Tuesday, January 31, 2012
"Mitt Romney crushed Newt Gingrich in the Florida Republican presidential primary Tuesday night, surging from a second-place finish in South Carolina to sweep the winner-take-all contest and reassert his front-runner status.
The victory, in the biggest GOP contest to date, is likely to give the former Massachusetts governor a burst of momentum as he, Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul head west to battle in what has become an increasingly negative race.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Romney led with 46 percent. Gingrich had 32 percent, followed by Rick Santorum with 13 percent and Ron Paul with 7 percent.
Romney was projected to win all 50 of Florida's convention delegates. "
Monday, January 30, 2012
"A march to take over a vacant building by members of the Occupy movement in Oakland, Calif., turned into a violent confrontation with the police on Saturday, leaving three officers injured and about 200 people arrested.
The clashes began just before 3 p.m. when protesters marched toward the vacant Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, the police said, and began to tear down construction barricades. Officers ordered the crowd to disperse when protesters “began destroying construction equipment and fencing,” the Oakland police said in a press release.
“Officers were pelted with bottles, metal pipe, rocks, spray cans, improvised explosive devices and burning flares, the police said.” Officers responded with smoke, tear gas and beanbag projectiles. Twenty people were arrested.
The events were part of a demonstration dubbed “Move-in Day,” a plan by protesters to move into the vacant convention center and use it as a commune-like command center, according to the Web site occupyoaklandmoveinday.org."
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Despite the numbers, and apparently without disputing the solar predictions, the Met is saying that we are still all going to die from man made Global Warming. I may have exaggerated that last bit. Still, they are saying that the sun is less important to how hot the planet is then how much carbon dioxide humans make. Can they really seriously believe what they are saying?
As I have said before, and will again, before we condemn a billion people in Asia and a billion people in Africa to live in abject poverty we should be pretty certain that it is absolutely necessary to save humanity. We are far from certain.
"The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.
The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.
Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.
Solar output goes through 11-year cycles, with high numbers of sunspots seen at their peak.
We are now at what should be the peak of what scientists call ‘Cycle 24’ – which is why last week’s solar storm resulted in sightings of the aurora borealis further south than usual. But sunspot numbers are running at less than half those seen during cycle peaks in the 20th Century.
Analysis by experts at NASA and the University of Arizona – derived from magnetic-field measurements 120,000 miles beneath the sun’s surface – suggest that Cycle 25, whose peak is due in 2022, will be a great deal weaker still.
Yet, in its paper, the Met Office claimed that the consequences now would be negligible – because the impact of the sun on climate is far less than man-made carbon dioxide. Although the sun’s output is likely to decrease until 2100, ‘This would only cause a reduction in global temperatures of 0.08C.’ Peter Stott, one of the authors, said: ‘Our findings suggest a reduction of solar activity to levels not seen in hundreds of years would be insufficient to offset the dominant influence of greenhouse gases.’
These findings are fiercely disputed by other solar experts."
"Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice dumped documents related to Operation Fast and Furious on congressional officials late Friday night. Central to this document dump is a series of emails showing Holder was informed of slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s murder on the day it happened – December 15, 2010.
That email was sent at 2:31 a.m. on the day Terry was shot. One hour later, a follow-up email read: “Our agent has passed away.”
Burke forwarded those two emails to Holder’s then-deputy chief of staff Monty Wilkinson later that morning, adding that the incident was “not good” because it happened “18 miles w/in” the border.
Wilkinson responded to Burke shortly thereafter and said the incident was “tragic.” “I’ve alerted the AG [Holder], the Acting DAG, Lisa, etc.”
Then, later that day, Burke followed up with Wilkinson after Burke discovered from officials whose names are redacted that the guns used to kill Terry were from Fast and Furious. “The guns found in the desert near the murder BP officer connect back to the investigation we were going to talk about – they were AK-47s purchased at a Phoenix gun store,” Burke wrote to Wilkinson.
“I’ll call tomorrow,” Wilkinson responded."
"Looking around at the tens of thousands of people waving American flags and cheering, Army Maj. Rich Radford was moved that so many braved a cold January wind Saturday in St. Louis to honor people like him: Iraq War veterans.
The parade, borne out of a simple conversation between two St. Louis friends a month ago, was the nation's first big welcome-home for veterans of the war since the last troops were withdrawn from Iraq in December.
Radford was among about 600 veterans, many dressed in camouflage, who walked along downtown streets lined with rows of people clapping and holding signs with messages including "Welcome Home" and "Thanks to our Service Men and Women." Some of the war-tested troops wiped away tears as they acknowledged the support from a crowd that organizers estimated reached 100,000 people.
Fire trucks with aerial ladders hoisted huge American flags in three different places along the route, with politicians, marching bands - even the Budweiser Clydesdales - joining in. But the large crowd was clearly there to salute men and women in the military, and people cheered wildly as groups of veterans walked by."
"Have you ever dropped a letter in the mailbox and then instantly wished you could get it back? I imagine that’s how American Express feels. Yesterday my letter carrier delivered a brochure from Amex inviting me to “immerse” myself in a “truly European experience” with a Mediterranean cruise vacation aboard the ... Costa Concordia.
I think that might be a little too much immersion for me.
It actually isn’t the ill-fated Costa Concordia that’s pictured on the front of the brochure. It’s sister ship Costa Fascinosa. But inside I’m encouraged to book a seven-night western Mediterranean cruise on the Costa Concordia between Feb. 25 and Oct. 29."
Saturday, January 28, 2012
"A separate conservative response was delivered by Ben Shapiro. In case you’re not familiar, Ben is the author of the national bestsellers, Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth (WND Books, May 2004), Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future (Regnery, June 2005), and Project President: Bad Hair and Botox on the Road to the White House (Thomas Nelson, 2008). Following is Ben’s response on video, followed by the text of his remarks. We provide this without comment for your consideration. Enjoy."
Transcript at the source.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
"A shipment containing 16 kilograms of cocaine was seized last week at the United Nations's mail intake centre, a New York Police Department spokesman said on Thursday.
Paul Browne, NYPD's chief spokesman, said the drugs were in a white bag evidently masquerading as a diplomatic pouch that raised suspicions when it was being scanned because it was stamped with what looked like a poorly copied version of the UN logo.
Browne said here was no name or address on the shipment sent from Mexico City through Cincinnati.
UN security officials called the NYPD and Drug Enforcement Administration, which confirmed the substance inside the shipment intercepted on 16 January was cocaine, the police spokesman said."
"We heard a lot on Tuesday night from President Obama about the wealthy paying their “fair share” in his State of the Union speech. (Well, you heard it a lot; I read the speech and then commenced to have a life on Tuesday night.) Obama made half a dozen references to fairness in relation to taxes in the address, including taking a shot at Congress:
But in return, we need to change our tax code so that people like me, and an awful lot of members of Congress, pay our fair share of taxes.
Just like with charity, perhaps fairness should start at home:
From postal workers to congressional staffers, federal workers failed to pay billions in taxes in 2010. According to records released by the Internal Revenue Service, active and retired federal employees and military personnel combined owed $3,420,168,684 in unpaid taxes for 2010, an increase of more than 3 percent over the previous year.
As has been the case in past years, the agency with employees who owe the most in unpaid taxes is the U.S. Postal Service, where 25,640 employees owe nearly $270 million. Employees in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives owe more the $10 million. Active duty military owe more than $100 million.
What WTOP doesn’t mention except in a chart is what the White House itself owes. That comes to $833,970, or twice what the President makes in a year."
Video embedded below.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Video embedded below.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
Video embedded below.
"Geothermal energy developers plan to pump 24 million gallons of water into the side of a dormant volcano in central Oregon this summer to demonstrate technology they hope will give a boost to a green energy sector that has yet to live up to its promise.
A test well is drilled for a geothermal project at Newberry volcano in 2010.
They hope the water comes back to the surface fast enough and hot enough to create cheap, clean electricity that isn't dependent on sunny skies or stiff breezes — without shaking the earth and rattling the nerves of nearby residents.
Renewable energy has been held back by cheap natural gas, weak demand for power and lack of political concern over global warming. Efforts to use the earth's heat to generate power, known as geothermal energy, have been further hampered by technical problems and worries that tapping it can cause earthquakes."
Videos embedded below.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
"You couldn’t ask for a more quintessentially emblematic moment to sum up the ethos behind the Occupy movement.
Friday night in San Francisco, Occupy protesters broke into an abandoned hotel, took the Bibles still remaining in the vacant rooms, climbed on the roof and attacked the police with the Bibles, along with bricks and other projectiles:
Occupy San Francisco’s “Day of Action” turned violent Friday night when protesters occupied an abandoned hotel and began throwing objects at police officers from the roof, police said.
“Once they gained access [to the hotel], some of them made it to the top of the roof and they then began to throw bibles down at the officers,” San Francisco Police Department spokesman Carlos Manfredi said.
“One of officers was struck with a brick to the chest and one of our lieutenants was struck in the hand with an object and may have damaged or even broken his hand,” he said.
More details here:"
"Final results on Saturday showed that Islamist parties won nearly three-quarters of the seats in parliament in Egypt's first elections since the ouster of authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak, according to election officials and political groups.
The Islamist domination of Egypt's parliament has worried liberals and even some conservatives about the religious tone of the new legislature, which will be tasked with forming a committee to write a new constitution. It remains unclear whether the constitution will be written while the generals who took power after Mubarak's fall are still in charge, or rather after presidential elections this summer.
In the vote for the lower house of parliament, a coalition led by the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood won 47 percent, or 235 seats in the 498-seat parliament. The ultraconservative Al-Nour Party was second with 25 percent, or 125 seats.
The Salafi Al-Nour, which was initially the biggest surprise of the vote, wants to impose strict Islamic law in Egypt, while the more moderate Brotherhood, the country's best-known and organized party, has said publicly that it does not seek to force its views about an appropriate Islamic lifestyle on Egyptians."
"The owners of the Costa Concordia are offering survivors of the disaster a 30 per cent discount off future cruises as they battle to stave off law suits expected to cost hundreds of millions of pounds.
It was disclosed that in an attempt to help survivors the ship's parent company, Carnival, has been telephoning passengers daily asking if they are suffering nightmares or sleepless nights.
But that move also appeared to backfire when a psychologist said such questioning could trigger post traumatic stress rather than relieve it.
A spokesman for Costa Cruises said: "The company is trying to do everything they can for those passengers directly affected.
"The company is not only going to refund everybody but they will offer a 30 per cent discount on future cruises if they want to stay loyal to the company."
Costa's chief executive, Pier Luigi Foschi, who estimated that the impact of the disaster on his firm was £60 million, had expressed confidence that the group would be able to "find a solution that, in the material sense, would satisfy" the passengers."
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Video embedded below.
"The government takedown of Megaupload, a popular file-sharing site, has stoked simmering fears that hard-line enforcement of copyright infringements could profoundly disrupt Internet commerce.
File sharing has become a major way corporations collaborate with employees and partners and interact with customers. It fuels the sharing of rich content across Internet-connected devices in the home and office and distributed to mobile devices and has emerged as a major component of cloud computing, the delivery of content and services across the Web.
"If legitimate content is housed on the same service that might have infringing content, it gets sucked into this vortex and it's gone," says Dennis Fisher, security blogger at Threatpost.com. "I don't know how much the government or these companies (advocating strict anti-piracy enforcement) have thought this through. I would guess not a lot.""
Democratic Operative Arrested Attempting Identity Theft on a Republican Secretary of State to Implement Him in Unethical Behavior
"A few years ago, as part of its strategy of facilitating voter fraud as a means of winning close elections, the Democratic Party undertook a campaign to secure as many Secretary of State offices in swing states as possible. From those perches, the Democrats would be in a position to oversee elections and enforce (or decline to enforce) election laws. That strategy has been quite successful, but the Democrats suffered a setback in Iowa in 2010 when conservative Republican Matt Schultz won an upset victory in the Secretary of State race. Since then, Iowa Democrats have targeted Schultz.
That targeting has taken a sinister turn–a criminal one, in fact–as the Des Moines Register reports:
A Des Moines man has been arrested after police say he used, or tried to use, the identity of Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz in a scheme to falsely implicate Schultz in perceived unethical behavior in office.
Zachary Edwards was arrested Friday and charged with identity theft.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety issued a news release saying Schultz’s office discovered the scheme on June 24, 2011 and notified authorities.
Iowa blogger Shane Vander Hart has more, including this mug shot of Zachary Edwards, a Democratic operative:
Edwards is a former Obama staffer who directed “new media operations” for Obama in five states during the 2008 primaries. Thereafter, he was Obama’s Director of New Media for the State of Iowa. In the Democratic Party’s lexicon, “new media” apparently includes identity theft."
"Newt Gingrich resurrected his campaign Saturday with a convincing victory in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary, leveraging strong debate performances and a handful of wrong turns by Mitt Romney to surge past the former frontrunner and reset the race now headed to Florida.
After claiming his first primary win, the former House speaker rallied supporters on the road to the next contest on Jan. 31. Gingrich, looking to convey the image of a general election candidate, focused his victory speech almost entirely on President Obama, unloading some of his toughest criticism to date on the White House incumbent.
Gingrich locked up a decisive victory in the state. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Gingrich pulled in 41 percent of the vote, to Romney's 27 percent. Rick Santorum finished in third with 17 percent, followed by Ron Paul with 13 percent. Herman Cain, who dropped out before the first contest, garnered 1 percent.
The leader board virtually ensures a drawn-out Republican race, a turnaround from just a week ago when Romney seemed poised to clinch the nomination in short order. While South Carolina has predicted the presidential candidate every year since 1980, the candidate in previous victories had won either Iowa or New Hampshire."
Friday, January 20, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Video embedded below.
"Rick Santorum claimed victory in the Iowa caucuses, after the certified vote count released this morning showed him with a 34-vote edge over Mitt Romney.
But votes missing from eight precincts means it is impossible to know who really won the political event that every four years kicks off the presidential nominating season.
"Just as I did on the early morning hours on Jan. 4, I congratulate Sen. Santorum and Gov. Romney on a hard-fought effort during the closest contest in caucus history," Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn said in a statement, which did not declare a winner."
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Video embedded below.
"In a decision that quickly re-ignited a fierce energy debate, the Obama administration on Wednesday rejected the controversial Keystone XL pipeline because the 60-day deadline imposed by Republicans did not allow adequate time to review an alternate route through an ecologically sensitive area in Nebraska.
Deputy Secretary of State William Burns made the announcement on President Obama's behalf on the project that would carry oil from Canada's carbon-heavy tar sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast. TransCanada, the company seeking to build the $7 billion, 1,700-mile pipeline, will be able to reapply with a new route avoiding an ecologically sensitive area of Nebraska, sources told National Journal.
Put more simply, the Obama administration hit back at Republicans by saying no because of their forcing him to decide on the project in just 60 days. Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail promptly painted the decision as a rejection of thousands of American jobs purely for political reasons.
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, decried the news. “President Obama is about to destroy tens of thousands of American jobs and sell American energy security to the Chinese,” said Brendan Buck. “The president won’t stand up to his political base even to create American jobs. This is not the end of this fight.”"
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Video embedded below.
"He wasn’t the only one who put himself first. While some passengers behaved heroically, crew members were spotted leaping into lifeboats while people ran around screaming on deck. The current death toll stands at 11 with 23 still missing. And all because, supposedly, Schettino wanted to do a favor for the head waiter by making a close pass of his home island.
He’s under house arrest as I write this. Even if he avoids prison, I don’t know how he’ll function in society now that this clip is going viral. It’s a “mortal sin,” said one maritime union official to Fox News. “Unforgivable.” Exit question: Where are our Benjamin Guggenheims?"
"Cuccinelli said D.C.'s new rat law--the Wildlife Protection Act of 2010 (Wildlife Protection Act of 2010.pdf) --is “crazier than fiction” because it requires that rats and other vermin not be killed but captured, preferably in families; no glue or snap traps can be utilized; the rodents must be relocated from where they are captured; and some of these animals may need to be transferred to a “wildlife rehabilitator” as part of their relocation process.
The law does not allow pest control professionals “to kill the dang rats,” Cuccinelli told CNSNews.com. “They have to capture them--then capture them in families. [Not sure] how you’re going to figure that out with rats. And then you have to relocate them. That brings us to Virginia. Now, if you don’t relocate them about 25 miles away, according to experts, rodents will find their way back. Well, an easy way to solve that problem is to cross a river, and what’s on the other side of the river? Virginia.”"
Monday, January 16, 2012
"However, Obama apparently has more family than we first thought:
President Obama, speaking last night in Chicago at a fundraiser at a private home, unloaded this bombshell:
Obama, according to the White House transcript, talked about “The first bill I signed — a bill that said that we’re going to have equal pay for equal work because I want my daughters treated the same way as my sons.”
Sons? What sons? How many? Where? Names? Do the girls know? (More importantly, does Michelle?)
After spending the last three years bragging about passing the Lily Ledbetter Act, a minor piece of legislation that doesn’t say that we’ll have equal pay for equal work but just extended the statute of limitations for discriminatory-pay lawsuits, Obama would have the boilerplate language down pat. Of course, one would also think that Obama would know better than to claim to have sons in an attempt to underscore one of his political arguments."
"Canada is now looking to Asian countries to market its abundance of oil, natural gas and minerals as plans to build the proposed Keystone XL pipeline have stalled with the U.S. administration.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper will travel to China next month to discuss selling Canada's bounty to the rapidly growing nation.
The preferred initial plan was to build the $7 billion Keystone pipeline to deliver Alberta's oilsands crude to refineries in Texas on the Gulf of Mexico.
Harper reasoned that the U.S. government would prefer to deal with a friendly neighbor to help meet its energy needs while creating thousands of jobs.
With widespread opposition by U.S. environmentalists, the Obama administration has delayed its decision on whether to approve the project proposed by energy giant TransCanada Pipelines.
The new plan would market to China and Asian countries through the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline that would transport Alberta's oil and natural gas to British Columbia for shipment by tankers."
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Saturday, January 14, 2012
The next morning I woke up to an order confirmation email. The confirmation was what I was expecting except for two issue. The price was listed as $850.99 (not including tax), and the delivered by date was a full business week later. That extra dollar is not going to have any appreciable impact on my life. Still, it really just irked me. It is not about the money, but the sneakiness of it. When you make a deal with someone, you make it for the amount you agree on. In a face to face transaction this would never fly; you see something you want, negotiate on a price, and then pay them. That person is not going to take your money, and then wait for you to give them another dollar because of some implied unspoken 99 cent increase in the agreed amount.
More problematic was the increase in the delivery time. I needed the new computer by when they said they would deliver it, and the extra week would cause some issues. I called Dell back to try to get the terms to reflect what the deal actually was for both delivery and price. The representative told me they could not make any promises on the delivered by date, but tried to offer some assurance that the laptop may arrive earlier (this did end up happening). The representative also offered me an additional discount for my troubles, and added an extra dollar on top of that for the 99 cent overage.
Without the shipping issue, I am not sure if I would have wasted my time fighting over a dollar. That is likely what some unscrupulous people count on. To be clear, I do not mean to cast dispersion on Dell, nor necessarily the representative that placed my order. Dell did right by me fixing what they could and offering alternatives to compensate me for what they could not, and it is possible there was a simple misunderstanding with the representative. Upon reflection however, I hope I would have made the call.
While a single dollar would have a negligible impact on the lives of most people, if we as a society allow this surreptitious price increase to become common place through inaction, those dollars can quickly add up. The correct action is to call back, ask not only for the price to be changed back to what was agreed on but for an additional discount on top of that to compensate you for the time and hassle incurred making the call, and to cancel your order if they refuse.
Friday, January 13, 2012
"Standard & Poor's downgraded the credit ratings of nine euro zone countries, stripping France and Austria of their coveted triple-A status but not EU paymaster Germany, in a Black Friday 13th for the troubled single currency area.
"Today's rating actions are primarily driven by our assessment that the policy initiatives that have been taken by European policy makers in recent weeks may be insufficient to fully address ongoing systemic stresses in the euro zone," S&P said in a press release announcing the downgrade.
S&P lowered its long-term rating on Cyprus, Italy, Portugal and Spain by two notches, and cut its rating on Austria, France, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia by one notch."
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Video embedded below.
"Top U.S. officials moved swiftly Thursday to try to prevent diplomatic damage and contain public disgust from the release of a video that appeared to show Marines urinating on three Afghan corpses — images that spread quickly around the globe.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said he had viewed the video and considered it “utterly deplorable.” He telephoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai and pledged a full investigation.
Prior to the call, Karzai described the video as “completely inhumane and condemnable in the strongest possible terms.” His administration called on the U.S. military to “apply the most severe punishment to anyone found guilty in this crime.”
The video, which runs for less than a minute, depicts four Marines in combat gear laughing and joking as they urinate on three male bodies. The caption refers to the corpses as “dead Talibans,” but it is unclear whether the men were civilians or fighters killed after a battle."
Requiring voters to show ID, while no where near full proof, does increase the burden significantly on fraudulent voting. Having a simple protection, such as sealing the ballets of those who can not produce an ID to allow for a final purge of the voter rolls of the illegitimate names and in the event two or more people claim the same identity would ensure that people would not lose the right to vote if that vote was legitimate.
Video embedded below.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
"When you’ve got two core First Amendment principles to guide you, even a big case can be an easy one.
In what may be its most significant religious liberty decision in two decades, the Supreme Court on Wednesday for the first time recognized a “ministerial exception” to employment discrimination laws, saying that churches and other religious groups must be free to choose and dismiss their leaders without government interference…
The administration had told the justices that their analysis of Ms. Perich’s case should be essentially the same whether she had been employed by a church, a labor union, a social club or any other group with free-association rights under the First Amendment. That position received withering criticism when the case was argued in October, and it was soundly rejected in Wednesday’s decision.
“That result is hard to square with the text of the First Amendment itself, which gives special solicitude to the rights of religious organizations,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote. “We cannot accept the remarkable view that the religion clauses have nothing to say about a religious organization’s freedom to select its own ministers.”
I recommend reading Walter Olson’s piece at Cato from October for background on the case, as his post drips with amazement that Obama’s DOJ would try to argue that religious orgs enjoy no extra freedom in their hiring practices under the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses. His amazement was obviously shared: I can’t remember the last time a major decision on a hot-button issue went 9-0. What the DOJ could have done — and where this line of jurisprudence is clearly headed — is to quibble over who qualifies as a “minister” for the ministerial exception."
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
"CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Mitt Romney cruised to a solid victory in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night, picking up steam from his first-place finish in the lead-off Iowa caucuses and firmly establishing himself as the man to beat for the Republican presidential nomination.
"Tonight we made history," Romney told cheering supporters before pivoting to a stinging denunciation of President Barack Obama. "The middle class has been crushed ... our debt is too high and our opportunities too few," he declared - ignoring the rivals who had been assailing him for weeks and making clear he intends to be viewed as the party's nominee in waiting after only two contests."
Monday, January 9, 2012
"The soaring national debt has reached a symbolic tipping point: It's now as big as the entire U.S. economy.
The amount of money the federal government owes to its creditors, combined with IOUs to government retirement and other programs, now tops $15.23 trillion.
That's roughly equal to the value of all goods and services the U.S. economy produces in one year: $15.17 trillion as of September, the latest estimate. Private projections show the economy likely grew to about $15.3 trillion by December — a level the debt is likely to surpass this month."
Video embedded below.
"Ghaleb Majadleh, an Israeli Arab member of the Labour party, had protested at an education panel meeting to reprimand an Arab school principal for letting pupils attend a human rights group rally. "You are inciting against the state," retorted Anastasia Michaeli, a member of the rightwing Yisrael Beitenu (Israel Our Home) party.
When Majadleh told her to "shut up" Michaeli rose from her seat, poured water into a plastic cup and threw it at Majadleh, hitting his face and jacket, before heading for the door.
Michaeli later told reporters Majadleh had been rude. "If there are no men in the Israeli Knesset willing to defend women, then I will defend myself, the honour of my party and of the Knesset," she said."
Sunday, January 8, 2012
It this really the best timing after announcing cuts to the military, not to mention the economy in general...
"The White House will propose a 0.5 percent pay increase for civilian federal employees as part of its 2013 budget proposal, according to two senior administration officials familiar with the plans.
The modest across-the-board pay jump would be the first increase for federal workers since before a two-year freeze began in late 2010. Raises for within-grade step increases and promotions have continued during the freeze.
The proposal, which requires congressional approval, differs from Republican plans supported by lawmakers and presidential candidates that would freeze basic pay rates for one more year. Some of those plans also call for denying within-grade raises. In recent weeks, GOP lawmakers have called for extending the pay freeze as a way to pay for a payroll tax extension. "
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Friday, January 6, 2012
Video embedded below.
"I’ve read a bunch of stories this week about what happened to her, including Rich Lowry’s piece today at NRO (from which I’m stealing the headline), but nothing will prepare you for hearing her explain in her own words how coolly she assessed the situation. Bear in mind, she’s 18 years old, her husband died of cancer just one week earlier, and she had not one but two lunatics attempting to break down her door and do who knows what. And yet: “I knew if I screamed I would give my position away in the house. And I wanted to see him first.” Unbelievable."
Thursday, January 5, 2012
"Remember those terrible days of the Imperial Presidency, when George W. Bush made several "recess appointments" to overcome Senate opposition? Well, Czar George II never did attempt what President Obama did yesterday in making recess appointments when Congress isn't even on recess.
Eager to pick a fight with Congress as part of his re-election campaign, Mr. Obama did the Constitutional equivalent of sticking a thumb in its eye and hitting below the belt. He installed Richard Cordray as the first chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and named three new members to the National Labor Relations Board. He did so even though the Senate was in pro forma session after the new Congress convened this week.
A President has the power to make a recess appointment, and we've supported Mr. Obama's right to do so. The Constitutional catch is that Congress must be in recess.
The last clause of Section 5 of Article 1 of the Constitution says that "Neither House" of Congress can adjourn for more than three days "without the Consent of the other" house. In this case, the House of Representatives had not formally consented to Senate adjournment. It's true the House did this to block the President from making recess appointments, but it is following the Constitution in doing so. Let's hear Mr. Obama's legal justification."
Video embedded below.
"As the wars of the September 11 era pass, Mr Obama said America should abandon its traditional capability of fighting two major wars at once and focus on becoming a "leaner and smarter" fighting force with an emphasis on counter terrorism, reconnaissance, cyber warfare and maintaining a nuclear deterrent.
In a rare appearance in the Pentagon press briefing room, Mr Obama however insisted that the US military would comfortably maintain its military supremacy, with proposed spending still larger than that of the next 10 countries combined. The cuts would represent less than 10 per cent of the current annual defence budget of $650 billion.
In one of the most significant strategy shifts since the end of the Second World War, the review US will turn its focus away from Europe towards the Asian Pacific region to counter the rising influence of China.
"Our military will be leaner but the world must know the United States is going to maintain our military superiority with armed forces that are agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats," he said at a news conference at the Pentagon flanked by Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, and senior generals.
He said the US had to "look past nation-building with large ground forces" and scale down "outdated Cold War systems"."
"US researchers said Thursday they have created the world's first mixed-embryo monkeys by merging cells from up to six different embryos, in what could be a big advance for medical research.
Until now, rodents have been the primary creatures used to make chimeras, a lab animal produced by combining two or more fertilized eggs or early embryos together.
Scientists have long been able to create "knock-out" mice with certain genes deleted in order to study a host of ailments and remedies, including obesity, heart disease, anxiety, diabetes and Parkinson's disease.
Attempts to create melded primates have failed in the past, but scientists in the western state of Oregon succeeded by altering the method used to make mice.
The breakthrough came when they mixed cells together from very early stage rhesus monkey embryos, in a state known as totipotent, when they are able to give rise to a whole animal as well as the placenta and other life-sustaining tissues."
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
"Super Bowl ads sell out every year, of course. But today’s news that NBC has landed a record average price of $3.5 million for a 30-second spot in its February 5 broadcast of NFL’s championship game is notable because it reaffirms how important live sports on TV are to advertisers. And the Super Bowl is the biggest live event of all in an increasingly fractured media world, with a U.S. record 111 million viewers tuning in to last year’s game on Fox. That network received about $3 million per ad for the game between Green Bay and Pittsburgh, won by the Packers. The double-digit price increase for this year’s game in Indianapolis includes $4 million for a spot, an NBC spokesman told Bloomberg."
If you had any doubt that every vote still counts, doubt no longer.
What is the over-under on rumblings from the side that comes out in second place that there was something fishy going on with the seriously delayed precincts?
Santorum now up by only four votes.
Some question of miss-entered ballot numbers from some of the counties. This has the potential to turn really messy; if it has not already.
Romeny and Santorum representatives have agreed that missing precinct gives Romeny a 14 vote state wide lead? Can that really be right; representatives just agree on the missing amount?
Rommeny staffers (apparently) 'flash-mobbed' their previously empty announcement room from some quick celebrating.
It is apparently official; Romney places first in Iowa with a mere 14 more votes than Santorum.
Now it is actually official (though not certified); Romney beats Santorum by 8 votes.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Monday, January 2, 2012
"The number of Republicans in the country increased by a percentage point in December, while the number of Democrats fell back two points to the lowest level ever recorded by Rasmussen Reports.
During December, 35.4% of Americans considered themselves Republicans. That’s up from 34.3% in November and just below the high for the year of 35.6% reached in May.
At the same time, just 32.7% of adults said they were Democrats, down from 34.9% in November. The previous low for Democrats was 33.0% in August of this year."
Video embedded below.
Colmes has since appologiesed, after driving Santorum's wife to tears.
Video embedded below.
"A Charlton mom says her local library crossed the line when they sent police to collect her daughter’s overdue library books.
Her mom says the 5-year-old girl was so afraid that she burst into tears.
Charlton Police Sergeant Dan Dowd stopped by the home of Shannon Benoit to let her know that her daughter had two books several months overdue which needed to be returned or paid for."
Sunday, January 1, 2012
It shall once again will follow it up with my favorite toast that I 'borrowed' from my grandfather; may the best of your past be the worst of your future.
I will end by paraphrasing and expanding a concept from Martin Luther King Jr. and Firefly; 'Life is about moving forward. If you can't run, you walk. If you can't walk, you crawl. When you can't crawl, when you can't do that, you find someone to carry you.' This year find someone new who will carry you, and that you would carry as well.