Monday, May 23, 2011

Senate Votes 74-8 to Invoke Cloture on Patriot Act

National defense is still bipartisan in Washington.

The United States Senate voted 74-8 earlier this evening to invoke cloture on extending expiring provisions in the Patriot Act until June 1st, 2015. Senators will most likely vote to pass the reauthorization within the next couple of days, perhaps tomorrow.

Only four Democrats, three Republican and one Independent voted against extending the Patriot Act today, while eighteen Senators were not present for the important cloture vote. None of Alaska's or Montana's Senators voted for America's single most vitally important piece of national defense legislation.

Disturbing at best.

America at-large might think the War on Terrorism is over, but thankfully the Senate is smart enough to know otherwise and keep up the good fight.

What say you?

Pray for those Affected in Joplin, MO

Pundit Press is a political news site, but we are astounded and saddened to see the destruction that has taken place in Joplin, Missouri.  That is why we are taking this moment to ask people who read our site to pray for those affected in Joplin, and wherever inclement weather has hurt peoples' lives.

God bless.

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Missouri Tornado Deaths top 85

The number of people killed in horrible tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri, has reached 89. It is estimated that 3/4 of the town was destroyed. Please consider donating to relief funds.

At least 89 people were killed in Joplin, Mo., which received the worst of the severe weather.

If the death toll in Joplin exceeds 115, it will be in the top 10 deadliest tornadoes in all time, none of which have occurred since 1953 according to the Storm Prediction Center.

This story will be continually updated throughout the day as more information becomes available.

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Perry in 2012?

With Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels out of the 2012 stakes, it appears that another governor may step into the ring, albeit reluctantly. There's talk that Texas Governor Rick Perry may attempt to seek the 2012 nomination.

Now there's talk that this is the perfect time for Perry, who has served since 2000.

Perry is a fierce partisan, and his brand of conservatism makes George W. Bush's look truly compassionate. But, for stout conservatives, he's got a good story to tell. It will go like this:

Under Rick Perry, the state’s longest-serving governor, Texas continues to lead the nation in job creation. And despite a record influx of job seekers from other states, the unemployment rate in the state continues to be below the national average. How did Texas become home to more Fortune 500 companies than any state in the nation? According to Perry: “Texas’ low taxes, reasonable and predictable regulatory climate, fair legal system, and skilled workforce have made the Lone Star State a beacon for job creation and economic growth.”


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Watch Obama Speech in Ireland Live (Streaming), May 23, 2011

Free live streaming by Ustream

Here's the speech in full:

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Biden: I May Run in 2016

Vice President Joe Biden is looking to the future.  And not the 2012 election next year, but to 2016 where he says not to rule him out.

Talking to supporters at a dinner on May 19, Biden abruptly started talking about the 2016 election.  According to a person there, it was odd "given he volunteered that without prompting...and given the audience."

The dinner had a "wide-ranging conversation" for "major Democratic Party donors."  Biden told the group that he "hadn't made up his mind, and cited both political conditions and his own health as relevant factors."

By 2016, Mr. Biden will be 74 years old.  John McCain, who was attacked by Democrats and candidate Obama for being too "old," was 72 when he ran for President in 2008.

Initial reaction to this news ranges from "weird" to "disturbing."  Either way, Biden is now one of several Democrats eying the 2016 race, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Virginia Senator Mark Warner.
Mr. Biden
More from Politico:
Biden, who started in the Senate young and would be just 70 in 2012, raised the possibility unprompted during a wide-ranging conversation at the May 19 dinner with major Democratic Party donors, a source in the room said.

The Vice President, who has never ruled in or out running in six years, told the group he hadn't made up his mind, and cited both political conditions and his own health as relevant factors.

But the spontaneous suggestion caught the attention of at least some in the audience, said the guest, "given he volunteered that without prompting...and given the audience."

A crop of Democrats already appear to be eyeing the subsequent presidential contest, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, and Virginia Senator Mark Warner; a sitting Vice President would utterly change the circumstances in a race that is, in any event, too far off to imagine, and whose contours depend most of all on whether Obama wins re-election.

A spokeswoman for Biden declined to comment on the exchange.

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Biden 2016?

HT: Politico

Vice-President Joe Biden told Democratic donors last week that they should keep him in mind for the distant 2016 Presidential election, which shocked members of the audience because no one thought the suggestion was coming with everyone's attention on the upcoming 2012 election.

I'm greatly shocked and oddly disturbed by the news.

Because not only will Vice-President Biden be seventy-four in 2016, but he has the same chance of defeat in the Democratic Primary as former Vice-President Danforth Quayle had in the competitive 2000 Republican Primary.

I don't believe this suggestion by the Vice-President is to be taken too seriously, because his viewpoints are even more leftist than President Obama - and we see how that is helping the former right now in various presidential opinion surveys.

So what say you about the Vice-President hinting at a 2016 Presidential run?

Spain's Socialists Destroyed

Albany, New York

The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party has ruled Madrid without considerable electoral opposition since mid-2004, but the nation's 21% unemployment rate brought down Prime Minister Zapatero's socialist comrades hard in yesterday's local and regional elections amid nationwide protests by dissatisfied youth.

However, Prime Minister Zapatero is refusing to hold early national elections.

The Conservative People's Party, which was punished by Spaniard's just seven years ago for supporting the War on Iraq, received two million more votes than their socialist counterparts and now have outright majorities in eight of thirteen regions that held elections.

I hope our friends in Spain realize the pro-war People's Party is not only better for their national security, but for their economic prosperity.

What say you?

Dem Rep. Cynthia McKinney Appears on Libyan State TV, Denounces American Policies

Most people already know that former Democrat Representative Cynthia McKinney is crazy.  But travelling to Libya and appearing on Libyan state TV?  That's a whole new kind of crazy.

Appearing in a live interview on Libyan state TV, McKinney stated that she was in Libya on a "fact-finding" mission.  She then went on to slam the US.

"I think that it's very important that people understand what is happening here," she began. "And it's important that people all over the world see the truth. And that is why I am here ... to understand the truth."

She continued later, "Under the economic policies of the Obama administration, those who have the least are losing the most. And those who have the most are getting even more. The situation in the United States is becoming more dire for average ordinary Americans, and the last thing we need to do is to spend money on death, destruction and war."
McKinney also discussed bringing additional people to Libya.

"I want to say categorically and very clearly that these policies of war ... are not what the people of the United States stand for, and it's not what African-Americans stand for," she added.

Earlier in the week, McKinney also appeared on Press TV, Iran's state-run news station.

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Report: Mullah Omar Killed in Pakistan

Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban, has been killed according to the TOLO news station in Afghanistan.  They also cited a security official that confirmed the report.  However, there is a big amount of details lacking that could potentially put this claim in doubt.
Pundit Press is working to confirm the report.

This is the news report:

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An idea for the Rapture

So, everybody is still here. The Rapture didn't happen, nobody disappeared. Two men walking up a hill, none disappeared and none were left standing still.

Anyway, I had a bit of an idea that I thought would be really cool to see.

Picture this: James Randi is a magician who offers a sum of money for anybody to prove that a miracle has occurred. So one day, he gets an offer by a man to prove that he can create miracles. Randi, having exposed charlatans for years, is delighted to accept the challenge and offers to set up a demonstration.

But the man wants more.

It has to be in front of a live audience, he insists. Randi happily concurs, and makes the arrangements.

But the man wants more.

It has to be simulcast on radio and TV, live as it happens. Again, Randi makes the arrangements, although with a hint of apprehension. After all, charlatans shouldn't have this much confidence in their abilities, should they?

But the man wants more.

Not only broadcast on radio and TV, and newspaper journalists present, the man says, but also broadcast on the Internet, as well. A small trickle of sweat works its way down Randi's back. "Awfully confident bugger," is the only phrase that roils through Randi's mind.

But the man wants a little bit more.

How about a panel of the world's leading atheists to have front-row seats, is the demand. Oh, and there will be no charge for any of the proceedings if he can perform a miracle.

Now Randi is a bit more confident. The arrogant fool has overplayed his hand! Of course, Randi puffs in relief, anything else?

Nope, the man says. That's everything.

The day comes, and Randi leads the man to the stage. Randi turns to the man and motions for him to step up.

But the man hesitates.

"Come, come," Randi purrs, "surely you can't be hesitant about your miracles, can you?"

"Well, kind of," the man replies. "Tell you what. Why don't you pick a miracle for me to perform?"

Randi can't believe his ears, but long practice kicks in, and he names a miracle to be performed. Certainly this arrogant idiot can't do it!

And his jaw hits the floor when the miracle is performed.

As does the collected atheists in attendance.

As does the collected audience, watching on TV and the Internet and listening on the radio.

Stunned silence follows.

Randi collects himself quickly, and states that it was prearranged. Now do this miracle!

Only to have his jaw again hit the floor when this new, different miracle is performed.

Weakly, Randi blurts out another miracle to be performed.

And drops his entire body to the floor when it occurs.

And this is how Jesus announces his return to Earth. In front of the most hostile crowd ever to be assembled, in the faces of His most ferocious enemies. In the very midst of the hardest hearts.

I hope that we will all be ready.

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Obama to fix No Child Left Behind

I was reading the paper this afternoon, and came across a headline that made me stop right in my tracks. The headline was, “Obama seeks change to No Child.”

And my first thought was, “Oh goody, he's going to try to fix No Child Left Behind. Just like he fixed unemployment, the sagging economy, the poor performance of General Motors and Pontiac, the BP oil spill, racial tensions, the space program, America's reputation abroad, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Gitmo, and hellth -I mean- health care. He's certainly swimming in success, isn't he? Why, he couldn't possibly mess that up!”

OK, I'm a bit of a cynic.

And then I found myself reflecting back on a guy I knew. He went around trying to help people by fixing things that they had that were broken. He fancied himself a handyman, so he would volunteer his services in fixing something that was broken. He was a nice guy, but totally inept. Whatever he tried to fix, it only got (if it was at all possible) more broken.

That handrail that wobbled? Afterward, it would not just wobble, but the stairs would seem to lean a little bit more. That leak under the sink? It would continue to drip, along with attracting insects. That wobbly stool? The cushioning on top would have developed a rip in the seam.

You get the idea. Whatever project he tackled would be worse off once he was done with it.

That's who Obama reminds me of: the inept repairman.

A character usually reserved for a sitcom, and he's our President.

Where is Art when we need him?

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Missouri Tornado Picture

A tornado slammed into small Joplin, MO, bringing devastation. Please donate to relief efforts.

Credit NBC Action News

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Putin for President, Again?

RUSSIAN Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has decided to run for the presidency next year, raising the possibility of a power struggle with his protege Dmitry Medvedev, the incumbent Kremlin leader, say highly placed sources.

The once-close relationship between Mr Putin, the tough-talking former KGB officer who has inspired a personality cult, and Mr Medvedev, a softly spoken Twitter enthusiast, has become increasingly fractious amid speculation in Moscow that the younger man wishes to stand again.

Insiders familiar with both leaders said Mr Putin, who served eight years as president before becoming Prime Minister three years ago, had begun to lose confidence in Mr Medvedev's loyalty.


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Palin Moves to Arizona?

The internets are abuzz with rumors that Sarah Palin has purchased a home in Scottsdale Arizona so that she can set up shop in the contiguous US as she prepares for a 2012 Presidential run. Didn't know, but it turns out that her daughter moved there recently.

For a detailed examination of the evidence see Dan Nowicki's blog post at AZ/DC Blog.

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Breaking- Pawlenty: "I'm Running for President of the United States" (With Video)

Today, Tim Pawlenty's campaign site released a video.  In it, Mr. Pawlenty announced that he would be running for President of the United States.

Watch the video below:

Here is a short transcript of the video:

Pawlenty- We need a President who understands that our problems are deep and who has the courage to face them.  President Obama doesn't.  I do.

Tomorrow, my first campaign stop will be in Iowa, and that's where I will begin a campaign that tells the American people the truth.

I'm Tim Pawlenty and I'm running for President of the United States.

I believe with all my heart that the challenges we face can be overcome.  I grew up in a blue-collar town, my dad work as a truck driver, my mom died when I was a teenager, and I was the first in our family to graduate from college.

As governor of Minnesota, I moved a Democratic state into a conservative direction.  I know the American dream because I lived it.

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Yikes: Pakistan turns to China for Naval Base

Pakistan, still angry over the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, has turned to China for military support.  This could be the biggest rift in Amero-Pakistani relations yet.

More from the Financial Times:
Pakistan has asked China to build a naval base at its south-western port of Gwadar and expects the Chinese navy to maintain a regular presence there, a plan likely to alarm both India and the US. 
“We have asked our Chinese brothers to please build a naval base at Gwadar,” Chaudhary Ahmed Mukhtar, Pakistan’s defence minister, told the Financial Times, confirming that the request was conveyed to China during a visit last week by Yusuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan’s prime minister.

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Putin to Run for Russian President Next Year

A power struggle could be emerging in Russia:
Russia Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has decided to run for the presidency next year, raising the possibility of a power struggle with his protege Dmitry Medvedev, the incumbent Kremlin leader, say highly placed sources.

The once-close relationship between Mr Putin, the tough-talking former KGB officer who has inspired a personality cult, and Mr Medvedev, a softly spoken Twitter enthusiast, has become increasingly fractious amid speculation in Moscow that the younger man wishes to stand again.

Insiders familiar with both leaders said Mr Putin, who served eight years as president before becoming Prime Minister three years ago, had begun to lose confidence in Mr Medvedev's loyalty.

Under the constitution, Mr Putin's move to reclaim the presidency could see him rule for two consecutive six-year terms until 2024, when he will be 72. If so, he would have served as prime minister or president for 24 years in all.
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Obama’s Radical Shift Against Israel

President Barak Obama gave a talk at the State Department last Thursday that once again shows how poorly he understands foreign policy in general, and the Palestinians in particular. After indicating privately that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would not be a major part of his talk, the President then made the statement that any peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians should be based on the 1967 borders.

In his earlier missteps in dealing with the region, he has consistently made matters worse for the so-called “peace process”, and has now upped the ante exponentially.

So what is wrong with his speech? I will focus on six items.

1 First, he has rewarded the Palestinians for doing nothing.

In his speech, he declared that the Palestinian Arabs should have an independent state based on the 1967 borders. Why is our president giving out gold stars for bad behavior? Why is he doing this just after Hamas and Fatah have announced their unity? And just after the infamous New York Times Op Ed by Mahmoud Abbas essentially promising perpetual war against Israel? ..What does the PA need to do in return? Where are the demands that it end rejection of a Jewish state? Where are the demands that the Palestinians refugees are to return to the Palestinian state, and not the Jewish one? Apparently the PA is to be rewarded for being rejectionist, militant, allying with a terrorist entity, refusing the idea of negotiating an end to the conflict. Does this make any kind of sense?

David Frum asks “ if the President is prepared to state now, in advance, that he has a view on the territorial outcome of negotiations, why won’t he state now, in advance, that he has a view on Palestinian refugee claims? Why won’t he state a view in advance on the non-division of Jerusalem?”

Resorting to the pre-1967 borders means a full withdrawal by the Israelis from the West Bank and the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. A Palestinian state, dominated by Hamas, would be devastating to Israel. Imagine if the thousands of rockets from Gaza were now coming from the West Bank and falling on Jerusalem. Is this policy initiatve an appropriate gift to a declared Islamic terrorist organization?

2. Obama defines the 1967 lines (lines, not borders) as the basis for a Palestinian state. What is wrong with using the 1967 borders? First, these are not borders in any kind of legal sense. These “borders” are actually the cease fire lines of 1949 following Israel’s War of Independence against seven invading Arab armies. A major cornerstone of U.S. policy has been based on UN Security Council Resolution 242, which calls for borders to be "secure and recognized." Obama’s call for a solution based on the 1967 lines is an unwise and unworkable bow toward the Palestinian position

The 1967 lines are not defensible. Prior to 1967, Israel was 8 miles wide, Jerusalem was surrounded on three sides, and Ben Gurion International Airport was only a few miles from hostile forces. The borders prior to 1967 put the bulk of Israel’s population within artillery reach of their enemies, and denied Jews access to the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Immediately after the 6 day war of 1967, President Lyndon Johnson said that a return to the pre-war borders “is not a prescription for peace but for renewed hostilities”,

3. President Obama calls on Israel to take “bold steps”. In other words, Obama is calling on the party that has been willing to negotiate to give up more in advance of any actual negotiation, while he is calling on the Palestinians to ..… do nothing.

Obama declares that "The status quo is unsustainable, and Israel … must act boldly to advance a lasting peace." Come again? Israel alone "must act boldly”? Israel’s enemies have made clear that their goal is to eliminate the Jewish state. The Arab side says it will never recognize a Jewish state. They state that regardless of what else happens, they will never agree to an end to the conflict. It is Hamas that says it will always have as a goal the annihilation of Israel. So what does Obama mean when he says that "Israel must act boldly"?. When faced with Hamas’ determination to murder every last Jew, what is he thinking?

Has not Israel taken bold steps? What was the withdrawal from the Sinai to achieve peace with Egypt about? Was not the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza a bold move? Or the various concessions following the Oslo accords? Or the offer made to Yassir Arafat at the 2000 Camp David summit? Of the offer made by Ehud Olmert to President Abbas, met with silence? Israel has offered repeatedly to negotiate, no strings attached. What has the other side offered?

Few words demonstrate Obama poor understanding of the nature of the conflict than his call for Israel to “act “boldly”. This is a reprisal of Obama’s recent call to American Jewish leaders to “search your hearts”. It is easy for Obama to call on Israel to act boldly, His family is sleeping soundly on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, while Israeli children are being bombarded by rockets from Gaza. The call for boldness is not policy; it is a shallow sound bite.

4. President Obama is calling on Israel to give away the store while the toughest issues remain to be decided. He states that borders should be agreed on first, and issues such as refugees and the status of Jerusalem decided later. Who came up with this formulation, and what were they thinking?

This method of negotiation leaves other issues hanging, to be determined after Israel has given up all of its negotiating chips. If Israel were to agree on withdrawal from all the territory on the West Bank, what leverage would be left with which to bargain when the issue of refugees came up? No lawyer would advise this mode of negotiation.

Israel has previously stated that all core issues, including Jerusalem and the so-called ‘right of return’ should be discussed at the same time so that the issues on which the Arabs will have to make concessions if there is to be a real peace can be taken into consideration, and not just those issues in which Israel will have to make concessions.

5, President Obama has ignored the main game changer, i.e. the pact between Fatah and Hamas. He did say that the “agreement between Fatah and Hamas raises profound and legitimate questions for Israel” As Jennifer Rubin has pointed out, “this is not just a profound question for Israel, it is an absolute bar to negotiation”.

Remember that the Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel and death to Jews worldwide; Obama’s way of getting around this is to ignore it.

Further, there is a legal problem here. Given the Hamas designation as a terrorist organization, and its unity with Fatah, the United States should not be continuing to fund this entity. And yet, any attempt to discuss this is met with dissimulation, with statements like “we need to see what Hamas will do“ We already know what Hamas will do. As long as the United States provides this non-answer, Hamas does not need to do anything different.

6. The plan ignores and indeed reverses prior commitments. According to Herb Keinon, “In 2004, US President George Bush, in exchange for then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, wrote a letter saying that in any future agreement between Israel and the Palestinians it would be “unrealistic" to expect a full Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 Armistice lines (the 1967 lines), and that a just and fair solution to the Palestinian refugee issue would be their absorption in a future Palestinian state, rather than Israel.”

In return for this promise, Israel withdrew from Gaza, a move that has proven very costly. But at least we had that promise in writing from the president of the US. Now it appears that with his speech, President Barack Obama has “essentially thrown that letter out the window.”

The chances that President Obama’s formula will actually lead to peace are zero. So why did Obama include these statements? Jonathan Tobin has suggested that there are two reasons.

First, Obama has never deviated from his irrational and absurd belief that Israeli concessions, contrary to all the lessons of history, will magically create peace. And the second is that he included these words as a way to “appease the Arab world so as to help “reset” U.S. relations with the Islamic world” (which won’t work) Thus Israel is being asked to pay an enormous price so that Obama will supposedly be more popular among the Arab states.

Neither a peace, nor a resetting of Obama’s popularity will happen. The formulation is dead in the water.

Meanwhile, a whole host of journalists, commentators and political leaders have criticized the President’s speech.

Senator Joseph Lieberman said Obama's speech was “an unhelpful and surprising set of remarks about Israel and the Palestinians that will not advance the peace process and in fact is likely to set it back. ... Unilateral statements of this sort do nothing to bring the two parties back to the negotiating table and in fact make it harder for them to do so. They also damage the relationship of trust that is critical to peacemaking.”

However, there is some support for the President from the usual suspects.

J Street, a corrupt and dishonest organization who function both as Obama’s court Jews, and as lobbyists for Mahmoud Abbas, wholeheartedly endorse the approach outlined by the President. J Street does go one step further, adding that they hope the President will now put his words into action (translation; more pressure on Israel to agree on the path of suicide)

Michael Lerner of Tikkun, using his trademark hubris from his safe perch on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, again lectures the Israelis as to what is good for them. He tells his acolytes to start a media campaign with the message “No, Mr. Netanyahu! Americans Don’t Support Your Intransigence and Rejection of a Plausible Path to Peace. We stand with President Obama on Peace Negotiations”

According to Lerner, If only the “right wing government” of Israel (Lerner always describes the Israeli government as right wing, whether Likud, Labor or Kadima) were to listen to Michael Lerner, then the Arabs would throw down their spears in favor of pruning hooks, no longer train for war, and welcome the Jewish state into the community of the Middle East. Lerner is like Rip Van Winkle, except that he has been asleep for the last 100 years.

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Video- Obama: I Didn't Say Those Things I Said, But I Might as Well Repeat the Same Thing


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Lady Gaga Mom

Lady Gaga introduced her mother on the View. I know most don't care, but it is Google bait.

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Police Make Arrest in Bryan Stow Beating Case

Bryan Stow was beaten nearly to death on Opening Day of baseball this season at Dodgers Stadium.  Today, he is lying in a hospital bed in a coma, his brain damaged from the attack, and his prospects of ever waking up slim.

Why was he beaten so savagely?  Simply because he was a San Fransisco Giants fan.
Mr. Stow
The tragedy of this case, and the senselessness of the attack, has made the story front page news.  Yet no suspect had been detained since Mr. Stow was attack.  That is, until today.

According to the LAPD, a SWAT team "descended" on an apartment in East Hollywood this morning and arrested a person of interest in the attack.  One of the people detained was a man "covered" in tattoos, who matches the suspect sketches released by police.

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Live Streaming Video of Obama Speech at AIPAC, May 22, 2011

Update-  As always seems the case in Presidential speeches, it has been pushed back for at least 15 minutes.

You can watch the speech below.  It is scheduled to start at 10:30EST:

Free live streaming by Ustream
And please vote in our poll below:

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Clever new Voting Trick brought to you by the Democratic Party USA

Just Switch your Party Registration to another State and claim you were "on Vacation"

by Eric Dondero

A Ft. Wayne, Indiana Democrat activist and city council candidate has come up with a new creative voting tactic. He went on "vacation," and registered to vote in Wisconsin. All the time he was on the ballot as a Democrat candidate in Indiana for Ft. Wayne city council.

From the Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette "Schrader off the fall ballot" May 21:
the Allen County Election Board voted unanimously to remove Schrader from the November ballot

Schrader is a perennial candidate and said he took a vacation to Wisconsin during the campaign season this year because he did not expect to win. He finished third in a five-way Democratic race for Fort Wayne City Council at large, securing one of the party’s three nominations.

He told the election board, however, that he registered to vote in Green Bay...
Of course, Wisconsin had a very hotly contested race for State Supreme Court during that time. The Court was 4 to 3 Republican. A loss for the GOP would have allowed the Democrats to overturn Governor Scott Walker's budget plan including reform of state worker pensions. The Republican David Prosser in the race beat Dane Country prosecutor JoAnne Kloppenburg by over 7,000 votes, after a recount.

How many Democrat activists, from other nearby cities, say Chicago, also registered in WI temporarily to vote for Kloppenburg? How many others do this on a regular basis all over the US?

Reminder: New York will have a special election for an open congressional seat next Tuesday. And Democrats have promised to "do whatever it takes" to win the seat.

Mitch Daniels Is Out

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has made the decision to not run in next year's crowded Republican field for the Presidency. Supporters of Mr. Daniels ranged from former Bush administration officials to bloggers on Pundit Press.

This decision actually surprises me, because while Mr. Daniels wasn't doing well in national opinion polls, he was performing well in State GOP straw polls across the country, particularly in the Western United States, and had the potential to raise a sizable amount of cash from establishment Republicans, who desperately courted him for months.

With Mr. Daniels announcement the 2012 Republican field is all set, with only a couple of moves left to make everything official for the twenty million Primary voters who will select our nominee early next year to take on President Obama.

What say you?

Mitch Daniels not Running for President

In an email to supporters, obtained by the press, Mitch Daniels has stated that he will not be seeking the Republican nomination for President in 2012.
Mr. Daniels
The message read:
"The answer is that I will not be a candidate. What could have been a complicated decision was in the end very simple: on matters affecting us all, our family constitution gives a veto to the women's caucus, and there is no override provision.

In the end, I was able to resolve every competing consideration but one. The interests and wishes of my family is the most important consideration of all. If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry."
This comes a day after Herman Cain, boosted by his performance in a recent Republican debate, announced that he would be running for President, and a week after former-governor Mike Hukabee announced that he would be sitting out.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

What do Charles Krauthammer and Chauncey de Vega have in common?

They both think that a Herman Cain candidacy is some sort of entertainment.

Back in February, shortly after the CPAP convention, Chauncey de Vega saw fit to take a gratuitous swipe at Herman Cain. Describing him as a race minstrel who entertains and performs for white conservative masters, playing the role of "black coon", "Sambo", or "Jumping Jim Crow". He concludes is diatribe:
"We always need a monkey in the window, for he/she reminds us of our humanity while simultaneously reinforcing a sense of our own superiority. Sadly, there are always folks who are willing to play that role because it pays so well."
I thought of this when I saw what Charles Krauthammer had too say about a Herman Cain presidential campaign.

Conservatism doesn't need this type of rhetoric. As much as I appreciate the intellectual veracity of Dr. Krauthammer, he is way off base here. He can criticize any campaign he likes, but don't play into the hands of race baiters on the other side. Am I being overly sensitive?, Perhaps, but a the "dark horse candidate" running for the nomination of the GOP for president is not entertainment, it's historic!

Am I right?

Oh, and did you hear, my man Herman Cain made if official. Join the Cain club!

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Good News: The World Hasn't Ended

Unless you were part of the insane/stupid/moronically gullible religious group of Family Radio, you knew the world would go on as normal today.  If you are part one of those idiots, thank you for reading Pundit Press; I hope you enjoy our political coverage.
Earth: Renewed for another season
Also, in case you did not notice, the world has not ended.  The group's crazy leader, who I'm not even going to bother to name because he doesn't deserve the recognition, was wrong once again.  In 1994 he predicted that Jesus would come back to earth, an event that I do not believe happened... I probably would have heard about it.

So, enjoy that you are still alive and that the planet hasn't exploded/become a nuclear wasteland/dinosaurs conjured by a time traveler haven't enslaved humanity.

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Canada Opposes Obama Call For 1967 Borders

HT: The Globe and Mail

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's majority government has come out against President Barack Obama's proposal to renew Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations on the starting point of going back to the 1967 borderlines, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called "indefensible" yesterday.

Prime Minister Haprer is the first leader to publicly disagree with President Obama and side with Israel since the "second speech to the Middle East" was delivered on Thursday and widely panned on Friday by the American public, who greatly support our most important ally.

Israel had few friends in the world to begin with, but now they have even fewer with America's White House (not the Congress, or the people) standing against them and their fragile security, while standing with the anti-Israel barbarians.

Good for Canada. They deserve a nice round of applause in America today.

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Video- Cain: "You Mess with Israel, You are Messing with the United States of America. It's that Simple"

Herman Cain continues his streak of being utterly awesome.  Speaking with Neil Cavuto about President Obama's "throw Israel under the bus" speech, Mr. Cain laid down the facts:

Here's a short transcript (starting at 0:39):

Cain- This President threw Israel under the bus.  There is no way around it.  It demonstrates once again, Neil, the arrogant disregard of this President for the opinion of the American people, who like the great relationship we have with Israel, and a disregard for Israel having the right to make its own decision.

Let me be clear.  I am, you know, exploring this whole Presidential run.  Let me just tell you what the Cain doctrine would be, as it relates to Israel if I were President: you mess with Israel, you are messing with the United States of America. It's that simple.

I want to protect that relationship because they have been our only consistent ally in that part of the world.
Herman Cain: Awesome Streak now at 65 years
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Watch Obama Speech at AIPAC Live, May 22, 2011

Update-  As always seems the case in Presidential speeches, it has been pushed back for at least 15 minutes.

You can watch the speech below.  It is scheduled to start at 10:30EST:

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War On Libya Is Still Legal

President Obama's sixty day window to receive congressional authorization of the continuing War on Libya expired yesterday, but from a Constitutional and traditional standpoint it doesn't matter what Congress authorizes, because the President's command over all American forces is undeniable.

Not one American President, especially Richard Nixon, has ever recognized the constitutionality of the War Powers Act, and the courts have never once ruled against an executive who orders American soldiers into combat on his watch. Regardless of what Congress does or doesn't say about it.

Keep in mind that the 1973 War Powers Act is not synonymous with the United States Constitution, and many speculate it would be overturned if challenged in the federal judiciary.

Do not get me wrong - I entirely support President Obama's decision to get the support of Congress, especially since they can broaden the mission and open the possibility of American forces on the ground, but this War on Libya is legal with or without approval from Congress.

That's just the truth, and nothing but it.

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Herman Cain Makes it Official: 'I'm Running for President'

Herman Cain, buoyed by his debate success and a recent groundswell of support, announced Friday to a crowd of 200 that he would be seeking the Republican nomination for President in 2012.

His statement came at Iowa Western Community College, which was promptly followed by a standing ovation.  According to his press secretary, Cain will make the official announcement today, May 21.
Mr. Cain
On his boost from the recent Republican debate, Cain spokeswoman Ellen Carmichael stated:
"It increases people's confidence in his credibility and his legitimacy, but we already thought we had some."
Despite this, however, some believe that Cain has no chance of becoming the Republicans nominee. Larry Sabato, a political scientist working for the University of Virginia stated:
"Herman Cain will not be the Republican nominee. Even Herman Cain knows that. He's no Dwight D. Eisenhower. You have to have been elected to something first, unless you were the Allied supreme commander in World War II. Do you want someone, anyone, from either party, starting with the presidency as their first public office? That's unwise. There are exceptions -- like Dwight Eisenhower. Being CEO of Godfather's Pizza is not the equivalent of being supreme Allied commander in World War II."
Only time will tell.

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Obama to Constitution: Drop Dead

From the beginning of the US involvement in Libya, the Administration has cited the War Powers Act as the legal basis of our involvement there, saying that the President has up to sixty days to ask Congress for approval.  That sixty days is up.  What is President Obama saying now?  He doesn't need Congress in this matter at all.

The President has back-tracked, now saying in a letter to Congress that they should pass a resolution as fast as possible to support him.  However, if they don't, he writes, that he simply doesn't need it.
Obama: Believes he does not need the Constitution
In the letter, the President explains:
“Since April 4.  U.S. participation has consisted of: (1) non-kinetic support to the NATO-led operation, including intelligence, logistical support, and search and rescue assistance; (2) aircraft that have assisted in the suppression and destruction of air defenses in support of the no-fly zone; and (3) since April 23, precision strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles against a limited set of clearly defined targets in support of the NATO-led coalition's efforts.”
He continues:
“It has always been my view that it is better to take military action, even in limited actions such as this, with congressional engagement, consultation and support. Congressional action in support of the mission would underline the U.S. commitment to this remarkable international effort.”
In other words, while Congress passing a Libya resolution would "underline" the mission, that is all it would do.

ABC further reports an Administration official as stating:
The letter is intended to describe “a narrow US effort that is intermittent and principally an effort to support to support the ongoing NATO-led and UN-authorized civilian support mission and no fly zone.

“The US role is one of support and the kinetic pieces of that are intermittent.”
In other words, while, yes, the President is now going against what he said and, yes, the US is supplying materials and logistical support to NATO and is blowing people up with "unmanned aerial vehicles," it's all legal.

Why?  The Administration does not go into detail, other than saying repeatedly that it is "limited."  They should also describe it as "illegal" and "frighteningly unconstitutional."

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Friday, May 20, 2011

The Constitution Failed

People often ask me, “How could you write a book entitled The Constitution Failed?”  If the Constitution was written to ensure a limited government and if today we have an unlimited central government my question is, “How can anyone contend that the Constitution hasn’t failed?”
We know that for the last 100 years the Progressives have sought progress by changing the Constitution, which was written to establish unbreakable boundaries for government, without recourse to the amendment process.  The Framers knew that without these boundaries government would grow into a millstone around the neck of the American people.  Instead of a document establishing solid limits the Progressives say it is a living document that can be re-interpreted with each passing year evolving into whatever the current leaders may desire.
Our twin headed Progressive party of power expands and twists the General Welfare, the Commerce, and the Supremacy clauses to sanction any executive, legislative, judicial, or regulatory action they wish to impose whether it’s a welfare state, energy policies, or the mandatory purchase of insurance.  However, nothing is more symbolic of the current irrelevance of the Constitution to our leaders than the utter contempt they hold for the 9th and 10th Amendments.
Back during the original debate to ratify the Constitution these two sentinels of limited government were forced upon the proponents of a strong central government by those much maligned patriots the Anti-Federalists.  The Constitution never would have been ratified without an assurance that the first order of business for the new government would be the ratification of the Bill of Rights.  The capstone of these sacred rights is the 9th and the 10th Amendments which state:
The 9th Amendment, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” 
The 10th Amendment, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
I present the following examples of how our Progressive central government infringes upon the rights of the States and the people:
Term limits:
While in almost every instance that voters have had an opportunity to voice their opinion they have overwhelmingly approved term limits, and the courts have just as consistently overturned the will of the people.  Through ballot initiatives and Constitutional amendments to State Constitutions the people have spoken, but instead of the voice of the people we hear the commands of the elites.
The Supreme Court in a classic five-to-four decision in U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton (1995) said the states don’t have the authority to limit the terms of their own congressional delegations.  They further ruled that unless the Constitution is amended neither the states nor Congress has the power to limit the number of terms members of Congress can serve. Dissenting Justice Clarence Thomas pointed out that the majority ignored the clear meaning of the Tenth Amendment.  Since there is no explicit denial of the power to limit terms to the States in the Constitution the 10th Amendment clearly states this power is reserved to the States. 
When the Governor and legislators of Arizona attempted to address the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who are pouring over their borders with Mexico each year they first had to admit that the Federal Government was not enforcing their own laws.   After the central government ignored their petitions and pleas for help for years the government of Arizona acted to protect their citizens.
Immediately, the Justice Department sued to block the law, contending it violates the U.S. Constitution.  The Arizona law was subsequently struck down by the Federal Courts using the Supremacy Clause for their justification.  Judge Richard Paez, said, "By imposing mandatory obligations on state and local officers, Arizona interferes with the federal government's authority to implement its priorities and strategies in law enforcement, turning Arizona officers into state-directed [Homeland Security] agents."  When it reached the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a three judge panel said, “Congress has given the federal government sole authority to enforce immigration laws, and that Arizona's law violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution”  The Federal Government has abdicated its responsibility to protect Arizona from invasion and in their opinion a law that requires law enforcement officials to enforce the law goes too far.
The intrusive actions of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA):
Legislators in Texas decided to take action to protect their citizens from what many considered to be overly aggressive pat-downs.  The reaction of the TSA to Texas attempting to protect their citizens from the molestation the Federal l Agency calls a pat-down is indicative of the attitude our central government has towards any infringement of their absolute power.  On their website The TSA Blog the gatekeepers of the air said, “What's our take on the Texas House of Representatives voting to ban the current TSA pat-down? Well, the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article. VI. Clause 2) prevents states from regulating the federal government.”  This says it all.  As far as our Federal masters are concerned there is no limit to their power.
Obamacare: Mandating action and penalizing inaction:
The Federal Government is attempting to enforce the mandatory purchase provisions of Obamacare alternately as authorized by the Commerce Clause and as a tax, depending on which argument they think a judge will uphold.  This massive invasion of personal liberty is currently being challenged by 28 States as being beyond the bounds of the Constitution.  Currently two judges have ruled it unconstitutional and three have ruled it constitutional.  If this is provision wherein not taking an action is considered either engaging in commerce and thereby subject to regulation or if a non-action is taxable what is left of our precious freedom?  What other non-actions will now be under the power of the government.  If a government can control our non-actions what does that say about their power over our actions?
By ignoring the unambiguous meaning of the 9th and 10th Amendments and by stretching and twisting the meanings of a few vague clauses the Progressive leaders of our Federal government have interpreted our Constitution to mean anything needed to do anything desired.  Once the words lose their meanings, once the sentences can mean anything the Progressives want, what power does the Constitution have to limit government?
Ultimately this is a message of hope because I trust in the ability of the American people to solve any problem they confront.  However, we have to admit there is a problem before we can solve it, and if we refuse to admit there is a problem we have no chance of solving it. The problem is our limited government has become unlimited and does whatever it wants.  How can I say, “The Constitution Failed”?  What I am saying is our system is broken, it is no longer functioning as designed, and we need a re-set button. 
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.

Bernie Sanders Hawks His Book

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is a self-described socialist, has published his latest book on last year's eight hour filibuster by him against the extension of the Bush era tax cuts, which his publisher called the "People's State of the Union address" in the product's description.

However, there's just one big problem with this whole situation: the socialist Senator has been caught hawking his book at a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Washington. Like the evil Corporate Capitalists he speaks out against all the time on the Senate floor.

I definitely smell hypocrisy, and so did Human Events.

I am not going to ruin the entire article by Jason Mattera, but the Senator is apparently going to give whatever he earns from the book to "the children of Vermont," which led Mr. Mattera to ask at the end of the article if that means he'll claim a charitable deduction on his taxes next year.

Regardless of what happens to the money, we have all just witnessed the only self-described socialist Senator in Washington use Capitalist tactics to preach his socialist ideology. Irony.

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New Chris Christie Video on Sick Payouts

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at it again:

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Even Ron Paul Criticizes Obama's Policy Toward Israel

Notwithstanding what some of our libertarian readers may say (or spam in the comments), Ron Paul has not been the biggest supporter of Israel over the last decade. However, he has stated that he supports Israel's right to exist and opposes President Obama's plan for peace in the Middle East.

Obama's call for 1967 borders did not please the Texas Congressman:

And Ron Paul said the Obama administration had again "proven that it does not understand a proper foreign policy for America."

“Israel is our close friend," Paul said in a statement. "While President Obama’s demand that Israel make hard concessions in her border conflicts may very well be in her long-term interest, only Israel can make that determination on her own, without pressure from the United States or coercion by the United Nations. Unlike this President, I do not believe it is our place to dictate how Israel runs her affairs. There can only be peace in the region if those sides work out their differences among one another. We should respect Israel’s sovereignty and not try to dictate her policy from Washington."

Of course, Ron Paul is coming from the wrong direction on this, but give him an A for effort.

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Graph of the Day

Brought to us by the Atlantic.

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Israel: Obama 'Doesn't Understand' Middle East

A senior Israeli official close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier today that President Obama's speech on the Middle East shows that he does not understand the region or the road to peace.

This follows Obama's call yesterday to return to the 1967 borders, which depending on the interpretation, could leave Israel with indefensible borders. PM Netanyahu has called for a reveral of the statement and now the Israelis are getting more vocal.
A senior Israeli official told reporters on the aircraft that there's a sense Washington "does not understand the reality" of the situation.

The official added that Netanyahu was disappointed the speech did not address the Palestinian demand to repatriate to Israel millions of Palestinians, most descendants of people who were driven from or fled homes in the war over the Jewish state's 1948 creation.
Obama doesn't get it.

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Gov't Memo Warning About Leaks Leaked to Press

In the hours and days after Osama bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALs, it was agreed upon by higher-ups in the White House that they would try to keep as many details about the operation as secret as possible.  Quickly, as CIA head Leon Panetta said, it "fell apart" the next day.

Trying to stop leaks, Mr. Panetta sent an internal memo to government employees Wednesday warning them to cease giving out sensitive information.  If not, those who did not listen would be "investigated and possibly prosecuted."

The memo was then promptly leaked to the press.

Panetta wrote the memorandum after reports that the CIA operated a safe house near bin Laden were leaked, as well as "as new stealth drone technology" used to spy on the terrorist further.  Panetta also warned that these leaks could risk lives.
Mr. Panetta
The Washington Post continues:
CIA director Leon Panetta is warning his employees that leakers will be investigated and possibly prosecuted after a flurry of reports in the media about the technology and methods used to track and ultimately kill Osama bin Laden.

In a memo obtained by The Associated Press, Panetta told staff Wednesday that the disclosure of classified information to anyone not cleared for it — reporters, friends, colleagues in other agencies or former CIA officers — can endanger lives...

Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen also said Wednesday it’s time to move on and stop talking about the raid.
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Senate Blocks Liu Nomination

Excellent news out of Washington tonight.

President Obama's nominee for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Goodwin Liu, was blocked earlier this afternoon by 42 Senate Republicans in their first successful judicial filibuster of this Presidency.

Mr. Liu has been correctly called the most extreme judicial pick of Obama's two year long administration to this point, because of his radical pro-abortion, pro-internationalist and pro-judicial activism worldview, which believes the United States Constitution should not be interpreted as written by the Founders.

The yeas and nays basically followed party lines, but Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) did support Mr. Lui and Nebraska Senator Bill Nelson (D) did oppose him. Utah Senator Orrin Hatch (R) voted present for some unknown reason.

Senate Republicans accomplished a good deed today in keeping Mr. Liu off the federal judiciary, and perhaps the President will think twice before pushing his radical judicial philosophy down our throats again.

What say you?

Somalia Prime Minister: Please Attack Us

The Somalia Prime Minister is very brave.

Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed not only supports the U.S. mission that took out al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden last week, but he would welcome such an attack on his own country's al-Qaida affiliate and increased attention on Somalia like the West has had on Afghanistan and Iraq.

It might just be me, but the Somalian Prime Minister appears to be inviting the United States to launch war on the al-Qaida affiliate within his own country.

So who are we to not oblige this request?

Considering the United States is already at war with al-Qaida (and all of their affiliates) and also fighting pirates based in Somali, we had more than enough grounds to invade the chaotic nation before, but this invitation seals the deal.

With the War in Iraq over (for all those keep saying it's not) and our war effort limited to air strikes in Libya, there is not one reason for us to not continue the War on Terrorism in Somalia, where the American educated Prime Minister is all but begging us to do so.

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Cheney Memoir: In My Time

Former Vice President Dick Cheney will be releasing a memoir later this year entitled "In My Time". As expected, it will get a lot of coverage:

“I don’t think there will be much question on where he stands on the important issues,” she says. Many friends and former colleagues have observed that Cheney became much more aggressive on foreign policy while vice president. His daughter agrees and said the reason was simple: The Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
“That certainly will be a topic of the book,” she said.

Sounds interesting.

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Newest Stupid Dem Meme: GOP to 'Suppress' Black Voters in 2012

In the aftermath of the contested 2000 election, there was a lot of introspection by Democrats on 'what went wrong.' It certainly couldn't be that voters that intended to vote for Al Gore either didn't show up, voted for Ralph Nader, or couldn't figure out the butterfly ballot.

No-- it had to be either outright fraud or suppression. Despite the allegations of fraud, no hard evidence could be found. So much of the argument shifted to 'voter suppression', a common go-to of Democratic politics. Basically, the argument goes If you convince someone not to vote you're racist. I understand that there actually is real voter suppression, but not nearly on the scope or malevolent scale that the Dems would like you to believe.

So if Obama loses in 2012-- it's not his fault, it's suppression's fault.

Take is from Donna Brazile, who conducted one of the worst presidential campaigns in American history as advisor to Vice President Al Gore.

She opines in the USA Today. If you don't have ID to vote-- it's because of suppression, not common sense:
As a result, 11% of Americans —21 million citizens of voting age who lack proper photo identification — could be turned away on Election Day. And these people tend to be most highly concentrated among people of color, the poor, the young and the old.
Of course, the argument turns over to race towards the end:
President Obama was swept into office with overwhelming support from newly registered voters, minority voters and youth voters. I suppose it's not a surprise, then, that heading into the 2012 election, these are the groups who will be most affected by these restrictions.

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Watch Obama Speech on Middle East Live, May 19, 2011

Update #2- The speech has ended.  Here is the transcript.

Watch President Obama's speech on the Middle East below.  It is scheduled to begin at 11:40EST.

Update: The speech has been delayed by about twenty minutes-

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CDC: Prepare for 'Zombie Apocalypse'

Your government at work.

Though this may seem like a joke, I assure you that this is real.  The CDC (Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention) wrote Monday that it would be in the public's best interest to prepare for a possible zombie apocalypse.
Coming to a town near you?
In the post, the CDC wrote:
There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for," the posting reads. "Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That's right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you'll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you'll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.
And this article wasn't by a no-name, but by the Assistant Surgeon General, Ali Khan.  Some suggestions from the piece:
First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house. This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp (or in the event of a natural disaster, it will buy you some time until you are able to make your way to an evacuation shelter or utility lines are restored).

Once you've made your emergency kit, you should sit down with your family and come up with an emergency plan. This includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your doorstep. You can also implement this plan if there is a flood, earthquake or other emergency.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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