(b)  All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person, including any overseas branch, of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:  any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:
(i)   to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or 
(ii)  to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.
Sec2.  The following are prohibited:
(a)  new investment in Syria by a United States person, wherever located;
(b)  the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of any services to Syria;
(c)  the importation into the United States of petroleum or petroleum products of Syrian origin;
(d)  any transaction or dealing by a United States person, wherever located, including purchasing, selling, transporting, swapping, brokering, approving, financing, facilitating, or guaranteeing, in or related to petroleum or petroleum products of Syrian origin; and
(e)  any approval, financing, facilitation, or guarantee by a United States person, wherever located, of a transaction by a foreign person where the transaction by that foreign person would be prohibited by this section if performed by a United States person or within the United States.
Sec3.  I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type of articles specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to section 1 of this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13338 and expanded in scope in Executive Order 13572, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.
Sec4.  The prohibitions in section 1 of this order include but are not limited to:
(a)  the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and
(b)  the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
Sec5.  The prohibitions in sections 1 and 2 of this order apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date of this order.
Sec6.  (a)  Any transaction by a United States person or within the United States that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
(b)  Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
Sec7.  Nothing in sections 1 or 2 of this order shall prohibit transactions for the conduct of the official business of the Federal Government by employees, grantees, or contractors thereof.
Sec8.  For the purposes of this order:
(a)  the term "person" means an individual or entity;
(b)  the term "entity" means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;
(c)  the term "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States; and
(d)  the term "Government of Syria" means the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, its agencies, instrumentalities, and controlled entities.
Sec9.  For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual.  I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13338 and expanded in scope in Executive Order 13572, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1 of this order.
Sec10.  The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order.  The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government consistent with applicable law.  All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.
Sec11.  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Sec12.  This order is effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on August 18, 2011.
                             BARACK OBAMA

Thursday, August 18, 2011

President Obama: Executive Order 13583, Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce


    The White House
    Office of the Press Secretary

    Executive Order 13583-- Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce

    EXECUTIVE ORDER
    ESTABLISHING A COORDINATED GOVERNMENT-WIDE INITIATIVE TO PROMOTE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN THE FEDERAL WORKFORCE
    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to promote the Federal workplace as a model of equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion, it is hereby ordered as follows:
    Section 1.  Policy.  Our Nation derives strength from the diversity of its population and from its commitment to equal opportunity for all.  We are at our best when we draw on the talents of all parts of our society, and our greatest accomplishments are achieved when diverse perspectives are brought to bear to overcome our greatest challenges.
    A commitment to equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion is critical for the Federal Government as an employer.  By law, the Federal Government's recruitment policies should "endeavor to achieve a work force from all segments of society."  (5 U.S.C. 2301(b)(1)).  As the Nation's largest employer, the Federal Government has a special obligation to lead by example.  Attaining a diverse, qualified workforce is one of the cornerstones of the merit-based civil service.
    Prior Executive Orders, including but not limited to those listed below, have taken a number of steps to address the leadership role and obligations of the Federal Government as an employer.  For example, Executive Order 13171 of October 12, 2000 (Hispanic Employment in the Federal Government), directed executive departments and agencies to implement programs for recruitment and career development of Hispanic employees and established a mechanism for identifying best practices in doing so.  Executive Order 13518 of November 9, 2009 (Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government), required the establishment of a Veterans Employment Initiative.  Executive Order 13548 of July 26, 2010 (Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities), and its related predecessors, Executive Order 13163 of July 26, 2000 (Increasing the Opportunity for Individuals With Disabilities to be Employed in the Federal Government), and Executive Order 13078 of March 13, 1998 (Increasing Employment of Adults With Disabilities), sought to tap the skills of the millions of Americans living with disabilities.
    To realize more fully the goal of using the talents of all segments of society, the Federal Government must continue to challenge itself to enhance its ability to recruit, hire, promote, and retain a more diverse workforce.  Further, the Federal Government must create a culture that encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness to enable individuals to participate to their full potential.
    Wherever possible, the Federal Government must also seek to consolidate compliance efforts established through related or overlapping statutory mandates, directions from Executive Orders, and regulatory requirements.  By this order, I am directing executive departments and agencies (agencies) to develop and implement a more comprehensive, integrated, and strategic focus on diversity and inclusion as a key component of their human resources strategies.  This approach should include a continuing effort to identify and adopt best practices, implemented in an integrated manner, to promote diversity and remove barriers to equal employment opportunity, consistent with merit system principles and applicable law.
    Sec. 2.  Government-Wide Diversity and Inclusion Initiative and Strategic Plan.  The Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in coordination with the President's Management Council (PMC) and the Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), shall:
    (a)  establish a coordinated Government-wide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the Federal workforce;
    (b)  within 90 days of the date of this order:
    (i)    develop and issue a Government-wide Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan (Government-wide Plan), to be updated as appropriate and at a minimum every 4 years, focusing on workforce diversity, workplace inclusion, and agency accountability and leadership.  The Government-wide Plan shall highlight comprehensive strategies for agencies to identify and remove barriers to equal employment opportunity that may exist in the Federal Government's recruitment, hiring, promotion, retention, professional development, and training policies and practices;
    (ii)   review applicable directives to agencies related to the development or submission of agency human capital and other workforce plans and reports in connection with recruitment, hiring, promotion, retention, professional development, and training policies and practices, and develop a strategy for consolidating such agency plans and reports where appropriate and permitted by law; and
    (iii)  provide guidance to agencies concerning formulation of agency-specific Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plans prepared pursuant to section 3(b) of this order;
    (c)  identify appropriate practices to improve the effectiveness of each agency's efforts to recruit, hire, promote, retain, develop, and train a diverse and inclusive workforce, consistent with merit system principles and applicable law; and
    (d)  establish a system for reporting regularly on agencies' progress in implementing their agency-specific Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plans and in meeting the objectives of this order.
    Sec. 3.  Responsibilities of Executive Departments and Agencies.  All agencies shall implement the Government-wide Plan prepared pursuant to section 2 of this order, and such other related guidance as issued from time to time by the Director of OPM and Deputy Director for Management of OMB.  In addition, the head of each executive department and agency referred to under subsections (1) and (2) of section 901(b) of title 31, United States Code, shall:
    (a)  designate the agency's Chief Human Capital Officer to be responsible for enhancing employment and promotion opportunities within the agency, in collaboration with the agency's Director of Equal Employment Opportunity and Director of Diversity and Inclusion, if any, and consistent with law and merit system principles, including development and implementation of the agency-specific Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan;
    (b)  within 120 days of the issuance of the Government-wide Plan or its update under section 2(b)(i) of this order, develop and submit for review to the Director of OPM and the Deputy Director for Management of OMB an agency-specific Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan for recruiting, hiring, training, developing, advancing, promoting, and retaining a diverse workforce consistent with applicable law, the Government-wide Plan, merit system principles, the agency's overall strategic plan, its human capital plan prepared pursuant to Part 250 of title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and other applicable workforce planning strategies and initiatives;
    (c)  implement the agency-specific Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan after incorporating it into the agency's human capital plan; and
    (d)  provide information as specified in the reporting requirements developed under section 2(d).
    Sec. 4.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
    (i)   authority granted to a department or agency or the head thereof, including the authority granted to EEOC by other Executive Orders (including Executive Order 12067) or any agency's authority to establish an independent Diversity and Inclusion Office; or
    (ii)  functions of the Director of OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
    (b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
    (c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
    BARACK OBAMA
    THE WHITE HOUSE,
    August 18, 2011.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Social Poets: 3 Polls: Americans Furious At The Tea Party



The Social Poets: 3 Polls: Americans Furious At The Tea Party: "From Denny: Three different polls declare theTea Party's popularity is rapidly running downhill. There is a backlash against this ultra conservative self-serving political movement.

CNN, The New York Times and CBS recorded an all time high unfavorable rating this past month for the Tea Party and its goals.

What the Tea Party did achieve is to wake up the Independent voters who rarely pay close attention to politics compared to loyalist Republicans and Democrats. "

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Social Poets: Egypt: Obama Blunders With $65 Million In Unwanted Democracy Grants

15 July 2011 - Tahrir Square protests, Photo by Kahlil Hamr/AP


The Social Poets: Egypt: Obama Blunders With $65 Million In Unwanted Democracy Grants: "From Denny: President Obama campaigned on how things would change in Washington. Well, he lied. Not much has changed, at least for the better.

The New Egypt

Fast forward to The Egypt Revolution and their transitional government getting its feet wet trying to create a new Egypt.

What does Obama do? He tries to do what America has always done: patronizingly decide what is good for someone else because we want to give it to you. Of course, foreign country gifts always come with a price tag, now don't they?


Now Obama seems to be equally emotionally tone deaf to their wishes for their own country. The latest move is to give out $65 million in 'democracy grants' to anyone who labels themselves a pro-democracy group."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Social Poets: Funny Jon Stewart: Obama 50th Birthday Greetings From The Media

Day 163 - Happy Birthday

The Social Poets: Funny Jon Stewart: Obama 50th Birthday Greetings From The Media: "From Denny: President Obama gets funny 50th birthday wishes from Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Harry Smith, formerly of CBS and now over at NBC. In the August blistering heat, two comedians didn't think twice about blistering Obama, turning up the political heat for his birthday on August 4th.

The truth hurts, as the saying goes, well, at least the comedians made it funny. Obama can look to Harry Smith to give him a kinder, gentler birthday wish. Check out The Owners Guide to Turning 50 from Harry Smith. 'You are only as old as Congress makes you feel.'"

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Social Poets: Funny Jon Stewart on Debt Ceiling Debacle: Dealageddon Analysis


The Social Poets: Funny Jon Stewart on Debt Ceiling Debacle: Dealageddon Analysis: "From Denny: Have some fun with Jon Stewart as he explains our own politics to us and how our economy is governed by greedy Bozos. (polite version)

Don't you just love the way the politicians finally saw the fury of the American public over their posturing and ran for cover? They inked that crappy deal so fast it made their heads rotate like a bad horror movie."

The Social Poets: Funny Jon Stewart Explains Compromised Inked Debt Ceiling Deal


The Social Poets: Funny Jon Stewart Explains Compromised Inked Debt Ceiling Deal: "From Denny: As only Jon Stewart can straighten out The Crooked Speak of our politicians, he is astounded at this crappy debt deal. Considering that 77 percent of the country is of the opinion that our politicians acted like 'spoiled children' during this international crisis, Stewart has a lot of agreement in the country.

Stewart takes clips from Obama news conferences and speeches from seven months ago to just recently to demonstrate just how much Obama caved in to Tea Party demands. Like the rest of us, Jon thought the debt deal compromise sucked."
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