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Day 4 of Massive White House Protest Nets 60

Perhaps the earthquake chased them away today, but the promised thousands of protesters of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline has thus far only amounted to an embarrassing 220. At this rate this we will be lucky to see a thousand people arrested. Undoubtedly, the DC police are breathing a long sigh of relief.

The minimalist narrative is hard to explain at this point with celebrities like Margot Kidder and Tantoo Cardinal lending their names and reputation to such a noble cause.

Interestingly, it is clear that the organizers are beginning to realize their treatise is not garnering the popular support that was expected and as such the number of expected activists has been cut in half. Luckily socialist and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders lends his voice to this manufactured call to action.


Commondreams.org does its best to explain why protesting the Keystone XL pipeline isn't catching on by claiming that the pipeline isn't needed because the U.S. doesn't need the resource since "oil demand in the U.S. is dropping". It seems by this logic they should be thanking the president instead of protesting. There is also the claim that big oil has no interest in using this resource to supply the energy needs of the nation and instead plan on shipping the crude to Europe.

"Keystone XL is a bullet line to the Gulf Coast. It's going to take the Midwest's existing supply and export it overseas," says Salmon.

In an aggressive media campaign, TransCanada consistently repeats that Keystone is all about increasing U.S. energy security versus "continuing to import unstable, higher priced crude oil from the Middle East and Venezuela." When Tierramérica asked TransCanada about the potential for exports, they did not respond before deadline.

"If you connect the dots, it points to exports. Americans don't know this yet," said Olsen.

Europe is the major market for diesel, since most cars and trucks there run on diesel. However, there are no oil pipelines to either of Canada's coasts, so it gets little if any tar sands oil.

And yet a European proposal to label and put a penalty on tar sands diesel as "dirty" because of its high carbon content provoked a huge outcry by the Canadian government and the oil industry in 2010.

This is twisted logic at its best. Surely the costs of shipping this fuel across the Atlantic ocean would cut into the profit margins significantly. It is all about the money, right?
Something else that cuts into profit margins and runs counter to the green narrative is land reclamation. You won't hear this from Josh Fox, but the permanent scars to the land are not quite so permanent.

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Joe Biden Speaks on China's One Child Policy: "I fully understand -- I’m not second-guessing"

Vice President Joe Biden is back to being a gaffe machine after a little while of being out of the lime light.  On Sunday, Mr. Biden discussed China's controversial one child policy, one which allows only one child per family.  Should a family have more than one child, severe penalties are levied against them; thus, a mass number of abortions have taken place to prevent the birth of a second child.  Also, because male children are considered more valuable in China, the one child policy has led to the mass-murder of infant girls.

Speaking on China-United States relations, Mr. Biden said to a crowd:
"But as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand -- I’m not second-guessing -- of one child per family."
Obviously this has caused controversy, as the language seems to unambiguously endorse what China is doing. Rick Perry, the governor of Texas and prospective Republican nominee for President in 2012, stated, “China’s one child policy has led to the great human tragedy of forced abortions throughout China, and Vice President Biden’s refusal to ‘second-guess’ this horrendous policy demonstrates great moral indifference on the part of the Obama Administration.”
Gaffe prone
However, the White House has been quick to try and clarify Mr. Biden's statement. “The Obama Administration strongly opposes all aspects of China’s coercive birth limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization,” a Biden spokeswoman stated. “The Vice President believes such practices are repugnant. He also pointed out, in China, that the policy is, as a practical matter, unsustainable. He was arguing against the One Child Policy to a Chinese audience.”

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East Coast Prepares for Hurricane; New York, Washington DC could be Affected

Brace for impact:
"Very large storm" seen moving up U.S. Atlantic seaboard

* Washington, New York could feel storm's impact

* Turks-Caicos, Bahamas warned of "dangerous" storm surge (Updates with Irene weakening, adds Bahamas, Carolina detail)

By Neil Hartnell

NASSAU, Aug 23 (Reuters) - The United States put its eastern seaboard on alert for Hurricane Irene on Tuesday as the powerful storm barreled up from the Caribbean on a path that could hit the U.S. coast on the weekend.

Even as the first hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic season pounded the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeast Bahamas with battering winds and rain and dangerous storm surge, coastal residents in Florida and the Carolinas were preparing for Irene's approach.

"I pray God's blessing on us all," Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said as he urged residents of his Atlantic archipelago nation southeast of Florida to take shelter.

Irene is the ninth named storm of the busy June-through-November season [ID:nN1E77M1W4] and looks set to be the first hurricane to hit the United States since Ike pounded the Texas coast in 2008.

It weakened on Tuesday to a Category 1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir Simpson scale of intensity, but could strengthen into a major Category 3 storm with winds over 111 miles per hour (178 km per hour) by Thursday, the Hurricane Center forecasters said.
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New House Sales fall 0.7% in July to 5-Month Low

ObamaNomics:
NEW RESIDENTIAL SALES IN JULY 2011

Sales of new single-family houses in July 2011 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 298,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 0.7 percent (±12.9%)* below the revised June rate of 300,000, but is 6.8 percent (±13.5%)* above the July 2010 estimate of 279,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in July 2011 was $222,000; the average sales price was $272,300. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of July was 165,000. This represents a supply of 6.6 months at the current sales rate.
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Washington Monument Tilting or Tipping?

Less than an hour after a 5.8 earthquake hit Virginia and the Washington DC area, there has been word that the Washington monument and all federal monuments have been closed. There is a rumor going around that a DC policeman said that the Washington Monument may be tipping.

This has been reported on Fox:

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly reported at 2:30 pm that their bureau received information from a producer saying that a Captiol Hill Police officer was saying the Washington Monument may actually be tilting as a result of the earthquake.

Seismologist John Rundle joined Kelly on her show and confirmed that the Washington Monument could very well be tilting as a result of the earthquake and the structure should be checked out.

UPDATE: The National Park Service says 'no damage':

Agency spokesman Jeffrey Olson says that there was "absolutely no damage" to the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial or other tourist destinations along the Mall.

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Washington DC Earthquake

An estimated 5.8 earthquake hit Virginia and Washington DC. We even felt it up here in Upstate NY.

UPDATE 2:00PM: MSNBC is reporting that the Capitol Building and the Pentagon are being evacuated due to the earthquake.

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New York Earthquake

We just had a minor earthquake here in upstate New York.  It lasted about 15 seconds.  It was... odd.

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The Hammer: Liberals Can't Minimize the Tea Party Away

Charles Krauthammer says that the Democrats have a poor 2012 strategy:



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Rebels Enter Qaddafi Compound

Rebels have claimed to control one entrance to the Qaddafi compound. It's 6 square kilometers large, and apparently there are also tunnels underground. This may be Qaddafi's last stand.

Footage from Sky News showed gangs of rebels gathered about 50m from the compound dressed in civilian clothes, some armed with rifles, others unarmed. The sound of tank shelling could be heard nearby.

The rebels were in celebratory mood, saying that they were convinced that the Gaddafi regime was on the verge of collapse.

Later reports said some rebels had breached the gates of the compound on Tuesday afternoon.

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Dem. NY Congressman Tonko: "We are Privileged and Should be Taxed More"

New York Democrat Congressman Paul Tonko, speaking to a crowd of around 100 in the small town of Schoharie, NY, stated yesterday that Americans were "privileged" and should be "taxed more" in order to balance our massive federal deficit.

The comment was made at the Schoharie Fire House, where Mr. Tonko was participating in a town hall-style meeting. Much of the discussion was on hydrofracking, but the Congressman also discussed the United States' debt at length.
Tonko Speaking at the Schoharie Fire House
At one point, Mr. Tonko stated that some people believe in gaining revenue by closing loopholes, while others believe in simply cutting spending in order to balance the debt.

Mr. Tonko then stated that many people have "said we are privileged and should be taxed more," his tone of voice implying that that method was the correct thing to do.

Some in the audience, mainly those wearing large "ban fracking now" stickers, started to clap and cheer at the prospect of tax increases. These people yelled, "yes" and "that's us" when Mr. Tonko stated that Americans were privileged and should therefore be taxed more.
Other members in the audience seemed stunned that others cheered the prospect of being taxed more.

After this, there was no major discussion on the deficit. The meeting ended later that night.

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Video- Herman Cain Being Awesome



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Prosecutors Seek to Dismiss Strauss-Kahn Charges

From the Globe and Mail:
Early in the sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, prosecutors held out his accuser as its strongest point. Her account was “compelling and unwavering,” complete with “very powerful details” and corroborated by a medical exam, they said.

When they moved Monday to drop the biggest case on their docket, the woman was portrayed as its fatal weakness. She “has not been truthful on matters great and small” and has an ability to present “fiction as fact with complete conviction,” and medical and DNA evidence is “simply inconclusive” as proof of a forced sexual encounter, they wrote.

“Our grave concerns about (her) reliability make it impossible to resolve the question of what exactly happened” between the hotel maid and the former International Monetary Fund leader, they wrote.

With that, the Manhattan District Attorney's office asked a judge to put an end to a case that created a cross-continental sensation. A formal dismissal is expected at Mr. Strauss-Kahn's court date Tuesday, though the maid, Nafissatou Diallo, is asking the judge to boot the DA's office off the case and put it on hold until a special prosecutor can be appointed.

Still, if the criminal case is dismissed, efforts to shed light on what transpired in Mr. Strauss-Kahn's luxury suite May 14 are bound to continue in civil court, where Ms. Diallo has sued Strauss-Kahn.

Before his arrest, Mr. Strauss-Kahn was seen as the Socialists' leading contender for next year's French presidential elections.

France's Socialists on Tuesday lauded the move to drop the attempted rape case, but few expect Mr. Strauss-Kahn to jump back into politics very soon.
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Head of S&P to Resign

No mention of the downgrade as the reason:
The ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said late on Monday that its president, Deven Sharma, who has become the public face of the firm in the wake of its historic downgrade on the United States’ long-term debt rating, will step down and leave the company by the end of the year.

The decision by Mr. Sharma to resign comes as the ratings agency is under pressure from several fronts, including an inquiry by the Justice Department into its ratings of subprime mortgage securities and a push by activist investors to break up its parent company, McGraw-Hill.

Mr. Sharma will be replaced by Douglas Peterson, a top executive at Citigroup, the company said on Monday.

The management change had been in the works for months and was unrelated to either the Justice Department’s inquiry or to the emergence of the activist investors, Jana Partners and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, according to people briefed on the matter.

Mr. Sharma, 55, will step down on Sept. 12, but will remain with the company through the end of the year to help oversee McGraw-Hill’s review of its businesses.

His replacement, Mr. Peterson, 53, is currently the chief operating officer of Citibank, the banking unit of Citigroup.
Mr. Sharma
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Chaffetz Won't Challenge Hatch

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz will not challenge incumbent Republican Orrin Hatch, after all:
“If I were to run an interparty battle it would be a multimillion-dollar bloodbath,” Chaffetz said Monday. “I don’t think that’s necessarily in my best interests. I don’t think it’s in the best interest of our party, the nation or our state.”

Chaffetz said a few short months ago he was almost certain to get into the race. He had circled Sept. 27 on his calendar to make his announcement. He was dissuaded from running, he said, by his high-profile role in the recent debt ceiling debate.
It seems like the party leadership wanted him to stay put:
“I could spend the next 15 months campaigning to do Senator Hatch’s job, or I could spend those 15 months doing the job I was elected to do,” Chaffetz said. “I think my chances were very, very good at beating Senator Hatch. We’ll never know for sure because I’m going to focus on the House.”
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A small break for a fisking

I know there are a lot of important news stories going on in the world today, and you are in search of something juicy so you can stay informed.

This is not one of the them.

This is a fisking of a liberal writer that I do whenever I get the feeling for it. The fiskee will be in italicized red, the fisker will be in blue.

ArkansasOnline
Archetype rides again
By Gene Lyons
Thursday, August 18, 2011

LITTLE ROCK — Now that he’s declared his candidacy, odds are Republicans will nominate Texas Gov. Rick Perry for president. They won’t be able to help themselves. If Hollywood put out a casting-call for an anti-Obama, Perry would get the role.


Can’t disagree with that. Perry is smart, ethical, tough, and pretty much truthful. So yeah, pretty much everything Obama isn’t. Although Perry is clean and articulate, so he’s not the perfect anti-Obama.

Democrats have been chortling about running against yet another swaggering Texas governor.

They were also chortling about the Tea Party and the unlikeliness of a Tea Party victory. They’ve got an awesome record, don’t they?

Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum explains why Perry can’t win: “He’s too Texan. . . . Even in the Republican Party, not everyone is from the South and not everyone is bowled over by a Texas drawl. Perry is, by a fair amount, more Texan than George W. Bush, and an awful lot of people are still suffering from Bush fatigue.”

Re-read that, but use a lispy voice when doing so. Boy, you can almost smell the estrogen, can’t you?

I think this is wrong. The cowboy archetype runs so deep in American culture that even George W. Bush couldn’t ruin it. Besides, the Connecticut rancher was a trust fund poser who rode bicycles, not horses. Deep down, everybody knew that. Now that he’s no longer president, Republicans no longer have to pretend they believe the brush-cutting charade.

This is a staple of Gene’s columns. He accuses Bush of being a poser, although he posits absolutely no evidence. This is also why I’ve come to refer to Gene as the MBW - Make Believe Writer.

Perry, though, strongly resembles the Tommy Lee Jones of Lonesome Dove. Never mind that while an authentic Texas roughneck, Tommy Lee was Al Gore’s Harvard roommate.

Never mind that Perry actually worked for Al Gore.

It’s the symbolism that matters.

That’s the Democratic Party’s motto!

Perry also has what appears to be a genuine mean streak. More than anything, Republicans who see a waffling centrist like President Obama as a “socialist” dictator yearn to punish somebody.

Yes, Gene just called Obama “a centrist". This is how out of touch Gene is.

Perry may be exactly the bully they seek.

Yes, Gene just called Perry a “bully".

Even executing a seemingly innocent man -some who’ve looked into the case of Cameron Todd Willingham think so- and then allegedly tampering with a commission charged with investigating the case, makes him a hero to some.

Oh! Well, if ”some” think that Willingham was innocent, then it must be true!
Yep! Absolutely true!
What about the others who say that Willingham wasn‘t innocent?
Nope! Innocent!
What about the tampering?
Yep! Absolutely true!
Er, ‘allegedly‘ tampering?
Nope! Tampering!
What about the evidence?
Nope! Innocent!
No, I mean, about the ‘alleged‘ tampering?
Nope! Tampering!
No, I mean, what evidence is there that there was tampering?
Noper! Tampering!
But...
Nope! Tampering!
But...
Nope! Tampering!
The evidence...
Nope! Tampering! Lalalalalala! I can‘t hear you!

“It takes balls to execute an innocent man,” one hairy-chested patriot famously told a focus group. I think that guy sends me weekly e-mails.

Don’t look at me. Any letters I send about Gene, I will post here.
Although my chest is kind of hairy.

But hey, I don't want to hog the spotlight. Perry's staff answered this during his primary against Kay Bailey Hutchison. They said that if Perry's opponents:

"oppose the death penalty for someone who murdered his three children, beat his wife while she was pregnant with twins in an effort to force an abortion, repeatedly changed his story, who confessed and whose last words were an obscenity laced tirade aimed at his ex wife, and whose conviction was upheld numerous times over the course of more than a decade, including nine times by federal courts then they should just say so."

Perry went on to cruise to a 20-point victory in the primary and an easy win in the general election.


True, Perry has manifest liabilities. If Michele Bachmann can’t make an issue of his ill-fated executive order requiring sixth-grade Texas girls to be vaccinated against a sexually transmitted disease that could lead to cervical cancer, she’s got no business running.

This is another staple of Gene’s columns: the unclear writing. It isn’t clear as to whether the vaccine could lead to cervical cancer, or if it is the sexually transmitted disease that leads to cervical cancer. The first makes more sense, although that has no bearing on a Gene Lyons’ column.

The answer lies not in the intent of the order, but in the politician himself. Gene states that it was an “ill-fated executive order”. That’s because the order didn’t give the parents the option of not permitting their sixth-grade girls to get the vaccine.

But hey, letting them have abortions without parental notification is completely cool.

His scheme to build privately owned toll roads across Texas by giving out-of-state corporations the power to seize property by eminent domain represented the kind of crony capitalism that gave Mussolini a bad name.

Uh, Gene? Mussloini wasn’t a capitalist, much less a crony capitalist.

Perry’s sectarian religiosity and loose talk about Texas seceding might not play among Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania voters whose ancestors fought to save the Union.

Bzzzt! That’s not what Perry said. Here is exactly what Perry said:

“There’s a lot of different scenarios. Texas is a unique place. When we came in the Union in 1845, one of the issues was whether we would be able to leave if we decided to do that. My hope is that America, and Washington in particular, pays attention. We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.”


Now, unless you want to argue that this is the year 1845, only a moron would say that Perry was calling for secession. Another staple of Gene’s writing: lots of opinion, no research.

Calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and doubting its constitutionality would doom most candidates, although it’s the kind of big talk that thrills them down at the Tea Party corral.

Even so, here’s the kind of anecdote people love about the Texas governor, narrated by Peter Boyer on The Daily Beast: “One of the photographs that Texas Gov. Rick Perry keeps on his BlackBerry is a portrait of Aurora P. (“Rory”) Perry, the family’s black Labrador Retriever, who last year acquired a key role in local Perry legend.


The governor and the dog were out for an early morning jog when a coyote suddenly appeared, growling at Rory. Perry, who carries a [laser-sighted] Ruger .380 handgun in his belt when he jogs, pulled the weapon and shot the coyote dead. When some Austin locals protested that Perry’s reaction was excessive, and dangerous, he shrugged it off. ‘Don’t attack my dog,’ he said, ‘or you might get shot.’ ”



Just like sissified Austin Democrats to whine about a dead coyote, right? Too bad there were no witnesses to Perry’s derring-do. The story strikes me as the kind of tall tale Sarah Palin might invent about herself. (The mighty huntress needed six shots to hit a caribou that stood grazing like a cow.)


Out in the boondocks we live surrounded by coyotes. We hear them most nights and see them all the time -normally running, because they’re scared to death of my two Great Pyrenees, whose life goal is to tear a coyote to pieces. One time I saw Jesse, the big male, pile into two coyotes attacking my neighbor’s goat kids. He flung one about four feet, and then started after the second, which took off at warp speed. Jesse can run almost 25 mph. Those coyotes left him like he was standing still.


Too bad there were no witnesses to the dog’s derring-do. This story strikes me as the kind of tall tale Bill Clinton might invent about himself.



Or Joe Biden.


Or Barack Obama.


Or... But I digress.



They’d have the identical reaction to a Labrador retriever. Coyotes are looking for a tasty Chihuahua or house cat, not a fight. They’re exceptionally wary predators that shun human contact. Holler, as Perry says he did, and they’ll vanish like smoke. My neighbor killed a coyote last winter-with a scoped deer rifle at 100 yards. He was awfully proud of himself.


Maybe Perry encountered a terminally ill coyote too weak to flee. That’s the only way his story makes sense to me.



This, from someone who wrote a book with Joe Conanson that came to the conclusion that Whitewater was just an invention of media journalists just looking for a scandal. So you can see what story passes for ‘sense’ with Gene.


More likely, I suspect, he saw one, snapped off a shot and imagined he must have hit it. Every hunter’s been there.



Insert personal hunting story that benefits from not having any witnesses to Gene’s derring-do.



Wait a minute. The coyote is too weak to flee, yet Perry snapped off a shot and imagined he hit it. Well, which is it? The coyote is too weak to flee, Perry snaps off a shot? He's going to hit it.


Conversely, if Perry snaps off a shot and thinks that he hit it, but he really didn't, and the coyote disappears like smoke? Then the coyote wasn't terminally weak.



You can’t have it both ways.



Here we have a bad case of LDS. No, not the Latter Day Saints. Liberal Derangement Syndrome
.


Pretty much, one hopes, the way he imagines being president.

———

Freelance columnist Gene Lyons is a Houston, Ark., author and recipient of the National Magazine Award.
Editorial, Pages 15 on 08/18/2011

Oh, ho ho! That Gene, always trying to end on a pithy line. Well, we’ve made it through another column by Gene. Scrape the bull fecal matter off at the door, and join us next time.

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Shays Running for CT Senate

Former Connecticut Congressman Chris Shays is running for Senate in the blue state next year. Shays, who lost his seat in the 2008 wave, is aiming for a comeback:

The 65-year-old moderate will likely face a primary fight with former wrestling executive Linda McMahon, who spent $50 million on her unsuccessful 2010 bid for Connecticut’s other Senate seat. He also faces Hartford lawyer Brian Hill, and former U.S. comptroller general David Walker has shown interest in the race as well.

Democrats are currently favored to win the Senate seat. The field includes U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, former Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz and state Rep. William Tong.
Best of luck to Mr. Shays.

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Paul Ryan: I'm not Running

Via the National Review, we have some interesting news as Wisconsin fiscal hawk Paul Ryan announced that he will not run for President:

“I sincerely appreciate the support from those eager to chart a brighter future for the next generation. While humbled by the encouragement, I have not changed my mind, and therefore I am not seeking our party’s nomination for President. I remain hopeful that our party will nominate a candidate committed to a pro-growth agenda of reform that restores the promise and prosperity of our exceptional nation. I remain grateful to those I serve in Southern Wisconsin for the unique opportunity to advance this effort in Congress.”

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Anti-Climactic: Oil Sands Pipeline Protest Gets 52 Arrested


You would think from the video that thousands upon thousands of people were lining up to participate in non-violent civil disobedience to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline Project. This would be an incorrect assumption. In spite of aggressive promotion of the cause on various liberal/environmental websites and a slick video by Josh Fox the action has only been able to muster no more than 65 individuals thus far. Today it was only 52 pathetic people. Since the inauguration of this action on Saturday fewer than 200 people have heeded the call to action and subjected themselves to the onerous misdemeanor and potential fine. I don't think this was what Jane Hamsher, Danny Glover, James Hansen, Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, Maude Barlow, Wendell Berry, Tom Goldtooth, Wes Jackson, George Poitras, Gus Speth, David Suzuki, Joseph B. Uehlein, or Josh Fox had in mind when putting this charade together. Twitter hashtag #fail seems appropriate.


Care of Healthcare BS, I came across the following video, that seems apropos. In it George Will explains why engineering greatness in America is a thing of the past. Thanks to the environmental lobby the country has been effectively castrated....sorry for the anti-fracking reference. I couldn't help myself. But the point is clear. "You couldn't build the Hoover Dam today because they would discover a snail darter in the Colorado river and would stop it".

Welcome to the Big Green Lobby!

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Video of Libya Developments

From FoxNews-- includes Qaddafi's son free and other fighting:



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Anti-Climactic: Oil Sands Pipeline Protest Gets 52 Arrested

You would think from the video that thousands upon thousands of people were lining up to participate in non-violent civil disobedience to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline Project. This would be an incorrect assumption. In spite of aggressive promotion of the cause on various liberal/environmental websites and a slick video by Josh Fox the action has only been able to muster no more than 65 individuals thus far. Today it was only 52 pathetic people. Since the inauguration of this action on Saturday fewer than 200 people have heeded the call to action and subjected themselves to the onerous misdemeanor and potential fine. I don't think this was what Jane Hamsher, Danny Glover, James Hansen, Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, Maude Barlow, Wendell Berry, Tom Goldtooth, Wes Jackson, George Poitras, Gus Speth, David Suzuki, Joseph B. Uehlein, or Josh Fox had in mind when putting this charade together. Twitter hashtag #fail seems appropriate.

Care of Healthcare BS, I came across the following video, that seems apropos. In it George Will explains why engineering greatness in America is a thing of the past. Thanks to the environmental lobby the country has been effectively castrated....sorry for the anti-fracking reference. I couldn't help myself. But the point is clear. "You couldn't build the Hoover Dam today because they would discover a snail darter in the Colorado river and would stop it".

Welcome to the Big Green Lobby!

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Saif Qaddafi Free in Tripoli

There is late breaking word out of Libya that one of Moammar Qaddafi's sons, Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, is free. This comes as another son, Mohammed Qaddafi, reportedly escaped rebel custody.

CNN's Matthew Chance saw Saif Qaddafi arrive at a Tripoli hotel in an armored vehicle and got his picture, and tweeted about it.


And he has the picture to prove it:


Huh.

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Watch Obama Speech on Libya Live, August 22, 2011



Live Video streaming by Ustream

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CNN Analyst Fareed Zakaria: US's Presidential System Led To Credit Downgrade

Lack of knowledge and logic:

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Where is Gaddafi?

From the Telegraph:
Last night the fighters captured his sons Mohammed, Saif and Saadi. The National Transitional Council is in negotiations to hand Saif over to the International Criminal Court.

Gaddafi is also wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity - but David Cameron told reporters this morning there is "no confirmation" of Gaddafi's whereabouts.

British military intelligence - and in particular GCHQ, the signals intelligence agency - is understood to be monitoring his communications systems.

The dictator of almost 42 years was last heard by the outside world making a series of desperate radio broadcasts, calling on the women of Tripoli to defend their city against the rebels.

Libyan Prime Minister Al Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi and the head of the country's television union, Abdallah Mansour, have escaped to the Tunisian island of Djerba.

The most likely scenario, according to diplomats, is that he is holed up in his Al Azizya compound. Heavy fighting has been heard around the complex, which houses the Colonel's tents, bunkers, command centres and villa. This morning shortly before 7am a tank emerged. One of his sons, Mutassim, was reported to be there this lunchtime.
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White House Releases Statement on Libya

From the desk of Barack Obama:
Tonight, the momentum against the Qadhafi regime has reached a tipping point. Tripoli is slipping from the grasp of a tyrant. The Qadhafi regime is showing signs of collapsing. The people of Libya are showing that the universal pursuit of dignity and freedom is far stronger than the iron fist of a dictator.

The surest way for the bloodshed to end is simple: Moammar Qadhafi and his regime need to recognize that their rule has come to an end. Qadhafi needs to acknowledge the reality that he no longer controls Libya. He needs to relinquish power once and for all. Meanwhile, the United States has recognized the Transitional National Council as the legitimate governing authority in Libya. At this pivotal and historic time, the TNC should continue to demonstrate the leadership that is necessary to steer the country through a transition by respecting the rights of the people of Libya, avoiding civilian casualties, protecting the institutions of the Libyan state, and pursuing a transition to democracy that is just and inclusive for all of the people of Libya. A season of conflict must lead to one of peace.

The future of Libya is now in the hands of the Libyan people. Going forward, the United States will continue to stay in close coordination with the TNC. We will continue to insist that the basic rights of the Libyan people are respected. And we will continue to work with our allies and partners in the international community to protect the people of Libya, and to support a peaceful transition to democracy.
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Desperate Loyalists Launch Last-Ditch Counter-Attack

From the Telegraph:
10.55 Reuters is now reporting that loyalist tanks are near Tripoli's port and the leader's compound. This could be the beginning of a last ditch counter attack by regime forces.
And Reuters:
Tanks were seen leaving the compound of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and shelling an area in the capital, a rebel source told Al Jazeera television on Monday.

Forces loyal to Gaddafi are said to control 15 to 20 percent of the Libyan capital after rebels swept into the city.
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Audio- Gaddafi Desperately Pleads with Libyans to Protect Him



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Watch David Cameron Speech on Libya Live, August 25, 2011

I believe this stream should have the video live. If it does not, go to the link below the video:


Live Video streaming by Ustream
http://www.cnn.com/
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Prime Minister Cameron to Speak on Libya?

Update- Mr. Cameron will be speaking soon.

Reports are that Prime Minister David Cameron will be speaking on Libya momentarily. The exact time is unknown, but Pundit Press will have coverage when/if he speaks.

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Mohammed Gaddafi Captured

That's the third son of Gaddafi that is now in custody:

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Heavy Fighting Near Gaddafi Compound

Let's just say that Gaddafi has fled, is dead, or is scared out of his mind at the moment:
Heavy clashes broke out near Muammar al-Qaddafi's compound in Tripoli Monday as rebels fought to overtake the remaining areas controlled by forces loyal to the Libyan leader.

Rebel spokesman Mohammed Abdel-Rahman says that tanks emerged from the complex, known as Bab al-Aziziya, early Monday and began firing.

An Associated Press reporter at the nearby Rixos Hotel where foreign journalists are staying could hear gunfire and loud explosions that have been going on for more than 30 minutes.

No further details were immediately available on the fighting.

The rebels raced into Tripoli Sunday and met little resistance as Qaddafi's defenders melted away and his 42-year rule rapidly crumbled. The euphoric fighters celebrated with residents of the capital in Green Square, the symbolic heart of the regime.

By Monday morning, a rebel spokesman told Al Jazeera that Qaddafi loyalists only controlled between 15 and 20 percent of the city, Reuters reported.
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"Gaddafi Death Picture" an Obvious Fake

UPDATE: This article was written two months ago.  Gaddafi IS finally dead.

~Original Article:~

Like "pictures" of Osama bin Laden's dead body, photoshoppers have been busy making fake images of a dead Muammar Gaddafi.  The most prevalent one is this one, supposedly showing him in a pool of blood:
But this picture is an obvious fake to anyone who has paid careful attention to the news in the last few months.  Look at "Gaddafi's" left shoulder.  Anyone who remembers pictures that came out after bin Laden died of dead men in his compound remember the "water gun" photo, which appeared to show a water gun behind a dead, bloody man lying on the floor.

The gun was bright green, the blood was dark red, and the man wore a white shirt and had dark black hair.  He had one hand across his chest Knowing this, I looked up the picture (in an article that I did some months ago) and this is what I found (warning, graphic):
Look familiar?  The photoshopper simply flipped the image and put Gaddafi's face on it.  So that people wouldn't recognize the water gun off the bat, he or she simply moved it slightly so that the orange on the gun wasn't visible.

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Video: Celebrations in Green Square, Tripoli



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President Obama Statement on Libya

This is a written statement from the White House.

Tonight, the momentum against the Qadhafi regime has reached a tipping point. Tripoli is slipping from the grasp of a tyrant. The Qadhafi regime is showing signs of collapsing. The people of Libya are showing that the universal pursuit of dignity and freedom is far stronger than the iron fist of a dictator.

The surest way for the bloodshed to end is simple: Moammar Qadhafi and his regime need to recognize that their rule has come to an end. Qadhafi needs to acknowledge the reality that he no longer controls Libya. He needs to relinquish power once and for all. Meanwhile, the United States has recognized the Transitional National Council as the legitimate governing authority in Libya. At this pivotal and historic time, the TNC should continue to demonstrate the leadership that is necessary to steer the country through a transition by respecting the rights of the people of Libya, avoiding civilian casualties, protecting the institutions of the Libyan state, and pursuing a transition to democracy that is just and inclusive for all of the people of Libya. A season of conflict must lead to one of peace.

The future of Libya is now in the hands of the Libyan people. Going forward, the United States will continue to stay in close coordination with the TNC. We will continue to insist that the basic rights of the Libyan people are respected. And we will continue to work with our allies and partners in the international community to protect the people of Libya, and to support a peaceful transition to democracy.

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Celebrate for Libya

Today was a great day.

Libyan despot Muammar Qaddaffi was effectively overthrown by NATO backed rebels this afternoon when they successfully won the Battle for Tripoli.

Many are already looking to the future with justified worries about who will take over, but I think we should look at the present with satisfaction real quick: the man responsible for numerous attacks against Americans, civilian and military, is out of power after four decades of tyranny.

Tomorrow is uncertain; yesterday was dreadful, but today is wonderful for the people of Libya, and frankly, for us as well. This was a victory for NATO and the United States. I only wish this happened back in March - before thousands of innocent Libyans died and our creditability took a hit.

What say you?

Massive White House Protest Limps Along, with an STD Update

I noted yesterday the "Massive Protest At White House Against Alberta Tar Sands Pipeline" could only muster 65 protesters. Today, such rightous indignation could only come up with a measly 45 people. This protest is to continue daily through September 3 and is expected by organizers to draw over 2,000 participants. Reuters:

Authorities arrested dozens of people on Sunday protesting outside the White House against a proposed $7 billion oil pipeline they oppose for environmental reasons.

Park Police Sergeant David Schlosser said 45 activists were arrested on Sunday for "failure to obey lawful order." They were released after paying a fine, he told Reuters.

Evidently these arrests are lighting a fire in the bellies of the Green Machine. Wait, doesn't fire release CO2 into the atmosphere? Seems like a poor choice of words.

If the police thought that they would discourage more Americans from taking part in the sit-ins at the White House by keeping Bill McKibben and Saturday’s participants in jail, they were completely wrong. Another group of over 70 people gathered in Lafeyette Square Park today. 45 of them were arrested for the second day of sit-ins at the White House. “Saturday’s arrests and overnight jailings are already lighting a fire,” said Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, who was also arrested Saturday. “More people are now inspired, determined, and committed to join. On Monday alone over 20 DC-area doctors, lawyers and students will be going to jail to chant, sing, and stop the pipeline. They’ll be joining Nebraska ranchers and others nationwide. Word is spreading.”

I have to agree, word is spreading and we do not like what they are hearing. Although you have probably seen this story on the Instapundit, Hot Air, andGateway Pundit websites, you heard it hear first! Last week Mike Sturla, PA House Deomcrat Policy Committee Chairmanhad some interesting words to describe the adverse effects of "fracking" Pennsylvania.

“Also, aside from building roads so their trucks can get to drill sites and doing a little stream work to mitigate damage from their road building, exactly what are all those things the drillers are doing for the local communities? Patronizing the bars at night? Driving up the cost of rental housing? Spreading sexually transmitted disease amongst the womenfolk? Causing school districts to ask local governments to ban truck traffic on local roads during school bus pick-up and drop-off times so kids don’t get killed? Upgrading emergency preparedness equipment to handle a well blow out? Running compressor stations that have decibel levels equal to a jet engine?…Really community-oriented stuff…”

Mike Sturla D, 19th Century, stands by his comment, citing a report by Staci Covey, CEO at Troy Community Hospital presented to the Marcellus Advisory Commission in May. You can read the report here. See page 12 of the PDF. In this testimony, she cites no evidence and now we know why, "Hospital administrator Staci Covey says her information was “anecdotal,” but maintains the hospital has seen a definite increase in the number of STDs it has treated in recent years. We’re working on finding specific stats for Bradford County." While Ms. Covey searches for data to support her contention I have actually found some. From the Pennsylvania Department of Health we find that Gonorrhea cases in Bradford county, Pennsylvania won one less in 2010 than in 2006. Chlamydia cases dropped a total of 18 from 117 in 2006 to 99 in 2010. Not a single case of syphilis was reported in Bradford county in 2010. This data is not anecdotal, it is non-existent. State Impact reports:

Gonorrhea Cases:

COUNTY201020062010 VS. 2006
Bradford910-1
Butler312011
Forest101
Greene35-2
Lycoming1034756
McKean45-1
Susquehanna13-2
Tioga413
Warren330
Washington101128-27
Westmoreland74740
Statewide totals63506248102

Chlamydia Cases:

COUNTY201020062010 VS. 2006
Bradford99117-18
Butler19818315
Forest1266
Greene694029
Lycoming36927198
McKean886919
Susquehanna381622
Tioga704822
Warren472621
Washington465290175
Westmoreland50240795
Statewide totals28090222875803

Syphilis Cases:

COUNTY201020062010 VS 2006
Bradford01-1
Butler101
Forest000
Greene000
Lycoming12-1
McKean000
Susquehanna000
Tioga000
Warren101
Washington110
Westmoreland23-1
Statewide totals131139-8

Data source: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Commenter and fellow NY blogger leaves the comment:

A couple of months ago I attended a local, purportedly neutral, fracking presentation here in central NY by two women from Bradford County (if you’ve ever been to any of these things, I’m sure you know who they are–they’re on the “anti” speakers circuit). One of the slides in their presentation listed the social negatives associated with fracking, which they said included an increased divorce rate. At first, I was completely puzzled–were spouses splitting over whether or not to sign a lease? I guess I’m a little naive that way because these ladies claimed that that increase in divorces came about as a result of PA “womenfolk” running off with Texas drilling workers in the mistaken belief that “everything really is bigger in Texas” (a direct quote).

Well, never let objective data get in the way of a salacious story. Speaking of salacious, it is easier to open a brothel in Nevada than a mine?

It is easier in this state to get a license to run a brothel (which is a euphemism for whorehouse) than to open a mine, graze livestock or build a powerplant. And, since Mr. Hope and Change was elected, that applies even more.

Why?

Well, as a matter of state law, prostitution is a matter of county option except for Clark, Washoe, and Carson City, so all you need is a rural county’s approval. And even a Nevada County Commissioner understands the income brothels bring in fees and taxes.

That means if, say, Newmont Mining wants to open up a new open pit mine on I-80 by Wells, given the Federal permits necessary, it can take five years before they can start advertising to fill the first job. More since January 20, 2009.

There are a lot of lessons to be learned here, I think!

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