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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Republican Leadership Conference 2011 Straw Poll Results

The Republican Leadership Conference's 2011 straw poll results are in - and surprise, surprise - Ron Paul's supporters flooded the event, and rigged him another meaningless victory. However, the rest of the results are absolutely interesting and quite telling about the mood of the 2012 Party faithful.

1. Ron Paul - 612.
2. Jon Huntsman - 382.
3. Michele Bachmann - 191.
4. Herman Cain - 104.
5. Mitt Romney - 74.
6. Newt Gingrich - 69.
7. Sarah Palin - 41.
8. Rick Santorum - 30.
9. Tim Pawlenty - 18.
10. Gary Johnson - 10.
11. Buddy Roemer - 9.
12. Thad McCotter - 2.

I understand the solid finishes of Bachmann and Cain, who are two grassroots favorites, but Jon Huntsman? He worked for President Obama as Ambassador to China, and is easily the Republican Party's token liberal in the Primary race. It just dumbfounds me that Huntsman would perform so strongly.

Interesting results.

What say you?

P.S. - Thad McCotter's potential campaign is officially dead, because placing last behind Buddy Roemer just isn't acceptable and represents real weakness.

Obama Ignored Legal Council on Unconstitutionality of "Non-War" in Libya

I'm sure this comes as a surprise to no one:
President Obama rejected the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department when he decided that he had the legal authority to continue American military participation in the air war in Libya without Congressional authorization, according to officials familiar with internal administration deliberations.

Jeh C. Johnson, the Pentagon general counsel, and Caroline D. Krass, the acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, had told the White House that they believed that the United States military’s activities in the NATO-led air war amounted to “hostilities.” Under the War Powers Resolution, that would have required Mr. Obama to terminate or scale back the mission after May 20.

But Mr. Obama decided instead to adopt the legal analysis of several other senior members of his legal team — including the White House counsel, Robert Bauer, and the State Department legal adviser, Harold H. Koh — who argued that the United States military’s activities fell short of “hostilities.” Under that view, Mr. Obama needed no permission from Congress to continue the mission unchanged.

Presidents have the legal authority to override the legal conclusions of the Office of Legal Counsel and to act in a manner that is contrary to its advice, but it is extraordinarily rare for that to happen. Under normal circumstances, the office’s interpretation of the law is legally binding on the executive branch.
President Obama
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Friday, June 17, 2011

ATF Gunrunning Operation to Mexican Cartels- aka 'Fast & Furious'- Comes Under Congressional Scrutiny


Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry- slain in December 2010. Weapons from ATF's Operation Fast & Furious Were recovered at the crime scene along the Arizona/Mexico Border
Earlier this week, certain politicians and media outlets that support gun control were frantically out there trying to establish the 70% myth [i.e. the narrative that '70% of the weapons recovered in Mexico' come from America, which curiously is down from 90% in a few short months- NANESB!] just days ahead of the House Committee on oversight and Government Reform hearings into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms operation Fast & Furious.

The full committee hearings got underway at Capitol Hill on Wednesday with testimony from Brian Terry's family, 6 months to the day after the Border Patrol was shot and killed by Mexican smugglers armed with AK-variant rifles acquired by straw purchasers who were under surveillance as part of the ATF operation. Yet instead of interdicting the guns before they could be moved across the Mexican border, field agents were ordered the allow the guns to 'walk'. Two of the guns found at the scene of Terry's murder were part of thousands the ATF allegedly allowed gun traffickers to purchase.
The ATF called it letting "guns walk" -- a tactic they hoped would lead to them to drug kingpins. Agents who disagreed with the strategy blew the whistle.

"To walk a single gun is in my opinion an idiotic move," said ATF senior special agent Pete Forcelli. "We weren't giving guns to people who were hunting bear. We were giving guns to people who were killing other humans."

After Terry's murder, ATF quickly rounded up gun trafficking suspects they'd watched for a year. That's when the first reports of gunwalking began to surface. Asked if they were true at the time, ATF Phoenix chief Bill Newell told reporters "hell no" -- surprising those who worked for him.

"I was appalled, because it was a blatant lie," Forcelli said. Newell didn't respond to interview requests.

Also under attack: the Justice Department which oversees the ATF. Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich says the agency is cooperating with Congress, but Rep. Darryl Issa says information is being withheld.

"You should be ashamed of yourself," Issa said at the hearing Wednesday holding up a blacked-out sheet of paper. "The pages go on like this forever. You've given us black paper instead of white paper. How dare you make an opening statement of 'cooperation.'"

Issa pressed Weich on who in Washington authorized the program -- and received no answer.

"There was serious profound disagreement about strategy -- but the common goal was to stop gun trafficking to Mexico," Weich said. "Some of the testimony provided today is of great concern. That is why the attorney general asked the inspector general to look into it."

When Brian Terry was gunned down last December, he'd already mailed Christmas gifts.

"The gifts that Brian had picked out with such thought and care began to arrive in the mail that same week," recalled Terry's cousin Robert Heyer, a Secret Service agent. "With each delivery, we felt the indescribable pain of Brian's death."

Terry's family wants someone to accept responsibility. The Department of Justice inspector general is investigating -- and any gunwalking that was taking place has been halted.
Perhaps to nobody's surprise, the Democrats on the Oversight Committee attempted to make the hearings about gun control rather than any sort of accountability from the Department of Justice or ATF. On top of apologizing to Assistant Attorney General Ronald Wiech after Committee Chair Darrel Issa (R- CA49) berated the Justice Department official for turning over pages of redacted documents in response to a subpoena, Representative Elijah Cummings (D- MD7) has proposed setting up a separate minority-led hearing with witnesses of his choosing. In doing so, the Democrats have demonstrated that they are deliberately ignoring the fact that even if the entire United States had strict gun control laws reminiscent of Chicago or Washington D.C. there's still the fact that it was a government agency that facilitated the acquisition of at least 2000 weapons to Mexican criminals. On top of that, US Diplomatic cables released by wikileaks indicate that the overwhelming number of weapons seized in Mexico- including explosives, grenades and anti-tank weapons- are actually procured by cartels from poorly-guarded military armouries in Central America before being smuggled into Mexico.

[I know I've asked this before, but it bears repeating- the Los Zetas organization is mostly comprised of former soldiers from the Mexican army, including Special Forces. Now, keeping in mind their connections to not only the black market, but the international arms market- why should I believe for a second that they are shopping for guns at Cabela's or Wal Mart?- NANESB!]

Weapons allowed across the border under Fast & Furious (or Rapido y Furiosa in the Mexican press) continue to turn up throughout Mexico- in April, Mexican police raided a house in Ciudad Juarez that turned up a half dozen Romanian-made AK-variant rifles that were traced back to the ill-conceived ATF operation [the raid also turned up dozens of grenades and three anti-aircraft machine guns, which probably weren't purchased from American gun stores- NANESB!] .

In May, Mexican soldiers came under fire and a Mexican Air Force helicopter was forced to make a crash landing during an anti-narcotics operation in Michoacan- weapons seized from there were also traced back to Fast & Furious.

Some of the preliminary findings of the Committee include:
● Agents expected to interdict weapons, yet were told to stand down and “just surveil.” Agents therefore did not act. They watched straw purchasers buy hundreds of weapons illegally and transfer those weapons to unknown third parties and stash houses.

● ATF agents complained about the strategy of allowing guns to walk in Operation Fast and Furious. Leadership ignored their concerns. Instead, supervisors told the agents to “get with the program” because senior ATF officials had sanctioned the operation.

● Agents knew that given the large numbers of weapons being trafficked to Mexico, tragic results were a near certainty.

● Operation Fast and Furious contributed to the increasing violence and deaths in Mexico. This result was regarded with giddy optimism by ATF supervisors hoping that guns recovered at crime scenes in Mexico would provide the nexus to straw purchasers in Phoenix.

That last finding is sure to anger Mexico, which has so far been muted in its criticism. In a March 2010 memo, ATF says it allowed gun smugglers to buy 359 guns while 958 people died in Mexico the same month. Internally, the agency was “trumpeting up the violence that was occurring as a result of an ATF sanctioned program
A full PDF file of the Committee's reports can be found HERE

Prior to the hearings and Agent Terry's murder, a number of gun stores in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico went to the ATF with their concerns about suspicious transactions and concerns that the guns could be used against Border Patrol agents and other lawmen. However, the ATF assured dealers that the suspected straw purchasers and the guns purchased were being 'continually monitored'.

[Cross Posted at Not Another New England Sports Blog!]

America A Greek Tragedy

After years of policies expanding the national government until it employed 1/3 of the workforce and expanding their social welfare net into a hammock for those who chose not to work the International Monetary Fund (IMF) demanded that Greece impose a budget that the unions saw as austere.  For weeks riots raged, buildings burned and people died.  Greece having cast their freedom into the wind is reaping the whirlwind.  By seeking to make everyone equal and to ensure that no one failed they have placed their entire nation in risk of failing.
After massive bailouts from their EU partners and the United States the Greek problem seemed to go away.  Now it’s back and our generous President has offered to borrow money from China to bail-out Greece once again.  As all the Progressive Internationalists scurry to keep Greece from swirling down the drain we shouldn’t fall for the illusion. Systems like this don’t work no matter how hard people try to keep the house of cards from collapsing.
Our turn is coming soon.
Even though we are the largest single contributor to the IMF they have recently issued a stern rebuke to The United States.  This rebuke stated that in order to meet goals previously promised we would have to implement austerity measures that would be tougher than any since records began in 1960.  Yet instead of austerity or even fiscal sanity our leaders, the same ones who have led us into not only mortgaging the farm but mortgaging the kids and the grandkids are acting as the cheerleaders and hand-wringers for the ritualistic rise in the debt limit.
In the last round of the serial continuing resolutions, the one that ended in the Republican House surrendering to the White House and passing the bloated 2011 budget we were told there would be massive cuts.  This would be truly historic, 38 billion dollars in cuts. This was so substantial it would only leave a record yearly deficit of 1.6 trillion.   There was joy in the House as they took a victory lap beating their chests for holding out for the BIG money. 
Then we learn the president and his staff of Chicago trained slight-of-hand bean counters had cooked the books, took credit for laying off people who were already laid off and presto-change-o the massive 38 billion was actually 352 million.  This is still a massive amount of money but in the rarified air our high flying government budget it doesn’t quite qualify as chump change.  This isn’t the change anyone was hoping for when we changed the chumps back in November of 2010.
This breath-taking cut still left the spending for 2011 more than 773 Billion above 2008 levels and thus President Obama was forced to agree to stealth stimulus almost as big as the one in 2009 that put America back to work, at least in Democrat campaign commercials.  And while every one of the serial continuing resolutions was reported with great fanfare as cutting the budget according to the Treasury the 2011 budget deficit actually increased by 15.7% in the first six months of fiscal 2011.  In other words the more these leaders who are so concerned about cutting the deficit cut the bigger the deficit grows.
All of this looting of the American economy has a tremendously high price.  While no one will ever know what didn’t happen because of the government crowding private capital out and soaking up all the time and energy required to make it through their red-tape bureaucratic maze we see the crippling effects every day. 
Although the officials in charge of the silly statistics department tell us there is no inflation even though they are printing money 24/7 as fast as the presses can go inflation is actually nearing 10%, which anyone who lives in the real world and has to buy food or gas knows.  And our once free economy is now in the hands of a Federal Government that has no limits and a gaggle of mega-banks that for all intents and purposes should be re-classified as government-backed.
Now the drums are beating for the Progressive Federal Government to bail out the Progressives who have destroyed our once great cities.  As Detroit begins to revitalize by surrendering entire communities to the gangs and bull-doze abandoned buildings the same thinking that picked America’s pocket to bail-out the crony capitalists is gearing up to prop up the culture of decline on the local level so the local level will deliver the votes in 2012.  This is nothing more than vote buying and money laundering on a grand scale.
This gamesmanship has done nothing to reign in the uncontrolled spending of our unlimited Federal Behemoth.  Even the politically blind are beginning to see that this profligate spending is unsustainable.  Unless we embrace the austerity needed to right our ship of state we will flounder on the shoals of self-indulgence which have been the death-bed of empires since Nimord tried to build a tower.  And if we continue to mortgage the lives of those who have not yet been born we will end up losing the deeds to the lives we think we own.   
So, no matter what the teleprompter readers tell us at the end of the day the Republican majority in the House will go along with their Progressive pals and raise the debt limit.  And no matter what they say about trillions of dollars of cuts, off in the future and over the rainbow, the deficits will continue and the debt will grow.
Come on Charlie Brown kick the football Lucy promised she won’t move it this time.
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.

The Republican to Replace Weiner: Eric Ulrich?

The Politico reported Wednesday afternoon that New York City councilman Eric Ulrich, who is one of only five Republicans on the City Council, has been encouraged by Rudy Giuliani to run for Weiner's vacant seat when the special election is held sometime later this year between August and November.

So who is the New York City councilman?

Mr. Ulrich, only 26, represents Queens on the City Council and nearly 60,000 of his current constituents also reside in the 9th congressional district. He was first elected to the City Council, coincidentally, by special election in February 2009 over three more experienced candidates and then comfortably reelected that November.

I don't want to sound overly optimistic, but Mr. Ulrich is one of the Republican Party's rising stars and he just might be the 'perfect candidate' to finally flip this rightward drifting district into Republican hands, especially if the Democrats go with a bad, or controversial candidate.

What say you?

82% See Obama’s Policies As “Somewhat,” “Mainly,” or “Solely” Responsible For Economic Mess

I thought it was all Bush's fault?!
The Wall Street Journal and NBC released a joint poll that shows 54 percent of respondents disapprove of the way President Obama is handling the economy, with 62 percent believing that the country is on the wrong track. 48 percent of respondents believe that Obama’s policies are “somewhat” responsible for the condition of the economy, while 34 percent believe his policies are “mainly or “solely” responsible.

Obama's general approval has slipped under 50 percent again after getting a bounce from the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces.

The economic news got no better for Obama this week.

Jobless claims came in better than the revised estimates on Thursday, but still show an economy struggling to create jobs.

In addition, the Philly Manufacturing index reported a significant contraction in manufacturing activity.

As our contributor Mike Shedlock reported: “Unfilled orders, delivery times, and inventory are currently in contraction and expected to remain so. The average work week is projected to contract,” adding that he expected hiring and wages to be weak even six months from now.

The BLS reported weekly unemployment claims of 414k versus estimates of 420k.

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Yonathan Melaku, Pentagon Suspect, was Arrested Less than One Month ago for Grand Larceny

Several hours after being taken into custody, Yonathan Melaku has been identified as the suspect arrested in Arlington Cemetery earlier today. He is a Muslim and a Marine Corps reservist.
Pundit Press has also discovered that Mr. Melaku was arrested less than one month ago with "with four counts of Grand Larceny, and is being held at the Loudoun County Adult Dentention Center on a $5,000 bond."

The arrest happened in Alexandria, Virginia, just a few miles away from Washington, D.C.

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Yonathan Melaku, Muslim Marine Corps Reservist, Identified as Pentagon Suspect

Update #2-  Melaku was arrested less than a month ago on four counts of Grand Larceny.

Several hours after being taken into custody, Yonathan Melaku has been identified as the suspect arrested in Arlington Cemetery earlier today.  He is a Muslim and a Marine Corps reservist.
It is also being reported:
Authorities said Friday they are investigating the man, whom they did not name, after he was found inside Arlington Cemetery overnight when the cemetery was closed.

FBI special agent Brenda Heck said during a press conference Friday that the man, described as in his 20's, had a backpack containing a "non-explosive, unknown material" that she said will require further investigation.

"The products in the backpack are inert," Heck said, though she described its contents as suspicious.
Though the man was "not forthcoming" when taken into custody, Heck said authorities later found his red 2011 Nissan near the Pentagon. She said authorities found "no suspicious activity" related to the vehicle.

Melaku, who lives in Alexandria, Va., joined as a reservist in August 2007 but military officials say he never deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.
Update- And go figure, this comes a day after Democrats ripped Rep. King (R, NY), saying that radicalization hearings about Muslims were unnecessary and "racist:"
Today, Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) spoke out against the second in a series of hearings on radicalization in the Muslim-American community convened by Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security. This hearing is focused on “The Threat of Muslim-American Radicalization in U.S. Prisons.”

Rep. Judy Chu (CA-32), CAPAC Chairwoman:

“Singling out a group of Americans for increased scrutiny based on their religious beliefs disregards the fundamental civil rights of these communities, does nothing to improve our national security, and alienates our partners abroad. As Chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I am troubled by the fact that Rep. King is continuing to use official Congressional resources to conduct targeted hearings on radicalization focused solely on Muslim-Americans. His actions are contributing to a climate of fear and prejudice against those who are, or are perceived to be, Muslim, and this Islamophobic sentiment has already yielded unfortunate consequences. These hearings send the wrong message to the Muslim-American community and to the American people.”

Rep. Mike Honda (CA-15), CAPAC Chair Emeritus:

"There is no question that a congressional hearing, which targets an entire religion, is morally and strategically wrong-headed. First, it is un-American. This is not the America that I know and have helped build as a life-long public servant. The America that I know has always provided refuge for those fleeing persecution, from early settlers to recent refugees. The America that I know, furthermore, does not hate and discriminate base on race, religion or creed. Second, it is counterproductive. Congressman King is undermining his own objective. In hosting these hearings, King, as chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, has declared, erroneously, that the Muslim-American community does not partner actively enough prevent potential acts of violence – or in the case of prisons, extremism. Despite the offensive and fallacious nature of King's concern, given extensive evidence that contradicts his claim, the Homeland Security chairman's strategy makes future partnerships unpalatable. In one fell swoop of his discriminatory brush, King, in his apparent attempt to root out radicalization, marginalizes an entire American minority group, making enemies of them all.”

Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-3), CAPAC Civil Rights Taskforce Chair:

"Once again, I am greatly concerned by the tone of the hearings that the Chairman of the Homeland Security has chosen to hold. Singling out one group based on race, ethnicity, religion or national origin does nothing to better protect our country, challenges the fundamental rights of the communities that are the subject of the hearing, and serves to increase inappropriate stereotypes and misperceptions about those communities. It is my hope that Chairman King will reconsider his decision to hold another hearing that singles out Muslim Americans and will instead consider the radicalization of all groups or cancel the hearings altogether."

Rep. Al Green (TX-9):

“We must proceed with caution as that which is done to one religion in the name of security today; can be done to any religion in the name of security tomorrow.”

Rep. David Wu (OR-1):

“I am outraged that Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King continues to hold these discriminatory hearings that single out a group of Americans solely based on religion rather than on the actual issue of radicalization. Violent extremism in America and the myriad problems within the U.S. prison system absolutely deserve congressional attention; but misguided hearings that perpetuate prejudice against a specific segment of the population have no place in Congress. Chairman King’s hearings fail to protect our country and are an affront to the constitutional ideals for which Congress should stand.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-16):

“I am deeply concerned by the Committee on Homeland Security’s decision to hold a hearing entitled ‘The Threat of Muslim-American Radicalization in U.S. Prisons.’ As with the Committee’s March hearing, ‘The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response,’ I am troubled by the narrow focus of this event, which singles out one community of Americans on the basis of their religious faith. As a former member of this committee, I understand well the importance and challenges of keeping our country safe from violent extremism, but holding hearings that foster fear and mistrust, and target Americans based on their faith, seems counterproductive to both our national security and to the beliefs that this country was founded upon.”

Rep. Pete Stark (CA-13):

"Yet again Rep. King is singling out a community for what he calls 'homegrown terrorism;' this time leading a hearing entitled, The Threat of Muslim-American Radicalization in U.S. Prisons. Violent extremism in our prisons may merit investigation, but only by examining such extremism in all its forms. Casting a negative light on an entire community, rather than focusing on actual dangerous fringe groups, will only strain the relationships and trust that Muslim American community leaders and local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have worked hard to develop. Muslim Americans are an integral part of our larger American society and should be treated as such, not viewed with suspicion. 
"
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Larry Flynt Offers Weiner a Job

Looks like disgraced former Democrat Rep. Anthony Weiner has landed on his feet... sort of.  He has been offered a job by Larry Flynt:
Mr. Weiner:

After having learned of your sudden and compelled resignation from your Congressional post, I would like to make you an offer of employment at Flynt Management Group, LLC in our Internet group. As a Congressman, you are known for your intensity and perseverance. I believe that this attitude, combined with your service in the House of Representatives' Committee on Energy and Commerce, will make you a valuable asset to this corporation.

This offer is not made in jest. To show our sincerity, Flynt Management Group, LLC is willing to pay twenty percent more than your former Congressional salary, ensuring that your medical benefits would be equal to what you were previously receiving. While you will have to relocate to our corporate offices in Beverly Hills, California, we would pay for all relocation costs.

Again, I cannot emphasize enough the genuineness of this offer. We are a serious corporation which, as you know, has been heavily involved in the political environment of this country for over thirty-five years. Our key missions have consistently included the crucial fight of battling hypocrisy within the federal and state governments. Flynt Management Group, LLC and Hustler Magazine have been dedicated to decades of serious political commentary. Just as we do not undertake insincere political crusades, we do not make insincere job offers.

While this employment opportunity is being offered in large part due to your qualifications and clear passion for making a change, I feel that your unfortunate resignation is a prime example of unfounded political pressure and the hypocrisy that has invaded democracy in Washington D.C. I hope you will sincerely consider this offer, and I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Larry C. Flynt
I wonder what kind of video Weiner would make...
You know what, forget I asked.

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Man Arrested in Front of Pentagon with Suspicious Package

Update-  Identified as Yonathan Melaku.

Breaking- A man has been arrested after carrying a package that "looked like a bomb" to one official.

He was an Ethiopian male with notes in a backpack about the Taliban.  The police have detonated the package.

The man in question was walking around Arlington Cemetery in the middle of the night.  A vehicle that he had been operating was in "close proximity" to the Pentagon.

The vehicle turned out to be a Honda Pilot and the suspicious pack was found inside.  In the meantime, the man was not cooperating with authorities, so he was arrested.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Do Republicans Have a Chance in Weiner's District?

With the news that Representative Anthony Weiner will resign from office and that New York's 9th district will hold a special election to replace him, I believe now is the time to examine Republican hopes of flipping the Queens centered district.

When most of New York was going strongly for Barack Obama in November 2008, the 9th district actually gave Obama fewer votes than Senator Kerry received in 2004, while the Republican line received 44% in both elections. However, this did not impact Weiner because no Republican challenged him and most voters still liked him personally.

And that was still true in last November's 9th district election: Weiner won with a record low 60.8% of the vote, but his margin of victory was still 24,000. Not that bad by most estimates, but his personal likability was on the decline.

But what about now?

The 9th district's only Representative this century has been forced to resign because of immorality, while the voters have been moving away from the Democrat Party and this will likely be the last election under 2002-2012 lines.

Currents seem to be favorable for Republicans....

I'm not saying it's likely, but the Republican Party could win the upcoming 9th district special election if they nominate the perfect candidate to relate to the Queens and Brooklyn centered neighborhoods they hope to represent.

What say you?

Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff to Zawahiri: 'We will Kill You'

Straight-forward and awesome:
The United States will seek to hunt down and kill new Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri just as it did his predecessor Osama bin Laden, the top US military officer said Thursday.

"There is not a surprise from my perspective that he's moved into that position," Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told journalists after the Egyptian leader was named the new Al-Qaeda chief.

"He and his organization are still threatening us, and as we did both seek to capture and kill -- and succeed in killing -- bin Laden, we certainly will do the same thing with Zawahiri."
Looks like he already has a nice target on his forehead

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Union Leader in NJ: Christie is Adolf Hitler (with Video)

The modern public union movement is nothing if it is not colorful with its language. Similar accusations were made against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker when he made a move to reform the public-union dominated system in his state. The thousands of union protesters and young people made a game and celebration out of the protest rather than dealing with the issue at hand.

Enter in Chris Shelton, the vice President of the CWA-- the Communications Workers of America. Shelton was making a speech in the state in which he did not spare the invective. Instead, he made a bellicose speech to a ringer crowd.

Of course, not only did what he said not make sense, but it was downright offensive.

“Welcome to Nazi Germany!” Chris Shelton, vice president of Communication Workers of America District 1, told the crowd. “We have Adolf Christie and his two generals [Democratic state legislative leaders] trying to make New Jersey Nazi Germany. Are we going to let them?”

The crowd groaned its disapproval.

“In Nazi Germany, the first thing they did — the first thing that the Nazis and Adolph Hitler did — was go after the unions,” Shelton warned. “And that’s what Christie and his two generals are trying to do in New Jersey.”

Shelton later concluded: “It’s going to take World War III to get rid of Adolph Christie.”

This guy has no idea what is even going on. The last time I checked, Governor Christie wasn't charting a World War or genocide. To further the fact, Christie is attempting to smash corruption in his state and take it back from the public unions that push it towards bankruptcy.

Video below:



Terrible.

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Full Video of Rep. Weiner's Resignation (Including Heckling)



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Weiner Heckled at Press Conference; Man Yells "Bye, Bye, Pervert"

Here are pictures of disgraced Democrat Anthony Weiner resigning (click for better quality):

And some quotes:

"I have never forgotten my neighbors."
"I am here again to apologize."
"I am announcing my resignation from Congress."
"I want to thank the many people who have helped me."
"With God's help, we will all be successful."

In the midst of all of this, a man was heckling the now-former Congressman.  As his heckling intensified, members of the press could be heard yelling, "Get him out of here."

Mid-way through the conference, the heckling stopped as the man was apparently removed.

The full video:


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Weiner's Press Conference Streaming Live

Update:  The speech is over.  Pictures and partial transcript here.

The press conference is set to start at 2:00pm.  Watch it live below:

Free TV Show from Ustream

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Liberals Mourn the Coming Resignation of Weiner (With Pictures)

I don't think that this will come as a surprise to anyone: even though Anthony Weiner dressed up as a woman, sent obscene photos to various Twitter followers, and sent a message to a minor, liberals are mourning his coming departure.

Let the tears begin.  From the Huffington Post:


From Democratic Underground (obscenity obscured):


And from the Daily Kos:



And from the New York Times:


You know, I have a feeling that these people wouldn't be acting like this if it was a Republican on the hot seat.

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Weiner Will Resign

Representative Anthony Weiner, who has been in constant media spotlight for four weeks now, because of an inappropriate photo he sent of himself to a young college student on Twitter, will finally resign from office in shame.

The New York Times reports:
Representative Anthony D. Weiner has told House leaders and friends that he plans to resign his seat after coming under growing pressure from his Democratic colleagues to leave the House, said a top Democratic official and two people told of Mr. Weiner’s plans.
This ends the month long nightmare that Americans have had to endure from coast to coast, and will result in residents of New York's 9th district electing a new Congressman within the next couple of months.

What say you?

Weiner Stepping Down

Beleaguered Dem. Rep. Anthony Weiner is stepping down.  After a sexting controversy, in which Weiner sent inappropriate images to various women and one minor, the Congressman stated that he would stay in office.

Now, according to multiple sources, he will resign.
A picture of Weiner cross-dressing was released yesterday
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Bachmann Surges to Second Place in new GOP Poll

After a strong debate performance Monday night, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has surged in a new poll.  19% of likely GOP primary voters now support Ms. Bachmann.

Her 19% lands Ms. Bachmann in second place.  Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney came in first with 33%, and businessman Herman Cain, who surged in the polls after a successful debate last month, came in third, with 10% of the poll.

After these top candidates, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich picked up 9%, Texas Congressman Ron Paul garnered 7%, ex-Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty received 6%, as well as Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. 8% polled prefer some other candidate

Another interesting aspect to the poll is the favorability Mr. Romney and Ms. Bachmann hold with people who identify themselves as Tea Party members.  According to the report, both candidates garner 26% support from Tea Partiers.

However, amongst Republicans who do not see themselves as Tea Party members, 36% favor Romney and 16% favor Bachmann.  55% polled stated that they saw Ms. Bachmann as "very conservative."  Only 11% see Mr. Romney as very conservative.
Bachmann
More from the report:
There is little difference of opinion among male and female GOP primary voters, although women give Romney slightly more support. The gap between Romney and Bachmann is narrowest among middle-aged primary voters.

Romney, Bachmann and Cain earn 31%, 22% and 12% support respectively among primary voters who describe themselves as conservatives. Romney runs strongest among party moderates.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of primary voters describe Bachmann as at least somewhat conservative. That includes 55% who say she is Very Conservative.

By contrast, 61% rate Romney as at least somewhat conservative, but that includes just 11% who say he is Very Conservative. Fifty-seven percent (57%) think Cain is at least somewhat conservative, with 32% who view him as Very Conservative.

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Al-Zawahiri Named New al Qaeda Leader

Oh look, another terrorist that we are going to blow to hell:
CAIRO (AP) -- Osama bin Laden's longtime deputy Ayman al-Zawahri has taken control of al-Qaida, the group said Thursday, a widely anticipated move that comes at a time the terror network is struggling for relevance amid a wave of Arab uprisings that has threatened to upstage it.

Al-Zawahri, a surgeon by training, has long brought ideological fire as well as tactical and organizational cunning to al-Qaida, which has found itself increasingly decentralized and prone to internal disputes following its expulsion from Afghanistan after its invasion by U.S. forces in 2001.

Thursday's announcement comes more than six weeks after the U.S. killed bin Laden in a May 2 raid on his home in Pakistan. Al-Zawahri pledged to avenge the death of the al-Qaida founder and mastermind of the Sept. 11 terror attacks and to continue the terror network's campaign of attacks against the U.S. and other Western interests.

"The general command of al-Qaida, after completing consultations, decided that the sheik doctor Abu Mohammed Ayman al-Zawahri take the responsibility and be in charge of the group," said a statement purportedly by al-Qaida and posted on militant websites, including several known to be affiliated with the group.

Al-Qaida gave no details about the selection process for bin Laden's successor but said that it was the best tribute to the memory of its "martyrs."

Al-Zawahri, who turns 60 on Sunday and has a $25 million bounty on his head, has been behind the use of suicide bombings and the independent militant cells that have become the network's trademarks. But U.S. intelligence officials have said that some al-Qaida members find al-Zawahri to be a controlling micromanager who lacks bin Laden's populist appeal.

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Hydrofracking is a Mortal Sin?


A mortal sin can only be committed with deliberate and complete consent, enough for it to have been a personal decision to commit the sin. Such a sin is considered “mortal” because it constitutes a rupture in a person’s link to God: The person’s soul becomes “dead,” not merely weakened. Many times what is considered a mortal sin in one religion is considered a mortal sin in other religions. Hydrofracking passes just such a test.

There is no longer a reason to explain what hydrofracking is; except for a few politicians who feign ignorance, the public understands the nature of the beast. There isn’t a pro-fracking political party or a pro-fracking religion; it is the common man verses those who are willing to sell their souls for 30 pieces of loose change.

In Pennsylvania the people were promised 80,000 new jobs. Less than 3,000 part-timers exist. They were told it would be a boon to their economy. Now in different areas the farmers can’t sell their cattle or produce because of contamination. Many farms and villages have lost their drinking water for the same reasons.

What is amazing is that there is now no mistaking what hydrofracking can do to a state. And now they are asking our elected officials to do the same to New York.

James Drenning, New York


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John Edwards Mugshot

I don't know if I've seen anyone happier to be in a mugshot:
Creepy.

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Pictures, Partial Transcript of Anthony Weiner Press Conference

Here are pictures of disgraced Democrat Anthony Weiner resigning:

And some quotes:
"I have never forgotten my neighbors."
"I am here again to apologize."
"I am announcing my resignation from Congress."
"I want to thank the many people who have helped me."
"With God's help, we will all be successful."

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Weiner Stepping Down Video Live

The press conference is set to start at 2:00pm.  Watch it live below:

Free TV Show from Ustream

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Watch Weiner Resignation Live

The press conference is set to start at 2:00pm.  Watch it live below:

Free TV Show from Ustream

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Watch Weiner News Conference Live (Resignation/Stepping Down), June 16, 2011

The press conference is set to start at 2:00pm.  Watch it live below:

Free TV Show from Ustream

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Boston Bruins Cap Game 7 of Stanley Cup Finals With First Title Since 1972; Vancouver Fans Undertake Arson, Looting Spree



Tim Thomas- MVP of Stanley Cup Finals
After Boston tied the series and forced a decisive Game 7 with a 5-2 win at Boston's TD Banknorth Garden on Monday night, the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks would go at it one more time on Wednesday night to see who would bring home the Stanley Cup.

The Bruins got out to the early lead late in the first with a goal from center Patrice Bergeron, and never looked back from there. Brad Marchand would get an even strength goal at just over 12 minutes into the second period before Bergeron tallied a shorthanded goal to make it a 3-0 Boston lead.

Marchand finished off the scoring with an empty-netter late in the 3rd after Vancouver pulled goaltender Roberto Luongo for an extra attacker with just under 3 minutes to go in regulation to put the game away by a 4-0 final.

Bruins goalie and former Vermont Catamount Tim Thomas turned away all 37 shots faced in Game 7, while Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo gave up 3 goals in his evening's work. The shuout comes despite the Canucks outshooting the Bruins by a 37-20 margin.

Thomas, who started his NHL career with the now-defunct Quebec Nordiques, was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy as MVP of the Stanley Cup finals and is considered a favorite for the Vezina Trophy (the NHL's best goaltender) for the 2010-2011 season. The Game 7 win was his 4th-ever career playoff shutout.


Vancouver Sun- Photos
Unfortunately, almost as soon as the game was decided, Vancouver fans decided to express their displeasure with the outcome of Game 7 by torching cars, smashing shop windows, looting and clashing with police.

Riot police fired rubber bullets and flash bombs in downtown Vancouver Wednesday night to try to disperse angry rioters who set cars on fire and taunted police officers after the Canucks' 4-0 Stanley Cup final loss to the Boston Bruins.

Police declared the downtown fan zone area near the CBC building and the central post office a riot zone. Anyone not leaving the West Georgia Street area immediately could be arrested, they warned.

Police were using batons and also turned police dogs on the rioters, slowly pushing the crowd back along Georgia Street from Hamilton Street to Cambie Street.

Officers in riot gear were also trying to disperse a smaller crowd on Granville Street, about six blocks from the original riot scene.

Two police cars were set on fire in a parking lot on Cambie Street near one of the areas where police were being confronted by a few dozen people among the hundreds present who were throwing debris at officers.

There was a riot in the city of Vancouver during June 1994 under similar circumstances when the Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final to the New York Rangers.

Weiner Resigning

Beleaguered Dem. Rep. Anthony Weiner is stepping down.  After a sexting controversy, in which Weiner sent inappropriate images to various women and one minor, the Congressman stated that he would stay in office.

Now, according to multiple sources, he will resign.
A picture of Weiner cross-dressing was released yesterday
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pass the Gas New York!

In May, Marist completed a statewide poll in New York State to find out if residents generally support or generally oppose hydraulic fracturing. The standard coverage of this poll in the media, the “big news” if you will, is that New Yorkers are about evenly split: 41 percent generally oppose hydraulic fracturing, and 38 percent support it—a statistical dead heat with the margin of error +/- 5 percent. Marist says a “notable” 21 percent are unsure. But MDN believes the “real news” in this poll is confirmation that the shale gas drilling debate in New York—and nationwide—is (sadly) more about politics than science and common sense. Poll internals found here.

I was actually encouraged by the results of the Marist poll. If you live in New York, you have been privy to the anti-fracking onslaught that has occurred. The fact that this movement is unable to sway a statistical majority is a testament to the inherent safety of hydraulic fracturing in New York and elsewhere.

This is contrasted with citizens due south of New York, those besieged with natural gas drilling for the past 5 years who overwhelmingly support hydraulic fracturing by a 2-1 margin.

John Hanger remarks:

Pennsylvanians believe the economic benefits of gas drilling outweigh the environmental impacts 63% to 30%, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll. See http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml.

The public even more strongly supports taxing the gas industry, favoring a drilling tax by 69% to 24%.

The Pennsylvania public wants the gas produced, the industry to pay a drilling tax, and the environment protected. These polling numbers confirm that Pennsylvania is a common sense, centrist state that looks askance at ideological approaches to solving problems.

Pennsylvanians oppose moratoriums at least on private lands and oppose rigid ideological pledges against imposing taxes or fees on anything.


Last week the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research released a report entitled "The Economic Opportunities of Shale Energy Development". I highlighted the results previously, but here is a refresher:

  • 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.

Based on the results of the study former Pennsylvania Ed Rendell had some interesting, insightful, and real world advice for New York Governor Andrew Quomo as he struggles against the political winds. New York Department of Environmental Conservation has been instructed by Governor Quomo to release a Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) on the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing within the Marcellus Shale formation in New York state. His predecessor, David Patterson, implemented a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing last year pending the SGEIS statement, the results of which are due on July 1st.

Regardless, Ed Rendell has some unsolicited advice for the New York Governor.....

Regarding NewYork State's nearly three -year-old moratorium on shale gas drilling permits...

"If Gov. Cuomo were to ask me my advice about lifting the moratorium, I would tell him the moratorium should be lifted. There's too much of an upside here for New York, as there was for Pennsylvania, and too much of an upside for America."[13:30]

On the 1,900 environmental violations racked up over the last three years by shale gas drillers, out of which Considine's study reported 7.9 percent were rated by regulators as "serious"...

"Do the math — 7.9 percent of 1,900 means there were 170 serious violations. Do you know what one serious violation does in the minds of the people of a county? And in the minds of the people in a surrounding county? And, with the media today, in the minds of the people in the entire state?" [21:16]

Back to the situation with neighboring New York...

"Nobody has more riding on this than the state governments do themselves, because of the economic uptick... New York should go down this path because it's so important, and the upside is so great. But we've got to use care in every way. And it shouldn't be just the state department of environmental protection that's exercising that oversight and care. It ought to be the companies themselves." [28:02]

The video of Governor Rendell's comments can be found here and is a must view for anyone interested in the fracking debate!

Last week the New York Assembly passed a bill to continue the drilling moratorium through next year, going so far as to include traditional gas drilling. The vote in the Senate is due this week. One has to wonder why this is such a pressing issue when the DEC's SGEIS isn't due until July 1st. Me thinks that our environmentalist opponents don't expect a victory when the report is published. Just a guess, but seems pretty obvious from all that has been published and refuted over the past few months.

If you have time and interest consider calling your Senator and telling them that your vote in the next election is dependent on their vote on this issue.

Shameless talking points and office numbers here:

1. A moratorium is not needed. There is no need to put 5,000 people out of work that has been performed safely for decades.
2. Let the DEC do their job and release the SGEIS without further delay. Facts and Science should be controlling this process.
3. Do not promote any legislation that would hinder the economic growth this is predicted to create. A recent report by the Manhattan Policy Institute conservatively estimates that 18,000 new jobs and $11.4 billion in economic activity will be created as a result of Marcellus development in New York by 2020.
4. The science and history proves that the natural gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing has been used for decades in New York with zero incidences of water well contamination or adverse health consequences.

Here are the names and numbers to call...

Albany Offices:

Sen. Libous: 518-455-2677
Sen. Grisanti: 518-455-3240
Sen. Gallivan: 518-455-3471
Sen. DeFrancisco: 518-455-3511
Sen. Bonacic: 518-455-3181
Sen. Saland: 518-455-2411
Sen. Golden: 518-455-2730
Sen. Seward: 518-455-3131
Sen. Nozzolio: 518-455-2366
Sen. McDonald: 518-455-2381

The time is now New York. Support cheap, clean energy, good paying jobs, and local infrastructure, or don't. The choice is yours.

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Romney Leads With Pennsylvania Republicans

Quinnipiac

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney can add another Republican Primary in his column today, but there is little reason to celebrate Quinnipiac University's recent survey of 523 Pennsylvania Republicans, because his lead barely exists:

Romney - 21%; Santorum - 16%; Palin - 11%; Cain - 8%; Paul - 6%; Gingrich - 5%; Bachmann - 5%; Pawlenty - 4%; Huntsman - 1%; Johnson - 0%.

Senator Santorum's favorite son campaign has captured him a sizable portion of the state's crucial vote, which has resulted in the former two-term U.S. Senator competing relatively well against our party's weak front runner - Mitt Romney.

The early front runner needs to do something for his campaign, or else his foes will eventually rally behind a strong anti-Romney candidate, and obliterate his path to the Republican nomination.

Pennsylvania Republicans do not vote for a long time, so anything can happen, but one thing is for sure: Romney's front runner status is very fragile and weak.

What say you?

Graham Disappointed With 2012 GOP Field

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who is one of the strongest hawks in the Senate today, told the Wall Street Journal earlier that he was "incredibly disappointed" with Monday night's debate between seven of the leading GOP candidates in New Hampshire.

The reason?

None of the candidates seemed to care that we're fighting radical Jihadists and that Afghanistan is vital to our success in the ongoing War on Terror. And with the lone exception of Tim Pawlenty's forceful statement in favor of taking out our enemies, regardless of where they are, the Senator is absolutely correct.

Monday night's debate contained questions on topics ranging from religion in politics to space exploration, but few ever addressed national defense related subjects, and what few did - the answers were usually dovish and isolationist - against the very fabric of Conservatism.

The current Republican Party field is currently lacking that leading figure who passionately supports our ongoing War on Terror, even though the threat from our enemies is just as great as it was ten, or five years ago. There is still time for someone to emerge, but as of now the Senator from South Carolina is absolutely within his right to be disappointed with the current field of candidates.

What say you?

John Edwards Mugshot Picture

This is one for the record books. John Edwards' mugshot.




Source: CNN.

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Lawmakers sue President Obama over Libya

Dun dun duuun:
A bipartisan group of House members announced on Wednesday that it is filing a lawsuit charging that President Obama made an illegal end-run around Congress when he approved U.S military action against Libya.

“With regard to the war in Libya, we believe that the law was violated. We have asked the courts to move to protect the American people from the results of these illegal policies,” said Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who led the 10-member anti-war coalition with Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.).

The White House is expected on Wednesday to deliver to Congress a much-anticipated report detailing military activity in Libya.

According to Kuchinich, the suit will challenge the Obama administration’s “circumvention of Congress and its use of international organizations such as the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to authorize the use of military force abroad.”

It also will ask a judge to prohibit the White House from conducting a war without congressional approval.

Kuchinich has scheduled a press conference at noon in front of the D.C. federal courthouse.
Kucinich

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Eww: Picture of Weiner Cross Dressing Released

Update: Weiner stepping down.

This whole thing is getting weirder and weirder (and it started weird).  Now there's this:
That's right.  Anthony Weiner, the Democrat Congressman embroiled in a sexting controversy, apparently dressed up as a woman and "oiled up" as a teen.

Before this newest photo was released, Weiner had clung to power after sending explicit photos to several women and sending a message to a minor.  He refused to leave office and instead took a leave of absence. Whether this is the final nail in his office's coffin is yet to be seen.

President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and most Republicans have called on the disgraced Representative to step down.

Ironically, when the scandal began, Democrats ran to Weiner's aid, blaming the tweet he sent of an aroused man on the "right-wing conspiracy."  At the time, Weiner was glad to blame it on "hackers."  He further blamed blogger Andrew Breitbart.

After Weiner's denials, many liberals trumpeted the conspiracy theory.  Joy Behar quickly blamed it on people that "don't like" Weiner and Keith Olbermann was "sympathetic" to Weiner's plight.

However, last Monday at a press conference, Weiner admitted to sending the lewd photo himself.  Afterwards, additional photos of a fully-naked Weiner have been released.  Police in Delaware are also investigating a message that Weiner sent to a 17-year-old girl.

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Big Corn Eats GOP

Well Mitt Romney is a fan and evidently so is most of the Republicans in the Senate.

Yesterday Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) forced a vote on the Senate floor for a measure that would have immediately ended both federal subsidies and protective tariffs for corn-based ethanol fuel. Incredibly he could only muster 34 republican votes on the measure. With the addition of six democrats the proposal fell 20 votes short of the 60 needed to advance.

Big Ethanol receives billions of dollars annually from the federal government to drive up the cost of food, continue dependence on foreign oil and destroy the small engines in my garage.

This seems like an issue that is ripe for TEA party outrage. Claiming that ending a tax subsidy results in a tax increase is ridiculous.

Investors Business Daily summarizes in an editorial today:

Expanding ethanol use was supposed to lead to greater energy independence. But oil imports have climbed right along with the sevenfold increase in ethanol production.

It was supposed to help the environment. But various studies have found that it does little, if anything, to reduce smog or greenhouse gas emissions.

It was supposed to keep gasoline prices down. Anyone filling up these days can see how well that's worked out.

What it has done is raise food prices. As demand for corn goes up, so does its price, along with the price of every other food that relies on corn. The Congressional Budget Office calculated that up to 15% of the rise in food prices from 2007-2008 was due to the increased use of ethanol.

Of course this post wouldn't be complete without highlighting how natural gas could help get us out of this mess, minus the subsidies of course. Either things work in the free market or they don't.

Dallas-based chemical company Celanese Corp. has engineered a process to produce ethanol from natural gas and wants the federal government to give it some of the same incentives afforded corn-based fuel.

The company is promoting its technology, called Celanese TCX, as the answer to problems of corn-based ethanol — unpopular subsidies and its competition for a food crop, contributing to rising food prices.

By using the prolific domestic natural gas supply to produce the gasoline additive, the nation can ease demand for corn crops with a petroleum product that doesn’t have to be imported, said Steven Sterin, Celanese chief financial officer and head of advanced fuel technologies.


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Out: Global Warming In: New Ice Age

The majority of the scientific community hasn't exactly latched onto the idea yet, but there appears to be more postulating that the Earth may be headed for colder times. Sunspots are declining-- just as they did in the late 1200s/early 1300s-- the time right before the Little Ice Age (which brought cooler temperatures, famine, and the Black Death). That came after the Medieval Warm Period.... where increased sunspots corresponded with higher temperatures-- just like during the 1900s.

So, in short: we're all going to die.

An immediate question is whether this slowdown presages a second Maunder Minimum, a 70-year period with virtually no sunspots [which occurred] during 1645-1715.

As NASA notes:

Early records of sunspots indicate that the Sun went through a period of inactivity in the late 17th century. Very few sunspots were seen on the Sun from about 1645 to 1715. Although the observations were not as extensive as in later years, the Sun was in fact well observed during this time and this lack of sunspots is well documented. This period of solar inactivity also corresponds to a climatic period called the "Little Ice Age" when rivers that are normally ice-free froze and snow fields remained year-round at lower altitudes. There is evidence that the Sun has had similar periods of inactivity in the more distant past.

Better buy a better jacket.

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Wednesday Bush-a-Thon

 Indeed:

 Consider this an open thread.

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Congressman Weiner 'Oiled up', Weiner Cross-Dressing as Teen

The Anthony Weiner saga appears to be getting even weirder, believe it or not. Apparently pictures of Weiner when he was a teenager shows him both cross-dressing and 'oiled up.'



The National Enquirer pictures show Weiner protectively posing in a pair of pantihose and a bra as he smiles cheekily at the camera.
Bizarre: Weiner had an early taste for taking shocking photographs, as seen here in these new images of him as an 18-year-old

Bizarre: Weiner had an early taste for taking shocking photographs, as seen here in these new images of him as an 18-year-old

In another photo an oiled Weiner poses in y-fronted swimming trunks in front of a Christmas tree.

The pictures, taken by a college friend in 1982 when he was 18, demonstrate Weiner's reputation at the State University of Plattsburgh as a flamboyant figure.

Speaking to the Enquirer, the friend said: 'The cross dressing photos were taken during a holiday activity in Anthony's college dorm when he was just a sophomore.

They were taken during the school's traditional secret Santa event.

'It was never quite clear whether one of Anthony's challenges was to become a cross-dresser or if it was just some bizarre stunt he decided to do on his own.

'The secret Santa was a three night event, and on another evening, Anthony showed up wearing skin tight swim briefs.

'He was a very odd guy who went out of his way to do things purely for the shock value.'

Getting weirder.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Brief History of the Syrian Revolution

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all [these things] must come to pass, but the end is not yet. Matthew 24:6

Granted, I have not been following the events in Syria closely. Let's be honest, there is so much going on that seems more pertinent and much closer to home, but as I was perusing the news of the day several articles seemed to present themselves as ominous warnings.

First, Jake Tapper reports that Speaker John Boehner is set to issue an ultimatum to the President to get out of Libya or come before congress seeking authorization for military intervention:

In the immortal words of the vice president, this could be a big $%^ing deal: House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is throwingwhatone Republican calls “a legal and political hot potato at the President.”

In a resolution to be voted on in the House tomorrow, Boehner is giving the president two weeks – until the Pentagon Appropriations bill comes up – to either:

a) Ask for authorization for the military intervention in Libya, or

b) Figure out how to disengage the US from the NATO operation in Libya.


The resolution states: “The President has not sought, and Congress has not provided, authorization for the introduction or continued involvement of the United States Armed Forces in Libya. Congress has the constitutional prerogative to withhold funding for any unauthorized use of the United States Armed Forces, including for unauthorized activities regarding Libya.”

Certainly seems appropriate under the circumstances given the fact that President Obama invoked the 1973 War Powers Act when he launched military action against Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi in March. This act requires president's to obtain congressional approval within 60 days (Friday), or withdraw forces within 30 days.

Interestingly I also noted today, via DEBKA File:

Military and intelligence sources report that Monday, June 13, the US deployed the USS Bataan amphibian air carrier strike vessel opposite Syria's Mediterranean coast with 2,000 marines, 6 war planes, 15 attack helicopters, including new V-22 Ospreys, and 27 choppers for landing forces aboard.Also this week, US naval units went operational in the Aegean, Adriatic and Black Seas as part of the joint US-Ukrainian Sea Breeze 2011 exercise.

The USS Monterrey cruiser armed with Aegis surface missile interceptors has additionally been stationed in the Black Sea. Western sources additionally report a build-up of ship-borne anti-missile missile strength in the Mediterranean basin.

This huge concentration of naval missile interceptor units looks like preparations by Washington for the contingency of Iran, Syria and Hizballah letting loose with surface missiles against US and Israeli targets in the event of US military intervention to stop the anti-opposition slaughter underway in Syria.

Moscow, Tehran and Damascus, in particular, are taking this exceptional spate of American military movements in and around the Mediterranean as realistically portending American intervention in Syria.

Now I will grant you that DEBKA File isn't always accurate in their reporting, but movement of naval resources doesn't strike me as particularly confidential information.

Regardless, you may recall on May 15, 2011 Israel opened fire on pro "Palestinian" demonstrators attempting to breach its borders on three fronts, killing at least 13 people. The Guardian reported:

Israeli troops opened fire on pro-Palestinian demonstrators attempting to breach its borders on three fronts, killing at least 13 people. Scores more were wounded at Israel's borders with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza.

Clashes also erupted in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as Palestinians commemorated Nakba Day, the anniversary marking the 1948 war in which hundreds of thousands of people became refugees after being forced out of their homes.

Thousands of Palestinian refugees in Syria marched towards the village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967. At least four people were killed by Israeli troops as they crossed the border, Israel Radio reported. Up to 20 were injured, according to the Israeli Magen David Adom ambulance service.

At the time there were suspicions that this event was orchestrated by Syria. Today comes confirmation from Syrian state documents that show Assad orchestrated Nakba Day raids on Golan Heights':

The document which bears the Syrian Republic emblem, is dated May 14, 2011 and describes an “urgent meeting” of Major General Asef Shawkat, the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Armed Forces, and the chiefs of security and military intelligence branches in the province in Al-Qunaitera, which is located at the Syrian-Israeli border. The memorandum outlines how the regime ordered the dispatching of 20 buses, each one with a passenger capacity of 47, to cross the border into Majdal-Shamms in the Golan Heights in order to precipitate a confrontation between Palestinian refugees and Israeli soldiers and UN peacekeeping forces, thereby distracting international attention from the Syrian revolution.

Lastly we have word that Syria is pursuing a "scorched earth" campaign (video at the link):

AFP - Six civilians were killed Tuesday and tanks were deployed near Syria's border with Iraq, activists said as President Bashar al-Assad came under sharp pressure to halt a crackdown on democracy protests.

The latest deaths came after fresh protests erupted in the eastern town of Deir Ezzor, a human rights activist told AFP and troops pursued a scorched earth campaign in northern mountains, sending thousands fleeing.

"The armed forces are continuing their operations and the sweep of the villages near Jisr al-Shughur," the flashpoint northeastern town which the army took by force on Sunday, the activist said.

"Six civilians perished in the past few hours in Ariha," east of Jisr al-Shughur, he said, without providing further details.

"Some 10 tanks and 15-20 troop carriers were deployed around the town of Abu Kamal," 500 kilometres (310 miles) east of Damascus near the border with Iraq, the activist added.

In the end, though, Assad has to go. He and his family, have proven themselves to be brutal dictators, willing to repress, torture, and slaughter Syrian men, women, and children to maintain their grip on power and ultimate authority.

Also today I found a video entitled a "Brief History of the Syrian Revolution". It is difficult to watch as it is graphic and ugly, but something I think needs to be seen. It sort of coalesced all that I presented above into a reality that cannot be dismissed. Bashir Assad is a tyrant and must go, even if it means giving Obama an out in Libya.

Warning Graphic Video!


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Check this out!