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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Marcellus Shale Offers More Jobs Than Workers !

Thanks to the Marcellus Shale, areas of Pennsylvania are in the enviable position of having too many jobs!

This comes as a bit of a surprise to me, given that everything I have heard from those opposing hydraulic fracturing is that the industry won't provide real jobs to the local community. That all we could expect is a few truck drivers to spend their time laying waste to the roads and existing infrastructure. As if truck driving were anything less than an honorable profession. That evil gas companies would rather spend obscene amounts of money "bringing in their own people" to do the work locals can't do. I have never bought into this line of reasoning and with good reason. Turns out this is pure fallacy. In other words, we have been lied to! Reagan would be proud. This is a perfect example of trickle down economics in action.

I call bullshit to this argument! Thanks Williamsport.

The job market around Williamsport is rebounding, and some businesses are even having a hard time getting workers, employers are saying.

And the jobs are not just in the gas fields. Companies are also looking to fill vacancies created by those who left to work in the Marcellus Shale.

shale.JPGA Marcellus Shale well sits high on a bluff over the Susquehanna River in Windham Township, Wyoming County.
“We need to get the word out, there are jobs,” said Peter DePasquale, who owns DePasquale Staffing Service and said he had a message for anyone that left the area in search of work: “Come on back.”

Ford of Williamsport has been trying for three months to hire a diesel technician, service manager Grant Myers said.

Companies working in the gas fields are “pulling guys from shops,” he said. “We’re having difficulty filling the void.”

Even entry-level technicians are enticed by the prospect of high pay with the gas companies, DePasquale said. He hasn’t been able to find any candidates for those positions, he said.

Susquehanna Health has had to expand the number of vendors it uses to repair its 14 diesel vehicles, including ambulances, because garages lost their technicians, said Tim Shumbat, manager of pre-hospital services.

River Valley Transit, which provides local bus service to most of the communities in Lycoming County, has had to outsource some of its work because it is down one diesel technician, said William Nichols, who runs the operation for the city.

“We’re having a real tough time,” he said. “How to fill the void is the question of the day.”

Students graduating from the Pennsylvania College of Technology with two-year degrees in heavy equipment technology and diesel mechanics are being offered up to $20 an hour, said Mary Sullivan, dean of natural resources management.

Some graduates are earning $70,000 a year, she said.

Companies are telling the college “we’ll take everyone you can give us and then some,” Sullivan said. A graduate can pick from 15 to 20 jobs, she said.

Penn College, a special mission affiliate of Penn State, graduates about 26 diesel technicians each year, she said.

Enrollment is capped due to the lack of space to add sections, she said.

The pay is obviously a big incentive to train for jobs in the Marcellus Shale, but Sullivan said she cautions students that work may require very long work weeks.

Those not interested in those jobs should look at the positions available in places such as dealerships, she said.

$70,000/year? I have half a mind to quit my job and move south. Not the first time I have contemplated this, either.

The Conservative Party of New York releases a memo in support of hydraulic fracturing: "Simply put: Hydraulic fracturing means jobs and energy for New Yorkers. "

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The Muzzling of a Scientist, Revisited

Robert H Fakudiny, Ph.D. state geoligist emeritus and former chief of the New York State Geological Survey, has come to the defense of Taury Smith in an today in Albany's Times Union. I have commented on the plight of Mr. Smith here, noting that the biggest sin of Mr. Smith was not questioning the safety of hydraulic fracturing, per se, but questioning the liberal orthodoxy of the day. In so doing he has found himself on the wrong side of the debate and as a consequence had his professional integrity called into question.

Dr. Fakudiny provides a vigorous defense of both Mr. Smith and the merits of vigorous scientific debate. Of course, everyone has a right to freedom of speech based on 1st Amendment protections, but the importance of scientific discourse goes back much farther than the U.S. Constitution. Based on Scientific Method, which is non-negotionable, regardless of political ideology.
The alleged attack on Smith appears to be in response to his comments that reveal in scientific terms the fallacy in many arguments against the practice. His facts run counter to some environmental groups' opinion that gas drilling in New York should be stopped.

Their convictions, although sincere, seem to be based on incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information provided largely by the media and "informational" film presentations. Smith has explained in question and answer sessions the scientific facts that enable the listener to put the arguments into perspective.

I have attended such sessions and can say that Smith advocates neither for nor against hydrofracking. In acknowledging the validity of some concerns, he provides balanced information based on professional experience.

His muzzling prevents the dissemination of such information, inhibiting the ability of policymakers to reach wise decisions. It also calls into question the Education Department's motive.

The Office of the State Geologist has a 175-year reputation of balanced and impartial advisory services to the public, industry and regulatory agencies. Muzzling the state geologist thwarts the purpose of that office.

It also implies that the department could muzzle other scientists within its jurisdiction. Perhaps the Office of the State Geologist and the other science offices should be placed in a supportive, unbiased environment.

Who knew that when President Obama was elected, science would take a back seat to politics. They told me if I voted for McCain, science would become and impediment to political progress.....Oh, never mind!

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The Budget Deal Was Our Success

With yesterday's budget deal between Speaker Boehner and President Obama set in stone, along with Senate Majority Leader Reid's guarantee of separate votes on defunding planned parenthood and ObamaCare, some Conservatives are actually calling yesterday's deal a stab-in-the-back by House Republicans.

I would beg to differ!

House Republicans in three months have accomplished more in spending cuts than ever before in Washington! Just two years ago the Party was declared all but officially dead, and now we have turned the Capital on its head by slashing the federal government by $50 billion.

Federal funding of abortion in the District of Columbia is once again prohibited, and defunding the President's signature achievement will be debated, and voted by the United States Senate. Something that was unrealistic only one month ago when we were sadly noting the one year anniversary of that monstrosity.

The grand City of Rome was not built in one day, and neither was the Mona Lisa perfected in one swift brushstroke. Both took careful planning and timing - why should we be any different in slaying the monster of deficits, and debt?

We shouldn't.

Rejoice in our early victory, but prepare for future fights.

P.S. - Ace of Spades also agrees that Republicans won yesterday.

Obama to Man Concerned over High Gas Prices: "Think About a Trade-In"

Gas prices have more than doubled under President Obama's Administration and he has, at least, approximately two years left in office.  At the moment, the average price for a gallon of gas is $3.75.  To visualize that, here is a graph detailing the historic rise:
From GasBuddy
With each passing day, oil and gas prices continue to skyrocket.  With unrest in the Middle East, US off-shore drilling banned, and inflation ballooning, unless things change, the trend will continue into the foreseeable future.

So, what is the President of the United States going to do?  Make jokes and insult concerned citizens who are finding it had to afford the things that he has done.
Mr. Obama
When asked by a man at a wind turbine factory about crippling gas prices, Mr. Obama laughed and responded:
"If you're complaining about the price of gas and you're only getting 8 miles a gallon, you know.  You might want to think about a trade-in."
Yeah, that's real hilarious Mr. President.  Nice answer to a concerned citizen.  But really, how can a middle class worker afford a new car when his policies have made it much harder to pay our bills?

Mr. Obama is indeed a joker, but not one that tells jokes.  He simply is one.

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Obama in 2004: 'I've Never Used a Teleprompter Before and I don't Like To'

It's amazing how times have changed.  In mid-2004, President George W. Bush was still in his first term while Barack Obama was only a newly-elected State Senator.  One other thing: Mr. Obama had "never" used a teleprompter before.

Of course, today the President has not delivered a single speech during his Administration without one.  Yet with the 2004 Democratic National Convention on the horizon, Mr. Obama decided that he would work from one.

Talking to CBS in 2004, Obama said that he "prefers to speak off the cuff instead of working from a written text. Tuesday night (the DNC) will be his first experience with a TelePrompter."  The irony in that statement is palpable today.

The CBS article went on to heap praise on the then-42-year-old keynote speaker.  Amongst the praise, they wrote that he was on "en route to stardom," similar to the media portrayal of him in 2008 in which Mr. Obama was portrayed as a rock star instead of a competent politician.
Mr. Obama also talked for a short amount on policies, stating that big government was important to the way the US functions.  He stated:
"We're interested in making sure everybody has an opportunity and kids have a shot at life.  To do that, there are going to be times when it's necessary for government to step in."
The CBS article continues:
Obama said he'll use his 20 minutes on the convention podium to counter Republican accusations that the Democratic Party stands for big government and big spending. Instead, he will argue that the party stands for helping people and using government to do it.
Yes, yes, under Barack Obama the government is not for "big spending."  Another dollop of irony.

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Vote in Our Poll: How do you feel about the budget deal?

Late last evening, Congress passed a budget deal that narrowly averted a government shutdown.  After weeks of back-and-forth between the two sides and weeks of "stop-gap" measures, the United States has a budget for the next few months.

President Obama praised the budget as "common sense."  Harry Reid slammed the cuts as archaic and draconian.  Many Tea Party members are upset that the cuts weren't bigger, while others believe that, while the cuts are small, the 2012 budget is much more important.  Yet there is one thing for certain: people on both sides of Congress are angry at the other.

But it does not matter for our poll what elected officials believe.  What do you believe?  Was this budget a smashing success or a crushing failure?  Was it neither or somehow both?  Vote below:

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Budget Deal Reached - Government Shutdown Averted

House Republicans, President Obama and Senate Democrats have finally agreed to a late budget for fiscal year 2011. It will cut over $39 billion, which was more than what Democrats were willing to discuss one week ago, but significantly less than the GOP's proposed $61 billion.

The Senate has already passed a short stopgap measure that will cut $2 billion in spending, and it is on the way to the House to end the long expected government shutdown sometime tomorrow morning, but probably long before sunrise.


Petraeus at CIA?

There has been much speculation that General David Petraeus, who is currently occupied with defeating our evil enemies in Afghanistan, might become the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency if Leon Panetta is selected to replace Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Secretary Gates is retiring this summer.

Democratic, Independent and Republican Senators have come out in support of the General, even though the speculation is weak, and quite improbable.

Hopefully, the speculation is incorrect.

America's greatest living General does not belong in Washington's Intelligence scene, but in a position of Military stature such as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or Supreme Allied Commander of NATO. Personally, I am supportive of the NATO route, because it will reinforce the image of another Ike in 2016.

However, I will support General Petraeus for any position he is nominated to, because America is absolutely lucky to have such a genuine patriot serving his country in any capacity that is requested of him, regardless of who the man in charge is.

What say you?

Manny Ramirez Retiring After Testing Positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs

Manny Ramirez has announced that he is retiring immediately after he tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.   This is the second time Ramirez has gone against the MLB's drug policy and would have faced a 100-game suspension.
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Immovable Object Meet the Irresistible Force

Many times in our history we’ve been confronted with what seemed like impossible odds.
In 1776 thirteen sparsely populated colonies clinging for life to the Atlantic seaboard surrounded by a forest that ran unbroken to the Mississippi dared to stand up to our imperial masters and say, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” 
No foreign king, no Prime Minister and no Parliament had the right to dictate to our ancestors what taxes to pay or how much they should be.  Even though England at the time was the dominant superpower, the undersupplied and overmatched Americans refused to admit defeat.  We lost New York.  We lost battle after battle retreating more than we advanced, yet the prize of freedom overcame the penalty of failure, and against all odds victory was won.
When the pirates of Tripoli sought to extort tribute from us as they did from every other nation that passed through their waters our people rose up with a cry of, “Millions for defense but not a cent for tribute!”  Gathering our miniscule navy and our brave marines the United States fought our way into the port of the pirates while a land force fought its way through the desert eventually claiming what the great powers of the day did not: the right to pass unmolested and the right to trade in freedom.
A generation later in our second war with England, the War of 1812, we once again went toe-to-toe with the third largest army in the world and the largest navy the world had ever seen.  The British defeated our attempt to invade Canada as they invaded our territory almost at will.  Their armed forces ranged up and down our coast at will.  They chased President Madison out of Washington and burned the White House.  The only major battle we won was fought after the peace treaty was signed, yet we emerged bloody but vindicated.  We had challenged the greatest empire in the world.  We held our own winning new respect around the world.
Next, when the nations of Central and South America found the courage to rise up against their own colonial masters declaring their freedom with the hope of establishing free and independent republics modeled after the United States, President Monroe threw down the gauntlet to the rest of the world when he boldly presented his Doctrine.  Though our navy was miniscule and our army almost none existent he relied upon the inherent strength of our people when he proclaimed the western hemisphere off limits to any power seeking to establish or re-establish colonies.  We did not have the authority, we did not have the power, but we had the courage to say leave freedom alone so our neighbors could develop their own lands for themselves.
In the Civil War America tore itself apart.  For four long years war raged killing more Americans than all our other wars put together.  The powers of Europe believed the experiment in freedom was proving itself to be a failure.  France moved to establish a sphere of influence in Mexico as the other great powers waited expectantly to pick up the pieces.  As the war picked up momentum the emerging industrial might and burgeoning manpower of the new nation was pressed into service until by 1864 the Union Army was the largest and best equipped on earth and the Confederate Army was the second.  Setting a pattern for all future wars the newest technology and the latest inventions such as railroads, iron-clad steam powered ships, telegraphs, repeating rifles, and machine guns first made their appearance in the American military.  Against all odds we re-united our nation, sent France packing, and reaffirmed the Monroe Doctrine.
In World War One the two contending sides in Europe had bled each other dry on the fields of Flanders and fought to a stalemate.  Then America sent our troops over there and didn’t bring them back until it was over, over there.  In World War Two fascist dictators thought the Western democracies were decadent and ready to collapse with a good kick.  And their plan seemed to be working until one of them made the mistake of kicking on our door, and we rose up like a giant from slumber and led the way in bringing their roofs down upon their heads.
As the Communist Colossus rose from the ashes of World War II to include Eastern Europe, and China America built NATO, held them at bay in Europe, and then stood almost alone to battle them as they tried to expand in Korea, Asia, and Central America.  American blood and treasure was expended in torrents for five decades until the Soviet Union collapsed as a Christmas present to the world in 1991.  Against the uncounted hordes of the East and the fellow travelers in our midst we persevered and gained the victory.
Time and again when the odds were against us we, the American people have risen to the challenge.  Whenever we have confronted a problem we have found some way to succeed.  When President Kennedy challenged us to go to the moon we did.  When President Ragan challenged us to believe in ourselves again after the shame of Watergate, the forfeiture of our victory in Vietnam, and the Iran Hostage crisis we did.
Today we face financial collapse and overwhelming debt.  Today our adversaries aren’t foreign dictators but our own elected officials who want to continue spending no matter what the voters say.  Today the challenge is a system that doesn’t work, a Congress that is bought and paid for, and a Progressive Movement that has managed to organize itself into power at every level in every branch. 
No matter what the problems, we’re the American people. We’re exceptional, and we can do it!  It’s time for every good citizen to come to the aid of our nation.  We must stand for the solution or we’ll fall before the problem.  As a President who knew the way to grow an economy was to cut taxes once said, “We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.”  We’ve got to pick up the burden before Atlas shrugs.  If we’ll admit we have a problem we will find a solution.  After all, we’re the American people.  Immovable Object Meet the Irresistible Force.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

Cosby, Actor John Legend say Trump a "racist" for questioning Obama Birth Certificate; Say he needs to just Shut up!

Seems anyone who supports having Americans elected to the Presidency of the United States of America is now considered "a racist."

Actor, John Legend calls Trump a "racist." From HollywoodGossip.com:

"He needs to stop saying that racist bulls**t birther s**t," Legend told N.Y. Magazine. "Quote me please. He should be ashamed of himself. It's awful, really."
And this from Hollyscoop:
Bill Cosby appeared on the Today show, saying "Oh please, with Donald Trump. The only thing he's running is his mouth."
Finally, a video over at LibertarianRepublican.net of African-American SF Gate columnist Zenni62:
One thing's quite clear this week: America has not rid itself of racists... To be frank, that the vast majority of people issuing these wild claims about Obama's birth place are white should give pause to anyone with half a brain.

Donald Trump's image is now toast, and will become darker toast with every week he continues to push it. If he does this, he looks like a racist. Period. End of story.

Video- Liberal Congresswoman: GOP "Here to Kill Women"

Do you like insane rhetoric?  Do you enjoy leaps in logic?  How about blind ignorance topped off with hyperbole?  Well, then you will just love Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY).

Speaking yesterday, Ms. Slaughter went on a tirade, accusing conservatives up and down.  More specifically, she targeted freshmen Republicans in Congress.  Watch the video below:

Here is a short transcript:

Slaughter- This is probably one of the worst times we’ve seen because the numbers of people elected to Congress. I went through this as co-chair of the arts caucus. In ’94 people were elected simply to come here to kill the National Endowment for the Arts. Now they’re here to kill women.

It is a difficult time for us in Washington.  There is nothing in any of their bills that has anything to do about the health of the woman [sic].  You are allowed to have an abortion in cases of rape or incest, but you have to keep a receipt.  Did you know that?

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House GOP Passes Stopgap

The House passed its third stopgap measure yesterday afternoon to fund the federal government for one more week, even though the President threatened to veto the measure if it reaches the Oval Office. Republicans overwhelmingly supported the measure, but six did vote against it for some unknown reason.

Only 15 Democrats bucked the party line to avoid the looming shutdown.

The stopgap measure, which was proposed earlier this week by Speaker John Boehner when early discussions were breaking down, slashes $12 billion from the federal government in just one week, while taking the U.S. Military out of the equation in future budget negotiations. The only controversial rider in this measure is prohibiting the District of Columbia from funding abortions, which most Americans agree with.

So what does this mean?

Senators should hold a vote on the measure this afternoon, or evening, and President Obama should revoke his earlier veto threat. Failing to the pass this measure will result in voter anger against Democrats for playing party politics with last year's federal budget.

What say you?

AP of course, finds Dems right, Republicans wrong on Fed Gov. Employees salaries

How is this for blatant liberal media bias...

The Associated Press editorializes this morning, in their "Fact Check" story "Are federal workers overpaid."

They quote Republican Congressman Dennis Ross of Florida:
"Our taxpayers can no longer be asked to foot the bill for these federal employees while watching their own salaries remain flat and their benefits erode," said Ross, chairman of the House Oversight subcommittee on the federal work force.
Not ultimately, the "Fact Checkers" at AP side with the Democrats, that fed workers are actually underpaid in comparison to the private sector.
Are federal employees overpaid?

Republican leaders in Congress think so, and they are calling for an overhaul of the entire federal pay system to help slash government spending.

Democrats and other defenders of the government work force say federal workers are actually underpaid compared with their private counterparts.

A closer look at the data shows that both sides have a point but that supporters of federal workers are a bit closer to reality.
What example do they use on the top of story to make their case?

Among lawyers, for example, the average pay in the federal government was about $127,500 a year in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average lawyer in the private sector earned $137,540. And the starting salary at large law firms in Washington, D.C. -- where most government lawyers work -- is $160,000, and can grow to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, according to the National Association for Law Placement.
>Of course, the AP never stopped to consider that perhaps these lawyers are earning less, because they are less capable of finding a job in the private sector, and are forced to get on the government dole. Plus the factor of affirmative action hiring by the Feds of far less qualified employees.

Don't Forget: A Wisconsin Democrat Election-Monitor Confirmed Votes for Prosser

The Supreme Court race in Wisconsin is undoubtedly close.  After votes were erroneously left out, it looked like Incumbent David Prosser was going to lose.  However, after the mistake was found and the votes were added, Prosser took a commanding lead.

Despite no evidence, Democrats across the country are screaming fraud, saying this was some sort of conspiracy.  That the Republicans stole the election.  Yet, they have intentionally left out Ramona Kitzinger, a Democratic representative who confirmed the mix-up and that, yes, Prosser should have gotten the net 7,000+ votes.

But to leave no doubt, here is Mrs. Kitzinger's exact statement from Thursday night's press conference:
We went over everything and made sure all the numbers jived up and they did...everything we went over yesterday afternoon and today, all those numbers jived up and we're satisfied that it's correct.  And I'm with the Democratic Party, Vice Chair of Waukesha County, so I'm not going to stand here and tell you something that's not true.
So, will the Left stop crying "fraud" despite no evidence and, in fact, evidence and confirmation to the contrary?  Don't hold your breath.

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Daily Kos: Criminal Investigation Should Be Launched in WI Despite there Being "No Evidence"

The Supreme Court race in Wisconsin was tight to say the least.  However, after thousands of uncounted votes were (correctly) found and confirmed by Democratic and Republican officials, Incumbent David Prosser shot into the lead.  No fraud, according to vote counters on both the right and left in Wisconsin.

But that's not good enough for Daily Kos.  In an article entitled, "No Evidence of Fraud...but," Daily Kos explained how there was no evidence at all that fraud took place.  That the vote count was confirmed by multiple sources.  That Prosser probably did win... but that if there was fraud, the evil Republicans would have done it.  Therefore, a massive investigation should be launched to show how Republicans stole the election.

Talk about living in a vacuum.
Here's just a snippet of the mental gymnastics Daily Kos is going through to justify their crazed rambling:
By now you've probably heard that Kathy Nickolaus, the Waukesha county clerk, somehow forgot to tell the AP about all the Supreme Court votes from Brookfield, the second largest city in Waukesha County and that her updated report to the state elections board will include votes that give David Prosser a net gain of about 7,500 votes. Those votes were supposedly on the spreadsheet that is stored on the computer that only she has access to, but she forgot to tell the AP about them.   
It was "human error" and she's "sorry" about it. 
Can you sense my eyebrows being raised?
And an even stupider, crazier statement:
I think there is enough here to launch a serious investigation. Not just a recount, but a criminal investigation. The fact is many Wisconsinites will consider this fraud unless it's proven otherwise.
That's right: no evidence, no proof, no motive, but let's get this mob started!  Screw the American law system!  As the last line says, the Republicans are guilty until proven innocent!

If this really the best the Left can do?

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Act Blue Starts WI Supreme Court Recount Fund

Isn't it interesting that, from April 5 to April 6, Democrats and liberals were screaming that there was no fraud in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race?  This despite evidence of vote shredding and Democrats getting high school kids to counts votes.

Disgraced "film" maker Michael Moore even declared:
But then, that wasn't true.  In fact, because of a clerical error committed in Waukesha, Prosser had lost thousands of votes.  When it was found and rightfully corrected, that's when the Left started to scream.  Did they scream when Prosser was under-counted?  No.  Did they stop screaming when a Waukesha Democrat confirmed the vote mix up?  Of course not.  Did they want a recount when Kloppenburg "won?"  I think you know the answer.

But now, however, everything is different.  Everything was wrong from the start, they scream.  Fraud!  Tea Party!  Halliburton!  Bush's fault!  And now the liberal fund-raising website Act Blue is starting a recount effort and is raising money to that affect.

On their site they have a description of why they need your money.  Here it is in its entirety:
It’s clear that Republicans will stop at almost nothing to keep Scott Walker's ally — David Prosser — on the Supreme Court. 
Prosser’s campaign itself said that Prosser wanted to be a “complement” to Walker and his radical agenda. And on the eve of the election, Walker’s chief legal counsel himself admitted in an email to supporters that Prosser is their last line of defense for Walker’s agenda. 
Hundreds of votes separate JoAnne Kloppenburg from David Prosser out of more than a million cast, making the Supreme Court race the closest statewide race in modern Wisconsin History. 
If you believe Supreme Court justices should be independent, and not “complements” for Scott Walker, I hope you will support our recount efforts and ensure that Republicans don’t steal the Supreme Court election.
How non-partisan.  How forward-thinking.  What a load of crap.
Kloppenburg, who declared victory Tuesday night
But hey, this might work in Republicans' favor:  if a recount happens, Democrats will see that they lost fair and square.  Not like evidence ever shut them up before, though (2000 anybody)?

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Shut It Down....

And lay it directly at the feet of the President, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi!

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Marcellus Shale Lawsuits to Begin

Thirteen families in Lenox Township is suing Southwestern Energy, claiming that in drilling in the Marcellus Shale the company contaminated their water supply and made them sick. This is one of the first lawsuits in the nation attempting to link hydraulic fracturing with contaminated water supplies. The families have hired Julia LaMense, an environmental attorney at the New York firm, Wietz and Luxemborg.

LaMense and the firm she works with has some experience in these matters having been involved in the California case that accused a power company of contaminating a town's water supply. They made a movie out of that one and forever immortalized Erin Brochovich and the millions of dollars made in settlement. What is remarkable is that cancer rates for Hinkley California are not higher that average and thereby the claim remains suspect.

What remains puzzling is with all the great potential for lawsuits why Michael Rosenzweig of Edgar Snyder and Associates would need to recruit plaintiffs?
"Rosenzweig's firm has begun running advertisements seeking clients who have been injured in Marcellus Shale accidents. Some of the cases include motorists who were injured in care accidents allegedly caused by damage to the road from the big rigs used to transport equipment to the wells and workers who sustained injuries when a tank on one site exploded."
It will be interesting to see how this plays out as it is the first case....

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Trump The Proud Birther?

With polls showing significant interest in Donald Trump as a Presidential candidate I find myself asking why? Name recognition is obvious. He is host to the most popular show on NBC. He is a remarkable businessman who has made millions of dollars through his own intellect and business acumen. Perhaps, most importantly are his balls. Whose size can only be compared to those of Ann Barnhardt, the cultural icon willing to give Lindsay Graham and General Petraeus one each, which would of course still leave her with two.

The "birther" issue is fascinating. Why would Trump continue to push the issue. Sure he is looking for publicity and much like the President, he is amazingly egocentric, and this gives him a ton of publicity. Really, who else could do interviews with NBC, CBS, and ABC, raise this issue and not be laughed off the set. Whether he really questions Obama's citizenship known only to Trump, but getting some sort of closure on this issue is a must for any republican candidate in the coming election. Now it hangs like an albatross around the necks of conservatives in general and Tea partier's specifically.

Either the President doesn't have a birth certificate and can't produce one or is intentionally hiding it because it reveals something politically damaging or he is playing the republican party like a violin, intentionally withholding this document to allow the media to castigate their political opponents as conspiracy theorists. I always thought, in spite of political differences, that the President is very smart and as such expected that this was a charade to be used for electoral advantage. After two years though I not nearly so sure of that of his great intellect. I actually suspect he is rather dense, which in turn makes me rethink this whole issue.

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Prosser-Kloppenburg Open Thread

Feel free to jot your feelings about the Supreme Court Election below.
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Vote in Our Poll: Has Voter Fraud Occurred in the Wisconsin Supreme Court Election?

With the contentious Wisconsin Supreme Court election coming down to the wire, accusations of voter fraud abound.  Mainly, there have been numerous reports of unscrupulous behavior by unions or Kloppenburg supporters.

From votes being shredded, to thousands of unaccounted votes for Prosser, to ballots for Prosser only now being discovered, the proof of election tampering against Kloppenburg supporters is stark.  However, it could all be some sort of smoke screen.  Certainly, many liberals would argue that (though there is no evidence), that it is in fact Prosser-supporters who have committed fraud.

The cynic out there may even blame both sides.  But that is up to you.  Do you believe that voter fraud has occurred in Wisconsin?  And if so, by who?  Vote below:

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Official: 'Thousands of Prosser Votes Unaccounted For'

In a dramatic shift in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, it is now being reported that large amounts of votes for incumbent David Prosser have been mysteriously unaccounted for.  In a race deadlocked with a differential of less than 100 votes out of over a million total, this could be huge.

A local Wisconsin news site quotes an election reporter as saying:
"[S]everal thousand votes are currently unaccounted for and that the majority of them will end up going to David Prosser.  We're not talking a couple hundred.  We're not even talking a couple thousand.  I have been told and confirmed through multiple sources that this is several thousand votes and it will completely and obviously change the dynamic."
Most likely this will not only cause Prosser to take a commanding lead, but almost certainly an insurmountable one.
This news must arrive to the chagrin of challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg, who declared victory and called on David Prosser to concede yesterday.  In her statement, she said, in part:
“Wisconsin voters have spoken... I will be independent and impartial and I will decide cases based on the facts and the law. As I have traveled the state, people tell me they believe partisan politics do not belong in our courts. I look forward to bringing new blood to the Supreme Court and focusing my energy on the important work Wisconsin residents elect Supreme Court justices to do.”
A press conference is scheduled concerning the race at 6:30EST.  It could be the announcement of Prosser gaining votes.

And just for laughs, here is the video of Kloppenburg declaring victory:

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Could Giuliani Win Florida?

Earlier this week, Public Policy Polling decided to find out what would happen if Rudy Giuliani does run for the 2012 GOP Nomination in Florida, the state where his hopes were obliterated in 2008. And the results will likely surprise you.

Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney are all stuck at 17% apiece, but Rudy Giuliani is right behind them with 16% of the vote, which is actually better than his poor showing in January 2008 when he invested so much time and funds into the potential votes of Floridians.

What year is this?

I ask this question because 2012 is starting to look like 2008 redux - Huckabee might be running; Romney is definitely in; Paul is testing the waters and Palin is keeping her name in the papers. All that is needed is Rudy and we're all set!

But back to Giuliani's chances in Florida.

The primary was his "do, or die" moment in 2008, and they brought the sword down hard on him. However, increased attention on economic, leadership and national defense related issues has some looking for exceptional experience in those three fields, and America's Mayor fits the bill almost too perfectly.

I'm not saying that this poll will convince him to run again, but this early show of strength will definitely make him think about another campaign.

What say you?

Kloppenburg Declares Victory Video

 A taste of sweet, sweet irony for you. This is JoAnne Kloppenburg declaring victory in the Wisconsin State Supreme Court race which was held on Tuesday.

Now, she's behind.

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Prosser Back in Lead

Some late breaking news but Prosser is back in the lead!!!!

Madison, Wis. (WHBL) - New numbers surfaced Thursday afternoon as county officials began the process of getting a thorough look at the ballots cast on Tuesday.  The unofficial election night count gave challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg a 204-vote victory over conservative incumbent David Prosser.  That changed Thursday afternoon when new totals surfaced, showing incumbent David Prosser with a 40 point lead.  The Associated Press, whose totals have been used throughout the state, report 19,991 votes for Prosser and 18,421 for Kloppenburg.  Jo Anne Kloppenburg had declared victory over Prosser yesterday.

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Watch Wisconsin Supreme Court Election News Conference Live (Prosser v. Kloppenburg)

Unfortunately, though Pundit Press has been covering the Wisconsin election very closely, we have no ability to have a live feed from Wisconsin.  Instead, please go to this news station:


Looks like there were some clear mistakes being made.

Quotes from the woman giving the press conference (who under-counted Prosser by thousands of votes)-
"It was simple human error" that Prosser votes weren't counted.
"I apologize."
"I didn't save data."
'This is not voter fraud.'
"Amazing amount of votes" was cause of human error."
"I didn't go back again and check totals...I didn't think about doing it again."
"I hit the save key many, many times."
"The mistake was found yesterday."

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Obama Now Trailing in Florida Poll

Barack Obama has not ingratiated himself with the people of most state, but especially not Florida. Riding on the backs of first-time voters, Obama was able to carry Florida by a narrower-than-expected 51-48%. Many pundits and polls were predicting a near-blowout.

Now we find the President is trouble in the state. His policies are disapproved by majorities in some cases while even those that voted for him have seen their resolve decrease.

Florida, with its Republican strongholds of aging and Cuban-Americna voters, may be a difficult sell for the President a second time around. A new Quinnipiac poll suggests that this is the case.

Starting with his approval rating, he is underwater:

Approve: 44%
Disapprove: 52%
Other/dk: 4%


But what about if he deserves another term in the White House?

Yes: 42%
No: 51%
Other/dk: 7%

That's right. The number that don't think he deserves a second term is below those that approve of his job performance.

But most compelling is how he stands up to a "generic" Republican candidate. And here, too he finds himself behind:

Generic GOP: 41%
Obama: 38%
Other/dk: 21%

So if you'll notice, the number of those willing to actually vote for Obama is even lower than those who think he deserves another term. Int his poll, Obama runs a paltry 13% lower than he did in 2008.

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Watch Japan Earthquake-Tsunami Live Video

We now can direct you to a link that shows live, English-language coverage of the new 7.4 magnitude earthquake in Japan. There is a tsunami warning, as well:

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Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Map

Map courtesy MSNBC:

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Japan Tsunami Warning Expected after 7.4 Quake

 Unfortunately, a new earthquake has rattled Japan for the second time in a month. The 7.4 scale quake is not as bad as last month's 9.0 monster, but is still a large one.

Now there is word that there may be a tsunami after the quake. There is also concern about the nuclear plant in the north, which has been evacuated.

There is now a Tsunami warning.

According to NHK, Tokyo Electric (TEPCO) says there are no additional problems at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, where workers have been struggling to contain radiation since last month's quake and resulting tsunami.
Hundreds of aftershocks have shaken the northeast region devastated by the March 11 earthquake, but few have been stronger than 7.0.

UPDATE: Map courtesy MSNBC:

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New 7.4 Earthquake in Japan, April 7, 2011

 This is breaking from FoxNews:

DEVELOPING: TOKYO -- Japan's northeastern coast has been rattled by a strong aftershock. The Japan meteorological agency has issued a tsunami warning for a wave of up to one meter. The warning was issued for a coastal area already ravaged by last month's tsunami.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center tells Fox News they do not expect a Pacific-wide tsunami from this earthquake.
Officials say the quake was a 7.4-magnitude and hit 25 miles under the water and off the coast of Miyagi prefecture. The quake that preceded last month's tsunami was a 9.0-magnitude.
Buildings as far away as Tokyo shook for about a minute.
UPDATE: Map courtesy MSNBC:

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Justice Prosser Outperformed Walker in Milwaukee County

We still don't know who won Wisconsin's state Supreme Court election between incumbent Justice David Prosser and JoAnn Kloppenburg, but we do know that Mr. Prosser did outperform Governor Walker in one of the most important, and densely populated counties - Milwaukee.

2010 Gubernatorial election:

Tom Barrett (D) - 62%.
Scott Walker (R) - 38%.

2011 Supreme Court election:

JoAnn Kloppenburg (D) - 57%.
Justice David Prosser (R) - 43%.

Prosser actually outperformed Governor Walker in populous counties overall, but failed to match his totals in rural Wisconsin, which will hurt him during the recount.

The pro-union forces could not even keep the Conservative below 40% in this Democratic stronghold one month after the "unpopular union bill" was passed.

What say you?

Koch Brothers, Show Me the Money!

Aurelius wrote about the two brothers a little while ago, so I won't belabor that point. However, with the mess in Wisconsin, let's put some leftist "logic" to the test. Apparently the Koch brothers, the horrid robber barons of the 1890s, are attempting to starve poor kids and crush pensions, safety regulations, and build a new Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.

Well, this blog apparently is "owned" by them, if you take a look at some of the comments about our article about the Wisconsin ballot-shredding scandal.

Take DemocraticUnderground, for example:

Or that it's the dirty Kochs trying to steal the election, from a comment on our article:

Now, making sure no extra ballots are added by the right, by the Koch Bros. and their money...that is a real concern. Not about ballots that weren't actually destroyed. Open your eyes people.

So if this blog is apparently controlled remotely by these supposed robber barons, I have a simple proposition for them.

You owe me.

Look, apparently I went to Wisconsin and shredded the ballots myself and also marked up some pro-Kloppenburg votes. I went to all the municipalities beating old and poor people then reported it so the Koch Bros & Company Inc. could profit.

That's right, you owe me. According to liberal logic, this site is a center of nefarious union busting, run by David Koch himself. So lay some cheddar on us. I'll be happy with $10 million.

And unless you hear of some obscure blogger getting rich for no particular reason, you can tell that the Koch Bros. fantasy is a false one, trumped up by people with excuses the size of Wisconsin.

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Scott Brown Crushing Rival 2-1 in New Poll

Anyone that reads this blog regularly knows that we cover a lot of poll data. Over the last several months we've had several articles about the large lead that Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown has opened up in the 2012 race.

Brown, elected early last year in one of the biggest political upsets of the last 50 years, is up for a full term at the end of next year. Now it appears that he might just get it.

According to a new Suffolk/7News poll, Brown is crushing his potential rival by a large margin.

Brown *(R): 52%
Capuano (D): 26%
Other/und: 22%

Obviously being over 50% for an incumbent is very important. You can also notice that Brown is also holding many voters from making a decision. I would believe that many of the remaining 22% may consider voting for the Republican in the race, but may be hesitant because of his political affiliation. That being said, much of it is also that Capuano is not as well-known as the Senator.

A little tidbit regarding RomneyCare and by extension, ObamaCare and the opinion of the privileged liberals of New England:

Q21. Do you think healthcare in Massachusetts is working?

N= 500 100%

Yes ............................................ 1 ( 1/123) 190 38%

No ............................................. 2 246 49%

Still, any Republican polling above 50% is quite the achievement in Massachusetts. Hell, Rhode Island tossed out Lincoln Chafee in 2006 and he was to the left of Harry Reid.

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Ballot Shredding Article Banned from Facebook

Yesterday this site broke a story coming out of the state of Wisconsin regarding a possible shredding of ballots in one city. According to a radio host, he personally witnessed at least one voter's slip being shredded. This would be in direct violation of Wisconsin election law.

Since we broke the story, we've been linked on many sites and have received a fair amount of views. The exposure that the story is getting is amazing.

But one site is very unhappy:


We are still getting some hits from the site, but sometime yesterday night the article's URL was banned. This is likely due to people marking the article as "spam" or "abusive" over and over again to prevent its being read.

I had received concerns about this from some readers and tried it myself. The result:

Thanks, Facebook. Why don't you just donate some money to the SEIU while you're at it?

UPDATE, 4/7, 10:53pm-
News from Facebook: they have rescinded their block (at least in the short term) on our site. So share away.

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Christie: Teachers' Union a 'Bunch of Thugs'

Some more strong words from new Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Christie is one of the leading figures in the fight against public union excesses and he appears to not take a step back. His contentious fight with the teachers' union of New Jersey has dragged on for over a year with a tremendous amount of vitriol being leveled against him.

But he won't back down.

In an interview given with ABC News, he characterizes the union the way that many Americans see them:

"I believe the teachers in New Jersey in the main are wonderful public servants that care deeply. But their union, their union are a group of political thugs," Christie said.

He said the New Jersey Education Association refused to negotiate on a salary freeze last year. "They should have taken the salary freeze. They didn't and now, you know, we had to lay teachers off."

Take a look at the video:

Christie's doing good work. Keep it up.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Election: Did Scott Walker Lose?

Democrats nationwide are declaring JoAnne Kloppenburg's unofficial victory in Wisconsin's Supreme Court election to be a clear rebuttal of Governor Walker's anti-union policies. However, their claims don't pass the smell test.

Because all the opinion polls and pundits have declared Governor Walker's anti-union proposals to be strongly unpopular, yet the first statewide election since the budget was passed has resulted in one of the closest contests in state history; with no declared victor as of this morning.

Obviously, the state isn't as pro-union, or anti-Walker as his opponents would have you believe, because I don't think the unions have ever put more money into defeating a state Supreme Court Justice as they have against Mr. Prosser, who holds the ideological balance of power on the court.

Scott Walker has not lost in Wisconsin. The election results are still unknown, but it doesn't matter because the conservative Justice was not destroyed by an uprise of pro-union folks and money. In fact, it is more likely that the Prosser campaign suffered most from that advertisement that accused him of covering up a sex scandal with Catholic bishops, even though it was factually false.

What say you?

Report: 500-600 Ballots "Found" in Wisconsin

With challenger Joanne Kloppenburg up by exactly 204 votes in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, a new find could have tremendous impact.  It is now being reported that 500-600 ballots were found in Waukesha County.

More importantly for the election, Waukesha County went 73% for Incumbent David Prosser.  If these ballots break the same way, by way of simple mathematics, this would be the result (assuming they found exactly 500 ballots):

Prosser gains 365.
Kloppenburg 135.

That would be a difference of 230 votes, which would give Prosser a 26-vote lead.  This could have massive implications.

Currently, the totals stand at:

Kloppenburg- 740,090
Prosser- 739,886

Considering all of the other funny business that has been going on, this "found" ballot box could provide yet another twist.

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Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Pictures, April 7, 2011

Unfortunately, Japan has been hit by another powerful earthquake (a 7.4) and there are warnings of a possible impending tsunami.  Relevant  pictures are below:
No tsunami is expected for the United States.

Walking in darkness:
Candle light:

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Jimmy Carter: Still Friending Tyrants

If Jimmy Carter were on Facebrook, his friends would include Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Daniel Ortega, Fidel Castro, Hafez al-Assad,  Kim Jong Il, Hugo Chavez, and the leadership of Hamas. These are all people he has embraced, legitimized, flattered, or in other ways “friended”. In fact, it is not possible to find a tyrant he does not like.

The same is not true for Israel. Carter’s best known book, a poison polemic entitled, “Palestine; Peace not Apartheid” is one of the bibles of those who seek to delegitimize Israel and represents a low point, even for Mr. Carter. (There is no shortage of lows; they include his praise of Hafez al-Assad, a man who massacred 25,000 of his own countrymen in Hama, his commendation of Kim Jong, repressive ruler of North Korea, his high marks for Fidel Castro, you get the idea)

As President, he served a single term, losing a re-election bid to Ronald Reagan.  He presided over our nation during the turnover in Iran, in which one dictator, the pro-American Shah, was replaced by another, the anti-American and Islamist Ayatollah Khomeini. This represented a step back for the Iranian people, and especially for the role of women in that unfortunate country.  And of course, he did nothing about the seizure of American hostages, an act of war by Iran.

It is often said that we grow wiser as we grow older. Something very different has happened with President Carter.

His latest adventure, again demonstrating a willingness to be used by America’s enemies, has been his recent trip to Cuba  to lobby on behalf of Cuban spies. Mary Anastasia O’Grady has written about this in the Wall Street Journal. By way of background, five Cuban spies were arrested 13 years ago by the FBI, and were convicted of conspiracy to commit murder (four Americans were killed). They had also sought to infiltrate US  military installations.

In Carter’s trip to Cuba, he went on television to argue for the release of the five spies. While in Havana, he expressed doubt about the trial that resulted in the  conviction of  the spies, and indicated that he would speak with Barack Obama about a pardon for them.  So much for his opinion of our nation’s criminal justice system.  For his efforts, he was praised by Fidel Castro as “brave and serious”.

It is difficult to imagine that Carter cares about the people of Cuba who have been living under the control of  a dictatorship for 52 years. His only concern seems to be to ingratiate himself with the Castro brothers. According to Freedom House, more than half a million Cubans have suffered in the Castros’ various gulags, dungeons and torture chambers. The Castro regime’s total death toll - from torture, prison beatings, firing squads, machine-gunning of escapees, drownings, etc,-  approaches 100,000.

In 2002, Carter opined  that  “the embargo of Cuba is the stupidest law ever passed in the U.S.”, And yet, as president, Mr. Carter imposed more economic sanctions against more nations than any other American president in modern history. These sanctions were only against U.S. allies. And so, it was not suprirising that  as Carter was leaving Havana, Raul Castro enthused  that “Jimmy Carter was the best of all U.S. presidents,”

To fully understand what makes Carter tick, one needs to “follow the money”. Alan Dershowitz has outlined Carter's extensive financial connections  to Arab oil money, particularly from Saudi Arabia.

One example concerns the Zayed Centre for Coordination and Follow-up, a think-tank funded by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahayan, which gave money to both Carter and to the divinity school at Harvard. Harvard  refused to be tainted and returned the money; Carter kept it. The Zayed Centre has hosted speakers who called Jews "the enemies of all nations," attributed the assassination of John Kennedy to Israel and the Mossad and the 9/11 attacks to the United States' own military, and stated that the Holocaust was a "fable." (They also hosted a speech by Jimmy Carter.) Carter has referred to Sheik Zayed bin Sultan  al-Nahyan, a known bigot, as his personal friend.

 Carter and his Center have accepted millions of  dollars from suspect sources, beginning with the bail-out of the Carter family peanut business in the late 1970s by BCCI, a now-defunct and  virulently anti-Israeli bank indirectly controlled by the Saudi Royal family. One of the principal investors and founder of the bank  is Carter's friend, Sheikh Zayed. Agha Hasan Abedi, who  gave Carter "$500,000 to help the former president establish his center...[and] more than $10 million to Mr. Carter's different projects."
Saudi King Fahd contributed millions to the Carter Center  "in 1993 alone...$7.6  million" as have other members of the Saudi Royal Family. Carter also received a million dollar pledge from the Saudi-based bin Laden family,  as well as a personal $500,000 environmental award named for Sheikh  Zayed, and paid for by the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates.  It's worth noting that, despite the influx of Saudi money funding the Carter Center, and despite the Saudi Arabian government's myriad human  rights abuses, the Carter Center's Human Rights program has no activity whatever in Saudi Arabia.

So what do the Saudis and other benefactors get for their money? Lots of attention to alleged abuses by Israel, but virtually none by Iran or any of the Arab nations. The Saudis have apparently bought Carter’s selective outrage. 

The Carter Center's mission statement claims that "the Center is nonpartisan and acts as a neutral party in dispute resolution activities."  This is clearly not the case.  What is clear is that Jimmy Carter is dependent on Arab oil money, particularly from Saudi  Arabia, and that he has  necessarily been influenced in  his thinking about the Middle East by such enormous sums.

A few questions.   With all that we know about Jimmy Carter, is this episode in Havana a new low?  What do you call a former President who considers  the leaders of democratic and pro-American Israel to be immoral, but considers Hafez al-Assad, Fidel Castro, and Kim il-Jong to be our friends? And what do you call a former President who expresses such public contempt for our criminal justice system?  And what do you call a former President who trades money from Saudi sources for selective outrage?  While some, not knowing better, will praise him as a man of peace, his historical legacy will be forever tarnished.

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