Monday, May 16, 2011

Romney Raised $10.2 Million Today

HT: Washington Post

The former Massachusetts Governor desired to convince the Party faithful today that he's the candidate to take on Barack Obama's well oiled campaign machine. And he might have succeeded on one very important front.

Mitt Romney's campaign raised over $10 million today in Las Vegas.

Can anyone say jackpot?

We all know that Romney's greatest asset, with the exception of his highly praised business skills, is raising millions upon millions of dollars, and with our opponent planning to raise $1 billion for next year's election, that asset might become tempting to some voters who are currently undecided.

I don't think this will win Romney the Republican nomination, but being able to pull $10 million out of his back pocket will definitely get some people thinking.

What say you?

My Problem With the Herman Cain Candidacy

For some reason I find it very difficult to write this post. I am a fan of Herman Cain. A big fan, a fan not unlike Robert Stacey McCain. I have been following his nascent campaign for the better part of six months and have been exceedingly impressed on a regular basis. Every time I hear the guy speak I become more impassioned by his persona, integrity and capability. Many have argued that he is a non-starter given his lack of Washington based experience and is supposed foreign policy naivete as it pertains to Afghanistan. I see this as nonsense. I found the response to his position on Afghanistan refreshing. With the exception of Allen West, his was the answer I would want from any potential candidate. It is an honest and realistic response to a loaded question. In the end it is about leadership and I think Mr. Cain gave the best answer I have heard.

But, and there is always a but, I have a singular concern with the candidacy of Herman Cain. That is he is a cancer survivor. This is not a detriment in and of itself, but Mr. Cain was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in 2006. Presumably, he underwent surgery, chemotherapy and potentially radiation. I don't know the specifics of Cain's medical record, but by his own account he survived both the disease and its treatment and is cancer free for 5 years running. Good for him! He is a testament for all that is right with the American medical system, but the realities keep getting in the way for me.

Did you know that the 5 year mortality of Stage IV adenocarcinoma of the colon is greater than 95%. That is less than 5 patients out of 100 survive 5 years from diagnosis. 2011 marks Herman Cain's 5 year anniversary.

Has it occurred to anyone that oncologist's don't refer to treatment of malignancies in terms of cure. When was the last time you have heard that there is a cure for lung cancer? Melanoma? Bladder, renal cell, liver, pancreatic? What about brain tumors? Never. It gets worse, when did you ever hear that someone was cured of their coronary artery disease or diabetes? The sad truth is that we don't cure things in medicine. Outside of some infectious diseases, we don't cure much. We manage things very well, but cure is a long way off. We speak of malignancies in terms of remission, not cure. This is my concern with Herman Cain and it must be addressed sooner, rather than later. His cancer is in remission, but it will return. It always does! As a hospitalist, this is a significant portion of my patient population. Folks who are either in active treatment, suffering from the consequences thereof, or who are actively dying! Herman Cain has a terminal disease of which there is no cure and it must be addressed!

I once had a 47 year old patient who implored me to kill her as she gasped for breath after suffering a catastrophic pulmonary embolism that occurred as a result of her lung cancer. Her pleading still haunts me. "Kill me, kill me now." were her words. "I can't breath, help me, kill me now." She too had a disease that was in remission, until she died from it.

Herman Cain has overcome incredible odds to get to the position he now finds himself. I will continue to encourage all to vote for him as the republican nominee for president of the United States, but feel I must raise these concerns, so that everyone has a sense of what they are voting for! These issues will come up eventually and the sooner they are addressed the better.

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Man 'Cured' of AIDS in San Francisco

There is news coming out that a man from San Francisco has apparently been 'cured' of the AIDS. This comes after being diagnosed with HIV over a decade ago. This comes after receiving a transplant of stem cells that included an HIV immunity gene:

“I quit taking my HIV medication the day that I got the transplant and haven’t had to take any since,” said Brown, who has been dubbed “The Berlin Patient” by the medical community.

Brown’s amazing progress continues to be monitored by doctors at San Francisco General Hospital and at the University of California at San Francisco medical center.

“I’m cured of HIV. I had HIV but I don’t anymore,” he said, using words that many in the scientific community are cautiously clinging to.


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Video: Paul Ryan on Gingrich

Congressman Paul Ryan responds to Newt Gingrich's criticism of his entitlement plan on the Laura Ingraham show:

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Schwartzenegger Love Child

 The truth has been revealed by former-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Not only did he have an affair while married to Maria Shriver, but he fathered a child with a household staffer.  This prompted Shriver to leave him last week, though the details are only now emerging.

The former-governor
In a press release, Schwarzenegger stated:
"After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago. I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family. There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I have apologized to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry...

I ask that the media respect my wife and children through this extremely difficult time. While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not."
The LA Times continues:
Since leaving office, Schwarzenegger has maintained a high public profile, meeting with world dignitaries, attending a White House summit on immigration and working to revive his movie career.

To protect their privacy, The Times is not publishing the former staffer's name nor that of her child. In an interview Monday before Schwarzenegger issued his statement, the former staffer said another man — her then-husband — was the child's father.

She said she voluntarily left her position with the couple earlier this year after reaching a longstanding goal of working for them for two decades. "I wanted to achieve my 20 years, then I asked to retire," she said, adding she received a severance payment and "left on good terms with them."

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BREAKING: Trump Not Running for President

We didn't expect this, but Donald Trump is NOT running for President.


Donald Trump announced Monday that he will not run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Despite months of speculation and a brief pop in the polls, Trump said in a statement that he was "not ready to leave the private sector."
UPDATE: The complete statement is on the National Review:

After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the Presidency. This decision does not come easily or without regret; especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country. I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election. I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector.
H/T: HotAir.

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Uh-Oh: Pakistan Expanding Nuclear Capacity

Just in case you were enjoying your day, this should change this. As Pakistan is thinking about giving an advanced US helicopter to China, and is condemning the raid that killed bin Laden, they are taking more troubling steps.

Newsweek is showing pictures of an expanding program:

That Osama bin Laden was found in a Pakistani military community, and that the country is home to such jihadi groups as Lashkar-e-Taiba, only heightens concerns. “We’ve looked the other way from Pakistan’s growing program for 30 years,” says Sharon Squassoni, a director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. What we’re facing, she says, is “a disaster waiting to happen.”


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Ahmadinejad New OPEC Chief?

In a move that will not reduce Middle East tensions, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may assume temporary powers as the head of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

"For now, I myself am the caretaker of the oil ministry," Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech late Sunday, without elaborating.
On Saturday, Ahmadinejad dismissed oil minister Masoud Mirkazemi, alongside two other ministers, whose portfolios are expected to be merged with other departments as part of a cabinet streamlining.


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Debt Limit Reached

An event that could spark much more debate, the United States has officially reached its own debt limit. This comes as discussions on raising the cap is expected by August.

But the pathway to a deal remains unclear, even to those doing the negotiating. The White House and Republicans are giving conflicting signals about how close they are to a deal. Vice President Joe Biden said last week the contours of an agreement were taking shape. House Speaker John Boehner painted a different picture Sunday, saying on CBS's Face the Nation "I'm not seeing any real action."

Many Republicans and some Democrats have said they won't vote to increase the debt ceiling without an accompanying deal to cut spending or tackle such longer-term fiscal problems as health-care costs. They argue the debt ceiling is a good venue to force changes needed to help secure the nation's solvency.


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Huckabee's Biggest Winner: Santorum

Mike Huckabee is not running for President.

We all know, and accept the interesting fact.

Now we must attempt to figure out who Mr. Huckabee's base will support in next year's nomination battle, but I have a feeling we do not have far to go because only one potential candidate appeals to millions of now displaced voters.

Meet Rick Santorum.

The former Pennsylvania Senator is probably discounted by most political bloggers and pundits because of his devastating re-election defeat in 2006, but that defeat doesn't mean anything when you are discussing this particular man.

Santorum's political life has always been about surprising everyone on election evening. His record includes two unexpected victories over longtime incumbent Democrat legislators and quite a few legislative headaches for his former Senate colleagues because of his unrelenting social conservative principles.

And nothing hinders him from continuing the good fight.

Few pieces of Santorum sponsored legislation have ever passed, but his greatest accomplishments include his involvement in the Gang of Seven that exposed the corruption in the House Bank and sponsored passage of the Iran Freedom and Support Act, which has appropriated $10 million towards regime change in the hostile nation.

This candidate might be behind the pack in various polls, but once Huckabee's base learns about his strong social conservative record and principled stances during his sixteen years in Congress, we will all know about him.

What say you?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Conservative and Progressive Debate Independent Payment Advisory Board

Dr. Rich makes the case that Shadowfax takes issue with. Three great posts that should be read in order, here, here, and here...

And the winner is?

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Michael Moore Joining with Keith Olbermann on Current TV to Form Axis of Douche-baggery

Do you hate the contents of your stomach?  Well, let me hep you get rid of it:  Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann will be joining forces on Al Gore's Current TV.

Further, Olbermann recently defended Moore's criticism of the killing of Osama bin Laden.  Okay, I need to stop... that last vomit had blood in it.
More from Digital Journal:
The new Olbermann show will premiere on June 20 on Current TV and will also feature contributions from comedian Richard Lewis and filmmaker Ken Burns.

"I'm delighted and honored that so many of my friends -- who are not coincidentally among the top progressive and entertainment voices in the country today -- will be joining me as contributors to 'Countdown' on Current," Olbermann said, according to Reuters. "I hope these talented individuals, and the others we are to announce in these weeks before the premiere on June 20 will give viewers a sense of the strength and depth of the franchise we're assembling."

The Michael Moore decision comes at a volatile time for the controversial filmmaker, after Mr. Moore made highly critical comments of the Obama administration's decision to kill Osama bin Laden.

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Huckabee Announcement Video

For those that might have missed it last night:

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Disgusting: League of Women Voters Launch Smear Ad Against Scott Brown

The Democrats must be desperate to eject Scott Brown from his Senate seat. The popular Republican will have a contentious battle next year. It appears that the Democrats and their allies want to start the mudslinging early.

This from the League of Women Voters:

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Navy SEALs Had Helmet Cams on bin Laden Mission

I wonder if the footage will ever leak. Apparently the Navy SEALs that were on the mission that killed Osama bin Laden had cameras recording the mission. From reports, the quality of the video is poor, but still capture the entirety of the raid on the Abbottabad, Pakistan, mansion.

The official described the digital recording as hazy, fast-moving and subject to poor lighting in the rooms. The source also said it is hard to get clear images from the footage.

"This is not movie-quality stuff," the source said.
Release the tapes!

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Israel Opens Fire on Three Borders

HT: Reuters

The Israel Defense Forces had to open fire on three of their borders earlier today to keep Palestinian protesters from breaking through various border crossings and fences in an attempt to commemorate their anti-Israel day of catastrophe.

The military kept protesters from entering through the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the Lebanon border. They were forced to kill and wound dozens in order to keep the anti-Israeli fanatics from starting even more chaos on Israel's sixty-third Independence day.

Interestingly, the Lebanese Army actually tried to keep the fanatics from going near Israel's border.

This event should demonstrate to international observers that Israel is greatly outnumbered by sworn enemies and that every day is a fight for their survival.

What say you?

Schwarzenegger Illegitimate Child

The truth has been revealed by former-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Not only did he have an affair while married to Maria Shriver, but he fathered a child with a household staffer.  This prompted Shriver to leave him last week, though the details are only now emerging.
The former-governor
In a press release, Schwarzenegger stated:
"After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago. I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family. There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I have apologized to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry...

I ask that the media respect my wife and children through this extremely difficult time. While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not."
The LA Times continues:
Since leaving office, Schwarzenegger has maintained a high public profile, meeting with world dignitaries, attending a White House summit on immigration and working to revive his movie career.

To protect their privacy, The Times is not publishing the former staffer's name nor that of her child. In an interview Monday before Schwarzenegger issued his statement, the former staffer said another man — her then-husband — was the child's father.

She said she voluntarily left her position with the couple earlier this year after reaching a longstanding goal of working for them for two decades. "I wanted to achieve my 20 years, then I asked to retire," she said, adding she received a severance payment and "left on good terms with them."

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

What Does Huckabee's Decision Mean?

As you might have heard by now, Governor Mike Huckabee is not running for the 2012 GOP nomination in next year's Presidential election.

So what does this mean?

Mitt Romney is once again the de facto "front-runner," Huckabee will never run for President again and Social Conservatives no longer have a candidate.

Huckabee was right about one thing - this race is even crazier now that he is no longer in it.

What say you?

Huckabee Presidential Announcement

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has made his announcement......

...and he's not running for the 2012 Republican nomination for the Presidency.

The Republican based his decision on personal, religious reasons.

What say you?

Huckabee NOT Running for President

In an eight o'clock announcement on Fox News, Mike Huckabee announced that he will not be running for President in 2012.
Mr. Huckabee
Mr. Huckabee was one of the major contenders for the Republican nomination in 2008, garnering 282 delegates by the convention.  The former governor of Arkansas, he now hosts a show on Fox News.

Huckabee discussed voters that will support him, how he believes that he could gain plenty of money fund-raising, and his prayers to Jesus Christ.

He also spoke of "clarity" and an "inner-peace."  He stated:  "I will not be running for President."

Update-  Donald Trump, coming on after Mr. Huckabee, called it "bad news."

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Is Mike Huckabee Running for President?

The political world is abuzz tonight with Mike Huckabee's decision of whether to run for President or not.  Much speculation is split, with a slight majority saying that he won't.

However, others believe that he will run, noting an email he sent out yesterday to his inner circle stating that things are about to "get crazy."
So, is he running?  We'll post the answer below at 8:00EST tonight, some five minutes from now.

Update-  Looks like Mr. Huckabee is stretching it out to keep viewers... Sigh.  Keep it here for updates.

Update #2-  At the very end of his show, Mr. Huckabee announced that he is not running for President.

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Watch Huckabee Announcement/Speech Live, May 14, 2011

You can get live updates here:
Mr. Huckabee
The speech will reportedly take place at 8:00pm.

We will be adding updates below, as well as Mr. Huckabee's plans as soon as we know.

Update- Looks like Mr. Huckabee is stretching it out to keep viewers... Sigh. Keep it here for updates.

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French Politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn Arrested at JFK for "Sex Attack"


French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn was "dragged" off of a flight at JFK today after being accused of sexually assaulting a maid in New York.
More from the Daily News:
Strauss-Kahn, 62, allegedly crept up behind a maid after she entered his room and forced her to perform oral sex on him, sources said.

The woman broke free and ran out of the room. Strauss-Khan quickly headed for the airport, sources said.

Charges against Strauss-Kahn, who is married to well-known French TV journalist Anne Sinclair, were pending Saturday night, sources said.

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Huckabee Email to Inner Circle: "Things will Get Even Crazier"

A possible sign that Mike Huckabee is going to run?  Maybe.  Here is an email that Mr. Huckabee sent out to his "inner circle" yesterday in its entirety:
Tomorrow night (Saturday) I will announce the next step in my plans for 2012 during my show on the Fox News Channel. I would like to be able to call you or email you personally and in advance of the announcement, but due to the fact that the decision was not finalized until today and that I committed to Fox that I will absolutely not release it prior to doing so on the channel, that became impractical.

A lot of information and speculation was already rampant in the press today, and it frankly isn't fair to you to tell you the details and then put you in the awkward position of saying you didn't know (which at that point wouldn't be true) or saying you did know, but couldn't reveal or discuss it.

It was this afternoon before I could even get word to all of my own children and even now, the executive producer of my show and the staff and crew of the show don't know and won't until I actually do the final preparation literally minutes before I share the decision live Saturday night.

I will look forward to speaking with you soon and once I fulfill my sworn obligation to Fox, I will be free to discuss things that I can't now due to promises to them and to some possible legal considerations of the announcement.

Many friends have said, "how can we help you in the decision?" My answer has consistently been, "Pray that I have clarity." I have it and will share it Saturday night during the show. Please be patient if I don't respond immediately to an email because I expect that once I pull the trigger Saturday night, things will get even crazier, as if that's possible.

My heartfelt thanks for your friendship, prayers, and support,

Mike Huckabee

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Huckabee to Announce 2012 Plans Tonight

Mike Huckabee has hinted in the past year that he would not announce his 2012 Presidential plans until this fall, but apparently he has had a change of heart and will finally announce his intentions this evening on his weekly Fox News show - Huckabee.

The former two-term Arkansas Governor hit the media rounds on Cavuto and the O'Reilly Factor to discuss his big decision on 2012. He wouldn't answer the 2012 question - referring to tonight's show on Fox - but he did say that not one person outside of his immediate family has been told of his decision.

So what will happen tonight?

Unlike many political analysts and pundits, I believe the former Governor will announce his candidacy for the '12 nomination and will most likely win it. With the entrance of Huckabee, who has the strongest following of any candidate, it would be difficult to see him not winning the Republican Primary battle.

I suggest tuning in to Fox News tonight at 8PM.

What say you?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Gingrich: My Ad on Global Warming with Pelosi was a "Debate," I will "Not Apologize"

Newt Gingrich, carrying heavy baggage from multiple marriages and RINO stances, is now trying to rewrite history.

Lambasted over an ad against "climate change," in which he sat on a couch with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Gingrich is trying to clarify the meaning of the ad.  Gingrich-spokesman Rick Tyler sent an email out to that effect (emphasis mine):
"Newt does not apologize for trying to persuade his ideological opponents that his conservative solutions are the best solutions. His attempt to work with Speaker Pelosi is another testament to Gingrich's willingness to debate his conservative solutions with liberals, in this case Pelosi. As it turned out, Pelosi ... and Gingrich still disagree about how to best protect the environment. But Gingrich will never shy away from debating those on the left on issues like the environment, education and healthcare that they think they own."
You know, I could have sworn that the ad that Gingrich appeared in stated that he agreed with Pelosi.  Probably because that's exactly what the ad said:

Here is a transcript from the commercial:

Pelosi-  Hi!  I'm Nancy Pelosi, life-long Democrat and Speaker of the House.

Gingrich-  And I'm Newt Gingrich, life-long Republican and I used to be Speaker of the House.

Pelosi-  We don't always see eye to eye, do we Newt?

Gingrich-  No, but we do agree:  our country must take action to address climate change.

What a phony.

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Phantom Crane Operators Rake in $400,000 in No Show/No Work Ground Zero Construction Projects Thanks to Mobbed Up IUOE Locals

A series of no-work and no-show jobs for construction projects at Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan from a pair of union locals under Fed scrutiny for ties to the Colombo and Genovese crime families is adding more than $96 million to the overall costs, a New York developer group claims.

Outdated rules would allow some members of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) to pocket an annual salary of anywhere between $135,000 to $405,000 for doing not much more than showing up to projects that include the Freedom Tower, the 9/11 memorial, a transit hub and work on adjacent streets.
Contractor and union sources confirmed that the eight tower cranes at the WTC site guarantee a bonanza for Local 14 operating engineers and the Local 15 specialists who fix them.

On one day in mid-March, for example, contractors said 56 of 204 Local 14 and Local 15 employees on site held no-work jobs.

The board compiled the statistics in the runup to contract talks with the operating engineers and all the city's construction unions, which start next month.

Local 14 and 15 officials did not return calls seeking comment.

Many of the jobs are vestiges of an era in which the Colombo and Genovese crime families controlled Locals 14 and 15. Local 14 has been under a federal monitor since 2009.

One example is the full-time Local 14 "master mechanics" the contractor must hire whenever five pieces of heavy equipment or three tower cranes are in use.

With a $135,000 base salary, a master mechanic can make a staggering $405,000 a year with overtime that's guaranteed by six-day, 12- to 16-hour-a-day schedules. Welfare benefits, insurance and other costs hike the annual bill to $700,000 for that one mechanic.

It's a ridiculous requirement, REBNY says, because the manufacturer or crane owner does the repairs, not the contractor's master mechanics.

Instead, they are glorified shop stewards, a part-time job in most unions. With three required on site a day, that should cost about $6.3 million through 2013, the board says.

Master mechanic Carl Carrara Sr., identified as a Genovese associate, was charged in a 2003 racketeering conspiracy as the mob's point man in a no-show scam at the Museum of Modern Art.

He and six other master mechanics pleaded guilty that year in two cases that put much of Local 14 and 15's leadership behind bars.

Local 15 demands a similar piece of the action via "®maintenance engineers." They're required on site full time when a master mechanic is there and three major pieces of equipment are operating in case any machines need fixing.

"There is nothing for these guys to do," a World Trade Center construction supervisor said. Eliminating that requirement would save $7.5 million over three years at Ground Zero, REBNY says.

Then there's the Local 15 position of "crane oiler," a relic from the days when equipment needed frequent lubrication. An oiler is required on site when any tower crane is in use.

Today, the oiler simply fires up the crane at the start of work. With overtime, he can earn more than $100,000 a year.

And there's Local 14's "stationary equipment operator," with one assigned to each compressor, welding machine and spray fireproofer in use. With overtime, they pull down about $110,000 a year, REBNY estimated.

A World Trade Center construction supervisor who asked not to be identified said technology has reduced the job to two simple functions: "They turn the machine on in the morning and turn it off at night," the supervisor said. "They are basically non-essential."

REBNY wants the city to loosen the union's influence over who gets licensed to operate heavy machinery.

Now, only operators with city licenses can work here, and applicants must train with city crane operators - virtually all union workers. That gives the two locals a stranglehold on major projects.

"Locals 14 and 15 have the hammer. They have the power to shut down a job," said Steven Spinola, president of REBNY, which wants to be able to hire nationally licensed crane operators.
Local 14 has been under the supervision of a federal court since 2008 as part of an agreement reached between prosecutors and the International Union of Operating Engineers. Members of the locals- acting on behalf of the Genovese and Colombo crime families- were awarding no-show jobs arranged by IUOE Locals 14 and 15. Some members of the local had also been charged by Federal Prosecutors in a 61-count indictment for involvement with a mob run no-show scam during the Museum of Modern Art's renovation between 2002 and 2004.

[hat tip- Lonely Conservative: Labor Union Report/Cross Posted at Not Another New England Sports Blog!]

Herman Cain Wins Washington GOP Straw Poll

HT: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The Washington State Republicans' 29th Annual Spring Gala straw poll of 357 attendees has shocked the political landscape with their straw poll result that shows Georgia talk show host Herman Cain edging out nearly one dozen other announced and potential candidates for the Republican nomination next year. 

1. Herman Cain - 54 votes.
2. Mitt Romney - 52 votes.
3. Mitch Daniels - 51 votes.

This vote came only twenty-four hours after Cain's well received performance at the first Presidential debate of the season, which was hosted by Fox News in South Carolina on Thursday evening.

Cain's victory was really surprising, but Daniels third place finish is telling after he won a similar straw poll in Oregon just two months ago. Perhaps the Indiana Governor might have to reconsider his position on whether to run.

What say you?

NASA-Funded Group Caught Doctoring Global Warming Data

No surprise here. Another day, another study that was intentionally doctored to make so-called "global warming," now called "global climate change," more alarming.

This time they were caught. A NASA-funded group at the University of Colorado discovered that sea levels were not rising nearly as much as expected. Their solution: just arbitrarily make the number higher.

Unfortunately for the University of Colorado Sea Level Research Group, global sea rates rose a mere .83 inches for the last decade. That's .083 inches a year, or the width of twenty-five pieces of hair. These scientists decided that wasn't nearly enough, so they decided to add over 10% of "growth" to their data.

The group's excuse: they need to "compensate" for a rising land mass. That's right, not only are sea levels rising slowly, but our land is rising as well.

More from Forbes:
For example, the current pace of 8 inches of sea level rise for the present century is essentially no different than the 7 inches of sea level rise that occurred last century. However, with an artificially enhanced 9.2 inches of sea level rise, alarmists can claim sea level is rising 31 percent faster than it did last century.

Even under this scenario, sea level is not rising nearly as fast as IPCC and other alarmists have predicted. Nevertheless, a quick Google search of “sea level” and “global warming” shows an overwhelming number of items claiming dramatic and accelerating sea level rise, with very few items reporting that alarmist predictions and computer models are being contradicted by real-world data. The newly adjusted NASA-funded sea level data will merely add fuel to the errant fire.

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A Declaration of Energy Independence

The rising price of oil has a negative impact on our economy and threatens to stifle our anemic recovery from the government produced and bureaucratically fostered Great Recession.  How did we get here?  Has anyone ever pinpointed the problem beyond blaming speculators and rising demand?  Has anyone shown us how our energy independence could be achieved?
Remember the 1973 oil embargo?  This was our first oil shock.  How did it come about and what did we do about it?  Did these policies solve the problem?
In 1973, the U.S. and the Western world were experiencing an accelerating inflationary spiral. Twenty years of prosperity and accelerating population growth created heavy need for raw materials that were not being produced internally which made them highly vulnerable to commodity cartels. Due to the fall in domestic production mainly because of the powerful man-made global warming lobby the demand for Middle Eastern oil increased. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), formed in 1960, determined to increase its profits at the expense of the West grew stronger.
President Nixon, in an attempt to control inflation imposed price controls on oil in March 1973. The U.S. which has the world’s largest reserves of oil had been self-sufficient in energy up until the late 1950s was by the 1970s importing over 35% of its energy needs.  Through the lack of planning U.S. petroleum reserves were depleted and the pride that goes before a fall led our government, corporations, and individuals to be entirely unprepared for the radical change about to take place.
On the Jewish high holy day of Yom Kippur October 6, 1973,, Egyptian forces attacked Israel across the Suez Canal, while at the same time Syrian troops attacked the Golan Heights. With help from the U.S., Israeli forces succeeded in pushing into both Syria and Egypt until a cease fire saved both Arab regimes.  On October 17, OPEC struck back imposing a total oil embargo on the U.S. and increasing prices by 70% on Western Europe, and overnight the price of a barrel of oil to these nations more than triples going from $3 to $5.11.
This led to a series of presidential statements and actions all aimed at rallying the American people in the face of growing dependency and international impotence in the energy sector.
Richard Nixon said, “Let us set as our national goal, in the spirit of Apollo, with the determination of the Manhattan Project, that by the end of this decade we will have developed the potential to meet our own energy needs without depending on any foreign energy source.”
President Gerald Ford said, “I am recommending a plan to make us invulnerable to cutoffs of foreign oil. … new stand-by emergency programs to achieve the independence we want…”
President Jimmy Carter said, achieving energy independence was the "moral equivalent of war."
Ronald Reagan, always looking for the free market approach said we should look to, "native American genius, not arbitrary federal policy, to be free to provide for our energy future."
In 1991, in the prelude to the First Gulf War, President George H.W. Bush announced, “There is no security for the United States in further dependence on foreign oil.”
In 2000, President Clinton said, "The nation's growing reliance on imports threatens the nation's security because it increases U.S. vulnerability to oil supply interruptions."
George W. Bush repeated recent presidential history by insisting, in his 2003 State of the Union address, that one of his administration's goals was "to promote energy independence for our country."
Mr. Obama continued the chorus saying, “America's dependence on oil is one of the most serious threats that our nation has faced.”
Did any President ever have an energy policy which effectively dealt with the problems of oil production and supply?
Reagan said, “The best answer, while conservation is worthy in itself, is to try to make us independent of outside sources to the greatest extent possible for our energy.”
Ronald Reagan also said, “Our national energy plan should not be a rigid set of production and conservation goals dictated by Government. Our primary objective is simply for our citizens to have enough energy, and it is up to them to decide how much energy that is, and in what form and manner it will reach them. When the free market is permitted to work the way it should, millions of individual choices and judgments will produce the proper balance of supply and demand our economy needs.
As soon as he became president, Ronald Reagan ended the price controls on domestic oil first imposed by Richard Nixon; these controls had contributed to both the 1973 Oil Crisis and the 1979 Energy Crisis. Almost immediately the price of oil fell, and during the 1980s America didn’t experience the gasoline lines and fuel shortages of the 1970s.  In addition, the removal of price controls ignited a boom in domestic drilling which arrested America’s slide into energy dependence.
As to the energy questions:  How do we end our dependence on foreign oil?  How can we achieve the energy independence which every President since Nixon has said is a matter of national security?  Stop wringing our hands and moaning about our situation, stand up like our ancestors have and boldly declare our Energy Independence!  In practical terms we should: take the shackles off our domestic oil industry, build new refineries, develop better distribution of natural gas, expand the use of nuclear, wind, solar and every conceivable form of energy, and drill baby drill!
Then in this new situation with America reaping the benefits, the jobs, the growth of a renewed sense of freedom and security let’s barter.  One barrel of oil = one bushel of wheat.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ © 2011 Robert R. Owens  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

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Eww: Pornography found in bin Laden Compound

Once again showing that terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden was nothing more than a fraud, officials today stated that they had recovered pornography at his compound.  Looks like that beard was compensating for something.

More from Reuters:
The pornography recovered in bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, consists of modern, electronically recorded video and is fairly extensive, according to the officials, who discussed the discovery with Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The officials said they were not yet sure precisely where in the compound the pornography was discovered or who had been viewing it. Specifically, the officials said they did not know if bin Laden himself had acquired or viewed the materials.

Reports from Abbottabad have said that bin Laden's compound was cut off from the Internet or other hard-wired communications networks. It is unclear how compound residents would have acquired the pornography.

But a video released by the Obama administration confiscated from the compound showed bin Laden watching pictures of himself on a TV screen, indicating that the compound was equipped with video playback equipment.

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"What the Frack is Going On?" Two Minutes of Soros Funded Propaganda!

The New York Daily News describes it as "one of the hottest viral videos on the Internet today..." This is a difficult claim to swallow, at the time of this posting there were a mere 3,426 YouTube views. Nevertheless, it does have a catchy tune that likely does much to cover for its lack of intellectual honesty. Much like the documentary "Gasland" the many of the claims articulated in the video are false.

The video gets its own posting on PBS with rave reviews. Of course, the creators "emphasize(s) that the video is not meant to be a substitute for ProPublica's years of in-depth investigations. "While we hope that you enjoy the song....what we really want you to do is read about hydraulic fractured drilling, so you can truly understand 'what the frack is going on.' That at least we can agree on. Everyone should do their own research, draw their own conclusions and put the claims of opponents and proponents to the intellectual test.

The Gas Shale Shock is a great place to start...


Special thanks to The Lonely Conservative herself, who alerts me to the fact that Pro Publica has very progressive roots. That is in spite of the information that can be taken from their website, which highlights their association to the Wall Street Journal, this investigative group was initially given millions of dollars from the Sandler Foundation. These are liberal progressive billionaires needing to dispense of their hard earned gains by financing their political interests. Pro Publica also received a two year contribution of $125,000 each year from the Open Society Foundations. Not surprisingly, I suppose, this leads you directly to If you find this a little hard to believe, google it, or just click the link above. The Open Society Foundation by the way, is a network of over 30 International Foundations, mostly funded by Soros, who has contributed more than $8 billion in this effort.

Cross posted at Lonely Conservative

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Possible that Qaddafi Injured

The Italian foreign minister has posited an interesting theory today. Franco Frattini has speculated that Qaddafi was injured in one of the recent NATO airstrikes and is likely not even in the capital of Tripoli.

He added that he believed that footage of Qaddafi with tribal leaders that aired yesterday on Libyan state television was likely recorded earlier.

"I tend to give credence to the comment of the bishop of Tripoli, Monsignor Martinelli, who has been in close contact over recent weeks, when he told us that Gaddafi is very probably outside Tripoli and is probably also wounded. We don't know where or how," Frattini said.

Naturally the Libyans deny:

"It's nonsense," Libyan government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said in Tripoli. "The leader is in high morale. He's in good spirits. He is leading the country day by day. He hasn't been harmed at all."

He could also be dead. Who knows?

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Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl to Retire

Some interesting news from the Badger State. Apparently Herb Kohl, the serving Democratic Senator, will be retiring at the end of his term next year. This comes just one year after the Democrats lost both the Governor's mansion and the seat of firebrand liberal Russ Feingold.

It opens up an opportunity for the GOP in this usually blue state. And it also opens up a possibility for Paul Ryan, one of the best fiscal hawks in the country:

"Senator Kohl's retirement, just like his Democrat colleagues who stepped aside before him, immediately presents another key opportunity for Senate Republicans next year," said Brian Walsh, communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, in a press release. "It also further dilutes the ability of national Democrats to go on offense, while they fight to maintain their dwindling Senate majority."

The GOP could very well look to Rep. Paul Ryan. However, it's uncertain whether he would want to abandon his post as chairman of the House Budget Committee to make a run for the Senate.
Going to be an interesting race.

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Ron Paul Announces Candidacy for President Video

He may not win the nomination (or my vote) but some interesting news from the Representative from Texas:

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Obama's Alternative Energy Plan: Hydrochloro-bullhockey and Lithium-di-yeswecan

There has been a of discussion on this blog regarding energy over the past few days. If you haven't, take the time to read "A Declaration of Energy Independence" by Dr. Robert Owens.

I would like to highlight a one minute video produced by the NRSC that takes the President's policy and words to task. See Hot Air, the blog for further thoughts about hot air, the President's energy proposals.

I would also like to draw your attention to post at the Commonwealth Foundation that asks the obvious question no one else seems to be asking, "Who Owns 'Big Oil'"? In spite to Senator Schumer's rhetoric corporate fat cat's earn about 1.5% of the proverbial big money pie. If you are an investor of any kind you own a portion of the lions share and repealing tax breaks for oil companies will hurt all of our retirement portfolios than it will anyone. You would think that democrat's would be particularly concerned for the collective.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Newt Gingrich Announcement Video

This was released today:

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"Burn a Bush" Rapper Common Video

Stupidity-- defined! Now invited to the White House.

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Levi Johnston Book Cover

Professional tool Levi Johnston has tried to get a lot of mileage after his one "accomplishment" in life-- getting Bristol Palin pregnant.

Now he has... has.... has a "book" out. And below is the cover.

What a tool-ool-ool.

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Video- LSU Student Attempting to Burn Flag Chased Away by Patriots Chanting "Go to Hell, Hippie"

LSU recently gave one of its students, Benjamin Hass, permission to burn an American flag as part of a "peaceful protest."  And after the decision, it seemed that the students at the college could not care less.  LSU’s student government president Cody Wells stated, “We’re going to respect [Hass'] First Amendment right to burn our American flag.”

Well, turns out students do care.

At the event, recorded by an LSU student and uploaded to the internet, members of the college took a stand. The video begins as Hass is flanked by two police officers on horses.  He is clearly contemplating how exactly to burn the flag.

Suddenly, chants of "Go to Hell, hippie" and "USA, USA" break out across the crowd around him.  Eventually, after ruckus booing, the "hippie" makes a break for it and does not burn the flag.

The video ends with cheering, applause, and shouts of "God bless America!"  Awesome.

Watch the video below:

Update: More videos from students:


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Earthquake Hits Southern Spain, Killing Seven | May 11, 2011

Terrible news from Spain: a moderately powerful 5.4 earthquake shook the southern part of the country, killing at least seven and causing extensive property damage.

More from the Telegraph:
Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has deployed emergency military units to the scene, the Spanish EFE news agency reported.

Eyewitnesses that the tower of the church of Santiago was split in half.

"Unfortunately, we can confirm ... deaths due to cave-ins and falling debris," the mayor of Lorca, Francisco Jodar, told radio station Ser. "We're trying to find out if there are people inside the collapsed houses."

The quake was registered at 6:47 pm (1647 GMT), following a smaller 4.4-magnitude quake at 5:05 pm (1505 GMT).

Spanish television showed rescue workers rushing through debris-littered streets. Thousands of residents of Lorca are in the streets, not knowing what to do.

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Disgrace: Pastor Made Believe He was Navy SEAL, Included Aspects of Seagal Movie, GI Jane in Stories

It seems like people want credit for being heroes-- even when they are far from it. Now that Osama bin Laden has met his end at the hands of Navy SEALs, there are many that want to jump on the bandwagon.

One case is a pastor from Pennsylvania, Jim Moats, who has been telling his congregation for five years that he was a Navy SEAL in Vietnam:

Apparently at least part was based on Steven Seagal's 1992 film Under Seige:

Among other things, Moats said he was subjected to waterboarding when he trained at Little Creek Amphibious Base in Virginia Beach in 1971 and was assigned dishwashing duty for his bad attitude. "I had almost no discipline. I was as wild as they came. That was my nemesis," he told the paper. "They weren't looking for a guy who brags to everyone he is a SEAL. They wanted somebody who was ready but had an inner confidence and didn't have a braggadocio attitude."

He also lifted part of his story from the 1990s movie GI Jane:

And what about Reverend Moats's claims that he had been hit by instructors?
That too was taken from a Hollywood film about SEALs - G.I. Jane - in which Moore plays the fictional role of the first woman who survives the crack team's gruelling training regime, Mr Shipley said.

Moats appeared to be apologetic as he confessed his crime:

Moats fessed up to his whopper, and admitted he bought the Trident medal at a military surplus store. "I never was in a class, I never served as an actual SEAL. It was my dream. ... I don't even know if I would have met the qualifications. I never knew what the qualifications were," he told the Patriot-News. Moats did serve in the Navy from 1970-74, but did not fight in Vietnam.


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Video:Herman Cain on Fox

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Syrian Troops Shelling Civilians

This just in from Syria. The Assad regime, apparently buoyed by crushing demonstrations in other cities, has now turned to indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas. This is what we intervened in Libya to prevent. Now the White House and European governments are nearly silent over the intentional attack on a civilian center.

According to reports, this is taking place in Homs, center of many protests.

Heavy tank- and gunfire rocked at least three residential neighborhoods in the besieged city of Homs, which has seen some of the largest anti-government demonstrations during the seven-week-long uprising.
"There were loud explosions and gunfire from automatic rifles throughout the night and until this morning," a resident told The Associated Press by telephone, asking that his name not be used for fear of government reprisals. "The area is totally besieged. We are being shelled."
What's the West going to do?

Cross-posted at World Threats.

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Tea Party Proposes Cut to 2006 Spending

Tea Party Senators, led by Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey, have proposed to cut discretionary spending not to 2008 spending, as asked by John Boehner, but instead to 2006 levels. This would be before the Democrats took over Congress and jacked up spending.

"Simply put, deficits are not inevitable; they can be stopped if we in Congress have the will to stop them," Toomey said.
Toomey's plan would cut non-defense discretionary spending to 2006 levels — pre-2008 stimulus — but leave the details of where exactly to cut to appropriators. Toomey does not touch Social Security, makes just slight changes to Medicare and converts Medicaid from an entitlement to a state block-grant program.

Hopefully it will go through, but appears unlikely.

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Wednesday Bush-a-Thon

Here at Pundit Press we want to open up a new feature-- a celebration of former President George W. Bush every Wednesday.

Consider this an open thread.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

We Have Evidence That Everything They Have Told Us is All Wrong

This seems to be a very complicated issue, one that I have not followed closely, regardless, Project Gunrunner is heating up quickly.

Chuck Grassley and Darrell Issa discuss the issue in detail!

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Thad McCotter 2012?

Sound the alarm. Another candidate might run for President.

There are rumors this evening that Congressman Thaddeus McCotter is being encouraged to run for the Presidency next year. He is the ultimate dark horse candidate, but is one of the Republican Party's brightest stars, even though he was just elected to his fifth term in office from Michigan's 11th House district.

Mr. McCotter's 2010 American Conservative Union rating was 86%, slightly above his lifetime average of 84%, and his overall record cannot be deemed anything less than Conservative: he supported the Iraq War and the Bush tax cuts while opposing the 2008 financial bailouts of Wall Street.

I think the Congressman is definitely Conservative and experienced enough to receive the nomination, but we must recognize the sad truth that no-one from the House of Representatives has been elected to the White House in over one hundred and thirty years. And that was a former Civil War General.

What say you?

Duke Study Confirms Industry Claims: Fracking Fluid Doesn't Contaminate Fresh Water Aquifers

In spite of what you may have read elsewhere, the most compelling finding of the Duke Natural Gas and Water Study is not that shallow drinking water systems within 1000 meters of active natural gas drilling had methane levels 17 times higher than fresh water aquifers further away from active drilling sites. It is not that these levels are considered dangerous and can allow for explosive levels of gas to build up in enclosed spaces. It is not even that the authors of the study aren't calling for banning the practice, but instead see a need for better stewardship of the industry "to ensure the sustainable future of shale gas extraction and to improve public confidence in its use."

Methane contamination has long been acknowledged by the industry and the Pennsylvania DEP who have "documented cases of gas migration from Marcellus wells around Dimock in Susquehanna county and in Bradford county."

Duke also finds that the gas migrating is thermogenic and is not biogenic gas or gas that is encountered when a water well itself is sunk. This too is consistent with DEP conclusions.

DEP furthermore fond that the gas that was migrating in the Dimock areo was Devonian gas located at about 1,000 to 3,000 feet. Devonian gas is above the Marcellus gas. DEP concluded that the Devonian gas had not been isolated as a result of poor drilling practices.

Bradford and Susquehanna counties have had many more gas migration problems than counties in the Southwest Pennsylvania. Had Duke done this study in Washington, Greene and counties in the Southwest it would have reached different conclusions. The reasons for the geographic difference in the incidence or rate of gas migration include geological differences in the counties, quality of the gas drilling in the respective areas, or some of both.

Authors of the Duke Study, Rob Jackson and Avner Vengosh wrote an opinion piece published in the Philadelphia Inquirer today entitled, "Strong Evidence That Shale Drilling is Risky." This I knew, as does any responsible person who would consider hydraulic fracturing as a source of both income and energy independence. The question that must be asked is, "Do the ends justify the means?" The authors of the Duke Study seem to think they do:

Environmental scientists often have the unpleasant task of exposing the drawbacks of different technologies, and this study shows one downside of fracking. But other energy resources have drawbacks, too, and in some cases they're big ones.

Over the past two years alone, deepwater oil drilling led to a catastrophic spill in the Gulf of Mexico; an earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear disaster in Japan; and a flood of coal sludge inundated homes and spilled into a river in Kingston, Tenn.

Given such incidents, the conclusion we take away from our study is that the United States needs to focus on developing alternative, renewable energy resources that are greener and safer.

We'll likely be using shale gas for some time, and the problems we've highlighted can probably be solved. It would be inaccurate and unfair to say our study proves that fracking should be banned.

John Hanger, a self described expert (for good reason) on energy, environment, and the green economy has served as the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission who writes at his blog, Facts of the Day,adds this to the methane controversy:

In the case of 19 water wells contaminated by methane from drilling around Dimock, 14 of the 19 had methane removed by December 2010. DEP required the drilling company to plug and repair gas wells that reduced the gas migration. At some water wells there were measurable declines in methane contamination shortly after gas wells were repaired or plugged.

Furthermore a settlement in December 2010 between DEP and the drilling company required payments to the families near Dimock where gas had contaminated their water wells that averaged $200,000.

DEP also proposed new gas drilling rules in 2009 that became final in February 2011. The new rules raise standards for the design, construction, and operation of gas wells to reduce gas migration pollution.

Gas migration has been a problem in Pennsylvania for decades, well before the first Marcellus well was drilled in 2005. The new, strong rules and the attention to this problem make this the time to reduce it sharply.

If I may add, the methane issue is fixable thanks to good old American ingenuity!

Living in upstate New York I have had to endure being lectured to by my environmental betters that hydraulic fracturing will result in fresh water aquifer contamination by the fracking fluid. For months I have heard that these fluids will permanently contaminate our fresh water sources. The Duke Study found no evidence what-so-ever to support this contention. This argument is the narrative upon which the hydrofracking fallacy has been hoisted. The Duke Study goes a long way to disrupt the narrative.

So when you read flashy headlines like this one at Green Car Congress, or this one at USA Today, or even this at theHuffington Post, or when your local environmentalist tells you that natural gas drilling causes methane contamination of fresh water supplies, just keep in mind that the basis of the whole argument has been sunk and understand the true motivation, using safety concerns to hamstring an entire industry.

South of 5 and 20 draws my attention to an article at Investor's Business Daily that argues that the Obama administration seeks use the idea of safety as it pertains to hydraulic fracturing in the same way it was used in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and spill. That is to shut it down.

The safety mantra was raised once again last Thursday when Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the appointment of a seven-member panel to study hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as "fracking," and come up with new safety standards that address concerns raised by environmentalists.

Environmentalists contend these chemical additives contaminate ground water supplies.

"America's vast natural gas resources can generate many new jobs and provide significant environmental benefits," Chu said. "But we need to ensure we harness these resources safely." It was a similar "but" that led the Obama administration to impose a seven-year ban on offshore drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, off both coasts and in the energy-rich Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska.

We believe the safety issue is a cover for the Obama administration's ideologically driven animus toward fossil fuels and its deliberate campaign to raise energy prices — and thereby to make its favored "green" alternatives look more competitive and attractive.

Yeah, that's what I think too!

Cross posted at Lonely Conservative
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Ann Coulter Links Pundit Press!

Conservative columnist Ann Coulter has linked Pundit Press for our article on the California Department of Transportation calling a display of the American flag an "impermissible public display." Aurelius wrote the interesting piece.

We would like to thank Ms. Coulter for her link - we greatly appreciate it.

Update-  Here's a screen shot if any of you are interested (click for better quality):

California DoT Nixes Public Display of American Flag, Calls it "Impermissible Public Expression"

Can someone please tell me what world we live in when we cannot erect our own American flag because it might upset some people?

In the town of Orcutt, California, thousands of dollars in donations have been gathered to create a monument to fallen soldiers and the branches of our military.  The memorial would go between "a highway exit and a park-and-ride lot;" a pole would rise out of the center and display the American flag.

The California Department of Transportation was okay with the plan... that is, until it was revealed that our nation's flag would be flying.  When CalTrans heard, they stymied the effort, declaring the display of an American flag an "impermissible act of “public expression.”"

The panel that ruled that the American flag could not be displayed demanded "viewpoint neutrality" at the monument.  In other words, they declared it illegal to solely fly the US flag, stating that other flags must also have the right to be flown at the memorial, be it "the British flag, the Nazi flag, or the Jolly Rogers."
Apparently not allowed in California
In response to concerns, CalTrans wrote:
To answer your question regarding the court’s decision in Brown v. California Department of Transportation pertaining to flying the American Flag in the State right of way, it was established that, “The display of the United States flag constituted expressive activity, within the meaning of the First Amendment.”

The concern that we have in this situation is that, whether a flag hanging on a bridge [not OTORA’s proposal], or a monument placed within a park and ride lot [the proposal], we would be placed in a position of having to permit all forms of expression as encroachments in the right of way if we were to allow yours. As such, the department has determined that the state highway system is not a forum for public expression except as expressly allowed.
And do you want any more proof that CalTrans has no idea what it is doing?  More from the Weekly Standard:
Last summer, a few days before the Fourth of July, CalTrans painted over a 35-foot American flag mural on a hillside in the East Bay, several hours north of Orcutt, which had been completed in the wake of the terrorist attacks. CalTrans painted over the mural with gray paint.
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Liberals in Arizona Seek to Form New State

Anyone up for wasting a bunch of people's time and energy, all the while failing at what you aim to do?  No?  Well, these folks in Arizona are.

From Yahoo! News:
A long-simmering movement by liberal stalwarts in southern Arizona to break away from the rest of the largely conservative state is at a boiling point as secession backers press to bring their longshot ambition to the forefront of Arizona politics.

A group of lawyers from the Democratic stronghold of Tucson and surrounding Pima County have launched a petition drive seeking support for a November 2012 ballot question on whether the 48th state should be divided in two.

The ultimate goal of the newly formed political action committee Start our State is to split Pima County off into what would become the nation's 51st state, tentatively dubbed Baja Arizona.

Backers have until July 5 next year to collect the 48,000 signatures required to qualify for a spot on the ballot. If they succeed, it would mark only the first hurdle in a long, circuitous process that even the most determined of supporters readily acknowledge has little chance of bearing fruit.

"We at least need to get it on the ballot, as a nonbinding resolution, to ask the people of Pima County if they want to be a part of Arizona," Tucson attorney Paul Eckerstrom, a former Pima County Democratic chairman who launched the campaign, told Reuters. "All the stars would have to align for this to happen, but it could conceivably happen by the fall of 2013."
Arizona: Could be split into two
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"Allahu Akbar": Man Storms Cockpit in CA. Rageh Almurisi in Custody

Some pretty interesting news out of the Golden State. Apparently a Yemeni man attempted to storm the cockpit of a commercial airliner. It is unclear if he was intending to fly the plane, crash the plane, or something else. This has lit up the net in just a day.

From the actual flight:

More details from FoxNews. The passengers did not take this lying down. They tackled Rageh Almurisi:

Andrew Wai, another passenger, told KGO-TV on Monday that the wife of one of the men who took Almurisi down later said Almurisi was yelling "Allahu Akbar."

"There was no question in everybody's mind that he was going to do something," Marty said.

A male flight attendant tackled Almurisi, and other crew members and passengers, including a retired Secret Service agent and a retired San Mateo police officer, helped subdue him as he banged on the door, police said. The flight attendant put plastic handcuffs on him.

"Everybody was fixated on him," Marty said. "You never think that something like that would happen in your life."


 H/t: HotAir.

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