200,000 Hits!…Some of the Stories that Made it Happen: Obama’s Handwriting; Nation of Nincompoops, Obama’s Associates; Sharia Finance; The Fed; Reality Check from Chicago

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

I knew we were close to 200,000 hits but we blew past that mark a lot sooner than I had anticipated.

A few days ago I came up with the idea of doing “Our Greatest Hits” as a way of marking the occasion. I emailed the troops to see if they had any preferences about which of their stories should be given a second look.  Well, they decided to defer to ME!   GRRR!!  So, at the risk of missing their best, here goes!

Of course, if, Kenosha Marge, Grail Guardian, American Lassie or Chicago Correspondent Leslie have other ideas, they can post the links of anything they find in the archives that they want to highlight. It’s not too late!!  LOL~

First, I’ll start with something I wrote. It has to be:

Obama–A Look at the Personality Behind the Handwriting

Believe it or not, I actually received an email from an aide to one of the authors whom I cited at the end of the piece. This author really like the article and requested a copy!

Kenosha Marge was the first on board as a contributor and she has written some marvelous rants!  Which to choose?  This one if from a couple of months ago and seems to cover a lot of bases:

A Nation of Nincompoops

Grail Guardian arrived a bit later and has written some amazing pieces, both personal and political.  But this is the one that immediately came to mind. Actually, there were two separate posts which we combined into one for easy reference:

Parts 1 & 2–The Lineup: A Who’s Who of The Associates of Barack Obama

American Lassie hopped on board and has been digging around money and Shariah issues. Here’s another recent post that seems to warrant another look:

Sharia Finance: Rapidly Increasing Inroads Via American Banks…With the Help of Our Treasury Department

And this one:

Eustace Mullins’ “Secrets of the Federal Reserve”: Read About what Ezra Pound Called “The Great Betrayal”

Last, but definitely not least, Chicago Correspondent Leslie has dropped little nuggets our way on a regular basis. Nearly every “Past Week” post in the archives has something from Leslie.  But here’s something she emailed to me which merited an entire post!

Reality Check from Our Chicago Correspondent: University of Chicago & Its Hospital “Terminating” Jobs Like Crazy (Michelle O., Guess Shuffling All Those Indigent Patients Elswhere Didn’t Help the Bottom Line That Much? Your “Plum” Job is Going, Too!)

These last two pretty much sum up the craziness we’re in these days:

Williamette, Oregon Weekly’s HILARIOUS/Scary Portrayal of Obama (UPDATED 3x and Now Just Plain SCARY)

and the first part of this post:

BREAKING: El Paso Man Commits Suicide, Leaves Note to Obama “Take Care of My Family”; Other NM News–VOTING Problems, Giuliani in So. NM Tonight (Saturday)

We’ve covered a lot of ground these last 14 months and have written on a wide variety of topics, from politics, to international news, to health and animals and pets.  Not to mention the media and manipulation…

So, although we’re posting a little less frequently these days, if you mosey around the archives you’re sure to find some interesting background info and even some stories that are off the radar of most blogs…hey, what’s that about that 3rd largest port in Mexico and Citicorp?

About Sarah Palin…

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

I was at the gym on the Wave when I saw the news about Sarah Palin’s resignation. My first reaction was “Oh, this is bad!  They’ll call her “a quitter.” I listened patiently to the patter on FOX and later at home and, of course, the term “quitter” was brought up, as well as speculation about her not having a thick enough skin,” her family concerns, and maybe how having a Downs child demands more time than she originally thought.  Or maybe she she was just “fed up.” I was informed that she had been acting “bizarre.” I heard the radio news playing back the Katie Couric interview about what Palin read. (Frankly, she said she read everything, which sounds just about like how I would answer on the fly…I’m sure if she had specified at the time, people would have criticized her even for that!)

I can only speak for myself but as I heard more of what she actually said today, especially the part about working for Americans in the future, I actually began to feel good about all this. I love that she focused on the political climate in Alaska. I loved that she didn’t consult with the Congressional delegation.

The “elite” have been out to get her since Day 1 and the Letterman crap didn’t arouse much passionate defense. (The late comments by NOW were just that–late and rather pro forma to save their image after they got an earful, most likely.)  Frankly, the Republicans don’t seem to want her either.

You know what? I would love it if she left the Republican Party and traveled around speaking, pointedly, about the political climate in this country. I’d love if she began saying point blank that the media is garbage.  I would love it if she mused out loud about the criticism about her “stupidity” and lack of “experience” and compare that to this fraud in the White House’s experience and his need for a teleprompter. I would love it if she starting hanging around with a Ron Paul or some of those Democratic reps who don’t approve of a lot of the Obama Adminstration’s crap, the GOP and the demise of this country.

I would love it if she spearheaded a third party.  Basically, I’d love it if she essentially started campaigning against Obama by going after the creeps around him, some of whom have been going after her in Alaska. She can also talk about the Republicans who join in the game.  She can without any problems call out the elites in D.C.  I think the harsh attacks on Palin belie a great deal of fear…She has nothing to lose, so I would love to see her really unleashed on her own terms.

However, if she chooses not to, that’s OK…because I don’t want to see her go down in a small plane “accident”…

Right now the punditry and the elite are rather shocked, it seems. Well, screw them!  We’ve been inspired by the women of Iran recently and maybe here in the U.S., we can be inspired by a woman who isn’t afraid to go out there and be herself and speak her mind.

Whatever she does, it will be interesting.

For now, I’m hoping she goes on every damned talk show and simply unloads.  I hope she gives Obama and the rest of the Villagers some nervous moments.

And maybe she can provide the spark that gets this country to wake up…

Just a couple of days ago she let this drop:

Palin says she’d beat Obama in long run

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said she’d come out ahead if she went one-on-one with fellow jogger President Barack Obama in a long run, according to an interview published online Tuesday.

“I betcha I’d have more endurance,” she told Runner’s World magazine.

snip

“Sweat is my sanity,” Palin told the magazine.

Somehow, I don’t think Palin is a quitter. She’s playing the game her way.  Whatever her plan is, I say:

GO, SARAH!!


Iraqi Oil Contract Bidding: BBC vs. NPR Reporting

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Here’s a little nugget for you regarding the bidding on Iraqi oil fields…the ones that the U.S. was supposed to clean up on after the “liberation” of Iraq.

It’s also a tale of the miserable news reporting we have here, including the “superior” NPR Radio.

I woke up and listened to the BBC World Service yesterday as usual and heard a brief report about bidding for Iraqi oil contracts.  The report included the facts that bidders weren’t exactly running to invest in Iraq.

From the BBC:

Oil companies reject Iraq’s terms

Only one of the bidders for the eight contracts to run oil and gas fields in Iraq has accepted oil ministry terms.

Six oil fields and two gas fields were available in a televised auction that was the first big oil tender in Iraq since the invasion of 2003.

BP and China’s CNPC agreed to run the 17 billion barrel Rumaila field after Exxon Mobil turned it down.

Iraq has asked the rest of the companies to consider resubmitting bids for the other seven contracts.

The oil ministry is offering 20-year service contracts.

Other fields have failed to find buyers, either because there were no bidders or because terms were declined.

Thirty-two oil companies had been approved as potential bidders.

MORE

The terms, of course, are detailed in the story, but suffice to say that the amount of payment is one of the key issues.  Another twist is that these are not “production-sharing” deals, but “service contracts” being offered because the Iraqi parliament hasn’t passed an oil bill yet and this sort of contract makes it easier to start the process at this point.  Under service contracts, a fixed fee will be paid for oil produced instead of having a proportion of the oil awarded to a company under a production-sharing contract.

So, things aren’t proceeding that quickly on the oil production front.

However, I caught a report on NPR which didn’t provide that information. Instead, the report simply mentioned that Iraqi oil bidding had started.

If you look at the story on the NPR site, you’ll see a fuller report, with the emphasis on being a lot more “touchy-feely.”

Foreign Companies Bid On Iraqi Oil Licenses

Morning Edition, June 30, 2009 · Foreign companies could soon be pumping Iraqi oil for the first time in nearly 40 years.

On Tuesday, the government of Iraq opened bids from oil companies interested in helping the country realize its oil production potential.

The oil companies are so eager for a crack at Iraq’s vast oil wealth that they are willing to overlook some big negatives: It’s a country still at war. There’s a lot of political opposition to foreign oil companies. There’s no guarantee the contracts awarded at this auction will even be honored. And yet, more than 30 companies submitted bids.

Big Oil has not had an opportunity like this for decades.

A bit later in the story, we do get some reality:

When Saddam Hussein kicked the foreign oil companies out of Iraq in 1972, many Iraqis supported the move, and there is still strong opposition to any sharing of the country’s oil wealth with foreign companies. The withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraqi cities and towns this week has only reinforced Iraqi nationalism. In the coming weeks or months, Iraqi parliamentarians may even move to overturn oil contracts awarded through Tuesday’s auction.

But there’s hope:

The opening round produced only one deal. The Iraqi offers generally fell short of the oil company bids, and additional bargaining seemed likely.

Such deals won’t necessarily be highly profitable for the oil companies. In the next phase of the competition, however, the Iraqi government is expected to open fields that have not yet been explored or developed. The companies that win the right to search for oil might then be able to take a share of what they find. It’s that competition — not this one — that would mean big money for the companies.

“This is just everybody kind of wanting to get their foot in the door for the bigger prizes that will be here in a year or two,” says Stratfor’s Zeihan. No one wants to be left out.

“What makes Iraq special,” says Diwan, “is [that] there is room for all the big oil companies at the same time, and for all them to have sizable projects. Everybody will get something fairly large.”

All this may be very true, but if you only caught the brief headline story that I heard on the radio later in the day, you wouldn’t have a clue about the first day of bidding.

The question is, of course, why a news brief on the BBC can include fact that there was a difficult first day of bidding, while the NPR brief omits this information.

That’s a silly question, of course, because we all know that Americans are not allowed to get news, just spin and and obsfucation.

HULU — “An evil plot to destroy the world”: A Mainstream Media Creation (FOX, NBC et al) to Squeeze Out Independent Media Content

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

If you any doubts about how the mainstream media is playing us, then here’s the proof that they indeed are.  It’s easy to see when you take a look at Hulu. Most of the uniformed world think FOX (News Corp.) and NBC/GE are “enemies”  but we see that they’re working together to suck the air out of independent media content available on the web.

Hulu–“An evil plot to destroy the world.”  I didn’t originate this description; Hulu did. It’s in their ad which features the obnoxious Denis Leary jabbering away about TV content turning your mind to mush and snarking at a “brain dead” (those are the ad’s words) geek who’s getting a stream of green stuff passed into his ear.  Before he’s through, Leary says that the folks at Hulu are  “aliens” and then winds up with the tag line, “Hulu…an evil plot to destroy the world…Enjoy.”

The ad is up at the company blog under the title “The Evil Plot Continues.”  Go see for yourself…(and be sure to “click” to see the full ad after the initial clip is over or click here for the video without the blog post.).  This week, Hulu has released a “Video Panel widget”:

To continue to deliver on our mission to connect audiences with their favorite content wherever they are — or, as Denis Leary would say, on their “bliggety blogs, facey spaces and tweety pages” — we are releasing a new embeddable product this week: the Video Panel widget.

The ad is supposed to be a cool joke aimed at the younger crowd, but in reality, it may not just a joke!  A couple of weeks ago I happened to be watching CNBC and caught an interview with the young CEO who was talking about how successful Hulu had become and how it would be even more successful as it closes in on YouTube, which is currently the top video site.

And who’s behind Hulu?  According to Hoovers (with my bolding):

Hulu Company Description

When the rich and famous name their offspring, anything is possible. NBC and FOX had a digital baby. And they called it Hulu. Initially formed as a joint venture between NBC Universal (a unit of GE) and News Corp. (the parent of FOX), Hulu.com is a video site that features video from more than 100 content providers. Offerings include TV shows from FOX and NBC, as well as from subsidiary cable channels such as Bravo and the SCI FI Channel. Hulu also shows films from studios including Sony and MGM. Content — all total, some 900 TV series and full-length movies– is streamed on demand, free of charge the day after its broadcast debut. After a nearly five-month long beta version, Hulu.com was launched in 2008.

And, there’s another player now: Disney/ABC.

Disney Buys Into Hulu. YouTube Should Be Worried.  (4/30)

As the initial exclusivity for NBC and Fox content expires, Hulu will be adding Disney/ABC videos and TV shows to its distribution mix as well. Hulu is becoming the preferred distribution channel for the big media companies. And it is succeeding in attracting the fickle Web audience. This should worry YouTube, which is still casting about for a business model that will pay for its enormous storage and bandwidth costs. The media companies cannot ignore YouTube just yet, but by strengthening Hulu they can give it their best content first.

A couple of days earlier, this article provided some extra background:

Hulu Now The Number Three U.S. Web Video Site. Soon To Be Number Two.  (4/28)

Just last month, we wrote that Hulu had gained some 10 million viewers to become the fourth largest video portal on the web. Now, it’s slain another rival to the list: Yahoo, to move into #3 — at least in terms of videos viewed.

To be clear, the new March U.S. numbers released by comScore show that Hulu is still slightly behind Yahoo’s video properties when it comes to unique viewers. But the NBC and Fox-backed Hulu should pass it any day now in that category as well. Meanwhile, the number two player, Fox Interactive Media (which runs MySpace), is slipping just as quickly as Hulu is rising in videos viewed. It could well be as soon as this month when Hulu moves into the number two web video position.

Needless to say,  I wondered about the name. Silly me for thinking it was a take-off on “hula” or something Hawaiian. NOOOOOOOOOO, it’s actually a Chinese name! From Wikipedia:

The name Hulu comes from two Mandarin Chinese words, hulu (simplified Chinese: 葫芦; traditional Chinese: 葫蘆; pinyin: húlú; Wade-Giles: hu-lu) “calabash, bottle gourd” and hulu (simplified Chinese: 互录; traditional Chinese: 互錄; pinyin: hùlù; Wade-Giles: hu-lu) “interactive recording.”

The company blog explains:

In Mandarin, Hulu has two interesting meanings, each highly relevant to our mission. The primary meaning interested us because it is used in an ancient Chinese proverb that describes the hulu as the holder of precious things. It literally translates to “gourd,” and in ancient times, the hulu was hollowed out and used to hold precious things. The secondary meaning is “interactive recording.” We saw both definitions as appropriate bookends and highly relevant to the mission of Hulu. [4][5]

(Here’s the link to the above-mentioned blog post at Hulu with a picture of the young group (mostly of Chinese background?) who worked on choosing the name: http://blog.hulu.com/2008/05/13/meaning-of-hulu/.) (Note: For all their care, it seems that “Hulu” has some unusual meanings in other languages anyway. For a sampling, see:  Hulu Translates To “Cease” and “Desist” in Swahili. Oops.)

My next stop was a visit to the Hulu site at http://www.hulu.com/.  The “News” channel has a few sub-sections, but I just looked at the Politics section closely. Of course, it varies day to day, but it certainly is NOT a comprehensive news site…an awful lot of clips featuring unchallenged spin from the Administration and cable talk shows on the day I looked.  Hulu is entirely commercial content, so you won’t see any original “ads” or political discourse from the peons here, like you see at YouTube.

Who’s running Hulu for NBC, FOX, and Disney?

The CEO is one Jason Kilar. From Business Week:

Jason Kilar serves as Chief Executive Officer of Hulu, LLC. Mr. Kilar has been Chief Executive of online video joint venture of NBC Universal, Inc. and News Corp., since July 9, 2007. He serves as Special Advisor of KBL Acquisition Corp. IV*. He served as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Application Software at Amazon.com Inc. since May 2003 and was responsible for Amazon’s Marketplace business. From February 2002 to May 2003, Mr. Kilar served as Vice President of Worldwide Application Software of Amazon.com Inc., where he joined in May, 1997 as a Product Manager. From October 2001 to February 2002, Mr. Kilar served as Vice President of Marketplace of Amazon.com Inc. and served as its Vice President of Books, Music, and Video & DVD from February 2001 to October 2001 and serves as its Vice President. He began his career with The Walt Disney Company, where he worked for Disney Design & Development. He serves on the board of Management Leadership for Tomorrow. He has been Director of AdReady, Inc. since November 28, 2007. Mr. Kilar received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School…

The company is providing  investment capital for Hulu is Providence Equity. Of course, there’s a “global presence”:

Working collaboratively from offices in Providence, New York, London, Hong Kong and New Delhi, our 74 investment professionals pursue opportunities as a unified team across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Our sector focus and international mandate enable us to dedicate our full resources to building global leaders in the media, entertainment, communications and information industries, regardless of location.

The large “team” running this firm has some interesting names on the roster.

Michael K. Powell, now a Sr. Advisor for PE, formerly FCC chairman during the Bush Administration

In addition to Kilar, there are a lot of people with Harvard ties, work history with some of the large investment banks (with a number of them with a history at Morgan Stanley), and other interesting backgrounds. Here’s a sampling of some of the names I peeked at…there are many others with similiar ties on the long list of “the team”:

  • Chief Compliance Officer Fred Franklin (who “served for ten years as Assistant Director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement”)… from Bear Stearns

So, it looks like the total capture of the minds of the younger generation by the mass media will be complete if most of them gravitate to Hulu.  If YouTube can’t survive, will the creative video we see there dry up or become fragmented across many smaller sites?

Hulu is just another piece of the puzzle as the media “clamps down” to control what media content users see.  Scary, very scary indeed.

***

*KBL Acquisition Corp. IV is involved in “miscellaneous”  investment services but is a big player in the healthcare industry (also KBL I, II, III)

Hulu Company Profile.

GE media holdings (From Columbia Journalism Review site)

News Corp. media holdings (From Columbia Journalism Review site)

Disney media holdings (corporate site)

Tidbits from the 100 Days Debacle/Join the W.A.M. ACTION Against the Mainstream Media

W.A.M (Wake Up America) has put together a review of the insults that the Obama Administration has been heaping on the country during their first 100 days.  More at: http://www.wamaction.org/NewsRoom.html

Via W.A.M. Press Release:

If it seems to you that the “Change Administration” continues to expend its primary energies to campaigning rather than governing, you’re on the right track. With scores of Executive Branch positions still left vacant, the spectacle unveiled for Obama’s 100 Day mark apparently took most of the Administration’s energy. This included erroneous polling by supportive Mainstream Media.

In a glaring example, an absurb AP poll, headlined on Time Warner and other outlets with this caption: “AP Poll: After Obama’s 100 days, U.S. on right track.”

One fly in the ointment of this much publicized poll is that it included a mere 21% Republican sampling – with a whopping 38% now identified as “Independent.” As one blogger remarked, it seems that ‘the communist state has arrived. AP is Pravda.” What happened to the rest of the GOP? Applying the ongoing “New Party” strategy, the swiftest means to alter political reality is to use the Media to tell the public what you want to be true. This  involves considerable attention and time – but if it keeps your “candidate”s popularity afloat, well, then it’s worth it. And let’s not leave out the new First Lady, who is also reported this week, in another fallacious poll, to be approved of by 87% of Americans – leaving many of US wondering just who did they call?!

In an astonishing report, Politico substantiates the fact that the  “Obama campaign still funds operations.” Its review indicates that, having entered the new year with $18 Million dollars, it’s now down to a mere $10 Million.”Last month alone, it paid $74,000 in payroll, $23,000 for rent, $10,000 for polling and $6,400 for travel. Other interesting payments during the first three months of the year, the period covered by Wednesday’s report, included $688,000 in legal fees to the firm of Bob Bauer — the top lawyer for the campaign, the Democratic National Committee, the Obama political group Organizing for America, and the Obama family — and $6,400 to a firm founded by Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.” For more fascinating facts on the Obama- Axelrod ongoing campaign, go here:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0409/21304.html

Pulling out all the stops for his 100 Day marker not only included biased poll reports but a pointless hour of prime time coverage. Having already leveraged more prime time coverage than President Clinton was given his entire term in office – millions of viewers were coerced to sit politely through Obama’s tele-prompter guided Talking Points – unchallenged by reporters. In a full hour only 13 questions were permitted, including one riveting query about what has most “enchanted” the new Commander-in-Chief since January. The rest of US may be relieved to note that, while the economy continues to sink and Barney Frank’s housing fix law has qualified one homeowner for salvation over a full 3 months, Obama has plenty of “perks” to boost his spirits. These include a bombshell of unintended “bad press” – at extravagant expense – but too inept and careless not to be criticized. The Defense Department terrorizing of New York City, when a “photo shoot” of Air Force One, accompanied by fighter jets, swooped over the downtown area spoke volumes of this adminstration’s contempt  for both protocol and public safety. Turns out this thoughtless fiasco was created on behalf of – what else but the Change Administrations’ latest marketing video.  (See W.A.M. News Room for video.

The worst debacle of thinly disguised brainwashing, however, was GOP Senator Arlen Specter’s carefully timed announcement of his withdrawal from the Republican party to join the un-Democratic majority with which he has been voting all year anyway! Seems his rival for the 2010 PA race, Conservative Pat Tooney is so far ahead in the polls, the Senator has no other option for defending his re-election than to switch labels (but not gears) to bring forth more bundles of questionably sourced New Party capital by running under the Democratic banner. The price he paid? No more than his massively televised participation in this week’s 100 Day marketing blitz!

It’s amusing to note that Sen. Tom Harkin, who was scheduled to speak on FOX News about this political ‘upset’ bowed out abruptly,  without explanation. This after Specter made publicly clear that his deal with Senate Majority Leader Reid provides full rights to DEM seniority – since his 1st 1980 GOP election. Specter proudly stated that he now holds party seniority over most others, including IA Sen. Harkin himself!

If this most recent and most glaring example of Washington’s abusive pattern of ignoring We the People insults you, SIGN IN to Wake Up America movement to participate in MAINSTREAM MEDIA BOYCOTT –  this Grass Roots Media Reform campaign launches with  MAJOR TELEVENT – WEDNESDAY PM – MAY 6!

Go to www.wamaction.org home page link – Get Involved – to join this ACTION.  See the upcoming plans for EXPANSION of the W.A.M. site including:

Expanded Newsroom

Watch Washington Forum

Private Chat Room for Bloggers & Broadcasters’

Research Archives On Critical Issues

State-by-State Vision-in-Action Board