Tuesday, November 30, 2010
"In a 39-56 vote, members defeated a temporary ban on the appropriations procedure. The moratorium was offered as an amendment to a food-safety bill that is scheduled for a final vote Tuesday morning.
Senate Republicans have already passed a voluntary ban on earmarks in their caucus, but several GOP senators have objected to it. Democrats have so far declined to ban earmarks from their members.
Eight GOP senators voted to preserve earmark spending, including Thad Cochran (Miss.), Susan Collins (Maine), James Inhofe (Okla.), Dick Lugar (Ind.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Richard Shelby (Ala.). Retiring Sen. George Voinovich (Ohio) and defeated Sen. Bob Bennett (Utah) also voted against it.
Two Democrats facing potentially tough reelection battles in 2012 also voted for the earmark moratorium: Sens. Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and Bill Nelson (Fla.)
Retiring Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and defeated Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) also voted for the earmark ban, as did Colorado Sens. Michael Bennet (D) and Mark Udall (D)."
See also Wikileaks Completes Obama's Transformation Into Jimmy Carter
"There have been many comparisons of Barack Obama to Jimmy Carter, focused on the economy. But the continuing leak of documents by Wikileaks has become for Obama what the Iranian hostage crisis was to Carter.
The Wikileaks folks trot the globe with impunity and funnel documents to the press at will, for the purpose of damaging U.S. relations with other countries, our war efforts, and our intelligence capability. And we do almost nothing about it.
We are the laughingstock of the world, an impotent superpower whose response to those who aid our enemies is to write a letter asking them not to do it. Yes, Harold Koh the State Department's chief lawyer, sent a demand freakin' letter to Wikileaks."
"Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk was sworn into office Monday night, becoming the first of more than a dozen new Republicans to join the Senate after their party's sweeping wins earlier this month.
Kirk, a five-term congressman, bested Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) to win the Senate seat once held by President Obama. His succession of appointed Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.). gives the GOP 42 seats in the Senate and, by virtue of Illinois's electoral law, enabled him to be seated six weeks ahead on the other new members of the Senate Class of 2010.
At the swearing-in, administered on the Senate floor by Vice President Biden, Kirk was accompanied by Illinois's senior senator, Richard Durbin (D), as well as Peter Fitzgerald, the last Republican to represent Illinois in the Senate."
Monday, November 29, 2010
"If it weren’t for real, the parody would be stunning. The Royal Navy is selling HMS Invincible, a storied aircraft carrier, in an Internet auction. I don’t know whether to be more melancholy over the decline of the once-great Royal Navy, or to laugh at the postmodern madness of it all."
"Ireland on Sunday reached agreement with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union for an emergency bailout package worth $90 billion, a rescue meant to both shore up that nation's buckling banks and confront investor fears that Dublin's problems are spreading to other European nations.
It remains unclear, however, if the deal would be enough to restore market confidence in other debt-laden E.U. nations, including Portugal and Spain, that have come under attack by investors in recent weeks and risked a run on the euro.
As part of the package, European financial chiefs agreed that investors, thus far shielded from losses in Ireland and Greece, which received a bailout in May, might need to take losses in future debt crises. Attempting to blunt market fears, however, they said such losses would not be automatic and would only happen in extreme circumstances."
Video embedded below.
"JONES: OK finally, man because I’ve never raised this with you, because it’s a subject I just leave alone with folks because I don’t want to cause people problems. But you brought it up with Geraldo Rivera, who says he is concerned about building 7, and I want to put the question you put to him to you. I mean, what do you think of Geraldo Rivera coming out — what do you think of 7?
NAPOLITANO: It’s hard for me to believe that it came down by itself. I was gratified to see Geraldo Rivera investigating it. I am gratified to see that people across the board are interested.
I think twenty years from now, people will look at 9-11 the way we look at the assassination of JFK today. It couldn’t possibly have been done the way the government told us.
JONES: Well, I want to tell you this. You’ve got a lot of courage, Judge, and so does Geraldo Rivera. I don’t agree with him on some of his more liberal political views, but I do resonate with his courage, and I resonate with yours, and I already had the highest respect for you, but now the thermometer just broke. And the mercury — geysering out of it right now. Judge, you are a great American, and I just can’t wait till your show is number one on Fox Business, when you’re on regular Fox full time, because no army can stop an idea whose time has come."
"You know right away when they use the term "Asian" in the headline that they're talking about Muslims. It's so obvious. If they were Chinese, Japanese or Filipino they'd be identified as such. But the politically-correct cowards in Britain can't even brings themselves to identify these scumbags for what they are."
"Asian gangs, schoolgirls and a sinister taboo: As nine men are jailed for grooming up to 100 for sex, the disturbing trend few dare talk about
The three girls from decent families have, almost certainly, never met. Yet each has become caught up in what’s believed to be the biggest case of serial sex abuse ever uncovered in Britain. This week, nine men from Derby were jailed for a string of offences against these girls and 24 others whom they groomed for sex.
The gang — all but one of whom were Asian — roamed the streets in a BMW with blacked-out windows looking for girls. They plied them with vodka from bottles and plastic cups hidden under the seats, before raping or abusing them. They were not the only victims in Derby. Up to 100 girls may have been ensnared in this horror after being lured by the smartly-dressed gang into the car outside school gates, shops, coffee bars near the city’s railway station and a local park.
And then there is a controversial, but relevant, cultural issue. Asian men of Pakistani heritage often believe white girls have low morals compared with Muslim girls. ‘They wear what they call “slags” clothing, showing much of their bodies and “deserve what they get”,’ an Asian social worker in the north of England has told me."
"Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said that the Wall is part of occupied eastern Jerusalem and that its historic, cultural, and religious characteristics must not be changed.
PA Deputy Information Minister Al-Mutawakkil Taha stated in a study he published that the Wall is Islamic Waqf and an integral part of Al-Aqsa mosque, that the Jews have no historical religious ties to it, and that not a single stone or grain of soil from it or from the other holy sites can be relinquished.
Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine Sheikh Muhammad Hussein said that Al-Aqsa mosque belongs to the Muslims alone and that the occupation will not manage to plunder the Arab and Islamic identity of Jerusalem."
"Democrats are supposed to work towards the goal of social justice, right? So why is it that so many policies supported by California Democrats end up harming poor people and minorities?"
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Good luck collecting...
"Angeles Duran, 49, told the online edition of daily El Mundo she took the step in September after reading about an American man who had registered himself as the owner of the moon and most planets in our solar system.
"There was no snag, I backed my claim legally, I am not stupid, I know the law. I did it but anyone else could have done it, it simply occurred to me first."
Duran, who lives in the town of Salvaterra do Mino, said she now wants to slap a fee on everyone who uses the sun and give half of the proceeds to the Spanish government and 20 percent to the nation's pension fund.
She would dedicate another 10 percent to research, another 10 percent to ending world hunger -- and would keep the remaining 10 percent herself."
Scott Johnson points out some hypocrisy on the part of the NY Times.
"The New York Times is participating in the dissemination of the stolen State Department cables that have been made available to it in one way or another via WikiLeaks. My friend Steve Hayward recalls that only last year the New York Times ostentatiously declined to publish or post any of the Climategate e-mails because they had been illegally obtained. Surely readers will recall Times reporter Andrew Revkin's inspiring statement of principle: "The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won't be posted here."
Interested readers may want to compare and contrast Revkin's statement of principle with the editorial note posted by the Times on the WikiLeaks documents this afternoon. Today the Times cites the availability of the documents elsewhere and the pubic interest in their revelations as supporting their publication by the Times. Both factors applied in roughly equal measure to the Climategate emails."
"A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at back-room bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.
Some of the cables, made available to The New York Times and several other news organizations, were written as recently as late February, revealing the Obama administration’s exchanges over crises and conflicts. The material was originally obtained by WikiLeaks, an organization devoted to revealing secret documents. WikiLeaks posted 220 cables, some redacted to protect diplomatic sources, in the first installment of the archive on its Web site on Sunday."
"ICE appears to be targeting sites that help Internet users download copyrighted music, as well as sites that sell bootleg goods, such as fake designer handbags.
The sites are replaced with a note from the government: "This domain named has been seized by ICE, Homeland Security Investigations."
One of the site owners told TorrentFreak that his site was shut down without any notice or warning.
The effort comes as Congress considers the Combatting Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). Critics, including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) say it is too heavy-handed. He has vowed to put a formal hold on the bill."
"A British tourist has become the world's most travelled man after spending a lifetime circling the globe, clocking up 15 million miles, 718 Concorde flights and 139 countries on the way.
Wealthy Fred Finn, 70, holds the official record for the most miles travelled by a passenger after visiting an incredible 70 per cent of the world's 196 nations.
Fred has since spent 52 years travelling the globe, during which he has covered 15million miles - the equivalent of travelling to the moon and back 31 times.
He has kept a detailed log of every flight and train journey he has taken, which he had counter-signed by each driver and pilot to verify his achievement."
"A spacecraft has tasted oxygen in the atmosphere of another world for the first time while flying low over Saturn's icy moon, Rhea.
Nasa's Cassini probe scooped oxygen from the thin atmosphere of the planet's moon while passing overhead at an altitude of 97km in March this year.
Until now, wisps of oxygen have only been detected on planets and their moons indirectly, using the Hubble space telescope and other major facilities.
Instruments aboard Cassini revealed an extremely thin oxygen and carbon dioxide atmosphere that is sustained by high-energy particles slamming into the moon's surface and kicking up atoms, molecules and ions."
"Syphilis, lice, gonorrhea, ringworm, chlamydia, staph, strep, noro and papilloma viruses all are part of the possible fringe benefits when airline passengers next go through a full hands-on pat-down by agents of the federal government's Transportation Security Administration, according to doctors.
WND reported two days ago on alarmed passengers who noted that TSA agents doing the pat-downs that have been described by critics as molestation since they include touching private body parts were not changing gloves betweenpassengers. In fact, some apparently were patting down dozens of passengers or more wearing the same gloves.
But neither the TSA nor federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control was willing to comment on the possibilities that infections and other loathsome afflictions could be passed from passenger to passenger.
Now two doctors – and several others – have confirmed that there is the definite possibility that passengers will be able to catch whatever someone in front of them in line was suffering from via the latex gloves TSA workers use."
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Somali-Born Teen Arrested For Attempted Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Bombing in Portland (Oregon)
"A Somali-born teenager was arrested on Friday for attempting to detonate what he thought was a car bomb at a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in Oregon, officials said.
Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction in connection with an alleged plot to bomb the annual event in downtown Portland, the Justice Department said late on Friday.
The bomb was a fake and had been provided to Mohamud as part of a long-term sting by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, federal officials said in a statement.
Thousands of people attended the tree lighting in a popular Portland square lined with shops and offices. Officials said the public had never been in danger at any time during the sting operation, which lasted months.
Mohamud was taken into custody near the square after he attempted to use a cellphone to trigger what he believed was a car bomb, according to a government complaint. He lashed out at agents, yelling and kicking them, and had to be restrained, it said."
"Having admittedly "reached the end of [his] rope," President Barack Obama sent a rambling 75,000-word e-mail to the entire nation Wednesday, revealing deep frustrations with America's political culture, his presidency, U.S. citizens, and himself.
The e-mail, which was titled "A couple things," addressed countless topics in a dense, stream-of-consciousness rant that often went on for hundreds of words without any punctuation or paragraph breaks. Throughout, the president expressed his aggravation on subjects as disparate as the war in Afghanistan, the sluggish economic recovery, his live-in mother-in-law, China's undervalued currency, Boston's Logan Airport, and tort reform.
According to its timestamp, the e-mail was sent at 4:26 a.m."
"A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of inciting religious hatred after allegedly burning an English language version of the Koran.
The 15-year-old, who lives in the West Midlands, allegedly posted the video, filmed two weeks ago on her school premises, on Facebook.
The video was reported to the school and subsequently removed, police said.
A 14-year-old boy was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of making threats. Both have been released on police bail.
It is thought the girl, who lives in the Sandwell Council area, was allegedly filmed setting the booklet alight while other pupils watched.
Two Facebook profiles have also been removed from the site, police added."
Head of Household of Four Making Minimum Wage Has More Disposable Income Than a Family Making $60,000 a Year
"Emmerich analyzes disposable income and economic benefits among several key income classes and comes to the stunning (and verifiable) conclusion that "a one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimum wage) has more disposable income than a family making $60,000 a year." And that excludes benefits from Supplemental Security Income disability checks. America is now a country which punishes those middle-class people who not only try to work hard, but avoid scamming the system."
Head to the source for the numeric breakdown/proof.
"But there is an alternative narrative, developed by those who can't shake their reverence for Obama. If a president of this quality and insight has failed, it must be because his opponents are uniquely evil, coordinated and effective. The problem is not Obama but the ruthless conspiracy against him.
So what is the proof of this charge? It seems to have something to do with Republicans criticizing quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve. And opposing federal spending. And, according to Benen, creating "massive economic uncertainty by vowing to gut the national health care system."
One is tempted to respond that it is $1 trillion in new debt, the prospect of higher taxes and a complicated, disruptive health-reform law that have created "massive economic uncertainty." For the purposes of this argument, however, it is sufficient to say that all these economic policy debates have two sides.
Yet this is precisely what the sabotage theorists must deny. They must assert that the case for liberal policies is so self-evident that all opposition is malevolent. But given the recent record of liberal economics, policies that seem self-evident to them now seem questionable to many. Objective conditions call for alternatives. And Republicans are advocating the conservative alternatives - monetary restraint, lower spending, lower taxes - they have embraced for 30 years."
"Researchers at Cern, home of the Large Hadron Collider, have held 38 antihydrogen atoms in place, each for a fraction of a second.
Antihydrogen has been produced before but it was instantly destroyed when it encountered normal matter.
The team, reporting in Nature, says the ability to study such antimatter atoms will allow previously impossible tests of fundamental tenets of physics.
Such sculpted magnetic fields that make up the magnetic bottle are not particularly strong, so the trick was to make antihydrogen atoms that didn't have much energy - that is, they were slow-moving.
The team proved that among their 10 million antiprotons and 700 million positrons, 38 stable atoms of antihydrogen were formed, lasting about two tenths of a second each."
"In a video obtained by The Times, a Los Angeles police detective charged with the 1986 murder of an ex-boyfriend's wife admitted to investigators the morning of her arrest that she had confronted the victim on multiple occasions.
But she denied having a role in the killing."
Video embedded below.
"President Barack Obama needed 12 stitches in his upper lip after taking an errant elbow during a pickup basketball game Friday morning with family and friends visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday, the White House said.
First word of the injury came in a statement from press secretary Robert Gibbs nearly three hours after the incident.
The White House did not initially name the person who caused the injury, but identified him later Friday as Rey Decerega, director of programs for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
Obama received the stitches under local anesthesia in the doctor's office on the ground floor of the White House after returning home. Doctors used a smaller filament than typically used, which increases the number of stitches but makes a tighter stitch and leaves a smaller scar."
"John Pistole, the head of the Transportation Security Administration, announced yesterday that full body scanners at airports across the nation will be seamlessly integrated with Facebook next month, allowing travelers to save, tag, and share their near-naked security photos with friends, family, and co-workers through the popular social networking site. Immediately after being subjected to a scan, the traveler’s photo will be automatically uploaded to a public album on Facebook and tagged accordingly."
Friday, November 26, 2010
If the goal of the protest was instead to increase awareness of the new procedures, then it could be considered a success.
"We asked recently if there was any evidence, ever, that the TSA's security procedures prevented an attack on an airplane. Last week the TSA claimed, without any details, that its procedures had stopped 130 "prohibited, illegal or dangerous items" from getting on airplanes in the last year. But it provides no details. And, in a day when a bottle of water and nail clippers are considered "prohibited," it's difficult to judge if this actually means anything.
Over at Slate, Juliet Lapidos tries to dig into the question, but the TSA won't point out a single specific case claiming it's a "national security" issue. Huh? Actually telling us whether or not the naked scans and crotch grabs catch anyone is a state secret? That seems likely to mean that the answer is, no, they have not caught anyone or stopped any attempted attack, and they're just too embarrassed to say so. In fact, Lapidos points out that, in years past, the TSA has publicly announced when it "caught" someone -- as in the one time, nearly three years ago, it found a guy who had enough materials in his (checked) suitcase to make a pipe-bomb. Of course, there wasn't an actual pipe bomb in the suitcase, so it wasn't going to blow up the plane or anything."
"An Arkansas man is taking the Transportation Security Administration to court, claiming new screening searches violate the Constitution.
On a recent trip to Chicago, Dean claims that being subjected to a full-body scan and being patted down by TSA personnel harmed his "emotional, psychological and mental well-being," The Associated Press reported.
"Filing for an injunction will stop these types of invasive measures until we can get a ruling on the constitutionality of this," Dean said, according to FOX 16 TV in Arkansas.
The invasive procedures violate the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, Dean says."
"My fellow Americans in all 57 states, the time has changed for come. With our country founded more than 20 centuries ago, we have much to celebrate – from the FBI’s 100 days to the reforms that bring greater inefficiencies to our health care system. We know that countries like Europe are willing to stand with us in our fight to halt the rise of privacy, and Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s. And let’s face it, everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma and they end up taking up a hospital bed. It costs, when, if you, they just gave, you gave them treatment early, and they got some treatment, and ah, a breathalyzer, or an inhalator. I mean, not a breathalyzer, ah, I don’t know what the term is in Austrian for that…
Of course, the paragraph above is based on a series of misstatements and verbal gaffes made by Barack Obama (I didn’t have enough time to do one for Joe Biden). YouTube links are provided just in case you doubt the accuracy of these all too human slips-of-the-tongue. If you can’t remember hearing about them, that’s because for the most part the media didn’t consider them newsworthy. I have no complaint about that. Everybody makes the occasional verbal gaffe – even news anchors.
Obviously, I would have been even more impressed if the media showed some consistency on this issue. Unfortunately, it seems they couldn’t resist the temptation to turn a simple one word slip-of-the-tongue of mine into a major political headline. The one word slip occurred yesterday during one of my seven back-to-back interviews wherein I was privileged to speak to the American public about the important, world-changing issues before us."
"Apparently the TSA went to Capitol Hill this week to "demonstrate" the new groping pat downs to prove to folks in Congress that they're really not so bad. The only problem? Those watching the gropings seemed to get exactly the opposite sense:
He said that several House staffers were uncomfortable and averted their eyes when the TSA demonstrated an enhanced pat-down in the room of 200 people.
"The dumbest part: they did two pat-down demonstrations -- male on male, and female on female," the House staffer said. And they used a young female TSA volunteer "and in front of a room of 200 people, they touched her breasts and her buttocks. People were averting their eyes. The TSA was trying to demonstrate 'this is not so bad,' but it made people so uncomfortable to watch, that people were averting their eyes."
"They shot themselves in the foot," the staffer continued.
Now, will those in Congress actually do anything about all this?"
I am hopeful but not holding my breath for any quick action.
"German home-owners who have chosen to opt out of Google's Street View service appear to have become the unsuspecting victims of anti-privacy vandals.
Local media report that homes in Essen, west Germany have been pelted with eggs and had 'Google's cool' notices pinned to their doors.
The properties involved have all chosen to be blurred on Google's Street View service.
The search giant distanced itself from the vandalism.
"We respect people's right to remove their house from Street View and by no means consider this to be acceptable behaviour," a Google spokesperson said."
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Video embedded below.
"Palin’s gaffe, made Wednesday during an interview on Glenn Beck’s syndicated radio show, was quickly corrected by her host. But it drew immediate fire from liberal bloggers, who cited it as an example of the 2008 vice presidential candidate’s lack of foreign policy expertise.
The conservative U.S. website The Weekly Standard came to Palin’s defense, pointing out that “she correctly identified North Korea as our enemy literally eight seconds before the mix-up.”"
"A Pennsylvania Jewish group that has claimed the Internal Revenue Service is targeting pro-Israel groups introduced in federal court today a letter from an IRS agent to another, unnamed organization that tax experts said was likely outside the usual or appropriate scope of an IRS inquiry.
"Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?" IRS agent Tracy Dornette wrote the organization, according to this week's court filing, as part of its consideration of the organizations application for tax exempt status. "Describe your organization's religious belief sytem toward the land of Israel."
The IRS can deny tax exempt status to groups that work against "established public policy," a precedent established in its denial of a tax exemption to Bob Jones University over racial discrimination, and Z Street is suggesting that the IRS has begun applying some such policy to pro-Israel groups. The State Department has complained of tax exempt contributions to groups that fund weapons and equipment for West Bank settlers, which Z Street co-founder Lori Lowenthal Marcus said Z Street has never come close to doing.
"Given that we have fallen within this net, how big is the net?" she asked.
Several experts on non-profit tax law said the questions to the organization were unusual, at best, though they were also skeptical of the claim that the IRS is specifically targeting pro-Israel groups."
The Daily Express Becomes The First National Newspaper to Call For Britain to Leave The European Union
"THE Daily Express today becomes the first national newspaper to call for Britain to leave the European Union.
From this day forth our energies will be directed to furthering the cause of those who believe Britain is Better Off Out.
The famous and symbolic Crusader who adorns our masthead will become the figurehead of the struggle to repatriate British sovereignty from a political project that has comprehensively failed.
After far too many years as the victims of Brussels larceny, bullying, over-regulation and all-round interference, the time has come for the British people to win back their country and restore legitimacy and accountability to their political process."
"St. Petersburg, Russia - China and Russia have decided to renounce the US dollar and resort to using their own currencies for bilateral trade, Premier Wen Jiabao and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin announced late on Tuesday.
Chinese experts said the move reflected closer relations between Beijing and Moscow and is not aimed at challenging the dollar, but to protect their domestic economies.
"About trade settlement, we have decided to use our own currencies," Putin said at a joint news conference with Wen in St. Petersburg.
The two countries were accustomed to using other currencies, especially the dollar, for bilateral trade. Since the financial crisis, however, high-ranking officials on both sides began to explore other possibilities."
Menstruating Woman Receives 'Enhanced Pat Down' Because Her Panty-Liner Obscured Her 'Neither Region' on The Naked Body Scanner
"A self-described "rule follower" went through an airport pornoscanner wearing a panty-liner (she was menstruating). Because the hygienic item obscured the screener's view of her
These new scans are so horrible that if you are wearing something unusual (like a piece of cloth on your panties) then you will be subjected to a search where a woman repeatedly has to check your "groin" while another woman watches on (two in my case - they were training in a new girl - awesome). So please, please, tell the ladies not to wear their liners at the airport (I didn't even have an insert in). I'm a strong, confident woman; I'm an Army vet (which is why those camo liners crack me up), I work full-time and go to graduate school full-time, I have a wonderful husband, and I don't take any nonsense from anyone. I don't dramatize, and I don't exaggerate. I'm trying to give you a sense of who I am so you won't think that this is a plea for attention, or a jumping on the bandwagon about the recent TSA proposed boycott. I just don't want another woman to have to go through the "patting down" because she didn't know that her glad-rag would be a matter of national security."
There are plenty of TSA apologists who say that objections to the TSA's invasive "pat-downs" are just whining from people don't want to go through the backscatter radiation machines -- we bring it on ourselves. But as we've seen, anything out of the ordinary -- wearing a fabric pad during menstruation, artificial limbs, medical prostheses, etc -- can send you off for a date with Doctor Jellyfinger, Junior G-Man extraordinaire."
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Video embedded below.
"mark November 22, 2010 in your calendars - today is the day the Ponzi starts in earnest. With today's $8.3 billion POMO monetization, the Fed's official holdings of US Treasury securities now amount to $891.3 billion, which is higher than the second largest holder of US debt: China, which as of September 30 held $884 billion, and Japan, with $864 billion. The purists will claim that the TIC data is as of September 30, and that as the weekly custodial account shows UST buying continues the data is likely not correct. They will be wrong: with the Fed now buying about $30 billion per week, or about $120 billion per month, for the foreseeable future and beyond, it would mean that China would need to buy a comparable amount to be in the standing. It won't. In other words, the Ponzi operation is now complete, and the Fed's monetization of US debt has made it not only the largest holder of such debt, but made external funding checks and balances in the guise of indirect auction bidding, irrelevant."
Head to http://www.therightscoop.com/beck-shirtless-little-boy-screened-by-the-tsa-has-autism for the video.
"A loaded gun magazine was found in the seat-back pocket of a Southwest Airlines plane. By a kid. Don't sweat it, though. It was only left behind by a federal law enforcement agent!
The magazine got kicked out of the pocket and on to the floor by some (terrorist?) kid crawling around on the seats after the plane had landed in Phoenix."
"The delays should come as no surprise to many -- roughly 39.7 million will travel by road this year, a 12 percent increase from last Thanksgiving, according to a AAA travel survey of 50,000 U.S. households conducted during the week of Oct. 25.
With more people traveling for the holiday this year than last, the numbers who chose to fly also went up. Just over 1.62 million holiday travelers are flying the skies, a 3.5 percent increase from last year, AAA said."
"The Missouri man, 19, dialed cops Saturday night to report that he paid $60 to a pair of prostitutes to perform sexual acts for him. As McNames described it, the deal called for one woman to show him her breasts, while the other would perform oral sex on him in the living room of his mobile home at the Columbia Regency Trailer Court.
While “the first woman showed him her chest,” police reported, the second hooker “took the $60 without holding up her end of the deal (oral sex).” The pair then “jumped in their car and left,” according to a police press release. That’s when McNames made the mistake of calling cops to report that he was a larceny victim.
He also requested that officers contact the woman who did not fellate him and “get $40 of his money back,” police reported.
McNames, who admitted knowing that it was illegal to pay for sex, was later arrested for patronizing prostitution."
"For travelers this holiday season, make sure to pack light, keep a sense of humor during an intrusive pat down and, apparently, don't drink too much water.
A passenger on a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Denver was pulled off a plane Tuesday after other passengers said he was taking too many potty breaks, reports 9News.com.
It's unclear if this is was classified as a terror alert yellow or brown, but authorities took it seriously enough to evacuate the plane.
The U.S. Airways flight was checked by K-9 units when it landed in Denver and the unnamed passenger, reportedly of Middle Eastern descent, was detained momentarily and questioned."
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
"This chart slices government spending into four main areas: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, interest on the debt, and other spending (which includes defense). As we can see, if we don’t get our deficit and spending under control, most of our budget will be used to finance the interest we owe on our debt. Note how this share of the spending grows significantly faster than the Medicare and Medicaid part. That being said, the best way to reduce the amount of interest we pay on our debt is to reduce spending on other fast-growing budget items, i.e. entitlement spending.
And this is the best-case scenario. The CBO alternative projects an average interest rate of 4.6 percent from 2010 to 2084, with lower rates in the near future due to the recession."
Video embedded below.
Video embedded below.
"For months, the secret talks unfolding between Taliban and Afghan leaders to end the war appeared to be showing promise, if only because of the appearance of a certain insurgent leader at one end of the table: Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, one of the most senior commanders in the Taliban movement.
But now, it turns out, Mr. Mansour was apparently not Mr. Mansour at all. In an episode that could have been lifted from a spy novel, United States and Afghan officials now say the Afghan man was an impostor, and high-level discussions conducted with the assistance of NATO appear to have achieved little.
“It’s not him,” said a Western diplomat in Kabul intimately involved in the discussions. “And we gave him a lot of money.”
American officials confirmed Monday that they had given up hope that the Afghan was Mr. Mansour, or even a member of the Taliban leadership.
NATO and Afghan officials said they held three meetings with the man, who traveled from in Pakistan, where Taliban leaders have taken refuge.
The fake Taliban leader even met with President Hamid Karzai, having been flown to Kabul on a NATO aircraft and ushered into the presidential palace, officials said."
"Velma Hart, who burst onto the media scene after telling President Obama she was scared about her financial future, has been laid off. Hart was let go as the chief financial officer for Am Vets, a nonprofit Maryland-based veteran services organization.
Hart has become another casualty of the tough economy in which so many people have lost their jobs.
"It's not anything she did," said Jim King, the national executive director of Am Vets. "She got bit by the same snake that has bit a lot of people. It was a move to cut our bottom line. Most not-for-profits are seeing their money pinched."
King would not say whether the organization had had other layoffs.
"Velma was a good employee," he said. "It was just a matter of looking at the bottom line and where could we make the best cuts and survive."
King hadn't seen the irony in Hart being fired just two months after she emotionally told Obama about her fears for her own financial well-being during a town hall meeting in Washington.
"I hadn't thought about this in connection to the town hall meeting. She was at the town hall as a private citizen. Whatever she had to say were her own thoughts," he said."
Monday, November 22, 2010
Video embedded below.
"TSA Chief Pistole:
“We’re in the risk management business, being a risk-based intelligence organization. The information that I’ve seen out in public about body cavities for bombs I think is perhaps not accurate. There’s been reporting of one incident involving the Saudi Deputy Administrator of Interior. The forensics on that are not dis-positive and there is stronger indication that it was actually an underwear type bomb strapped to his upper thigh rather than a body cavity. That being, said even if it is a body cavity you still have to be an initiator. You have to have some external vice that cause that initiation such as having the TAPT that is closer to the PA10 that had a modified syringe. There has to be something external that initiates the device. That’s what the advanced imaging technology machine will pick up. Any anomaly outside the body. So we’re not going to get in the business of doing body cavity (searches) that’s just not where we are.”"
US Condemned For Human Rights Abuses at UN by ... Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, Iran, Nicaragua, Bolivia, North Korea
Video embedded below.
"Eye on the UN has compiled the disgusting video below of the United States abasing itself before some of the most reprehensible regimes in the world. I believe this is what goes under the name of "smart diplomacy" in the Obama administration.
The video depicts in condensed form the three-hour appearance of the United States in the dock at the UN Human Rights Council to present its first-ever universal periodic review report and receive recommendations for improvement from council members. Eye on the UN's Anne Bayefsky explained at the time that 56 countries lined up for the opportunity to have at the U.S. representatives, many standing in line overnight for the opporunity to be near the top of the list. Making it to the head of the line were Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, Iran, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and North Korea.
Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner made an appearance to play his designated role demeaning the United States on behalf of the Obama administration. Posner replied "thanks to very many of the delegations for thoughtful comments and suggestions" shortly after Cuba said the U.S. blockade of Cuba was a "crime of genocide," Iran "condemned and expressed its deep concern over the situation of human rights" in the United States, and North Korea said it was "concerned by systematic widespread violations committed by the United States at home and abroad.""
"Developers of the controversial Park51 Islamic community center and mosque located two blocks from ground zero earlier this month applied for roughly $5 million in federal grant money set aside for the redevelopment of lower Manhattan after the attacks of September 11, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
The audacious move stands to reignite the embers of a divisive debate that dominated headlines surrounding the ninth anniversary of the attacks this fall, say people vested in the issue.
The application was submitted under a “community and cultural enhancement” grant program administered by the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corporation (LMDC), which oversaw the $20 billion in federal aid allocated in the wake of 9/11 and is currently doling out millions in remaining taxpayer funds for community development. The redevelopment board declined to comment on the application (as did officials from Park51), citing the continuing and confidential process of determining the grant winners."
"An ABC News employee said she was subject to a "demeaning" search at Newark Liberty International Airport Sunday morning.
"The woman who checked me reached her hands inside my underwear and felt her way around," she said. "It was basically worse than going to the gynecologist. It was embarrassing. It was demeaning. It was inappropriate."
The head of the Transportation Security Administration John Pistole today said that at least one airport passenger screening went too far when an officer reached inside a traveler's underwear, and said the agency is open to rethinking current protocols.
That search was against protocols and "never" should have happened, TSA administrator Pistole told "Good Morning America" today."
Sunday, November 21, 2010
"All of a sudden, Pistole has a change of heart.
John Pistole said in a statement that the agency would work to make screening methods “as minimally invasive as possible,” although he gave no indication that screening changes were imminent.
Pistole said that, as in all nationwide security programs, “there is a continual process of refinement and adjustment to ensure that best practices are applied.”
Still, he pointed to the alleged attempt by a Nigerian with explosives in his underwear to try to bring down an Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight last Christmas. “We all wish we lived in a world where security procedures at airports weren’t necessary,” Pistole said, “but that just isn’t the case.”
So how minimal and less invasive will these pat-downs be? Or is this just talk to quell the outrage? I am inclined to think it’s the latter."
As am I.
"“I had just been put in the Plexiglas screening booth,” said Peggy. “My 4-year-old son was made to sit across from me, crying because they would not let him touch me. Everyone was looking at us. Then the TSA agent asked for my prosthetic leg. I knew they could wand my leg, but he insisted on taking it from me. And if that wasn’t humiliating enough, he asked for the liner sock that covers my residual limb, saying I had to give it to him. I felt pressured to give him my liner even though it is critical to keep it sanitary. I was embarrassed to have my residual limb exposed in public.”"
Picture embedded below.
"The tie, which is based on Islamic values, was specially designed in the shape of a sword and decorated Prophet Muhammad's quotes. The tie's designer, Hemat Komeili chose the sword which represents the sword of Shiite Imam Ali, Mohammad's cousin and brother in law, who is considered holy in Iran.
According to the designer, the inventive design received approval from some of Iran's shiite scholars.
Since Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979, most men stopped wearing ties as it represented the 'corrupt' west. In the first days of the revolution it was even claimed that men wearing ties were arrested and according to unofficial reports, had their ties cut off."
"Another case study in brilliant strategic thinking. All on your dime, of course.
A new shuttle bus service began last month that runs a 21-mile route from Vernon to Hardyston for Manhattan-bound commuters — and it only costs $1. Unfortunately, it hasn’t had any passengers yet.Good thing they're a non-profit group. At the current rate they may make a profit somewhere around 2165, if only they can find some riders.
The non-profit commuter group that arranged for the shuttles hasn’t given up hope yet, but soon, it may have to.
"At some point we may have to consider" abandoning the idea, said Don Watt, vice president of TransOptions, a Cedar Knolls-based group whose mission is to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality in northern New Jersey.Don Watt's a quick learner, obviously. Even a man of his stature--hey, he's a vice president already--can actually realize a bus line with zero riders probably isn't worth the effort."
"This video shows one woman slammed to the floor for arguing with a TSA agent. Another 71 year-old man with a knee implant describes how TSA pulled down his pants. A 16 year-old girl with a prosthetic leg has her pants removed."
Video embedded below.
"On Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer asked Secretary Clinton whether she would submit to one of TSA’s controversial new patdowns.
“Not if I could avoid it. No. I mean who would?” she responded.
However, she did note that while she feels the new patdowns should be made less intrusive, they are still a necessary security measure."
"The U.S. military is sending a contingent of heavily armored battle tanks to Afghanistan for the first time in the nine-year war, defense officials said, a shift that signals a further escalation in the aggressive tactics that have been employed by American forces this fall to attack the Taliban.
The deployment of a company of M1 Abrams tanks, which will be fielded by the Marines in the country's southwest, will allow ground forces to target insurgents from a greater distance - and with more of a lethal punch - than is possible from any other U.S. military vehicle. The 68-ton tanks are propelled by a jet engine and equipped with a 120mm main gun that can destroy a house more than a mile away."
Whoopi Goldberg - 'TSA Enhanced Pat Down Not Conferable, But Does Not Mind a Squeeze in The Name of Safety'
"In response to Huckabee saying he is not happy about a government employee going into people’s pants at the airport, Goldberg reminds him “no it’s not comfortable and it’s not the way I would like to live, but if it’s going to keep me from getting blown out of the sky, you can check anything you want. And if you feel something you like and squeeze it, what am I going to do?”"
From the video description: "Lets get the facts straight first. Before the video started the boy went through a metal detector and didn't set it off but was selected for a pat down. The boy was shy so the TSA couldn't complete the full pat on the young boy. The father tried several times to just hold the boys arms out for the TSA agent but i guess it didn't end up being enough for the guy. I was about 30 ft away so i couldn't hear their conversation if there was any. The enraged father pulled his son shirt off and gave it to the TSA agent to search, thats when this video begins."
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Head to http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/theanchoress/2010/11/20/pope-condoms for the most comprehnsive analysis of the Popes comments I have found.
"On Nov. 7, Sawyer said he went through the security scanner at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. “Evidently the scanner picked up on my urostomy bag, because I was chosen for a pat-down procedure.”
Due to his medical condition, Sawyer asked to be screened in private. “One officer looked at another, rolled his eyes and said that they really didn’t have any place to take me,” said Sawyer. “After I said again that I’d like privacy, they took me to an office.”
Sawyer wears pants two sizes too large in order to accommodate the medical equipment he wears. He’d taken off his belt to go through the scanner and once in the office with security personnel, his pants fell down around his ankles. “I had to ask twice if it was OK to pull up my shorts,” said Sawyer, “And every time I tried to tell them about my medical condition, they said they didn’t need to know about that.”
Before starting the enhanced pat-down procedure, a security officer did tell him what they were going to do and how they were going to it, but Sawyer said it wasn’t until they asked him to remove his sweatshirt and saw his urostomy bag that they asked any questions about his medical condition.
“One agent watched as the other used his flat hand to go slowly down my chest. I tried to warn him that he would hit the bag and break the seal on my bag, but he ignored me. Sure enough, the seal was broken and urine started dribbling down my shirt and my leg and into my pants.”
The security officer finished the pat-down, tested the gloves for any trace of explosives and then, Sawyer said, “He told me I could go. They never apologized. They never offered to help. They acted like they hadn’t seen what happened. But I know they saw it because I had a wet mark.”
Humiliated, upset and wet, Sawyer said he had to walk through the airport soaked in urine, board his plane and wait until after takeoff before he could clean up."
During the recount process, Democrats did not just find new ballots, they found two new voting machines:
Two new voting machines were located last night in Buffalo, according to Sen.-elect Mike Gianaris, a Democratic attorney helping his party’s efforts in ballot counting.
Incumbent Democratic Sen. Antoine Thompson trails GOP challenger Mark Grisanti by 821 votes, but Gianaris said the new voting machines and how they’ve been handled are a “total disaster” and “complete mess,” adding that lawyers for Thompson are considering legal action that might force a complete recount of paper ballots optically scanned by the machines.
This would involve an amount of paper not seen in 50 years; elections in recent New York history have until this year been conducted with mechanical voting machines, not electronic machines that scan paper ballots. Such a recount would take a long time, to the dismay of people hoping the Senate will be clearly decided before January, when it is set to reconvene....
Democrats must win Thompson’s seat, as well as seats held by Sens. Suzi Oppenheimer and Craig Johnson, to maintain a 32-30 majority in the chamber. Oppenheimer is leading her GOP challenger, but Johnson is trailing.When this trick doesn't work, what will be next?