Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quote of the Day: "The Town is Not Regulating Gas Drilling. It is Banning It"

As communities in West Virginia are repealing their ill conceived bans on hydraulic fracturing and West Virginia courts are busy striking down those very bans, citing that state Department of Environmental Protection has "exclusive control in this area of law", town boards in upstate New York are continuing to put on a good face as they prepare for their day in court. Behind the scenes though, they are increasingly uneasy with regard to the legal positions they have staked out.

From the West Virginia Record:

A Monongalia Circuit Court judge last week struck down a ban on fracking by the city of Morgantown, saying the state Department of Environmental Protection has "exclusive control of this area of law."


According to the court, the doctrine of preemption is applicable law when the State has assumed control of a particular subject of regulation, and a local government has enacted an ordinance in the same field.

When a state law fully occupies a particular area of legislation, indicated by the State's comprehensive regulatory scheme, no local ordinances will be permitted to contravene it, Judge Susan B. Tucker wrote in her Aug. 12 order.

Tucker said the legislative purpose of the WVDEP is clearly set forth in state code.

"The legislation sets forth a comprehensive regulatory scheme with no exception carved out for a municipal corporation to act in conjunction with the WVDEP pursuant to the Home Rule provision," she wrote.

"In fact, as set forth in the legislative statement of policy and purpose governmental entities are required to supplement and complement the efforts of the State by coordinating their programs with those of the State."

That reasoning sounds familiar. According to Article IX (§ 2,subd. [c], par. [ii] ) of the New York State Constitution specifies that any local law be “not inconsistent with…any general law.” The State Constitution further provides that the legislative power of local government is limited “to the extent that the legislature shall restrict the adoption of such a local law.”

Plus there is this from New York Environmental Conservation Law Section 23-0303(2) which specifically provides that: “[t]he provisions of this article shall supersede all local laws or ordinances relating to the regulation of the oil, gas and solution mining industries; but shall not supersede local government jurisdiction over local roads or the rights of local governments under the real property tax law.”

Well that certainly can't sound promising to the anti-gas crowd and it has to be purely frightening to those town board members who wrote those laws and are now in the position of looking foolish in front of their constituency while at the same time attempting to justify the funds needed to defend these rules in court. As I have learned, "it does not come under normal town business, and will cost the town extra to handle". Now this is reassuring. Wonder when the Park Foundation and the Heinz Foundation will show up with their high priced lawyers and buckets of cash to offset the cost of the people who are being financially hurt twice on this issue.

Today the Daily Star, Oneonta's premiere and only newspaper did some reporting on the Middlefield lawsuit that has been filed by Cooperstown Holstein Corporation. In the article there are some very interesting tidbits of information that is worth noting. First is the name Jennifer Huntington who is president of Cooperstown Holstein Corporation. Look for her name to be sullied as things move forward. She is fighting the fight many of us are too afraid to fight and she has my respect. The second name of import is that of Scott Kurdowski of Levene, Gouldin & Thompson LLP of Binghampton. This is the law firm representing the Middlefield company and selected this as the test case.

The lawsuit seeks to declare the provisions of the town's zoning law pertaining to oil and gas drilling void and in violation of New York state law, Kurkowski said.

The goal is to establish precedent in this case, he said.

The local ban violates New York's Environmental Conservation Law, which states that all local municipalities are preempted from passing local laws relating to the regulation of the oil and gas industries, Kurkowski said, adding that a similar ban was overturned by a court in West Virginia.

Interesting that the goal of this lawsuit is to set precedent. I don't think a law firm, with the ability to pick and choose cases would jump on the first frivolous case to show up at their door. Everyone knows this dispute will likely be settled before the NY State Supreme Court and there are reputations on the line and cases must be strong and compelling.

This brings me to the defense. Attorney David Clinton, from the firm Gozighan, Washburn & Clinton who represents the Town of Middlefield in this case doesn't sound very sure of the the position he finds himself and gives the sense that he is a bit taken aback by this suit coming from a landowner and not a gas company. Much harder to demonize of farmer than an oil company. He adds, "[t]he town is not regulating gas drilling. It is banning it." This is not a defense, it is a confession. Banning an action seems to me as the ultimate regulation. He continues, "[i]t comes down to the law and how it should be interpreted." This is true, but it seems a bit of a stretch to argue that banning is not a form of regulation. I don't expect he will be defending the Town of Middlefield for very long.

The entire article is pretty interesting as are the comments, so as always, read the whole thing.

For more on the legalities in play read this article posted an EID Marcellus - Here's a novel idea - follow the law.

All bolded portions are at my discretion.

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Wasserman Schultz Abruptly Resigns from House Judiciary Committee

Another shoe to drop?:
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida Democrat, submitted her resignation as a member of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. According to the floor of the House:
The House received a communication from the Honorable Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Ms. Wasserman Schultz submitted her resignation from the Committee on the Judiciary. The resignation was accepted without objection.
Rep. Wasserman Schultz still serves as a member of the House Budget Committee, Chief Deputy Whip for the minority, as well as Chair to the Democratic National Committee.

The Washington Times Water Cooler put in an inquiry to Wasserman Schultz's office about the congresswoman's resignation from the judiciary committee and is waiting on a response.
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Solyndra Execs to Plead Fifth in Hearing

I can't imagine why:
The chief executive and chief financial officer of Solyndra will invoke their Fifth Amendment rights and decline to answer any questions at a congressional hearing on Friday.

According to letters obtained by Reuters, Solyndra attorneys have advised CEO Brian Harrison and CFO W. G. Stover to not testify at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“I have advised Mr. Harrison that he should decline to answer questions put to him by this subcommittee based on his rights under the Fifth Amendment,” Harrison’s attorney, Walter F. Brown Jr., wrote to the the committee. “This is not a decision arrived at lightly, but it is a decision dictated by current circumstances.”

The House Energy and Commerce Committee opened an investigation into Solyndra after the solar panel manufacturing company — which received a $535 million loan from the Department of Energy — announced it would be declaring bankruptcy earlier this month.

Emails obtained by the committee have pointed to White House influence in the decision to award Solyndra its loan. Critics have rallied around the case as an example of the Obama administration’s failed stimulus plan, specifically Obama’s much-touted green energy initiative.
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The Trashing of the Middle East

There are few Middle East analysts as astute as Barry Rubin. Well informed, not prone to hyperbole, as events have played out he has become progressively more negative about President Obama’s performance on the Middle East stage. I have reprinted his latest essay below.

The Presidential election next year will be fought out largely on domestic issues, especially the prolonged recession, with high unemployment and underemployment. Yet just as we saw in the special Congressional election last week in Queens, foreign policy will loom large. Americans are tired of watching Barak Obama apologize for our nation, while he dangerously undermines our allies

Thus his failure to support our ally Israel, his failure to critique the Palestinians on their role in undermining negotiations, and his enabling of Israel’s old and new enemies, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Syria, and now Egypt, Turkey, and Lebanon, will be issues that the American people will judge harshly.

And it will not be limited to Jews and Evangelical Christians. The emergence of media and pundits who speak to broader segments of the public have found Obama deficient in his handling of the Middle East. Current Presidential candidates, speaking to audiences with few if any Jews, point to his betrayal of Israel as a major failing. It appears that a majority of the American people has grown disgusted with the way that Obama has thrown our ally Israel under the bus.

There are many other examples of Obamas ineptness in the arena of foreign policy. I will highlight only two here.

One clear example of failure is Turkey, the remnant of the old and powerful Ottoman Empire. Not long ago, Turkey was a staunch ally of both the United States and Israel. As pointed out by Jack Rosen , under Prime Minister Erdogan Turkey has turned away from the West, and is now looking to be a leader of the more radical Islamist states. Erdogan is now firmly against America. He has demonized Israel, promised to send flotillas to Gaza accompanied by the Turkish navy, tried to prevent Israel from drilling for oil and gas off its own coast, insisted that Israel allow arms to freely enter Gaza, and increased repression of his own people. And all the while, Obama demanded nothing from Turkey in exchange for American support.

A second example is Obama’s handling of nuclear proliferation by rogue states. As John Bolton has pointed out, “Since his inauguration, … Obama has insisted that the nuclear-proliferation threat represented by Iran and North Korea could be defused through negotiation. Although he has never articulated the slightest reason to believe that either rogue state would voluntarily eliminate its weapons program, he has extended his “open hand,” waiting for Tehran and Pyongyang to unclench their fists. In both cases, gullibility and the fascination with negotiation as a process, or perhaps just Obama’s narcissism, have given the proliferators the precious assets of time and the cover of legitimacy, both of which they have unfortunately used all too productively.”

There are many more examples, some outlined by Barry Rubin. To quote Rubin, on Middle East issues Obama has failed dangerously and badly. American national interests require that he be defeated in the next election.

I accuse President Barack Obama of Destroying Western Interests in the Middle East, Helping Destabilize the Region, and Putting Millions of Lives in Jeopardy

by Barry Rubin    See pajamasmedia;

Think of how outrageous my headline is:

Destroying Western Interests in the Middle East, Helping Destabilize the Region, and Putting Millions of Lives in Jeopardy

Do you think that’s extremist, crazy, can’t be true because you’re not seeing that stuff in the New York Times? You must be a right-wing Republican, you say?

No, just a serious Middle East analyst.

The tenth anniversary of September 11, almost three years after Obama’s election, is a suitable time to confront this issue honestly and fully. So consider fairly and honestly the list of points below.

Egypt: Obama supported a revolution overthrowing a U.S. ally — rather than a smooth transition replacing the dictator and instituting some reform without dropping the entire regime — disregarding State Department advice and not even consulting with Jordan, Israel, or Saudi Arabia! He also unilaterally announced his readiness to see the Muslim Brotherhood in power. His analysts denied that the Brotherhood is a radical, anti-American Islamist organization that supports terrorism. The resulting dangerous crisis, including Egypt becoming a new type of Iran, is now clear to all.

Israel-Palestinian Peace Process: By distancing himself from Israel, removing all pressure from the Palestinians, unilaterally proposing a freeze of Israeli construction on settlements, and repeatedly messing up the effort to restart negotiations, Obama made the peace process situation worse. His failure to handle properly the Palestinian UN unilateral independence bid has put U.S. policy in a terrible mess, with an American veto leading to large-scale anti-Americanism and probable violence both by Palestinians against Israel and by Muslims against the United States.

Israel: The damage the Obama Administration did to Israel was not in bilateral relations or even in the “peace process” but by its role in the deterioration of the regional situation to a dangerous extent. As a result, the two most powerful regional powers that had decent relations with Israel — Egypt and Turkey — turned around 180 degrees; Hamas rule was entrenched in the Gaza Strip; Hizballah’s rule in Lebanon. That’s four of Israel’s “neighbors” that became effectively hostile while the Obama Administration didn’t even notice. As the level of threat rose, U.S. political-diplomatic support for Israel declined.

Turkey: As Turkey continued to move toward being a repressive Islamist state allied with revolutionary Islamism, the U.S. government didn’t notice. Farcically, it promoted the ”Turkish model” and made Turkey its mediator over Syria’s future!

Lebanon: As Lebanon fell under Syria-Iran-Hizballah control, the Obama Administration did nothing. It failed to support the moderates and so they surrendered.

Syria: The Administration pursued the factually ridiculous effort to pull Syria away from Iran and engaged it even as Damascus escalated its support for terrorism, aggression toward Lebanon, killing Americans in Iraq, and then repressing its own people.

Gaza: The Administration gave Hamas indirect aid, made no serious effort to overthrow a radical, anti-American, genocidal-oriented regime, and pressed Israel to reduce sanctions to a minimum. This ensured the survival and strengthening of a pro-terrorist revolutionary Islamist state on the Mediterranean.

Saudi Arabia: Repeated slaps in the face and failure to confront advances by revolutionary Islamists — especially Iran and Syria, as well as abandonment of Mubarak — disgusted this ally. Seeing U.S. weakness, it concluded it has to take care of itself

Iran: After wasting a long time in engagement, the administration finally (at the slowest possible speed) did push sanctions. Yet it still has no strategy for opposing Iran’s non-nuclear methods of subverting neighbors and expanding its influence.

Danger: Obama failed to realize it or to define properly friends and enemies.

Leadership: Despite being begged by different allies, the Obama Administration failed to demonstrate leadership.

Empowering Islamism: In his Cairo speech and thereafter, Obama emphasized the Muslim identity of Middle Easterners thus undermining Arab identity and nationalism.

Endangering the lives of American soldiers and civilians: By refusing to allow a proper analysis of Islamism and terrorism. Consider, for example, the Fort Hood attack in which Americans were killed because military officers feared to do their job lest it hurt their promotions.

Libya: Obama entered a war without any strategy for what would happen after Qadhafi fell or any knowledge of who he was helping to promote as the new leadership.

Rejection of basic diplomatic principles: Supporting friends and punishing enemies; credibility; deterrence; coherent strategy.

What’s important is the result, not whether you think this has been caused by incompetence; arrogance; a thirst for popularity over responsibility; ideology; a personal antipathy toward Israel (it shouldn’t be exaggerated but it’s there); lack of experience; choosing advisors badly; or ignorance among them. I don’t think it’s been deliberate but what’s shocking is to have a policy so bad that many do.

There is nothing inevitably Democratic or liberal about these failings. No previous president or administration — even that of Jimmy Carter — comes close to having so many dangerous failures. Nor is it inevitably a product of Washington, as the State and Defense departments gave him some good intelligence and advice which, if followed, would have greatly reduced the extent of the problems.

You can cheer Obama’s continued strategic cooperation with Israel, sanctions on Iran, and engagement in Libya. You can place blame on Obama’s predecessor or chant, “Obama killed Osama” and not tireless American intelligence operatives or courageous Navy SEALs. But after all the rationalizations won’t you admit that the situation is still truly shocking?

The American people, Middle East allies, US. interests, and the world generally cannot afford another four years of misjudgment and reckless endangerment. Can Obama be trusted to deal with a nuclear-armed Iran; a radical Egypt supporting Hamas; a Turkish regime screaming about fighting Israel, a Palestinian movement that has thrown away any diplomatic alternative?

I leave jobs and the economy, medical care, and such to others. On Middle East issues, however, Obama has failed dangerously and badly. He has ignored chances to learn from experience. American national interests require that he be defeated in the next election.

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Obama Approval Hits New Low on RCP

President Obama has a lot to worry about in the coming weeks. The economy appears to be slipping again, the media is actually reporting on the Solyndra scandal, and he faces an increasingly confident Republican field.

Now it appears that the public is catching up with all of his problems. For months, even as the public grew dissatisfied with the way the country was headed, Obama's approval did not slip as much as it could have. Now, with not one, but two polls showing him at or below 40%, he is doing worse.

In the Real Clear Politics average of the major polling indices, the President has fallen to his lowest level yet. While his disapproval has not reached that point currently, he is just coming off his record disapproval.

Let's take a look at the average from the beginning of the year:

We can see the jump in approval from the bin Laden killing, but we can also notice the spike in disapproval from late last month which topped out at 53.2%.

As it stands now, Obama is facing the following:

Approve: 43.3%
Disapprove: 51.1%
Other/dk: 5.6%

All in all, not impressive numbers. Part of Obama's ratings are being held up by a Reuters poll which has him at a 47/48 split, the most positive of all of them. That one's about to be phases out, so watch and see if it will drop again.

As Solyndra seeps into the public consciousness, his approval average may fall below 40%, a very dangerous area for an incumbent.

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President Obama Rejects President Obama’s Job-Crushing Tax Hike Proposal

An awesome article from Speaker Boehner's office:
In remarks at the White House yesterday, President Obama said “it’s hard to argue against” his plan for a $1.5 trillion tax hike on American families and small businesses – but he sure did a pretty good job of it in the past! Less than a year ago, President Obama warned that – if Congress failed to prevent tax hikes – Americans would “see it in smaller paychecks” and “fewer jobs.” At that time, President Obama was “absolutely convinced” that preventing tax hikes would “strengthen our entire economy” – a striking contrast to the tax hike touting he did yesterday. Here’s a quick refresher for President Obama on the devastating impact tax hikes will have on jobs and the economy, courtesy of President Obama:

Higher Taxes “Will Have the Effect of Fewer Jobs.” “US President Barack Obama on Thursday urged Congress to pass the tax deal he brokered with Republican foes, saying rejecting the compromise would hurt the economy and cost US jobs. … ‘[I]f this framework fails, the reverse is true. Americans will see it in smaller paychecks that will have the effect of fewer jobs,’ he said.” (AFP, 12/9/10)

President Obama Said He Was “Absolutely Convinced” That Preventing Tax Hikes Would Grow the Economy and Create Jobs. President Obama: “I am absolutely convinced that this tax cut plan, while not perfect, will help grow our economy and create jobs in the private sector. ... I urge members of Congress to pass these tax cuts as swiftly as possible. Getting that done is an essential ingredient in spurring economic growth over the short run.” (Remarks, 12/15/10)

President Obama Argues for Tax Relief, Not Tax Hikes: “By a wide bipartisan margin, both houses of Congress have now passed a package of tax relief that will protect the middle class, that will grow our economy and will create jobs for the American people.” (Remarks, 12/17/10)

President Obama Said Preventing Tax Hikes Would “Spur Hiring” and “Strengthen Our Entire Economy.” President Obama: “All told, this will not only directly help families and businesses. By putting more money in people’s pockets, and helping companies grow, we’re going to see people being able to spend a little more, we’re going to spur hiring - we’re going to strengthen our entire economy.” (Weekly Address, 12/11/10)

President Obama Says “[Y]ou don’t raise taxes in a recession...” (MSNBC, 8/5/09)
He was against it before he was for it
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Monday, September 19, 2011

Help Middleburgh NY's Irene Relief

My home town of Middleburgh NY was very hard hit by Hurricane Irene. Nearby Schoharie, faced an even worse fate, with up to 60% of its houses to be condemned.

Most of our businesses were hard hit, and floodwaters damaged homes even outside of the 100-year flood zone. It was the worst calamity to hit our community since 1914.

However, the response of the people of Middleburgh, from around the state, and even from around the country, was spectacular. I played a role in organizing hundreds of volunteers while the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, local churches, and others aided us in our time of need.

Still, even though the majority of the cleanup phase is ending, we're still looking at up to one billion dollars worth of damage in Schoharie County. We are just now coming to terms with the massive scope of this disaster. Many still remain homeless while damage in neighboring Schoharie may be so bad that the Village itself may have to dissolve.

The Village of Middleburgh, on which I serve on the Board, has set up a relief fund. If you can spare a dollar or two to help us, it would be much appreciated. We hope to get money to fix our roads, assist our volunteer fire department, and help the homeowners and businesses get back on their feet.

We're doing better, but it's a long road ahead. Please help make it a little easier.

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The Funniest Thing you Will Read This Month: Triumphant Liberal Comments from 2009 on Solyndra Loan

They say hindsight is 20/20.  Often times, however, it is not nearly this funny (or sad, depending on your point of view).  Please enjoy some of the comments from way back in 2009, when triumphant liberals touted the Administration's loan to the now defunct Solyndra.  And no, grammar is not a strong suit of these folks:
Honestly, some are so wrong it's almost like they went into the future, merely to see how horrible it would turn out so they could comment extra, extra wrong:
Naturally there are some that are so stupid... well, you'll see:
Chill the hate:
From ThinkProgress:
From GM-Volt (click on the picture to actually read it):
Poor guys.  They're so very, very wrong.

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British Nab Seven in Anti-Terror Raid

Terrorism in Europe appears to be falling from collective concern, but it's still a problem that is alive and well. In Great Britain, an anti-terror raid caught seven men who were planning an al Qaeda-style mass casualty plot.
The suspects, six men and one woman, all aged 22-32, are reported to be involved in Islamic extremism and to be British citizens of Pakistani descent.
According to the LWJ, British media is reporting that the raids were linked to an attack in the works.

The Guardian is claiming that the attack was in 'advanced stages:'
Whitehall sources described it as a "major intelligence-led operation" and added that the latest arrests showed that the threat from extremist Islamist ideology had not evaporated despite the deaths of Bin Laden and other prominent al-Qaida individuals in recent US drone strikes on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
But there were no weapons or explosives found.

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Jon Stewart on Obama's Support of Solyndra: "Oh, the Stupidity!"

I don't like Jon Stewart. All he does is make a funny face after showing snippets of news, occasionally doing a "joke" or an "impression." However, at times, I make an exception:
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Two People Shot to Death at Lowe's Store in NC

From the AP:
A spokeswoman for Lowe's Home Improvement says an employee and another person have been shot to death at a North Carolina store.

Spokeswoman Karen Cobb says the shooting happened Monday at a store in Concord, which is about 20 miles northeast of Charlotte. She says it appears to be a domestic situation and no other customers or employees were injured.

Additional information was not immediately available.

Concord Police Sgt. K.W. Childers said authorities were notified of the shooting at approximately 5:21 p.m.
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Liberals Vow to Primary Obama

Will they follow through?:
President Obama’s smooth path to the Democratic nomination may have gotten rockier Monday, after a group of liberal leaders, including former presidential candidate Ralph Nader, announced plans to challenge the incumbent in primaries next year.

The group said the goal is to offer up a handful of candidates from various fields and areas where the president either has failed to stake out a “progressive” position or where he has “drifted toward the corporatist right.”

“Without debates by challengers inside the Democratic Party’s presidential primaries, the liberal/majoritarian agenda will be muted and ignored,” Mr. Nader said in a news release. “The one-man Democratic primaries will be dull, repetitive, and draining of both voter enthusiasm and real bright lines between the two parties that excite voters.”

In search of candidates, Mr. Nader and the others sent out a letter, endorsed by 45 “distinguished leaders,”to elected officials, civic leaders, academics and members of the progressive community who specialize among other things in labor, poverty, military and foreign policy. The list, they said, also includes progressive Democrats who have held national and state office and have fought for progressive reforms.

“We need to put strong Democratic pressure on President Obama in the name of poor and working people,” said Cornel West, author and professor at Princeton University who has been highly critical of Mr. Obama’s tenure since helping him get elected in 2008. “His administration has tilted too much toward Wall Street, we need policies that empower Main Street.”
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Obama's Third "Laser-Focused" Budget is Merely Desperate Attempt to Energize Beleaguered Base

Give me a break, Mr. Obama.

I think we all know that President Obama does not believe that Republicans in the House of Representatives, infused with a good helping of the Tea Party, has even a chance of passing his newly christened "Buffett Rule" taxing spree.  We just went through a major debt battle to prove that tax increases aren't going to get passed, even if the United States is going to go over the Congressional debt limit.

So, really, the question is:  why is Mr. Obama proposing this bill now?  Does he believe that those who make $200,000 or more should pay more taxes?  Sure he does; he's made that obvious from speeches for the last... well, forever.  But why propose it now?
All through the debt debate, President Obama refused to be specific, refused to present his ideas in writing.  The entire thing passed him by while he played with his thumbs.  He figured that he could merely demand things, pound his hands, and both his base and somehow Republicans would follow.

But they didn't.  The Tea Party did not allow Obama to push for a few abstract, poorly constructed illusions.  Yet one thing happened that the President didn't expect: his base started to leave him.  Democrats began to cry foul over a President they see as weak-willed.  Rumblings of a primary became discussions out in the open.  Websites promoting Hillary in 2012 started popping up.

So Mr. Obama needs something, a Hail Mary of sorts.  Tea Party Republicans are not going to change to his side, he's lost most independents, and his base was angry at him.  He is completely aware that the House will never pass tax increases.  So his solution is simple:  propose massive new increases that will never, ever get through Congress, but will energize his base.

In the meantime, Mr. Obama hopes that the conversation is about Left versus Right and Poor versus Rich, instead of what it really is: Liberals too Dumb to Realized they're being Used vs. The Rest of Us.

For Obama, it's the perfect combination.  Try to get his "agenda" passed, but blame Republicans if it failed (which is what he's been doing all along).  Yet, he can whine that conservatives are protecting the rich while he's defending the poor.  The only problem is, he never expected this bill to pass in the first place.

Oh, and this is budget number 3 this year.  Let's see if Mr. Obama goes for a record and proposes number 4.

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The Obama Tax Hikes

President Obama's solution to the national debt crisis facing America is simple: tax the only people (the evil wealthy) who are actually spending money during these near-recession times in hopes of fueling more public revenue to lower the annual deficit.

Failing to account for the recession that would follow by wealthy Americans not spending anymore and small businesses forced to fire employees to stay in the black, because their federal taxes will rise to nearly 40% in time for President Obama's reelection next November.

This proposal would gut the Bush tax rates that spurred nearly four straight years of job growth and revenue increases and replace them with even more oppressive taxes in the middle of our second economic downfall in just four years. Its economic foundation is class warfare and politics; not economic growth, and revenues.

If President Obama wants to play the populist "tax the rich" role - let him, because the Republican Party will not stand for higher taxes on American businesses and wealth producers. We will take the political hit if need be, because some things are more important than grandstanding, which this President never learned in school.

What say you?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Holy S***: Obama to Propose $1,500,000,000,000 in new Tax Revenue

I'm sorry, I seem to remember some sort of debt battle that happened recently.  Huh, I guess not:
Drawing a bright line with congressional Republicans, President Barack Obama is proposing $1.5 trillion in new tax revenue as part of his long-term deficit reduction plan, according to senior administration officials.

The president on Monday will announce a proposal that includes repeal of Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest taxpayers, nearly $250 billion in reductions in Medicare spending, $330 billion in cuts in other mandatory benefit programs, and savings of $1 trillion from the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, the officials said.

The plan includes no changes in Social Security and does not include an increase in the Medicare eligibility age, which the president had considered this summer.

The officials briefed reporters Sunday evening, but spoke on the condition of anonymity in advance of the president's announcement.

All in all, the president's plan is as much an opening bid as it is a political statement designed to draw contrasts with Republicans, who control the House of Representatives.

As such, it was not intended as a compromise and did not include agreements Obama had reached with House Speaker John Boehner during failed deficit reduction negotiations this summer.

The new taxes in particular have little or no chance of passing Congress as proposed. Republicans were already lining up against the president's tax proposal before they even knew the magnitude of what he intended to recommend.

Key features of the proposal:

-$1.5 trillion in new revenue, which would include about $800 billion realized over 10 years from repealing the Bush-era tax rates for couples making more than $250,000. It also would place limits on deductions for wealthy filers and end certain corporate loopholes and subsidies for oil and gas companies.

-$580 billion in cuts in mandatory benefit programs, including $248 billion in Medicare and $72 billion in Medicaid and other health programs. Other mandatory benefit programs include farm subsidies.

-$430 billion in savings from lower interest payment on the national debt.
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UK Man Defends House from Burglars, Gets Arrested by Police

No justice, apparently:
A wealthy family man was arrested on suspicion of murder yesterday after allegedly stabbing a burglar to death with his own knife.

Businessman Vincent Cooke, 39, was relaxing when he heard a knock at the front door of his detached home.

When he answered he was confronted by two men, at least one armed with a knife, who threatened him and tried to force their way into the £350,000 house in the Cheshire stockbroker belt.

With his wife and young son due home any minute, Mr Cooke fought desperately to keep the men out. In the struggle burglar Raymond Jacob, 37, was stabbed with his own knife and fell to the ground fatally injured. The second intruder fled.

Minutes later Mr Cooke’s wife, Karen, 35, and 12-year-old son Anthony arrived and watched in horror as the raider lay dying.
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Safety of Marcullus Shale Drilling Proven During Historic Flooding

This stunning picture though is not one of a flooded drilling rig in Pennsylvania. No this is what was found in Pakistan, but for Penn Environment this bit of information is irrelevant as it looks a lot like Pennsylvania and will thus serve as a compelling enough reason to further attempt to prohibit drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale.

Right on cue....

Kevin Cahill, chair of the State Assembly's Energy Committee, says the state should update maps to show which Shale areas are susceptible to extreme flooding. The state wants to prohibit fracking in those areas, known as 100-year floodplains, because of the potential to spread pollution and cause other damage. | A spokesperson for the State Department of Environmental Conservation told North Country Public Radio that a taskforce will examine the floodplains issue. She also said that the DEC wouldn't delay its review of the environmental statement released last week.

Well, I don't want to be the only one wasting a good crisis. Turns out, in spite of the massive flooding to the Susquehanna river that runs through the heart of Marcellus country there, is little to no evidence that theaggressive drilling that is taking place in Pennsylvania caused any contamination at all.

The state Department of Environmental Protection said there were no reports of drilling related pollution incidents.

“Almost every operator in northern Pennsylvania uses a closed loop system; we simply don’t have many flowback pits up there,” said Chris Tucker, of Energy In Depth a Washington-based industry group.

“No evidence — zero — exists anywhere indicating that any serious environmental issues relating to Marcellus development came about as a result of this flood,” said Tucker. “Talking to operators, none of them have reported any problems at all.”

Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, also an industry group, said, “Marcellus Shale producers continuously monitor operations and prepare accordingly for all contingencies, including severe weather.

“We are not aware of any adverse environmental impacts stemming from the recent flood as it pertains to Marcellus operations,” said Klaber, “and many producers have curtailed their operations in recent days to ensure problems do not arise.”

Klaber said, “Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry is focused on helping to rebuild our communities, through cleanup assistance efforts and charitable donations.”


Noting that well pads and industrial storage sites in the Marcellus Shale region had been inundated, a number of activists raised the possibility of fracking chemicals being a component in the Susquehanna’s toxic cocktail.

Not so, said Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Kevin Sunday: “We have not had any reports of incidents at Marcellus Shale sites as a result of flooding.”

That’s backed up in part by some of the environmentalists themselves.

Members of the Pennsylvania Forest Coalition looked for evidence of any frackwater ponds breached or overflowing or other environmental damage from the flooding, but found very little, coalition coordinator Dick Martin said.

So it appears the industry did a great job in protecting the environment during catastrophic flooding.

Now one week later it would seem that the gas industry deserves a high grade for operating in a manner that prevented any significant pollution. The same cannot be said for sewer operations in many parts of the state that were overwhelmed and sent large volumes of contaminated raw sewage into rivers and streams.

Don Gilliland writes an article in today's Patriot-News (http://www.pennlive.com/) that reviews information from industry, industry opponents, and regulators and reports that no major pollution incident has been attributed to gas drilling.

During the rains, the biggest concern were pits to store water used by some companies in the gas drilling industry, but many in the gas industry do not use pits anymore. Instead mostly tanks or so-called closed loop systems that keep water in closed containment systems at all times are used.

Moreover the regulations governing open pits require the design of the pits to be able to withstand at least 24 inches of rain falling directly into the pit and to prevent any run-off from flowing into it.

The rains and floods were a huge stress that would have exposed substantial problems in the gas industry's operations if it was not well prepared. The absence of incident reports indicates that a high grade has been earned.

Anti-Israeli Subway Signs in NYC Spark Controversy

Though the sign purports to be supportive of peace, it's anti-Israeli message is clear:
And if you need any further proof that the people behind this have absolutely no idea what they are talking about, they actually quote Jimmy Carter as an expert.  You know, the same Jimmy Carter that let Iran fall to religious extremists, allowed North Korea to swindle him and get nuclear weapons, and the same Jimmy Carter that called the exceedingly fraudulent elections of Hugo Chavez and Mahmud Ahmadinejad "fair and square."

The fact that Israel is the one who is pro-peace is just icing on the cake that this campaign is an utter failure.  They can't even get the basics right.

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Hydraulic Fracturing Bans Will be Defended in Court

And so it begins.....

When the opposition to natural gas was at its most vocal a few months ago the caterwauling influenced several towns in upstate New York to pass laws, mostly through local zoning laws prohibiting hydraulic fracturing for natural gas within in their districts. At the time the pressure to submit such laws was intense and many localities have either succumbed to the temptation or are actively working to do so.

In August, the town of Dryden voted on an energy development ban. They were put on notice.....

As it appears that the Dryden Town Board will be voting on a complete energy development ban on August 2, 2011, this to present DSEC’s position, to amplify Henry Kramer’s prior statement, and to put the Board on formal notice that if it passes a total energy development ban it will be engaging in knowing prospective violations of constitutional rights, federal, and state law.

If the Board enacts the proposed ordinance it may subject the Town not only to litigation costs but also to potentially hundreds of millions of dollars of taking liability, which would ultimately have to be borne by the taxpayers. The Board should not take lightly the risk of such potential liability.

Whether or not the Board believes it may somehow legally prevail, the Board should weigh the cost to benefit ratio of adopting this ban. Even assuming, for argument only, that the possibility of success were 50-50, can the Board risk the chance of a nine figure liability? Not reasonably.


In conclusion, the Town should affirmatively anticipate that federal and/or state court action against it is highly probably, if not virtually certain, on one or more of the above cited or other claims. You cannot extinguish hundreds of millions of dollars of property values held by thousands of residents and separate mineral rights held by both in and out of state people without anticipating legal actions. The energy industry has its own causes of action and may also sue.

Read the whole thing, including the 10 point legal takedown.

With this in mind, it now seems appropriate to say, "I told you so!"

Middlefield's Zoning Law Pertaining to Natural Gas Development Goes to Court

For Immediate Release: September 15, 2011
A lawsuit has been filed against the Town of Middlefield in Otsego County to declare the provisions of its Zoning Law pertaining to oil and gas drilling within the Town of Middlefield to be void and in violation of New York State law. The law firm of Levene, Gouldin & Thompson, LLP has been retained to stop the town’s efforts to ban oil and gas drilling.
Jennifer Huntington and other Middlefield residents have already signed oil and gas leases. The new town zoning law will deprive them of their rights to market their minerals under their leases. Similar zoning laws are being enacted in other New York towns. All of these bans violate Environmental Conservation Law § 23-0303(2) which states that all local municipalities are preempted from passing local laws relating to the regulation of the oil and gas industries. Towns may not pass laws prohibiting oil and gas operations since the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is exclusively charged with the obligation to regulate the oil and gas industries in New York.
The Middlefield case will establish precedent preventing towns from violating New York law. Success in Middlefield will be a win for all landowners in New York. Donations to support the Middlefield case can be made payable to the “Middlefield Fund For Landowner Rights” and mailed to NBT Bank, 2 Commons Drive, Cooperstown, New York 13326.


Scott R. Kurkoski, Esq.

Levene, Gouldin & Thompson, LLP
450 Plaza Drive, Vestal, New York 13850
E-mail: skurkoski@binghamtonlaw.com

Michael R. Wright, Esq.

Levene, Gouldin & Thompson, LLP

450 Plaza Drive, Vestal, New York 13850
E-mail: mwright@binghamtonlaw.com

Jennifer K. Huntington

Cooperstown Holstein Corporation
188 County Highway 33W
Cooperstown, New York 13326
Phone: (607) 547-2797

Then there is this....

Anschutz Exploration Corp. plans to file a lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Tompkins County to have the ban struck down in the town of Dryden, according to the company’s Albany-based attorney, Thomas West. He said he expected the lawsuit would be filed this week.

With the state moving toward allowing high-volume hydraulic fracturing, Dryden has been one of a handful of municipalities across the state that have altered their zoning regulations or passed legislation meant to ban the activity.
But the state Department of Environmental Conservation has said a court will likely have to decide whether those bans hold up under state law, which allows the state agency to regulate the industry.

Regardless of the outcome of this litigation the taxpayers of the Towns of Middlefield, Dryden and likely the citizens of Otsego and Tompkins county will be the ones paying for the defense of what seems to me to be, on so many levels, an indefensible position.

DSEC co-founder and attorney Henry S. Kramer said, “We alerted the Dryden Town Board of the dangers of a ban and the legal risks they were taking. Yet, they chose to go ahead and, sadly, as a direct result of their decision, the taxpayers of the Town of Dryden will now be forced to pay taxes to defend their precipitous action. Had they protected the Town’s finances and prudently waited, the test case would have come, as it has, in Middlefield, or elsewhere, and saved the taxpayers of Dryden thousands in legal costs a time when real wages are falling, food costs rising, and many residents are finding inflation means their paychecks buy less, even if they have a full time job.”

Kramer added, “Unfortunately the Dryden Town Board overreached and wrote a zoning regulation so sweeping in its scope that new homes to be constructed will be barred by its terms from storing natural gas or propane in tanks on their premises or installing pipe lines to hook up to existing natural gas lines. They also claimed a right to preempt the United States Constitution by claiming that Dryden Town ordinances are superior to and override both state and federal law and authority.”

Watch out Town of Otsego. Your day in court is coming!

Cross posted at The Lonely Conservative

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Putting a Lie to Bed: No, President Bush is NOT Responsible for Solyndra

Completely unaware that (1) they are being used to push the same talking point for two and a half years running and/or (2) they simply aren't smart enough to get facts from reputable sources, liberals are indeed trying to blame President Bush for a loan that took place in March of 2009, two months after President Bush left office.

So despite the fact that President Bush and his administration said no multiple times to a loan to Solyndra so that it could be studied, liberals are blindly repeating, "Bush's fault!"  Throw out those facts, we've got sheep being lead to slaughter!
Bush's Fault!
Let me just run down the facts one more time.  And, dear God, if you are not smart enough to figure this out, please, please stay away from a voting booth:
It can't get any more clear than this. If you read this and come away thinking that it is President Bush's fault at all, you are officially brain dead.

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Nicolas Cage Civil War Vampire Picture

Sweet God in heaven, someone wants $1,000,000 for this picture because it looks like Ghost Rider?  Also, if you do buy it, you still have to pay $2.75 in shipping:
On the bright side, maybe Nick will change his name to Vampire Cage.  Sounds pretty awesome, actually.
He wears fewer sweet bow-ties now-adays
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Obama to Introduce "Buffett Rule," a Tax Hike on Millionaires

Buffett Rule:
President Barack Obama is expected to seek a new base tax rate for the wealthy to ensure that millionaires pay at least at the same percentage as middle income taxpayers.

A White House official said the proposal would be included in the president's proposal for long term deficit reduction that he will announce Monday. The official spoke anonymously because the plan has not been officially announced.

Obama is going to call it the "Buffett Rule" for Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor who has complained that rich people like him pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than middle-class taxpayers.

Buffett wrote in a New York Times op-ed piece last month that he and his rich friends "have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress."

The measure would be in addition to $447 billion in new tax revenue that Obama is seeking to pay for his short-term spending and tax cutting plan to jump start the economy.
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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Michele Bachmann, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Make the arguments against crony capitalism all day. Illustrate the errors of an overreaching central government in using executive orders all you want, but please stop trying to link vaccinations with unknown, unproven health effects.

Michelle Bachmann claims she isn't speaking as a doctor or scientist, but has no concerns with allocating medical risk. The more she pushes this issue the more she seems on par with Jenny McCarthy . This is not company she would wish to keep, I don't think.

If you peruse the conservative blogosphere you have seen many commenters incredulous at the continued argument that vaccinations aren't safe, but you probably haven't seen this.

bioethics professor has offered to pay $10,000 of his own money if Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R.-Minn, can prove that anyone developed mental retardation as a result of receiving the HPV vaccine.

U. Penn

Bachmann questioned the safety of the cancer-preventing shots during the Republican presidential debate this week. On follow-up TV interviews, Bachmann described talking to a mother whose daughter developed mental retardation as a result of the shots, typically given to teenagers to protect them from a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.

Yesterday, Bachmann said on a TV interview that she has "no idea" if vaccines really cause mental retardation. Caplan says Bachmann is being irresponsible and undermining the public's confidence in life-saving vaccines.

Still, Caplan says he'll withdraw his complaints -- and also donate $10,000 to a charity of Bachmann's choice -- if Bachmann can show the mentally retarded child's medical records, and if medical experts who review the records agree that the girl's disability was actually caused by the HPV shot.

If Bachmann can't come up with such proof, within one week, then she should "donate $10,000 of her own money to a pro-vaccine group that I select," says Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics and Sidney D Caplan Professor of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania.

So far, Caplan says, he hasn't heard from Bachmann's campaign.

Congressman, put your money where your mouth is, or better yet, please close it!
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Two Men Accused Of Taking Dead Friend Out For "Night On The Town"

Jeffrey Jarrett died last month. His friends, Robert Young and Mark Rubinson, knew. So, in a stroke of incredibly creepy stupidity, they threw Jarrett into a car and went bar hopping. First, they stopped at a bar in Denver, had a few drinks, then went to another one in Aurora. They then dropped Jarrett off at his home, went to another bar called Shotgun Willie’s in Glendale, and finally stole $400 from the dead man's bank account.

Understandably, Jarrett's family was devastated.
More from CBS:
“Taking a deceased person in a car, I mean, it just seems totally wrong,” said Jarrett’s family member.

Rubinson and Young face charges of abusing a corpse, identity theft and criminal impersonation. A relative said Young was living with Jarrett and came home on Aug. 27 to find him dead, but didn’t call for help.

“I’m horrified, I’m absolutely, I can’t even put in to words, I can’t imagine anybody thinking that maybe their friend is in trouble and not calling 911,” said Jarrett’s family member.

Family members still don’t know what caused Jarrett’s death but they say the circumstances surrounding it are still hard to believe.

“It’s terrible, it’s just something that we’re really having trouble coming to terms with,” said Jarrett’s family member.
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US Taxpayers Could be on Hook for Bailout of Europe

Just great:
The U.S. is coming to Europe's financial rescue.
So far, America's role is fairly limited. But if the crisis continues to grow and the U.S. takes on a wider role, U.S. consumers and taxpayers could feel a bigger impact. The biggest exposure could come from America's status as the single largest source of money for the International Monetary Fund.

The latest round of American financial assistance came Thursday with a promise by the Federal Reserve to swap as many dollars for euros as European bankers need. In the short run, those transactions won't have much impact because the central banks are simply swapping currencies of equal value. If the move helps avert a wider crisis, it could help spare the global economy from another recession.

But over the long term, consumers could feel the impact of central bankers flooding the financial system with cash, according to John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics.

"This is a lender of last resort function," he told CNBC. "With the dollar injections that the Fed has done, it's like giving a patient medicine with really bad side effects." Ryding said the bad side effect in the U.S. has been inflation, which has picked up to 3.8 percent year over year.
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Bin Laden Being Shot Coloring Book Released

I'm not sure if this is awesome or a bit too graphic for kids:
In black and white, kids can now color the bullet that killed Osama Bin Laden. "It may show Bin Laden being shot, but he's the bad guy," said Father Jimmy Hall.

The coloring book is rated PG. And the name of it is "We Shall Never Forget".

Does a coloring book do justice to the day almost 3,000 people died? "NO," said Mom Tasha Reed.

"When your kids have kids, wouldn't you want them to know?," said Hall.

The answer wasn't in black or white according to some. "If your child was going to color something, looks like it would be more positive," said Grandmother Vanessa Pierce.
Why is he in a pith helmet?
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Ten Years Ago: Obama's Pastor Delivers Sermon Justifying September 11 Terrorist Attacks

There's been a school of thought out there for awhile that President Obama is some sort of clandestine Muslim based on his background and some of his foreign policy decisions. I refuse to believe that for a number of reasons- for starters, I actually believe that there are a number of patriotic Muslims in the USA who love this country and have valued the rights and opportunities afforded them and in some cases even served it honorably in some capacity [the Persians who fled Iran during the rise of the Ayatollahs had a firsthand glimpse of what a totalitarian regime based on Islamic supremacy looks like, for instance- NANESB!].

Also, I think the truth is much more sinister that the 'Obama is a seekrit Muslim' claims that have been circulating. Obama is not a secret Muslim, but rather he was simply paying attention to the bigoted, anti-Semitic, homophobic hate-preacher Jerimiah Wright all this time. Paying attention and possibly taking his words to heart.

But you might be asking- Fenway, you bigoted right-wing neocon dupe, this was all settled in the 2008 campaign during the primaries. Why are you bringing it up right now? This came to my attention because of the date of one of the racist preacher's sermons at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

The nation just recently observed the 10 year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 that killed nearly 3000 Americans. This sermon, which at times approvingly repeats statements from Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda justifying 9/11 and previous attacks, took place at Obama's Trinity Church on September 16th, 2001; not even five whole days after the single deadliest attack against the United States. Now it goes without saying that this is a free country and that this ebony Fred Phelps is entitled to his opinion, but lets provide a little bit of context- for those of you who were bitching in 2008 about how the sermon was 'taken out of context'.

On September 16, 2001, first responders from the NYPD and FDNY along with other agencies were breathing in God-knows-what and still sifting through tons of still-burning rubble to try and recover remains of Americans who were crushed and incinerated when the towers collapsed. Instead of any sincere condolences or prayers to those who were brutally murdered, Obama's pastor laments that there isn't enough introspection over his version of American history and foreign policy [which seems to have significant overlap with Al Qaeda's- NANESB!].

This begs the question of whether or not then state Senator Barack Obama was in attendance at Wright's church that weekend. It would not be out of character for Obama to appear at the church only occasionally and ahead of an election to try and lobby the parishioners for his vote.

Moreover, if Obama found the content of Wright's sermons so objectionable [apparently the 'God Damn America!' sermon came at a later date- NANESB!], why did he only choose to distance himself from the man and his words some 7 ½ years later during a contentious Presidential primary challenge with New York Senator Hillary Clinton? Maybe it's just me, but if I were one of Wright's parishioners, I don't think it would take me several years to repudiate him or his anti-American sermons. In fact, I'm sure there are other houses of worship in Chicago- if I was truly disagreed with what Wright had to say, I'm sure I could've made my way to another church.

And ten years later, there really seems to be nothing to disprove that Obama hadn't taken the race-hustling Wright's sermons to heart, only distancing himself from the preacher and his words when it was politically expedient. And now that he won the Presidency, all things Jerimiah Wright-related seemed to have gone away aside from the occasional embarrassing flare-ups in the early going.

On April 4, 2011, President Obama announced the start of his 2012 re-election campaign. I was never convinced he deserved a first term, but since he's seeking four more years in the Oval Office, I think this issue needs to be revisited just in case the first 2 ½ years of America under the Obama Administration wasn't enough to convince you.

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

Friday, September 16, 2011

BREAKING: Plane Crashes Into Reno Grandstand; Dozens Injured

This is just horrible news out of Reno, Nevada:
A World War II era fighter plane plunged into the grandstands Friday during a popular annual air show, injuring at least 75 spectators and leaving a horrific scene of bodies and wreckage.
It wasn't immediately known if anyone died in the crash but a spokesman for the event called it a "mass casualty event." Video showed a chaotic scene with several people apparently badly wounded.
Stephanie Kruse, a spokeswoman for the Regional Emergency Medical Service Authority, said 25 people were critically injured and another 25 people were seriously injured in the crash. More than 25 more people were treated for minor injuries, she said.
Kruse said the critically injured were considered to have life-threatening injuries.
Airport personnel and military evacuated other spectators, and several emergency vehicles were headed to the scene.
The P-51 Mustang crashed into a box seat area at the front of the grandstand at about 4:30 p.m., said race spokesman Mike Draper said.
Draper identified the pilot of the P-51 Mustang as Jimmy Leeward. According to his Facebook page, Leeward has raced airplanes since the 1970s. A post on the page Friday afternoon said "Jimmy is starting up right now" and posted a link to live video of the airshow.
Jeff Martinez, a KRNV weatherman, was just outside the air race grounds at the time of the crash. He said he saw the plane veer to the right and then "it just augered straight into the ground."
"You saw pieces and parts going everywhere," he said. "Everyone is in disbelief."
The National Championship Air Races draws thousands of people every year in September to watch various military and civilian planes race.
The races have attracted scrutiny in the past over safety concerns, including four pilots killed in 2007 and 2008. It was such a concern that local school officials once considered whether they should not allow student field trips at the event.
The competition is like a car race in the sky, with planes flying wingtip-to-wingtip as low as 50 feet off the sagebrush at speeds sometimes surpassing 500 mph. Pilots follow an oval path around pylons, with distances and speeds depending on the class of aircraft.
Local reports put the death toll at twelve and dozens more are injured, many severely.

Video: School Confiscates American Flag From Autistic 7th Grader

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"Civility?" Attack Watch Colors "Attackers" Faces Blood-Red

Attack Watch, a terrible George Orwellian idea to begin with, has gone from bad to horrendous. Just a few months ago, Democrats wailed that Republicans were completely responsible for a “climate of fear” that gets people killed. Of course, it wasn’t true then and it isn’t true now.

Regardless, Democrats called for “civility.” Since then, there have been literally thousands of violent things that liberals have spewed, from a Facebook group that calls for the murder of Sarah Palin to union heads calling for a “war.” Now there is Attack Watch, which continues the Left’s move towards violence and chaos.

The “incivility” of Attack Watch is clear. Not only does the website prominently feature the word “Attack,” but the site exclusively uses the same colors as the Nazi flag.

Even worse, however, is Attack Watch’s attempts to stop “smears.” First, they state the claim. For example, Governor Rick Perry’s claim that President Obama is “thumbing his nose at Israel.” Second, they try to state the “proof” to the contrary. So, for this example, the evidence Attack Watch gives that Obama has not changed policy is that… some people made “remarks” that he has been good to Israel.  Not actions, but "remarks" from Obama and some foreigners.

Last, but not least, Attack Watch also features a picture of the “attacker” who made the claim. So, if you go to an article in which they attack Sarah Palin for saying ObamaCare is “corrupt,” you are greeted with this picture:
That’s right, a blood-red picture with the emboldened word “Attack” above it. And this is from the party that screamed for civility?

They also feature pictures of Rick Perry:
John Bolton:
And Eric Cantor:
Nice work, Attack Watch. Way to a gigantic, money wasting hypocrite. But then again, I never expected anything different.

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Hill Democrats: Obama Jobs Bill "Terrible," "Not Going to Fly"

Talk about losing your base. If you heard these descriptions about an Obama bill, no doubt you would think a Republican said them. Nope:
President Barack Obama’s new jobs plan is hitting some unexpected turbulence in the halls of Congress: lawmakers from his own party.

As he demands Congress quickly approve his ambitious proposal aimed at reviving the sagging economy, many Democrats on Capitol Hill appear far from sold that the president has the right antidote to spur major job growth and turn around their party’s political fortunes.

“Terrible,” Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) told POLITICO when asked about the president’s ideas for how to pay for the $450 billion price tag. “We shouldn’t increase taxes on ordinary income. … There are other ways to get there.”

“That offset is not going to fly, and he should know that,” said Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu from the energy-producing Louisiana, referring to Obama’s elimination of oil and gas subsidies. “Maybe it’s just for his election, which I hope isn’t the case.”

“I think the best jobs bill that can be passed is a comprehensive long-term deficit-reduction plan,” said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), discussing proposals to slash the debt by $4 trillion by overhauling entitlement programs and raising revenue through tax reforms. “That’s better than everything else the president is talking about — combined.”

And those are just the moderates in the party. Some liberals also have concerns.

“There is serious discomfort with potentially setting up Social Security as a fall guy because you’re taking this contribution out,” said Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, referring to Obama’s proposal to further slash payroll taxes.
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Tom Ridge Endorses Jon Huntsman

Jon Huntsman has earned the highest-ranking Bush era endorsement of the 2012 Presidential election: former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge. The down-and-out contender announced the huge endorsement earlier today in New Hampshire.

Huntsman's campaign wont gain anything from the Ridge endorsement, due to his false accusation that Bush's Defense team pushed him to raise the nation's terror alert level before the 2004 election to booster his bid for reelection, and the fact he has absolutely no political following outside Pennsylvania.

However, the Ridge endorsement does signal one thing: former Bush officials are starting to get involved and their support is being sought by Republican contenders, which means the party is not completely ignoring the 43rd President's two terms in office and his contributions to the movement.

What say you?