PUNDIT PRESS HAS MOVED

Today marks a very exciting day as we launch the new and improved Pundit Press. We have joined forces with High Plains Pundit to design a new website to provide our readers with even more news and information.


Here is the link that will direct you to the new Pundit Press website: http://thepunditpress.com/


This new partnership will also include all 3 of Danny R. Butcher's (aka High Plains Pundit) internet radio shows, Nightly Review, The Danny R. Butcher Show, and Sunday Night Sports Talk.


A special thank you to all of the Pundit Press readers out there for your continued support. We are very excited about what the future holds for Pundit Press, and we hope that you continue with us on this journey.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Weiner Leave of Absence Requested

Disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner has requested a leave of absence to get 'treatment':
Before Saturday's developments, at least nine House members and three senators said Weiner should resign.

He has repeatedly said he would not.

Weiner told reporters earlier Saturday in his neighbor that "I have to redeem myself and I am going to try to get back to work," Weiner said.

Weiner said his conduct involved "personal failings" and that he would try not to let them get in the way of his "professional work."

From FoxNews.

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BREAKING: Pelosi, DNC Call on Weiner to Resign

Something I didn't expect-- Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and the head of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, have both called on New York Congressman Anthony Weiner to resign.
New York (CNN) - The head of the Democratic National Committee is calling for the resignation of U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, who has been under fire after admitting to inappropriate communications with women online.

"It is with great disappointment that I call on Representative Anthony Weiner to resign," DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement Saturday. "The behavior he has exhibited is indefensible and Representative Weiner's continued service in Congress is untenable.
Whoa.

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Al-Qaida's East African Chief Killed

HT: Ynetnews

More great news in America's ongoing War on Terrorism.

Fazul Abdullah Mohammad, who was responsible for terrorist attacks in Kenya and Tanzania, was killed earlier this week by Somalian forces in Mogadishu. He was the presumed head of al-Qaida in East Africa and the United States had a $5 million bounty on his head.

We've long sought him for his involvement in the 1998 United States embassy bombings, which resulted in the deaths of twelve American citizens, including two CIA agents. The deadly attacks made Americans aware of the real Jihadist threat that faced us for the first time.

Although we didn't completely understand the threat until September 2001.

I'm very hopeful that Fazul Mohammad's death will help Somalian and African Union troops gain the upper hand in their fight against the Somalian affiliate of al-Qaida.

What say you?

Oh, Thank God: Rangel Jumps to Defend Weiner

Corrupt politician Charles Rangel has thrown his opinion into Weinergate.  Phew!  I guess we can all go home now.  Rangel always tells the truth, right?  Right?

So, why does Rangel defend Weiner. Well, he says, "I don't know what he did, who he offended. I know one thing: He wasn't going with prostitutes. He wasn't going out with little boys. He wasn't going into the men's room with broad stances."
'Sending nude pix to random people and minors? Is he a Democrat? Yes? I fully support him.'
So, just because he's unethical and might have sent sexual advances to a minor, Weiner's A-OK in Rangel's book.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

The Week in Hydrofracking

It's been a busy week. Working nights is a bear and leaves little time for much else. I hate it. Work all night, try to spend some time with the family in the morning and evening, sleep during the day and back to work at night. I shouldn't complain too much as it only accounts for about 6 weeks out of the year, but still, switching from day to night to day is a difficult endeavor. I am realizing that I am not the idealistic intern/resident I used to be.

Regardless, life marches on.

It has been a good week for those supporting hydraulic fracturing in New York state, in spite of the Assembly voting to continue the moratorium for the next 12 months. I would like to draw your attention to three developments that I think are quite important as we move forward.

First, the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research released a report entitled "The Economic Opportunities of Shale Gas Development". The report highlights some incredible numbers highlighting the economic benefits that would take place if the renewed moratorium on drilling were lifted. You really have to read it to believe it. You will be left wondering, as I am, "What the hell is wrong with New York".

From the Executive Summary:
Directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing have unlocked vast new reserves of natural gas in the United States. Development of these resources is now well under way in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Unlike their neighbors to the south, however, New York residents are not directly benefiting from natural gas development as the result of a government-imposed moratorium, itself a response to environmental concerns surrounding hydraulic fracturing. This study analyzes the economic and environmental impacts of shale gas drilling in New York and finds the net economic benefits to be significantly positive. Specifically:
  • An end to the moratorium would spur over $11.4 billion in economic output.
  • Some 15,000 to 18,000 jobs could be created in the Southern Tier and Western New York, regions which lost a combined 48,000 payroll jobs between 2000 and 2010.*
  • Another 75,000 to 90,000 jobs could be created if the area of exploration and drilling were expanded to include the Utica shale and southeastern New York, including the New York City watershed. (This assumes a regulatory regime that protects the water supply but permits drilling to continue.)
  • Localities and the state stand to reap $1.4 billion in tax revenues if the moratorium is allowed to expire.
  • This study also reviews the public records of environmental violations reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection over the period 2008–10. It then quantifies the impact of these violations on land, water, and air resources. The costs of these environmental impacts are then estimated on the basis of the value of the environmental amenities at stake. Our main finding is that the cost of these environmental impacts is far smaller than the economic benefits that drilling can provide.
    • The typical Marcellus shale gas well generates about $4 million in economic benefits.
    • The economic damage resulting from the environmental impacts of a typical shale gas well comes to $14,000.
    • Got that, $11.4 billion in economic output, 100,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in tax revenue. More to the point that's $4 million in economic benefits per well for every $14,00o dollars in environmental impact. Seems like a no brainer to me, but perhaps that is because I have a brain. You can decide that, I suppose, but it seems like a boon for the NY State budget.

      Secondly, there seems to be a building dissension in the ranks of hydrofracking opponents. The opposition could be divided in the true believers, that is no carbon source for energy at all, and those who see fracking as an opportunity for growth requiring sufficient regulation and monitoring to ensure safety.

      Last week there was a rally in Harrisburg Pennsylvania organized by the anti-fracking crowd with Josh Fox as the headline speaker. They were only able to muster 200-300 protesters, which is a testament in itself about the diminishing influence of these naysayers. As an aside, I have recently noticed there are more for sale signs in front of homes that "no drill/no spill" signs. Regardless, a notable absence in the crowd was that of Penn Future, "Pennsylvania's leading environmental advocacy group" according the the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Northeast Marcellus Initiative has the details:
      This rally has shown that, at least on one issue, we stand in agreement. Seems both of us want to see natural gas developed safely in Pennsylvania. We, and PennFuture, both want to embrace the economic benefits the Marcellus Shale brings while protecting the environment in which we live. And like us, PennFuture is opposed to a moratorium that would bring to an end the one industry in our state that’s actually creating jobs. Because of this, PennFuture did not attend the anti-fracturing rally in Harrisburg on Tuesday.

      Of course, the dirty little truth here is that the radical anti’s don’ t exactly have the best interests of the people or environment of Pennsylvania or New York at heart. And as you’d expect, some of them have some pretty wacky ideas on a whole host of other things that have nothing to do with natural gas development. Take Mark Ruffalo, for instance. Sure, he’s dreamy. And from what I can gather, he seems to be a pretty good actor. Mark wants to see hydraulic fracturing banned. Of course, he also believes that9/11 was an inside job. And if there were any remaining doubts over this man’s judgment, the fact that he would pose for this picture, I think, should eliminate those once and for all.

      As I noted, the one and only Josh Fox was the featured speaker. What a piece of work this fellow is. He attempts to make the argument that those opposing hydrofracking are in some way on par with the Freedom Riders of the 1960's and the women's suffrage movement . I would like to comment here that it is the anti-fracking crowd that is seeking to impose the will of the minority on the wishes of the majority. Pennsylvania has seen an employment and economic boom the likes of which only Texas can appreciate. By seeking a ban on this economic benefit they are castigating the less affluent to continued unemployment and loss of economic opportunity. As I have noted in other posts, "much of the opposition in places like Pennsylvania comes from the weekend residents or drop ins who choose to act like organic goatherd/ peasants compared to the local permanent population who have never had an option but to live like peasants."


      Finally, the notion of energy independence, or at least a bridge to the future is gaining a foothold within the mainstream media. Is spite of all the negative publicity the truth is coming out and is being distributed.

      A USA Today editorial cuts to the meat of the matter:
      "Little more than a decade ago, the United States was running so low on natural gas that companies were making plans to cover the shortfall with imports of liquefied natural gas. Today, though, the marine terminals built to dock huge LNG ships in Texas, Louisiana and Maryland are being converted to ship gas out, not just bring it in."
      The New York DEP updated SGEIS is due out by July 1st. The New York economy is held in the balance.

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      Police Investigating Message Weiner Sent to Minor

      So, for those on the left that have defended what Democrat Rep. Anthony Weiner has done (sending explicit photos and messages to a myriad of women), they scream that he didn't break the law.  Their logic is:  sure, it was unethical, but since he didn't do anything illegal, he should stay in office.

      Now it is time for them to shut up.

      Delaware police are now investigating messages Weiner sent to a 17-year-old minor.  She is a High School Junior and, apparently, police are looking for "other young women who may be involved."  The girl's name has been withheld because of her age.
      Weiner: Messaged minor
      On how she was doing with the added attention, the young lady stated, "I'm doing OK."

      On the bright side, Weiner stated that communication with the girl was "neither explicit nor indecent."  Well, it's not like he's ever lied to us before, right?

      It's time for you to go, Mr. Weiner.

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      Russell Crowe is Stupid

      I really, really like Russell Crowe as an actor.  Gladiator is an excellent movie and so is Cinderella Man.  But seriously:
      Annoyingly, these original posts were deleted.  But seriously, "babies are perfect?"  The whole circumcision thing aside (why was he talking about it again?), sometimes babies need a medical procedure done to them.  Some have holes in their heart, some need breathing-tubes.  I myself had to be placed in an incubator.

      Stick to movies, Mr. Crowe, and we'll all be happier.

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      College Bans National Anthem at Sporting Events

      It's come to this:
      Fifteen months after Goshen College began allowing “The Star-Spangled Banner” to be played at sporting events, the institution’s board of directors has suspended the practice in response to complaints from students, faculty members, and alumni. The board of the Mennonite liberal-arts college has asked its president to come up with a song “that fits with sports tradition, that honors country, and that resonates with Goshen College’s core values and respects the views of diverse constituencies,” according to a press release.

      The Indiana college, which has a strong pacifist tradition, allowed the national anthem to be played at games starting last March in an effort to be more welcoming to opposing teams. But the decision sparked resistance from some who believe the hymn glorifies war and distracts from the college’s Christian values.

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      Daily Caller: Rick Perry Running for President

      Okay-- I know that there's been a lot of speculation surrounding Texas Governor Rick Perry-- the longest-serving current US governor. It now appears that his denials about running several months ago became 'maybe' and now that he is preparing an actual bid.

      Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller is reporting that several sources have told him that Perry is in the running. There were rumors that Perry was waiting for the Texas Legislature session to be over before making any decision. The Governor of Texas since 2000, Perry succeeded George W. Bush when he was elected to the White House.

      Perry has made no overt signs that he is running. He stated that being Governor of the second-largest state in the country was 'the greatest job in the world.' However, the defections from Newt Gingrich's imploded campaign may work for him. Some of Gingrich's top advisors have previously worked with Perry and appear ready to do so again.


      Dave Carney and Rob Johnson — the former top Perry aides who on Thursday left Newt Gingrich’s floundering campaign — are said to be heading to Texas soon to join in on preparations for the run. I am told this is now “ninety percent likely to occur.” Additionally, Perry allies have begun holding meetings in the state and have been instructed to
      quietly reach out to contacts in early primary states.

      The stars may have finally aligned for Perry, who, until recently, said he had no intentions of seeking the nomination. With no clear front runner emerging, and with Gingrich’s campaign dissolving, Perry could enter the field as a top-tier candidate, surrounded by the same team that helped him defeat Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison last year in the Texas gubernatorial primary. And because Texas leads the nation in job creation, the recent national economic numbers provide an instant rationale for his candidacy.
      It's not clear what Perry's game will be. He definitely has the years to claim experience but it's not clear if he will run as a staunch conservative or be sympathetic to new laws regarding illegal immigrants. It's also not clear how his entry will change the race.

      This could be big....

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      100,000 March in Yemen

      Largest protest since Saleh's departure

      In another twist to the ongoing situation in Yemen, over 100,000 protesters have marched in the capital city of Sa'ana today-- making a major impact on the country's psyche. This also comes as tribes and al Qaeda affiliates are attempting to seize different parts of the country and the US has been targeting terrorists in the nation.



      In Sanaa's Taghyeer, or "Change," Square on Friday, the crowds of protesters demanded that the vice president — who is acting leader in Saleh's absence — allow the creation of a new government. "The people want a transitional government," they chanted.

      Opposition tribesmen marched through the square with the bodies of 41 of their fighters they say were killed a week ago when troops bombarded the Sanaa home of one of their leaders. The tribe's chief, Sheik Sadeq al-Ahmar, led a march of around 10,000 people from the square to a cemetery in the capital, as protesters chanted, "The people want the butcher put on trial," referring to Saleh.

      There was apparently also a pro-Saleh protest that had several thousand in it. The government is hinting that Saleh could return soon-- but considering reports of him seriously injured, there are real doubts.



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      Shocker: Dow Drops Below 12,000 with Losses

      The Dow Jones Industrial Index has fallen again-- for the sixth straight week. The combination of worsening credit, slumping GDP and property growth, and high commodity prices appear to be damaging the wider economy.

      Now the Dow has fallen significantly today-- over 1%, below 12,000. This also comes as the index has already fallen by hundreds of points. The S&P and NASDAQ has also fallen over 1%.
      In response, oil and gold fell and the dollar appears mixed:
      Financial stocks led the way lower. Insurer Travelers fell 2.6% to lead the blue-chip Dow's decliners as the company said it was slowing its share-buyback program after natural disasters cost it about $1 billion over two months. Energy stocks were also weak amid reports that Saudi Arabia would increase oil output, driving crude oil sharply lower, near $99 a barrel.

      The stock market is feeling the pain-- and the end of QE2 and other artificial shifts created by the Fed are going to hurt the situation and cause Obama to talk more about stimulus, as advisors suggested yesterday.

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      Positively Negative

      The Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media constantly trumpets the claim that President Obama was a Professor of Constitutional Law.  And when he was campaigning he charged that President Bush was not respecting the Constitution when he fired eight prosecutors saying, “I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution.”
      In this long over looked quote from a radio interview a Pre-President Obama laments the negative liberties he sees as a flaw in the Constitution and waxes eloquent in defense of the redistribution of wealth and the positive power of an intrusive welfare state.
      “If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the
      Warren Court
      , it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and
      Warren Court
      interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.”
      Unfortunately for this radical interpretation, liberty is a negative.  Personal liberty is always and only possible when and where external control stops.  We have the liberty to think as we wish because no one can control or even know our true inner thoughts.  We do not have the liberty to steal; society has placed limits on that action which are enforced by external control.  The Framers of our Constitution knew this which explains why our foundational document includes restrictions on the power of government not restrictions on individuals.  Unless governmental control over the individual was limited there would be no liberty.
      This has been common knowledge in our Republic since John Hancock signed his John Hancock and we declared to the world that the United States of America was going to be something different.  We were determined to break free of the entangling state control stifling the monarchies of Europe.  We would be a new type of nation where individual liberty, opportunity, and free enterprise would unleash the pent-up creativity and ingenuity would make real the genius of a free people.  However, over the years many have fallen asleep, lulled into a trance by the prosperity and security this freedom from state control has fostered. 
      Slowly the knowledge of what gave vent to this prosperity and security has been lost and generations of Americans have been taught by state schools that free enterprise is evil and state paternalism is good.  Generations have been bred to see governmental support, direction, and control as necessary and proper.  They have ingested the poison of dependence metastasizing the debilitating life on the dole to the point where they see their continued receipt of stolen goods as an entitlement.  So many have fallen for the licentious materialistic hedonism masquerading as life in a post-modern America that when asked, “What is the American Dream?” many will reply “To own your own home.”  A response and a belief which made the congressionally mandated Fannie/Freddie induced housing bubble possible if not inevitable. 
      This shows the negative results of the positive reinforcement of materialism over intellectualism.  The correct response to the question, “What is the American Dream?” is Individual liberty and opportunity. Once this was common knowledge among an engaged American public who realized that no one fought and died to own a home, people owned homes in America before the revolution.  It was freedom that was the object of the Revolution and it is the individual liberty and opportunity that freedom enables that is the American dream.  And today in America this individual liberty and opportunity has now become the object of ridicule in schools pushing a green agenda and a socialist future.  The demand for a return to individual liberty and opportunity has become the disparaged slogan on signs at Tea Parties.
      Our leaders have embraced instead the idea of “Positive Liberty” which is an oxymoron.  By this they mean that the state should actively intervene in the lives of people to provide them with all that is necessary for lives lived as the leaders think they should be.  What they are really New Speaking of is Socialism disguised as democracy.  However, the increase of governmental power over people does not equate to liberty it equates to serfdom and only the progressive newspeak of a post-modern America could call this decrease of freedom an increase of liberty or democracy.
      Alexis de Tocqueville said, “Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”

      This positive liberty is the handmaiden of the other new positive that our progressive leaders wish to foist upon us: positive equality.  The real equality, the one our ancestors fought and died for is equality of opportunity which is a negative, forcing the government stays out of the way and the people go as far as their investment of time, talent and treasure can take them.  In our new progressive world government is supposed to act to create an equality of outcome so that all are equal all the time.  This type of collective equality is to be advanced and protected by the all powerful state pushing down some, lifting others until all are equal at all times.  This equality of outcome becomes an unlimited reality that is conceived of as the goal of society.  Unfettered democracy defined as the participation of all in the political process either as rulers, dispensers or consumers becomes not only the goal but the means and the end in and of itself.
      Thus our Constitutional Scholar-in-Chief is leading us step by step away from the individual liberty and opportunity that are the guardians of the American Dream and into a negative representation of our positive values.  With another four years this administration will succeed in fundamentally transforming America. 
      One last quote from Alexis de Tocqueville "The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money."
      PS: Don’t take the bribe.
      Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

      Obama Betrays Great Britain on Falkland Islands

      HT: Nile Gardiner

      President Barack Obama joined forces with Venezuelan despot Hugo Chavez, Argentinian President Cristina Kirchner and the unanimous Organization of American States in "reaffirming the need" of Argentina and Britain to resume negotiations on the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands.

      I'm sorry - the Falkland Islands.

      What the hell is wrong with Obama?

      Not only did he side against our most important ally in the entire world over territorial claims that were settled almost three decades ago, but he called the islands by their Argentinian name - instead of their accepted British title.

      Great Britain lost 258 soldiers' during the Falklands War, which was launched by the Argentinian invasion of the Falkland Islands, in order to maintain their self-determining South Atlantic territory that has been in their legal possession for almost two hundred years by conquest and consent.

      President Obama has once again insulted our British friends, but this time it isn't over returning Churchill's bust or sending their Prime Minister DVD's that don't work - it is over Britain's sovereign territory that they have 100% claim to and it is over Stanley's right to self determination.

      America must remove this menace from office next year, or else our friendship with Britain could be impossible to repair.

      What say you?

      Thursday, June 9, 2011

      Clinton interested in becoming head of World Bank

      Interesting:
      Mrs Clinton, the former First Lady, Senator for New York and rival to Mr Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary race, is said to be eager to become the first female president of the World Bank should the post become vacant next year.

      "Hillary Clinton wants the job," a source close to Mrs Clinton told Reuters, which broke the news of the possible move.

      Robert Zoellick, a former Bush administration official, is believed to be ready to step down as president at the end of his term in the middle of next year.

      Mrs Clinton has made clear she does not want to remain US Secretary of State, a gruelling job demanding months of world travel each year, beyond Mr Obama's first term.

      Another source told Reuters that Mr Obama supported her taking the helm at the World Bank, which is traditionally led by an American.

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      Gingrich Aides, Advisors Resign En Masse

      Not looking good for Newt Gingrich:
      The entire top echelon of Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign resigned on Thursday, a stunning mass exodus that left his bid for the Republican nomination in tatters. Gingrich publicly shrugged off the defections, vowing defiantly to remain a candidate.

      "I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring," the former House speaker said in a posting to his Facebook page. "The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles."

      Rick Tyler, Gingrich's spokesman, said that he, campaign manager Rob Johnson and senior strategists had all quit, along with aides in the early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

      Other officials said Gingrich was informed that his entire high command was quitting in a meeting at his headquarters in Washington. They cited differences over the direction of the campaign.

      "We had a different vision for victory," Tyler told The Associated Press. "And since we couldn't resolve that difference, I didn't feel I could be useful in serving him."
      Mr. Gingrich
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      Clinton: Qaddafi Preparing Exit

      This is most likely just speculation taken too seriously but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has apparently found out what could be very valuable information. According to her, members of Qaddafi's government are looking into the dictator's exit-- and have been likely directed by him personally  to do so.
      I have no doubt that members of the Libyan government want Qaddafi to leave but I'm not so sure about he himself.
      Speaking to reporters after an international conference on Libya in the United Arab Emirates, Clinton said proposals from "people close to Gadhafi" presented to unspecified countries included the "potential for a transition."

      But she said she could not predict if they would be accepted. She did, however, stress that she believed Gadhafi's decades-long rule is nearing an end.
      Color me doubtful but Qaddafi's only way out of the dictatorship will be in a body bag.


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      College Bans National Anthem at Sports

      There are times when people go too far, and this is one. Goshen College, a mainly Mennonite liberal arts college, is looking to replace the song. The college is fighting back against rumors that it has 'banned' the anthem, but it sure looks that way.
      Fifteen months after Goshen College began allowing “The Star-Spangled Banner” to be played at sporting events, the institution’s board of directors has suspended the practice in response to complaints from students, faculty members, and alumni. The board of the Mennonite liberal-arts college has asked its president to come up with a song “that fits with sports tradition, that honors country, and that resonates with Goshen College’s core values and respects the views of diverse constituencies,” according to a press release. The Indiana college, which has a strong pacifist tradition, allowed the national anthem to be played at games starting last March in an effort to be more welcoming to opposing teams. But the decision sparked resistance from some who believe the hymn glorifies war and distracts from the college’s Christian values.
      Half surprised it wasn't a left-wing school on the Pacific Coast.

      Hat tip to HotAir.

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      Breaking: Obama Gives Speech From Notes, No Teleprompter in Sight!

      It looks like preacher Harold Camping was off by about three weeks:  the end of the world may very well be at hand, as President Barack Obama gave a speech completely from his notes.  That's right, no teleprompter!

      At a speech at Northern Virginia Community College, the President spoke in front of a group of students, no TOTUS in sight.  Even more shocking: he had words written down on paper!

      Almost as shocking was the absence of a prompter during Mr. Obama's meetings with Angela Merkel.

      The President has heavily relied on teleprompters for almost every single speech of his Presidency, including one to a sixth grade classroom:
      Could this new strategy of writing down notes and reading them, instead of reciting words off of a pane of glass, actually stick?  Only time will tell.

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      HT PO

      Go Figure: Jobless Claims Rise "Unexpectedly"

      Sigh.  How many freaking times does something have to happen until it becomes expected for the MSM?  I think I know the answer: when a Republican is President.

      Grumble:
      UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WEEKLY CLAIMS REPORT

      SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

      In the week ending June 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 427,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 426,000. The 4-week moving average was 424,000, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week's revised average of 426,750.

      The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.9 percent for the week ending May 28, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's unrevised rate of 3.0 percent.

      The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 28 was 3,676,000, a decrease of 71,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,747,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,719,250, a decrease of 29,000 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,748,250.

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      Open Thread: Non-Terrible Democrats

      Okay-- for our several regular readers, I'd like to open this thread. Can you think of any Democrats at the national level (House, Senate, Governor) that are still active in politics that you do not consider a terrible public servant?

      I know it may seem like a stretch but out of a population of 300 million in this country, there must be one Democrat that isn't insane, dumb, or corrupt (and is still alive).

      Let me start off a list with a few remaining Democrats with some sense:

      - Joe Lieberman, CT
      - Tim Johnson, SD
      - Andrew Cuomo, NY
      - Dan Boren, OK

      Help me out if you can think of any by listing them in the comments.

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      Weiner has no plans to resign, "Dug In"

      Morality can go screw itself, apparently:
      Despite mounting calls from even some fellow Democrats for him to resign, Rep. Anthony Weiner has told colleagues he has no plans to do so, a Democratic source told CNN Thursday.

      Weiner told a House Democratic colleague from New York on Wednesday afternoon that he does intend to step down, the source familiar with the conversation said.

      Weiner also said his wife, Huma Abedin, wants him to stay in Congress, and he cited polling data showing a majority of New York City voters want him to remain in office, the source said, describing Weiner as "dug in."

      The source spoke on the condition that the name of the Democratic New York lawmaker not be made public because it was a private conversation.

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      Uh-Oh: Most Republicans Don't Want Palin to Run

      Sarah Palin is probably the best well-known potential Republican candidate for 2012. However, it appears that to many Republicans, she also holds baggage. According to a CBS News poll, a majority of GOP voters do not believe that she should run for President next year.

      Many may be saying no because they like her current advocacy around the country, but there appears to be a negative undercurrent:

      Fifty-four percent of Republican registered voters want Palin to stay out of the race, as do 50 percent of Tea Party supporters. Just 34 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Tea Party supporters want her to seek the Republican nomination. Overall, two-thirds of registered voters want Palin to stay out of the race.
       
      And more on the current field:






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      Idiot Bob Shrum: Sure, Obama's a Lock in 2012

      If you're a betting person, do not place money on Bob Shrum. The former senior advisor for John Kerry's 2004 presidential bid said earlier in Obama's presidency that much of the reason for opposition to him was racism.

      And now we have him betting the farm on Obama winning a second term. Why would the President win a second term with unemployment basically double from the day he was elected?

      Well.... because, that's why.

      The past doesn’t repeat itself; but to the extent that it hints at rather than reveals the future, the relevant signs suggest that Barack Obama is in a more advantageous position than Ronald Reagan was. In Gallup’s June 1983 numbers, Reagan’s approval was 43 percent; in late May and early June, Obama was five to eight points higher. And of the two presidents in the last four decades who had the highest approval ratings this far out from the election, the first Bush was trounced and the second Bush barely squeaked by. The presidents with middling ratings — Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton — ultimately triumphed; Dole was ahead of Clinton in June of 1995.

      Such history doesn’t mandate an Obama victory. But there are other signs which suggest his comparative strength. In the Gallup numbers, Reagan was losing to both Walter Mondale and John Glenn in the spring of 1983. Obama, in most polls, defeats every Republican including Romney. A tie or narrow race in a survey like The Washington Post/ABC’s may signal not the start of a trend, but this president’s staying power even in a period of bad news. Moreover, a variety of polls register Obama leads in critical swing states including Ohio and, more surprisingly, North Carolina.

      Shrum is missing a lot of the bigger trends and appears to assume that unemployment will fall. No wonder he's been semi-exiled to Italy.

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      Election 2011: The Future of Turkey

      Over thirty-six million Turkish voters will be heading to the polls on Sunday to either keep Prime Minister Recep Erdogan's Justice and Development Party in power for another four years, or reintroduce Secularist rule in the increasingly Islamist nation.

      Americans should watch this election with great attention, because the future of Turkey could very well be at stake.

      Mr. Erdogan's majority government has drifted further and further away from Turkey's moderate, secularist roots and towards the country's boiling Islamic undercurrent fueled by young voters. One example is the change to Article 10 of Turkey's constitution, which ensures protecting orphans of martyrs doesn't violate the principle of equality.

      Did you just read that?!?!?!?!

      Unless the government of Turkey shifts course and redirects their focus, I fear the once proud bridge between continents could very well become just another Islamist state hell bound on the destruction of both Israel and Western values.

      We should watch this election very carefully, because the Turkey we grew up with is slowly becoming our worst nightmare for a member of NATO.

      What say you?

      Wednesday, June 8, 2011

      Wisconsin Union Disrupts Special Olympics Ceremony

      Wednesday was supposed to be an exciting day for athletes competing in the Special Olympics in Wisconsin.  They got to meet a mascot, wave to adoring fans, and even were able to meet Governor Scott Walker and listen to him speak about the important strives they are making.

      At least, they were supposed to hear that, until the Wisconsin Union decided to make a scene.  In the middle of Mr. Walker's speech, protesters walked in front of the governor, intentionally blocking the view of Special Olympians:
      The Union members were dressed as zombies and some laid on the ground to pretend that they were dead, possibly to frighten the athletes.

      When asked about the incident, and whether it was appropriate to protest the governor at a Special Olympics even, one protester responded:

      "Yeah, that's why we didn't come in walking like zombies. You don't want to offend."

      And other picture to summarize:

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      HT MI

      Disgusting, X-Rated Conversation between Weiner and Blackjack Dealer Released

      Disgraced Democrat Rep. Anthony Weiner and a Las Vegas Blackjack Dealer has been release.  Not only is it as bad as you could imagine, it's so much worse.
      They're so bad, we're not going to put up the quotes on our site.  However, you can go to RadarOnline ro read them if you want.

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      Weiner Admits: Yes, X-Rated Weiner is Mine

      As an explicit photo of Anthony Weiner was leaked today after Andrew Breitbart appeared on the Opie and Anthony show, Democrat Rep Anthony Weiner confirms that he sent out multiple "explicit photos" of himself.

      The picture leaked today is of an aroused, naked man sitting in a chair.

      On Monday, Weiner admitted sending a lewd photo of himself to a woman on Twitter.  The pic was of an aroused Weiner in underwear.  The admission came after a week of lying about the incident; Weiner claimed that people had hacked into his profile on both Facebook and Twitter, and then accused Mr. Breitbart of lying.

      During the press conference two days ago, he apologized to Mr. Breitbart by name, his constituents, and his wife.  However, Mr. Weiner refused to step down.
      A censored version of the image
      AP continues:
      New York Rep. Anthony Weiner says in a statement that he sent explicit photos of himself. He made the statement Wednesday as an X-rated photo that he purportedly took of himself turned up on the Internet.

      The photo, which shows a man's genitals, was published by a website after conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart showed it to the hosts of Sirius XM radio's Opie & Anthony Show.

      Separately, officials say Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, is pregnant.

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      Weiner’s Wife Is Pregnant

      If you (somehow) didn't think that disgraced Democrat Rep. Anthony Weiner was a scumbag, this should remove all doubt in your mind:
      Their marriage has become the subject of intense speculation and scrutiny amid an embarrassing online sex scandal.

      Now, Representative Anthony D. Weiner and Huma Abedin are about to make news of a different kind: they are expecting their first child.

      Ms. Abedin, 35, is in the early stages of pregnancy, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.

      The pregnancy, which the couple has disclosed to close friends and family, adds a new dimension to questions about the future of their marriage.

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      Explicit Pic of Anthony Weiner's Weiner Leaked

      Here's a censored version:
      Will Weiner finally resign?  Probably not.

      Want to see it uncensored?  Well, Google it because we're definitely NOT putting it up... if you excuse my use of "putting it up."

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      WHAT ARE YOU THINKING NEW YORK?

      Aurelius, one of my counter parts here at Pundit Press,  posted an article earlier today that showed 51% of New Yorkers do not want Anthony Weiner to resign. What are these people thinking?

      Like many in power, Weiner thinks he is invincible; just like a high school or college kid who thinks he can pull any stunt or drink any amount and never suffer any consequence. But his invincibility isn't born from the inexperience of youth, it comes from his drunken-ness with his own power. He is (or was) a rising political star; surely he could do no wrong.

      Weiner's actions were that of a man-child -- power with no maturity. According to his own statement, he'd been doing this for years. When he married last year, he claims to have told his wife about his "problem" but promised to stop; which, not surprisingly, he never did.

      His cover-up was another act of a man-child -- his own sense of power with no maturity. He thought he could "cow" the media; he thought he could undermine Breitbart. Reality set it when those with greater power than him (e.g., Nancy Pelosi) told him it was pretty much over. The Democrat party has no reason to protect him. In office, he is now a liability. Removed from office, they can easily replace him with another Democrat (any "party line" Democrat will win his district with 60-65% of the vote).

      Weiner should resign in disgrace. Our Federal government has enormous power (whether we like it or not). With that power needs to come a level of responsibility and maturity. Every member of Congress participates in decisions of great economic and social consequence. They play a role in deciding whether to send our brave young men and women to war. There is no place in that body for someone with Weiner's lack of maturity and bad judgment.

      His only defense at this point is that many others in Congress are equally as drunk with their own power, and equally as immature as he. Maybe because of him, we'll pay attention to that aspect of our election choices a little bit more.

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      Ozzie Guillen to Sean Penn: If you Love Venezuela so much, Go Live There

      Awesome:
      Ozzie Guillen, you have a new fan.

      By the way, if you don't know who Ozzie Guillen is, he's a Major League Baseball coach who was born in Venezuela.

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      Oil Price Spikes after OPEC Meeting

      Hold onto your seats because we have some negative news coming in. With oil prices plateauing over the last several weeks many believed that we had seen the worst. Instead, it now appears that it could increase even further.

      OPEC had a very contentious meeting today with Libya taking center stage. The countries fought over whether to increase supply, as Saudi Arabia wants to do. Instead, there was no consensus, causing the price to spike over $3 a barrel.
      "We have noted with disappointment that OPEC members today were unable to agree on the need to make more oil available to the market," said the International Energy Agency.

      And guess who was behind the discord:

      But this time those in OPEC politically opposed to the United States—led by Iran and Venezuela —found enough support to block Riyadh.

      The Saudis have increased output by 500,000 barrels already, with negligible effects.

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      Anthony Weiner Leaked Photo

      Update-  And guess what: Weiner's wife is pregnant.


      Here's a censored version:

      Will Weiner finally resign?  Probably not.

      Want to see it uncensored?  Well, Google it because we're definitely NOT putting it up... if you excuse my use of "putting it up."

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      WTF: 51% of New Yorkers Don't Want Weiner to Resign

      You read that right, a small majority of New Yorkers believe that Democrat Rep. Anthony Weiner, who admitted to sending lewd photos to up to six women, should not resign.
      Unethical, but A-OK apparently
      Holy crap:
      According to the NY1-Marist poll, released Tuesday night, 51 percent of New York voters think Weiner (D-N.Y.) should remain in Congress. Meanwhile, 30 percent think he should step down, and 18 percent aren’t sure.

      The poll comes in the aftermath of Weiner’s admission on Monday that he engaged in “inappropriate” correspondence with six women over the last three years, including sending a message from his Twitter account to a woman of a photo of his waist area clad in underwear.

      The same NY1-Marist poll found that 61 percent of New Yorkers think Weiner did something unethical, while 13 percent think he did nothing wrong. Thirteen percent believe Weiner did something illegal, and 14 percent are unsure whether he did something wrong or illegal.

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      Report: The Economic Opportunities of Shale Energy Development

      For your reading pleasure the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research released a report today highlighting the economic opportunities that would be provided to the state of New York if the renewed moratorium on shale gas drilling is lifted.

      Not much time to speak in depth now, I hope to come back to this soon, but here are some highlights from the Executive Summary (emphasis mine):

      Directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing have unlocked vast new reserves of natural gas in the United States. Development of these resources is now well under way in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Unlike their neighbors to the south, however, New York residents are not directly benefiting from natural gas development as the result of a government-imposed moratorium, itself a response to environmental concerns surrounding hydraulic fracturing. This study analyzes the economic and environmental impacts of shale gas drilling in New York and finds the net economic benefits to be significantly positive. Specifically:

      • An end to the moratorium would spur over $11.4 billion in economic output.
      • Some 15,000 to 18,000 jobs could be created in the Southern Tier and Western New York, regions which lost a combined 48,000 payroll jobs between 2000 and 2010.*
      • Another 75,000 to 90,000 jobs could be created if the area of exploration and drilling were expanded to include the Utica shale and southeastern New York, including the New York City watershed. (This assumes a regulatory regime that protects the water supply but permits drilling to continue.)
      • Localities and the state stand to reap $1.4 billion in tax revenues if the moratorium is allowed to expire.

      This study also reviews the public records of environmental violations reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection over the period 2008–10. It then quantifies the impact of these violations on land, water, and air resources. The costs of these environmental impacts are then estimated on the basis of the value of the environmental amenities at stake. Our main finding is that the cost of these environmental impacts is far smaller than the economic benefits that drilling can provide.

      • The typical Marcellus shale gas well generates about $4 million in economic benefits.
      • The economic damage resulting from the environmental impacts of a typical shale gas well comes to $14,000.

      The expected environmental costs are so low because the probability of an environmental event is small, and those that do occur are minor and localized in their effects.

      Those environmental problems that have arisen in connection with hydraulic fracturing in no way call into question the soundness of that procedure. In reality, they result from improper drilling and well-casing technique and defective formulation of cement. Such errors and flaws allow wells to penetrate shallow gas deposits, permitting the gas within them to escape and enter groundwater supplies. Marcellus gas resides far below these deposits and any aquifers. More stringent design standards should be adopted, and more active regulatory oversight should be exercised. These steps would reduce the incidence of such problems.

      Our findings suggest that the current shale gas drilling moratorium imposes a significant and needless burden on the New York State economy. In short, the economic benefits of developing shale gas resources in New York State are enormous and could be growing, while the environmental costs of doing so are small and could be diminishing if the moratorium is lifted and if proper policies are put into place.

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      Iran to Triple Uranium Enrichment

      Some interesting news for your morning. As if the Middle East wasn't unstable or violent enough it would not appear that things could get a whole lot worse. There was a report that Iran was just two months away from a functioning nuclear warhead and another stating that it had purchased a nuclear-capable warhead.



      Now the head of the Iranian nuclear program has announced that the Islamic Republic will triple its uranium production as well as upgrade their centrifuges.

      According to Abbasi, the nuclear chief, the new centrifuges at Fordo would be more advanced than the decades old P-1 type once acquired on the black market and in use at Iran’s main enrichment facility in Natanz.

      “Soon, we will install 164-machine centrifuge cascades of the new generation (at Fordo),” Abbasi was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying after a Cabinet meeting.

      He also added that Iran would triple the output of its higher enrichment program this year and would move the entire program to Fordo from Natanz. The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, would monitor the transfer, he said.

      Last month, the IAEA said in a report that Iran estimates it has produced a total of about 125 pounds, or 56.7 kilograms, of uranium enriched to 20 percent by May 21st.

      Great. Just great.

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      SWAT Team Breaks Down Man's Door Over Estranged Wife's Student Loans

      Okay then:
      Kenneth Wright does not have a criminal record and he had no reason to believe a S.W.A.T team would be breaking down his door at 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

      "I look out of my window and I see 15 police officers," Wright said.

      Wright came downstairs in his boxer shorts as a S.W.A.T team barged through his front door. Wright said an officer grabbed him by the neck and led him outside on his front lawn...

      "They put me in handcuffs in that hot patrol car for six hours, traumatizing my kids," Wright said.

      Wright said he later went to the mayor and Stockton Police Department, but the City of Stockton had nothing to do with Wright's search warrant.

      The U.S. Department of Education issued the search and called in the S.W.A.T for his wife's defaulted student loans.

      "They busted down my door for this," Wright said. "It wasn't even me."
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      Video: SWAT Team Called to Man's Home over Student Loans

      If you're worried about whether to go to college or whether it's worth it, you may want to consider this:



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      Poll: Vast Majority Do Not Share Obama's Politics

      Barack Obama rode the widespread fear following the bank collapses of 2008 to the White House. 53#% of American voters put aside doubts of little experience and no major accomplishments to elect the first-term Senator from Illinois. Under ordinary circumstances, it appears that Obama would not even be considered a viable candidate. Instead, he rode these factors into the White House.

      But how many people actually consider themselves ideological kin with the President? Sure, there are many Californians driving Priuses or Subarus with Obama/Biden stickers still prominently displayed but what about the voters in non-liberal regions?

      The answer: not many.

      Apparently many people like Obama's personality or promise but not his actual ideological background. Further, much of the Democrats' tactics boil down to scaring people about the GOP.

      Only 24% of Americans stated in a recent Rasmussen poll that they agree with Obama's politics. While a majority (54%) said that Obama was more liberal than them! Believe it or not, 13% said he was more conservative than they were.

      The number who see the president as more liberal than they are stayed at 57% in three-out-of-four previous surveys conducted since August of last year. That number climbed to 61% in late February. The number who view the president as more conservative ranged from nine percent (9%) to 12% in that same period.

      The number of voters who say they share about the same political views as the president ties the lowest result measured since August and, interestingly, compares exactly with the number who say the same of Congress. Only 24% of voters hold about the same ideological views as the average Republican member of Congress, and another 24% feel that way about the views of the average Democratic congressman.

      So we have a majority seeing him out of their own personal politics-- let's see how they vote next year.


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      Really? Alec Balwin for NYC Mayor?

      As if the city of New York hadn't done enough damage to American politics this year with Anthony Weiner and Donald Trump, we now have some terrible potential news for you. Apparently (idiot) actor Alec Baldwin, who was once popular, is considering a run for the Mayor of New York City.

      Even Kim Jong Il doesn't like him

      Baldwin, a die-hard Democrat originally from Massapequa, a suburb on Long Island, N.Y., has said 2012 will be his last year on “30 Rock,” which would free him up for a 2013 mayoral run.

      He’d be the biggest name by far to throw his hat in the ring to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg at “the second hardest job” in the nation, Weiner’s dream gig before his sordid fall from grace.

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      Check this out!