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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?

Solyndra Obama’s Enron

Remember Enron?  When this huge company went belly up because of mismanagement, misrepresentation and criminal intent the Bush administration was put through years of screaming headlines, congressional investigations and dubious investigative specials on the wall-to-wall talking heads of the cable news channels.  In the end there was no connection found between the Bush administration and the leaders at Enron who broke the law.
Today unlike Enron who played fast and loose with private money we have Solyndra which received $535 million in federal loans filing for bankruptcy protection leaving American tax payers on the hook for the cash.  The Obama administration not only disbursed the money to their friends and campaign contributors at Solyndra they did so even after the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said in emails they felt as if they were being rushed to make a decision without adequate time to assess the financial risk to taxpayers. 
Why did the White House force this decision on the first loan approved under their Stimulus Bill? 
They pressured the OMB to make a call in favor of the loan before they felt comfortable so that Vice President Biden could announce the approval at the groundbreaking for the company’s factory in 2009.  And this was not just “some” company.  Solyndra was an important component of President Obama’s ideologically driven campaign to develop green jobs and what he calls renewable energy.  The political motives took precedence over economic considerations and caused the loan to be approved without due diligence.  When White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel asked officials at the OMB whether “there is anyway we can help speed along on OMB side” one official responded, “I would prefer that this announcement be postponed.”  This is the first loan guarantee and we should have full review with all hands on deck to make sure we get it right.”  The loan was subsequently approved and the announcement was not postponed.
Did the involvement of the Obama administration end with executive pressure to approve a massive loan without the same stringent requirements a common citizen must face today to get a home mortgage?  No.  According to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), chairman of that panel’s oversight and investigations subcommittee, “Solyndra was the hallmark of the President’s green jobs program and widely promoted by the administration as a stimulus success story, right up until its bankruptcy and FBI raid.”
Is there any evidence that members of the Obama administration were personally involved with this empty shell of a company?  In May 2010, President Obama made a personal visit and promoted the company.   According to White House visitor logs, between March 12, 2009, and April 14, 2011, Solyndra officials and investors made no fewer than twenty trips to the West Wing for personal visits with members of the administration.  Most troubling of all, a big financial backer of the company, Oklahoma billionaire investor George Kaiser, was one of the top bundlers to President Obama’s campaign.  Bundlers are people who gather contributions from individuals in an organization or community, and present that sum to a campaign. Kaiser made numerous visits to the White House before the company received the multimillion dollar loan from the government.
Was this favoritism?  Was this a massive example of the Crony Capitalism that is poisoning our economy?  An audit by the Government Accountability Office in July 2010 concluded that the Energy Department “lacked appropriate tools for assessing the progress” of the loan program and that the department treated applicants inconsistently, “favoring some applicants and disadvantaging others.” 
Was this expensive boondoggle unforeseen?  Was it a shock out of the blue blindsiding the Obama administration without warning?  Hardly, a now exposed e-mail exchange between Energy Department staff members in August 2009 stated that a credit-rating agency predicted that the green energy company would run out of cash in September 2011. Solyndra filed for bankruptcy on the final day of August.  Can the administration in any way claim they were kept in the dark about the inner workings of the company?  This is difficult to maintain since Energy Department officials have been sitting in as observers at Solyndra’s board meetings for months prior to the crash.
Can you imagine what the reaction of the media would have been if when Enron imploded it was revealed the Bush Administration had guaranteed a half billion dollars in loans or if any of the serial investigations had found that members of the administration had sat in on the board meetings with the very people who perpetrated the fraud?  Does anyone doubt that there would have been a feeding frenzy?  Does anyone imagine there wouldn’t have been cries of “Who knew what and when did they know it?”
In our transforming America, what is the reaction to the Obama administration’s intimate relationship to the collapse of their flagship green technology company?  Silence.  Unless you follow the alternative media you wouldn’t even know there was a problem.  The masses of voters who get their news from the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media or their comedic fellow-travelers, Jay Leno, John Stewart, and company have no idea of the scheme which has flushed over 500 million dollars down the tube, into someone’s pocket and probably future political contributions to the very people who signed the check.
Not only is the hypocrisy stunning the chutzpa and hubris of our cynical leaders is breathtaking.  The Obama Administration, which operates in accord with Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, has embraced the Cloward/Piven Strategy to collapse the economy through over the top spending.  With a world collapsing around us because of debt they continue to spend and spend and spend.
What should we do?  How should American citizens react to this betrayal of the public trust?  We should demand our money back and we should demand that those involved be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com/ View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens.

Thursday, September 15, 2011



So we ponder: a president who was born into a well-to-do, well-educated family of socialists; who was brewed and steeped his entire life in Marxist/socialist thought and ideas; and who himself was educated in prestigious, extremely “progressive” schools, ultimately entering an honorable profession.

He had long harbored dreams of fundamentally changing the country into socialism, ostensibly using democratic means. Entering politics, and reportedly mastering its arts, he rose to the rank of senator. Seeking greater power to carry out his “dreams”, he pursued and won his party’s nomination for president. His campaign, run “brilliantly” according to his admirers, consisted largely of populist platitudes, and promises such as free healthcare for all and more power and influence for unions. It was his moment, and the election was his.

The suave, professorial new president had inherited a recession, but the recession was on the wane, and in fact officially over within a few months. Nonetheless, he and his economic team used Keynesian pump priming to, among other things, “boost consumer demand.” People, and government at all levels, began buying things they could not afford. Viewing himself as having a mandate to implement his dreams, he began effectively nationalizing banks and other industries using arcane paper transactions, and worked diligently to “redistribute income.” On the inter- national front he began cozying up to Cuba, China, and countries of similar ilk, outraging many old Washington hands.

The Keynesian and socialist methods, as ever, produced extremely negative results. With the economy in shambles well into year three of his first term, and no solution in sight, he still refused to give up his “dreams”. Having over-promised to his union supporters, union violence was on the rise. Losing support in congress, he turned with increasing frequency to issuing executive orders, often justified by statements such as “I am the president!” Members of his own party began openly disparaging him. Then came the portent date of September 11th.

But the year was not 2011, it was 1973; and the president was not Barak Obama of the United States, it was Salvador Allende of Chile. Before the sun had set on September 11, 1973, a military coup had taken place and Allende had committed suicide in the presidential palace.

For nearly three years now, this writer has thought the parallels between Obama and Allende striking. It is more than a cliché that “those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. Obama has gone to great lengths to keep the people of the United States from finding out what he may or may not have studied, but it appears he has not learned much history. The questions for us to ponder at this moment are how far down the road to perdition will Barak Obama seek to “lead” us, and how far will we permit him to do so?

MO Atty


Credit for some of the above detail belongs to Salvador Allende: His Political Life… and Afterlife by Peter Winn; while Mr. Winn seems much fonder of Allende than your writer, I did not want to be accused of drawing on anti-Allende sources for this information.

Life is Cheap. Death is Cheaper!

Two remarkable news stories came and went this week with little to no fanfare. In one case a jury awarded a couple $4.5 million for not aborting their son and in another, a women was given a three year suspended sentence after strangling her newborn son to death. The juxtaposition the two stories is utterly remarkable.

Jury Awards West Palm Beach Parents of Child Born With No Arms, One Leg $4.5 Million

With the heartbreaking image of the small boy etched into their minds, jurors found Palm Beach Gardens obstetrician Dr. Marie Morel, OB/GYN Specialists of the Palm Beaches and Perinatal Specialists of the Palm Beaches responsible for not detecting the boy's horrific disabilities before he was born. The amount they awarded is half of the $9 million Ana Mejia and Rodolfo Santana were seeking for their son, Bryan.

During a roughly two-week-long trial that ended Wednesday, Mejia and Santana claimed they would have never have brought Bryan into the world had they known about his horrific disabilities. Had Morel and technicians at OB/GYN Specialists of the Palm Beaches and Perinatal Specialists of the Palm Beaches properly administered two ultrasounds and seen he was missing three limbs, the West Palm Beach couple said they would have terminated the pregnancy.

I wonder if a child aborted on the premise of anatomical abnormalities found on ultrasound, who was instead extracted without deformity would have been given the same financial benefit. Hell, my son had a girls name for 4 months prior to birth because we were told he was in fact a she. Wonder what that error could have been worth?

Infanticide Conviction Nets Alberta Woman Suspended Sentence

The Wetaskiwin, Alta., woman convicted of infanticide for killing her newborn son, was given a three-year suspended sentence Friday by an Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench judge.

Katrina Effert was 19 on April 13, 2005, when she secretly gave birth in her parents' home, strangled the baby boy with her underwear and threw the body over a fence into a neighbour's yard.

She silently wept as Justice Joanne Veit outlined the reasons for the suspended sentence. Effert will have to abide by conditions for the next three years but she won't spend time behind bars for strangling her newborn son.

In her judgment, the judge rejected arguments from the Crown that the single father and the grandparent also face "the same stresses of the mind" as a mother who kills her own baby.

The fact that Canada has no abortion laws reflects that "while many Canadians undoubtedly view abortion as a less than ideal solution to unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancy, they generally understand, accept and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and childrbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support," she writes.

The judge noted that infanticide laws and sentencing guidelines were not altered when the government made many changes to the Criminal Code in 2005, which she says shows that Canadians view the law as a "fair compromise of all the interests involved."

"Naturally, Canadians are grieved by an infant's death, especially at the hands of the infant's mother, but Canadians also grieve for the mother."

If it makes you feel better "mom" is still appealing a 16 day jail sentence for throwing her baby's body over the fence.

Mark Steyn calls it "Fourth Trimester Abortion" and wonders aloud how far into life this logic might apply?

So a superior court judge in a relatively civilized jurisdiction is happy to extend the principles underlying legalized abortion in order to mitigate the killing of a legal person — that’s to say, someone who has managed to make it to the post-fetus stage. How long do those mitigating factors apply? I mean, “onerous demands”-wise, the first month of a newborn’s life is no picnic for the mother. How about six months in? The terrible twos?

Speaking of “onerous demands,” suppose you’re a “mother without support” who’s also got an elderly relative around with an “onerous” chronic condition also making inroads into your time?

I would argue that many are already nibbling around the edges!

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US to Citizens in Syria: Get Out Immediately

Sign of something more?:
The United States on Thursday urged U.S. citizens to leave Syria immediately, saying the government's violent crackdown on peaceful protests had led to an uncertain and volatile situation.

"The U.S. Department of State urges U.S. citizens in Syria to depart immediately while commercial transportation is available," the department said in a warning notice, adding future plans by U.S. citizens to travel to Syria should be deferred.

The State Department had ordered eligible family members of U.S. government employees and certain non-emergency embassy personnel to leave Syria in April.
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White House in 2010: Solyndra "Illustration" of How Effective Stimulus Bill Is (With Video)

If you are searching for evidence that the Obama Administration intentionally blinded itself over the coming collapse of Solyndra, you may just have struck gold.

President Obama visited Solyndra, Inc. in May of 2010 to tout the "innovative" company that was "driving progress" across America. Of course, we all know today that Solyndra has gone belly up, only surviving default two years ago thanks to a massive bailout from President Obama.

Not only did President Obama make a speech on how great Solyndra was, but the White House released an article touting it as one of the greatest businesses in the United States. Most damning, however, is the way that the Administration tied Solyndra to the "Recovery Act," better known as the Stimulus Act.

The sub-head of the piece declares, "Solyndra: Illustrating a Recovery Act Supply Chain!" It then later ties Solyndra to the Stimulus Bill even more, trumpeting how great the company is:
The Recovery Act’s investment in clean energy is having a ripple effect throughout our economy...Solyndra and Recovery Act investments like this one are helping drive progress across the country.
In fact, the White House was so brazen as to release a promotional video declaring that the Stimulus is responsible for Solyndra:

Possibly the best quote, as stated by a worker:  "And, uh, the Recovery Act bringing in, uh, funds for Solyndra to be able to expand right here in our home area was meant (sic) a lot to me."

At this very time, articles saying that Solyndra would fail soon were being published by the news.  For example, this quote comes from about the same time Obama visited Solyndra, Inc.:
As Solyndra's own CEO points out in an open letter response to the audit, Solyndra's future does depend on finding more financing, either through an IPO or privately. If it doesn't, the leading question about what happens to revolutionary companies that fail.
When that was published, the White House was pushing this:
The direct benefits of this investment are easy to see. The plant expansion now underway has already enabled the creation of over 3,000 construction-related jobs and Solyndra estimates that the new factory could create as many as 1,000 long-term jobs in operations and supply. Likewise, a formerly empty field will soon be home to a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant that produces clean energy products that can be exported to the world.

What the television cameras won’t capture are the indirect benefits of supporting Solyndra. The impact of Solyndra’s success is being felt throughout the chain of companies that supply Solyndra with goods and materials.
Can you spell corruption?

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Bipartisan Group of Senators: US Needs "Big Budget Cuts"

I'm sure President Obama will get right on that *snicker*:
Thirty-six senators from both sides of the aisle are encouraging the so-called super committee to "go big" and cut $4 trillion from future deficits rather than the mere $1.5 trillion in reductions over 10 years that they're tasked to find.

During a press conference Thursday, the bipartisan group spanning the ideological spectrum from Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to Ron Johnson, R-Wis., signed up to "encourage and support" the super committee, encouraging comprehensive tax reform -- reducing deductions and using at least some of the proceeds to lower tax rates.

"Be brave. Be bold. Go big," said Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

The bipartisan group issued a "statement of principles" urging the 12-member panel to "include long-term entitlement reforms and pro-growth tax reform" in their final product.

It also called for the super committee to focus on "the major parts of the budget and include long-term entitlement reforms and pro-growth tax reform;" and it suggested the changes be "structured to grow the economy in the short, medium and long-term."
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Palestinians to Seek Full U.N. Membership Next Friday

Thanks, Obama:
The Palestinians will ask the Security Council next week to accept them as a full member of the United Nations, the top Palestinian diplomat said Thursday -- a move that comes in defiance of Washington's threat to veto the statehood bid.

The remarks by Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki put an end to speculation that the Palestinians might avoid a showdown with the United States by sidestepping the Security Council and going directly to the U.N. General Assembly to seek a lesser status of a non-member observer.

The U.S. does not wield veto power in the General Assembly, and a Palestinian bid there would be expected to win majority approval.

The Palestinians will likely still end up at the General Assembly with scaled-back ambitions, however, if the U.S. exercises its veto power in the Security Council as expected.

The U.S. has been on a furious diplomatic offensive to try to keep the Palestinians from going to the U.N. in their statehood quest, saying negotiations are the only way to produce a Palestinian state.

Israel also opposes the U.N. move, which the Palestinians launched after concluding that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations -- stalled for nearly three years -- were not going to produce any breakthroughs at this time.
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Jobless Claims Rise "Unexpectedly" to 428,000

New claims for jobless benefits hit the highest level since late June last week and a gauge of New York state factory activity contracted in September, sustaining the view the Federal Reserve would take new action to boost growth...

The number of Americans filing new claims for state unemployment aid rose unexpectedly to 428,000 in the week ended September 10 from a revised 417,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said.

It was the second straight weekly increase and took initial claims to their highest level since the week ended June 25. Wall Street analysts expected a modest dip in new claims.

Separately, the New York Federal Reserve Bank said its "Empire State" general business conditions index fell to minus 8.82 in September -- its lowest level since November -- from minus 7.72 the month before. It was the fourth straight month factory activity in the state contracted.
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Solyndra CEO in 2009: Obama "Instrumental" in Securing Loan Guarantee

As you know by now, the Obama Administration gave a $535,000,000 tax-payer funded loan to the green company Solyndra, despite warnings at the time from nearly every sector that it was a bad idea.  The company quickly went belly up, and an investigation has been launched as to why the President pushed so hard to get Solyndra the loan.

According to the White House, there was nothing special about the money given to Solyndra.  Sure, Solyndra VPs donated thousands to the Obama Presidential Campaign, but that was nothing.  The President wasn't playing favorites, they say, and he didn't campaign specifically for Solyndra over other companies.  However, according to a newly found press release on Solyndra's own website, that does not seem to be he case.
Solyndra logo

Solyndra wrote a release when it received the massive loan in March of 2009.  Solyndra CEO and Founder Chris Gronet thanked President Obama personally for the money, saying:
"The leadership and actions of President Barack Obama, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, and the U.S. Congress were instrumental in concluding this offer for a loan guarantee.”
After touting how fiscally sound the loan was, and how Solyndra would be very successful, Dr. Gronet added:
"This expansion is really about creating new jobs while meaningfully impacting global warming."
Later in the article, Kelly Truman, Solyndra’s Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Business Development, touted the great financial position Solyndra was in:
“DOE, in consultation with independent consultants, performed a thorough investigation and analysis of our project’s financial, technical and legal strengths. We are proud to be the first company to pass this comprehensive review, and we would like to acknowledge the exceptional efforts of the staff of the DOE Loan Guarantee Program Office.”
Of course, this was later found out to be a complete lie.  Solyndra has gone belly-up, as most analysts predicted it would.  President Obama claims that he did not play favorites, yet Solyndra's CEO and founder personally thanked him for getting him the loan.

Almost as bad is the article's claim that approximately 4,000 jobs would be created with the 535 million dollar loan.  That's $134,000 per job.  But guess what: that all fell through.  So now it went from bad ($134,000 per job) to atrocious ($535,000,000 for no jobs).

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Panetta to Pakistan: Clean Up Your Act, Or We Will

When Leon Panetta was first nominated for Defense Secretary, I was a little hesitant. He was a former White House Chief of Staff under Bill Clinton and a former Democrat Representative for sixteen years. I focused on his politics, and now regret that decision, especially with today's news.

Secretary Panetta has a message for Pakistan: dismantle the Haqqani network, which was responsible for the deadly attack on Kabul last week, and which operates out of the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan, or we will.

With the War in Afghanistan shifting from defeating al-Qaida and Taliban forces, which we have successfully done since the Afghan troop surge early 2010, to stopping the Haqqani network from executing their deadly attacks, Secretary Panetta's message should cause the Pakistani government to pause.

The United States means business. We are going to win this War in Afghanistan, and since our soldiers have done their job incredibly well in Afghanistan - now it is time for you to your job in Pakistan. But our patience is running out and the job will be done with, or without your assistance.

Secretary Panetta has impressed me with his leadership in the Defense Department.

What say you on this very important news involving Pakistan's role in our ongoing War in Afghanistan?

Wyclef Jean Hearts Sarah Palin?

“I have to tell you this: I am a huge fan of Sarah Palin,” the former Fugee said. “Cause she’s rad. She’s shrewd. She’s cool. Because at the end of the day, I’m for the people, because this is the United States of America...this is what America’s really about. Anyone should have the right to say, ‘Look I can do the job and this is what qualifies me to do the job.’….Now my wife probably will debate and disagree with me.”

“I’m not saying she could be the next president, you know, but there’s something about her. Heavy debates in my house. Whenever I say Sarah Palin, people think I’m crazy, but I like her, I do. I can like whoever. This is America, right?

Sure this is America, but some things you just aren't supposed to say. I fear that Mr. Jean will soon find what is considered acceptable discourse to the progressive left and what is not.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Breaking: Solyndra Vice Presidents Gave $4,600 to Obama, Founder $1,000 to Barbara Boxer

This adds another level to the Solyndra story which is quickly blossoming. Solyndra's swift collapse and the $500 millions rushed to it by the Obama Administration has raised more than just eyebrows.

Now it appears that President Obama's political campaign received over $2,000 from the now-defunct company's Senior Vice President for Marketing, Karen Alter. In addition to giving over $10,000 to the DNC, Alter also donated $2,300 to Barack Obama's Presidential Campaign in 2008.

You can see her other donations here.

Executive Vice President of Operations and Engineering Ben Bierman also added to the Obama gravy train. In 2011, months after filing bankruptcy and three months before the FBI raid, he coughed up $1,000 for the Obama campaign himself. In 2008 he donated $1,300 to Obama's campaign as well as thousands for other left-leaning causes.

You can see this here.

Complicating things even further, the company's founder and former CEO Christian Gronet gave $1,000 to California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer just last year, just a month after President Obama visited the company.

You can see Gronet's donation here.

This raises more than just questions. Bierman's donations seem almost too-well placed in 2011, almost like trying to buy protection for the company before the FBI raid.

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Attack Watch Twitter Account Following... Glenn Beck, WND, and Drudge Report

As you know by now, the Obama Administration has set up the website Attack Watch.  The site's purpose is to "discredit" or "disprove" negative press about President Obama.  It's tagline reads, "Get the facts.  Fight the smears," and declares:
This screenshot comes directly from a url that is from BarackObama.com. You may also notice the Red, Black, and White color scheme, (maybe not so) ironically the same that the Nazi flag used.  But that's besides the point.

Attack Watch also has a Twitter account.  They already have over 5,000 tattl--- I mean, followers.  Attack Watch also follows (at this time) 19 accounts.  The first few are to be expected:  Barack Obama, Vice President Biden, Think Progress, and the Huffington Post.

But then it gets a bit strange.  After a little bit of looking, it turns out Attack Watch also follows... Glenn Beck and Matt Drudge:
World Net Daily and then Drudge Report again (albeit the actual site this time):
So either Attack Watch is secretly conservative, is pretending not to be incredibly liberal, or is following these accounts in order to take info off of them in order to smear them.  I think we all know which one is probably the case.

Either way, what a waste of time and money.

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Vote- Ron Paul: Genius or Lunatic?

When talking about Congressman Ron Paul, there is almost always a sharp, polarized divide.  For those who like him, he is an intelligent realist who has the guts to say what other politicians wish they could.  To his detractors, he is a dangerous kook that should just retire.

So, we here at Pundit Press figured that this would be a good poll topic.  Ron Paul: Genius or Lunatic?  Vote below:

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9/11 Memorial in NJ Inscribed With Names of Politicians, Not Victims

A piece of inscribed granite that was part of a 9/11 memorial in front of a New Jersey municipal building was removed Wednesday, just days after its dedication, because it contained the names of politicians, not victims.

"It made my blood boil," said retired Washington Township police officer Dennis Ryan, 55, who complained about the marker publicly after attending Sunday's 10th anniversary ceremony.

The marker sat next to a piece of steel from the World Trade Center, and while it acknowledged the 10th anniversary of the attack, the only names listed were the mayor and the town's committee members and administrator.

Mayor Samir Elbassiouny, whose name was on the stone, said it was just a small part of the main memorial.

"If I offended anyone, I apologize," said Elbassiouny.
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Coverage of Turner Victory in NY9

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Nude Scarlett Johansson Photos... Being Investigated by FBI

Sorry folks, probably not the article you were hoping for:
The FBI is investigating the release of nude photos allegedly hacked from Scarlett Johannson’s phone, FoxNews.com has learned.

"The FBI is aware of the alleged hacking incident and is looking into it," an FBI official told FoxNews.com.

Private cell phone snaps the star allegedly took of herself surfaced on the Internet Wednesday.

One photo, posted to Buzzfeed.com (NSFW), seems to show Johansson draped in nothing but a towel, taking a photo of her exposed backside reflected in a mirror.

Another photo seems to show the Golden Globe-winning actress in a topless self-portrait.
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Finding: Bush Said NO to Solyndra Loan, Obama Pushed to Make it "First Loan Recipient"

The feces may very well be hitting the fan. Or, at least, it would if more of the Main Stream Media would cover this:
Newly uncovered emails show the White House closely monitored the Energy Department's deliberations over a $535 million government loan to Solyndra, the politically-connected solar energy firm that recently went bankrupt and is now the subject of a criminal investigation.

The company's solar panel factory was heralded as a centerpiece of the president's green energy plan -- billed as a way to jump start a promising new industry. And internal emails uncovered by investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee that were shared exclusively with ABC News show the Obama administration was keenly monitoring the progress of the loan, even as analysts were voicing serious concerns about the risk involved. "This deal is NOT ready for prime time," one White House budget analyst wrote in a March 10, 2009 email, nine days before the administration formally announced the loan.

"If you guys think this is a bad idea, I need to unwind the W[est] W[ing] QUICKLY," wrote Ronald A. Klain, who was chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden, in another email sent March 7, 2009. The "West Wing" is the portion of the White House complex that holds the offices of the president and his top staffers. Klain declined comment to ABC News.

Beginning in March, ABC News, in partnership with the Center for Public Integrity's iWatch News, was first to report on simmering questions about the role political influence may have played in Solyndra's selection as the Obama administration's first loan guarantee recipient. Federal auditors had flagged the loan, saying some applicants had benefitted from special treatment.
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Officials: EU May "Rip Apart"

The eurozone crisis could wreck the European Union, top EU officials warned on Wednesday as the leaders of Germany and France held talks with Greece to avoid a default and widespread chaos.

The pressure rose on all fronts with United States again expressing great concern, with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner saying European states "now recognise they are going to have to do more" to resolve to the crisis.

Highlighting the threat to the global economy, Geithner is to exceptionally attend talks between European Union finance ministers and central bankers in Poland on Friday.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou were to hold a teleconference late Wednesday as markets price in a default by the government in Athens, and credit rating giant Moody's downgraded two major French banks given their exposure to Greek debt.

"Europe is in danger," Polish Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski, whose country currently chairs EU meetings, told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
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New York Post on Turner Victory

New York Post victory lap
This is why we love the New York Post at Pundit Press.

Jewish Vote Swings NY-9 to GOP

Republican Bob Turner pulled off the upset of the 2011 political calender last night: winning New York's 9th congressional district with 54% of the vote, becoming the first Republican representative of this Queens area district in nearly nine decades.

However, the reasoning behind the victory should not be lost on politicos and common observers.

Democrats did not break rank and support Bob Turner because he was running against the economic failures of Barack Obama, but because he ran against the foreign policy naivete of Obama on Israel in this very, very New York Jewish district that suggests a seismic shift in the political landscape.

New York's 9th district only supported Barack Obama 55-44% in the 2008 election, which in terms of New York City is surprising, but that's due to the heavy Jewish and foreign policy concentration in the district. The results last night indicate the electoral swing of political Jews to the Republican Party, at long last, because of Obama's hostile and downright anti-Israeli worldviews.

Robert Turner (R) - 32,446 - 54%.
David Weprin (D) - 27,669 - 46%.

What say you?

Wednesday Bush-a-thon

 For Pundit Press' readers:

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NY-9 Special Election Results: GOP Wins

Let the gloating and celebrations begin. The AP declares Bob Turner the winner of the special election to replace disgraced Congressman Anthony Wiener.

You could say that democrats limped to the polls and underperformed in every area.....

September 13, 2011 - 11:55PM ET(i) = incumbent= winner= runoff
U.S. House - District 9 - Special General
CountyPrecinctsDavid Weprin
Bob Turner
C. Hoeppner
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Michelle Obama No Longer Proud of Her Country?

Well it didn't take long for the First Lady to lose all her newfound respect for her country.

I am not sure what is worse. Her sentiments or the Presidents agreement.

Just for a flag? Even with all her years being around those who hold high public office Mrs. Obama does not seem to understand the purpose and importance of ceremonies. They reaffirm the bonds of loyalty and fellowship that cement our national unity. Yes, at one level a flag is just a colorful piece of cloth. But it symbolizes much more. It is the emblem of our land and all its ideals. It has been present at every major event of any importance to the country, battles, celebrations, meetings, and the lunar landings. It is a symbol of unity that transcends party, faction and time. It is something uniquely and explicitly American. Men and women have fought and died for it. Our enemies hate us for it and burn it in the streets. All that should mean something.

Perhaps Mrs. Obama thinks that all the pomp and circumstance she experiences in her daily life has something to do with her, rather than the unofficial office she holds. If so she should disabuse herself of that notion quickly. The official gestures of respect shown to her are the same shown to any First Lady, and if she wasn’t married to the president she would be just another citizen. Ruffles and flourishes are not hers by right, but by coincidence of marriage. Yet this is the same woman who said she had never in her adult life been really proud of America before her husband ran for president, so it is no wonder she might dismiss a flag ceremony as just so much nonsense.

All this just for a flag? Has anyone said, “all this just for Michelle Obama?”

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New York 9th District Results

Check out the latest results here.

Here are the official final results:
Robert Turner (R) - 32,446 - 54%
David Weprin (D) - 27,669 - 46%

Michele Bachmann Ceases to be a Viable Presidential Candidate

Argue all you want that Governor Perry erred in implementing HPV vaccinations through executive order, but to say that vaccinations of any sort causes mental retardation is beyond ridiculous, bordering on Jenny McCarthyism.


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rush says she has jumped the shark.

She makes herself sound like an anti-science luddite. Time to pack it in and work on her reelection campaign!

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Guest Post: Disasters Test Hospitals Social Media Strategies

 Disasters Test Hospitals Social Media Strategies

This article is compliments of Erik Braunitzer of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, serving up Luxury Bronx Condos.

Irene was the first major hurricane to affect the East coast since 2008 and caused the 714 bed Stanton Island University Hospital to shut its doors for the first time in 150 years. After patients were quickly shuttled to other area hospitals on Friday, the usually busy facility was eerily quiet.

SIUH Director of Public Affairs Arleen Ryback said, "There were goodbyes and the ambulances and relay teams it just kept coming and coming. It was also very sad for caregivers to see their patients leave, it was very poignant in many respects."

The decision to evacuate was made on Thursday evening, well ahead of Mayor Bloomberg's mandatory evacuation deadline of 8pm Friday. The unprecedented event was chaos free, but left an air of sadness among the staff.

While all hospitals must have a Hospital Emergency Incident Command System in place, few actually ever use it. SIUH recently received a review for HEICS, which concluded that social media was essential for communication during a time of disaster. Ms. Ryback stated, "The reviewers were very impressed that we were set up to use social media in the event of an emergency. Not all hospitals are set up to do that." She went on to say that SIUH wanted to have all communication bases covered for staff, patients and the community.

In the event of disaster, updating staff or the community would be impossible without rapid communication tools such as Twitter and Facebook. Email can't keep up and is often inaccessible during those times. Ms. Ryback said, "We were able to measure and track people's responses during the hurricane. We also sent out notifications to local newspapers and they put the information up on their accounts.”

Some helpful tools for hospitals include widgets from the American Red Cross that are easily placed on blogs or websites, and a Twitter feed from the National Public Health Information Coalition that collects updates from states affected by natural disasters.

Another New York area hospital, North Shore LIJ Health System, has a dedicated YouTube channel. During Hurricane Irene, it showed a video of CEO Michael Dowling talking about the city's evacuation plan. Mr. Dowling is a big advocate of technology in the hospital setting and has said that it plays a large part in the strategic plan of North Shore LIJ.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg expressed his appreciation of medical staff efforts by saying, "[Thank you to those] who carried out the incredibly well-done evacuation of more than 7,000 hospital patients and residents of nursing homes and other residential facilities in the low-lying coastal areas."

Since the hurricane, SIUH has been busy playing host to a lot of media reporters and talking about the historic evacuation. Arleen Ryback was going to show one of the photographers all the empty beds in the emergency section, but to her surprise, they were already filling up again, including two babies in the infirmary.

The hospital is slowly returning to its pre-storm state and the staff is not only happy, but also well-prepared should disaster strike again in the future.

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